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The 2019 New Year came in with a tremendous roar as expectations for a much better year is on everyone’s mind and spirit!

 

At Chambray Labradors we ticked out the old year on a major winning streak and even better, a champion crowning tradition unequaled by any Labrador breeder in the country…………ever!

 

Yes, the Dog Show Consecutive Winning Weekend streak wrapped up SEVEN FULL YEARS of winning without having a losing weekend since January 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That truly is something that no other Labrador breeder can lay claim to.

 

As astounding as the preceding winning streak has become, we look to add more of these super successful winning weekends to the treasure trove we have now………….as awesome as the preceding has become, there is a ‘higher calling’ record that is considered beyond zenith stratosphere in achieving for Labrador breeders……40 Home-bred champions in 8 years!

 

That number is a lifelong career number for a just a few that maybe have been breeding for 30 years or more!........................those 40 add to the prior 23, giving Chambray Labradors the high watermark of 63 career home-bred champions……….as a perspective, that’s more than three times as many as the 2nd place Florida Labrador breeder.

 

So, what do we do to make the New Year as memorable as what we have achieved so far………………well, we just keep on with the Winning Tradition by following the Betterment of the Breed credo!

 

When something has been working near perfection for 30 years, you hone, you tweak…………………you refine, you level up and raise the bar to ensure that the best is yet to come………………that’s a path that will lead to the highest strata of success.

 

 

Something new, something blue for 2019………………………we will maintain these pages where we will post news, opinions and educational material, however, the new part is that we will devote much, much more of our time ‘broadcasting’ on social media, with Facebook being the prime conduit of choice.

 

 

Just in the month of December, we totaled well over 12,000 views with 3 different Puppy Evaluations conducted and posted to Facebook,  with 2 of those on Facebook Live……………………..so Live Streaming is the way to go and we are outfitting ourselves with the needed equipment to create top-flight broadcasts and videos that can be watched live and also accessed on video through Facebook and also the Chambray YouTube channel.

 

 

Visit our Webpages often, but to stay up to date with the cutting edge Labrador-related educational seminars, webcasts, instructional videos and live streaming join us on Facebook.

December 5th 2018
 
Hey, I'm back! I know you all missed me, but I have been creating a Facebook presence and it's taken some time but guess what, the FB gurus have given me 5 Stars for my efforts..................those following are 'LIKING" like there is no tomorrow...................those 'COMMENTING' are writing up a storm................there was even a post I put up that had over '300' POSTS...............which I understand is like hitting a grand-slam home run in MLB!!!!!!!!!!!!
Since social media has replaced a web presence, I will be dedicating more of my time to 'connect' at Facebook and not as much blogging here at the website...................and now I am also working on a presence Instagram, but that debut will take place in the New Year because we are all concentrating on the Royal Canin week of shows!
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December 5th  The $64,000 Question......Answered!

The $64,000 Question was the top-rated TV show of the late 1950’s…………………….60 years later, with today’s inflation and high standards of living, it could very well be renamed the $1,000,000 Question show…………………as it applies to our Labrador Retriever world of showing dogs, that million dollar question is repeated with expected frequency…………….that is, with every new person that comes on board and has intentions of showing their dogs…………….in our Chambray universe, having us show that dog!

Yep, as soon as the dog goes to a weekend of dog shows, the inevitable question will pop up, how long does it take for a dog to win it’s champion’s title!

Now mind you, I know the ‘behind the scenes’ reasons for asking.

Those that are very astute for the financial end of things, something that I am not too keen on………….. those seeing ‘income vs expenses’ will soon start to figure out that a dog winning points can be charted on an Excel spreadsheet and that each point won can be extrapolated (or whatever it is CPA’s and Accountants do) for the cost of that point!

To the emotionally charged type of person, the ones that see their Poochie as the greatest dog ever created……………….it’s not about the dollar and cents, it’s more about the audacity of a judge not seeing that their little fur ball stands heads and shoulders over the competition even if it is the smallest and shortest dog in the ring!

So, I aim to ‘sort of answer’ that burning bush question that now is worth over a million dollar……………….no, no, it doesn’t take a million dollars to champion a dog…………………….I can just envision all those ‘number crushers’ out there having a coronary reading that last sentence………………….meanwhile the emotionally endowed will not even bat an eye because as the Loreal commercial keeps on ticking “Because my dog is worth it”………………okay, so you know that Loreal isn’t about dogs, but you get the connection!

The interesting conclusion with my answer is that it won’t cost a dime, a wooden nickel or even a penny for your thoughts, no sirree, in fact, I won’t even come up with a numerical figure, nope not all, but you will need to keep reading to find out what the cagey old master is up to!

Now here is the half-cooked deal vs the raw deal……………………………Let’s suppose that all the dogs entered at a dog show are totally and unbiased equal in show conformation value!

Yes, Poochie’s owner, although you see your dog as the best there is……………………so does Fido’s mom, Brownie's mom, Max’s dad, and on and on with every single dog owner cringing at ringside, some of those owners foregoing breathing while the judge takes their sweet as cherry pie time deciding between the exhibits before them.

So, all those dogs have the exact same chance of winning the points for its gender class………….remember that class males compete against class males for Winners Dog points and class females (bitches) compete for the Winners Bitch points.

Let’s say it takes 10 males to be awarded 2 points………………..Poochie must be awarded Winners Dog, which means the judge designated that dog as the best class male  to attain those 2 points, meaning that the 9 other ‘owner’s favorite’ dog make a good showing, get no points and will have to come back the next day, next week or whenever the next show comes up.

For the emotional whose dog was passed over for those 2 points, the toll is high in terms of consternation and indignity! For the financially inclined, the day didn’t make any sense/cents!

Now, here is where I come, as Mighty Mouse used to do when I was a kid, ‘to save the day’!

Since I am not Nostradamus, I won’t predict when a dog will finally achieve those 15 Points and 2 Majors for its championship nor can I configure how many shows or what the cost per point will be……………….I will share with all those that are still reading how to shortened the ride from the dog’s first show to the day that we all Celebrate Like Its 1999 and the dog wins the remaining points as it reaches that zenith level reserved for champions!

There are things that can be done to increase the chances of winning!

First things first…………….if you are already part of CTDM&DP (whoa Nelly, lots of letters there)……………….that abbreviation we never, ever use stands for ‘Chambrays Total Dog Show Management & Development Program’………………..you are already on First Base……………okay now, ‘Who’s on first?’

So, what does it take to get to second base way before the competition gets there…………………….easy………………..follow the Yellow Brick Road, which means stay on the path that I design for your dog………………..don’t stall, don’t choke, don’t deviate………………….we got it covered just as we have been covering it for all those dogs that today make up the largest group of Labrador champions finished in the last 9 years in the whole wide USA………..those 40 Chambray champions finished since 2010………………….more than any other handler, breeder, exhibitor in the Labrador ring!

There would have been lots more, but there were those folks that blinked, balked or ballyhoo’d along the way and just didn’t believe in their dog, me or the best system there is, the CTDM&DP............remember we are dealing with all types of people here and some got it and some don't!

But ‘spilt’ milk and stale coffee don’t add up to much and better to start with something new than to sip angst, so all those naysayers and Doubting Thomases, better begone with you!

Back to answering the very expensive question!

If all dogs that show up at ringside with intentions of competing for those points, and they each indeed are the  top show prospects, then creating edges will shorten the ride for some of the dogs.

Training and conditioning are paramount to take the lead right from the opening gate. The dogs that are taking part in our hand’s on training and condition program will finish two to three times faster than the ones that don’t!

Simple as all the wrinkles on a raisin!

No one does it better! So, there you go, part of the answer!

If you are still with me, here comes the gravy for those garlic mash potatoes…………………

S-T-R-A-T-E-G-Y!

The training and conditioning that we will do specifically for Poochie will then be followed by the above-spelled word………..strategy!

You can’t have one without the other! To do so would be like pinning the tail on the donkey blindfolded with hands tied behind your back.

That strategy is where Little Ole Me comes in…………….hey it’s the secret ingredient in KFC……………it’s what links the training and conditioning with the superb, winningest Labrador handling in North America.

Let’s give credit to the other great Labrador breeders and say that we all arrive at ringside with top breed specimens………………..what will shorten the trip from the very first show to that day we celebrate will be:

  • Training & Conditioning

  • S-T-R-A-T-E-G-Y!

  • Handling…………..the winningest handling in the USA for Labradors………….186 consecutive dog show winning weekends………………starting in January of 2012 and here it is the end of 2018 and we have won points at every single weekend of shows that Team Chambray traveled to. All-breed dogs shows, LRC Specialties, Eukanuba week of shows, Royal Canin week of shows, Florida Winter Circuit……………..every dog show weekend in Florida and in Georgia, AL, LA, MS, SC NC that we traveled to!

So, the $1,000.000.00 Question gets answered with the preceding, but to capsulize it, however long it normally takes for other Labradors, with the Chambray way…………….it’s way, way sooner which releases a lot of stress for the emotional and comes out a lot thriftier for the pencil pushers!

October 25th: Of Beauty, Eyes and Beholders

 

‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ that is the business as usual universal law of the land that rules at dog shows!

The ‘beauty’ is, which dog will be awarded points and/or Best Of Breed and the ‘eye’ belongs to the judge, which of course is the ‘beholder’.

This is plain as day, as Jane, Jill, Jack or Jim, because, no matter where, when or what, the verdict of the beauty rests totally on the judge at hand.

Same dogs……different judge reveals different results and it doesn’t matter whether the judges are all-breed judges or breeder judges……………to each his/her own and since each has an opinion, that opinion then sways their judgment in different ways, differing from the next person that will officiate the next day, next week, next whatever with the eyes that behold the subjects before them.

The above methodology can be likened to other activities such as car conventions, where folk that prize a type of car, say a Ford, will converge at expositions that feature that brand of car, likewise at Chevy gatherings, where Chevy enthusiast will congregate there and of course very few of the other aficionados of other autos will show their faces or bodies there.

There are owner/exhibitor/breeders/handlers that will choose and pick which dogs to show under with what they consider to be 'favorable', 'esteemed', 'respected'  judges that tend to prefer their ‘style and look’ of dog.

If over a period of time a judge establishes a pattern of choosing a certain ‘look’ or ‘type’, then the owners of that particular look and type will most certainly flock with their dogs to that judge wherever he/she may be called/contracted to officiate over…………conversely those others with dogs whose look or type was not favored previously by that same judge, they more than likely will avoid entering their dogs under that judge.

Following the bouncing ball of the paragraph above, with certain judges choosing certain types of dogs that fit their whims and preferences………………ultimately resulting in an end of the spectrum ‘look’ to Labradors…………………that’s from one end to the other end and everything in-between of the spectrum and sometimes there will be those judges coming into orbit that even go beyond the two ends of that spectrum!

There is no particular definable type because there is no consensus on what constitutes the correct breed type! What one judge selects to be ideal one day, the very next day those same dogs may not even be handed a ribbon from their class!

The entering of a certain type and look of dogs to those judges that prefer that type and look perpetuates the dis-similarities that are so obvious from show/judge to show/judge.

We hear it all the time right after judging is completed at a dog show, “I will never show under that judge again!”…………………bellowed by someone whose dogs didn’t fare well, while at the winner’s circle taking pictures with the winning exhibit, the person whose dog won Best Of Breed or Winners points, will sing the praises about this ‘wonderful, well-respected’ judge that knows a great dog when he/she sees it!

The above scenario is one of the factors that is one of the biggest cause of the variable looks and types within a breed. It is what has affected the widest rift between dogs seen at all-breed dog shows as compared to those observed at specialties where breeder judges officiate………………..however, even at specialties, there are those same widening divisions based on individual judge whims and pleasures where exhibitors enter the ‘type and look’ according to what the judge for the day breeds themselves and has chosen at previous dog shows.

This ‘you pick’em judge as they please you’ in particular with Labradors, produces an even greater range of diversity that is top-heavy to the bigger, more substantial, heavier boned, fuller coated dogs, since a sizeable chunk of Labrador breeder judges tend to sway way over to those dogs versus the dictum's mandated by the official AKC Labrador Retriever Breed Standard that describes and depicts a moderate, medium sized dog, with short, straight, dense and course to the feel coat………………the preceding highlighted passages lifted directly from the standard that judges are instructed to use to select the best examples of the breed.

The further away from moderate a Labrador gets, the less that dog can accomplish its original intent and purpose…………………it just can’t get any simpler than the preceding. The old adage of forms follows function takes a radical detour and the form we see today at many dog shows, especially at specialties where form deviates substantially from those dogs that do function as they should according to the blueprint for the breed.

In the Olympics, the 100 meters race is won by the person with the correct form which translates to the fastest person running it so that Sumo wrestlers would not be good specimens to be among the contestants at that setting……………..likewise over at the Sumo wrestling venue, the world’s fastest human would be a duck out of water with his/her form, among the beefed-up combatants there that have the correct form for that particular function!

The time/traditionally honored operative credo of Form Follows Function has been trampled by those breeding ‘bigger is better to the eye of the beholder’ in Labradors. Form assuredly doesn’t follow function with the larger version dogs, those dogs are being bred away from the original intent because those heftier at times radically overdone dogs cannot perform their intended function which is described with the following from the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard: 

General Appearance: The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; The coat is a distinctive feature of the Labrador Retriever. It should be short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat, objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens.

The preceding is the actual wording of the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard. The passage above describes the moderate, medium-sized dogs that should be at the mid-point of the bell curve, dogs to one side of the ideal would be the weedy, long-legged, thin dogs and to the other side of the ideal would be those dogs predominately seen at specialties shows, with those dogs that are bigger, way beyond medium sized, much heavier boned, cloddy lumbering in movement and assuredly would not be able to perform their function as detailed by the bible for Labrador Retrievers as follows…………….‘the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions’ in addition,  those dogs that have full, long, bushy, at times open-coats whereas the standard calls for ‘Coats should be short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand.’

 

I receive multitudes of quandaries as to how to ‘fix’ this aberrant course that creates so many versions of any one breed of dog, however there is nothing that can change human nature and since breeders and judges are human and they are the ones primarily responsible for what course a particular breed takes through the perceived interpretation of what is correct, all these looks, types, divisions will continue to exist and persist.

 

It doesn’t matter whether the venue be an all-breed dog show or a specialty, the verdict will be handed in by a ‘beholder’ using their ‘eye’ to choose what they esteem to be the most correct specimen of the breed………………even from those that used me as a mentor to obtain their AKC judge’s license to adjudicate Labradors, over half of those have their version of the ideal as shifted way too far away from the moderate, medium-sized dog with the correct coat as defined by the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard.

 

So, we have more and more folks lining up to become judges of our breed that come fully loaded for bear when they become the beholder using their eye to select the prime examples of the breed. When asked to serve as a mentor for those in the application process for their judging license, I will hold steady with my convictions based on the official dictum's of the breed, the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard and vehemently stand by  the Labrador Retriever being a moderate, medium-sized dog.

 

As for Chambray Labradors, with our dogs reveling in all types of activities, be it hunt, field, agility, Service, Therapy, lap dogs and of course, at the top of their game at the conformational end of the fancy, I say full speed ahead and danged those torpedoes as we will continue our venture with the moderate, athletic Labradors that are what the written blueprint of the breed describes and that is the

standard that we abide by!

 

Having covered all of the above ground, do we pick and choose which judges to show under?

 

Since we have to answer to all of our owner/clients…………they being the ones that pay for the entries to all those shows we travel to, I always give them the choice of which judges to  show under, however I also let them know any trends that have been noticed with those same judges.

 

As a rule, we give each judge three outings to determine their personal swaying and if there is an abhorrent trend that forms with their judging, then those judges will be red flagged in the future and some scrutiny will be used to determine if dogs will be entered under them.

 

For instance, in the past 4 months………………..twice, we were at 4 days of showing. That’s 4 different judges at a one-weekend outing looking at the exact same roster of dogs all 4 days!

 

On both 4-day weekend occasion, 3 of the judges have identical winners and 1 judge is totally catawampus in her/his selections for the ideals for the breed.

 

For one of the judges, his selections were of the ‘more overdone’ type vs the moderate type of dog that are described by the breed standard and that we breed and handle and this was the 2nd time in the past 2 years that we had the exact same experience with that judge.

 

With the other judge, this is the 4th time that we have entered dogs under her and she goes totally off-script in her selection of dogs, but really has no particular type of dog other than her choices for the points and breed were dogs not handled by our team of handlers.

 

So, for future shows where both of these judges have the judging assignment on a weekend that we plan on entering dogs, I as the manager and partner to all my owners, I will give them the choice of whether to enter their dogs under them or not.

October 21st: You Be The Judge

Just recently, I received an email from a lady that took exception that I along with the co-owners of the Chambray champions, claim to be the top champion Labrador breeder in the country……she claiming that her breeder breeds the best Labradors, thus that breeder is the top champion breeder.

I responded to her that she can lay claim to anything she wants since we live in a freedom of speech country and that I wouldn’t be annoyed in the least bit if she were to claim that for her breeder, in fact, I wouldn’t even think about it ever again.

Not accepting my premise, the same lady came back with more, stating that if her breeder were to have this same owner’s program that I have in place…………this program that somehow makes up all these champions, that she too would have all these champions!

I then replied, that if I ran faster than the fastest human on earth, that would make me the fastest human on earth……………………that if I hit more home runs than anyone else while playing in the major leagues, that I would be the home run, king…………………….’if’s’ are make-believe, IF stands for Imagined Fantasy. We can all imagine millions of things, yet, only one person can lay claim to being the real deal and that’s the actual person/group that accomplishes the feat in question. (unless there is a tie for that first place)

Having bred more Labrador champions in the last 8 years than any other breeder in the country with 39 (twice as many as the 2nd person), being top Labrador Breeder of the Year 4 of those 8 years with the year 2018 more than likely making it the 5th year at the top. More Silver Gr Champion, more Bronze Gr Champions, more Grand Champions and #1 at the AKC’s Top 100 Grand Champions Rankings……………….any one of those statistics can be used by any breeder to lay claim to being number 1, achieving the top status on all of them certainly has to weigh extremely heavy for making the claim and taking the cake................then having the luxury of eating that cake!

But once again, claim away at will because I do what I do, not to make all those records and awards, I do what I do with Labradors because I love what I do and I do it with passion and if records are bested, well, they be bested and if another breeder is the one besting them, well, they then will be the #1.

What do you think?

October 16th: The Morning After...........Not At Chambray!

 

Okay, so it’s Tuesday, two days after yet another astonishing dog show weekend………….in fact record setting #182 winning dog show weekends and you would think that we, we as in Team Chambray would take a week off or at least a couple of days off to celebrate and come off

Cloud 19……………………as a team, we have been on Cloud 9 so often that we now own that destination, so this elevator now ascends twice as high, so enter Cloud 19!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Problem is, that there is no time off for yesterday in this dog show world of competition because it’s not what you did then…………..it’s more about what you are going to do next!

 

Once all the dogs line up in the ring at the next shows, the judges have zero iotas of consideration of any past exploits, no matter how grand, how rare, how many………………More or less, each dog starts all over once the National Anthem is played, sang or hummed and the day’s flurry in the ring determines all over again who wins and who needs to show up the next day to be considered all over again and again and again!

The winningest dog for the last month’s worth of head-to-head combat could very well be relegated to walk out of the ring totally empty-handed because of the blowing wind whims of the judge de jour as was evident at Friday’s Arcadia show.

So, we prepare like there is no tomorrow and like yesterday didn’t exist because we want 183 consecutive dog show winning weekends.

Dogs are worked with………….those that need show prep, well they are show-prepped………..

dogs out of condition, yep, they get lots of conditioning…………………….need grooming, get grooming…………………not competitive enough, get yanked from the next shows……………..super rising star that hasn’t been showing, gets called up to fill the show roster………………..this is how it's done, this is how the winning streak continues………………this is how the record for AKC Champions is achieved, the record for Grand Champions, the record for Bronze Gr Chs, the record for Silver Gr Chs………………… this is how to win at the most PRESTIGIOUS DOG SHOW in the USA by winning a Judges Award of Merit at Westminster………………….. the record for Bred By Exhibitor champions and the record for BBE Grand Champions……………………………plus the first of its kind for Team Chambray, a Reserve Best In Show which now is the very first Labrador to win an RBIS in Florida, so count them, 14 New Titles in just 10 months!

 

Our dogs own all of the records mentioned above and we do that with the know-how, the expertise, the acumen..............we do that because we truly KNOW LABRADORS like no other!

 

Who Does That?

Answer…………….Team Chambray that is committed to the Betterment of the Breed and we prove it every single time we enter a weekend of competition.

 

So, it’s time to get ready for the next weekend of dog shows coming up in Plant City come October 26th  & 27th …………………there’s no better time than now to get ready for the job that has to be done in 2 weeks!

October 1st: Winds Of Change In The Air

 

Just as in any endeavor, business or sport……the dog fancy is no different……there is a direct correlation between the folks involved with the kit and caboodle, the inner workings if you will and the ultimate qualifier, the end product!

We, as in all of you that end up with one of our puppies and us, as in the ones that breed them, train them, condition them and then put it all together at the dog show arena……………….we must all be stroking along in perfect synchronicity with our goals and plans!

Any deviations, any doubt, any issues of trust (more like mistrust)………………ANYTHING that throws the ship off course, lengthening the time needed to arrive at our joint destination and at times, even totally scuttling the vessel that would take us there.

Those of you celebrating with us your/our great fortunes, be it a super loving great household companion and/or our newest champion, grand champion, bronze grand champion, silver grand champion……….or a video that I just received of a recent placement with a special needs child, that special Chambray dog, Daisy laying under a tree with that special child, that my friends in my eyes is the ‘splendor in the grass’ that equals all the records and streaks that we have achieved with your/our dogs!

This was a top-ranked show prospect at her 7 ½ weeks old evaluation, in addition, she too rated into the high 90 percentiles for Service Work! Less than 2% of Labrador puppies have that combination, great show dog and possible full-service work-ability!

I knew, that if I waited long enough, I would find the perfect home for her where we may be able to use both of her gifts. Twenty-one Interviews later for her possible placement…………… she now being 15 months old……………………the perfect family, in fact, I couldn’t ask for better, a past Chambray owner from the 1990’s………………..now with a 14-year-old special needs child.

Oh my, oh me, my eyes are full of tears watching the video of them both just loving each other, just as I still tear up with every single Chambray champion that each of you, those in the Chambray Owner’s Program have living at home with you.

Those are the moments and owners that prove that the time and energy spent orchestrating this unique endeavor is totally worth all of the trials, tribulations…………..the joys and celebrations that we have experienced together in the last 30 years.

I can’t ask for anything better and for that, I thank all of those loyal Chambray owners, past, present and future to come.

September 26th Another Litter Evaluation Bites The Dust

 

The sad couple loaded up their litter of puppies and headed back to where they had driven 3 hours to get to Chambray Acres, where I have been toiling for 48 years, raising, training, conditioning, showing and winning with my Labradors.

They had done all the precursory clearances for their dam and of course, made sure that the chosen stud dog was on the up and up as well. They had purchased their female from a ‘named’ show kennel and then consulted with everyone and each of their mothers-in-law for whom to breed their prized possession ‘foundation bitch’!

The consensus came in loud and clear…………….’breed to the flavor of the month dog’!

Yes sir, yes ma’am, that’s the way of the wayward when breeding! It’s the old ‘ah wishin and ah hopin’ method of producing the next generation of supposedly superior dogs for that breed!

To be honest, that method is slightly better than breeding to the dog next door or the one that charges less or the biggest and the baddest dog in town.

So too was this litter a product of lumping a semi-decent bitch with a well-worn show dog that has been winning his fair share because he’s at a dog show every weekend of the month and thus he is the flavor of the month dog!

“We bred to the best dog available!” was their lament after I concluded the evaluation of their seven puppies.

Their mission was a total impossibility to begin with, because from further scrutiny, the couple couldn’t tell me what was ‘good’ about their dog nor what was either good or bad about the stud dog!

How can anyone know what is the best dog available when they don’t know what the breed traits are for Labradors……………….their dog had very little angulation of the rear and cow-hocked to boot………….their dog also had straight shoulder placement with short upper arms as well.

Guess what, the dog they bred to, the one they say was the best available had very little rear angulation and upright, straight shoulders too!

Guess what again………..every single puppy in the litter had the exact same poor structural deviations as the sire and dam each have!

PLUS, the dam possesses a totally wrong open coat…………….no ‘bound around’ twizzle at the end……….. instead almost all of the puppies had the ‘staring at your face’ bottlebrush tail end. So, 6 of the puppies had open coats……………….they were like fuzz balls from front to tip of tail and 1 puppy had a slick coat. Remember that a correct Labrador coat ends in a vortex, that is the icon ‘twizzle’ us ‘old hands’ love to see right at birth. If it’s not there then, it will never, ever be the bound around, correct coat of the Labrador Retriever!

