Shower Us With Affection
Usher in your winds of change
Springing forth new life
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
The Blogging Off Experience
These blogs will cover every Labrador-related topic under the sun and then sum/some! There will be puns intended, off the cuff remarks will rule, attempts at acerbic, acidic and arsed-like humor will be on the menu. Since I have lived outside of the box for most of my life, parameters need not apply.
The Journey From Point A To Point B
Yesterday’s blog seems to have snagged some nerve endings out there! While others more or less agreed with the ‘time lapse’ that takes place from Point A, the beginning of showing a new puppy by a new owner and the eventual ‘Eureka’ Point B moment when the whole kit and caboodle makes some type of sordid sense!
First, let’s dispense with several that feel that Chambray has created an ‘unfair’ advantage by producing show puppies that debut on a consistent basis!
Eureka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally, some out there get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It now seems that some have finally caught on to how our Betterment of the Breed programs work! The light blinked on and those that have been in the dark now can see……………..of course from the sounds of it, they still don’t like what they now see and just didn’t understand what they were looking at before!
Yes, yes, that’s exactly how it works……………we plan out each and every pairing to produce the next set of puppies that will debut when they are 6 months old………………………..of course they have to meet our super-duper high standards for show quality to be able to make our starting lineup at the dog shows.
Since we more or less have two breeding seasons per year, spring puppies and then fall puppies………………..there will be puppies debuting almost every 6 months! We normally breed in late winter and those puppies will debut the following fall, the litters bred in late summer will debut the following spring! Simple as a dimple on a dazzling dapple!
Of course, that’s not the way old fashion way…………………………..not the old been there, done that way…………….not the boring business as usual way………………………..not the traditional, time-honored ways of the stale establishment………………..nope, not at all, because the Chambray Way has a better way which most are now, after 26 years in effect, just starting to see and semi-understand……………………..even if they don’t get it all the way, they now see it a bit more clearer. It’s the pink elephant in the room…………….it’s there, has been there for two decades and a half, the Chambray Way has changed everything about the Labrador scene in Florida and that has had an effect on others outside of Florida as well!
So, now………………………………..finally there are those that actually get it!
Wahoo for them!
Let’s now address the others that have chimed in with the Point A to Point B process!
If you think you know me, then you know that I am always…………………..ALWAYS, thinking of a better way……………….a more efficient way to span the distance between any two points!
Like Nixon once said, “Let me make this perfectly clear”……………………..I don’t cut corners because it’s not about getting there faster, with me, it’s about getting there BETTER!
So BETTER and LABRADORS = for the BETTERment of the Breed!
Now, the real “big show” (Ed Sullivan) is getting the new owners from those two distance points. I can get the puppies there with no problem because that road is paved as smooth as glass with our training and conditioning programs………………………we can get the puppies there with our incomparable dog show presentations.
We take each and every opportunity to tweak this and amend that, with each time in the ring becoming a plus leading to the eventual successes that the dogs that are specially chosen to be on our dog show roster enjoy……………………..enjoy, from Point A, the beginning of showing to Point B, the making of a champion.
So that journey from Point A to Point B has two parts…………………..the part where the puppy/dog is involved and that is a piece of cake part! Then the 2nd part is also taking their owners on that ride!
That’s the part that sometimes becomes a bit rocky and rough because what we do in Part A, training and conditioning of the puppies and dogs, really has nothing to do with training and conditioning the owners!
That is another beast altogether! Accomplishing that part is what sets Chambray ‘APART’ from the rest of the Labrador breeders in the country! We are the only Labrador breeders that operates an Owner’s Program…………………………………..we make the owners part of the process………………….part of the equation of taking a puppy/dog from one point to the next point!
Cream Separates And Rises
I know that I have covered the next blog topic, probably dozens of times since publishing the Blogging Off page! No, this blog will not be about the dreaded Cow-Hocks dilemma that faces the Labrador Retriever!
I think that I have kicked that cow-hocked dead horse so many times that my readers see the word ‘cow-hocks’ and they probably head for the hills knowing the tirade that will follow!
So, before I get all riled up and work myself into a lather just thinking and pecking that Ebola-like word ‘cow-hock’ again, let me get off that more than beaten path and let you know that this blog is about “Why my dog didn’t win”!
Yep, another situation that comes up at almost every dog show!
Well, think about it, only one dog wins points and the rest of the competition ends up NOT WINNING! So, one owner gets to gloat while the rest of the kiddies will cry over spilt milk!
The “why didn’t my dog win” occurrence happens more with new owners than with the ones that have been around the block more often.
The new owner has a much more skewed vision of the goings on at a dog show where their beloved “Pooch” is competing at. The new owner is very biased with their own dog, much like parents are smitten with their own children.
Each owner sees their puppy or dog as the ‘best looking’ one there. They can’t understand why the judges just can’t see that!
The problem with all of the above is that there is no answer to the question as to why a judge picks one dog over another when each of the dogs meets the breed standard and has no major observable faults.
I have had judges tell me that they could have flipped a coin to decide between several of our dogs. Of course if they did flip a coin to determine which dog wins, they would be sanctioned and suspended as happen to John Cole at a dog show once.
Right now we have 5 puppies the exact same age and competing in the same class at the dog shows. Each puppy meets the breed standard and none has any breed faults. Depending on the judge for the day, each has taken 1st places and each has been last in that same class!
Now here’s the clincher……………..each of their owners thinks that their puppy is the best one in that class and they can’t understand why the judges can’t see what each of them sees in their own puppy!
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” holds no better truth, for it is that person’s perception of what “best” is and there’s neither rhyme nor rhythm from one judge’s opinion to the next one’s selection. As long as each of those dogs chosen has the breed merits, then that opinion holds water.
Of course, not every anointment has merit and that’s when the judging heads south PDQ! When a judge puts up a dastardly…………………here it comes………………………………COW-HOCKED dog over dogs that do not have “serious structural defects” as directly quoted from the standard for Labrador Retrievers………………..then “Houston we have a problem”.
The good news is that those off the wall judges are the exception and not the rule. They be in a small minority which is part of the margin of error even in objective selections, never mind that this dog judging stuff is super subjective!
Now even better news is that those newer type owners quickly acclimate to the ‘climate’ at these ‘judging events’………………meaning that after a while they begin to see the bigger picture all around them and they don’t pinpoint the little brushstrokes that involves just their own dog. When that happens, when they have also been around the block a couple of times as have been the owners before them that have endured the growing pains lessons with their puppies………….those newer type will be able to accept the arduous to comprehend process of dog show judging!
Yes, the seemingly ‘neither rhyme nor rhythm’ process starts to make some sense as a natural evolving method of eventually making champions of the truly deserving dogs and those other dogs that do not have the breed standard merit, even if along the way they managed to pick up some wins and points…………..they will eventually fall by the wayside……………….the old saying that cream rises to the top gets there as a natural occurring chemical event, while the lesser ingredients that comprise milk settle somewhere below……………………so too will the best examples of the breed levitate to where they distance themselves from those that don't really have what it takes to be considered ‘cream’.
No Secret Ingredient Recipe For Success
There are reasons why some businesses with products and services have a great following and some others fall by the wayside and develop a bad reputation!
The exact same thing happens with Labrador breeders. Nowhere is that more obvious than in Florida. Of course that doesn’t mean that in other areas of the country, similar organizations may also be providing an excellent product and follow that up with great service and they too have a satisfied clientele.
I can only speak about what I see, hear and feel and with only a single exception (on a much smaller scale), there is no other Labrador breeder in our state that has anywhere nears the base of owners that Chambray enjoys.
In the last blog, I mentioned how several breeders/exhibitors have been bellyaching at the most recent dog shows about that same following that Chambray has to the point that at a couple of shows, complaints have been lodged with the AKC rep about total nonsense that has absolutely nothing to do with having a superior product and then followed up by unequaled service……………………thus the great following of those owners at the dog shows. Great product and great service to those owners and to the breed is why those owners take great pride in being part of Chambray’s winning tradition.
In competitive ventures and venues such as dog shows, where the best product with the best service comes out on top, time and time again, for more years than some of the newer types have been breeding/showing…………………….there is a reason for coming out on top!
Some companies such as Coca Cola, KFC and other king of the hill product/service providers keep their ingredients for success a secret……………..locked in vaults that cannot be accessed by competitors!
At Chambray we make our ways and means to being the most successful Labrador breeder/exhibitor in the country a total wide open book for anyone to read and follow!
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??????????????? The other Top 500 organizations would be asking, actually they would be saying that I was totally insane for sharing the why’s, therefore’s and the ‘how to do it’ to anyone that is willing to stop and smell the roses!
I have been doing that for the last 26 years! Yep, that’s how long I have been operating Chambray as a Labrador Retriever owner’s mecca for breed knowledge advancement through mentorship and for the Betterment of the Breed by sharing our produce with anyone that had the capabilities to work in a cooperative.
That’s product and service! That’s it, that’s the ‘non-secret’ to our success!
While other companies advertise “Secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices” or “The most guarded trade secrets on Earth, where only two employees at any one time know the secret ingredients of ‘7X’s’ combination of herbal extracts which give the drink its unique flavor”
Nope, none of that secretive stuff for us………………we actually make our methods of success one of the main driving forces behind our Betterment of the Breed mission! We share with all about our training and conditioning programs, we share about how to go about bringing improvement through breeding better dogs, we share how to have dogs perform better in the ring.
Success and winning ways brings about a euphoric ambiance at the dog shows, thus the celebrations each and every time one of our owner’s dogs achieves the prize for the day, points or BOB or Gr Ch points…………………………however in the big picture, it’s the Betterment of the Breed that is best served because raising the bar for all the others brings about an overall improvement to the level of competition.
So, even though those that whine and complain don’t know it, they are being served a plate of that same great product and service that the Chambray owners bought into, because in the long run, they either drop off by the way side with their continued poor product and no service or they do whatever it takes to keep up and get better while doing that.
To me that’s a major win, win situation for the Betterment of the Breed!
Celebrate Good Times
Those that can celebrate good times………….do!
Those that have nothing to rejoice and brag about, do their very best to try and rain on the celebratory parade!
That is human nature at its most primitive form and even in 2016, it is still the most predictable reaction by those that just don’t have what it takes to be winners, so they resort to sniveling and whining!
At Chambray Labradors, through our very unique collective of owners, co-owners, co-breeders, associates and partners………………….we take extreme pride in our achievements, awards and overall successes because we go to the extremes to make sure we have the best in conformation…………….that our training and conditioning programs are cutting edge and that our handling in the show ring is the best there is and at the top, bar none!
