Sunny days in May

Bring clouds with silver linings

Steamy times ahead

 

 May 

For those wondering the salutations at the home page for each new month and then also found at each month’s blog page are Haikus.

It is a form of Japanese poetry where a story is told in 3 lines that are written in 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the 2nd line and 5 syllables in the 3rd and last line.

Nature and emotions set the tone for the subject matter.

am

what I appear to be

 

The love and passion that I have for Labrador Retrievers is what fuels my drive for my total involvement with the breed. The never-ending quest for the Betterment of the Breed is the legacy that I would

like to leave behind after it is all said and done.

 

This Blogging Off section reflects the "tell it like it is" persona that comprises one of the many hats that I wear in my daily activities with Labrador Retrievers and the people that own them. 

"Questions are the keys to understanding,
answers are the open doors that will follow,

choosing the right door to proceed through will
determine if the correct path was taken."
 
V. Sandy Herzon

Welcome to all the new visitors that have been 'dropping by' this last week as a result of the 'excitement' created at one of the

Labrador Forum sites about my blog detailing all types and methods of breeding Labradors.

 

Whenever there is mention of Chambray or me personally, folk become very interested and will do a query at one of the search engines and thus be directed to our websites.

 

What a great opportunity that becomes to have so many come and visit and read for themselves about our 47 year involvement with Labrador Retrievers! 

This is for all those out there that continuously prove my ‘Dumas’ point to an exact science!

 

Sand and sense are very much alike, as are a container and a brain.

The amount of sand that fits into a container is dependent on the capacity of that container.

There is an exception to the rule; you can’t fit any sense into a brain when it is full of sand!


V. Sandy Herzon

May 31st

Keep On Truckin Time

Having all the time in the world to take care of business right here at Chambray Acres, I get an early start outside before the sun and humidity will take me to almost a heat stroke.

So, there I was outside of my property by the swale of the road between my front fence and the edge of the road. That’s 330 feet of frontage that was part of the 5 acres back in 1973 when I bought the property and since then, having to ‘donate’ to the county 50 feet by the length of 330 as a right of way for the road to be paved and for the swale to be ‘maintained’ by me!

Plus having to pay triple the taxes on the property because of the ‘improvements’ that have been made (the road) on what was my own land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My own land that I was forced to give away for that swale to be granted a permit to build the house on the rest of the property that was left……………and pay a trillion dollars a year for taxes on that land/house of mine!

Oh well, here we are some 44 years later……………..and there I was picking up litter and trash on that swale, litter that had been tossed out by uncaring folk that travel up and down the road that I pay for every day of those 44 years…………………………that swale that no longer belongs to me, but that I have to maintain or else some Violation Inspector will post a ‘Warning Notice’ that that swale that is now owned by the county isn’t being maintained by me!!!!!!!!!

Anyways, as I toiled out there to stay in compliance with Big Brother, who is always watching, a curious big black pickup truck cruised rather noisily up and down the road past my (as long as I pay the taxes) land/house.

Now mind you at 9 AM in the morning I am not expecting anyone coming out expressly for a training session, for a breeding or for an Interview…………..so I didn’t pay much mind when the truck finally pulled off the road and unto the now cleaned swale.

As I kept filling the trash cart with empty beer bottle, plastics, cardboard, rags and other littered decorations, the truck sounded its horn to get my attention as it slowly made its way to where I was.

“I be lookin for Chambray Breeding Kennels!” the rather large man manning the super large black pickup truck boomed out in an equally large voice.

I stopped stooping over, stopped picking up the last of the debris, stood as tall as an aged, tired body can and answered, “Well, this is Chambray Labradors, but there’s no breeding kennels here.”

“Yep, I can see that from this Google map right here that we had blown up real big to see your operation, can’t really see much other than a few runs right there in the front”, the man mellowed a bit with his voice.

Before I could answer, he continued on “You do sell Labradors, right?”

“I actually place puppies and dogs, as will fit the occasion and the environment, but there is an Interview Process way before I let anyone know if a puppy will be made available to them!” I speedily added, lest he get in several more questions edgewise.

Sure enough, before a lickety-split second was up, he would counter with, “You mean if I wanted to buy one of your dogs and had good, hard-earned cash, that you won’t sell me a dog?”

“Well, no and maybe yes and that’s what the Interview Process is all about.” I would proceed with.

“Well, I got me one of those Interviews and that’s why I am here" the man would return.

Looking at my FitBit ………………….the one that counts my heartbeats, my blood pressure and how many calories I am burning up…………….of course it tells time too and seeing that it was just 9:05 AM and my first appointment wasn’t until 11 AM, followed by a 12 noon and then a 1 PM……………I ask the man, “What time is your appointment for?”

He comes back with "12 noon!"

“Okay then, I will see you then, as I have the construction crew that just pulled up to the middle service entrance over there”……………me pointing to a red and 2 white pickup trucks "and then I have the regular timed work with my training staff and assistants with the dog and puppies that are here for care and training.”

“You sure you couldn’t squeeze me in right now?” he would passive submissive plead his case.

However the red flags were now full blown blowing in the wind! Trust me folks, when you feel the hackles on your back start doing the stadium wave; it’s time to cut your anchor line and head for shore!

“No sir, I have lots of men waiting for me at the right time and it wouldn’t be mannerly of me to make working men wait………………………your time is set from 12 to 1PM and I will accommodate you at that time.” And with that, I moved down to the middle gate and opened up for the construction crew to drive into my property.

Well, to make the long story short………………12 noon came and went and no sign of the black pickup truck.

 

At 1 PM, right on time, a white Mercedes pulls up front next to the gate, after greeting the couple and letting them in, they introduced themselves as my 1 PM appointment.

We proceed to share our admiration for Labrador Retrievers while sitting under the 39-year old Orchid tree, where thousands have sat for Interviews, for training sessions, for Fun Matches, for night classes, for get-togethers…………..for breedings…………………………..for anything and everything that pertains to Labrador Retrievers.

At about 1:20 PM, the loud horn of the black pickup truck sounds off as I am introducing the ‘on-time' 1 PM appointment to a 6-month old trained puppy that this couple has come to see.

Knowing that more interruptions were on the way, I stopped what I was doing and walked with the puppy over to the gate where the sign clearly states DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF GATE………..where the black pickup truck was parked in front.

The man stuck his head out of the window and said, “I am back!”

“As you can see, I am working with my 1 PM appointment and I have the rest of the afternoon booked, I reserved the 12 noon to 1 PM hour for you and that has passed. Now I need to get back to work with the people that are here now.”

The red flagged man and the black pickup truck sauntered down the road never to be seen or heard from again.

I always preach, probably to deaf ears………………..when a relationship, association, partnership or just a meeting isn’t working out, the best thing is for both parties to keep on truckin!

 

 

May 30th

 

Now Hear This………………………Just This One Last Time

 

All the busy-body meddlers and swine can now go back into their mires and swamps, or wherever those nefarious and underbelly denizens dwell now a days!

The incessant and malicious non-sense perpetrated by the no accounts, the ill-informed and those that just want to have fun trolling has caused too much angst and even ruination to many fine folk’s character and reputation.

Enough is enough with all of the ‘advice’ and ‘condemnation’ to those that differ with someone else’s way of life………………….NO I AM NOT REFERRING TO THE POLITICAL MAELSTROM………………………….I don’t go there no matter how opposing anyone is to my God-Given beliefs……………………..NOPE……………this is about the recent brouhaha about the dog flu.

There are these super-sanctimonious, holier than thou morons running a muck on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else where gossip mongers congregate, giving their two-cents worth when they themselves don’t know the first thing about their own feces that they expel from all of their orifices.

People are free to make their own decisions as to whether they will take their dogs to the bank, the vet or to a dog show……………………….they will make that decision based on taking responsibility and it is no one else’s job to oversee or to condemn and then publicly berate that person.