Now here is where things make a decidedly turn south, after going over the litter and delivering my verdict, I am told that 4 other knowledgeable blokes have also ‘seen’ the puppies and all of them gave them rave reviews.

That’s four blokes that have produced hundreds and hundreds of litters between them and can only account for 1 single champion from all those litters in the last 20 years, with one of those breeders has been breeding for 35 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So ‘pray tell’, what is the opinion of one or four people that have no expertise whatsoever with the breed? Obviously zilcho X 4 = even more zilcho! Four nothings equal NOTHING!

Yes, another evaluation bites the dust simply because the absence of expertise produces excess mediocrity!

09/12 ~ That Purring Sound & Feeling When It All Comes Together

 

We all take for granted that each time we turn on the key in the car that it will start right up and purr as a contended kitten does, but boy is our day ruined when that engine sputters or cranks and doesn’t kick in!

Well, that contended kitten purring is the euphoria I feel when we as dog handlers take a dog into the ring and it too purrs and hums as I envisioned it would.

That end product doesn’t just happen……………….nope, it’s not luck and for sure, it isn’t taken for granted by me, the overseer of our Chambray Dog Show Management Program.

What the judge and those standing outside around ringside see is the cooperative sum of all those involved with the dog’s training and conditioning……….days, weeks and months before stepping into that ring.

My job as a breeder is to produce the best examples of the breed to be able to compete on a national level against any comers. Although most of our dog shows are right here in Florida, many of the main competitors are dogs brought in by professional handlers from outside the state to compete against the Chambray dogs and then there are those shows that we load up the van and travel across state lines where we end up going head to head with dogs from just about every state of the union.

Case in point, this past week in Biloxi Mississippi where 58 Labradors converged in the lazy seaside town..........those 58 Labradors represented 18 different states!

Then there are the really, really big shows…………………ROYAL CANIN WEEK! That event is now traditionally held in Orlando Florida in December where over 18,000 dogs of all different breeds congregated last year, making it the greatest dog show in America.

In Labradors, there were 100+ dogs each of the 5 days and the breeders of those dogs each were definitely on the ‘who’s who’ list of consideration! Those dogs represented just about every state and some of the best dogs from countries around the world as well.

So, as a breeder, I have done my job producing the best and most competitive dogs that win consistently no matter the venue or the competition……………….home state or otherwise! However, breeding the best is not good enough, not by a Green Mile!

It takes training and conditioning to take those awesome breed traits and be able with superior handling and  take them over the top and keep the winning streak going……………….year after year as we have done for the last 18 years, making us the top champion breeders in Florida by far and in the last 7 years rising to the top in the country with 39 champions since 2011!

That training and conditioning is what makes that purring sound in the ring with a winning exhibit and that prior-to-show work is what produces the finishing touch on the whole kit and caboodle.

It starts with breeding the best……………………then with each of our owners onboard following the game plan to a perfect T that I devise for their individual dog……………………….each of those owners at their end doing what it takes for their dog to rise to the best it can be……………………when that all happens, we then take that dog into the ring with our handling expertise and play it in virtuoso fashion, making sweet music to the judge’s eyes and there it is, the whole enchilada coming together as the winning exhibit more often than not!

That my friends is called the winning combination! Great bred dogs……………..the best in training and conditioning, the best in the ownership department and adding the finishing brushstroke in the ring with our handling and there it is, Mission Accomplishment and guess what, it is all for the Betterment of the Breed!

August 2nd Champions To Grand Champions:

 

For the newer type whippersnappers…………………those into the conformation end of Labradors…………….those that have ‘only’ been at it for less than 9 years………………..they know about Winners Dog/Bitch, Best Of Winners, Best Of Opposite Sex, of course they dream about winning Best Of Breed and they know about the Grand Champions & Selects titles and points system.

For those that have existed, resisted and persisted  longer than less of a decade………….we……….we remember well when there wasn’t the Grand Champion scheme of things…………….when a young dog finished its AKC championship and would be ‘put up’ until it matured and could handle the competition from the ‘big boys’ and maybe a beyond spectacular bitch special……………….. ‘special’ being the operative word used to mean that it wasn’t just a champion, it was a SPECIAL CHAMPION, of both genders!

In those ancient days before 2009, the year that the AKC implemented the Grand Championships with the different ascending titles and levels to be reached…………………the top professional handlers would feature one great champion from each breed as their main priority to be showcased in the Best Of Breed competition with the goal of winning as many BOBs as possible for National Ranking in the ‘Breed Standings’ and then on to the Sporting Group competition for ‘All-Breed’ rankings as well.

Breeders and Owner/Exhibitors spent treasure chests in ‘campaigning’ a worthy champion to top rankings…………………….a Westminster Top 5 Breed would receive an automatic invitation to the most prestigious show in the country held at the world renown Madison Square Gardens in the Big Apple NY,NY!

After 2001, with the inception of the AKC Eukanuba National Championships in sunnyside up Florida, a Top 25 National Ranking in Breed was needed to be able to qualify to enter for this new kid on the block venue that eventually, by 2015 had out grown Westminster in dog entries to become the biggest show in the USA

So, it was all systems go for getting a champion shown and ranked nationally in the Breed counts for top-level recognition in that particular breed and also to receive the Top 5 Invitation and the Top 25 to qualify for the two most talked about shows for the year!

Before the Grand Champion’s system was deployed, there may have been 2 or 3 specials being campaigned in any region or state, as those dogs that would finish would sit out until the end of the year when most of the top champions were done with their run at the national top spots…………well that’s all changed as of 9 years ago!

Actually, it started to change 2 or 3 years after the inception of the Grand Championships coming into being, as it took a little while for owners and exhibitors to see the value in the added, advanced titles and also to get the professional handlers to get onboard as most resisted the changing of the guard of knocking the old system of campaigning fewer champions……..the system of putting up young dogs for a period of time as had been done for over 80 years in the past.

So, now in most breeds, there are more champions showing as there are class dogs!

 

In Florida, it is not surprising to have 8 or 9 champions competing for the Breed points, for the All-Breed points, and for the Grand Champion’s points.

Putting a newly crowned champion up for some time means that when it eventually comes out to show in Best Of Breed competition, there will be that many more dogs garnering those BOBs, BOS, Select Male and Select Bitch awards………………..so in today’s ways and means, no longer does it make sense to withhold a dog from continuing to show after it meets the requirements for its AKC Champion’s title.

The tough thing now for most breeders and owners is finding truly qualified handlers to take on all the champions being entered for the Best Of Breed competition. Even our Chambray Team with minimum 4 handlers and up to 7 handlers at any given weekend of shows………………we have had to turn back several of our own champions at some shows for lack of enough handlers to go around to those dogs that wanted to show.

Of special interest……………in just the short period of time from 2009 with the inception of the Grand Championships to 2018………………….the general Labrador owning population, especially those looking for stud service are fully aware of the value of champions with an added level of Grand Championship titles.

Recently, someone inquiring about stud service wanted to know why several of our champions ‘only’ had a ‘simple’ champion’s title!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, there is nothing ‘SIMPLE’ in a dog achieving that AKC Champion’s title because ‘ONLY’ the best dogs can actually get that far!

July29th: What Does It Take?

 

Pertinent question……………. “What does it take to be on your Labrador’s show roster?”

Hundreds have asked that exact question…………maybe not word for word, but the gist of the matter was exact!

ANSWER: “WHEN WE STEP INTO THE RING, ONLY THE BEST EXAMPLES OF THE BREED WILL BE AT THE OTHER END OF OUR LEAD!”

Can’t make that any plainer! Like the saying about wine….No wine will be served before its time………………we are 100% adamant about our practices, procedures, and protocols for showing our Labradors……………..not just ‘our Chambray Labradors’………….ANY Labrador!

If it isn’t worthy of top status for the breed, it won’t be part of our Show Dog Management Program!

No compromises, no emotional baggage………………..plain and simple…………it either is a prime example of the breed or it isn’t and if it isn’t, it doesn’t show…………with us!

The preceding is how to achieve success with the breed.

Accepting 2nd best only creates a mediocrity that hampers the strive for the best.

Every single owner that I encourage to participate in showing those dogs that were bred exactly for that end, to show their hearts out……………………those owners can take my encouragement to the bank and earn major interest as I will never settle for anything but the best.

Of course, the way the ‘winning point’ system is set up, where only 1 dogs of each gender win points for the day………………..not all the dog showing at any given segment of time will be doing the winning of those prized points.

When we build a roster, say with 4 different class males in the lineup………………..in my extreme vaulted level of breed expertise, each of those 4 males have the Labrador breed traits to be anointed as the Winners Dog for the day!

Which of course means that it becomes a subjective choice by an individual, the judge to choose 1 dog over a whole bunch that any of those could very well be the winning dog the next day.

At the recent 4 days of WPB dog shows……………….4 different males won Winners Dog on differing days! All four of those dogs conform to the breed standard.

 

The biggest difference between the four of them was their owners and what each of their owners thought about their ‘Poochie’!

Yes, each owner thinks their dog is God’s gift to the land they walk on! Each owner cannot understand when their ‘Rover, Maximillian, Toby, Hershey, Brownie or Tinkerbell’ doesn’t win!

They come running to me saying “But he’s the best dog out there!” of course right there and then they hear from me what they don’t want to hear, “We will talk later as I got lots of work to do still!”

So, listen up the owners of all those cute, ‘original’, lovey-dovey named dogs…………………if I tell you that your dog is great for the breed……………..IT IS GREAT FOR THE BREED!

No FAKE NEWS here……………none of that mumble-jumble, double and triple trash talking, no wink of the eye, I say this now and say that later……………….no forked tongue when I speak about the Betterment of the Breed………………….and if anyone that I am speaking to thinks otherwise, then it’s hit the road Jack………..don’t let the gate smack you upside the head as you leave Chambray Acres…………..because you are either with me or your over there with the Castaways on the other side of the ring…………….yeppers, over there with the group that always comes in second, third and on down the line! The proverbial ‘end of the line’ gang! Birds of a feather flock together just like losers gather to lament yet another day of losing!

“What does it take to be on your Labrador’s show roster?”…………………well, from the preceding, you know what I mean……………if I tell you that you have the dog to win………….then you have the dog to win…………………….so then you know that straight from the horse’s mouth………….mine!

July 22: Meat & Potatoes Goes A Long, Long Way

 

If any of our owners are ever asked where they got their dog and wanted to boast and brag............then knock yourselves out because you/we have the meat and potatoes to brag about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The Why’s & Therefore’s Of Records & Statistics!

Ever notice that only those that set records and statistics are the ones that post those records and statistics and all those that do not set records…………….they never ever post any records or statistics!

Gee, I wonder why that is?

There is a ‘head-slapping’ reason that is!

Those that have it, can very well flaunt it and those that don’t, will be the ones poo-pooing the whole celebratory ritual of broadcasting the achievements, accolades, and awards from doing whatever it is at the top levels and then being recognized with those acclamations!

I just read a rather long--------------winded diatribe from someone that would rather ‘remain silent’ rather than do the ‘proudful boasting’ I do about our dog’s exploits.

Hey, I cherish my freedom of speech as long as we still have them and will stand up and cheer each and every little prize, point, award, certificate, clearance, title, championship, Judge’s Award of Merit or Excellence, and designation and honor and even a casual passerby’s acknowledgement of our dogs!

All of the above-mentioned accolades and then some!

 

Because that’s the ‘American Way’! From very little children, we are taught that the best get to be the best through hard work and that we encourage and applaud those that are the best of the best with top honors of all kinds.

In the Labrador world of breeding, raising, training and showing at the AKC shows, the best of those best are the ones that receive the recognition that they deserve with titles and just awards only bestowed by merit.

There is a vast difference between a dog that ‘just’ shows and one that has attained the very arduous requirements to be a certified AKC Champion of Record!

Those that rise to that stellar level can be tested even further against other certified champions and venture further in an attempt at their AKC Grand Champion’s title! Not an easy thing to do and succeed at!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No sir, not by a green, red or blue country mile……………………………15 points and 2 majors needed for the Champion’s title…………………………….then for the Grand, an additional 25 with wins over 3 Champions and 3 wins with Major-pointed shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But wait, there’s more……………….much more…………………….there are higher-up levels of Grand Champions………………not one, not two, not three………………………There’s the BRONZE……………….then there’s the SILVER………………………………………………………………………..THEN THE GOLD……………………….DRUMROLL MAESTRO, there is even the PLATINUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you want to know how hard a PLATINUM GRAND CHAMPION IS???????????????????????????

Well, let me tell you that there is ONLY ONE LABRADOR that has ever reached that ZENITH of high places!

My hat goes off to that dog…………….that breeder and to that handler!

In fact, if I had roses on hand, I would place them before their feet as they walked!

I know, that no matter how much time I have left with Labradors…………….that having any of my dogs reach 1100+ is just not in the realm of reaching!

So major kudos to Platinum Gr Ch Everso Toen The Line…………..breeder Stephanie Perrine……………handler Erin Hall!

I have been in the ring next to that dog and handler and boy what an honor that was!

So, you can imagine the ire within me when some chump change Labrador ‘mixologist’ (anyone can throw 2 dogs together and come up with puppies) berates me for boasting and bragging all because they have never, ever had anything that has come up smelling like roses from their claimed 20+ years of breeding (mixing) Labradors……………………….so the following is just in case they missed any of the many boastful achievements our dogs have accumulated in our years as true grit Labrador breeders.

So, yes I am very proud:

 

  • to have the most Grand Champions in the AKC’s Top 100 All-Time Grand Champions (9)    in the country

  • Very proud to have the most total AKC Grand Champions (21) total in the country

  • Very proud to have the most AKC Bronze Grand Champions (10)in the country with our 11th very soon!

  • Very proud of being Tied for the most AKC Silver Grand Champions (3) in the country with our 4th very soon!

  • Most proud for the most AKC Champions (62) ever from Florida

  • Most proud of the longest winning streak ever from the Labrador ring with 178 consecutive dog show winning weekends.

There’s more, lots more, but sometimes even a good thing becomes boring, so we will take a break here!

 

For all those loyal Chambray owners, Happy Boasting & Bragging..................we all deserve it with all the hard work we have put in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 16: Finally................The 100% Of Things Labrador!

 

For those that have known me with my almost 5 decades of involvement with Labradors………………you must have heard me, at one time or another state the following, “I can explain 99% of ‘anything’ Labrador, but don’t ask me to explain the judging!”

Well, I am about to fess up right now, because I don’t want to leave this rather rotund sphere with anyone thinking that I had not mastered all there is about Labradors…………..which I have!

Yes………………I know Labradors 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Including the judging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, since we are ‘truthing’ here…………………….the truth is that none of those that ever asked about the ‘judging’………………were really asking about the judging!

Let me explain……………….when an owner comes up and asks, “Can you explain the judging today?”

They really, really were not asking about the ‘actual judging for the day’!

They are really, really asking WHY THEIR DOG DIDN’T WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why their dog didn’t win and the explanation for any given day’s judging are polar opposites as polar opposites can get! NOT THE SAME THING! La meme chose…………………NON!

Let me use the past 4 shows at West Palm Beach to illuminate my conjecture of the preceding which is 24-carat gold coming from the Labrador goldsmith!

4 days of shows………………4 different judges………………………3 days with similar results……………..1 day of totally dark side of the moon results………………….really, dark side of the moon, like in the pitch black, no-sun side of the moon………………….with a very different TYPE of WD, WB and BOB, BOS, and Selects!

Now, mind you, no sour grapes here, no poo-pooing the selections by that judge………………….which in REALITY………………………all the dogs chosen adhered within the dictum's of the breed standard!

 

All were fine examples of the breed as each slotted within the ends of the spectrum of what a Labrador should be.

However, here is the catch…………………………..spectrums have a range that can be quite different depending on how far to the left or to the right those ends are from the middle of that spectrum.

Of course, anything outside of the range of the spectrum would then fall outside of the desirable characteristics of that breed. So, beyond the ends of the spectrum will be dogs that DON’T ADHERE TO THE BREED STANDARD………………….it can't get no easier than that!

If there are ends to a spectrum, then there is a midpoint, which is the median or the moderation between the two differing ends. Let’s say that to the right of the midpoint, dogs will tend to be more robust, thicker, broader, heavier boned……………………………all the way to the far right, just before crossing over to way too much!

Yep, BIGGER IS NOT BETTER! So, past the ends of the spectrum way to the right then become what is termed as OVERDONE & NOT CORRECT!

The opposite then applies to those dogs that go way, way too thin, too light, too narrow, moving too far away from the midway point to the left until it moves away from what the breed standard calls for and this is then described as being WEEDY which is NOT CORRECT!

At dog shows, we normally do not see dogs that go to either end of the spectrum. Seldom do we really see a WEEDY or an OVERDONE dog that is totally NOT CORRECT.

We may see dogs that do approach either end and still be considered correct, but it is less than 10% for either of those and yet still be considered adhering to the breed standard.

Let’s give some numbers to graphically articulate the above. Let’s say that there are 100 possible nuances of differences and still all those could be considered breed standard acceptable…..so from 1 (left side) to 100 (right side)…………………………Let’s say that the midpoint of moderation is designated with a 50.

Just to create a working visual point, let’s give the majority of the Chambray show dogs a range between 45 and 70………………so, we are somewhat right of moderate.

These numbers are only applicable at All-Breed dog shows where the majority of judges are all around all-breed judges. The opposite of that would be judges that are Labrador breeders and they are labeled as ‘breeder judges’!

At All-Breed dog shows with these all-breed judges, the fat part of the bell curve for Winners Dog and Winners Bitch………….the ‘fat part’ is the numbers that tend to win the most are from 55 to 65. These would comprise about 70% of the winning exhibits.

65 to 75 would have 10%...............45 to 55 another 10%.........................75 to 100 would have about 7% and 3% would go to dogs with less than 45.

Again, to give a working reference point Silver Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d would be a 65……………………new champion for 2017, Ch Chambrays Sonic would be a 48………………….all our other dogs that are champions and class dogs currently showing fall in-between those 2 ‘nuances’ of differences.

More reference points: Here are the numbers for Specialty shows or even All-Breed dogs shows with Labrador breeders as judges.

The ‘fat’ part of the curve would be between 75 to 85 with about 60% of the wins………………then 85 to 95 with 25% of the wins………………………… 65 to 75 with 10% of the wins and 95+ with 5% of the wins.

Now grasping the above and understanding the theory, ……………………..the results for the 4 days of shows are easily understood.

Three of the judges were all-breed judges and their choices for WD, WB and BOB were consistently in the 55 to 65 range and the results from the 4th judge (3rd day), the Labrador breeder judge were dogs that were in the 75 to 80s.

Looking at the classes from each day and comparing where each dog placed will prove the preceding conjecture to a T.

All the dogs chosen……………all 4 days, would adhere to the breed standard, the one factor that changed drastically between the 4 days or rather from 3 of the days to 1 of the days was the interpretation of what is the more perfect dog according to the individual judging.

Now here is a note worth passing on and of major interest………………. Chambray’s  breeding program aims to produce a certain range in that imaginary spectrum……………the noted 45 to 70……………………yet, those other dogs that possess the traits that would put them more to the right, those ranging 71 to 85 could very well be under consideration for breeding  to infuse some of their type into a planned mating if the female under consideration was leaning over to the left below the 55 or so range.

There have been major stud dogs that contributed greatly to the Labrador gene pool……………dogs that under my ‘spectrum’ system were close to being at the top limit of what I would consider being acceptable within the ends of spectrum numbers…………….say the high 90’s………….yet those dogs were able to pass on certain traits that were more in moderation to a large percentage of their offspring.

I didn’t breed to those dogs, but, I did keep close tabs on their offspring and eventually sought out either 1st or 2nd generation offspring from them to use in our breeding program. I more or less let someone else experiment by breeding to those semi-overdone dogs, knowing that too much and overdone would be some of the results and then I would choose to breed to those dogs that were in the more moderate ranges, say in the high 70’s and low 80’s.

However, all of the above are major advanced breeding practices that take extreme acumen to comprehend and to implement……………..not for the faint of heart or the vast majority of those that jump head first into a pool that could have been drained the night before!

Now, you have the 100% explanation of Everything Labrador………………..including the JUDGING!

June 3rd: Follow The Program To Success

 

“It always amazes me to visit your website and read through all the advice and tips on breeding and training that you offer to anyone, including all those that are your direct competitor, what’s the payoff for you doing this?”, emails with queries as this one come in regularly.

First of all, I am ecstatic that there are those that do visit and read through my ‘trials and tribulations’ with the breed! If there is anything I can share with anyone that will make their journey easier and less errant, then my efforts in communicating and expressing my learned views are worth the time put in.

The second issue about the competition being served is valid; however, if the Labrador Retriever as a breed is also served, then my contributions to the betterment of the breed more than makes up for the perceived conundrum.

Besides, if they are following along, it makes them ‘followers’, which would mean that we/me is the leader and isn’t that the best place to be in at a competition?

The one area of interest that gathers no moss, has to do with designing individual game plans for dogs that participate in Chambray’s Owners Programs.

However, many of those inquiring about this are searching for a plan for their own dogs………………….outside of our Owner’s Programs……………..sight unseen………………no can do!

There is no generic advise that is worth writing about because it takes know-how in putting into action anything that I can come up with.  It’s like me giving a layperson an architectural blueprint and telling them to go build a home with it……………..NO CAN BE DONE!

Not many blokes out there can read, interpret and implement using schematics. Same thing with training and conditioning dogs!

A training and conditioning game plan is a specific blueprint for a very individual case study. What will work wonders for one dog, could very well have dastardly results for another.

Just this past year, a puppy placed with what turned out to be errant, dumba$$ people ended up being ground down to the nub with wild-eyed, misappropriated and wrongly implemented training and conditioning regimens…………….results…………blown out elbows!

Reason: Lack of knowledge, no experience or credentials  what-so-ever in any type physical training or conditioning…………those that were wrongly employed were totally detrimental to the poor dog in question!

Although I do share all types of beneficial advise about the breed in general……………about breeding…………….about general training/conditioning…………………….about handling and in-ring presentations……………….no amount of advice given to those that don’t have the conceptual know-how, nor the physical talent to implement what’s needed…………..is worth spending the time in doing so.

Totally the opposite scenario with those specially chosen dogs and their owners that are within the working framework of Chambray's Owner’s Program for the Betterment of the Breed…specifically those that participate in Chambray's Show Dog Management Program.

First of all, only the best of the best conformation dogs are encouraged to be part of the program. So we already start out by recruiting the best breed specimens available to us. Then a thorough status evaluation is performed on the owners of said dog…………………what attributes those owners have to be able to actually implement any training, conditioning program devised for their dog.

Things that are taken into account……..the actual time needed…………….the physical capabilities of those owners……………….the mental capabilities to actually learn what it is that they will be imparting to their dog………………the financial situation of those owners………….. and other pertinent considerations that would either benefit or impede the game plan devised for that dog.

A special note to this last statement, it can be a dog from outside of our breeding program as we witnessed Bronze Gr Ch Summithills ascension to the very top levels of breed type,  conformational achievements and perpetuation of the breed to succeeding generations through contributions of breed type excellence……………………..from a 10-week old puppy to a 7-year old superstar, Top Stud Dog Producer, rising to be the #1 champion producer from Florida, ever!

That dog is a perfect example of designing a specific game plan and sticking with it to stellar heights where the individual dog is being served, the owners are being served, the breed is being served and we as the administrators are being served……………………mission accomplished……………a very unique, win, win, win, win situation for all 4 principal parties involved………….proof positive that the Owner’s Program works at a major accelerated developmental curve!

However, there have been other dogs come through the program………….some equal to and maybe could have gone on to greater glories……..yet, were way-laid by their owners, for whatever reason, not able to follow the game plan that was working at those same elevated, successful levels……………..and then we have witnessed some dogs, be successful only to fade away once the side-tracking, the deviations and the going off on pitfall-ridden tangents that were implemented because of a myriad of personal reasons involving the owners of those dogs.

Lamentably, many  great dogs have been casualties of the preceding paragraph! Not the dogs failing……more of the owners failing the dogs by failing to follow the game plan for that dog!

The good news, however, is that for every errant, sidewinding rattler, there are at least 5 dogs/owners that do follow the right path and reach the goal of being able to pay it forward to the Betterment of the Breed with a superior dog that is a perpetuator of the next great generation of Labradors.

Bottom line, awesome looking dogs that are great breed specimens sitting in someone's living room are a great adornments to the household but serve no greater function for what they were bred for……………..not passing on those great traits, dead ends all that specially-bred greatness when they no longer are around.