So, when any or all of our dogs win at any given show, all of those owners whose dogs just won…………………..the whole Chambray group of owners that is there will join in and celebrate those elusive Winners Points, Best Of Breeds & Grand Champion points!
That celebration goes beyond the immediate glory, it validates all the hard work, time, energy, money……………perseverance and most of all, the trust that those owners have in me and in the Chambray way!
At the most recent dog shows in Elkton and again at Zolfo, those standing outside the ring with their best/worst gloomy faces after not winning at yet another weekend of shows…………….were overheard with the usual whining, complaining and lambasting………………once again, another awesome weekend of Chambray winning and again the predictable haranguing of those holding the bag.
Another awesome weekend is a good descriptive for 133 straight dog show winning weekends!
Awesome describes pretty much back-to-back Best Of Breeds, making it 341 Lifetime Best Of Breeds for Chambray…………………that’s the most by any Labrador breeder ever in the state!
Taking Winners Dog both days by our lesser-pointed dogs, while our top dogs are back at home waiting for major-pointed venues, pretty much becomes ‘awesome’ when those young whippersnappers are going head-to-head with our competitors dogs that are handled by top professionals.
Professional handlers only take on the best dogs from the competitor Labrador breeders, so those dogs in the ring are no slouches and if per chance, they are indeed less than those winning, then pity the poor fools that call themselves show breeders and pay big bucks to the pros to traipse around dogs that can’t win against the depth chart of Chambray!
In that male’s class there are were 13 dogs entered and 5 of them handled by the pros just need one or two single points to finish out their championships and there you had two of our lesser-traveled, lesser entered dogs beating those top veteran dogs!
Just as lamenting, complaining and boohooing is human nature for those that are used to those lesser than stellar ways………………..celebrating hard earned achievements becomes a tradition for those that have set the bar higher!
At Chambray Labradors, our owners expect more!
Ask any of them at any given show. Don’t just consult with the owners of our dogs that need a win or a major to finish out………………..go ask our newest owners with young puppies. That’s because it doesn’t matter if it is one of our top class dogs or a brand new puppy getting their feet wet at the dog shows…………………each of their owners is part of the winning juggernaut and each of them expects the best performance, which will give each of their dogs about the same chances of winning those Winners Dogs, Best Of Breeds and Grand Champion points as any of the other dogs in the ring.
So, to all those at the dog shows……………………expect the celebrations to keep on coming! That’s a tradition at Chambray! I won't have it any other way!
I Stand Corrected & Stand My Ground
Follow up to the breeder with the evaluation that went ahead and kept 2 puppies that I pointed out had serious structural defects.
She defended the ‘real nice people’ that ‘helped’ her with her evaluations of the litter. She stated that I wrote on the blog that none of them had ever bred a champion in all the years they have been breeding and showing.
So, I stand corrected…………….one of the three nice ladies did finish a dog several years back that they obtained from a friend breeder of theirs.
Problem with that was that the dog was a total waste even if it did finish! Dastardly rear end, obvious cow-hocks and very suspect hip joint formation because the rear drive looked more like a locomotive in action than the fluidity needed by a sports afield dog. The front end was a perfect complement to the rear……………..however, instead of ‘dastardly’, the front end was ‘atrocious’!
Frontend movement should be clean, close to the body, from tip of shoulder blade, through the joint where the shoulder and upper arm meet, through the elbow were the upper arm and lower arm meet, through the pasterns……………………all in the same plane, no lateral deviations………………………..not this dog! He looked more like a sumo wrestler coming in for the stomp! Flying elbows, ditching digging pasterns and rock’em/shock’em shoulder blades. All the components of the frontend assembly looked like they were all going in bass-awk-wards fashion, every which way and very loose!
This is not who you have evaluate a litter!
So, there you have the level of expertise of someone evaluating a litter…………………their claim to fame, one ‘made-up’ champion (owned, not bred-by) and the dog was totally contrary to the betterment of the breed.
Yes, I agree that the people are real nice people, however none of them are brain surgeons, so I wouldn’t recommend any of them for that type of expertise, neither would I recommend them to do an evaluation for show purposes.
The 'Horse's Mouth' Says It Better
In advertising and promoting, there is nothing that compares to ‘word of mouth’ and ‘unsolicited testimonials’…………………………………I LOVE THEM BOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No amount of money ever spent on ads in magazines or at website promo sites comes close to either of the preceding
“First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to see us and share with us your fabulous breed philosophy!
Years back, we had Cocker Spaniels that we enjoyed raising and showing. Although we have been out of dogs for a while now, we had been researching for several years for the right place, the right breeder to contact for a Labrador.
We did touch base with numerous people involved with Labradors and received many responses to our emails and answers to our many questions. We also have been visiting at different kennels and breeders and have accumulated a lot of information about them and also second hand information about other breeders.
After we contacted you and exchanged various emails and then we opted to come for an interview with you, my wife and I came in expecting one thing and came out experiencing the exact opposite.
Now, it is that we see the results of those that either are not familiar with your game plan and owner’s programs or that are your direct competitors in trying to sell puppies. In addition, most of those that we heard from about you also compete with your dogs at the dog shows. There are those that have a very negative position about your involvement with the breed because of all the preceding.
We took you up on your invitation to see you and your dogs in action at the West Palm Beach dog shows in March. Since you and your team were so busy with all your dogs and all those Chambray owners there, we took a backseat and just watched the action and observed from a distance how you all operate.
We also took the opportunity to speak with some of the people that were with their Labradors. Most of those were people who owned a dog from your breeding and it was delightful speaking to them about their dogs and about you and your extreme passion for the breed and all that your provide each of them.
While at the WPB show we also spoke to a couple of other breeders there with their own dogs showing there. They were very removed and actually negative about your seemingly dominance with the breed, after listening to them for a little while, we could see why their attitude, as they had no following at all and were probably overwhelmed by the Chambray dogs and owners and your success at winning with your dogs, plus none of their dogs won anything either day. There is nothing sadder than disgruntled dog show people.
The icing on the cake was the visit to your place. Seeing you all in action during your night training classes really put the whole program in place for us. We have seen the dog’s conformation, we had seen your handling team in action at the West Palm Beach and then the clincher was watching you and your team of handlers work with each dog and make decisions as to what each needed to bring out the best while in the ring.
From the dozens of breeders that we have talked to and visited, there is no other breeder working with Labradors at your level and now it is plain to see that your successes come from your vast expertise with the breed and that very involvement in all areas of the breed.
Now, we await our own Chambray puppy to be able to join you and many of those other wonderful owners that we met at WPB and at the night training classes we attended.”
Bev and Lawton Gale
A big part of our Puppy Placement Program is to get to know each of those interested in a puppy..................actually more important is for them to get to know us....................to get to know the humongous difference in our entire involvement with the breed!
So, we 'invite' all those that contact us to come and visit us at a nearby dog show and then to come and visit with me at Chambray Acres.
There is nothing that compares to FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE! NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Each person takes in all the available information from seeing, hearing, feeling and makes sense of it and then that becomes their very own exxperience!
The exact opposite of that is listening to SECOND HAND SMOKE INFORMATION*
*Second Hand Smoke Information ~ is comprised of toxic waste innuendo, cancerous rumors, malicious and malignant malware hearsay, vicious vendetta and poisoned propaganda, prejudiced and bias baloney……………………..anything and everything that is totally fabricated with radioactive intentions!
At Chambray, you can have it your way, we let you choose....................................come and visit us for First Hand Knowledge or stay away with the Second Hand Smoke Information!
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Whoa Nelly! It seems that I didn’t name Jericho’s champion offspring in the ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boys’ blog from April 17th.
As mentioned in that blog, Bronze Gr Ch Summithills Joshua’s Battle Of Jericho is closing in on the Florida record of the most champion’s produced (8) by a stud dog BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan”, as Jericho now has six AKC champion ‘get’ to his credit and one FCI get as well.
Those champion get are:
AKC BISS Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Tucker Everlasting CGC JAE JAMSS (2014) (now 5 Gr Ch Pts away from the Silver)
AKC Ch /FCI Col Ch Chambrays Maxed N Counter CGC JAE (2015)*
AKC BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard (2015)*
AKC Ch Chambrays Grace Of The Field (2016) **
AKC BBE Ch Chambrays Where Eagles Dare (2016) **
AKC Ch Chambrays Shining Diamond Dazzle (2016) **
FCI Gua Ch Chambrays Saint Johns Maximus (2016)
* 2 champions in 2015 gives Jericho Honorable Mention Stud Dog for the year
** 3 champions in 2016 already gives him a good chance of reaching Top Stud Dog status for the year.
Jericho currrently has 7 champion pointed offspring showing:
Chambrays Black Diamond Out Of The Ruff (6 pts)
Chambrays A Hankerin For Trouble (4pts)
Chambrays Rose On Center Stage (2pts)
Chambrays Chaos (2pts)
Chambrays Midnight Lady (2pts)
Chambrays Thor God Of Thunder (2pts)
Chambrays Bella From Ipanema (2pts)
It's An On-going Process
Showing dogs is an ongoing learning process……………….winning with those same dogs is the culmination of persevering through that arduous learning curve.
The process starts out with dogs that have the potential to be winners. That potential is arrived at through breeding the best of the best conformation dogs and then having the vision and foresight to project which puppies in those highly selected litters have what it will take to be competitive in the show ring and later be the ones under consideration to perpetuate the breed to the next level for the betterment of the breed.
The above 2 paragraphs covers a whole lot of ground…………..a whole lot of thought and a whole lot of implementation to arrive at any level of success!
Chambray has the highest success rate at producing the conformation quality of show dogs………..proven year after year with top champion’s produced each year. That ratio comes from the less than 50 puppies produced each year that come from Chambray’s owner’s collective breeding program and then finishing more dogs from each of those few litters than any other breeder in the country.
There are other top show breeders with twice, three times and maybe way more litters produced per year that does not have the high percentage of champions produced to puppies produced.
With all the above said, done and documented, it is still not a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination! The ‘on going learning process’ involves selecting the best candidates to concentrate on for training and conditioning……………………not only the puppies themselves………………the owners of those puppies too have to be groomed and educated on the ways of that very process.
The vast majority of Chambray’s owners are brand spanking new to showing dogs! Whereas most other show breeders keep the best puppies for their own showing and later breeding, at Chambray we depend on those owners who have our best puppies placed with them to go through the learning curve with our mentorship program and our show management program.