If someone wants to stay home and play tiddly winks with their dogs…………that’s fine and dandy…………………..if instead they want to go fishing or hunting with their dog, so be it. It is their business and their business alone, so everyone else mind your business!

Those of us that really know……………….know that most of those harping on Facebook and ‘liking’ by adding their name and even commenting like a cacophony of sheep bleating………………..we know the game you are playing…………………….adding your name to everything to get people to think that you know what’s what…………….we all know that you know excrement! We that truly know.......know what you bass-wipes don’t know droppings! No matter how many times your name is added, befriended, twitted, liked......................when you speak or write anything, we know that you know nothing!

I seldom do negative, but morons can hedge me out of my norm and when that happens, venting is most apropos to set the record straight.

Now I can go play with my dogs and welcome all those owners that live close by to come spend time with me here at Chambray Acres where we can play, work and train our dogs or just hang ten under the 39-year old Orchid Tree out front where thousands of y’all have spent time and time again with me and our/your dogs.

For those that are not familiar with Stud Dog Cluster Breeding and Popular Stud Dog Syndrome here is a link that will be very useful in getting a little understanding on Dog Breeding 202

http://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/blog/the-pox-of-popular-sires

Dog Illnesses & Flu News

We have been attending dog shows since 1986.

Each and every time we are at a dog show, we hear of sick dogs!

Well, yeah, out of any population, be it people, pigs or dogs, there will be a 'natural' % that will have something or other come up.

Almost 900 dogs were entered at Deland.

If 9 have become ill from the dog flu, that's 1%!

If 90 have become ill, that's 10%.

Dogs react almost immediately to any/all of the upper respiratory ailments, so if they were at Perry, then there would be a tremendous amount of sick dogs. If dogs were at Deland and were infected, they would have shown the effects by Wednesday.

We handled a total of 19 dogs of different breeds for the weekend and none have become ill. We have talked and emailed back and forth with over a dozen or so handlers and none

have had any sick dogs.

We don't do histrionics on any social media. In fact, we don't do any personal or business on social media.

 

We deal with facts and numbers and make our decisions based on logic and not pandemonium or run-a-muck hysteria.

 

However, everyone else out there needs to make their own decisions and then make the best out of that. 

OMG......................The Looney Tunes Are Out En Masse

 

 

The owner calls to tell me their dog is incontinent…………………leaking all over the place!

I ask, “What’s changed lately?”

She says, the only thing different is that “We had him neutered”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NEUTERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WTF???????????????

During their initial visit for their Interview, I went over with them the UC Davis study and final report……………………….I told them that I don’t place puppies if they are planning to spay and neuter them!

 

IT’S ALSO PLAINLY STATED AT THE WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I reminded her of that first meeting and then she asks, what my ‘guarantees’ are for this situation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She further states that the vet said that there was the possibility that the dog would have eventually become incontinent even if it hadn’t been neutered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Well, yeah at 13 or 14 years old there is a 25% chance of geriatric incontinence !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG, Looney Tunes have inherited the Earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

More Looney Tunes News!

A family friend wants a show puppy, ‘to get the whole family involved’…………….you get the picture.

 

I give them a huge break in price and place the puppy for less than what a pet puppy goes for.

The dog is now 20 months old. They have been to dozens and dozens of free private training sessions here at Chambray Acres………………they have attended our night classes, twice a week, religiously for a year and a half…………..they have left the dog for us to look after and have used our handling services at our Owner’s Program discounted prices.

 

All is well until the full moon comes out!

One night they attend someone else’s conformation & handling classes………….a competitor handler’s classes who competes against us at the dog shows. He tells the owners that the dog has a ‘defect’ (level bite) and that it is going to cost them thousands of dollars to ‘fix’!

Boy, talk about people turning on you on less than a dime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They want a refund on the dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First of all, a level bite is acceptable with the breed standard and 2nd, there is no fixing ANYTHING COSMETICALLY……………that’s against AKC rules for showing dogs and 3rd of all, it doesn’t FIX a thing that wasn’t broken……..because it isn’t broken!

 

I have now joined the Red Brigade Flag Organization! Yep, first inking of a red flag with anyone and they are out of here……………….it’s hasta la vista baby!

May 26th

'Good' Reading On A Rainy Day

More on the UC Davis study on the effects of spaying and neutering

http://www.aaha.org/blog/NewStat/post/2014/07/17/785809/UC-Davis-study-neutering-golden-retrievers-Labradors.aspx

 

 

 

What Every Long Time Breeder Knows And Doesn’t Disclose.

 

Breeding a male dog that is CLEAR to a female dog that is CLEAR………………………….CLEAR that is for any of the DNA testable conditions, diseases and anomalies that ‘naturally’ dwell in the gene pool of that breed……………………………CLEAR to CLEAR will always produce 100% CLEAR offspring, well just as in all medications, there should be a disqualifier because quirks in the form of mutations and yet to be identified other ‘components’ within the chromosome helix can and will show up when least expected and make that 100% mark, slide down a bit. So, in actuality, the mark should be 99.999% and that would cover any burps that may erupt.

However, 99.999% is a billion times better than groping in the dark as breeders used to do since the beginning of breeding dogs and when I had my first litter in 1973! Yep, I will take the DNA tests available to all of us now, rather than the blind methods used before they became available.

With Labradors, we now have a whole cast of characters with 2, 3 and even 5 letter abbreviations that could be used as guides to producing the ‘cleanest’ possible next generation of dogs…………PRA, EIC, CNM, DM, HNPK, DRD1, OSD1, IA, HUU, XLMTM…………there is even a SD test for shedding and there are probably 3 or more for determining coat color, coat length and even curly coat DNA markers!

So, we are covered for all that ails Labradors, right?…………………………..Not Quite!

Nope, not even close because we still have no DNA markers for any of the conditions that are umbrella-covered under the term ‘dysplasia’, be it for hips, for elbows or for any other joint that could be attributed to ‘genetic’ factors (not all ‘failing’ grades of dysplasia are genetic, as trauma-induced cases and also mild to severe nutritional cases run about 40% to 60% of cases failing to pass)……………………….nor do we have any DNA tests available for several cardiac conditions, nor for a plethora of shoulder, hock, knee joints and other parts that at times affect the well-being of Labradors.

Of course all those into breeding, be it the first timer with their very first breeding or the crusty old timers with too many litters to remember……………………now know that for X-Rays for hips and elbow conditions that the main registry (OFA) is used today to ‘certify’ whatever the rating that the individual dog receives from their attending radiologist.

Just some short years back, there was no OFA, no Penn-Hip, no Wind Morgan (now gone) and before them, most folk that didn’t do the X-rays, they used their vet’s opinion on whether there were problems or not.

Now here is an astonishing fact………………..the use of X-rays and their certification is not 100% reliable because there are way too many shades of gray! Yep, more than 50 shades, but we will keep it simple and just use one area of primal concern!

Here is the meat and potatoes……………………dogs that have passed their ‘clearances’ for hips and elbows can and will produce offspring that will not pass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is not Fake News………………………..that is the truth and nothing but the truth so help me and you, God!

A male with OFA Excellent Hips bred to a female with OFA Excellent Hips can and will produce puppies that will not pass their own clearances!

Now here is where those newbies and others not so long into the breed will have an allergic reaction and gasp and think that there must be a typo! “That just can’t be!” I have heard them say.

Well, gasp again because not long ago at the OFA website, they had the chart up that revealed that 2 OFA Excellent dogs bred together can expect at the highest, 90 to 94% chance of having passing puppies, which of course means that if those parents were bred enough to produce 100 puppies that around 6 or more of them would not pass!

Now here is what doesn’t make sense at all, that same chart that no longer is available at that famous site also stated that 2 dogs that did not pass their clearances would produce around 85% puppies that could PASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s why there is a large sector of those breeders that have been around the block a few times know that if it is not a DNA test that assures to a specific maximum, which of course radiology is not DNA…………………they know that X-rays and OFA certification is the best we have at the moment, but from the facts available, it is just better than a wing and a prayer.