July 2nd: If It Walks Like A Duck......................

 

In person at dog shows and every once in a while under the guise of cloak and dagger, I receive emails asking me if something I have written at one of my webpages was specifically referring to them or to a certain person they may be thinking about.................case in point, the offering that follows this one.

My answer seldom varies………………… If the shoe fits, wear it……………..if the badge sticks, display it with honor!

However, at times I will embellish and dissertate a bit, something along these lines, “My goal is to enlighten using prime examples. I would rather use a very broad brush stroke that will cover a lot more area than to pinpoint something or someone so obscure that no one would know who I am referring to, the bigger the better by covering more of the errant ones with one swipe of the pen (peck of the keyboards), thus making the time I spend conjuring up these offerings much more beneficial.”

What I don’t do is ever disclose for whom the bell tolls……………never, ever kiss and tell………………..if  what I write up reminds someone of somebody, then mission accomplished………………but don’t ask me to point them out!

 

The shroud of mystery also provides much more intrigue. Besides, the cast of characters from area to area doesn’t change much, the names may be different, but there will always be nincompoops………..ignoramuses (or is that ignoramii?)………………………………..buttheads, a$$wipes, dumba$$es and other forms of derriere affected/infected kiss-ups……………well you get the picture, the area will change but the losers will always play the same loser game, just have different loser names & faces. 

  

However, just as at the Cheer’s bar, ‘where everyone knows your name’…………..likewise at the dog shows, no matter the civility that is served up with gleaming smiles and faux pas hugs, everyone knows the cast of characters and the roles they act out.

The divas are front and center and everyone knows who they are………………..the bimbo blondes, the damsels in distress, the goody two shoes, the busy bodies, the social butterflies, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashful, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy and Calamity Jane are all on display at every theater (dog show venue) near you.

 

The names/faces change but the roles are the same no matter what state or region one travels to.

So, if I whip up a ditty that describes someone of that area to a T, then a gay blade is a gay blade and a straight arrow is a straight arrow and if the description fits, so be it………….it is not a personal thing, it’s a coverage thing………………..stray off the straight and narrow path of the betterment of the breed and suffer the wrath of Kahn or in this case, the ire of the Rupert of the Key, me, the self-appointed guardian of the breed, yours truly, the pen master of these frivolous mind-bursts that seem to have gathered a curious and evidently, substantial following.

July 1st ~ You Can Do It The Pro's Way, The Chambray Way, or The No Way!

 

There is nothing that can match know-how………………….those that depend on sheer luck create a major hit or miss proposition as do all those breeders that use ‘rabbits feet’, ‘lucky charms’, 

‘ah-wishing and ah-hoping’, ‘closing their eyes and pinning the tail on the donkey’…………..and anything else not relying on knowledge, expertise, acumen and plain good old fashion hard work, all those that don’t know diddle suffer a short duration slide down a very slippery slope!

It is very plain to see looking around at all those breeders that have no game plan what-so-ever for their breeding programs………………..or for their training and conditioning process and of course at the most obvious visual spectacle, showing those dogs that they bred and trained, or better stated ‘miss-bred’ and ‘poorly trained’!

The above travesties were prominently displayed at a recent dog show.

A conversation between a seasoned Chambray owner that has followed the Winning Edge practices and protocols in play with the Chambray Show Management Program counseling a

newly initiated owner into the program.

The seasoned owner came into the Owner’s program on their own volition with a well-bred Labrador puppy from elsewhere, because of the excellent breed traits of that puppy, were accepted into our development program and then followed the yellow brick road precisely as laid out for them and their puppy………fast forward 7 years and that puppy is:

  • An AKC Bronze Grand Champion
     

  • 3 Years in the AKC’s Top 100 Grand Champion’s Rankings

 

  • 2016 USA Top Labrador Stud Dog w/5 Champions produced

  • LRC’s 2013 Top 25 Ranked Labrador

  • Florida’s All-Time Top Champion Producer with 9 AKC Champions

  • Producer of 2 Silver Grand Champions……3 Bronze Grand Champions……4 Grand Champions……1 BISS Champion……2 Judges Award of Merit @ LRC Specialty……1 Judges Award of Excellence Eukanuba 2015……1 Judge's Award of Excellence 2017 Royal Canin Nationals......1 2018 Westminster Judge's Award Of Merit winner...... 1 Best In Show Puppy……1 FCI SA Champion....................1 invitation to the 2018 Crufts Show............7 Group 1 wins and more.

  • As of right now in 2018, there are 7 more AKC Champion-pointed offspring, several on the verge of their champion’s title with just 1 more winning show.

So, needless to say that this ‘seasoned owner’ has considerable experience at the upper echelons of the dog show world……………….not only with Chambray, because when they came onboard with that puppy that now is a world-class superstar contributor for the Betterment of the Breed, that owner had already been through the process with a couple of other Labradors that achieved their AKC champion’s titles going through the ‘professional handler’s way’…………….having used some of the most known professional handlers in the history of the breed!

Meaning that they had accrued major experience with the time-honored Professional Handler’s way and then with the unique, avant garde Chambray Way……………..then to add mounds of gravy to the plate, we just finished their newest dog with its AKC champion’s title at 13 months of age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

That puppy being an offspring from their now most famous dog that we took on as a puppy 7 years ago..................so suffice to say, these are owners that have the experience to be able to pass it forward to the next generation of owners that come on board as neophytes with the breed and with the dog show world.

That is exactly what transpired……………….there they were the seasoned owner and the ‘just got started novice’ at a dog show, the seasoned one relating their vast amounts of ventured experiences with a brand-spanking new Chambray owner that was inquiring on the how’s and why’s of training and showing and how they too could be successful with their dog.

When out of the blue or maybe better stated, out of the fog an interloper transgresses into the conversation and opines their 2-cents worth that really amounts to less than a wooden nickel’s amount……………………..interjecting that training and conditioning is not really needed because they haven’t really followed that script themselves and here they are, also showing their dogs!

So, evidently there are choices that blokes can make……of course the results and consequences differ as luminous as the difference between diurnal and nocturnal can be!

There are those that will do nil, zilch and nada and stumble and bumble along as tumbleweeds do……blindly going where many do, merely traipsing here and there, with no game plan, no directive and very little acumen to show for their arduous time and journey…………living off potluck, come what may and other wishful thinking that amounts to the first line of this paragraph............in other words, the No Way way!

There are those that follow the time-honored Professional Handler’s way, with the successes that comes with dealing with those that have experience and know-how…………..that know the ins and outs of the business and can produce results according to the value and worth of their exhibits.

Then there is the Chambray Way, following the yellow brick road that provides the higher yield, that pays the highest dividends in the Labrador ring………………………..having produced more champions in the last decade than all the other Florida breeders put together, 40 to be exact……………….61 in the last 30 years.

Those 40 champions in 10 years by Chambray's Breeding and Management Program are the most by any handler or handler’s group in the country.

So, the moral of the story is……………….Johnny Carson’s old show……………….Who Do You Trust………………..The Bottom Dweller’s Lament of doing zilch or the Pinnacle Achiever’s Proven Beyond All Scrutiny Yellow Brick Road Plan For Success.

Who do you put all your marbles on?

 

The Pro's Way, the Chambray Way or the No Way.

Who do you trust?

June 21st: The 3rd Generation Breeding Blues

Whether you prefer ‘whoot’ or ‘whoomp’……………..either way you want your reality served, stick with a breeding program long enough and by the 3rd generation of ‘your own devices of producing the next generation’ the wall is going to get you!

In my 48 years of involvement at all levels with Labradors……………..breeding, raising, training, showing, there are an infinitesimal few that have cruised from first time breeders to accomplished breeders without skidding backwards along that arduous way and getting smacked around a bit……………with most reaching that exacerbating knoll and then throwing up their hands in defeat and quitting all together or just wallowing in the doldrums of producing mediocrity from there on out!

Right here at the Florida Labrador scene, since 1988, I have witnessed more than a dozen (myself included), get into Labradors with the purchase of a dog or dogs from other breeders…………………get lucky and end up with something decent that was sold to them (me too)………………….have some modicum of success showing that dog/dogs………………………….then get into breeding using that ‘rare lucky’ dog that was sold to them, get lucky again by choosing a compatible dog to breed to that end up producing  something worthwhile showing that in turn also ends up being successful in the show ring.

Now, granted, the above scenario does not happen with all that much frequency, because the overwhelming numbers of those that flail and fail is absurdly 10 times those that get lucky at the onset of obtaining dogs that become successful. In other words, success doesn’t come around too often and there are beau-coup that get into the sport, spin their wheels for a year or two and up to 5 and then poof, gone with the wind!

So, for the very few that do move forward and are able to take that purchased ‘good’ dog and breed it and produce their very first generation of home-bred dogs……………..again the filtering process is hard at work, because just a minimal few will end up having something worthwhile come out in that first generation produced.

Now here is the tricky dicky deal………………..even though those puppies produced from that 1st generation of home-bred dogs that may become successful at showing……………………all that goodness that those puppies/dogs display is directly attributed to the established breeders behind the newly ‘lucky’ beginner breeder that has that successful dog now.

LUCK, LUCKY………………………being the operative word/words here………………..that’s because it takes years and years, generations and generations to really, really know how to bring about improvement from generation to generation, let alone know the breed standard and what true breed type is.

So, you will have folks that get into the breeding end of the fancy and not know anything about the breed…………….not know what traits are admirable and what traits are serious structural defects.

Case in point………………..look around and see who the breeders are in your area or state………………find out how long they have been breeding…………………then see if their dogs are cow-hocked or have upright shoulder sets………………………or have level topline vs. sloping topline…………………..or have straight rears, with no turns of stifle…………………or have narrow fronts, with barely a space to pass a hand’s width through or have a barrel chest wide enough for a duck to swim between the front legs………………or be overdone, plodded, capable of sinking a gunboat with a single bound………………………..all of the above and much, much more are the tell-tale signs that no matter how long they have been breeding, no matter how many generations of dogs they have produced………………………they know nothing of the breed they are purported to be knowledgeable breeders of.

So, here is where the 3rd Generation Breeding Blues comes in!

For some, the ones drawing on luck and on the knowhow of the breeders before them that passed on the quality that these newbies are working with……………..the first 2 generations of their breeding may have brought some forward quality…………………but now by the 3rd generation of them making all the choices for breeding………………………the lack of acumen, the lack of expertise, the lack of breed knowledge will rear its grotesque head and bite them in the derriere!

Yep, it becomes an accumulative snowball rolling downhill of all of the above lack of substance by the person making the decision on what to breed to and the results of that poor decision making process shows up on their 3rd generation!

You can look in the ring and see it plain as day and you can also see that they may have had some success showing the 1st generation, some success showing their 2nd generation………………………now comes their 3rd generation and whoot/whoomp there it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But here is the magnifier to illustrate my point of their lack of breed type knowledge………………….they can’t see how far off that 3rd generation is from their previous two, or from the original ‘good’ dogs they were lucky enough to obtain from an established breeder!

I see it happening right now with a couple of those now delving in their 3rd generation……………………three generations roughly amounts to 10 to 12 years of involvement with the breed. It happens over and over with precision and very, very few exceptions.

I can personally attest to that occurrence with my own 3rd generation way back when…………..when I hit that wall head on………………….now debuting my 10th generation, with the 9th generation out there as barely 1 year olds dominating the wins…………..success is most glaring proof!

 

Now here is where we separate the ones that will either:

  • quit altogether

  • wallow with the same old, same old, never getting any better, producing mediocrity there on out

  • rise to the occasion, see the light and get it and join the ranks of the accomplished breeders

For those of the A. persuasion, they never, ever will get it, some of these will drop out of the show levels and will continue to breed pet market puppies, most continue to bill themselves as reputable breeders because they use show breeding stock, but they continue to make the same mistakes for as long as they breed dogs.

For those in the B. sector, we see those still at the dog show level, continually producing generation after generation, repeating the same mistakes because they don’t know enough to know that they are mistakes……………………….we actually get to see the proof thereof because they will be bringing out to the dog shows new puppies with those glaring defects, faults and flaws, letting us know that they don’t know any better!

For the rarefied few of the C. party…………………..watching them arc over from that ‘hit the wall’ 3rd generation………………get what it takes to move forward and correct the glaring mistakes and persevere to come out with a much improved 4th generation that they can take credit for and be proud of………………………….well, I take my hat off to them!

Job well done………………the few, the proud………………..the accomplished breeders!

June 1st:

 

The request for ‘Herzonisms’ makes me chuckle quizzically  at times………………..why in the world would anyone want to know what goes through my mind………………..but I have learned not to ask why, as will be evident in one of the following Hersonisms I have conjured up lately.

Since I aim to please and there are enough of those that email in wanting to hear more (actually, read since I don’t do phones much these days) so every once in a protracted while, I will sit back in repose and peck away at the keyboard in a light hearted way……………….keeping in mind that I have a heart condition (actually 2) and anything heavy for the heart is certainly not what the doctor would order!

So, with tongue in cheek, twinkle of the eye, scrunch of the nose and a Carol Burnett tug of the ear for those who know who/what I am double entandre-ing about…………………this Bud’s for you……………...and for those others with border wall hopping/hop tastes…………..this Xing Tao, Asahi, 2 XX’s, Peroni, Zywiec, Carlsberg, Lowenbrau and all those other foreign brews that stir/blur the imagination and giddily/temporarily lift the spirits, I raise my homemade fermentation of a home-grown fruit (Cas) concoction that will keep anyone’s eyeballs pealed wide open and my short-term-limited mind fleeting in near speed of light velocity………………….I thus tip my always half-full non-alcoholic stein to you!

 

“Why ask why”…………….since the answer you get will be slanted depending on what tilted ground the answer bearer is standing on………………there’s no point in asking ‘Why’!

Now a day, many a person’s word is only as good as the breath it came with………at times, both can be really bad!

You don’t know who you are dealing with…………….until you read what they post on Facebook!

It has taken all this political maelstrom to bring to the surface how deep the sewer has been……………the problem is not the current state of affairs………………….the problem is how to get it back down to the bottom where it belongs!

The changing times, there used to be 3 sides to every story………………#1 yours…………. #2 theirs…………..#3 the truth. Now we know that there is NO REAL ‘ONE’ TRUTH because NOW we know that the truth is ambidextrous……………….it is RIGHT handed and LEFT handed, at the same time.

No one knows the truth better than me because no one knows my truth the way I know it!

Crimes are committed every single second and I am only referring to the legal ones!

They say a frog will float in a continuously rising temperature pot of water until it gets too hot to jump out………………..la meme chose for homo sapiens, goes to show you that we as a species haven’t really evolved as much we give ourselves credit for.

There have always been a double/double standard saying…………..one for men “Grin and bear it” and one for women “Grin and bare it”………………….I am thrilled to have lived long enough to see the latter finally meeting its demise. In a sense, I have been spared the repercussions of my actions if any man would have insisted on the latter with either of my daughters.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you……………not being blasphemous……………….but that could be a civil war battle cry………………..with the way folk are trespassing all over each other these days without regard as to how they should be treated in return.

Showing temperance for our fellow man/woman is now seen as being weak and contrary by the many…………so to those many I say 'thank you' for recognizing my strengths and ability to accept differing conjectures.

 

 

Someone wanting information on puppies available, before coming to the Interview, questioned what my political views were……………….I answered with the following:

”I don’t want to know what your sexual persuasion or cravings are…………….whether you like them sunny side up, scrambled, over-easy or poached”

“I don’t care to learn what religion you practice………………….which one day of the week that is!”

“I don’t want to know which way you lean or how far over from the vertical you stand…………………or what shade of red or blue you hue yourself to be!”

“I don’t care to share any of the above with you, as that is a personal space reserved for whom I choose the bell to toll for……………..in fact, I don’t care to share anymore of my time with you or your agenda and with that I bid you adieu and farewell as we have nothing in common to dawdle the time away with!”

 

 

Well, from the preceding, those that know me well, now know they may not know all of me that well and those that don’t know me well, well that goes without saying!

May 28: What Lurks In The Shadows

 

For those brand new to searching for a purebred dog, especially Labradors it is all a ‘rosy in the park’ fantasy of going out and finding the perfect pet at the very first stop they make………..be it a pet shop……….at the flea market………by the side of the road after following of lots of ‘puppy signs’ posted at every telephone pole, tree and bus shelter along the way…………………. and now the really, really big way to find pets, Craig’s List and every other social media outlets that ‘announce & sell’ anything and everything that searchers are searching for………………..it’s ‘look for it and you will find it’ business as usual on the Internet!

Yes, Internet puppy brokers now dominate the sales of pet dogs 3 to 1 over the old ‘reliable’ but ‘dastardly way’ to add a new member of the family that will be there for 13 years or more! ‘Dastardly way’ because none of those prior-mentioned ways were any better than the newest and most unreliable way of obtaining a dog that a broker is!

Brokers are sales savvy folks that see a fast buck in anything that is a hot commodity at the time and puppies are the #1 seller’s market on the scene! Brokers are NOT breeders, they may never ever even see the product they are peddling………………in fact, they make it a point not to be involved in the hands on aspect of the transaction.

Brokers are the advertisers and promoters for puppy mills, puppy farms, puppy warehouses, backyard breeders/puppy hobbyist that abound with no end in sight………………….yikes……………………thousands and thousands of them producing over 300,000 Labrador puppies a year!

Yes, just in the Labrador Retriever breed over 200,000 are registered annually with the AKC and there are conservative estimates that another 100,000 are registered with half a dozen ‘other’ registries………………….& then there are all those that don’t even bother to register their dogs or their litters, so the actual count may even be tens of thousands more!

The stark truth to be told is that those new to owning a purebred dog don’t know the difference between ‘quality specimens’ of the breed and the overwhelming vast numbers of run of the mill, poor quality, bred with flaws, faults and structural defects…………………………..destined to be riddled with health problems and even unpredictable temperaments that are outside of the expected personalities for that breed!

For new owners of any breed, they expect their latest addition to be a perfect example of the breed, because that’s what they want it to be and besides the AKC papers attest to the fact that they indeed are full, official ‘pure-breds’!

The ‘soon to be reality’ for those owners……………….because once they own it, they begin to look into it and learn about it and the more they look into it, the more they realize that the old ‘pig in a poke’ is the rule and not the exception with the sales and purchases of pet dogs!

 

The 'stark reality' is that more than 9 out of 10 puppies purchased are NOT prime examples of the breed they are purported to be…………………..oh, they may be a reasonable facsimile, they may resemble and can pass for members of that breed…………they may have AKC papers and an official pedigree a mile long………but when taken to task by being compared word for word to their official Breed Standard for that breed…………………what is at hand may very well be totally outside the parameters for the breed……………………in fact, if taken to task by an AKC licensed expert (judge), the dog may be disqualified as lacking merit for that breed!

If all the preceding was not enough to cast a pall over going out and purchasing a puppy/dog from unknown sources…………………. even buying a puppy from what appears to be a ‘reliable’, ‘reputable’ breeder could have identical consequences with the breed quality/non-quality issue rearing its ugly head just the same as lurking blindfolded and dealing with all the shysters, brokers and ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ types that spring up like spring meadow wild flowers.

What to do?

Well, looking beyond those cute as pig’s ear puppies running around chasing each other’s tails……….jumping up, whining and barking to be picked up is step one/won!

First and foremost………………KNOW the person behind the puppies!

That should be a bona fide, for real breeder of THAT breed!

How do you know if the person you are about to ‘trust’ to be breeding REAL specimens of the breed………….real specimens that will actually look like what they are supposed to look like and probably even more important…………….and ACT like the breed is supposed to act like……………….how do you know?

Longevity! Yes sir, yes ma’am the good old ‘the longer someone has been doing something the better the chances that they are really good at it’ works most of the times, because shoddy shysters don’t last long before they are outed for their incompetence! Find out which breeder has been into the breed for at least 15 years………………20 years is even better and someone excelling for over 30 years is the winning combination!

Credentials! This is an easy one………………….go to the top breeder of that breed…………….the top champion show breeder will have the absolutely best specimens of the breed, that’s how they got to be the top breeder…………………….by beating all the other good breeders of that breed! Keeping in mind that no matter how good some are, only 1 breeder can be the top of the mountain and all others just haven’t gotten to be the best because that one breeder is standing there by themselves. Now you have Longevity & Credentials………………that is a surefire winning perfecta!

Written Iron-Clad Guarantees! This one will eliminate 95% of those that KNOW they don’t have the right stuff! If you know it’s not right, then you know NOT to guarantee it because sooner or later it will show its real colors. The best are way better than the rest and the rest just don’t measure up to the best!

Support System! Will they be there when you need them? Here is another major disqualifier……………….the ‘here today-gone tomorrow’, the Johnny- Come-Lately, the ‘fly-by-night’, the ‘hit-or-miss’, the ‘now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t’ and all those others that are ‘fair-weather-friends’ that take your money, hand over a furry bundle and then disappear when the first hiccup occurs…………….just hope and pray nothing worse happens because they don’t want to hear or see from you!

Get the facts before you leap and pass the bucks over to someone that more than likely falls into the 99% that shouldn’t be breeding dogs!

More May 20th: Questions Abound.........@ Chambray Answers Overwhelm @ Times!

 

"What does it take to join your Labrador organization? My husband and I have been searching for a while for a breeder that could mentor our journey with Labradors. Most of the show breeders we approach seem to be more or less reserved and not as encompassing as your website’s information indicates. Some won’t even entertain placing a high quality puppy to anyone in the immediate area."

 

I really appreciate all of the information that you provided me as that is the only way that I will consider placing one of our puppies with anyone. First of all, I provide way beyond and above as much pertinent information that I believe will disclose our highly transparent involvement with the breed. In fact, there are some folk that tell me that they are overwhelmed with the information that I put out!

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the exact opposite of the above is what other breeders provide. Now, that may not be a bad thing for them as I am not passing any type of judgement on anyone’s processes and procedures………..to each his/her own………………..then it is up to those searching for a puppy or a breeder to feel comfortable with the little bit of info provided or, as some have put it “the overwhelming” amount that I provide……………………..I put it out there and let people either deal with it or move on and deal with someone else!

Through the Interview Process, I disclose even more of our practices as a way of thinning out those that will not fit into our Betterment of the Breed mission……………….then I go even further in deciding which of those people that have made it to the Interview stage, which ones have it within them to work within the framework of the pay it forward movement, working in concert with us as mentors/breeders to pay it forward to the breed and to Chambray by becoming a Chambray Owner…………………and eventual co-breeders with the next generation of superior-bred specimens.

 

Now here is where things really take a radical U-turn in direction………….. No top show breeder at our level will place their best puppies with anyone!

 

That's GUARANTEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just ask any of the top champion Labrador breeders if you will be able to go to their kennel and be able to take the best puppy from their top litter!

All of the top show breeders in the country and probably the world KEEP THE BEST for themselves and SELL THE REST! Those are the operative words…………………BEST & REST!

Think about it, if they KEEP THE BEST………………..then what are they placing with anyone else?

ANSWER: The REST!

Which dogs at the dog shows have the best chances of becoming champions………..the BEST or the REST?

What do you think the answer will be?

Which puppy do you want………………….the REST or the ones not offered you and probably not even shown you, the ones that were kept by the breeder, the ones that are the BEST?

Not so with our Placing the Best With the Best Possible New Owners, PUPPY PLACEMENT PROGRAM!

We breed for the Best, and then we determine which new owners will fit into our agenda of the Betterment of the Breed to place those BEST puppies with.

Now here is the catch………………………………….for me to place one of my best puppies with anyone, they must fit into that category of being able to cooperate and work together for at least 1 breeding with a co-bred, co-owned litter…………………..at least 1 litter is the catch because after that, each of those Chambray Owners are free to take that awesome BEST puppy and become independent breeders on their own!

Now, the reality is that more than 70% of those that have come onboard stay onboard with us as co-breeders with future litters…………………20% choose to go it alone after that first ‘required’ co-op litter and there is always that 10% that are more or less given the pink slip along the way before getting to the breeding agreement and it becomes 'hasta la vista baby' because they were not cooperative working material..................loose cannons, more of a liability than an asset...................dumb & dumber............and all sorts of odd balls that just can't work in a beneficial group environment!

 

My philosophy in life is simple……………it either works or it walks! Nothing is worth angst because it will always taste sour, so way before taking that bite, I let them know to take a hike!

As stated at the beginning of this post…………………….I provide all the information to allow those searching for the best what it will take to have that best puppy placed with them. That way, the truly honorable will know what is expected of them. Of course those that are nefarious, scheming, shysters, and whose word changes with the wind……………..well once their fair-weathered side shows up, then it’s gone with the wind for them!

No time to lose with eventual losers!

May20th: When Is Good Enough, Good For Showing?