We let each owner that is part of our various programs know that only the best of the best puppies that are in the program will be the ones that will be invited to be competing at the dog shows. That means that for every single puppy showing, there are 5 more that are back at home being developed!
Of course the ones that are showing have the best chances of becoming successful due in great part to the development process which is the actual hands on training/conditioning and show performance grooming that takes place at the actual shows.
The toughest lesson for those owners whose puppies and dogs that are showing is that they may not be winning points!
Part of the education process is letting those owners know that it takes time for any puppy/dog to put together the whole ‘package’ of ‘looks’ and of ‘performing’.
Each puppy develops at its own pace, both physically and mentally…………..sometimes the physical look is there, but the dog tends to act very immature and even though it is going through the training program, it will not perform correctly while in the show ring.
There are those dogs that are perfect in their performance, however their physical development is lacking and the ‘package’ that the judge sees is just not there yet.
Some dogs and their owners will be put on the back burner to let the dog either mature physically and or mentally and there will always be that small percentage of dogs that just never seem to fully come ‘together’ to be competitive enough to be in the mix for the elusive winners points.
Through our Show Dog Management Program we provide the proper guidance for each case and scenario. We encourage those owners whose dogs have what it takes to be on the frontlines at the dog shows to do all it takes to train, condition and keep the dogs competing at the dogs shows.
To those owners whose dogs are coming along, but do not have ‘competitive’ level to be actually winning points yet, we provide them with all the training and conditioning and then let the owners know when to start entering their dog at the dog shows.
There will always be some puppies that exhibited all the traits to be classified as ‘show quality’, however for way more reasons than I have time to cover in this short blog, those dogs just never rise to the level to be completive enough to finish their AKC champion’s title…………………those dogs will be evaluated and a determination will be made as to whether they will ever show and if they will be included in the breeding program.
The above procedure is what makes our Betterment of the Breed mission successful………………..only the best of the best will be showing and then those that have what it takes to produce the next generation of superb conformation, will be the ones used to perpetuate the next generation of Chambray dogs.
Worthy Or WTF(When To Flee)
“I find very valuable information from those that reply to my problems, so I think that you should continue to provide your expertise when people reach out to you!”
The preceding and a few other, slightly more tersely worded responses came in from yesterday’s blog.
Here’s the rub………………if you receive 10 varying suggestions to your dilemma, how in tarnation do you know which one to follow? What, you do an ‘inny meanie miney moe’…….or you put blinders on and as in ‘pin the tail on the donkey’, you stab at one? Why not put them in order as they came in, assign a number to each and then pick your lucky number!
Yep, that’s the ticket! Heck it could work and if it doesn’t then go back and draw another suggestion out of a hat!
Drawing at straws seems to be a way of making decisions for some and if making mistakes, fumbling, stumbling and tripping all over the place is okay for those………………….then I say, “Knock yourselves out in the process!”
There are over 200 fine folk that are in one way or another, part of my mentorship program. They heed my suggestions because they know the wealth of knowledge that I have amassed through my 46 years of involvement with the breed. I am not a bit reserved in letting all know that lots and lots of that expertise came from major trial and error.
Remember that back in the Stone Age of the 70’s (1970) which was 10 years after the Cavemen Age………………….that’s when I got started with my first Labradors…………….. there were not many computers available to the masses, there was no Internet……………………………books were old as the hills…………………..information was available on stone tablets, as in the 10 Commandments and some of those tablets were dropped from time to time and that info was lost to the world as happened in that movie where the 11th and 12th commandment were dropped and both of those cracked in a million pieces!
So, now having all this information, misinformation, malicious information, tainted information, biased information, and in general unreliable information and then add to it those receiving the information that don’t have two cents, fifty cents or any sense to decipher what is worthy and what is whale blubber………………………………….the sensible thing for me is to pick and choose who to dole out info to according to how well that person follows instructions knowing that they are getting it from the most reliable source there is when it comes to Labrador Retrievers.
Of Three Blind Mice, Three Amigos & Three Stooges
There is way, way too much information available to the vast majority seeking that very information! At the click of a button, all at once, viola and presto there’s a deluge of the good, the bad and the ugly that comes in at an overwhelming rate.
Now, most of the time, most folk have reasonable faculties in reading through and comprehending what’s being collated and supplied to them from their search.
The huge problem comes when someone reaches out on Facebook or other social media, chat rooms or forums, seeking emergency or medical help and the torrent that comes back, comes from heaven knows where and worst!!
The person wanting answers to their problem becomes a beacon to all those that read their plight and then dozens, maybe hundreds will hone in on a sympathetic way and offer up all sorts of ‘solutions’, ‘remedies’, ‘cures’……. some of it first hand, much more second hand and multitudes of general grapevine wife’s tales that may or may not be worth a rat’s behind…………………….confusing and overwhelming doesn’t begin to describe the dilemma.
Then there is also the ‘troll’ factor to consider! Those nefarious blokes that lay in waiting at those congregating ‘watering holes’ and pounce on the unsuspecting with malware, misguided advice and even worse, malicious and purposeful erroneous misinformation knowing how much harm they will be doing if taken verboten and at heart.
Confusing and overwhelming because no one that ‘doesn’t know’ will know enough to filter through and be able to select the proper information for their immediate problem or situation.
I see and hear about this phenomenon on a daily basis from the numerous folk that email or contact me for that very same help! Yep, I too become part of the dilemma/problem for the person at the other end of the lifesaver’s line.
As the do-gooder that I fancy myself to be, I also add to the confusing state for the recipient at the other end, that person that may be in all sorts of trouble with a situation and then they go and reach out blindly to Peter, Paul and Mary, which could very well be the Three Amogos, the Three Blind Mice or the Three Stooges for all the searcher knows or suspects!
In the last month, I learned a valuable lesson from 3 different cases of folk reaching out to me for advice with their dogs. That lesson is to make sure that in the future I know all the facts at hand and more importantly that I know how many other people are being used to garner information from.
Someone seeking information and receiving dozens of varying feedback is just as bad as not receiving any input. How does any person that doesn’t have a clue, decides which person to listen to?
My advice to anyone involved with dogs is to always have a professional available for the dire emergencies and to also entrust upon a true blue mentor that has proven beyond all doubts that they know a thing or two about the things that they are involved in.
The absolute worst scenario is to consult with many unqualified people at once………………….too much info from ordinary sources is just as bad as not having enough info!
This goes for all types of decision making processes involving dogs not just the medical emergency stuff.
This past month, a Labrador breeder with about 15 years of experience consults with me to see a litter of puppies she has and that she wants to keep the best 2.
She had 3 different people evaluate the litter and they each had varying opinions as to which puppy was the ‘keeper’!
The problem to all that was that none of the people she has consulted with had any degree of success with their own breeding programs……………none had ever finished a dog that they were the breeders of. In fact none were very successful in buying dogs for show.
After going through the ‘top pick three’ puppies and finding drastic structural defects with each…………….there would be only 1 puppy from the whole litter that was worth being labeled showable!
The astonishing thing about the preceding, that one puppy was the last pick in the litter by the breeder and her three cronies that provided her with their ‘expert opinions’.
Of course, my time was a total waste of time, because the breeder went ahead an kept 2 of the puppies with serious structural defects!
Serves me right…………………but due to limited time in the future, I will not be making myself available to those that follow behind the Three Blind Mice!
Girls's Night Out
Even while I was penning the blog about our Top Stud Dogs, I knew that it wouldn't take long before someone or more folk, especially those that own our girls…………………….our champion producing girls to get in on the ‘say hey’ bandwagon!
Plus, there were a few that wanted to know who the dog’s owners were. In reality, those in the know…………know who owned/owns those great dogs and those that don’t, won’t know who the faces behind the name s are…………………………..but with my penchant for ‘leaving no stone behind’ (being politically correct and hip for the times but we all know that it is leaving no stone unturned)!
So, this Bud’s for my beyond awesome ‘veni, vedi, veci owners’ that came on board, seeing-believing and being part of the conquest for the betterment of the breed!
Following are the 3 Top Producers for Chambray Labradors
BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff "Hogan" was ‘specially’ placed with Rosie and Bill Feeley of Lakeworth FL. There’s a cute story about that placement that will someday be part of other interesting Placement Stories…………….hey by now you know that with me, there’s a story to be told behind every nook, cranny and cul de sac! So stay tuned.
BBE Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks was placed with Neil and Faith Wasserman of Kendall Fl.
Bronze Gr Ch Summithill Joshua’s Battle Of Jericho came as a great ‘package’ deal with his owners Carol and Chip Wilkening of Cutler Bay FL and Frigg Island SC. This is another really great story of how a dog came to be part of our Owner's Programs for the Betterment of the Breed.
All three of the above owners-families epitomize great working associations with the betterment of the breed in mind. I could not have asked for better owners and partners for all of us as a collective to take each of what those dogs had to contribute and pay it forward to the Labrador breed!
For more info on the above Top Producers, each has their very own page full of their accredetations, awards, bestowments, titles and other merits that take each to a stellar level comparable to their contributions as prepotent perpetuators of the breed. See them from the www.chambraylabs.com front page by clicking on the Stud Dog Gallery page and from there clicking on their individual pages.
In addition, all our other great champions are also showcased with their own pages as well. So, a pictorial Wall Of Fame similar to the actual physical Wall Of Fame that adorns my Labrador Museum, a 20 X 24 room full of our Labrador Retriever adventures the last 46 years, with all of our champions displayed along the top of all four sides of the massive room!
So, now that our steins are bottoms up, let’s delve into the dozens and dozens of our superb girls that contributed to the successes of Chambrays Labradors and to the betterment of the breed.
I have created a Dam’s Honor Roll Page at the www.chambraylabradors.net website………………yes, that’s a DOT NET…………………….like in educational and mentorship for those folk that wish to better their knowledge of the breed. So besides reading about them here at the blog, their photos and show credentials are also public record at that website.
Since there are so many of our wonderful girls that are responsible for our record setting 53 Home Bred Champions, covering them all here in one blog would take forever just in the research, penning, proof reading, publishing and then reading…………………so, I will give my readers a taste of the project I am undertaking by doing just the top three producers and posting it here on this blog. Then I will establish and ongoing ‘document’………………..saga-like page where the entire list of champion producing dams will be showcased as public record. Meanwhile, all of those beautiful girls can be ‘seen’ by visiting the webpages already set up for all of them. Go to http://www.chambraylabradors.net/#!portfolio/c1z1f and visit each of the pages documenting each of our champion-producing females at those pages.