In fact each and every time any dog goes in for X-rays, everyone I know holds their breath until they get the results back from the supreme registry (the one that the general public thinks is the end all).

Not even the vets that perform the X-rays are assured that their ‘readings’ of the views in front of them will match with whatever the radiologists that make the calls for the OFA will come up with.

So, the best we have available for one of the most important considerations for breeding is ambiguous and alterable!

Yep, alterable because dogs that don’t pass at one time can very well receive a passing………………I know personally of several dogs that didn’t pass the first time,  then came back Excellent 10-months* later !

On the flipside of the preceding, I wonder how many of those dogs that pass the only time they are done, would stand up to scrutiny and pass again if done again? Of course, not many that would spend the bucks to re-do their dogs if they passed the first time, so we will never know the statistics if there were to be flip flops done!

Now that the newbie sector has this information that the oldies have had about the breed, then there are a whole lot more breeders-to-be that now know ‘What Every Breeder Knows and Doesn’t Disclose’ to those that just wouldn’t understand!

 

The following are ‘good’ reading on the subject.

Hip Dysplasia – Nature/Nurture Side of Things ~ Veterinary News Assoc. (Vanden Berg-Foels et al 2006).

Hip dysplasia is one of those conditions that all dog breeders are very well aware of and have been making considerable efforts to eliminate. Almost every breed’s parent club recommends screening breeding stock for hip dysplasia. HD is the reason why Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) was founded.

However, with all the effort that went into monitoring the inheritance of the disease, with incredible accumulation of data spanning over 50 years, the consensus is now emerging that the causes of  hip dysplasia are only about 20% genetic and 80% environmental.

 

You can mate two parents with excellent hips and get dysplastic offspring, or mate two dysplastic parents and get pups with normal hips. Some scientists go as far as to say that hip dysplasia is predominantly a bio-mechanical process, with genes playing a very limited part.

Theories that describe HD as mostly a bio-mechanical condition point to the fact that HD affects breeds with higher ratio of weight to height, and secondly that research has shown overweight individuals within the same breed to be twice as likely to develop the condition.

OFA data lists Bulldog and Pug as the two most affected breeds and Italian Greyhound and Whippet as least affected. Talk about compact weight juxtaposed to light, lean body!

In a study that compared Lab puppies on restricted diet to those on control diet, the results were striking  (Vanden Berg-Foels et al 2006). By the age of 6 years puppies fed a restricted diet had 40% less evidence of HD than the controls, with heaviest dogs affected the most.

Chubby puppies are very cute, however their risk of developing orthopedic problems is almost twice as big (pun intended) as for lean puppies. But before you measure out perfectly controlled portions of food for little gremlins you can do something else to reduce environmental risk for hip dysplasia.

Below are some eye-opening references from the most up to date studies and consensus.

 

http://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/blog/bigger-puppies-develop-hip-dysplasia

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/20845071/

 

http://www.puppymanners.com/pdf/10MostImportantThingsToKnowAboutCanineHipDysplasia.pdf  Carol Beuchat PHD

 

May 25th

Celebrating 56 Out Of 58 & 95

Who would have ‘thunk it’ that 24 years ago when the first-ever Chambray dog earned the required 15 points and 2 majors to become an AKC champion……………that this past weekend there would be a 58th!

Me, the idealist and visionary of this odd entity that I put together and named the Owner’s Program for the Betterment of the Breed, I certainly did not envision that a collective of folk working in concert with a breeder could ascend to such a lofty benchmark……………………nor that it could actually work and have staying power for two and a half decades!

There are many that fantasize, day dream and conjure up all types of concoctions……………..most working from an unrealistic and at times delusional state………………maybe that’s how it looked to all those at the time around the Labrador establishment when I dared share what I had in mind and how I intended to put it into play.

That first-ever Chambray-bred champion back in 1993, Ch Chambray Acres Russell was part of the novel method of ‘placing the best’ instead of the old ‘keeping the best and getting rid of the rest’, which of course is what  the industry standard operating system(SOS) does…………….then, now and into the future!

‘Of course’ some more……………..that SOS way is not the Chambray Way…………nope, not at all.

Here at Chambray we are catawampus, topsy-turvy, bass-ackwards and a host of other monikers and labels, some 'not so nice' that have been applied to our ways and means.

Yes, newness is like a magnet………..as it attracts attention and most of the time, detractors, especially those on the outside looking in and even more especially, those that just don’t get what or get how it works.

Fear of the unknown has been a constant negative driving force in every realm of human experience……………..and Chambray’s Owners Program has been no different.

Then along the way add an ingredient that creates more tension and adverse reactions…………..competition and to that add piles of gravy……………..when the endeavor becomes successful to the point of dominating the wins and the titles that every other breeder and exhibitor is vying for!

Yep, the preceding creates a perfect storm of counter production from those that have to contend with the competitive ‘unknown’ and the different why’s and therefore’s of the program.

Back to the beginning………………Russell was by far the top show puppy for the whole 1990 breeding year from 4 litters. I interviewed quite a few people for placing him and then chose the perfect family for him Gloria and Frank Rodriguez as the best prospects for joining our budding enterprise of taking a chance with placing the best and hoping that the new owners would take advantage of all the offerings and become part of the Owners Program.

Mission accomplished as Russell and his owners became the model for the future for a cooperative venture between the breeder and the owners! That model worked so well, so much so, that the first 14 Chambray champions were all placed as top show prospects and were each finished as part of the joint venture between this odd breeder/owner co-op system.

It would be 2003, 13 years after implementing the avant garde consortium that a ‘keeper’ would become the #15th home-bred champion. That ‘keeper’ at Chambray was ‘kept’ by my then 11-year old daughter, Jessie as the 3rd pick puppy out of a litter of 3 females……………….raised, trained and handled exclusively by her to its championship!!!!!!!!! By the way, all 3 females from that litter were to achieve their titles.

That’s how the whole ball of wax has been working……………..we place the best with folk that we feel we can have a working association.......................taking the best from the breeding program and investing a tremendous amount of time, energy, expertise and know-how on and with…………….the dogs and with the owners!

Here we are 58 home-bred dogs later and ONLY 2 of those dogs that made it to their championship were kept by Chambray………….both by my daughter and both raised, training and handled to their titles by her, while Team Chambray concentrated on the dogs that were placed as the best show prospects from each litter and those owners were given carte blanche and top priority in mentoring, training and eventually, those dogs/owners then merited top status at the dog shows………………….were taken to the promise land of an AKC championship………..a state record 58 of them!

So, for those that trusted our ways and means, the fruit of the labor is the proof of how effective it is to work together………..a never before and never since way of succeeding, Chambray Labradors and the Owners Program for the Betterment of the Breed.

For the vast majority of those that came on board as participating owners with their dogs, well over 95% have benefited greatly and have contributed to the unparalleled successes enjoyed by so many…………..so many in so many endeavors not just at the dog shows……………..hundreds of Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Assisted Living Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs…………………………..Obedience Trial Dogs, Agility Competition Dogs, Rally Dogs, Dock Jumper Dogs………………………….Search & Rescue, Cadaver Recovery, Scent Work Dogs…………………………………Master Hunters, Senior Hunters, Junior Hunters……………………but most importantly the hundreds and hundreds of people’s pets that I get to hear from even after they are long gone!

Yes, 58 champions………….56 of those shared and placed as the top show conformation and then 20 times as many placed as great loving home companions over all these years, where today we have a 95% more-than-satisfied owner’s base!

By the way, there is no other Labrador breeder that can claim having ‘parted’ with their best to the tune of 56 out of 58 champions placed! Remember that the industry standard operating system is to ‘keep the best and sell the rest’ versus our insane Chambray way of ‘placing the best and then doing all we do to make them the champions they were born to be’!