“We have a litter of really nice puppies sired by a Grand Ch that has won multiple Labrador specialties. The problem we are having is that every person that contacts us for a puppy only wants a pet and don’t want to show the puppy. We can’t keep them all and would like for the real nice ones of them to get to go to the dog shows so that our kennel gets known. It is very frustrating to spend so much time and money on getting good dogs and then spending more money on top stud dogs and not be able to have those puppies be shown. We were wondering if you could either refer potential show owners to us or to have you place some of the puppies for us.” (much longer email)

Yes, it is very, very frustrating to be breeding top caliber puppies and then not have the clientele for them. However, it does take time and patience for your ‘brand’, your kennel name and more importantly, you as the breeder to become recognized for being a quality breeder at the show level.

First of all, from the rest of your email, you state that you have never bred a champion……………yet…………..well, that is something that folks looking to show want to see! How is someone supposed to have confidence in you as a show breeder when you don’t have the proof!

You state that this is a really nice litter……………compared to what?

 

Compared to what you have been breeding for 6 years that hasn’t produce a single pointed dog yet………………compared to what is currently showing in your area that is winning?

 

So, you offering really nice puppies from a top champion, specialty winning dog may not be enough to convince any person that is currently into showing that you have the right stuff!

You will need to be able to select out the best puppy or 2 from this litter and you will need to take them all the way to their championship if they are truly breed standard worthy. If this occurs, then you may get some respect as a breeder………………….more than likely, you will still be seen as being ‘green’ and you will need to take those puppies as adults and breed them and hopefully keep the best from their litters…………………show those 2nd generation produce……………………hopefully have some of those champion and then, maybe then, you may have some that will believe in you and may want to ‘invest’ in you and your dogs!

For the 2nd part of your email…………………….I only breed for top show potential, using the very best from my 9th, 10th and 11th generation of breeding the best to the best and winning at the dog shows at the highest rate in the country……………………………….I don’t broker puppies, I don’t even refer clients to anyone not breeding at the top levels and even then, I am very cautious because people that contact us, want the very best and if per chance, what I refer them to ends up being a palooka, then it comes back to bite me in the butt.

May 15th Journey's Beginning

To every journey, there is but a single step that marks the beginning of that trek. Success, if any will manifest itself according to how well equipped one is at the onset…………of course, the decisions made along the way will determine how long, if ever it takes to arrive at some type of end game or desired result.

Out of all the endeavors that I have embarked upon in my almost 69 years……………….this Labrador raising, training and ultimately competing at the dog shows has to be the most complex and unpredictable quagmire-like function that I have dealt with!

Just getting started in the right direction took what I now look back at and it seems forever! The 1970’s were the dark ages compared to the mass confusion and tremendous overload of information that today’s age bombards any neophyte with…………………………to be honest, I don’t know which is worst!

On one hand there was no timely or even pertinent information available during those nebulous and foggy years of the 70’s, 80’s and even into the first half of the 90’s! No Internet presence made any type of info gathering depend on outdated printed matter that was 20 to 50 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now compare that to today’s ‘in a jiffy of a second, now it happens and now you know it’………………..from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo and back again before a sneeze is completed!

The damn if you do and damn if you don’t situation facing all those that are seekers of what, when and where is that there is an avalanche of MISS-INFORMATION that sounds so credible that even some of the truly knowledgeable have become tainted in their ability to decipher what is real and what is deliberate hogwash perpetrated by those with nefarious agendas……………………..even in the dispersal of information for breeding, raising, training and show dogs!

My, oh my, not a day goes by without some type ‘bad info’, rubbish coming across my vision and scope………………….since I only allow one avenue of information………………..email/internet, sifting through what is real/pertinent and what is bad cholesterol, potentially hazardous GMOs, killer trans fats, and all those abbreviated carcinogens that start with a ‘B or r’, BHA-BHT-BVO-rBGH-rBST………………AND NOW, all the FAKE NEWS that tilts the teeter totter towards the transient and non-trustworthy side of reality!

I just had a respondent email from someone impressing upon me that dogs that are cow-hocked actually perform better because the legs are already ‘curved inwards’ where eventually they will in-line which is the preferred and correct movement…………………whereas legs that are parallel have a harder time coming underneath the dog’s midline and placing their feet where they are supposed to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??????????????????????

When asked where they obtained their information, they directed me to some yayhoo’s website that has decided to provide a blog about Labrador Retrievers…………………PROBLEM IS…………………….the guy has absolutely no credentials as a breeder…………….not one single champion produced and some of the poorest, most pathetic examples of the breed at his website!

Sifting through the site, there was one photo of a dog that depicted the ‘perfect front’……………… this according to the nimrod, ‘which is used much as a boat to navigate through water’………………

BIG PROBLEM, the dog has the front of a barge that plows through water instead of effortlessly cutting through and beyond as the proper 'distanced and tapered' brisket allows a true conformation Labrador!

This tugboat of a dog is more like a Bulldog than what the Labrador breed standard calls for…………huge, broad barrel chest that dropped significantly below the elbows………………………..if the dog could swim, it would be a feat and never mind that poor dog covering ground in the ring and I can’t imagine it getting through any type of short grass cover and forget about tall reeds and rough terrain!

Talk about the wheels coming off the vehicle………………..if the heart doesn’t give out first!

So, we have someone that is relatively new to Labradors, reading and believing stuff full of wrongs to make a boat sink and then attempting to breed with structural defects because she reads some gibberish that makes sense to her because her dogs look like what some erroneous, flim-flam man is flaunting as being true breed type according to made up debauchery and buffoonery!

When I directed her to the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard about ‘fronts’ and ‘rears’, she really jumps off the cliff and replies that “no one actually breeds to those standards!”

So, here is another journey already destined to end up waylaid into the pits of misery because there is so much miss-information available from so many and yet, the good info is being usurped by the bad and the ugly………………………perfectly covered by these 2 ‘off the tracks’ characters going where no man/woman should ever be going with the breed!

“I read all of your blogs doing my best to learn about the breed. I ask question at dog shows from those that have been breeding longer than I have. I don’t feel that I am getting any better even after this being my 9th year breeding and showing my Labradors. I am hoping that you can look at the photos of my dogs and tell me if I am doing right?”

There is no perfect starting place in answering an email where there are way too numerous criteria that affects the expectations and eventual outcomes.

Here is a scenario………………………..a person who knows didley squat about the breed can very easily obtain a great specimen of the breed from a breeder………………………..that owner can be extremely successful having the dog shown…………………attain championship before the dog is 2 years old…………..dozens and dozens of Best Of Breeds, Group 1 placements, Best In Specialty Show awards, Judges Awards of Merits………………..top national rankings……………………………AND KNOW NOTHING about the breed or breeding!

Nothing that would make them a BREEDER! A knowledgeable breeder at that, because 'breeders' are a 'dime a dozen/get a second dozen free', NOT a knowledgeable breeder that would make the right decisions on selecting dogs that would perpetuate the great qualities that the dog that was placed with them possessed and thus pass those superlatives on to the next generation.

Assuredly as the sun rises in one cardinal point and sets on the opposing mark, the next generation produced by the bloke owning that spectacle of a dog…………that next generation of puppies will see a major downhill avalanche in conformation traits and quality!

You can quote me here………………….you can take that last statement to the bank and make interest on it!

That is as predictable as there will be a new moon once a month!

Scenario #2 is the bass-ackwards of the preceding…………………….time and time again, I have witnessed newbies come on board at the show/breed level with run of the mill dogs that were 20 years behind the times……………behind the level of the dogs currently showing in this area…………………..and then insist and persist on using those dogs as their foundation to get better!

No matter how much they improve on those mediocre dogs, they never ever catch up to the competition. Yes, once in a fall harvest, blue moon being eclipsed by the sun’s shadow, a crumb is thrown their way by an off-kilter judge and that gives them enough impetus to keep going another year or so of not winning anything until another crumb finds it way to them again!

Unfortunately, the above is par for the course and it is what is affecting the person emailing me and providing photos of what is her 3rd generation of breeding, having started with pet grade dogs to begin with. Besides providing me photos, I was also supplied pedigrees that more than handsomely illustrate the point.

Breeding to the popular flavor of the decade, most used dog…………..then to the Westminster BOB winner………………….produced NOTHING like either, in fact the consistent, middle of the road, on the light bone side dogs that she started with and then adding severe overdone, heavy-boned, heavy-headed, bulky dogs……………………created such a dastardly configuration with the offspring with absolutely no consistency, from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Not understanding the breed standard……………….not understanding how genetics works has created such a discombobulation of breed traits and off-traits that at this point in time, scrapping the whole lot, starting with a fresh slate of dogs would be the best alternative!

Now, take the two cases from above and shake and stir them together and that is exactly what 90% of those breeding and showing are doing! From one end of the spectrum to the other and yet the results end up a potpourri of this and that……………….once in a rare epiphany some get lucky, others blame the sun, the moon and all the planets for their dismal plight and seemingly bad luck results.

There is no magical answer that will provide a singular solution.....................what it takes is time and learning.................learning about the breed itself.............learning about genetics and how it manifest itself over a period of time.

 

Learning about structure, about correct movement, learning about flaws, faults and defects within the breed...............learning how to raise dogs correctly, how to train and condition CORRECTLY........................learning the individualism of each dog, its strengths and weaknesses and then putting that into play in a competitive arena, the dog shows.

How many people breeding and showing dogs in your area can honestly say that they possess all of the preceding as 'experts'...........as I see it........................not many...................not many at all!

05/06/18 Cow Hockey, Hackneyed and Other Faux-pas

 

“I bred my female to a popular dog that I had seen that was the sire in photos at websites. I was just told by a professional handler that has seen this stud dog up close at shows, that he is ‘moderately hocky’. I have been told that my female is cowhocked. Does being hockey and cowhocked mean the same thing? If it does and they both have the same weakness, how many puppies will come out like them and how many will have the right type of hocks?”

The above situation is exactly what I have been talking about for years……………..way too many folks breeding dogs that have no clue what the breed standard for their breed is……………..if their dog has a major fault, and they don’t know that, then more than likely, they will continue producing that exact same fault on and on as in the example from above.

Yes, ‘hockey and cow-hocked’ are one and the same……………………and even an older term, ‘knocked-hocks’ and some have been misstating the condition by calling it ‘cow-hockney’, and someone recently asked me if their dog was ‘hackneyed’…………………..I responded that it could be ‘stale and cow-hocked at the same time’!

I know of the stud dog that was used in this breeding and I know that his dam was cow-hocked, so at least two generation’s deep of the same fault……………….now that dog is bred to a female that is cow-hocked and the owner of the female doesn’t know if her sire and dam are cow-hocked because she bought the dog from someone that imported it with several siblings from Eastern Europe.

Even if there weren’t any puppies that don’t show the structural defect……………………they will be carrying it in the recessive and they will pass that undesirable trait on to the next generation.

On and on we go and where the cluelessness stops, heavens knows!

To answer one inquirer………..yes, each of the ‘GOOD’ photos of dogs from the post below this one, those with the perfect rears…………….indeed are Chambray dogs…………………..& all those with ‘BAD & UGLY’ are dogs bred by others.

To the bloke that questioned if those dogs displaying the ‘GOOD’ traits, also had over angulated rears…………………the answer is ‘NO’. It is simple to detect………………………look at the point where the toes of the rear feet are, then look straight up to see where the rump of the dog is………………………it should be right above the spot where the toes are. Over-angulated would have the toes way back, 2, 3, or even 4 inches behind the dog’s rear……………..like with  Weimaraner, Pointers and all those breeds that call for that type of angulation.

To the several that stated that ‘Nobody cares’ if dogs are cow-hocked or not………………….well those ‘Nobody’ breeders are doing a disservice to the breed and getting nowhere as fast as nobody cares! Besides, all it takes is for ONE person to care and then that will make the statement ‘Nobody cares’ totally incorrect………………………..and since I care, then whoop there it is…………………’Nobody’ is wrong!

 

 

To those that asked “Why?”……………………Why do judges award prizes to cow-hocked dogs? Well, maybe they don’t know any better…………………maybe they breed cow-hocked dogs themselves……………………..one thing is for sure…………………………THEY WON”T BE JUDGING ANY OF MY DOGS IN THE FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To those that asked if I ever have puppies in litters that are cow-hocked. The answer is yes (small percentage)………………….those will be placed as PETS! Even if the rest of the evaluation would have been great! The second that the puppy is on the table for evaluation and ANY FAULT or DEFECT is noticed……………….OFF THE TABLE IT GOES!

Along with an OVERBITE, an UNDERBITE………………………..missing TESTICLES……………………..SLABSIDED…………………..BOWED FRONT………………..PINCHED FRONT………NARROW FRONT…………EAST/WEST FRONT…………..….UPRIGHT SHOUDLERS………… OVERLOADED SHOULDERS ………….SWAY BACK…………………..ROACHED BACK……………………STRAIGHT REAR LEGS…………SLIP HOCKS…………………………..HYPEREXTENDED HOCKS…………SICKLE HOCKS………EAST/WEST REAR…………………….BOWED REAR…………OVER ANGULATED REAR…..………….HIGH TAIL SET………………………..LOW TAIL SET………………………..TOO LONG TAIL/TOO SHORT TAIL/KINKED TAIL/CURLED TAIL………………………There are more faults, but the preceding covers a good chunk of the more frequent occurrences.

April 27 More On 'Troubles' Of The Breed:

 

The recent post on cow-hocks, as always has brought about a lot of comments and questions………………..........which is a great thing! The more input a topic receives, the better it is to address the problem or perplexity……………………………the better it is to offer solutions and hope that chipping away at it has brought about a desired change.

Long ago, making it my lifelong crusade, I chose this one area of deficiency in Labrador Retrievers from of all the other weaknesses and all the other ill-bred traits in the breed, because cow-hocks seemed to be settling in as a ‘if you see enough of them, and then you think that they are correct’……………the old, ‘the more you see it, the more it looks correct’ syndrome!

In addition to the ‘defect’ creeping in with the at-large population of breeders, several ‘top of the mountain’ show breeders also were affected by the insidious fault………but because their dogs were otherwise so pleasing to the eye in general and so successful in the show ring, it created a ‘false’ sense of correctness to those that didn’t know any better.  

I do see that there is a tremendous amount of awareness of the criticality of the situation and I have also seen a somewhat lessened occurrence at the shows here in Florida that I attend………………………………although just recently I have been told by different sources that could be an anomaly for this region because breeders/exhibitors/handlers that frequent these shows are fully aware of my vigil and refrain from exhibiting dogs that are saddled and hindered with the defect.

The fear of the Wrath of Khan syndrome……………………lets hide it from the oracle and he won’t out us and come down hard on the ‘guilty’……………gee, I hope that’s not the case. If it is, then it would make the dastardly deed even worse………………knowing that it is wrong and then covering it up is worse.

If true, that saddens me to no ends! I would have wished that the awareness that I felt had started to make a difference, would have been one that was more on a national level and not just for a specific area that I show at.

Now, for those that follow my concerns for the breed, cow-hocks is just one problem out of many that plague Labrador breeders…………………..every breed of dog has these flaws, faults and defects…………some caused by freaks of nature and most others caused by freaky people!

So, for those asking, here is my Top 5 Dastardly Deed List for Show Labradors.

#1 Cow-Hocks
#2 Straight Shoulders, Upright Shoulders…………..instead of at 90 degrees, some at 180!
#3 Severely Overdone, overweight
#4 Short Upper Arms
#5 Straight, No Angulation Rears, Slip Hocks, Hyperextension of the Hock Joint (all lumped together)

Oh, I am sure that the preceding list will draw some ire, so I will save further scrutiny as I address the incoming.

PS: The post below this one addressed an email I received from someone desiring anonymity. She stated that no one cares about cow-hocks, yet she then stated that 'everyone' was up in arms at Face Book because I care about it....................YES I AM VERY PROUD OF THE FACT THAT THE CHAMBRAY DOGS BY FAR AND LARGE DISPLAY THE CORRECT FORMATION OF THE REAR ACCORDING TO THE BREED STANDARD........................BECAUSE, THAT'S THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 26th

"There you go again bringing something up that no body cares about. Everyone was up in arms at the Labrador Breeders Face Book sight, talking about this. What are people supposed to do if their dogs are cowhocked? Get rid of them? No body is going to do that becaue people love their dogs. Just because you have dogs that are not cowhocked doesn’t give you the right to trash other peoples dogs".

Don’t use my name because I don’t want trouble.

Rest easy all the way around, neither going to use your name and neither going to trash anyone's dogs! No need for any of that. What needs to be understood is, that if dogs have major faults or worse, structural defects, they shouldn't be used for breeding! That is so simple to understand and follow. If dogs are cow-hocked................well love them to death, but don't perpetuate that defect by producing puppies with those defects! 

Now go love your dogs!

The Good
The Bad & the Ugly
April 25th: Head For Cover, The Rains Are Coming & So Is Another Cow-Hocked Diatribe

This past weekend at the Ocala IABCA dog shows, I had considerable time on my hands and derriere to conjure up some thoughts worth commenting about. I will start with my pet peeve!

 

Oh no, head for the hills time because it’s going to rain cow hocks left and right! Yep, my pet peeve all over again because in reality, THEY ARE ALL OVER!

Not like in ‘over’, no more, passé, finito………….nope, more like in, OVER RUNNING THE PLACE!

The following is word for word. EXACTLY what the good doctor ordered!

Hindquarters:

The Labrador's hindquarters are broad, muscular and well-developed from the hip to the hock with well-turned stifles and strong short hocks. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the angulation of the rear legs is in balance with the front.

 

The hind legs are strongly boned, muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle, and powerful, clearly defined thighs. The stifle is strong and there is no slippage of the patellae while in motion or when standing. The hock joints are strong, well let down and do not slip or hyper-extend while in motion or when standing.

 

Angulation of both stifle and hock joint is such as to achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. When standing the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Over angulation produces a sloping topline not typical of the breed. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads.

Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.

 

 

Okay, so I highlighted and grossly enlarged the fonts to make a point, however the dictums are EXACT!

Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and parallel.

People, breeders and judges, stand behind the dogs and if the hock joints are itching to touch each other, if they are closer to each other than the thighs are to each other and if those hocks are closer to each other than the two paws are to each other…………………THAT’S COW-HOCKED!

Cow-hocks, are serious structural defects.

So, why oh why do my hackles bristle, my ire gets higher, my lather froth and my blood pressure boil over when I see that dastardly deed over and over again, year after year………………….from blokes that should know better and from those that don’t know Bo?

Well, besides the obvious……………………IT IS A REQUIREMENT OF THE BREED, there are major consequences for the dogs that are bred this way.

That out of whack, inward deviated joint of the hock is the WEAK link to the whole rear assembly!  

 

The hock joint is a WEIGHT BEARING joint, as is the knee joint and the hip joint as is the paw joint, if any of them are out of alignment……………………then that becomes the likeliest place for damage!

 

That will be the joint that fatigues the quickest and eventually that will be the joint that ‘gives’ in at some point with hastened wear and tear!

 

LIKE IN ACLs tears, strains, sprains and just plain DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, first of all, it is NOT RIGHT according to the breed standard, 2nd it is cosmetically UNSIGHTLY and worse than the preceding………………of paramount importance, it is potentially a physical, life altering health problem for the dog!

 

ACL repair is not always the success we wish for.

#1 Correct #2 Severe #3 Moderate

April 19th: I aim to please! Some readers really appreciate the technical posts, while others prefer the edgy 'opinionated' renderings. Here's a technical offering with lots of opinions to boot.

 

There are over 400 recognized breeds of dogs worldwide. The AKC now officially recognizes a few over 200.

Each breed is unique in the way it looks (conformation) and also in its intended function. To get really technical, the consensus theory being that the vast majority of the breeds developed as they are today because of their function, thus the terminology, ‘form follows function’, a saying that is flung around with quite the flair when canine savvy Illuminati are conversing about the different breeds.

To most of us into the fancy, we just say that the breeds 'look different and act different' as well and that is what makes them the breeds they are!

In our breed of Labradors, we have a quandary of epic proportions!

Labradors probably have the most variables of form and function of all the breeds known to man!

That sounds like it might be a good thing……………..but quite the opposite…………………it is a ‘unique breed killer!

Once any breed of dog starts to look and function totally away from the uniform dictum's of the breed, then ‘Houston we have a problem!’

Since the Labrador is the official most popular dog on round planet earth……………….with nothing coming close…….it is being bred by total ends of spectrum folk……………from the few knowledgeable ones to the preponderant numbers that don’t know didley!

We are talking hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people acting as if they knew what they were doing by breeding whatever comes out………….which then leads to our current predicament of having the most varied looking breed there is.

To compound the dastardly situation beyond repair, not only do we, as keepers of the breed have to deal with the onslaught of puppy mills, backyard breeders and actually anyone owning a female and that wants the kids to see the birds and the bees and mother nature at work and puts any female with any male that can be called a Labrador together and wham, bam, thank you ma’am, there you have another litter of Labradors to add to the untold numbers that are produced yearly…………………compounding the problem is that there are several ‘in the know’ breeder-types, actually three different factions that probably do know what they are doing and yet those three different groups breed totally different looking specimens of the breed!

So, we have tons and tons of folk that don’t know NOTHING breeding Labs and then we also have THREE different groups that actually know WHAT……………………………….the ones breeding tons are all over the place in look and in function and the ones that do know, they too have totally different looks and functions as well

HOW CAN THAT BE?

Well, there are way too many of the tons and tons of KNOW NOTHINGS breeding Labs to even gripe about, so I will just cover the more obvious ones…………………..1) the Field/Hunting breeders…………………….2) the All-Breed Dog Show breeders…………………….3) the Specialty Dog Show breeders!

Now hold on to your hat, wig or ears in case there is no hair…………………….because there are even those that know a little and are breeding combinations of field and show……………adding thousands more to the variables…………………not to mention the wannabees breeding whatever is the flavor of the minute on Facebook!

So, what does the future hold for a breed of dog that has no parameters, no confines, no defining form or function…………………………..where instead of the time honored form follows function, we now have fools following foibles?

Not being Nostradamus, I really don’t know where the out of control Headless Horseman will end up at. I know for sure that come hellacious copious levels of H2O, I will hold steadfast and breed those dogs that are the closest to the official dictum director of the breed, the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard!

Where form is following right along with their function…………WORD FOR WORD what the Breed Standard for the breed reads as follows:

The Labradors Retriever is a strongly built, medium sized, short coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions.

Above all, it must be well balanced, enable it to move in the show ring or work the field with little or no effort, possess style and quality without over refinement and substance without lumber or cloddiness.

 

‘To be shown in working condition’……….not one pound or two over the limitations for weight………………not one hair thicker, longer, bushier than ‘short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand!

Of particular ire to this writer………………………Cowhocks are serious structural defects!

SERIOUS STRUCTRAL DEFECTS…………….not a flaw or worse, not a fault…………………much, much worse..............a SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECT!

So, is this Labrador situation headed for the 'too much water for the dam to hold back'………………..who knows.

What I do know is that for all those with the right equipment, come that judgement day, you will be the ones that get a free pass to the front of the line!

April 2nd Vision & the Village

“What does it take to breed at the level that you are breeding at now?” was asked of me at Sunday’s Miami show from someone looking to get into breeding dogs……………this  is someone that has been into the competitive activities with dogs for a while, just not into the show end of the fancy!

This interested party has been following Chambray Labradors for about a year and has likewise ‘looked into’ several other Labrador breeders as well.

My reply………………… “It takes a dedicated village of true blue aficionados of the breed that have what it takes to listen, understand, appreciate and follow the yellow brick road laid before them…………….following that golden path to the wins, awards, titles, certificates, and records that are the visual markers that those from the outside see.”

“From what I have seen and gathered, no other Labrador breeder that I have visited and spoken to have anything nears what your program offers nor do any of them have the successes you all enjoy, why is that?” was the follow up question/statement made by the inquiring mind that wanted to know.

“The simplest of answers to give you are the ‘village’ and the ‘vision’!” was my short and sweet answer.

However, the dissertational part of me takes it much further and explains that for the vision that I have for the breed, employing my 48 years of experience in all facets of Labrador Retrievers…………………..optimizing my ability that understands the ‘form follows function’ of our breed standard……………….my steadfastness in not succumbing to never ending fads…………………….to not fall for all those flavor of the months that eventually run their course………………to keep forging forward when those with ugly heads rear up and want to drag ass backwards………………………..to  dust off when nature knocks things of kilter……………….in general, to keep the vision moving in overdrive, always heading in the right direction while at the same time orchestrating and providing the village with the results that are undeniable for those that come along for the ride………………….the payoff for those that follow the game plan, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that speaks for itself time and time again.