Meanwhile, I will begin the arduous task of detailing each of our wonderful champion contributors that I will add to the blog page from time to time and then each of those dams will be part of the Dam’s Honor Roll Page.
We will start with those dams that have produced the most champion and top performers.
*Ch Chambrays Chisholm Chancey CGC
*BISP Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter CGC
*BIS BBE SILVER/BRONZE Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter CGC
For a 1st place tie atop the Dam’s Honor Roll are a mother/daughter duo. Ch Chambrays Chisholm Chancey JAMSS and her daughter BISP Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter “Connie”, both with four champion produce to their resume.
*Ch Chambrays Chisholm Chancey, “Chancey” was placed with Martha Chisholm who was part of our Owners Program for many years. In the show ring, Chancey teamed up with Johanna and were virtually unbeatable, winning multiple BOBs and group placements, including a 1st Judges Award Of Merit at Specialty Show in 2001 at the inaugural South Florida Labrador Retriever Club specialty. Chancey was co-bred with her owner to produce 2 litters. Each of those puppies was placed through Chambrays Puppy Placement Program with specially chosen new owners to perpetuate in the betterment of the breed. In Chancey’s 1st litter, 3 puppies were born and all 3 became champions, giving Chancey and her 2 daughters, Connie and Maddie another tie for the most champions produced from 1 litter with 3 champions each in 1 litter.
The top pick of the litter was placed with Roberta Wallach and through our Dog Show Management Program, Ch Chambrays Twist Of Fate, became our first Eukanuba Qualifier and Top 25 ranked in the USA and # Labrador Female from Florida in 2004.
The 2nd show pick of the litter, Ch Chambrays Mad About Madeline was specially placed with Rosy Harkow. Maddie and her owner would be developed through our Dog Show Management Program for Maddie's first 18 months and eventually the owner would be set as an independent. Maddie would produce 3 champions herself from her first and only litter for her owner’s kennel.
The 3rd puppy in the litter was kept by my then 11-year old daughter Jessica and she would train and show her puppy BISP Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter CGC “Connie” to her CGC title and also her AKC championship. 6 years later she would use Connie’s breeding for her high school project by documenting the entire process of the AI breeding, delivery and raising the litter for her Vet Academy graduation project. Connie would eventually have 4 champion offspring to her resume, including the 3 champions she had from her 1st litter which ties her with her dam and her littermate sister and dam for the most champions produced from one litter.
Chancey was bred a 2nd time and that litter produced a champion offspring for Chancey’s resume. That puppy, Ch Chambrays Chisholm Sir Lancelot was kept by Martha Chisholm and was developed and handled at the dog shows by Chambrays Dog Show Management Program and would become Chancey’s 4th offspring champion. Lance went on to produce a champion get of his own.
*BISP Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter, the puppy that Jessie kept from Chancey’s first litter would become Chambray’s first Best In Show Puppy winner and she accomplished that feat twice in back-to-back weekends of shows with then 12-year old Jessie as her handler. Connie would also set the record for being the youngest female Chambray champion at the time at 17 months of age.
She would then produce 2 litters with 4 champions from those litters, with there being 3 champions in 1 litter, both feats tying her dam for first place honors in most champions produced (4) and most champions produced in 1 litter, 3 making that a trhee-way tie for the most champion from one litter.
BBE Gr Ch Chambrays Charmed N Counter was USA Top Ranked in 2009 and eventually became Chambray’s 1st AKC Grand Champion. She would have 2 litters with only 1 puppy in each litter. One of those is an AKC and also an FCI Colombian champion, also a JAMSS winner and a 5 Major-Pointed Winner’s Dog under a Breeder/Judge at the Eukanuba LRC National Championship Specialty. Her other offspring is a full-fledged certified THD and full-fledged Service Dog. Charm was kept for placement with one of our existing owners, however after 8 months in our possession, the owner was not able to take her and she remained at Chambray Acres where Jessie handled her to all her wins and awards.
BBE Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks was placed with Chambray Owners, Faith and Neil Wasserman. He would become a USA Honorable Mention Top Producer in 2014 with 3 champions that year.
BBE Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays And The Beat Goes On “Cher”. Placed with Mary and Bob Jakeway became Chambray’s first Bronze Grand Champion.
Ch Chambrays Hogan’s Hero Rocky. Rocky has produced champions of his own for his owner’s breeding program.
*BIS BBE Silver/Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter “Kika” is the produce/daughter of Chambrays Eloquent N Counter,(who produced 2 champions) and was one of Connie’s daughters from her 2nd litter. Kika was placed with Juan Marrero and has achieved super stardom as Florida’s most decorated and highest ranked female ever. She is the only female Labrador to ever win a Best In Show. Kika lives with Olga and Juan Marrero of Miami Lakes Fl
* Youngest Best In Show winner 14 months old 2012
*1st Female Best In Show winner 2012
*Only Best In Show Female Labrador USA 2012 ~
*#1 Ranked Female USA 2012 ~
*Most Best Of Breed wins by female 32 ~
*Most Groups wins 15
*1st Silver Grand Champion 2012 ~
*Highest National Ranking #3 All-Breeds 2012 ~
*Highest National Ranking Breed Female #7 2012
* Youngest Bronze Grand Champion ~
*Most BOB's in a row tie 7 ~
*Tie Most Group 1 by Chambray female (2)
*1st LTRC Top 25 Tribute Award 2013
She now has 2 champion offspring to her amazing resume.
One of them is the youngest female champion at 12 months of age, BBE Gr Ch Chambrays Eventful N Counter owned by John McGraw of Miami Fl.
and the other is the youngest champion ever at 10-months of age BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’s On The Boulevard owned by Cindy Ceballos of South Miami Fl.
As I work on compiling the Dam’s Hall Honor Roll, I will be adding the rest of our females that have contributed greatly to our betterment of the breed mission with the 53 home-bred Chambray champions.
Let's Hear It For The Boys
A salute to the Chambray Top Champion Producers
The verifiable accountability procedure for a male dog to be credited with being a ‘prepotent’ producer is how many of his ‘get’ go on to high levels of achievement.
In the conformation world of dog shows, the count becomes how many AKC champions that dog produces. Of course the more champions produced the higher the value that dog accrues as a ‘proven’ stud dog!
Traditionally, a dog that produces 2 champions in one year makes the Honorable Mention level for the year. The dog producing the most champions in one year gets the nod for being the country’s Top Champion Producer.
Five champions in one year has a very good chance of ending up on top, while some years it has taken upwards of eight to claim the top prize for the year as #1 stud dog.
For a lifetime, a dog producing a total of 5 champions or more will earn Career Top Champion Producer billing.
At Chambray Labradors, it would be BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan” to reach Career Top Champion Producer with 8 AKC champions to his resume. He received 4 different years Top Producer Honorable Mention with 2 champions produced each of those 4 years as follows:
2008 USA Honorable Mention & #1 Florida Top Champion Stud Dog with 2 champions
2010 USA Honorable Mention & #1 Florida Top Champion Stud Dog with 2 champions PLUS 2 Grand Champions as well.
2011 USA Honorable Mention & #1 Florida Top Champion Stud Dog with 2 champions PLUS 2 Grand Champions as well.
2012 USA Honorable Mention & #1 Florida Top Champion Stud Dog with 2 champions
Also to Hogan’s prepotent credentials are 2 of his get that achieved Master Hunter level.
One of Hogan’s offspring BBE Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks has produced the most champions in one year with 3, also earning him USA Top Champion Producer Honorable Mention for 2014 and Florida 2014 #1 Top Stud Dog
Closing in on Hogan’s top producing record of 8 career champions as part of Chambrays Stud Dog Management Program is Bronze Gr Ch Summithill Joshua’s Battle Of Jericho with 6 champions. Jericho received Top Champion Producer Honorable Mention in 2015 for 2 champions and so far in 2016, he has 3 new champions to his credit, giving him back-to-back Honorable Mention and tying him with Bailey for the most (3) champions produced in one year.
Let's hear it for the boys!
Proof Positive Pudding
“On your websites you make claims about the number of champions you have bred and about being the top champion breeder, what if other breeders make the same claim?”
Well, that situation can be resolved PDQ! Ask for documentation from ANYONE making any claim!
With me, it’s right there before your very own eyes to see and then if in doubt to follow up on. All 53 Chambray bred-by champions are listed at our websites and then verifiable as matter of AKC public supplied record! All you need to do is go to the AKC points progression page and do a search for the dog’s name or AKC # and lo and behold, presto, whoop there it is………..verifiable from the supreme registry, you will have the proof-positive evidence right then and there…………………………with the AKC, it is etched in stone!
So, when I state that Chambray is by far and wide the #1 champion Labrador breeder in Florida……nearing three times as many bred-by champions as whichever other breeder is 2nd……………… then take that to the back that ‘we be #1’!
There was the case of one of those braggarts making outrageous claims and when asked to provide a list of all those champions that she claimed made her the #1 champion breeder from Florida, her answer was “There have been so many that I can’t remember their names!”
Hey, for those that have just fallen off the turnip truck, I have a watermelon tree growing in my back yard that produces gold bullions!
So, if there is anyone else making preposterous claims………………..take them to task, ask them “Where’s the beef?” Watch them scurry for cover for lack of substance or meat!
Keep in mind that the only true-blue, top of the mountain, world-wide accepted champion’s titles are those awarded by the AKC! All others in the USA are minor league at best and mail order at worst! So no other organization’s titles make the Hall of Fame.
Top Champion Breeder for the year is again a no brainer for those that have one. This is as simple as it gets…………………….the Labrador breeder that has the most dogs finish their AKC champion’s title in one calendar year is the Top Champion Breeder.
We finished 6 new champions in 2012. No other breeder finished more, or the same, so that makes Chambray the Top champion breeder for 2012! So, if there is a dispute about this fact, all that a person has to do is to produce a list of dogs with 7 new champions for 2012 that were produced by their kennel.
That list will then be verified with a search at that AKC page mentioned above. If per chance, there was an oversight on my part and indeed there is another entity with 7 or more bred-by champions finished in 2012, then I will more than gladly cease and desist making the claim of being USA #1 for 2012. Of course, until that far-fetched circumstance proves itself worthy, I will just keep right on truckin with the honors of being the USA Top Champion Labrador Breeder for 2012.
Guess what? La meme chose for 2014 and back-to-back for 2015………….exactly the same thing, some procedure and guaranteed same results.