It doesn’t get better than this. If in doubt, let’s go back and ask those 95%ers. Definitely the “Yeas” have it by a real landslide!

 

May 23rd

The Perpetual Horse Race Continues

Okay, the weekly Chambray Newsletter went out yesterday with major boasting and bragging about our brand new champion…………………the 58th Chambray Lifetime Home-Brewed Champion dog, Ch Chambray's Triple Play “Sonic”!

He is the 2nd new champion of the 2017 year and he is also the oldest Chambray champion ever at 6 years 4 months old……………………….…for 2017, he now joins one of the youngest champions ever, at 13 months old, Ch Chambray Southern Magnolia’s Beau!

So, how does the Chambray AKC Points Progression chart now look like with these two new champions crossing that highly sought out, imaginary yet legendary finish line?

Well, there are still a few contenders that could first spurt across that mythical line in the sand from the horse race that are still left vying to be the next Chambray-bred dog to fulfill the required points and majors that equate to an AKC champion’s title.

Although Chambray’s Management & Handling Team will be more or less restricted to only the Florida dog shows for the next two to three months until things clear up health-wise with the elders of Chambray……………plus this time of year we always deal with the usual end of school year’s graduations, proms, family celebrations for our assistant handlers……………………..there will be around a dozen other Chambray-bred dogs going to shows on their own, either with their owners or traveling with handlers.

So, while the main pack of Team Chambray and the Herzons stay back in Florida, there are a bunch of class dogs & specials that go off outside the state on their own to add points to the Points Progression Totals and specials champion dogs that will be showing throughout the South, Southeast, Midwest and West coast that should garner Winners & Grand Champion points and even add possible titles to the 2017 Titles Totals which now stands at 1 Bronze Grand Champion, 2 Grand Champions and 2 New Champions.

Back in Florida, Team Chambray should have a decent lineup of dogs for the 4 days of show in Tampa on June 15th through June 18th, although we have once again reduced the numbers to lessen the handling load on the limited number of handlers that we will be carrying to the Tampa show now that we are certain that there will be majors made up with dogs coming from outside of Florida to add to the good numbers emanating from the local state breeders and also those carried by the area's pros.

At those Tampa shows, 3 dogs in particular from the Points Progression chart could very well join Beau and Sonic as new champions. Chambrays Galactic N Counter “Gayla”, needs one more major to make her the 3rd champion for the year.

Chambrays Magnum N Counter, Gayla’s littermate with 11 points and both majors just needs singles to edge out Gayla for the honors first!

Chambrays Black Diamond Out Of The Ruff, “Bandit” currently has 16 points and would need to snap up 2 of the predicted majors at the 4 days of shows in Tampa to overtake Gayla or Magnum to become the 59th Chambray-bred dog to champion.

Several other dogs are also on the queue just behind the front runners to capture their AKC show titles. Chambrays Ole Miss Zeta Lady has both majors and 9 points and could conceivably add the rest of the singles to finish out. Chambrays A’ Hankerin For Trouble with 10 points and 1 major, likewise could come from mid-pack and title out.

There are a dozen or so other pointed dogs that still have a ways to go and they range in age from 6 months old to less than 2 years old, so this bunch still has plenty of time left during the 2nd half of the 2017 dog show season to make a move towards the front runners and there are a few that could conceivably finish their AKC title this year.

 

May 21st

How Old Can Dogs Start Showing?
How Old Are They Too Old To Show?

The only age limit imposed by the AKC for pointed shows is that a puppy must be at least 6 months old to be entered into a fully sanctioned, pointed show! That's it, if they are at least 6 months old, then they can show until they actually can no longer get around the ring!

At almost all the specialties and supported entry shows and even at some of the bigger entry shows, there are veteran's classes for dogs older than 7 years old. There have been dogs showing that were 12 and 13 years old, so the answer is written in the wind with 6 months old being the youngest at pointed shows!

This past weekend at the Deland Dog Shows, Chambray's oldest competing class dog won his final major-pointed show, after coming close more than 5 times in the last 3 years................................."Sonic" turned 6 years old this past January.

Here's the deal, as long as the dogs are 'breed standard' worthy, plus they are in great shape AND they enjoy the action & their owners are on board, then it's damn the torpedoes , full steam ahead!

Taking One For The Team

Right after Labradors were finished showing a rather annoyed woman approached me outside of the ring to question why I would go into the ring with such a ‘disorderly’ dog!

“I am very surprised with your standing as a breeder and your years as a dog trainer for you to actually go in the ring with an out of control dog!” she would decidedly scold and further lambast me in a lowered voice.

Of course knowing exactly which dog she was referring to……………me, now with a throbbing hand where this seemingly out of control dog nicked me while going for the ‘chicken chewy’ bait I was offering him, me hoping to get some semblance of a stack while the judge was trying to decide between it and the eventual Winners Dog, leaving me with a nicked hand and a Reserve Winners Dog ribbon!

Knowing full well that not much can be offered to someone that comes wrapped in barbed wire, I simply and effectively skirted her aggressive happenstance and offered the old rope a dope “If the dog is worth it, as a handler you do the best you can and take one for the team………………..hey, I would do the same for your dog if it was worth it!”

Fortunately, most of my Chambray owners know when to come ‘save’ me from those that don’t mean well and right on cue, as if I had summoned her, one of those owners tapped me on the shoulder and told me that I was needed over by the crates!

Saved by the bell!

So, here is the gist! The majority of the Labradors are indeed well prepped for these ‘in and out’ exhibitions!

Let me explain! Labradors are very active and deed-oriented dogs. They like activities where they can run, jump, swim, track, sniff, chase after and retrieve at will……………..they also like big spaces, the bigger the better……………………that’s flat spaces, high grass and cover spaces, pools, ponds and lakes and forget about the ocean!

They love to share with man and woman all that they do……………………they love to work and be praised for their work……..be it hunt test, assisted living service work, tracking, agility, therapy work, seizure response, search and rescue and on and on……………..they love human interaction and they love to please whomever is giving them attention.

So, here we are in a 40 foot by 40 foot enclosed space, a box if you will with a whole bunch of other dogs that just want to be free! The bottled up angst and pent up energy is difficult to contain.

And what does the judge in the ring want the dogs to do?

“Take them around together at a slow trot” is a favorite command.

“Now have them stand there like a statue” would be the next order from the judge.

Keep in mind that the dog doesn’t really want to do either of those directives!

No sir, the wind is their calling, unless a flock of ducks or geese start a honking………………then all bets are off!

Here is someone outside looking in and not seeing the big picture! The big picture is that my dogs are people’s dogs first and foremost! Yes, the Chambray dogs are my owner’s pets, where they are spoiled by all the love in the world………….they are each other’s best friends and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

They serve a much bigger picture than just a robot………..to be wound up and toddling around a small square of a space and then standing on command………………….in their dog’s mind, not really earning their keep in this assuredly boring activity for them!

So, I as the task master of all that encompasses Chambray Labradors will gladly take one, two, three or more for the team if so be it!

Yep, some of those Chambray dogs are trained to perform lickety split…………….be it hands on or free style or a combination of both of those and then there are those that are handled ‘ad lib’……………………………. ‘do what you can with what you are given’!

If the dog is worth it in conformation and also in the temperament that describes the breed, then I will proudly stand up and go to bat for that dog!

That particular dog, the one that raised the hackles on an onlooker…………………..the one that caused me to suffer the ‘Wrath of Ms. Kahn’…………………….yep, that one, well he isn’t a champion yet in the AKC books, but by far and large he is twice as good as some Top Ranked champions………………..both around the country and even among the Chambray dogs as well!

As Robert Blake’s ‘Baretta’ would say “You can take that to the bank”…………………..but instead of hearing it from it from the 5’4” actor……………..you are hearing it from 6’5” me (actually I am much taller than that, I just appear shorter if you are a couple of miles away!) and my 47 years of expertise with Labrador Retrievers!