While at the same time, seeing those others that didn’t heed the words of wisdom, didn't follow the path, didn’t stick to the game plan……………to see where their choices got them instead of making the right choice, making a wrong choice when presented to them………………plain and simple, because nothing is plainer nor simpler than success versus whatever else those others have ended up with.

To which the inquisitor respond with “Amen to that!”

To which I think, there is hope for this person.

March 28th: Reminiscing This & That

 

The ‘Good Old Boys Get Together’ offering below this one brought out loads of fun feedback! Many of our present and past Chambray owners reminisced about their experience with the off-kilter folk that came and went, those wayward one causing a ruckus along the way.

There were some that wanted names to connect the dots to the cast of characters gone wild…………..moi, yours truly being the sharing, educating kind………..I obliged.

There were a few that caught along with the hidden theme within the piece and actually counted and named the movie titles, plays and TV shows mentioned throughout the blog………………….no one got them all……..one came close, but was still off by 13.

Some asked for more stories about owners from the Twilight Zone!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NO MAS por favor! To repeat, in the words of the great (for a short span of time) Roberto Duran, “NO MAS”!

Actually there have been one too many already…………………enough already! Be gone into the nether world!

I actually cringe while thinking about the next hurricane as I do thinking about the next one in need of hinges!

Not one to dwell on the negative………..at least not for too long……………………the overwhelming positives keep the boat keeled and headed in the right direction and the overwhelming shipmates that make up Chambray Labradors and Owner’s Programs helps keep the program sailing smoothly in calm, placid waters.

 Each 6 months there is a new wave of new owners………………..I love ‘new’…………….but I also love ‘old’. The ‘old’ happen to be our owners from the past that come back years later for their 2nd, some, many more years later for their 3rd and a few going back to the 1990’s for their 4th Chambray dog……………….and a recent past owner dating back to 1984 coming back with his grandson to take home the families 5th Chambray dog!

However, without the ‘newest owners’ that actually come on board knowing from me as much as possible about our mission for the Betterment of the Breed……….they represent the majority of owners of the present, ‘they’ being with us for less than 2 years……………..they being the ones that will carry the Chambray name forward being responsible for the next generation for the betterment of the breed, the Next Generation Chambray newest puppies-to-be, ‘those newer owners’ being the ones that own the future mothers that will produce those future puppies that pays the whole kit and caboodle forward to the next newest-owners-to-be!

So, we rejoice all the ‘good ones’, those that appreciate the tremendous effort that it takes to keep the wheel turning for there to be puppies to offer all those that will be drawn to us because of all we offer for the breed and for new owners-to-be.

March 19: A Get-Together Worth Sharing

 

I just had a grand old time with a good old bunch of Labrador owners, aging adventurers that have been around the show scene for quite a while, especially with all the goings on with the Chambray groups over the years……………needless to say an excellent buzz-session.

Subject of our good old bosom buddies’ confabulations:

Chambray psychos that have come on board and gone berserk!

Who can forget the movie Fatal Attraction with Michael Douglas and Glen Close………………….talk about ‘a hold on to your gonads’ movie! I wonder how many folks that were thinking about having an affair lost their lust after watching the potential mess that messing around can bring.

Well, I am here to tell you that psychos exist in every endeavor wherever there are more than 2 humans involved……that is human nature at its best/worst!

In the dog world where Best In Show is the ultimate destination....................Norman Bates-type American psychos abound! For some weird science reason it seems that there is an over concentration of the loonies in our ‘man’s best friend’ fancy!

The why’s and therefore……………. I have beau coup theories to explain the large lot of those that go stir crazy and turn from the good to the bad and the ugly! For now we will just go over the more memorable outlaws of Chambray lore.

Oh, God, alone in the Chambray annals, there are more than 101 Dalmatian-loads of excellent examples of seemingly fine folk joining the wild bunch, full of crazed dog owners and those seemingly tamed ones, jumping ship and they too becoming the next wild swamp thing!

Talk about people living vicariously……………….some owners with their dogs, turn turncoat and live through each and every nuance of their dogs! In essence, their dogs become their greatest show on earth! Never mind all the other dogs competing in the ring, as these owners become possessed/obsessed that their dog is the only decennial in a centillion of 10’s!

Coming to mind readily, there was the Immaculate Conception lady, referred to by the masses that witnessed the transformations of the 3 faces of Eve and also she was A.K.A. as the ‘viva la vida loca of Miami’…………….more recently there was the ‘green eyed monster’ with the raging bull syndrome, who would turn Jekyll and Hyde at the drop of a magic mike……………………….there also was the Mountain Top Grizzly Adams Family, straight from the crew of Deliverance, chomping and stumping their way right out of the edge of tomorrow!

My oh my and Mama Mia too………………they have come in all shapes and sizes, and genders to boot and then some…………………….all with the same affliction………………..…all clueless in Seattle………….going totally 'end of days'…………………………...all of them with their dogs going to their heads, sadly and good riddance, all end up as the departed!

Fortunately, they all fizzle out with a well-deserved she-bang, she-bang and the rest of the fancy just moves on without much fanfare.

 

Unfortunately, the majority of those dogs associated with the walking dead ended up as non-contributory to the betterment of the breed! In some cases, the loss to the breed was of titanic proportions!

 

In order for a top show dog to complete its birthright, the hallmark halfway mark is its champion’s title; the whole journey to the center of the earth is perpetuating those Great Gatsby traits to the next generation of Labradors as being the producers of superior quality.

But hark………………………and rejoice because the goodfellas far outnumber the dumb and dumber ones, yep the Good Old Boy’s get-together also spun a yarn or two about the field of dreams type that didn’t want to get away and that worked out so well for Chambray and the pay it forward movement, that we went the whole nine yards for them……………those fine folk being the Fantasticks that have graced the Wall Of Fame for Chambray with their dog’s contributions……….Thank God for those, because those make up the greatest story ever told!

March 14th: Contrasting Points Of View

 

The ‘Numbers Tell A Truthful Story’ blog from What's New Page (click title or page for blog) brought about some opposing views from a couple of folk that took exception to Chambray’s verifiable records, awards and accomplishments.

In essence both objecting parties suggested that our record number of home-bred champions have an asterisks attached to them because…………..according to both of them, the majority of breeders make up their own, owned champions which were the best puppies kept from each litter, thus most breeders only have a few dogs that were sold to others that end up becoming champions,  whereas most of the Chambray champions were finished by other owners (which of course is Fake News, because we actually were in the ring finishing most of those dogs).

So, the knock here is that because I operate the only Labrador Owner’s Program of its kind that makes it possible for the regular folk, the ordinary dog owner to have great dogs that excel in many activities, including being the top show champions in the country……………….that those dogs not living with me that become champions SHOULD NOT BE COUNTED AS CHAMPIONS for me the BREEDER!

Of course I educated those two wayward folk, that the vast majority of Chambray champions were indeed finished by US…………………….as the handlers at the dog shows……………so we BRED them………we PLACED them……………we TRAINED them……….we laid out the CONDITIONING program for each and then we HANDLED them!

However, since I aim to please, I will go ahead and put an asterisks next to our great numbers………………………I will do that with great PRIDE, because that asterisk indicates how successful Chambray Labradors Owner’s Program has become……………in actuality, the ASTERISK sets what we do at a higher, more prestigious level…………serving a larger segment of the dog owning world!

So these 59 asterisks are for all those awesome Chambray champions ***********************************************************

March 14th: Music To My Eyes & Ears

 

Now that’s what I call music!

Music to my eyes and ears that is!

 

Yes, there’s nothing better than to get a reaction to something I conjure up, write and then publish to the website and/or mail out to all those on my different email groups.

Such has been the case with my latest offering on ‘What It Takes To Win’.

I love it…………………………..I LOVE THE FEEDBACK!

Feedback tells me that people are reading and LISTENING.

If no one reads, then I am wasting valuable time that I could be using to work with the dogs that are left here for me to care for, to train, to condition and get ready for their big day in the spotlight at the dog shows.

However if folk only read and don’t respond, then I really, really don’t know if all the great things that I have to share about Labradors are doing any good.

That’s where the feedback comes in………………….through feedback……….I KNOW WHO IS READING & WHO IS LISTENING & WHO WANTS TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THEIR DOG!

Give me 100 dogs and I will give you 100 DIFFERENT game plans! There are no 2 dogs alike in temperament, in personality and in conformation………………..THEN…………………..add all the different quirks of their environment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa Nelly, we end up with a smorgasbord of varying permutations that would confuse even the knowledgeable……………………thus, that’s where I come in……………………because there is no other person left standing that KNOWS LABRADORS as I do!

None!

 

If per long, long chance there is, then step right up to the mike and let yourself be heard!

I am waiting!

Okay, waited long enough…………..back to the matter at hand.

Since publishing yesterday’s offering, I have received 11 “What Can I Do to Make My Dog a Winner?” replies.

That’s what I am talking about……….that’s what will get the job done.

You meet me with your dog half way and I will take the ball and run with it and we will then go ALL THE WAY!

 

Now, for the rest of you…………………whether you want a Therapy Dog, a Show Dog, a Well Behaved Dog…………whatever it is that you aspire to have and DON’T……………………MEET ME HALF WAY and I will show you the REST of the way to succeeding with your dog!

Winning Points Following The Yellow Brick Road

March 13th

 

 

The West Palm Beach show this past weekend brought out dozens of potential new Chambray puppy owners and in addition, we debuted almost a dozen new puppies and young dogs…………….add to those burgeoning numbers, all the owners from the Puppy Class of 2007 that are still navigating around all of the newness and unknowns of the dog show world……………………………..with the biggest quandary being, how dogs win points!

Of course we all know that what they really, really want to know is HOW THEIR DOG CAN WIN POINTS!

Since I am all about providing answers and information, all of the questions asked at the 2 days of shows and the deluge that followed via email..........I am sure there were dozens of phone calls, but since I can’t get to the phone for a week at a time, I haven’t the foggiest how many are there waiting for me to hear them!

So, let’s start out as simple as possible to cover all the ground needed to fully answer all the questions asked!

FIRST & FOREMOST:

CONFORMATION is a primal must! In order for a Chambray dog to be included at any dog show, it MUST exemplify the top of the breed standard! That means it must be a perfect example of the breed to the nth degree! If it is a lower grade, then we wait until it develops those qualities that would give it the best chances of winning points………………..if it doesn’t develop as I conjured it would, then it will NOT BE INCLUDED in our show plans!

Now that was simple and brutal! But a 100% must if we are to be on the up and up with the Betterment of the Breed credo and mantra!

There are no ‘ands, ifs or buts about it’…………………….if the dog is HIGH SHOW QUALITY we will go all out and do what it takes to take that dog to its birthright………..to its AKC Championship!

 

Okay, the preceding should be easy to understand for every single person that queried me about winning at a dog show…………….so let’s add a heaping cupful of gravy to the meat and potatoes!

 

If I invited your dog to participate at a dog show………………….I stand behind that dog with all my essence as being TOP CONFORMATION and it deserves to be in the thick of things for those elusive winners points!

If all the dogs at the dog show are of equal value in CONFORMATION, then there are other criteria that are considered by the judges to give them the impetus to award one class male and one class female the winner’s points for the day!

Up to now it was just that certain ‘look’ that could make a dog a winner……………….now we mix in some ingredients to make the dog look even better:

TRAINING………………CONDITIONING………………..HANDLING………………PERFORMANCE!

If all the dogs competing have the LOOK, then what will tip the scale for some dogs will be the preceding 4 criteria.

The dog with the LOOK…………………the TRAINING……………….the CONDITIONING…………………..the HANDLING……………putting it all together with the PERFORMANCE has the absolute best chances of being pointed at for the winners points.

Now here is where Chambray Labradors Dog Show Management Program comes in and becomes the ADVANTAGE IN for those who have joined us at the extreme high levels of BREEDING, RAISING, TRAINING, CONDITIONING, HANDLING & WINNING!

The above statement is because in Labradors we WIN MORE THAN ANY OTHER BREEDER or LABRADOR HANDLER’S GROUP!

However, there is a twist to the mix…………………………………….the Chambray GAME PLAN for each dog must be followed to a CAPITAL T…………………………any deviations from my plans causes delays in getting to the promised land and has been proven over and over again by those that went off on tangents, some of those dogs/owners that took detours never arrived and some that were on board, self-destructed on their own devises…………………..we have quite a few cases to illustrate the aforementioned.

So, WINNING has a proven course with Chambray:

  • CONFORMATION

  • TRAINING

  • CONDITIONING

  • HANDLING

  • PERFORMANCE

  • FOLLOW THE CHAMBRAY GAME PLAN

All leads to WINNING AT THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGES!

March 4th: The Measure Of A True Champion Is What It Produces

Topic of conversation this weekend by several aficionados at the Davie Fl dog show:

Show champion titles on a dog are a testament of that dog’s conformational value, yet they provide no measure of that dog’s worth to the breed that it represents unless it perpetuates those great conformation traits unto its offspring.

That measuring stick is totally dependent on what that dog contributes to its breed in succeeding generations. Too often there are dogs that are campaigned in what seems like a mindless, clueless journey leaving nothing behind in the form of progeny to indicate its lasting value to the breed.

What I have seen occurring more and more as the years pass on by, is that way too many dogs are campaigned as an ego trip by breeders and owners at best and a no brainer waste of time at worst………………….more so by self-absorbed owners, since at least breeders may be able to incorporate those top winning dogs into their own breeding programs, where the dog can contribute minimally to the betterment of the breed.

On too many occasions it becomes more about the people involved with showing the dog than about the dog or about the breed.

The long lasting verdict on any champion dog is what it produces that can be seen years after the dog fades from public view. In fact, in the dog show world, a dog that leaves the show circuit is totally forgotten within 6 months after its last show……………….no matter how many Best In Shows, not matter how many Best Of Breeds……………………no matter the titles, awards or top ranking…………………nope, all that will be long forgotten in a very short period of time as other dogs take the spotlight at the shows racking up those wins, titles and accolades.

Meanwhile, dogs that have long departed the competitive show ring and have produced a litany of progeny that carry on the torch in the form of their sire’s name in pedigrees, catalogs, periodicals, magazines and more importantly, from the mouths of babes…………..those breeder, exhibitors, handlers and whomever else sits around ringside palavering about the exploits of top producers………..in essence keeping the embers alive through the contributions that it has made to the breed it represents.

Dogs that are exhibited and not used for breeding.............to me it feels and seems like taking a fast muscle car down a short dead end street…………….loads of roar and thunder and lots of speed to no avail, wasted on a way too short of a ride!

Feb 19 Reasonable Expectations:

 

For the newest of the Chambray owners with puppies that will be debuting at the up and coming South Florida shows in March………………….most ask, “What can I expect from my puppy at these shows?”

I always tell my owners, ‘you get what you put in’……………………the more we work and train the dog, the better it will perform………….better performances means better placements in their respective classes and maybe, just maybe they will take a 1st place from that class and have the extra opportunity to show again for Winners Dog!

So, each puppy will compete in their age group………………those that are 7 months old will be in the 6 to 9 month old class, those that are 11 months old will be going at it in the 9 to 12 month old and so on……………..since they are all top show prospects, they all come into the ring with a perfect slate as far as conformation quality is concerned.

So, all things being equal, what sets any of them apart to have a judge award one of them a 1st place and another a 2nd and another a 3rd and even a 4th place if there are that many in that class? Good behavior and a great performance…...............the more they compete at the shows, the better they get to acting and the sharper the performance………practice makes perfect!

The selection process by the judge is extremely subjective…………………it is their sole opinion as to what constitute a first place exhibit……………….those judges of course are licensed to judge those breeds through credentials and examinations to earn their license………………however it still boils down to an opinion.

We train and condition our dogs so that they behave and give a good performance in the ring…………….this makes them look good, which hopefully the judge will take notice and give that particular puppy some ‘loving’ when it comes time to choose which one will be awarded the blue ribbon………the 1st place!

The very next day with a different judge possessing a different set of eyes and a totally different opinion, may very well choose one of the other puppies that didn’t win a ribbon the previous day.

That happens quite a bit………………keeping in mind that I as the master connoisseur of Labradors have already blessed each of those that we encourage to go to the shows, that they are what the breed calls for as far as quality is concerned and then we take them to a show and have one single person adjudicate which one receives the top award from each class.

Invariably those owners whose puppy did not win their class will ask me, “Why didn’t my puppy win?”

Of course there is NO ANSWER that suffices a distraught owner……..in actuality the answer is “Because the judge gave 1st place to another puppy!”  

 

Sometimes it comes down to 'eeny meeny miny mo', because all of the puppies or dogs competing are so close and yet the judge has to make his choice as to which to award that all important blue ribbon to.

If I encourage an owner to have their dog show, then I put my name and my 48 years with the breed on the line by bringing that dog into the ring, so every single dog that is on our show roster deserves to be there because of its outstanding breed standard traits.

 

Take my word for it, live long and prosper!

February 19th The Fast & Furious Inquiring Minds Want To Know

 

It seems that the more I disclose, the more inquiring minds want to know…………………THAT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!

What a waste of my time it would be if I were to spend an inordinate amount time reading emails then conjuring ways to answer them so that the masses (the inquiring minds) would also benefit from those that do ask and then have no one read or care!

The Internet Gurus state that for every single person that emails in a question, there are hundreds that had the same query, yet for whatever reason, don’t’ chime in.

Well, if that is a real, bona fide state of being, then I will continue reading and writing/publishing in return!

I love to deal with discriminating folk, because that lets me know that there are those that do care………………..because the opposite of that are the overwhelming mess that don’t know and go about doing things they know nothing, zilch about and end up creating a bigger mess for themselves to wallow in! I have had plenty of those that I have dealt with and boy, what an spectacular smelly affair those have been and invariably they all have ended up going backwards faster than bass-awkwards will get you!

So, more about handling and priorities………………….I guess since this subject affects owner’s feelings, they want answers……………..oddly enough, I receive more questions from dog owners from across the country that hire professional handlers, than I actually get from my own handling owner/clients!

Now, each professional handler is an entity unto themselves in what they practice and what protocols each use is a very individual situation. My recommendations is to go directly to the source and ask question to those handlers about the dogs in their charge and what priorities that they have in place for the eventualities that will and do come up.

With the Chambray Show Dog Management Program, we have a time-honored, traditional system in place that goes back 30 years. I have labeled this the Pay It Forward priority handling system.

Generally, the older dogs with the most points receive priority over the younger dogs and those receive priority over the puppies………………however nothing is 100% fixed and exceptions are called in when needed. As the originator, the overseer and implementer of the handling priorities, it all falls on me at the dog shows to make sure that the system is working at full benefit to the whole.

From the inquiries lately, it seems that owners and clients want to understand where their individual dog stands in the lineup of dogs to be handled each day. However there is an inherited problem with a ‘fixed’ itinerary…………………………………………………what happens one day doesn’t necessarily carry over to the next day as the criteria changes from day to day because the most crucial ingredient changes from day to day………………..THE JUDGING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only does the judging present us a nitroglycerin-like situation, the individual dog also plays a huge role in the decision making process, because dogs react to circumstances and one day they could be the perfect model and the next day out of nowhere they become raving banshees!

The list is quite long on things that go bump in the night that can change the chemistry from one day to the next as follows:

  • The Judge

  • How the dog feels and acts

  • The weather

  • Other dogs acting up

  • Handlers available

  • Different dogs entered on different days

  • Which dogs win the class

  • A meteorite falling nearby

 

Now, having covered a few of the things that I make adjustments for, here are some of the considerations for creating a priority from dog to dog:

  • Dogs with the most points, in the case with dogs having about the same amount of points, older dogs, then younger dogs…………….the faster an older dog finishes, the quicker priorities are made for those that were behind it!

  • Dogs handled from the ‘upper classes’……..Open….then Bred By……then Am Bred…………..then 12 to 18 and ending up with the Puppy Classes.

  • Dogs that participate in all of the show vs those that pick and choose which shows to enter in.

  • The number of dogs competing in a class…………….a dog taking a 1st place out of 5 dogs is given more credit by the judge over a single dog in a class with a 1st place.

  • Since I study all the nuances occurring from even before the judge starts judging and then I watch every single class in the ring………………there are times that certain judges will look at certain dogs and then there are times that a judge will make a very favorable comment about a dog winning its class………………in other words, knowing the trend happening in the ring, going with the flow creates edges for success. So, this is a consideration that is not pre-planned, rather cases where a ‘feeling’ can go a long way!

 

*By the way, the preceding is the biggest reason that I ask all of our owner/clients not to interrupt my train of thought while we are showing dogs……………………all questions by owners are to be saved until at least an hour after we finish with Labradors…………………this gives me time to fully take in all of the occurrences while they are still very fresh on my mind and also to consult with each of the other Herzons and with our other handlers to report to me anything of value that can be used to better our efforts for the next time.

Feb 18th More Handling Inquiries

“How are handling priorities between dogs in your show roster decided?”

Lately, this has been a most recurrent topic………………….but it follows the perfect timeline each and every year!

That’s because with the debut of puppies from the just past year, new upstarts from this group begin to attract attention from the judges and some of these puppies actually will win points……………against the older, more mature, more pointed veteran dogs!

Since most puppy owners are new to the Show Dog World and they may not know about the procedures in place to cover the eventualities, those folk are the ones most likely to inquire about who is handling their dog and why!

There are times when the same handler has a puppy or young dog in the lower classes and also a seasoned dog in the Open Yellow, Open Black, Open Chocolate classes or even a dog showing from Am Bred or Bred-By Exhibitor class…………………dogs that have been in the Show Dog Management Program since they too were puppies………they paying their dues as they came up through the ranks and now they get to enjoy and receive the nod over the newer cast members that are just starting out.

This is the Pay It Forward system that Chambray Labradors is totally built on………..everyone that joins our troupe benefits from the community efforts and my steadfastness in preserving the Pay It Forward system that has worked exceedingly well for all that have benefited greatly and have succeeded by it these last 30 years.............that steadfastness is unwavering.

There are also extra considerations for deciding ‘who’s on first’ and who takes a momentary back seat………..for instance, the number of points accumulated by each dog…………………….also how many dogs were competing from each of the classes that they won a first place from or in certain instances, the way a judge looked at a dog in its class!

Anything and everything that a judge would consider in giving the nod to the eventual Winners Dog, is used to decide who eventually is on which dog.

Of course, we also use consideration on which backup handler will be on the 2nd dog, because at times we end up with 4 or 5 winners and on 5 different occasions in 2017, we had all the class winners to go back in for Winners Dog! Talk about decision making!

For about 95% of the time, the eventualities that develop at any given dog show have already been considered and are part of the game plan that I design for every show. That game plan is known by our handlers and by the person in charge of that script, the designated ring manager for the day.

However, nothing is cast in stone, because at times there are events that pop up that are long-shots and may not have been covered…………………….when that happens, improvisation takes place………most of the time, I make that decision and at other times, the Herzons do an instant, at the split second mind meld and come up with an operative solution.

Whatever comes up, we always have the best interest and the integrity of the entire system in mind…………..because that is what works the best in the immediate and also in the long run……………it is what builds longevity and that’s what Chambray Labradors is all about!

February 18

 

The 3rd Generation Drop Off

There is a perilous point along the way for all those who jump up on the Dog Breeding Bandwagon.

Yes sir, as reliable as it is for the sun to rise in the east, invariably those fine folk that started breeding 10 to 15 years back and have reached their 3rd home-bred generation of produce ‘and’  hopefully have had some modicum of success at the dog shows (winning and titling their home-bred dogs)………………………there will come an obvious ‘slump’ or drop-off of competitive quality to their dogs!

Very few exceptions (including yours truly) to the rule in my 48 years of involvement and observations of all that transpires with the top end of breeding and showing of Labrador Retrievers…….the vast majority, just as it happened with me at precisely that 3rd generation of Chambray-bred dogs will experience the ‘ill winds’ that I will identify and detail with the following.

Before delving any further, let me put the above in perspective………………..very few that start out breeding show grade Labradors actually last the 10 to 15 years at the show level to have actually bred 3 generation of their own dogs.

Most people dabble with the breeding and show aspect for 3 to 6 years and then either drop out altogether with the dog breeding or drop out of the show end of the fancy and become pet market producers.

To further the ‘cuts’…………..out of those that stay the course and keep their hat in the ring, there are just a smidgen few that are truly successful (winning) and produce at the high end of show quality.

So, now we have established that it isn’t easy to create longevity AND top level show prospects over an extended period of time!

Right here in Florida from 1988 to the present, there have been dozens and dozens of upstarts………………guesstimate at around 70 or so folk that started out breeding and showing…………………and 30 years later, almost all gone by the wayside from the show arena even before reaching a 3rd generation of produce!