So, making the claim of having most years as USA Top Champion Labrador Breeder awards, three of them can also be validated using the same procedure!
Want to verify our current ‘out of this world’ consecutive dog show weekend winning streak that stands as of this weekend at 132?
Easy-peasy, every single weekend of dog shows that we engaged in is posted at the website by date and venue……………………..so, start out with the 1st dog show weekend in January 2012 and then keep scrolling down/up weekend after weekend, checking out which dogs won points or BOBs……………………that’s all the dog show weekends of 2012.
Then do the same thing for 2013, then the same for 2014, then repeat after me, the same for 2015 and now all the dog show weekends so far in 2016……………………132 CONSECUTIVE DOG SHOW WEEKENDS with at least 1 win or Best Of Breed and at 60 of those shows, our dogs won all the awards of Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and Best Of Breed!
I know of no other Labrador breeder that has the verifiable documentation available to anyone wishing to take me to task! In fact, I welcome all comers!
Nothing better than to have educated folk that know the facts………………..nothing worse than to deal with those chockful of ill-conceived innuendo, heavy-handed hearsay, misconstrued and malicious rumor and second hand verbal smoke!
The proof my friends is in eating the pudding, plenty of servings for your perusing pleasure at my website and each and every one of those facts stated are as verifiable as a week has seven days!
It's Not Always The Dog's Fault
A recent blog covered a situation where I stated that I couldn’t ‘help’ a dog to fit in with his family.
That does happen, all be it not on a regular basis, say once or twice a year from hundreds that come to us for training.
Here’s the thing, with the majority of those cases, it’s not so much about the dog, it’s more about the owners, and the environment…………………the overall expectations just are not conducive for it to work out for that particular dog!
Yes, there are situations where there is something terribly wrong with a dog that makes them not able to fit in with a family setting.
Regardless of what is causing the ‘misfit’ situation, I still go all out to find a suitable solution for all involved, especially one that will bode well for the dog!
That I can recall, there was just one problem dog with people aggression, having bitten 2 different family members that I did my best to re-home and the owner decided that euthanasia was the only way she could cope, knowing that the dog would not cause any more pain and suffering as had happened in her household.
Every other case besides that one, dogs that just could not fit in with their immediate living arrangements, I found alternatives which I followed up on for months and years afterwards. All those dogs came from outside of my breeding program and were placed with those owners by others.
Here is an important note and one that really validates my breeding values and my Puppy Placement Process………………………there has never been a Chambray dog that I placed, that has ever needed re-homing because of temperament issues or compatibility issues within that household…………………NONE!
All those problem situations came from dogs bought from pet shops, from backyard breeders and other sources where very little care was taken with the breeding of correct breed type and where the puppy buyers failed to thoroughly know who they were dealing with and lately, from those online website pet brokers where puppies are ordered today and delivered the next day! Ringing reality that you get what you asked for!
I have received several emails lambasting me for being such an ‘elitist’ when choosing which people to place my puppies with!
Let me set things pointedly straight here……………….this isn’t a democratic process…………………no siree, not at all, this is as dictatorial as it gets!
When it comes time to place my puppies, all of my liberal ideologies……………………all of my ‘equality and fairness’ gobbledygook goes gaga into hibernation!
I am upfront and full of facts with each person that makes it out here to Chambray Acres for an Interview. The operative words here are ‘makes it our here’, because way before I set up a visit for me to gather more information about those seeking a puppy, I will have filtered out a considerable number that just didn’t fit the criteria ……………………………………my criteria!
There are tons of reasons why I can be so choosy! First of all, the law of SUPPLY AND DEMAND!
Yep, there are way, way more folk demanding then there are supplies! I’m talking a heap load more, like in 1200 to 1500 inquiries for puppies per YEAR! Meanwhile the produce, the supply is about 50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just that simple, single fact gives me ample latitude in deciding who doesn’t get a Chambray puppy!
But, just in case some out there are formulating, postulating and getting skewed out of skelter, it’s not about creed, it’s not about color, it’s not about gender, it’s not about religion, it’s not even about political leanings and affiliations………………………NOPE, none of the preceding and not any of those other poor qualities that makes folks be considered prejudiced!
What it boils, broils and sizzles about is where my puppies will fit the best using my 46 years with the breed, making me the supreme expert in all matters concerning Labrador Retrievers! Yep, you read right, left or catawampus, depending on how you go about reading things!
The buck stops here, so does the doe and the fawn…………………this is it, there is no higher supreme being in charge when it comes time to Labradors………………it, he, she just doesn’t exist beyond me or even next to me.
So, I decide where each of my wards, my precious gifts will be placed.
No Greeks bearing gifts, no amount of mula, no friendly persuasion, no promises of greatness, no sweet whispers………….more like Herodotus’ creed:
"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Of course I am the ‘courier’ and my ‘appointed rounds’ in this case is my steadfast stance in the decision making process of which home my puppies will be going to!
Not All Interviews Leads To A Puppy Placement
The name on the email seemed very familiar. It was seeking help with behavioral problems with an 11-month old male puppy!
Listing several very negative traits of growling and snapping at small children and small dogs………………….I made it a point to answer this email before reading the dozen or so emails that had come in in the three hours that I was outside with Interviews and training client’s private sessions.
After pressing ‘send’, I decided to do an email response search using the inquirers email address. Sure enough, this person had been searching for a puppy about a year ago. I supplied them with all the pertinent information and they even set up and appointment for an Interview. The day before the visit to Chambray Acres they notified me that they had gone elsewhere and brought home a puppy that very day.
So, here we were almost a year later and that puppy they had obtained on the spot was now a big problem!
Labradors should never display aggression to children or to other dogs!
After exchanging several emails with questions and answers, I now had more information.
The puppy had been bought from a Labrador breeder that has been in Florida a relatively short time. They have a website with lots of photos proclaiming ‘champion sired’ puppies. There is no listing of clearances or titles of any of the dogs that are owned and used for breeding. The puppy buyers had taken a ride several counties north of South Florida and arrived at the property where the breeder had several litters of puppies available to choose from. They were able to have the pick of 2 litters that were 5 days apart and were now 9 and 10 weeks old. The sire of both litters was there on the property and was kept in a large exercise yard, but was not let out because he ‘was too playful’! According to the puppy buyers, the stud dog barked the entire 2 hours they were there! Although they had contacted the breeders about their problems, they received no help what so ever, other than ‘he will grow out of it’!
The family in need set up an appointment for me to evaluate their dog and situation as they were at wits end about keeping the dog or ‘getting rid of it’ as one email stated!
“If it can’t be trained, we are willing to give it away, even if we lose out the $2500 we paid for it, not to mention over $1500 in vet bills and $1200 paid to K9 Helpers (not real name) for in home training!”
In my 46 years as a professional dog trainer, I have heard dozens………………actually more than 100 other ‘end of world, dooms day’ situations exactly as this one……………………….probably 5 to 10 such cases a year! So, do the math!
But, here we were, appointment right on time! As instructed, the whole family came with the dog. I needed to evaluate everybody that had anything to do with the dog. That’s 4 kids, 3 elderly grandparents, the husband and wife and the house keeper too!
All were ushered in to come and sit under the famous old Orchid tree with me!
The dog was a mess to bring into the property…………………….huffing and puffing and pulling the 6 foot tall, 220+ lb man into my front yard!
Oh boy, a real doozy of a case if there ever was one!
First of all, the dog was a high prey drive personality type………………the absolute wrong temperament for a family of this complexity! Way too many people, way too little space, way too little time to spend with the dog………………………..kids way too young at 4 years old, 7 years old, 11 years old and 13 years old! Three old folk way too old for such an amped up dog!
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Everything was WRONG!
There was nothing I could do to make this situation RIGHT! NOTHING! I hate like hell to admit that I don’t have the solution to their problem. But, in all honesty this was the BREEDER'S FAULT!
To begin with…………………..that none stop barking, too ‘PLAYFUL’ sire produces more of his high amped up personality and temperament!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WRONG DOG TO BE BREEDING TO SELL THE PUPPIES AS PETS!!!!!!
It is also the buyers fault because they read all of my information that I had directed them to before I would make the first appointment way back when and they still ended up at the WRONG PLACE to add a member to their big, extended family!
The kids were terrified of the dog as was the 3 elderly folk, the wife was the only one that had any time for the dog as the husband worked 6 days a week and came home pretty late each day.
The dog was either in a crate or running up and down the side of the fence barking at cars and people that walked on the other side of the fence.
I did resolve the problem! No, I didn’t figure out how to make it work with the dog and that family. I was able to have one of my associates that works with narcotic detection dogs go to the home where the dog lived, evaluate the dog and proceed to take the dog off their hands that very same day!
That was 9 months ago and the dog is now a fully certified drug detection working dog!
I convinced the family not to ‘replace’ the dog. They have way too many things to do with way too many of them that really shouldn’t have dogs………………so until things change in their environment, I counseled them to not have a dog for now!
Not All That Glitters Is Gold
Providing appropriate and useful information to those searching for a puppy source is major plus in dealing with us. All that pertinent information is documented at two different websites that all those that contact us are directed to. All that information is downloadable and printable for folk to keep as hard copies. They can use all that information to compare to what other breeders are offering.
In order for me to consider a puppy for placement with anyone, there is a process that each prospective owner must go through with Chambray Labradors. This process provides me all the information that I would need in order for me to decide with whom each of my precious puppies will be placed with. This is where the Interview Protocol comes in.
Each person that has been directed to the different pages at the websites decides that they understand our procedures and would like to advance their contact with us, we arrange for them to either visit us here at Chambray Acres in Miami FL or come meet up with us at one of the dog shows in cities close to where the prospective puppy searcher lives.
Such was the case recently at a weekend of dog shows away from South Florida. Several people were invited to visit us at the dog show near to where they lived. Once we were finished showing the dogs in the ring, I would then take the time to sit and talk and get to know one another.
Since there are other Labrador breeders always present at these shows, I encourage these visitors to also take the time and speak to those others so that they can have a comparison of what is out there.
99% of the time, that action bodes super well for Chambray. Yes, speaking to other breeders becomes a major PR move for our efforts and offerings! That’s because the majority of those other breeders:
don’t have a smidgeon of the long-established foundation with the community
have little or no credentials
have very little expertise with the breed they are perpetuating
are not professional dog trainers
are not professional dog handlers
are not professional at anything they are doing with dogs!
So, the difference is totally night and day when dealing with a pro versus dealing with the rest.