Some of our dogs have daily show prep training, some come to class once a week, some are left here at Chambray for extended periods of time, some travel with us to every show, others maybe once a month come to a show………………………………………well, with this one, the dog is always with the owner…………….always! The dog may come to a class once in those blue, harvest moons with those lunar halos just as there is a total eclipse of the sun……………………….yes, he at times acts wiry, distracted, A.D.D. and probably several other abbreviations as well………………………..but I love that dog………………….just as I do every single other dog that I aided in bringing in to this world.

My owners may not know this…………………but I will always do the right thing by each and every one of ‘my’ dogs! If a great show specimen that could conceivably win its AKC champions title in record time, totally hated showing…………………..then I would without a moment’s worth of hesitation, advice their owner to forego showing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has happened many times over! If my owner felt too much anxiety in breeding their super star champion bitch……………………then no litters would be coming from the dog!

So, if others were miffed by a dog having loads of exuberance and not fitting into the small cubicle of an AKC show………………….to bad!

 

Even with the pain of a throbbing hand…………………I totally love it and since that is between my owner and me and of course the dog………………….that’s the way it will always be!

 

May 19th

Deland Here We Come

I know there has been a lot of turmoil on Facebook and other social media about the brouhaha with the Deland show’s entry limits with over 100 dogs that got cutoff once the 900 dog limit was reached.

We were also affected with us losing 3 Labradors from our scheduled handing roster and Jessie also losing an additional 4 different dogs from different breeds…………………..yes it is upsetting and yes there are dastardly economic consequences for all handlers when they lose handling assignments that they had counted on for a particular show………………………………but in all honesty, we all must do our best to have the show go on so that those others who have spent their money on entries get their monies worth.

There were calls for boycotting this show, but in reality, that just doesn’t make sense and would be costly for many that will be attending only to find that there are no points for their breed because of absentees.

From all accounts, it looks like there will be 18 class males for Labradors, so we should be okay.

If the numbers don’t add up from the class dogs and crossing over in BOB or BOS will make it a major for those dogs needing it, we will be showing those class dogs regardless of what any handler says or does. Each person needs to make a decision and go with it and this is what we have decided as a collective……………this has always been our standard operating procedure anyways, so full steam ahead.

God willing, we will be in Deland.

 

May 15th

More Tampa Good Show News

Seems that the word is getting around about the Tampa shows for June 15th thru the 18th……………..another out of state pro handler with a specials dog and a class dog is planning on heading down this way, plus 2 breeder/exhibitors from GA and AL will be car-pooling their way to the 4 days of shows as well. So, a 4-pt major for males is definitely doable and also the count for females is right at the 22 needed for a 3-pt major!

At Chambray, we have now made arrangements to have another assistant handler on hand for the 4 days of shows, so we can actually augment our handling roster by at least 3 more dogs. Since the count for males to make majors seems to have been met, I will concentrate on adding class females to our roster to boost those numbers a bit closer for majors. 

Some Deland Not So Good News

A major snafu has has come up! Seems that there was more than one deadline for entries for Deland!

 

Yep, besides the Wednesday 12 noon deadline for entries....................there also was a total of 900 entry cutoff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That magic number of 900 hit just a little after 9 AM on Wednesday and each and every entry that came in after that was turned back!

Now, the entry numbers for Labrador stands as those that make up the breakdown for Labradors, as those made it before the 900 entry cutoff.........................however there were a bunch of Labs that were turned back...............personally that I know of, 4 Chambray dogs didn't make it in time, by the 9 AM curtain call. A class female and two class males and 1 specials dog. So, counting those 2 class males there would have been a total of 21 males instead of the advertised 19!

Now here is where the dilemma unfolds.................some pro handlers are very, very upset because several of their handling assignments in other breeds did not get in and some are considering not attending at all, which means that they have dogs that are counted in and those dogs will not be going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know of one of those handlers that has 1 class male Labrador and if he doesn't show up, that's one dog down and we would be at 18 males with 17 males now being the new 3-pt major.

Another happenstance: One of the Chambray dogs that made the count as a class dog for Deland, just took Winners Dog, Best Of Winners and Best Of Breed at the GA. Perry shows. That means that he will show as a specials at Deland since he is now a for sure a champion, as he only needed 1 single point and he went way over with at least a 3-Pt Major..................................that's ONE LESS MALE for Deland, so we now could be standing at 17 males.................the threshold of a major, one less dog and we are back to square one!

I will be in further communications with the pro handler to see if he will attend and if not, maybe we can take the dog and handle it to keep the major alive..................we will see!

It's always an adventure. Stay tuned!

 

May 12th

You Don't Know What You Don't Know
Until You Learn From Someone That Does Know

Recently, there was a humongous surge in visitors to the Blogging Off page and thus the tremendous amount of questions that came in on the subject of Improvement Breeding & Cluster Breedings and as a by-product, folks inquiring about our involvement with the breed and in specific our Owner's Programs for the Betterment of the Breed.

At one of those Labrador Forum websites someone more or less questioned our use of stud dog cluster breedings with brood bitches forming sub-communities in a breeding program and it seems that many of the followers and contributors at that site had never ever heard of ‘brood bitches’, ‘maternally-based breeding programs’, ‘cluster stud dog breeding’, ‘type breeding’, ‘line-breeding’ and there were some that even questioned if there really was such a thing as ‘improvement breeding’!

The level of expertise that a person possesses is gauged by the amount of knowledge that person has on that subject matter. If a person is into breeding Labradors and that person doesn’t know the breed standard and/or the minimum basics of animal husbandry, genetics and breeding practices, then that lack of knowledge will show up when they speak out or get involved in the incessant chatter on forums and other social media outlets.

If people have no working knowledge of the vernacular and terminology of an endeavor, or worse, don’t know anything other than putting a male dog together with a female dog and then let them have at it…………………………….then oh boy, we are in for a long haul in educating folk.

So, when folk write in or speak out about anything to do with the Labrador fancy, it becomes very evident their overall level of intelligence and/or total lack of know-how on that subject.

When anything Chambray comes up, be it mentioned at these busy body, chit chat ‘rooms’, or at Facebook or other social media or one of the Chambray dogs win points or Best Of Breed where the superintendent posts those results at their websites that is visited by hundreds of thousands………….even the dogs that don’t win are listed at the catalogs and results pages………………….all exposure turns into interest to know more about Chambray and then those inquiries comes up as ‘search results’ when folk do searches on search engines for Chambray or the Chambray dogs…………………which in turn brings 10 times to 50 times the daily visitors to our websites as interested and inquiring minds wanting more information.

Of course all of the publicity generated by these grapevine sources is greatly appreciated because people are very inquisitive and all that hype makes them visit our websites and thus get a real education from a truly accredited source, plus they get directed to the rest of our involvement with the breed…………….nothing like free advertising even if the results were not the intended!

May 11th

Prediction: Majors @ Tampa Shows

 

Majors For Tampa Predicted

Great news! Traditionally the venue and the folk running these shows make this the ideal, most exhibitor-friendly shows out of all the Florida show sites!

For that main reason, the Florida Tampa shows on June 15th thru June 18th have all the makings of majors for Labradors!

That prediction is greatly aided and abetted by the fact that the AKC’s new 2017 Point Schedule, to take effect on May 17th drops from 19 class males to 17 class males for a 3-point major……………now more handlers from out of state will have an added impetus to travel down to the sunny state for these 4 days of shows.

In addition to all the good news from above, so far three out-of-state professional handlers and another from further up north have checked in with me that they will be entering dogs for these 4 shows. So, between those 4 pro handlers, we can account for 7 class males.

Even more additions, three of the local Florida show circuit handlers have reported to me another 5 class males which tentatively brings the count to 12…………….add to that a minimum of 7 Chambray class males and that brings the tally to 19, which would assure a 3-pt major………..although right now I have commitments for our handling roster of 11 males……….if I enter all the dogs available to me from our management program, then the count rises to 23 which would bring us to a 4-pt major.