Taking a look at who is currently breeding and showing AND truly being successful at the top end of the show scale, there are only 3 entities that can lay claim to that descriptive.  Of course, Chambray is there with our 8th, 9th and 10th generation out there competing for the ribbons, awards and points and there are also two other Florida breeders enjoying success at the higher levels as well………………………Tampa Bay Labradors in their 12 to 14th year and Show Den Labradors now in their 11th year with show dogs………………with each having reached  their 3rd generation of home-bred produce AND both those parties have a high level of success in winning and finishing dogs beyond what any of the rest of the area breeders have accomplished in similar time spans.

So, the above is what it is, but here comes the precipice point of the 3rd generation……….the drop off!

My conjecture as to the why:

The first generation produced by the newbie breeder is based on an owned female/male that either was bred to another owned dog or a stud dog from another entity. Neither the owned female or the stud dog are the high quality because of the newbie breeder, they are so, because of the breeders that bred them…………………….so anything that is produced from these 2 dogs is wholly coincidentally attributed to this newbie breeder. Of course, this beginner breeder claims them to be ‘bred by’ them, but all those around long enough know that not much credit is actually given to those that produce a first generation champion dog.

If something really great comes of that 1st generation breeding, the diehards and longtime breeders will attribute that ‘success’ to luck for that newbie breeder and the established breeders behind that dog will end up with most of the credit…………………that’s that way it has been and the way it still is and no matter how I thumped my chest with the 2 champions that I produced as my 1st  generation…………………I too now see, that it was luck and that I really had little to do with the observable qualities that those 1st generation Chambray champions possessed and that the true credit belonged to the bitch/breeders from Beavercreek Labradors and the 2 different males used to produce those champions and now I give whole  credit to Beavercreek,  Snowden Hills Labradors from NY and lines from Ebonylane Labradors.

The 2nd generation produced by a breeder is a mixed bag for applying credit. 50% still should be attributed to the background breeders and 50% can be claimed by the current new breeder.

Now here is where it gets a bit gritty……………………….the 3rd generation produced becomes totally attributable to the current breeder………….because by then the lack of expertise, lack of time put in, lack of breed type knowledge………………………..is all on the ‘now’ breeder as there invariably will be a drop off in observable quality in the produce!

In other words, the show level quality starts to fall; simply because this breeder has made most of the decisions on the pairs of dogs that are now producing their 3rd generation. So, the responsibility for those decisions are attributed to them.

So, all of the things that constitutes breed acumen may not fallen into place yet for anyone with less than 10 years into the breed and it shows up in the show ring……………… precisely at that time that their 3rd generation makes its appearance.

This is a most crucial point in time for most that reach it, because they either ‘see’ that their 3rd generation has somewhat ‘fallen’ from their original 1st generation of ‘luck’…………………..or they keep right on breeding without knowing what is transpiring with their decision making process.

If the breeder takes stock and can ‘see’ what needs improving, then they have a great chance of going further……………..if they have not developed the ‘eye’ and do not have the ability to choose correctly to produce better, then ‘not winning’ has a way of discouraging even the most diehard aficionado.  

 

For the sake of the breed, with well-bred dogs, I hope that all that reach that plateau of the 3rd generation have what it takes to take it one step further and continue on…………..continuing on is what makes the ‘good’ breeders and sets them apart from the Johnny Come Lately, the Fly By Nights, the Here Today Gone Tomorrow and the endless array of Pet Market Producers that hop on the show train only to go nowhere sooner than later and then hashing out inferior to the breed standard dogs.

It is in the breed's best interest to have several top level breeders for every region of the country, this way there will always be that competitive ambience that will drive those breeders and all the rest below them to aspire for better!

February 16 From 1988 to Westminster 2018

The ‘system’ working on all cylinders and at full throttle………………….there’s nothing sweeter than the sound of a perfectly tuned and well-oiled machine…………………hush now and listen to the Chambray engine purring at peak performance……………….. ‘ahh’ , symphony to the ears and soul………..and as good as it gets!

We start with 8th generation Chambray dog, Tank’d and work our way back to the roots, back, back to the beginning and along the way, we thank all those Chambray owners that paid it forward with their dogs that contributed the integral parts that made the obvious…………….that made the end product look so melodic and sweet at this 2018 Westminster Dog Show!

BISP Bronze Grand Ch Chambrays Tank’d  On The Boulevard…………….the youngest Chambray champion ever at 10 months of age…………………the youngest Group 1 winner at 7 months of age……..a Best In Show Puppy winner…………..youngest Champion, youngest Grand Champion, a snap and a breeze Bronze Grand Champion and now…………….now within 12 points of his Silver Grand Champion’s title, Chambray’s record setting 3rd Silver Grand Champion just around the timeline corner, that next beyond zenith title, maybe to be celebrated at the up and coming Davie Fl dog shows the first weekend in March!!!!!……………….who does that? Tank’d has done it all!

So, how did Tank’d come to be………….how did Tank’d end up with his owner……………….longtime Chambray owner, Cindy Ceballos (1996)?

His sire, now Bronze Gr Ch Summithill Joshua’s Battle At Jericho CGC…………….what a great little story this has been. He, visiting me at 10-weeks of age and me instantly falling in love with that black face looking at me from inside of his car when his owners, Carol and Chip Wilkening first visited Chambray Acres…………now, they too are Chambray Owners with a Chambray Jericho offspring of their own............….what a great and fulfilling odyssey this has been!

Tank'd dam, the one and only ‘Kika’………………officially, BIS BBE Silver Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter………………celestial in many ways, the highest ranking Chambray Grand Champion with a Silver Grand Championship (275 Pts), Florida’s first ever Silver Grand Champion bitch…………….also the only female Labrador to ever win a Best In Show from Florida…………#1 USA Labrador Bitch in 2012………….…..she being a 7th generation home-bred Chambray dog………….placed with Olga and Juan Marrero, they being major contributors to Chambray's successes as Chambray  Owners, co-breeders and stud dog owners too.

Kika’s sire, the incomparable BISS Gr Ch Gingerbred Celestial Thunder (the only Labrador to win BOB at Eukanuba twice), bred to a 6th generation Chambray dog, Chambrays Eloquent N Counter ‘Ellie”, owned by longtime Chambray owner (circa 1989) Val Till. That co-bred litter producing 2 Grand Champions, of course Kika was one of those and her littermate BBE Gr Ch Chambrays First N Counter was the other.

Ellie came from a litter between 5th generation BISP Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter ‘Connie’ (only Chambray dog to win 2 Best In Show Puppy awards), bred to Florida’s first-ever Best In Show winning Labrador, BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff ‘Hogan’ who was owned by Chambray Owners (since 2004) Rosie and Bill Feeley, who are now in 2018 into their 3rd Chambray-bred dog.

 

Connie came from the co-breeding between Ch Mtn Meadows Romeo bred to our 4th generation, Ch Chambrays Chisholm Chancey JAMSS (Chambray's first ever Judge's Award of Merit at Specialty Show and the logo dog to our www.chambraylabradors.net website)………….owned by Martha Chisholm.

Chancey came from Am/Can Ch Grandquest Chambray Slapshot “Slash” which was co-owned with our first and original Chambray owner, Joe Gonzalez dating back to 1990……..bred to Chambrays Summer Rebel’s Amber owned and co-bred with another Chambray Owner’s Program family, the Senras.

Ambers goes back to 2nd generation Ch Chambrays Indian Summer co-owned and co-bred for 1 litter with the McGowan family back in 1992 to Ch Lindenhall Rebel.

Summer was born in 1990 from the breeding of our foundation bitch, Beavercreeks Crystal Chambray, bred to Ch Snowdenhills Wiseguy. Beavercreeks Crystal Chambray was entrusted to us in 1988 by the late Dr’s Carol and Dr Francis Rabalais.

That’s the Chambray Owner’s Program at work and at succeeding for the Betterment of the Breed………….for the Betterment of the individual dog, for the Betterment of the family that gives it the absolute best home and of course for the Betterment of Chambray Labradors.

The preceding is how to have a dog win at the 2018 Westminster Dog Show by starting to lay the foundation back in 1988.

11/27 IMO News

 

How Knowledge Comes Into Being........For Some!

Those that don't know......................DON'T KNOW!

Simple.........if they knew, then they wouldn't say and do the dumacities that

they always perpetrate and constantly spout about!

Dead give away! You can see and hear them a mile away! It's like a perpetual

cloud hanging over them, no matter what they get into, results are always the

same..............waste of time, energy and money..........one fiasco after another.........

doomed for failure because they don't know any better!

Now, you would figure that during a conversation with someone that truly knows the entire spectrum........the inner workings of the dog world, from handling the top dogs for over 4 decades, breeding several breeds to stellar heights and judging World, FCI all over the planet & AKC at the top levels.............that it would be me making the previous statement to that person...........NOPE, not at all..........That 'gist' of a conversation came from the person extraordinaire who engaged me about

my involvement with Labradors!

For years they had heard of 'Sandy Herzon' of 'Chambray Labradors' and they had 'reserved' judgment until they had 'firsthand' EXPERIENCE......................which, for some translates into KNOWLEDGE!

So, now armed with first hand experience thus self-taught knowledge,

they would expressed that preceding thought and then the following word for word:

"Seeing is believing my friend, indeed you have earned the right to brag about your dogs, your achievements and your successes, because very few have done what you have and you have done it your way and who knows, maybe your way is the best way!"

January 23rd: With all the new traffic that was beamed our way in the last 4 weeks or so, many folk have read through our many offerings and have become intrigued about our 'different ways' when it comes to raising and placing our precious puppies.
In particular, many have inquired as to how our Show Dog Management Program works. They have noticed that is is not just about 'professional handling' as is what most handlers at the dog shows do...........these new arrivals to our website have become educated that we go way beyond just handling in the ring...............we take worthy dogs and devise a whole game plan to maximize the time put in so that each dog can be as successful with our top-notch handling.
This all entails individualized training, custom designed conditioning and very specific handling to bring out the best in each of the dogs that we take on as part of our show handling roster.
As the 'CEO' of Chambray Labradors Show Dog Management Program, my job is to provide a path to a dog's championship title.................the path of least resistance which leads to the quickest and least arduous and most economical in the span of time invested. Of course, all that is if that particular dog has the correct breed standard conformation..............which is the paramount criterion in taking a dog on as part of our training, conditioning and professional handling at the dog shows.
There is a critical prime directive....................that the owners must follow the prescribed game plan for their dog. It is a plan that has to be adhered to which takes into account all the needed steps to achieve the desired outcome.
If along the way, the owners put into play other ideas and sidesteps, then the game plan is changed from the most direct path, creating detours and distractions and most likely, derailments to the game plan then sets in.
If I perceive that these unnecessary deviations become detrimental for the individual dogs and also the overall picture of the dog show management program, then that dog and client are set aside so as to not impede the process of our other dogs that can fill in that spot on the roster and that will follow the game plan without interruptions.
With very few exceptions, those dogs that stay the course, will achieve the requirements for their AKC champion's title....................without fail, those owners that make decisions based on whims and other  agenda that is removed from the actualities of the tasks at hand...............those dogs by far and large will take much longer to achieve the desired success and most will not finish their AKC championship.
Those owners that appreciate the expertise and acumen that has taken 48 years with just one breed of dog, the Labrador Retriever..................and it is not just that humongous stretch of time put in, more than that, it is the overwhelming successes that speak volumes..................successes not matched by any other top level champion Labrador breeder.
Nowhere today is there another Labrador breeder that can post the following:
  • 33 New AKC Champions in the last 6 years
  • 2012, 2014, 2015 & 2016 Top Labrador Breeder of the Year
  • More Grand champions at the AKC's Top 100 Grand Champions Rankings......#1 with 7!
  • #1 Grand champion breeder in the USA with 21
  • #1 Bronze Grand Champion breeder in USA with 10
  • 6 years in a row with at least 1 dog in the Top 20, 3 years with 2 dogs in the Top 20 and 2 years with 3 dogs in the Top 20!

Booya Followed By A Steaming Hot Bowl Of Booyah 02/14

 

The 142nd Annual Westminster Dog Show……………….the epitome of what a dog show is and more!

This is it, the granddaddy of all canine events in the USA, none other with the prestige that comes with being in the Big Apple……………NY, NY…………………….Madison Square Gardens and the Piers……….a congregation of the best dogs…………."All Breeds" as announced by the legendary and voice icon commentator,  Michael J LaFave, “Dogs Coming From All 50 States”!

Just ‘being’ there is a real big deal and there we were…………….or, at least our top handler and our top dog representing Chambray…………………Jessie Herzon and Tank’d, he officially being BISP Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard.

So, there they were among the top Labrador Retrievers in the country…………..that’s the WHOLE country.............north, south, east and west………………………all in full display in front of the ‘who’s who of dogdom’, not just Labradors!

There was the USA # 1 Labrador for 2017, he being the all-time highest ranking Grand Champion of them all……………the only Platinum Grand Champion Labrador..........…..ever!

There was the Westminster 2017 Best Of Breed winning Labrador there as well! 

 

There was the 2017 Royal Canin Best Of Breed winner too.

 

There were half a dozen USA 2017 Top 25 Ranking Labradors standing tall in the lineup……………….these were 53 stellar champions entered being the very best that the USA can boast……………and there was Jessie & Tank’d………………the Chambray Dynamic Duo among those Labradors that could very well be the best ever Labrador Retriever lineup at this vaulted venue.

For those counting, there were ‘northern dogs’…………. ‘western dogs’……………….there were ‘heartland dogs’ and there were even 4 Florida Labs entered too! Yep, Labradors from all over the country, all on an even playing field!

So, round and round they went with the judge making his ‘cuts’ to trim it down to the cream of the crop………………….from all those entered down to a Best Of Breed……….a Best Of Opposite Sex………………..a Select Grand Champion dog and a Select Grand Champion bitch and 5 Judge’s Award of Merit*

*The judge was allowed to award 6 Judge’s Award of Merit, as it goes according to the number of dogs entered…………….the judge elected to only award 5!

Drum roll maestro, please……………………………there they were the best of the best 9 champions left standing from that awe inspiring cadre of the very best Labradors in the country!

The Best Of Breed winner is the same super stellar dog that just won BOB at the 2017 Royal Canin National Championships in Orlando Florida in December………………………the Select Dog, the same one that took Best Of Breed last year at Westminster…………….Best Of Opposite Bitch and Select Bitch, both Grand Champions………………………..the 5 Judges Award Of Merit, 2 of them GOLD Grand Champions, 1 of them a SILVER……………..2 of them Bronze Grand Champions!

All of them BLACKS EXCEPT one……………………….the Lone Ranger yellow? Who could that be?

 

YES, YES and YES that was BISP Bronze Grand Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard going back with a vengeance to his 2nd Westminster and Jessie at the other end of the leash vindicated from last year’s judge’s debacle, now truly being pointed to and then truly being awarded their due reward……………..in fact, they are listed at the official AKC registry as receiving the Judge’s Second Award of Merit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/breed-results/?id=LAB )

Now here is a real kicker for those that snicker about the Florida dogs…………booya and then go eat some booyah…………….Tank’d is a real Florida dog, like in way down as far south as you can get and not get your feet wet in the Florida Straits.

 

So, out of 9 of the top Labradors in the USA left from the best of the best, Florida was well represented with an award winner!

The Bigger Picture & How The Dog Show Management Program Completes The Scene: Feb 12

The Chambray Show Dog Management Program is part of a humongous, ‘Bigger Picture’…………………..way, way too far reaching and encompassing for the individual dog owner to see or grasp in its entirety.

The WHOLE Big Picture is comprised of the following:

  • Breeding {females in the Breeding Program, Males in the Stud Dog Program}

  • Raising {development of puppies and dogs kept as top show dogs for eventual placement into show environments}

  • Placement of Puppies {the selection of where and with whom they will be placed}

  • Training {provided free for the lifetime of the dog placed}

  • Conditioning {part of the development program for the owners of the top show prospects}

  • Development of both owners and puppies/dogs once those dogs leave my control {Chambray Owner’s Program}

  • Dog Show Management {Chambray’s Show Dog Management Program for handling the top dogs at the dog shows}

The last entry is the subject of this offering.

Chambray's Show Dog Management Program…………….the end product that everyone sees, the old proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ floating along without a worry in the world, endlessly going where the current steers it to……………….for Chambray Labradors, what the ringside crowds see, what the competitor exhibitors, breeders and handlers have to deal with and maneuver against and around, what to the vast majority on the outside, seems to be stroking along seamlessly from show venue to show venue, weekend in and weekend out……..years on end and now two and a half decades later, smoothly going along to where today it is the winningest entity in the Labrador ring from all the breeders and handler groups in the country!

Now here’s the irony…………….to the overwhelming majority of Chambray Owners, those very same people that take full advantage of the most successful program of its kind…………………..most don’t have an inkling as to what it takes to accomplish the enormity of the venture!

Simple reason that occurs, they really don’t have to!

All they are charged with, is to give their dogs all the love in the world, provide the best environment possible...............in other words be the greatest dog owners in the world to those specially placed dogs…………………THEN……………………..to follow my lead!

Yeppers, follow the old Pied Piper to the land of success………..success as no other has attained!

100% TRUST in what I have designed FOR EACH DOG, which is part of Chambray’s Show Dog Management Program.

Although there are multiple dogs owned by different people at any one time as part of our show roster, each dog there has a specific game plan that if followed religiously……………ultimately, success will be the end product, an AKC Championship.

No dog is sacrificed for another……………….no ringers……………….no 2nd stringers…………………..no padding the numbers…………………NOPE, NONE OF THAT!

Each and every dog in that starting day’s show roster is there because I have 100% confidence with the specific development program that I have devised for that individual dog, followed EXACTLY as I have designed, the point from A to point B, will be the sweetest, shortest and surest path there is!

Each of those dogs has a very specific strategic plan according to its individual needs and then how that individual dog fits into the entire game plan per show that it is incorporated into.

Keeping in mind that the system works very much as a pyramid, with the youngest dogs, the puppies entering in at the bottom layer, usually with multiple puppies making the grade…………then as the dogs age into the next class, some will be carried on and those with lesser competitive tendencies and attributes will be sidelined………………………usually the top of the pyramid are the more mature and with older dogs that are climbing towards their AKC champion’s title.

Usually from the Puppy Classes, various handlers will rotate around on the puppies to give them the most experience in the ring. This works great because at times, specific handlers are not able to make it to the Labrador ring and an alternate handler must be used. Using this rotation method, each dog will have experience with the different handlers that we have available.

Puppy Owners must get used to the fact the specific handlers are not likely to be assigned in the Puppy Classes, because it is best for the puppies to experience as many styles and mannerisms as possible to build up their repertoire in the ring.

I view the Puppy Classes as a developmental stage where I get to put into play various methods, techniques and styles………………….if a puppy wins points from the Puppy Classes, AWESOME………………but that is not the primary design, where training and conditioning for performance is the ultimate goal.

Without going through this stage of development, it would take a dog much longer to win points in the higher classes. So, showing from the Puppy Classes has it rewards………………it accelerates the learning curve to get the best performances in the ring in the shortest amount of time and there is always an outside chance that a puppy could actually wins points from the Puppy Classes.

As a dog accumulates points, a priority handling scheme takes place that is enacted for the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch Class, the dogs closer to finishing receive the priority for WD/WB Winner's handling in this part of the competition.

But all of the above could be world’s away from the mind of the individual owner………..the individual owner that only ‘sees’ their own dogs through very singular vision……………….that only has what they conjure to be the ‘best’ training methods………………the ‘best’ conditioning methods………….the ‘best’ handling methods……………all these assumptions made without the experiences, acumen and know-how of how using Chambray’s Show Dog Management program works in getting from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time, energy and ultimately, finances.

Trusting from the very beginning until that Golden Fleece of an AKC Championship is at hand, is my quest……………handing that title and well-earned certificate to each owner is the ultimate goal.

February 11th: Cluster Breeding All Over Again: Inquiring Minds Want To Know

 

From time to time I will receive an inquiry about my breeding methods, in particular ‘Cluster Stud Dog Breeding’.

Of course the paramount consideration for any breeding program is to adhere religiously to the Breed Standard for that Breed.

Avoiding the ‘fads’ that creep in occasionally………..in Labradors such as ‘large block heads’………………. ‘large overdone dogs’……………. ‘Bushy, woolly mammoth coats’ ……………………………… ‘short legged, short upper arm dogs’………………………then there are those flaws, faults and defects that gradually make their way into breeding programs over periods of time such as ‘COW-HOCKS’…………………… ‘Straight fronts’, ‘straight rears’, ‘straight shoulders’………………………….. ‘Harsh facial characteristics’ and the opposite with ‘hound looking faces’.

*There are other undesirable traits that undermine the breed, but for this offering the preceding should make the point.

Also upsetting the old apple cart as far as adulterating the blue print for the breed are those breeders that chase after the ‘flavor of the month’ stud dog that happens to win Westminster, or the Potomac BISS winner, or the Nationals BISS, or the newly enacted Royal Canin BOB (used to be Eukanuba) or any dog that wins at a really, really big affair as these previously mentioned spotlighted venues.

Yep, breeding to the winningest dog is very, very popular, however the results desired don’t add up because that type of breeding is very hit or miss, with ‘miss’ being the operative word at over 90% of the time!

The purist breeder, that true blue individual and fortunately for the breed, we have had the few, the proud, the dedicated that went deep into the nuts and bolts as to what really, really produces the best of the best……………………………those stayed the course with the tried and true methods that actually work at the higher ends of the ‘successometer’ (don’t look this word up, it is one of my creations).

Yes sir Conan Doyle and of the rest of those highly knighted individuals, thank goodness and thank God that there have been several of those knowledgeable breeders in Labradors………..many come to mind, however one stands out in my recollecting abilities, Carol Heidl of Tabatha Labradors with her ability to ‘see’ what needed to be worked with and what to breed to that would bring about the needed fix or augmentation.

So, back to my own ways and means of going from point A to point B with the Chambray breeding program with higher than the norm successes using a model that was a staple in the long ago breeding programs of the top breeders back in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s and even into the 60’s…………..those breeders that operated large ‘stable-like’ kennels, much as the top horse breeders of yesteryear and today still use.

Having a large reservoir of dogs to work with……………….those of my owners, those fine loyal Chambray Owners that have teamed up with me through two and a half decades to put together one of the largest pools of dogs for breeding consideration under one roof (mine), has given me a fantastic opportunity to implement a concept that is totally out of hand and mind from 99% of those breeders today that are likewise at the top of conformation breeding for the betterment of the breed.

 

The vast majority of top show breeders today operate with small numbers of dogs in their breeding programs, thus limiting the range and variety of methods that they can employ. This being directly polar opposite of what I am able to manipulate using over 60+ females that comprise the Chambray Owner’s Program and over 20 of our top stud dogs that are also owned by the different Chambray Owners………………..PLUS, the ability to bring in outside ‘blood’ by using all the available nationally advertised stud dogs owned by the top breeders in the country.

That’s where ‘Cluster Breeding’ comes in! This is taking one top producing stud dog and breeding him into the breeding program using ‘close line breeding’ or ‘distant line breeding; or ‘out-cross’ or ‘type breeding’ or whatever else will work with several (3 to 5) related females.

This produces a ‘community’ of puppies that are related (offspring) to the stud dog and ‘close-related’ through the females that are also related in one way or another.

This group of puppies will be designated with the code name of the stud dog, for example the 5 females that were bred to Langshotts Gale Force From Kimvalley back 15 and 20 years ago where nicknamed the “Garry Clan”.  They comprised a formidable group of offspring that have been integrated as an ‘out-cross’ to the main Chambray lines………………..whereas the 6 females that were initially bred (late 1980’s and 1990’s) to Receiver Of Cranspire, group of offspring nicknamed the “Ceiver Clan” formed the beginning of the Chambray lines and outside dogs from Receiver have been used with the females from the “Ceiver Clan” as line-breeding's back to Receiver.

Several dogs from the Ebonylane’s lines (Aslan, Buccaneer Gold “Bucky”, Rebel)were combined with the Receiver offspring forming the Chambray lines.

Over the last 30 years we have done cluster breedings with the likes of the following dogs:

Besides Receiver and Garry:

Monarch’s Black Arrogance “Gunner”
Ebonylane’s Aslan & son, Ebonylane’s Buccaneer Gold, Lindenhall’s GQ Rebel (Bucky son)
Ghoststones Louie Downtown
Gingerbred Celestial Thunder
Windfall Pipe Major
Hyspires Adrenaline Rush
Sureshot Hyspire Impressive
Lobuff’s Bobwhite At Chucklebrook
Zinfndel Brigham
Mtn Meadows Romeo
Devonshire Huckleberry Finn

These outside stud dogs have contributed greatly to our successes of producing 58 Home-Bred Champions.