With this particular scenario I had asked the one invitee to come speak to me after we were done with Labradors in the ring. This gave her plenty of time to socialize with several of the other breeders that was also there showing their dogs.
After exchanging the usual pleasantries, the visitor states “This other breeder over there says that you are a professional breeder and that she is a hobby breeder which makes her dogs much better raised!”
“Yes, I am a consummate professional in everything I do with dogs. I am a professional dog trainer, having trained well over 35,000 dogs since 1970. I am a professional dog handler having been working the show ring since 1990. I am a professional dog breeder since I am a bona fide tax paying corporation and all those professional dog entities are all registered with the state and IRS, so no shenanigans with income.” Taking a breath, I continued.
I continue on: Let’s compare what this ‘hobby breeder’ is versus what I do.
We had 4 litters last year totaling 23 puppies that were all born in the home of the dam’s owner and raised with her entire family.
The ‘hobby breeder’ you were speaking had more than 8 litters, totaling 40+ puppies in the same time span…………………… and from what I understand, were raised in a building with little socialization other than by her.
The dams chosen to breed our litters were selected from over 60 available females that all live as someone’s very special pet and yet are the top show champions in the country. The tremendous luxury we have is the ability to choose the BEST FROM THE BEST of all those females that are part of Chambray’s Owner’s Programs.
The dams that the ‘hobby breeder’ used were the only females that she owns, so that not much choice in deciding which dogs will breed, so breed all of them!
I continued……………………….There are over 50 Labrador entered and showing today. Look around at all the people here today with their Labradors and go speak to them and ask them where they obtained their dogs from. There’s nothing greater than hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth……………..like in word of mouth cannot be bought nor paid for!
Look at the results from the show today and yesterday. Not one single dog won anything from that ‘hobby breeder’…………….meanwhile a Labrador breeder/judge from another country and the judge today awarded the Chambray dogs 100% of the Best Of Breeds and 75% of the Winners Dog/Winners Bitch awards.
Go to that hobby breeder’s website and compare the qualifications, credentials, the certifications, guarantees, warrantees, amenities, the awards, the bestowments…………….everything if anything that hobbyist provides and then compare to what the industry leader has to offer.
The puppy searcher than states, “Well let me think about it and decide from the information I have been given today.”
To which I answer, “My best client is an educated consumer that I choose to become my newest owner and from the information I have received today, there isn’t much of a chance that from the few puppies I will be placing, that I would be placing one of those with you, but thank you anyways for visiting us at the dog show.”
Seeing that there were half a dozen of other invitees chaffing at the bit to have a ‘sit and talk time with me’, I politely excused myself and continued on with the mentoring and education process. Because the old nag of a saying comes to mind..................... that old familiar and very true saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink it! Likewise with different folk, you can provide them with the information, but you can’t educate them if they can’t figure it out!
'EGOT' The Grand Slam of the Entertainment Industry
Up the pike and then I-75 they drove and 10 hours later pulled into Perry GA……………………that’s what half of Team Chambray ( Jessie and Jackie) did on Tuesday to show on Wednesday. The other half, Johanna and Ryan took a 2 hour plane ride into Atlanta and then a rental car’s ride south 100+ miles to Perry and all of them ended up there by 1:30 AM Wednesday, got a few hours of sleep and get to the business at hand of showing Labradors, Shepherds, Rotties, Clumbers, Vizslas, and a Corso starting at 8 AM!
First day for the Labs was a charm………………….Winners Dog for Chambrays A Hankerin For Trouble and Winners Bitch/Best Of Winners/Best Of Opposite Sex for Chambrays Rose On Center Stage. Reserve Winners Dog went to 6 month old Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness.
These wins extends Chambray’s odyssey-like whirlwind of consecutive dog show winning weekends to 132!
This ‘never been done before’ winning spree………….for me, it’s like watching one of those gigantic balloons being inflated and wondering when it will reach the point of full expansion, the point of no return when the very next breath of air blown into it will make it go kaboom!
Call it ‘crazy gone wild’, ‘GODZILLA OMG’……………………….. ‘WAHOO YAHOO’, ‘what nots’, ‘whatever’s’, ‘WTF’, ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat’, ‘wazzup’………………………… and other politically correct/incorrect shout outs…………here’s what this bar setting achievement now compares to:
It’s a ride that is now reaching the ‘epic’ proportions that those few that have won a Best In Show with a Labrador will ever savor!
It’s reaching that status of topping the charts in the country for the year by being the Top Champion Labrador Breeder.
A thrill almost comparable to being the only Labrador Breeders in Florida to be awarded the AKC Bred-By Exhibitor SILVER Medallion for 5 BBE Champions
There have been a few Best In Show Labrador breeders. If I had to guestimate, probably less than 200 in the last 75 years in the whole country, I base that on the fact that there is about one Best In Show Labrador per year in the whole country, so 200 total should cover all the bases. We know what all the above is like because we have won not 1………we have won TWO BISs..............that’s count them, 1 Best In Show and then 2 Best In Shows!
Only Labrador breeder from Florida to ever win 1 and now there’s 2.
Top Labrador Breeder of the Year has been attributed to the breeder with the most champions in the country in one year. Again, based on the last 75 years, there could be possibly 75 breeders that could lay claim to that designation. Of course barring some years where no champions were produced, but giving the benefit of the doubt as no official records have been kept that go back that far, let’s just rest easy and say 75. We know about being the Top Champion Labrador Breeder in the country, not ONCE, Not TWICE.........THREE unheard of times! Only Florida Labrador breeder to win ONCE and then TWICE and now THRICE in the country let alone the state!
We know about being the AKC’s Silver Medallion Recipient, in fact we are the only ones from Florida to be awarded that most prestigious medal…………………………….. AND NOW ADD TO THAT PRESTIEGOUS Designation/Award the AKC GOLD Medallion for 10 BBE Champions!
So, when I state that 132 Consecutive Winning Weekends compares to the above ‘Triple Crown’s’ of awards, achievements and designations…………………..I truly know the feeling!
There will be other Labrador breeders that will win a Best In Show.
There will be other Labrador breeders that will be designated Top Champion Breeder of the Year.
There will be other Labrador breeders that will come along and win an AKC Silver BBE Medallion and then go for the gold with the Gold BBE Medallion.
Although there isn’t a medal, an award, not even an official designation for running the table for consecutive dog show winning weekends, I know without a doubt that as I compose this blog that there may never be another Labrador breeder that will put together a consecutive winning streak as what we have accomplished…………………….right now with the Perry GA wins, that high water bench mark is topping in at 132 Winning Weekends in a row!
In Golf and in Tennis, the “Career Grand Slam’ is winning the 4 top competitions for that sport in a lifetime. Very few have done it in either sport. In the entertainment business the Grand Slam is winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony……………………the ‘EGOT’ and only 12 very gifted folk have ever done that!
So, in our Labrador world, if the Triple Crown is (#1) BIS Winning Breeder, (#2) Top Breeder of the Year, (#3) #1 Silver/Gold Medallion Recipient, then the Grand Slam …………………this EGOT has to be this consecutive winning record that may never be bested! Now we await for the final tally, when the streak comes to an end and we can post that number to behold!
So, Chambray's got EGOT......................do you have EGOT?
This & That & More
The young whippersnappers passed the litmus paper test with colors befitting contenders by heading up into the ‘no man’s land of North Florida’ against ‘come what may competition’ and three different youngsters walked out of the ring and into the winner’s circle with AKC champion points!
Hey, I can’t ask for any better……………………well……………yeah, maybe winning everything would be better, but 3 out of 4 WD/WB is batting 750% and there has never ever been a baseball player with those stratosphere-like numbers, so I will take it and duck out of town!
At the Elkton FL this past weekend, we posted our 131st consecutive dog show winning weekend. If someone would have said that we would be posting that unimaginable number way back then, I would have said “No way Jose, not in a million clear days in May could anyone or any team be so successful in having their way!” But hey hey here it is April 2016 and with that first weekend long ago of January of 2012 as the starting point , now 131 weekends later and the winning streak much like the Energizer Bunny, drinking a full cup of Cuban coffee, wearing a Timex watch………….just keeps on ticking!
So, now Team Chambray treks even further north, across the Florida-Georgia line and into Perry for 4 days of shows starting tomorrow Wednesday and for Labradors, wrapping it up on Saturday before heading back home Sunday after finishing up with other breeds that have specialties going on that day.
Let’s see how these specially chosen youngsters will fair with their foray into the Peach State’s offerings at the Labrador ring.
We just received the AKC’s Bred-By Exhibitor Gold Medallion for finishing our 10th Bred-By Exhibitor champion……………………….making Chambray Labradors the only Florida Labrador Breeder with the Silver Medallion for the first 5 BBE champions and now adding to the life-time achievement resume, the first and only to have the Gold Medallion for 10 BBE champions as well!
More of That:
Breeding champions can take years, even a decade or more to achieve, of course starting out with top dogs from already established champion breeders will provide a major short cut for most startup novices and intermediates. But that short cut is not a yellow brick road that will lead to the higher levels of breeding top comformational quality, nor will it guarantee the benefactor of those initial placements continued success.
After all, it really doesn’t take much to put two really good dogs together to be able to produce quality from two obtained dogs.
Those fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to get in on the gravy train……………… a train that takes the true blue, bona fide breeder years and generations to achieve!
Now, the observable measuring stick, the detectable litmus paper test results comes in subsequent year’s production after the first ‘gimme’ generation that truly should be attributed to the breeders where the original dogs came from.
In the vast majority of cases where a beginner is able to champion dogs from their 1st generation, there is a very observable decline in the overall conformation of the produce in the 2nd generation that is had. This is attributed to the lessen expertise and lack of vision of what is needed to produce at the same heightened levels that the original dogs came with.
So, a sliding backwards takes place in the quality of the dogs produced. The make it or break it moment comes when the 3rd generation of produce is observed. This is usually the fork in the road that sends more than 90% of startups into the ‘wannabee’ category of breeders, with a slim 10% actually producing as good as or better than the initial dogs used to get on the board with.
I have seen this progression or lack of progression time and time again in the 46 years that I have been involved in breeding, raising, training and showing Labradors. In the last 20 years or so, more than 3 dozen startups have come, spent 7 to 15 years……………………most producing multiple generations, 3, 4 and even a couple producing a 5th generation of their own bred-by dogs and very few have endured to any significant level of accomplishment.
Many of those came in and dabbled for a while, produced their fair share of litters and then either disappeared from the show scene and have been breeding to supply the pet puppy market or moved on to other endeavors.