To those numbers, there is a possibility of 3 or 4 more dogs from the local Florida breeders and exhibitors which would definitely make it a 4 pointer!

So, a great opportunity for all those dogs that need majors to be able to compete and have the chance to win and earn their AKC champion’s title.

   A Blast From The Past

Congratulations to Jill Case and Chambrays River Of Dreams CGC CD TD………………………just received a memo that one of the Chambray dogs and its owner competed this past weekend and passed their Tracking Test and the dog can now sport ‘TD’ as part of its official name.

The news brought fond memories of one of my earliest involvements with Labradors………….back in the 1970’s and early 80’s with tracking trials!

Back then we had plenty of open fields with the right amount of grass to be able to plot out numerous tracks where the next morning designated dogs could each run on one particular marked track. In actuality, there was much more work done and time put in the day before plotting out each track then it was the day of the run where a dog could finish a laid out track in minutes that took over an hour to lay down and mark a course.

While On The Subject Of Early Beginnings

As mentors for one of the area high schools that operates a 4-year veterinarian academy, I was asked to provide my involvement with dogs to present to the newest student’s parents at and up and coming Meet The Parents Night.

It goes something like this:

My involvement with Labrador Retrievers has been a 47 year odyssey………………..from 1970 to the present, 2017.

Raising Labradors started three years later in 1973 and training Labradors commenced officially in 1975.

Basic Obedience Training was part of learning how to track with my dogs and that was my first steps into a 43 year love affair with all types of ‘training’ that now includes:

  • 1970 to 2017 ~ Owning & Training Labradors

  • 1973 to 2017 ~ Raising Labradors

  • 1973 to 1979 ~ tracking training and Tracking Trials,

  • 1975 to 2017 ~ official obedience training and eventually 5 years of Obedience Trial competition, with thousands of dogs and owners trained through Private Sessions, In-Kennel Training, Night Training Classes, Weekend Workshops & Seminars, High School Mentoring

  • 1990 to 2017 ~ Conformation & Show Handling Training

  • 1993 to 2017 ~ Professional Dog Handling

The areas of participation include:

  • 28 years (1989 to 2017) of running 2 & 3 nights a week of Training Classes both for Chambray Dog Training and for the Miami Dog Club

  • 28 years (1989 to 2017) operating the largest Labrador Owner’s Program in the country with over 100 owners participating yearly in one area of involvement or another.

  • 22 years of conducting annual AKC sanctioned A, B and non-sanctioned matches

  • 18 years of conducting an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day

  • 10 years of conducting breed specific matches for the South Florida Labrador Retriever Club (1990 to 2000), plus conducting a Handler’s Seminar where all the proceeds (over $900) were donated to the club to finance the 1st ever SFLRC Specialty in 2001

  • 8 years of conducting a Walk In The Park for the Broward County Park Dept. (1998 to 2006)

  • 5 years (2005 to 2010) years of coordinating/conducting the statewide AKC Junior Handler Jamboree

  • 5 years of providing mentorship to Miami/Dade County Vet Program school (2012 to 2017)

After penning all of the above, I had to go lie down and rest! lol

May 8th

Whoa Nelly

 

“Whoa Nelly!” to all those asking to see and use the pedigree tracker mentioned in a previous blog.

Eventually all the Chambray owners that participate in the breeding program will have full access to the web page that houses the Color Coded Vertical Pedigree Charts and Kin Tracker (CCVPCKT)!

Besides, since this is a brand spanking new innovation that no one really has seen in its completion, nor used, no one is missing out on ‘nothin’……………………yet!

The regular 3 and 5 generation pedigrees have sufficed forever and that is what everyone knows to use to find out which dogs lurked in past generations as the dog’s ancestors, so even though this new contraption has been extremely useful for me in the last 4 years that it slowly became somewhat functional to me, I still rely heavily on the standard-fare format pedigrees. 

This new star-fangled invention of mine needs to be explained on how to extract meaningful information from since it doesn’t follow the usual pedigrees that flow backwards and from left to right following one dog to its sire and dam at the 2nd generation, then to the 4 grandparents at the 3rd generation………………to the 8 great grandparents at the 4th generation and finally the 16 great, great grandparents at the 5th generation back.

The CCVPCKT is not for every breeder out there, in fact there may be just a handful of breeding blokes that may be able to find it useful. The big reason for this is that very few folk have the depth of generations to find it worthwhile and then even fewer have used the cluster breedings of stud dogs to form a community of dogs to have the need to follow up on how dogs are related to each other several generations further down from the original stud dog.

With the CCVPCKT, we start at the top of the page with important stud dogs forming the first row across.

Under each of those stud dogs in column fashion, their offspring will be listed. Those first line stud dogs were brought in to form cluster communities by breeding them to several of the females in our breeding program.

All (or specific ones) of the offspring produced will show up on the 2nd row across the page. Those offspring will be identified using the designated color for the stud dog……………..thus all the dogs listed in the 2nd row, in the column under that particular stud dog indicates them as being related as ½ siblings from the different dam litters.

When those 2nd row offspring are bred, their produce will show up on the 3rd row across and be notated as first cousins and ½ first cousins with all of those 3rd generation produce being in the same column under the stud dog that formed this community.

Continuing on and so on and so on down the page with row after row indicating the next generation of dogs produced by the maternally based lines and cluster stud dogs used………………..by keying in on a column that has a cluster-starter stud dog as the header at the top and then sliding across a row…………………….relationships can be ascertained to be able to determine line-breeding’s based on the cluster forming stud dog.

In some cases, there are now 9 generations removed from stud dogs used in the late 80’s and early 90’s! The fact that there is a color-coded system that tags each stud dog, makes it so easy to visually follow along identifying relationships.

After the CCVPCKT goes through Beta-Testing with several of the Chambray owners, with as many of the kinks smoothened out, it will be offered to all those interested in learning how to use it and how to apply it to their own breeding programs and lines.

May 7th

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

 

Inquiring minds want to know!

Yep, an overload of folk asking “What in tarnation is a Color-Coded Vertical Pedigree????????????????”
(They really didn’t state it like that, but you get the drift here)

Since there are so many Chambray owners, past, present and future-to-be………… with a good percentage of those that eventually get interested in the breeding of their dogs and how their dogs came to be…………with some even becoming breeders themselves………………..so for those that choose to be part of the Chambray Breeding Program and want a ‘GPS’, a navigational map if you will of where we came from and a future planner of where we are going…………………….I had to come up with a visual map of most of the breedings that the breeding program has relied on to become the overwhelming success it has become for Chambray and for several other independent breeders that got their start here.

Since all of that information resides strictly in the old noggin and there seems to be diminishing returns coming from that aging reservoir, my goal was to somehow, chronicle and archive all that time-accumulated information and make a color-code graph of the ‘big picture’ entailing the whole ball of wax.

The Color Coded Vertical Pedigree Tracker lists the entire cadre of stud dogs used, especially those that were bred to several females producing clusters of litters that created the sub communities based on those dogs that have been the driving force behind Chambray’s breeding program since its inception now 3 decades in the making.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Ebonylane Aslan and Ebonylane Buccaneer Gold contributed 7 litters between them. Receiver Of Cranspire, probably the most influential stud dog ever in Labradors…………..the dog behind most of the great Dickendall and even Tabatha dogs………………….gave us 5 litters. Thus, the foundation of Chambray goes back to those 3 prepotent and superstar stud dogs of the past.

Numerous other contributing stud dogs were introduced along the way, including those mentioned in the May 5th ‘It’s A Boy, It’s A Girl’ blog which account for those used since 2000.

The Chambray owners now have a colorful roadmap of where the breeding program came from and that same vertical pedigree format may be used to chart future breedings detailing how each dog relate to each and every other dog in the color-coded, hierarchical display which covers 12 generations and over 200 breedings spanning 30 years’ worth.