We were able to take the produce of those 3 to 5 litters from those different females that they were bred to and placing the top puppies where I would manage their future for show and for consideration for breeding when they are old enough.

This has created the largest array of dogs that somehow have contributed greatly to the breed, to Chambray and to the owners of said dogs because of the superior quality produced, because I have had such a large gene pool to work with.

February 7th: Are They Intuitive Or Ill-Informed?

One of the Chambray owners has been communicating with a breeder/exhibitor from North Carolina that we have never met and that has never been down to Florida to show their dogs.

The gist of one of their conversation was how Chambray champions so many dogs. According to the ill-informed or very intuitive source, we accomplish that extraordinary feat by doing it at the International shows!

'Ill-informed' and spreading bass-ackwards information if they think that finishing a 'for sure country record’ 32 dogs in 6 years was done at the International shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Homie needs to hone up their facts by heading over to the TRUTH’S section of the library and educate themselves that those 32 champions are AKC champions and that the state (FL) record 58 home-bred champions are all AKC………..that’s AKC, like in the AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB!

'Intuitive' if they figured out how we make those champions from the ground up. However, I doubt seriously that any yokel from Constantinople has the far-reaching faculties to really, really put 2 + 2 together to get 4……………..let alone figuring out my mind-boggling (dealing with all the different owners), time-traveling (the length of time that it takes from planning a litter to celebrating that AKC championship) and then all the bumps and grinds that come along that have to be dealt with and keep the steam rising for the rest of the enterprise to flourish and succeed like there is no tomorrow and yet tomorrow comes and we keep right on ticking……………….30 years’ worth at the AKC show dog world!

 

But just in case the latter is the case (against all odds), I will cover how showing at the International shows could very well lead to ALL THOSE CHAMPIONS that we brag about.

Very simple and in language that even a first grader could understand……………………..the International shows become our proving grounds!

Not only are we working and developing each of those puppies and young dogs that we insist on showing at the ‘lesser than stellar’ venue (according to some poo-pooers and nay-sayers)……..we are also working and developing the owners of all those puppies and young dogs!

Months in advance to an International dog show weekend where there will be 4 shows in 2 days, we encourage each of the owners that have top show-worthy puppies and dogs to come out for evaluation for conformational development and also to determine what is needed in the form of training if we decide that this puppy/dog should compete at the event.

If it is a go, then we communicate that to the owner and get them on board to have the dog entered for the weekend of shows.

We set out an individual course for each dog/owner to get them ready for their first experience in the show dog world. Of course the most important part of the equation is the dog and we then set up training sessions both on a private basis and also with class training sessions. We determine the amount of conditioning so that the dog looks their best and we also educate the owners on what comes next.

At the shows, we put into play different styles and techniques of handling using our entire dog handling team, in some cases there will be 8 of our top handlers and assistants. We want the dogs to get the full benefit of the experience and we take note about each of the dog’s performances.

This is where we determine which dogs are suited for this type of activity and will thrive in the very competitive show dog world……………………also at the same time, we gauge how the owners take to the environment of competition. If either the dog or the owners are not suited for this very unpredictable ambience, then those dogs will be sidelined and the dogs and owners that rise to the occasion will be the ones that we then push forward towards the big time, the AKC shows.

So, blabbing that we champion all those dogs at the International shows……………more than likely, inadvertently……………….could be attributed to starting out with the International shows and then continuing on to the AKC to compete at and win those championships.

However as Forrest Gump would say, dumb is as dumb does and since most of the time folk that indulge in the palavering of falsehoods, innuendo and fake news belong to that ever growing group of dumb-arces!

Feedback from the Priority Handling blog. 02/06

Q. Can priority handling for a dog be arranged?


A. Yes. Money talks loud and clear!

That is, with the right Pro, not with the Chambray Way.

Case in point, not too long ago, a poor demented soul wanted to corner the Pro Handler market for her dogs and she hired the 3 Top Pro Handlers from the region to each go in the ring with her dogs. She then hired one of those handlers on an ‘Exclusive’ basis for the Labrador ring……………..which meant that the handler could only handle her dog while in the Labrador ring…………..so that handler would just sit on the sidelines and only handle her dog with a $500 price tag per day for the Labrador ring! So at any one time you could witness the 3 Top Professionals of the area in the Labrador ring, each going head to head against the other with this breeder/exhibitor’s dogs!

 

Plus, you could see one of those handlers that was bound to only handle her dog, with a huge bounty being paid for that handler to sit at ringside, not handle any other breeder’s dog until it came time to handle her specials dog in the Best Of Breed competition!

 

Yes, money does have a way with some and then there are the few, the proud, the me’s that have a higher calling.

So, yes, anything is possible when money abounds. However, money doesn’t talk my language when it comes to the Chambray Show Dog Management Program. It is what it is and it runs just as it has for 30 years and there are no derailments for fame, money or other sideline considerations. The system in place is a Merit Based System with Pay It Forward as the driving mechanism. Puppies start at the bottom and work their way up, paying their dues along the way and as adults will benefit from those coming up that are then paying their dues, just as those adults did when they too were whippersnappers.

Q. I have a young dog and I would like to know if I can request one of your handlers to be the one that handles it from its Class and then if it wins the Class to handle it for Winners?

A. Yes, each and every owner that is part of our Show Dog Management Program can meet with me days in advance to a dog show and we can discuss all types of strategy and other pertinent agenda that involves their dog. The operative phrase here is ‘in advance to any dog show’. That is because once the show starts, then my entire essence, drive and concentration is on the task at hand at that dog show, at that particular time all that matters is the execution of the game plan that is put together days in advance to have each and every dog under my charge to be covered in each class by the designated handler…………then to follow up and have each Class Winner covered by a handler in for Winners.

The Chambray operation that looks smooth and seamless to the judges and to those on the sidelines, is something that I take great pride in because it is something that I cover days in advance……………….all the eventualities and permutations are gone over and over with, so that when they occur, there is a set plan in play and very seldom does something come up that wasn’t expected………………I state the preceding because there are times when too much of a good thing happens……………………such as winning EVERY CLASS with our dogs and then we may be caught shorthanded and not have enough handlers on hand to cover ALL THE CLASS WINNERS! That scenario played itself out 5 different times in 2017! Talk about chickens with their heads cut off…………..but persevere we did, coming up with instant solutions and the task at hand being taken care of with very few realizing the real turmoil for those few moments prior to things looking GREAT IN THE RING, which each and every time, we DID!

So, yes I will listen to my handling client’s whims and whinnying’s when it comes to their dogs…………… then I will make a decision based on my 48 years of experience, expertise and acumen with the whole kit and caboodle that encompasses the Dog Show world about their dog. At times a suggestion can be implemented and most of the time, not.

That’s because the owner has 100% self-motivating interests in their dog and doesn’t take into account the big picture of how the program works with the different handlers and the priorities that build up like interest does on money saved. When a request can be accommodated without spilt milk, then smooth sailing, however if it compromises the integrity of the whole ball of wax, then the obvious answer is “no”.

Q. If 2 dogs have the same winning record and each has the same specified handler and each of those dogs has won their class, how do you decide which receives the priority with that primary handler?

A. Good question because that happens frequently. At times, decisions are made according to the ‘flow of the show’. That involves being aware of tendencies that the judge has been displaying during the classes. At other times, it depends on how many each dog defeated from their respective class…………..those details are the ones that I watch for during the entire process of judging. That involves total concentration and being in the moment of how things are developing and it involves a commitment to the system, ensuring that it works for all involved and it is what makes us the most successful venture in the Labrador ring...........making the right call based on 48 years doing one thing as right as anyone has ever done.

February 5th Priorities In Handling Based On Merit:

 

From time to time the topic of conversation comes up from an owner about ‘Priority’ handling at the Florida dog shows.

There is the Professional Handler’s Way ……….the Chambray Way……….there is also the Dog Owner’s Way.

Right off the bat, we will eliminate from discussion for this offering about the Dog Owner’s Way because it is the least successful way percentage-wise to achieve, which is what every handler sets out to do, attaining a dog’s championship title.

So in Florida, between the Pro’s and the Chambray Way ……..90% of the Winners Dog points are divvied up between these 2 entities……………let us start out by covering the ways and means of the dog handling business from a Professional Handler’s perspective. The reason I will cover this method first is because this way has been around for 100 years or so and is practiced by 60% of those handling dogs at the Florida dog shows (39% by Dog Owners) and 1% the Chambray Way…………….so the top of the food chain first………the Pros.

The Pros: Bear in mind that most Pros are a one-top handler operation with several assistants backing up the roster of dogs that the Pro takes on.

The Pros take on client’s dogs and spread them out into different classes.

Of course the prime mature dogs will be entered into the Open Classes. These are the dogs that have the most training and have the best odds of winning points. The newer adult dogs usually will be entered into the American Bred Class with the younger adults that are over a year old and under 18 months old being entered into the 12 to 18 Month-Old Class.

 

Puppies are then divided into 6 to 9 and 9 to 12 Classes. This allows a Pro to enter multiple dogs for each breed in different classes and the Pro can then handle each of those dogs in those different classes.

Since the Pro may very well end up with more than one of his handling charges winning their respective class, the Pro will have a ‘Priority’ scheme set up for which dog he/she will handle in the Winners Class since once again, it is very possible that the Pro may have multiple Class Winners and someone will have to ‘cover’ those class winners while the Pro handles the ‘Priority’ dog.

 

Since most of the time the Open dogs have the most points accumulated, that is the dog that the Pro will handle for the points from the rest of the class winners…………the puppies, the 12 to 18 and the Am Bred will be handled by the Pro’s assistant handlers.

The above is the time honored; traditional ways and means of prioritizing which dog will have the Pro on it from the classes and into the Winner’s Class. Since there are 3 Open Classes, the Black Open, the Yellow Open and the Chocolate Open……………it is up to the Pro to strategically come up with the priority for which dog will be covered by the Pro or by the assistant handlers……………..once again, the dog closest to finishing will have the Pro on it……………the quicker a dog finishes for a Pro, the quicker another dog will move up to that #1 priority spot.

 

The Chambray Way: Pretty much the same as above, however with Chambray, we have 4 Top Handlers to strategize handling priorities with and of course we also have 3 to 4 assistant handlers that are worked with to be able to competently handle any dog given to them. This means that each dog on the handling roster has been worked, trained and conditioned by each of the top handlers and all of the assistants. That in itself is a huge plus versus how the Pros will send in assistants and backup handlers that may or may not have ever handled the particular dog.

Since each of the top Chambray handlers have each worked with every one of the dogs on the roster, I as the manager decide which of those handlers will be on an individual dog according to which handler brings out the best in each dog. At times, a handler may have 2 dogs that won their respective class, it then becomes my job to designate which other handler will cover the multiple class winners, in essence creating a priority for each of the 4 top handlers and then creating a 2nd in command when any handler has multiple class winners…………………..again, a major advantage that the Chambray Way has over the Pro’s Way.

 

The Pros only have themselves and then use anyone available to backup with the other class winners, we on the other hand have it all the eventualities considered in case a handler has more than one class winner.

Having all the bases covered is a tremendous advantage that the Chambray Way has…………………it is all planned and strategized to the max and implanted seamlessly for maximum proficiency………..the Chambray Way………………..success at its best!

It is a Pay It Forward operation where all the incoming puppies and young dogs will have the best handling possible, but will pay it forward to the adult dogs that came up through the same system and they themselves paid it forward as they too were coming up.

 

A dog with priorities today, paid their dues when they were in the lower classes……………….that’s the way the system works and is the winningest in the Labrador ring…………………..as of February 4th 2018, 170 Dog Show Winning Weekends in a row!

170 consecutive winning weekends is no fluke, certainly no fake news…………no one can argue with iron-clad results and if they do…………just goes to show that ninnies abound……………………….170 consecutive winning weekends, that my friends is the mark of doing things right, the undeniable 'Mark of Excellence' that validates a system that has no peers............that others want to emulate, but fall short each time they have tried.

Winning at its finest and no equals to be found.

February 4th Super Bowl Sunday:

 

The Grand Scheme Of Things…………The Clearer The Picture, The More Successful The Venture!

For those looking in from the outside, the top NFL football team in history, the New England Patriots, seem to be on auto pilot……………as if though there was a cruise control button somewhere in their game plan.

A virtuoso’s love affair with a Stradivarius sounds so sweet and easy to the ears and seemingly just as easy to accomplish as does watching a Rembrandt-skilled painter fill a canvas with a telling story………………..all these examples present a bright, clear picture to the overwhelming majority of lay people admiring the final product.

The reality of all that greatness is that a only terribly small number actually ‘get’ what it takes to be at that particular master’s level.

To the astute, those few that can see beyond the final score……………..beyond all the brushstrokes that come together and form that masterpiece……………………beyond the melodic notes of a classic symphony………………in our case with the success that Chambray Labradors enjoys……………..beyond all the champions, grand champions, the winning streaks that Chambray Labradors has posted for three decades, beyond all that jazz and glitter with the ways and means that make Chambray the unique entity in a world of the same old, same old dog show ways………of course, bearing in mind that the tried and true, old fashion ways of the dog show world are just fine and will continue to be fine long after I am no longer painting the canvas that encompasses the big picture for our lifelong endeavor of raising, training and showing Labrador Retrievers.

What those looking in don’t see is all of the daily routines that must take place every day, every week, month after month and in the case of the breeding program, years before that seamless picture emerges at the dog shows where we excel at what we do.

What most don’t see is the numerous pet puppies that must be placed, since not all puppies born have the ‘masterpiece’ look to them…………………without those pet homes to place those puppies there wouldn’t be the 4 to 6 litters each year, planned way in advance ……………….in essence, all those pet puppy owners become the much needed background that sets the foreground to stand out.

The endless stream of owners that schedule private training sessions weekdays and weekend alike..........the night training classes where I get to see what each individual dog looks like to the judge and then I make adjustments, tweaking what may look good into looking artistically great...............because that's what the judge will see.

The constant sorting out and strategics as to which dogs will be a better presentation to which judge..............indoor show or outdoor show, grass or clay/sand...............which class according to the competition and the continuing quest to do what works best for the individual dog.

So much goes into producing the final product that stands out from all the other average offerings.

What isn’t seen are the endless tweaking of the little components that eventually make the finished symphony sound so melodic…………………..the painting that resonates as a ‘piece de resistance’ with all that gaze upon it…………………the Chambray puppies that jump into the ring and sooner than later finish their champion’s title, the majority before their second birthday.

Yes, the tip of the iceberg is always so awe inspiring as it rides majestically above the water for all to witness………………very few of those oohing and ahing the frozen, floating spectacle appreciate the immensity that lies under the water because all they 'see' is the tip that shows, not appreciating that what lies beneath is what makes the whole structure the formidable ‘big picture’ that it encompasses.

January 6th:

 

"Who are these people that cause the rifts on FaceBook?" multiple inquiring minds want to know.

Well, even if I named any of them, no one would know who they are!

 

They don't account for a single entry at any dog show..................they have no time put in, no contributions to the breed. They are not breeders, not exhibitors, not handlers, not anything to write home about in any form.........however flagitiousness seems to be their forte......................because of their rabble-rousing rantings, the word going around at this very moment among those that matter is that the vast majority have come to a pretty unanimous conclusion as to their value and worth, which amounts to 'zilch and nothing'!

 

In other words they pretty much have sealed their fate as 'persona non grata' or in this case with more than one, 'personae non gratae' around the Labrador owner/exhibitor/breeder community!

 

But to answer the duplicitous questions that have been streaming in.............from time to time throughout the year, a deluge of traffic is directed our way from various sources.

At times, 3X to 4X the usual daily/weekly average will make its way our way. When that happens, which happens to be a good thing……………..a good thing because it gives those arriving new visitors a new, clear perspective of our Labrador world reality.

I state the previous because, most of the time, all those internet wayfarers are driven to our web presence by the mentions of ‘Chambray’, ‘Sandy Herzon’, ‘that top Florida breeder’ at the different social media outlets and other discussion-oriented forums and chatrooms…………………..mostly brought about by the disenfranchised, the dismissed, the disgruntled, the delusional, the disturbed and to plagiarize Hilary, the deplorable and then there are those that just don’t know any better, better known as (a.k.a.) the dumb-arces!

So, being of a very opportunistic proclivity, I seize the moment and use it to my advantage and it costs me absolutely nothing……………….that’s loads and loads of free traffic channeled our way, costing nothing……………………..Giving me a fantastic platform to share with hundreds and hundreds of unknowns, our super offerings in general to the dog owning community and specifically to the vast Labrador Retriever owners, locally and throughout this great country of ours.

The overwhelming majority landing at our websites have never been exposed to a top level Labrador breeder that is also a veteran professional dog trainer……..having trained well over 40,000 dogs/owners in the last 47 years……………combined with the winningest Labrador Retriever handling team in the country.

 

But of course, don’t take my word or anyone’s else word for anything……………………the two Chambray websites that all these new people are landing at offer validation etched deep into the AKC record books, backed by those same AKC publications with their rankings, records and achievements at the AKC websites………………the Dog News website………………..the Canine Chronicle website…………re-searchable at the dog show superintendents that host websites with all the dog show results…………….that’s REAL certification and validation from REAL top sources……….for sure no fake news from them!

‘Fake News’…………………the antithesis to reality and yet used and abused by so many…………..the majority done on purpose for myriads of nefarious reasons and by others that just don’t know where they are going, not to mention not knowing where they are standing at or even where they have been! So many erroneous, confused and some diabolical and deviant………………Fake News served on a platter to whomever has the palate for the such.

So many offering their wrongly reached conclusions leading to totally skewed, thus wrongly based opinions, their errant and mistake-prone actions, their sophomoric attempts at authorship and infantile expression, poor grammar and penmanship, spasmodic and sporadic, erratic claims,  …………………………..repeating the same wrong turn every time there is a turn to be made.

Yet, they actually serve a purpose because they actually create a stir with their malfeasance and blundering ways and set in motion a wave of people that would never have the inclination to visit our Labrador world websites……………then, the majority of those landing here are able to gather their own information with the verifiable and certified facts and figures and then will be able to make sense when compared to the drivel blurted out by those that are not qualified to articulate…………..as the Guinness commercial states, “Brilliant”………………that’s brilliant for us!

January 3rd: Tom Turkey Tomfoolery
It seems that this page has now taken over as the top visited page from both of the Chambray websites. It is also the page that brings in the most requests for 'subject matter' to be discussed or better stated, asking my opinions on! Since I aim to please and seeing how much my opinions are valued, I will just keep answering those inquiring minds.
The latest:

Jan 3rd Dilly Dilly Once Again!

 

We live in the instant information age! Be it real or a totally contrived whopper of a mess scribbling!

All types of information is being beamed at us at the speed of light from every direction imaginable……………………..from every source.........those highly visible ones and those lurking from under a rubbish pile………………for every possible reason under the sun and as nefarious as pure darkness can muster.

Unfortunately the vast majority of what is disseminated via the IT world is less valuable than Monopoly money……………………..for all the reasons, mostly wrong and most of the time we have no way of knowing who, what, why, when/where plus all those other ‘w’ starting words, including from wackos!

Any hairy or hairless tyke, bloke, denizen……………homeless/homed…………….all genders and combinations thereof……………………the good, the bad and the ugly…………….the wretched, the greedy, the envious, the scourge, the sinister, the minister……………anyone with the ability to jot up a jumbled mound of cow dung or those highly skilled essayist that can word sling with the best of them……………….all of it comes barreling down the information highway bearing gifts from the Greeks outside the walls of Troy.

Yes sir, Trojans abound with as much presence as does veracity-filled inklings, no telling which is which as blatant lies and deception all sound just as possible/plausible as the truth and nothing but the truth so help me/you God.

Just about any sophomoric simpleton, without accreditation, or certification, nor an iota of accountability can fudge together left and right gibberish……insolent, incoherent, in-articulate, illiterate and totally inconsequential poppycock and there will be some others with lower brow than thou that will sift through the run-on of a mess of those ill-composed scribbles and half-witted diatribes and think that they have been magically enlightened.

P.T. Barnum had it right over a century ago…………………….suckers are born every minute as gullibility is at an all-time high! It seems that most in the country are on a bum ride on the bandwagon of absurdity!

 

There are many………….a scary number, that totally subscribes to the non-sense of made-up malarkey and pervasive conspiracies and go about rehashing the worthless fabrications as if it were gospel.  

Well, I have news………………..real news, not the Fake Fodder News that goes around with so much gusto that you would think that a new flavor is replacing our chocolate, vanilla and strawberry time-honored American gastronomical favorites! 

The news is, the real honest to goodness, honest to God, real, bona fide, REAL NEWS from me to you…………….DO NOT ACCEPT TROJAN HORSES!

They are among us bearing gifts, trying their best to fit in, but then once in a while they let the cat out of the bag and the thin veil that hides their true identity becomes see-through and we get to see who they really are, for what they are and how much fiddle-faddle they are composed of and once again, I call for ‘dilly, dilly’ and off to the pit of misery for their mental debauchery, adolescent shenanigans and their Tom turkey tomfoolery!

December 29th: Why, I don't know, but here are the much requested 'Herzonisms'
 
Herzonisms For The Times
'A Turkey can pass for an eagle as long as it can't be seen, heard or tasked to fly as high.'
'A silent man can pass as a smart man.......once he opens his mouth, it becomes evident where he truly stands.'
'Success and Greatness are illusive, just ask those talking up a storm and getting nowhere faster than a stalled car during rush hour traffic.'
'Some people can't get out of their ruts, as they constantly are digging themselves a deeper hole with whatever they get themselves into.'
'Give a fool a shovel and watch them dig themselves into a hole!'
'The problem with some............they try too hard being someone else.'
'They say the greatest form of flattery is imitation, the catch with that is that it gets quite old all those trying to be me.'
​​
'Life is much like a gigantic horse-race, there are the perennial ones always stumbling at the starting gate, there are the vast numbers of ones always running in the middle of the pack, there are always those few within reach of the front runners and then there are those that always finish first. From experience, the company is always so much better in the winner's circle.'
Nothing stops a talking man faster then asking him for his credentials! The difference between credibility and BS is that one is accrued and the other is plain crud!
​​
How can someone that has never done anything say so much? But then listen to how errant the things they say are.............the more they say, the less we know that they know!

12/22/17: It is several nights before Christmas and all through the Labrador house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse and then a roar comes through email about some crusty crustaceans clamoring up a cacophony of cockamamie chatter or was it chowder?

 

 

But first things first: I guess the thought of having limbs cut at the patella will knock sense in the thickest of noggins!

 

Nary has a counter point been made to the post below this one and that’s a good thing! Wouldn’t want to rile Sandy and make him a pouting boy!

 

What’s more………more than three dozen “I agree whole heartedly” have chimed in...........and I hope those were self-realization and not of the coerced type………………those quaking, fearing the lopping off of knobby knees!

 

Whatever, I of the positive persuasion mindset, will take it to mean that there is hope in this tipsy-turvy world of ours, because lately there has been an overload of obtuseness not seen for umpteen generations………………I myself have experienced this bass-ackwards phenomena in our little Labrador sphere one hundred-fold within the confines of this almost exhausted sad-sack of a year!

 

Unfortunately, the floodgates have been ripped wide open for the ornery, the misfits, the misguided, the dumb, the dumber and their leaders, the bass-awkward ones………………..and I am only referring to those into Labradors!

 

Yes siree Bob, Ted and Jack……. the catawampus among us have had a field day with their errant mouthfuls coming from vacant, addled minds. Of course, the more they spew out, the more evident their stripes appear and the calm lay folk, those with the right course plotted will be able to decipher for themselves who is who and what’s what……………or so you hope!

 

Hark; there is a glimmer of that forlorn and badly needed ‘hope on the horizon’ as the unmasking of those with the ‘dark side’ as their mantra have exposed themselves to be the epitome of knowing diddly squat and then expressing that nothingness to the nth degree, in a sense (actually senseless) drawing a line in their muddled quicksand of a world, waiting to see who steps their way or the way of the light.

 

I would hope that most would choose the clearer way and to those wayward others I say dilly dilly and off to the pit of misery!

12/19: The Buck Stops With Me

 

The usual ringside buzz……………whenever any dog dominates the wins, in this case the BOB’s, will more often than not, take on a bleating, lamenting tone………seemingly sounding semi-complaint tinged and the spreader acting out more of a crusader, searching for others to sing along with the sour tune!

Well, I guess Sandy wasn’t in the Christmas caroling mood when approached by several of the revel rousers in the midst because they instantly lost the love that I, as a great listening liberal, pride myself with!

Cut them down to their knees to plead for any dignity that they thought they may still have…………instantly put each and every one of those who plead their case on notice and got ZERO accord from me…………………in fact, they got an earful about their ‘wrongly arrive opinions’ and their lack of breed know-how!