There has also been another very significant occurrence here in Florida with Labradors; some of the established ‘named’ breeders have also fallen by the wayside in the last 5 to 10 years, leaving the show scene with a handful of middle level show breeders, another handful of novices and startups and two top tier breeders from the state of which Chambray is the prominent one in the state and Tampa Bay has more influence outside of Florida.
End of March AKC & Dog News & Canine Chronicle Rankings:
AKC Grand Champion Rankings:
Florida Top 10 thru March
#1 BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard (#15 USA for 2016)
#3 BBE Gr Ch Chambrays Eventful N Counter (#7 FL for all of 2015)
#10 Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Tucker Everlasting (#1 FL for all of 2015)
#1 Lifetime FL Female BIS BBE Silver/Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter
Utah Top 10 thru March
#1 Gr Ch WinQuest Chambray Famous Amos (also #1 for all of 2015 and #1 Lifetime for Utah)
Dog News March 2016 Combined Rankings
#7 USA Ch Chambrays Grace Of The Field
Canine Chronicle thru March 2016
#19 USA Ch Chambrays Grace Of The Field
Chambray Labradors & The Owner's Programs
'A Very Successful Work In Progress'
It is amazing how success totally changes the overall perspective of any undertaking or endeavor! There has been an overwhelming response to Chambray’s achievements, awards and titles in the last five years and now not a single day goes by without receiving emails with inquiries as to how our Owner’s Programs work for those owners that participate with us which all leads to the betterment of the breed.
Of course it’s always my pleasure to provide as much information to anyone wishing to learn more about our various programs which include mentorship and breed education to any owner, breeder, exhibitor, handler or anyone one contemplating adding a Labrador Retriever to their family or that already has dogs of their own.
There are many that are intrigued by all the levels of participation from all those different areas of our collective and how people come on board to be part of our consortium.
There are two main entry levels, the Chambray Owners and those that obtained a Labrador elsewhere.
The most common and most numerous are those that obtain a puppy or dog from Chambray Labrador’s Puppy Placement Program. These then become the Chambray Owners. This sector comprises well over 80% of those folk that have joined us with the same goals of preserving the great qualities of the breed.
From this entry point there are various avenues for participation or non-participation with Chambray Labradors.
There are those owners that choose to participate at the highest levels of our collective. These become our loyal and trusted Partners. These owners may have one or several dogs that are part of our breeding/raising program through the Puppy Placement Program and/or they may have males that participate in our Stud Dog Program.
The litters that are produced with our Partners are all co-bred and co-owned, with the puppies from those litters being placed through our Puppy Placement Program to the next generation of Chambray Owners and hopefully the next Partners that will pay it forward to the betterment of the breed.
Now, the exact opposite of the preceding highest tier of involvement would be those folk that had Chambray puppies placed with them and the working relationship necessary to functions as a cooperative did not materialize. Those owners are encouraged to move on as Independents.
Most of those Independents that took advantage of having a top show quality puppy placed with them and also partook of our nurturing and Mentorship environment. They derived great benefit from our Support System; they attended our Night Training Classes and also took full advantage of our Private One-On-One Sessions and all the other amenities that come with owning a Chambray dog and taking part in all the programs that come with that association.
However, there are those personalities that just do not thrive in a cooperative venture where similar goals are a work in progress, where a two-way trust system is a must, where the big picture of the betterment of the breed is essential and where individual whims become a detriment to the majority that are working together to make the endeavor the success it has become. When that happens, then it is time for those few to move on with their own resources.
Fortunately the vast majority of those that do come on board as either new Chambray Owners or that smaller subset that joined up with us with a dog from the outside or with dogs of their own breeding………….that vast majority is the driving force that has made Chambray Labradors and the Owners Programs that great success that is so apparent to all those that now are inquiring as to how it all works.
To most of them I say it is a ‘work in progress where we provide the total Labrador Retriever experience and where we hope that a mutual working association will lead to the betterment of the breed by pooling in our vast resources’!
Of course in all reality, not much has to be really said as the results and success say it all!
The Pick Of Those For The Interview
“How do you know with whom to place your puppies with?”
Interviews here at Chambray come and go………….well, not so much the interview itself, more of the folk that come out with aspirations of heading back home with their chosen puppy in tow. It’s plainly written, could be etched in stone for that matter and yet, it has to be repeated over and over again that the process doesn’t work that way at Chambray
Although I provide a plethora of pages chocked full of every conceivable bit of intel, discovery, fact and certainly NOT fiction…………..although I provide hard rock, reproducible hard copy material for good folk that are searching about the Internet, the world wide web or whatever the politically correct verbiage of browsing, surfing or phishing……….whatever tickles one’s fancy……………there are still those that resist the God honest truth that there are way, way more dastardly places to obtain puppies from than there are those that truly care!
How do I know that they don’t do their homework? Because the majority that do end up here for me to get to know them…………..still know diddley squat about Chambray and me! Why or why is that true when all they would have to do is READ all the information that is there in black and white, in big bold type where there is no way to mistaken what is written and backed up 100% with guarantees………….IN WRITING!!!!!!!!!!
How do I know that most don’t take the time to read all that pertinent stuff for ANYONE looking for a puppy to read and consider? Because when they do end up here, they ask questions that were emphatically answered many times in the pages of documented information at their finger tips or at least before their eyes on their video screen.
Soooooooooooo that leads me to believe that all those thousands upon thousands that end up ordering a puppy online, buying one from a pet shop, from the back of someone’s SUV, truck or worst yet, out of the car’s trunk on the side of some old dirt road, at a flea market, from an innie miney miney moe you pick’em newspaper ad, from a friend of a friend’s neighbor’s 2nd cousin that lives a couple of towns over ..........and yes in a Podunk motel's parking lot………..yep you get the thrill here……………NONE of those places provides a smidgeon of a fact, yet they do provide figures, like in these ‘puppy pet explosion places’ charging $2500 for a sight unseen, maybe it is the one, more than likely not the one in the photo puppy!
How do I know all the preceding? Because those visiting me here at Chambray tell me those stories! One horror story after another and if they are finally here……………..meaning that the story did not end well for those reciting chapter and verse!
Today’s Interview………………………newspaper ad puppy from a county over, from a 'breeder' that lives 6 hours away in north central Florida…………………..meeting at a Motel 6 parking lot where the ‘breeder’ is staying “Meetin up folk to take em home with!”
Yep, that’s how it’s done and yet the folk taking the hook, line and sinker haven’t a clue the ride they are about to take! Sticker price……… “On sale right now, first come first service, pick of the litter is $1800 CASH!”
In this case, the puppy was ‘full of worms’, ‘fleas’ and ‘fungal infection’………….of course unbeknownst to the happy puppy buyers that got to pick their puppy out of the remaining 3 that started out as 7 earlier that morning…………but hey they got the ‘pick of the litter’!
This story doesn’t end well for the family or the dog…………………initial visit to the vet over $500 to treat all the maladies that the puppy came with…………..9 months later, several dog trainers not to mention those Doggie Training Courses at the Pet Stores………major behavioral problems with digging, tearing, damaging, aggressiveness towards other dogs ………….a litany of ‘things gone terribly wrong’ for all involved………………….given up for adoption twice and returned by the adopting families…………………supposedly ‘re-homed’ by the local animal shelter!
So, with all the material I provide at my websites……………..when I answer the first of several emails………………..after sitting with them for an hour of my time with the Interview Process…………….there are still those that don’t get it………………….those won’t be getting one of my precious puppies!
Those two humongous winning weekends in WPB and Davie FL are now in the record books, that’s three new AKC champions and 1 new AKC grand champion with three Best Of Breeds and a Sporting Group 2 and a Group 3 in 4 shows………..yep, that’s pretty humongous……………not many that can lay claim to those stakes at major-pointed shows with over 50 Labradors competing!
In fact, those are career year numbers……….numbers that keep adding up at a dizzying pace, however once that number is posted, there’s a bunch of our other Chambray dogs that want in on the gravy train too!
So, do we coast the rest of the year and whistle Dixie or do we chump down on the bit and kick some red clay dust up and look for more bootie to apply boot tip to?
Nah, no whistling anything when we have work to do! So, here we gear up for a bunch of successive weekends of dog shows that more than likely will not add up to being major-pointed, but hey, a point or two are more than can be gathered if the dogs were not to be there.
So, those lesser-entries shows bode extremely well for some of our young whippersnappers since the top dogs still needing majors will sit these shows out, giving our puppies and young dogs an opportunity to come out and strut their thing and add points to their resume!
We just wrapped up a quickie 2 day show event in Lake City FL where we notched the 130th consecutive dog show winning weekend and now we gather our wits and dogs and all the accoutrements necessary for dog show action and head up the Interstate……….I-95 up to Elkton……….a small Podunk-like town and venue just outside of the oldest settlement in the US, St. Augustine FL for the April 9th and 10th shows.
No sooner than we pack the van and head south on Sunday afternoon from Elkton, will a posse from our crew (Jessie and Jackie) head up the pike and I-75 on Tuesday to Perry GA for another lesser-attended 5 days of shows from April 13th to April 17th
Then back down to the sunshine state with the whole wild bunch Chambray Team meeting up at Zolfo Springs for 2 days of more small shows on April 23rd & 24th.
That weekend in virtually the middle of nowhere will be followed by the Vero Beach shows that we hope will be major-pointed shows with a large Chambray entry ready for more competition, which means that all of our show roster will be game for this weekend of shows.
We still have 2 of our top dogs needing those majors to cash out their chips for their AKC champion’s title and those heavier attended shows gives them the opportunity to add to the record number of champions already posted for Chambray’s lifetime achievement of home-bred champions. That number is sitting mighty high atop the leader board with the adding of those 3 champions in WPB and Davie………..those 3 new champs added numbers 51, 52 and 53…………that number being 3 times more than any other Labrador breeder ever from Florida.
Chambrays Sonic on the boy’s side of the fence needs one 3-point major and Chambrays Gayla needs both majors to run out the board for their titles.
In a ‘sitting pretty’ spot is Chambrays Zeta Lady with both her majors and now just needing those pesky singles to wrap it all up for her.
So, three Chambray dogs well within closing distance of their AKC titles in the next couple of months to add to the 3 new champions for this infant 2016 dog shows season.
The rest of the pack behind these 3 dogs have been bidding their time to be added to the show roster and now with these small show weekends is their chance to make a move from the rear of the pack and pick up wins and points to make them the likely leaders once the top dogs have moved up from the classes as champions.