The project now that is taking place is converting all the hard copies and publishing all that information to a webpage that will be password accessible to the entire Chambray Owner’s group. I hope to have that work done in the next couple of months.

May 6th

Countdown Is On For Deland

 

Well, the countdown is on and May 20th is now 2 weeks away for the Deland dog shows. The entries made it to majors for males and hopefully all the class dogs entered will make their way there to give those dogs needing majors the opportunity to compete to try and win those elusive Winners Dog & Winners Bitch points.

With the raining season upon us here is South Florida; many of our night training sessions will be rained out, so we now also rely on getting in some much needed work during those days that do not get rained out.

Of special interest will be several new puppies taking their first steps at the AKC level of competition. Although we had planned on debuting several more puppies, due to end of school testing and graduations by our handlers and assistants, we had to limit the number of dogs entered for these shows.

At future summer shows when our handlers are out of school, we will be able to add more puppies and youngsters to the show roster, giving them and their owners a new experience with the dog show environment.

Most of these up and coming stars have been attending training classes on a regular basis, including the 4 weeks of CGC Training and most passing the CGC Test and now each of them sporting the AKC’s CGC title. There are now 13 new Chambray dogs with their AKC titles……………congratulations to those owners and dogs!

We are very proud of our newest owners that are dedicating so much time to have their new Chambray puppies become credits to the community they live in. A dog’s best friend is a responsible dog owner!

Several of the new owners have also joined other areas of activity with their dogs, such as rally and agility training and one owner is now participating in tracking. A couple of the Chambray owners have joined up with the Sporting Dog group that has become very active on the east coast.

All these endeavors provide the dogs and owners areas to participate in together which strengthens the bond between man and dog.

As always, all Chambray owners are encouraged to take advantage of all the free training, both the class sessions and as many private one-on-one sessions that each wants to schedule for their dogs.

Sometime this year, we will pass a milestone of having worked in one way or another with Labradors Retrievers, be it the thousands that are trained via In-Kennel, those that attend the 3-Night A Week classes, those that come on a daily basis for Private Training Sessions, those that have attended our Weekend Seminars, Workshops, Puppy Extravaganzas, Matches and the thousands that we have handled both in conformation and in obedience trials………………….47 years with a milestone of 50,000 Labradors worked with, trained, conditioned and handled!

What a pleasure it has been to have participated with so many in almost half a century’s worth!

May 6th

Read The Warning Label

 

You know those label warnings on products and goods……………..well la meme chose with breeding dogs!

WARNING: Not all dogs brought into the breeding program as Stud Dog Cluster Breedings WORKED OUT!

There have been some major horror stories along the great white way (or whatever other color stokes your chroma gene), when bred into Chambray’s breeding program.

A famous, flavor of the year go to stud dog from SC back in the late 90’s produced 3 litters for our program………….produced ZILCHO in 23 puppies ……………..worst litters as a whole ever produced by a 'top producing stud dog', yet the same dog produced quite a few champions with other breeders……..goes to show that not all combinations work out.

Several other stud dogs laid eggs as well producing mediocrity and more recently a current well-used stud dog* from the west coast, bred to 4 different dams has produced severe off-bites in all of those litters, while at the same time producing some excellent offspring!

So, all is not peaches and cream in the world of breeding and when least expected pink elephants can invade the room.

It should be noted that there is no blame game for any particular dog, just footnotes in history, what may be a gold mine elsewhere could end up being fool’s gold for others.

Keeping records of what works well aids greatly in choosing follow-up breedings, especially when line-breeding is the pièce de résistance of the breeding program.

 

For instance, with the recent 'creeping in' of bad bites more or less attributed to the same stud dog, no line-breedings will ever be considered to anything coming from that particular stud dog or any of the dogs in his pedigree….....thus minimizing those same genes from 'clustering' in future litters.

 

Of course that defeats the purpose of stud dog cluster breeding since none of the produce from the 4 breedings done to him can ever be line-bred back to each other in our future breeding program.

 

This in essence negates that whole sub community that was to be centered on that particular stud dog. Instead all the progeny will be relegated to outcrosses making sure that undershot bites is not an issue with the chosen outcross mates.

 

Besides conformation improvement breeding as the main consideration for all those dogs produced from those 4 litters, we will also have as a priority ‘avoidance’ breeding to consider as well……………..avoiding any lines of dogs known to have a similar production problem.

 

*Further investigation and back fence talk reveals that other breeders have encountered similar problems coming from this line of dog.

 

Just because we post great successes from many of the dogs that we have incorporated in the almost 3-decade long show breeding program………..not every stud dog is a Magic Mike! Not every litter produced from those great producers that gave us champions, have produced anything with some of the other dams used.

Goes to show that the yellow brick road to success has bumps and detours along the way and how a breeder navigates those travails determines how smoothly the breeding program resumes its successful journey forward.

May 5th

It's a BOY & a Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Lots of them!!!!!!!!!!

The Colorful World Of Breeding With A Color-Coded Vertical Pedigree
 

The 2017 Chambray Spring/Summer litters are all here now.................all four of them, with the first litter born 04/15/17 between AKC Am BBE CH/Int BIS Ch Chambrays Stellar Thunder CGC "Rico" bred to Int Ch Chambrays Titanic N Counter "Tatiana" giving us an all yellow litter of 7 puppies from 3 different 'stud dog cluster breedings'.

 

The color-coded names and line's of dogs that follow are part of Chambray's Color-Coded Vertical Pedigree Tracker. A project I have been working on for over 10 years and finally completed a couple of months ago. For those with dogs in our breeding program, it aids in keeping up with the background of all the dogs that have contributed greatly to where we are today and is then used to facilitate the breedings in the future as an easy to follow master-plan that the Chambray owners have to further their knowledge of pedigree breeding. Hopefully, all those Chambray owners can work together in the future with the largest pool of breeding dogs organized by one breeder.

 


 

From Rico, this breeding combines Chambray's long running pedigree with the cluster stud dog breedings that came from Langshott Gale Force From Kimvalley "Gary" of which there were 3 and then dozens that came from his grandson, BIS BBE Ch/Int BIS Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff "Hogan" notated as {Hogan} then the cluster breedings from  Gingerbred Celestial Thunder notated as {'Zeus'} which was part of the Zeus 2011 cluster breedings), so Rico would be designated as {ChambrayXHoganXZeus} where as Tatiana which is designated as {ChambrayXHoganXGary} and the litter will be {ChambrayXHoganXZeusXGary. 

 

 

 

The 2nd litter born on 04/18/17 is a repeat breeding between super stellar AKC AM BIS BBE Silver Grand Ch/Int BIS Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter "Kika"..............the most decorated female Labrador, ever from Florida, bred to the top champion producing stud dog from Florida,  Bronze Gr Ch Summithills Joshua's Battle Of Jericho...................the first litter produced Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Tank'd N Counter & Gr Ch Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady.

 

Kika is designated as {ChambrayXHoganXZeus} and when bred to Jericho who sired by world-top producer Gateways Nothin But Trouble which was used 4 different times as a cluster stud dog and Jericho now has contributed as a cluster stud dog to 10 different Chambray/WinQuest dams............now this litter will be color-designated as {ChambrayXHoganXZeusXJericho}

The 3rd litter puts together a Chambray X WinQuest dam, WinQuest Kept Secret "Sasha" sired by Rico bred to Laika, a daughter of Zinfndel Brigham who was used on 4 different females in the breeding program, where Sasha is now bred to Jericho. Sasha is designated in our vertical pedigree color chart as {ChambrayXHoganXZeusXBrigham} and with the addition of Jericho the litter becomes {ChambrayXHoganXZeusXBrighamXJericho}

The 4th litter brings together Jericho bred to AKC AM Ch Chambrays Sweet Honey Samantha {ChambrayXHoganXTravisXBobWhiteXLouie Downtown} now add {Jericho} so this litter brings together 6 different cluster stud dogs used since 2002.