So let’s see what’s in store for the Chambray gang in these coming months before we head into the buzz saw June itinerary where we will have a 4-day weekend in Biloxi MS, a 4-day weekend in Tampa, a 3-day weekend in Orlando and then the real big climax 4 days of shows back in our own home turf of West Palm Beach in July before the summer hiatus from shows comes to Florida.
Hey, did I say we are chomping down on the bit……………you bet your sweet BP that we be humming that tune!
Not All Labradors Are Created Equal
(Probably the umpteen time I use that title on a blog!)
The following is lengthy, however when we offer so much, it becomes very difficult to say it all in a short phrase, so this is provided so that you have something to compare to all the other Labrador breeders offering puppy placements.
Not every Labrador is created equal and we think that you should have all the pertinent information available to you when deciding from who and where to obtain you next member of the family. That is exactly what bringing home a new puppy is…………..adding a new member of the family to your household. So, much consideration should take place before making this all-important decision.
We have provided 46 year’s worth of information for you, that’s how long we have been involved with Labradors; loving, raising, training and showing right here at the exact same spot, our little Labrador retreat, our 5-acre home and farm just outside of Miami in the farming area right next to Everglades National Park.
First and foremost, all dogs used in breeding should have all the pertinent and available health and genetic testing and clearances performed. This simple and costly step will ensure the best possible outcome for the puppies produced.
At Chambray Labradors we go the extra mile by providing ‘health testing clinics’ right here at Chambray Acres. Four times a year we host and sponsor an OFA/PennHip certified veterinarian/radiologist to set up their mobile unit and spend the day here with us doing just that, x-raying as many of our Chambray owner’s dogs as can be done in the time allotted.
For instance, just this past year alone, 21 different dogs went through the physical procedure and OFA Certification, all in anticipation for their inclusion into the breeding program in the future. As our contribution to the betterment of the breed, we host the clinics where the owners drop the dogs off to us for the day and we do not charge for our time and services!
DNA Testing is done on a weekly basis right here also where Chambray dogs come in for the cheek swab procedure and then we mail the kits off to either Paw Print Genetics or GenSol Animal Testing and Diagnostics.
These DNA tests include:
*Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), where those dogs that are AFFECTED will develop blindness.
*Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC), where those dogs that are AFFECTED will suffer from muscular collapse of their rear quarters after exercise or excitement.
*Central Nuclear Myopathy (CNM), where AFFECTED dogs will develop muscle fiber deficiencies.
*Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis, where AFFECTED dogs will develop the nose tumors associated with this disease.
We do not use dogs that are AFFECTED for breeding. By using DNA testing, we can guarantee that no Chambray puppy will ever be AFFECTED by any of the above.
We also provide in-depth evaluations and analysis for Breed Indicative Temperament and Breed Standard Conformation that ensures that only those dogs that are true to the breed in action and also in looks will be the ones that will be used in our breeding program. Again, the time and energy provided for this is always free of charge to those that have the betterment of the breed as their first and foremost consideration.
All of the above is provided to each and every Chambray owner whose dog is a candidate for our breeding program…………………….however; we also provide the exact same free services to any person that is considering breeding their dog that is not part of our efforts!
That is called………a public service to the Labrador owning community. We know of absolutely no other Labrador breeder that provides any of the above to his or her owners or to the public at large.
So, the above we offer to the breed because we know that all Labradors are not created equal.
The following is what is offered to each prospective puppy buyer:
Written Guarantees & Warrantees.
Available for all to read and make hard copies, directly from our website. As a Florida Corporation, these published offerings become a legal contract when printed and brought to us to sign………..your hard copy Written Guarantees and Warrantees signed by us.
All listed at the website for hard copies to be generated/printed and exact same procedure as above
Free Training & Conditioning.
Private Free Training & Free Night Classes & Day Workshop & Seminars, all free for our Chambray Show Dog Owners. Hard copies made and printed and brought to us to sign…….contract!
Lifetime Support Network.
Been doing it for 46 years now and hope to be around a while longer to continue providing that FREE service and now a 2nd generation Herzon to take over and perform her God-given gift with dogs for a long time to come.
AKC CGC Training & Testing
As an AKC Evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, we have trained and tested well over 1000 dogs since becoming one of the first CGC Evaluators from Florida, all for free provided to our Chambray owners.
AKC ReUnite Microchip
The ISO Unique Universal and Internationally Travel accepted microchip comes with each puppy
Breed Indicative Educational Mentorship
As the top Labrador Breeder in the country, as a top professional dog trainer having trained well over 35,000 dogs in the last 4 ½ decades, with 3 other professional dog trainers in the family available, 5 professional show dog handlers, we offer the complete chapter and verse on everything having to do with the breed.
We have an Apprenticeship Program for anyone interested in getting started into the world of animal husbandry in particulars with dogs and in specific with Labrador Retrievers. We also have an Internship Program for those that want to take it further as dog trainers and dog handlers. Besides the private clientele involved in these two programs, we also mentor a local high school’s veterinary academy where the students receive community service hours plus academic credit for their volunteer hours here at Chambray. These students also travel with us to the dog shows where they receive hands on experience at the dog show level.
Therapy & Service Dog Training
Hundreds have taken part in this community service outreach program. Our own program, K9 For Kids Inc. has seen scores of owners and their dogs take part in the Remedial Reading Programs where our specially trained dogs that are certified as Therapy Dogs with their owners volunteer their time and efforts visiting the special schools where these remedial programs are fostered.
We have also sponsored free of charge dozens of Paws With A Cause Org. dogs that were in surrogate homes to attend our training classes for training and socialization, free of charge for as long as the dogs were in the period of housing and training in the surrogate home.
Private One-On-One Time & Training for those going through the paces of training their own Service Dog: This is a very special and personal area for me and I don’t advertise this activity, but I offer it on an ‘as needed basis’ per person involved.
Breeding & Puppy Placement Program/Stud Dog Program
For those dogs that exhibit the absolute best breed indicative characteristics, temperament and traits, inclusion into our Preferred Stud Dog Program and Breeding & Puppy Placement Program for the dams is a consideration that is discussed with each of those owners. There are several options for breeding, co-breeding, leasing and other forms of venture cooperation, all for the perpetuation of the betterment of the breed.
Since all dogs are not created equal, the above should be the bar to which all others are taken to task. Gather as much information from any and all those purported and self-ascribed breeders and find out what they offer in terms of quality and services.
Make sure to have hard copies of everything offered and promised, without that, it doesn’t exist!
Then, come visit with me at Chambray Acres.
Wishful Thinking, Silk Purses & Fools
Wishful thinking has its merits! It allows for those folk that desire an unattainable object/subject to at least pseudo savor it in their off-set and skewed mind’s eye.
The old ‘silk purse from a sow’s ear’ rings so true each and every time someone comes to me with an impending breeding or a ‘done that, been there’ breeding………one that already has the 'proof is in the pudding' produce on the ground.
The wishful thinking of course then becomes, that somehow, some way this breeding is the ‘magic one’……………..the one that finally produces nuggets of gold, the one that leads that breeder to the promise land……………..that ninth cloud reserved for the truly gifted, the truly blessed! That place high above all others, which all want to ascend to and yet fewer than few will ever rise to and set foot upon!
If reaching that summit were easy, then that cloud would be as crowded as is the nooks and crannies where all those wishful thinkers dwell in. That is precisely what makes reaching for the top so desirable…………….getting away and beyond the mediocrity that the vast majority bumps and grind and step all over themselves with.
Some years back, more than I really want to think back about, one of those ‘a wishin and a hopin’ personas consults me about breeding her bitch.
My initial response, “I wouldn’t breed her!”
Mincing no words nor onions for fear of tears, I continued, “I didn’t like the sire you bred to, that produced her and now you are going one more helter skelter step with breeding her!”
Way too big, although still within the breed standard for height, but as big or taller than most of the males in the show ring. Like I said, way too big for a breeding program to have to deal with. Besides that, way, way too many other variables with the bitches’ overall show conformation being all over the place……………..so in my program for the betterment of the breed, this bitch would have been placed a long, long time ago in a forever home to enjoy life to the fullest as someone’s family companion.
Several dozen laments and excuses from the ‘breeder’ and of course wearing blinders on her ears (yes, I know, ‘ear muffs’, but some folk are so obtuse that they do and act catawampus just the same)……..people do as what they are set to do and damn the torpedoes that will cross their paths…………….yes, they are warned and forwarned and yet onward they plow through mine-laden landscapes that could have been avoided by following the golden advise that they came asking for!
Short ended story, regardless of the pearl’s of wisdom that were tossed her way………the breeding took place and lo and behold………………………no silver lining cloud here……………once again!
Nope, wishful thinking again dashed like a smidgeon of salt!
No ninth cloud or gold nugget puppies……….none of the prior but more of the same!
Mediocrity once again reared its very predictable head and proves that when mired in morass the muddled thinkers resort to more of their baseless wishful thinking and yet nothing seems to be gained by their constant churning of the same old muddied waters
We move along the time continuum several years. Those non-nugget puppies grow up and are traipsed for many years to many shows by many different handlers. No matter how much times passes by or how many hands the dogs are passed on to, the results are the same……………………the sow’s exterior, no matter how much caressing, softening, soothing is done will never, ever become silk!
So, more time is expanded and those puppies, now full-grown, very much adult dogs are now used for breeding…………..the perpetuation of the mediocre to the next generation of unsuspecting mediocre puppies!
If there is a movement for the betterment of the breed, then the preceding is a journey into the nebulous twilight zone of ‘je ne sais quoi’.
Yes, there is a continuing story…………another generation of puppies produced and now I get to see the product of the same old, same old……………………….guess what?
More of the SAME OLD!
But now there is a twist of lemon, a snap of ginger, and a dribble of agave that’s ‘twirled’, not shakened nor stirred!
Now, hold on to your senses………….here comes the ultimate ‘wishing and a hoping’ ……………………“Would you be interested in taking the new puppy into your development program for training and then handled by your team?”
Does the ‘silk purse out of a pig’s ear’ story come to mind? Not even I could orchestrate and finesse such an undertaking where the God’s of Olympus would permit the entry to their cloud-based, gold-laden enclave where only the meritorious are entertained with their 15 minutes of fame!
Like I stated in the opening line of this blog “Wishful thinking has its merits! It allows for those folk that desire an unattainable object/subject to at least pseudo savor it in their off-set and skewed mind’s eye!”
Now, you make the call! What’s the appropriate answer to the burning question?