 

As a potential, these 4 litters represent the best Spring/Summer pairings that have ever taken place since 1992. We cannot wait to have them emerge at the AKC venues in October, November and December of this year.
 

Cluster Stud Dog special note:Sureshot Hyspire Impressive "Travis" was used w/4 different Chambray/WinQuest dams.
Lobuff's Bobwhite At Chucklebrook was cluster bred to 5 different Chambray/WinQuest Dams

Ghoststones Louie Downtown contributed as a cluster stud dog to 5 different Chambray/WinQuest dams.   

May 5th

It's another BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Well, actually a MAJOR-Pointed show for BOYS at Deland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 4th

 

 

Great looking stud dogs may be 'eye candy' at best, they may be sweet on the outside and yet not very filling otherwise.

 

A great looking super star champion stud dog bred to an average female will produce lots of average looking puppies!

“Wait a cotton-pickin moment” I can just hear many protesting that may be reading this rebel/rabble rouser of an offering.

How does that work? Shouldn’t that great looking stud dog’s great looking genes supersede the lesser than stellar looking genes coming from the dam?

Well, the best explanation from the Mind of Minolta is that if you take half a can of white paint and mix it with half a can of black paint, whereas the black paint being the top champion stud dog…………….you end up with a full can of gray paint!

None of the puppies will rise to the level of that great looking black paint stud dog!

Of course, that’s a 3rd grader’s explanation to genetics, because a 5th grader will know without a shadow of a doubt what I am expressing here!

All the great Labrador breeders of the past have in one way or another stated the preceding about females carrying the load in a breeding regimen………………………. from Mary Roslin Williams in her Advanced Labrador Breeding (book now re-titled as ‘Reaching For The Stars’) to Anna Katherine Nicholas’ many books on the breed.

*Fact of interest: Ms. Nicholas personally instructed yours truly in 1991 at a dog show she was judging at and I was a rash whippersnapper breeder/handler……………..that if I were to ‘make a name for myself in the breed that I needed to found my breeding program on the best females possible’!

PLUS: I happen to own an original 1988 release of Mary Roslin-Williams ‘Advanced Labrador Breeding’.

So, with several kicks to the derriere, I too became a fanatic of the ‘maternally-based breeding religion’!

Now, some 24 years later, there’s no need to heed the conventional wisdom of the illuminati from the past……………..nope, now it is totally engrained as a first-person induced indoctrination. There’s nothing like trial and error, hard knocks and good old fashion blood, sweat and tears to provide a proper education! I now march to the tune of that drummer on my own accord and spread the gospel to any and all that may benefit from the Dog God sent word.

So, for those out there still riding a bicycle with training wheels, still using side bumpers at the bowling alley, still wearing retainers to straighten teeth out…………………………..get out and get away in a Chevrolet and listen up…………………………………build your breeding program with the absolute best female from any top, successful breeder that will have you!

Yep, whine, plead, beg and even steal if you have to…………………..somehow get the best females to get started………preferably from a breeder that is way ahead of the curve…………………..that way you get start years ahead of those others that are perpetually lagging behind, that are always spinning their wheels with lackluster, mediocre, run of the mill breeding stock and then have the exact mediocrity in their produce.

For dog show purposes, the measuring stick of any show breeder is their successes at the same realm.

Merely breeding dogs and traipsing them to show after show with little to show for all the showing, is just showing that they know very little of what it takes to truly have show dogs. It’s like one of those perpetual motion machines, round and round it goes…………but never any forwardness to brag about for all the throes!

May 3rd

To Be Or Not To Be
 

For those that keep checking in with me about the Deland Dog Show entries for males to make a major, thanks to several of the Chambray owners that decided to take their dogs to the shows themselves to help us out, we will be handling 8 Chambray class males.

From the information shared with me by other handlers and interested parties, we are very close to the 17 males needed for a major.

Now it's wait and see, probably by tomorrow night we will know the exact count.

May 1st
 

I now feel like the busy squirrel that incessantly scrounges around, collecting nuts and seeds and stores them all through the fall before the outrageous blasts of winter white out everything in sight for months on end……………………….I too have been pecking away for years, penning my thoughts and saving them for when they would make the best sense! I figured that someday there may be a brain-drain and those stored nuts would serve me well……………………….so here’s another one that fits in perfectly with the current topic of conversation generated from the blog page.

 

“I want to breed to your top stud dog to produce show puppies!”

A variation of the above inquiry comes in with predictable regularity! Sure as tootin, 5 to 10 times a month, someone wants great puppies from a breeding they are contemplating!

Nothing wrong with those ambitious desires and expectations, because that is exactly what I, as a breeder want to happen with the most urgency……………..with all my own breedings!

Even the pet producers and backyard breeders envision a litter full of top show quality puppies……………..hey, it sure as heck makes selling them a lot easier if they actually were to look like the breed they are purported to be and they are advertising as such!

There is a world of a difference between some far-fetched, delusional expectation and those coming from a breeder that is a time-served connoisseur of the fine art of breeding for improvement.

 

Yes, siree, that would be like comparing a six year old Little League kid to a Major League Super Star Baseball Player…………that’s referred to as ‘not being in the same ball park!’

So, to those emailing in asking about our stud dogs…………..“Yes, I have top producing stud dogs………………..in fact, one of them is the top champion producer ever from Florida, with 8 champions to his resume! Besides there are others that are climbing that same tree looking to grab that Golden Fleece as Top Producer themselves…………and the great thing is that there are at least a couple that could conceivably ascend even higher than BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff, (‘Hogan’ to those in the Labrador dog show realm).

As the overseer and manager of well over 15 stud dogs, it is my job to advertise, promote and sell any and all of their stud service…………………hey, each of their owners loves it when I touch base with them to let the know we have a ‘bitch’ coming their dog’s way! That means quality puppies will be produced and there will be a very nice compensation coming that dog’s way to boot, that we, like in the owner and me will profit share with!

But here is the Real Rare Earth News………………………………a top producing stud dog may complement the traits of the dam involved in the breeding, however in that same stark reality, it is the female that makes it or breaks it for the puppies in the litter…………….making it or breaking it at a 3 to 1 rate………………somewhere at 75% proficiency!

Those breeders that have been pounding the pavement for years…………………..considering it takes well over 20 years to produce 5 generations……………….5 generations being the ‘litmus paper test’ where a person breeding could experience that first euphoric moment where they can legitimately exclaim “eureka!”………..so the pavement pounding could very well exceed 20 years before that ‘coming out of the oblivious closet’ moment occurs!

Yep, there is that wide-eyed, gasping moment that wisdom has somehow creeped in and now that person actually gets it………………an epiphany of sorts where they may let out an exclamation such as “Oh, I get it now!”

Great stud dogs produce great expectations………………………however back in reality land, it’s the females that produce great puppies!

Of course, it’s not my job as the promoter, administrator and curator of the Stud Dog Program to downplay our males and their ability to produce quality………………because after all, I can be one million percent honest with each of the stud dog searchers, letting each know what’s taken me 40+ years to learn and then they will go down the road and get some half-baked, cockamamie mouthful from Yosemite Sam Labradors and then that’s where the buck (both literally and $$$-wise) will stop!

Yep, time and time again, dam owners have passed up my good intentions and honesty and then go with the car salesman pitch of the “Great Gatsby Producer” that will make the whole litter show quality!

Has happened dozens of time before and the end product has always been the same…………………that dam owner finding out the bad way……………….producing a bunch of off-ware produce that now get dumped into the gene pool of the breed………………………what’s even worse is that many of those puppies produced will be the perpetuators of the breed as soon as they are old enough to procreate themselves.

Hey, it is the way it is, has been and will be…………………but me in my infinite and of course fatalist role of advocate for the breed will keep on chirping away hoping that chipping away at the monumental obelisk of ‘bass-awkwardness and obliviousness’ will bring some through that thickness into the clarity of the betterment of the breed realm.