How dare anyone besmirch a Labrador of that caliber………………the winningest Labrador in the history of the breed with Grand Champion points…………..Just about TWICE as many as the next great dog in that glorious lineup of GRAND champions.

THE ONLY LABRADOR with a PLATINUM Grand Champion title!  Where the 7 below hold the Gold Grand Champion’s title with 2nd place attaining a mind boggling 540 and the 6 below that one with at least 400 points, where the Gold mark starts and then you have the lone, top-perched Labrador with 927 GRAND CHAMPION POINTS!!!!!!

That my friend is truly rarefied air and that doesn’t grow on trees nor is it possible to achieve with the usual ways and means that are attributed to those regularly in the winner’s circle!

Needless to say, that the ‘normally open to all comers and appreciative of all opinions’, I did a rare 180 with my ways and laid to rest any semblance of accord with the errant blokes speaking their addled minds.

Any and all dogs having reached those heights, those awards, those achievements, deserve respect and true adoration with breed type appreciation and if anyone differs with me about this, well that will just prove my point about how little some know about this great breed of ours!

Any takers for a discussion?

I truly think not because it will be a cause that will be decidedly lost as the buck stops here with me and there isn’t anyone in the midst that can take me to task as far as Labrador Retrievers are concerned.

12/08 IMO News

Numbers Tell Stories Too..........Sometimes Better Than Words

Seems that numbers are easier ‘read’ than lots and lots of words!

The post before this one used simple numbers to illustrate a point and yet it brought about lots of questions from my readers.

20/60/20

These are time-honored numbers that have been ‘proclaimed’ for as long as I have been listening to the consensus of those that should know more/better………………………..back as far as the mid 80’s when I was not one of those ‘all-knowing’ ones…………….when I first started to dabble with showing dogs! Back when my dogs were in the bottom 20% of that equation!

Now, 3-plus decades later when I know beyond a shadow of any doubt that those tried and true numbers………………that those numbers do stand up to the test of time……………………all these years later and thousands and thousands of dogs that have stood in the same rings that I have stood in…………………..the numbers tell a very similar story.

20% of the dogs showing in any breed are at the top of the ranks, the APEX of the food chain……………………….60% of those dogs are average, middle of the depths and the remaining 20% are bottom dwellers. Not much has changed since 1985.

Those 20%ers at the top……….for most breeds win at somewhere between 70 to 75% of the time……………..in Labradors, I have seen a rise in the winning percentages for those top cruisers, I would venture to guesstimate that in Labs, the top 20% win at over an 80% clip. That is something that has changed in the last 5 years or so! So, there has been a rise in the competitive quality of the top tiered dogs.

The 60%ers, those found in the middle of the road in conformation-competitiveness is the largest subset of dogs in a breed, those may be winning at around 15% of the time and then every once in a while some of the less competitive dogs, those in the bottom 20% may garner a win to the tune of about 5% of the time.

So, for Labradors the 20/60/20 win at a 80/15/5.................the story that numbers tell!

One of the emails that came in was lamenting that mediocre and average dogs should not be winning at all, however, let's keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thus we witness the awarding of points to dogs that are a bit lackluster at times.

The vast majority of dogs showing actually conform to the written breed standard and then it becomes someone’s opinion (the judges) to interpret those at times ambiguous and confusing at other times passages from our supposed blueprint for breeding and for judging.

12/07 IMO News

 

When Is 'Good' Not Good Enough?

Now!

When Good Is Not Good Enough

 

‘Raising the bar’, that time-honored mythical line in the sky, that all that compete want to beat and thus elevate the bar to a new height is in hyper mode as that bar now ascends with leaps and bounds! Such is the state of the Labrador ring in Florida and probably elsewhere in the USA.

Granted, it is a selective few that are causing the aberrant upward escalation of that ‘one-notch higher’ mark to fluctuate at such an incessant pace.

Whomever is causing this ‘top-heavy’ rift, matters  not, because the effect is affecting all that partake in the endeavor of breeding and showing Labradors and the after-affect is that the quality of the breed is cruising along at the heighten rate as well.

What is also apparent is the dropping off of those that have not been able to keep up with the frenzied rising pace! Those stuck in the doldrums of mediocrity just don’t have the ammo to keep up with the successes that are being divvied up by the few that have done what it takes to keep up with the ‘winning Jones’. So their sad alternative is to fade away quietly where no one knows their names……those ‘used to be regular names’ in catalogs at the dog shows from 4 years ago are no longer as frequent in the show rosters of today…………………………..as non-winning has a way of thinning out the competition.

Case in point of how fast the mercury is rising and where just 3 years ago, what may have been really good, now just sits in the middle of the pack with those at the top level moving on faster with each new dog show year.

A recent visitor to Chambray to evaluate a possible show potential, recently acquired dog for showing purposes.  The dog in question was a yellow 3-year female with show points already on her resume. Before coming to us for a look/see, the new owner had consulted with a top level professional handler with the intentions of having that pro take her on as a handling assignment.

The pro’s recommendations was to have her ‘looked’ over by me to see if she had what it takes to go and be competitive with our dogs and those others being handled by another top winning pro of the state.

So, the verdict………………..well, maybe not what the investor had wanted to hear, but reality is a wake-up call especially when this new owner was wanting a competitive dog for the show ring. The dog conformed to the breed standard without any glaring faults and yet, in this case, just being good is not  good enough for the heightened competition!

Since the professional that had sent them this way was not head over heels with the dog in the first place, that was the first sign that it was not going to be a smooth ride further on.

My recommendations was to have the pro show the dog and then depending on how long the owner would finance the dog along……………..to do ‘Improvement Breeding’ and bank on the top offspring to develop and show as the new owner’s breeding.

Now here is the state of affairs……………………5 measly years ago, this same dog would have been in the top 20% of the dogs showing!

 

Now it might compare to the middle of the pack at the Florida dog shows. That middle of the pack is the ‘fat’ part of the bell curve where about 60% of the dogs currently showing reside…………………so 20% at the top, 60% in the middle and there is always a 20% of mediocre dogs bringing up the rear that tend to pad the entry numbers.  

So although the gentleman had gone out and spent close to $10,000 for this 3-year old with 3 single points to her credit, she probably is outdated already and the best bet would be to use her in a well thought out breeding program to produce maybe better than her.

By the way, for those that like numbers….here is more of them.

Those in the Top 20% win 80% of the time.

Those in the Middle 60% win about 15% of the time

Once in a rarefied while those in the bottom 20% will be thrown a bone at the rate of 5% of the time.

12/06 IMO News

 

From Those On The Outside Looking In

So, what does it take to institute, operate and become the success of an owner’s program of any breed at the magnitude that we have?

 

This was the recent topic of conversation at the IABCA shows in Ocala…………..not by spectators, not by exhibitors, nor by the Chambray owners that were there……………..no, this was subject was broached by several of the judges that had come from all parts of the country to ply their trade as judges, some AKC judges……………………they had ‘heard’ of ‘that Labrador breeder from Florida’…………..that Labrador breeder from Florida that had become so successful doing it ‘his way’!

“Just what is your way” was the query from one of those judges, a well-seasoned, well-known here in the US and across the planet where he had either handled dogs in his handler heydays or as a much-requested connoisseur judge of all breeds.

Although I have been known to make a dissertation out of an ant hill, the answer came quickly, sweet and short. “I breed for the best…………………I place those best with people that will then become part of my ‘way of doing things’…………….such as training those dogs, conditioning those dogs, managing those dogs, handling those dogs, winning with those dogs, breeding those dogs and then starting the process all over again with the newest people that I have chosen to own the next generation of the best produced dogs!”

“Well, that’s as direct and simple to understand.” Was the response from one of 3 judges standing/sitting with me that was interested enough in knowing ‘about the Labrador breeder down in Florida’!

“So after a breeding season you choose which puppies are the best candidates for development for show?” was another question/statement made by another of those that were part of the ‘learning processes’.

“Yes, that is one of the luxuries I enjoy and employ in deciding which puppies and owners have what it takes to go to the next level”………was another short, just as simple and sweetness  answer.

 

Taking it further: Employing the above methodology and modus operandi, we then take our one-of-a-kind training, conditioning & handling acumen/environment and cap it off with our show management services and it all crystallize and comes together as the winningest ensemble in the Labrador ring!

 

The saying “No one does it better” is as apropos as kit is to caboodle…..of course, I kept that saying to myself and let our actions do the talking for us................which from the overwhelming results for the weekend of fours shows............did just that!

12/03 IMO News

Busy Bee/Me Syndrome

The steady flow of inquisitive emails treks in daily like worker bees endlessly do on their continued mission to scout out food sources…………..once that mission is accomplished, bringing back their treasured find to share with the community hive.

Dutifully I answer almost all of those queries as if though I also had the same bee-like quest and drive to fulfill the never-ending hunger that seems to thrive out there………where………heavens only knows where as my responses span out to places that only a map can name.

Each early morning, first thing in that early morning, before even stepping outside to see what that early morning looks and feels like……………..the computer screen beckons me to stroke a key to ridden it from the total blackness that overcomes it when it has been sitting idle for the 5 hours that I usually sleep.

This is my habitual wake up call……………oh, I woke up minutes earlier from my repose in my bed, rather far away from the sector that houses my comfortable sitting space where my computer calls home.

The zombie-like stroll from the other end of the house to my reclining chair in front of the noir screen doesn’t really count for the ‘awakened state’. That’s because there isn’t much cognitive activity that takes place in those habitual steps that it takes to traverse, in a catty-corner path coming from the extreme southeast to the opposite northwest section of the oversized abode that I designed and built almost 40 years ago.

Interesting enough, this same, rather large room that serves as my communications command center is the same 500 square area that we, as a family took refuge on 3 life-saving times in that great span of time…………..the first time, 1992 during the worst natural disaster (at the time) that had ever hit the country, Hurricane Andrew. This being the only area of the 5000 square foot home that escaped without damage and served my family as the lone living space for 6 months while the rest of the house was rebuilt………..the same area in 1993 that we took refuge during the Storm Of The Century and most recently, once again, during Hurricane Irma in September of this year, the one safe zone of the house totally away from the fierce winds that rocked the whole state and once again the family took comfort and refuge from the onslaught that the opposite ends of the house took.

So, each new day, I habitually saunter, half aware of my surroundings and make my way to the safety of the ‘safe gathering room’ and take a few moments to fully awaken to the rest of the day’s needs while reading through the dozens of inquisitive communications that like magic, arrive on the now ‘you have mail’ screen.

For me, it is like being plugged in to the outer world because living way, way out as far west from the very busy metropolis that is Miami…………….as far west as one can ventured before taking the next step into the River Of Grass, more famously known as the Everglades……yes, the Everglades as my little Labrador world sits precariously right on the edges of that vast region that is mired and consumed by knee-deep watery swamps and chockablock of alligators and now overrun by an exotic immigration of behemoth, gator-swallowing, slithering snakes…………………Pythons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh vey!

Once I read through the goings on, the latest gossips and tattletales, the trials and tribulations, the sad stories of dogs departing, of near death happenings, of dogs coughing and hiccupping………………….of the most recent wins and achievements…………………….of the need to travel and have their dogs come stay with me……………….of the many dogs misbehaving and the wanting of that magic way to get them to behave…………………on and on it goes and the thought process involved in solving all of the wrongs, the making of the knowns from the unknowns………………congratulating all the rights and the ribbons received……………..the setting up of appointments for drop offs and for attitude adjustments…………………..then and only then am I ready for whatever the day has in store for me.

Yep, bring it on and let me have at it!

12/01 IMO News

There's "Who Does That?"

& "Who Does That!"

The New...................Who Does That!

There been lots and lots of behind the scenes whispering and cupped-hand to mouth palavering at the shows in the last couple of months!

Invariably it gets a bit staid and boring at the shows, so whatever tips the scale of being out of the ordinary becomes food for fodder for the rumor mill especially if someone is spreading the manure!

So, “Who does that?” has been the battle cry among those that pass the buck and the muck from ear to ear to those that will hear........... the latest!

So, me being me, will turn the tables on the 'bad and the ugly' saying and take that battle cry that is being tossed around like a dirt bag about someone that has seemingly crossed the line, becoming a pariah with their actions towards their dogs and make the ‘bad and the ugly’ saying………….twisting and shouting it around and say it for the good!

So, here’s my version of “Who does that!”………………….notice that already there is an exclamation mark instead of a question mark, so the change for the better starts with the first three words!

So, let’s powder puff a living horse…………..I hate those sayings where dead animals get kicked………so here’s the first 'good' “Who Does That!”:…………………….166 Consecutive Dog Show Winning Weekends! Who Does That!

Yep, I start with that one because we are headed into the 167 dog show weekend at the up and coming 2017 Royal Canin (used to be the Eukanuba) and we have won in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and last year as well in 2016………………..that’s 5 years in a row that we can brag about winning at the toughest dog show in the entire country. In fact, the last time we did not win points at a weekend of shows…………..drum roll maestro………………………was the 2011 Eukanuba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, there is major trepidation going into this buzz saw competition! Still, who wins 166 consecutive dog show weekends that span 6 years’ worth? Who Does That!

32 New Champions in 6 years? Who Does That!

58 Bred-By Champions………………Who Does That In Florida!

2 All-Breed Dog Show Best In Show Winning Labradors………………….Who Does That Anywhere?

The AKC Top 100 Grand Champions………………….7 of those are Chambray dogs, making us the #1 breeder with the most Grand Champions in the Top 100, that’s 3 more than the 2nd place finisher……………Who Does That!

21 Grand Champions since the AKC’s inception in 2009 of the Grand Championships. That’s #1 Grand Champion Labrador Breeder in the country. Who Does That!

10 Bronze Grand Champions……………….again, that’s #1 Bronze Grand Champion Breeder in the country. Who Does That!

Who operates an Owners Program that provides the total Labrador Retriever Experience for new and existing owners……….with Lifetime Free Training plus the winningest Training/Conditioning/Handling Team in the Country? We Do, Chambray Does That! Who Else Does That!

Well, not wanting to beat that dead horse……….opppssss, powder puff that living horse any more, let’s stop while we are so far ahead of all others that it may seem ridiculous to mention any more of the Who Does That!

 

One more time………..WHO DOES THAT!………….for the good………..for the Betterment of the Breed!

11/30 IMO News

Reality Sets In

When an authored/published topic becomes a debate…………….mission accomplished! That is the purpose of meaningful writing, to elicit a dialog from those following and reading the publications.

There is absolutely no value in writing up a whole bunch of gobbledygook and have zilch returns for the time and energy expanded with the effort. The mark of effective penmanship, is the amount of response from those affected……..either way, be it ‘pro’ or ‘con’…………..same difference, because the goal is to awaken some sort of intelligent conversation that can be addressed and taken further with some sort of positive action that can be put into play to better the situation.

The reality, now in 2017, the majority of Labrador show exhibitors have evolved into dog owners verses dog breeders, which changes the complexity of the why’s and therefore’s of why show a dog!

Breeders have a totally different take on the dogs they bring out to the shows. First of all, they have a luxury in choosing the best of the best from their best litters to decide from………remember ‘keep the best and sell the rest’………….so from the get go, they have the best of the specimens to select from.

Meanwhile, owners only have one or two dogs that they will show regardless of whether it is the best from any litter or maybe it could be the tail end of 4 litters that the breeder sold to them.

Since breeders have more dogs in their possession, supposedly they are also deciding which of those retained top picks from their year’s production………..which ones they will be using in their future breeding program. Hopefully the more successful dogs at the dog shows will be the chosen ones to produce their next generation of bred by dogs.

The owners, will end up showing whatever it is they have because they don’t have the numbers to choose and pick which ones will be the breeding candidates to be able to have a selection to choose from.

From the previous thought pattern, it can be easily deduced that the breeder’s produce will be heads and shoulders better show prospects than those produced by owners with one or 2 dogs that they will be breeding. In essence, the better get better and the lesser maintain their lesserness.

The above scenario is how it plays out over and over again, year after year with the standard operating system that has been in play for as long as breeding dogs has been taking place.

To every rule, there is an exception…….thus the ‘exception to the rule’ saying.

 

Chambray is that one and only exception to the rule with this interesting subject of breeding the best or the lest or whatever.

Since we place the best produce from our 4 to 5  litters a year, placed with folk that understand how the program works of incorporating those top specimens into the breeding program…………if they indeed develop into the projected…………..those will be the ones that will be the perpetuators of the next generation of top show dogs.

So, most breeders will show a couple of the better dogs from the best from each litter that they kept…………………owners will show whatever it is they have purchased and Chambray will be able to select from a whole bunch of top prospects, the best of the best to showcase at the dog shows.

From the above different sources of from whom the bell tolls, which source would be the best bet on being successful?

Now, add the all-important ‘expertise’…………………………..saying that all breeders have the same level of expertise in producing top-notch breed specimens (we all know that’s not reality)……………but let’s say that a quirk of nature has occurred and that it is real……………………………so with that being equal (we know it’s not)………………………….the next demarcation line while in the show ring is ‘presentation’.

So, we have ‘bought’ dogs being shown by owners, we have bred dogs being shown by breeders and we have those dogs that came from the exception to the rule breeder, those from Chambray…………….all three sources supplying dogs for the show ring, all of them going head-to-head for the same colored ribbons and hard to get points.

What will make the difference, of course besides the conformational differences brought about by the levels of breed expertise?

Presentation while in the ring will be what separates, rather quickly the winners and the 'also rans'. Presentation brought about by training, conditioning and handling.

Not just any training, not just any conditioning and of course, handling skills in the ring is the most obvious between the really, really good and the not so good practitioners.

Although handling in the ring is the tip of the iceberg for presentation………….where the top handlers are very visual with their savvy and ways with the dog, the ring and with the judges……………………..training and conditioning is as paramount though not as observable by the majority sitting outside the ring.

To the trained eye, a dog that saunters into the ring 10lbs overweight……………………..shaggy as a recently awakened bear straight out of hibernation…………………that chubby dog barely walking around the ring and then huffing and puffing after a go round…………………..well all that training and conditioning on the old sofa is just not going to cut it!

 

In fact more than likely, if there is a cut made, they will be the first exiting the ring! To the trained eye, there was no training and no conditioning that was devised for that dog that worked……………..that would mean lack of know how in training and conditioning.

The preceding is witnessed at every single dog show that I compete at! There are always a good 10 to 20% of the dogs that are out of shape, overweight and totally not in competition condition. There is no discernible game plan…………just show up and show and out of the ring in one fell swoop!

So, now at Chambray it is train and condition time…………..some more…………….for the biggest dog show of the year………………………..train, condition now and when in the ring, handling to complete the big picture of show presentation………………….giving our dogs, our program the best odds of continuing our most successful ways.

11/28 IMO News

 

What's In Your Wallet?

 

The spectrum is wide and far, between the different type of owners that somehow make it

into the Chambray Owners Program.

Since every person puts on their Sunday best behavior when being judged for acceptance, without a polygraph done on each, it is like rolling the dice each and every time there is a decision making process as to which new owner will be walking away with a Chambray prized possession!

The old tried and true, red, white and blue American apple pie saying

'A senseless man given a treasure trove will end up trading it in for a pig in a poke!"

Come heck and high water, time and time again I experience the preceding.

The evaluation process performed at 8-weeks of age on a prospective show litter is done to identify those puppies that have somehow attained the best conformation traits from both stellar sire and dam. 

It is based on almost 5 decades of involvement at ALL LEVELS with one breed of dog,

the Labrador Retriever.......................All levels, not just owning a pet dog for a whole bunch of years and then claiming some type of expertise with the breed!

Whether those expectations materialize is dependent on a slew of things, which the most

important 'thing' is KNOW-HOW!

No 'know-how' equals a whole lot of other things other than success.

The puppy comes fully loaded with loads of know-how............that's how it got to be a

top show prospect................that 'come-with loaded know-how' is achieved by the levels of expertise amassed over the almost 50-year long mastery of being faithful to 1 breed,

the Labrador Retriever......,.............in all phases of involvement!

 

However, no matter how much know-how is used in the making of those highly rated puppies at that 8-week mark.................the next amount of 'know-how' that is now needed to take those selected puppies an iota further will need to come from those who will be making the decisions for that puppy in the future.

Those decisions will need to come from those entrusted as the new owners of those puppies!

 

Bad decisions based on a total lack of 'know-how', bass-ackwards thinking and heavens

knows what, invariably leads to disasters and disappointments.

In the competitive show dog world, going backwards with a dog is negative distance that is never made up. That's because all those other top rated dogs that have 'expertise' as their driving force will outdistance even those puppies and dogs that were rated higher and destined for greatness,

yet were yoked by poor decision makers.

What's in your wallet? What's in your noggin?

11/24 IMO 

Doing What It Takes...Takes Knowing What To Do!

"What does it take to be at the top, year after year..........just how do you do it? A very legitimate question from someone doing their very best to get ahead with Labrador Retrievers.

These are the questions and the people that I will stop whatever I am doing,

involved with at the moment and I will take the time to give them an answer that will make

most sense for the level of involvement.

No need to go into the Theory of Relativity when simple addition and subtraction lessons will suffice.

 

For me, the Betterment of the Breed includes anyone and everyone with the right frame of mind and the right objectives, goals and mission....................... those that are in one way or another involved with/participating with Chambray or even to those independent breeders, exhibitors, owners and handlers that are actually competing for the same Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and Best Of Breeds as we are!

 

The breed comes first and foremost!

So, just what does it take to keep the cutting edge sharp?

 

Well, here it is the day after Thanksgiving and we are loading up the vans and cars and will be headed back to Ocala for Saturday and Sunday's IABCA International Dog Shows!

Who Does That?

Well, we do........................not just for the Chambray dogs, because we are developing several Labradors from different kennels and breeders.........................for this IABCA show, we have 3 times as many different breeds as we do Labradors!

We got Shepherds.....................a couple of German Shepherds and an Australian Shephard even a

Mini American Shepherd!

Rotties, 2 of them, one of them with a tail.....maybe a total of 4 of them if the owner backs out and

decides not to handle the dogs that we have been training for her!

A Springer Spaniel and a Clumber Spaniel.

A Mini Bull Terrier and a Russian Toy Terrier!

An Akita & a Cane Corso

And a Frenchie too to boot!

Who does that?

 

Not many trainers/handlers with the savvy to train, condition and handle

such an array of different breeds with different needs!

Just as different breeds look totally different from one another, only 47 years as a dog trainer

will determine what different methods and techniques will work on the different breeds & dogs!

Who does that?

We do at Chambray, where we go all the way as we know exactly what each dogs needs!

11/23 IMO

Speaking The Judge’s Language

 

The lament went something like this………….. “I am tired of these judges putting up these pathetic dogs!”

In reality, what they really were thinking and should have been saying is “I am tired of my dogs not winning!”

No matter how the cheese is sliced, how the pears are pared or how the wool is sheared………………it all boils down to winning! Yep, winning is the magic pill that causes bellyaching to subside, the medicine to quell boisterous outburst and transform it into celebrations………………it is the end all cure to all that ails!

Winning takes a frown and turns it upside down into a smile…………folks have been seen whopping and hollering, dancing a jig and cutting a rug right after standing there with a grimace on their face………….grimacing before and partying right after winning!

A dog wins its class and goes on to win points one weekend and then for the next 6 shows, can’t win its class and of course nary a point to be made!

That will make a grown man sizzle and overheat to the point of being a very grumpy participant……………the very one lamenting what the judge of the day has just awarded points to!

Just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, there will be those that will say that it should be 100% about the dog……………………not about the training, not about the conditioning………………….and certainly not the handling.

Well, good golly Miss Molly, they could be 100% correct and they could take their opinions to the bank and some shrewd banker will give them interest to boot.

Me, I would rather bank on the old reliable…………………….I would rather rely on what has been paying me the biggest dividends for my time and energies…………………………………..TRAINING & CONDITIONING and then wrap it all up with the spiffiest of all wrappings and trappings……………………HANDLING!

Now here’s the deal………………………….HANDLING THAT THE JUDGE UNDERSTANDS!

What good is it to paint in full panoramic living color if the judge is color blind? What good is it to teach a dog to jump through hoops, when hoops are not allowed in the ring?

Whatever handling is done with the dog...........it must make sense for the judge for it to be effective!

If the judge is trying to decide between 3 exhibits and is looking for that extra spark, that smidgen of a difference to help him/her take that leap of faith and choose one, well by golly, that's the language I am talking about. Say two of the dogs are just standing there as they have up until that moment………………………and then the 3rd handler puts into play something, anything and at that precise moment the judge looks at that 3rd dog………………BINGO!

No, the dog’s name is not Bingo………………………BINGO, that was what the judge

needed to award that dog the pointed finger…………………….the winning exhibit!

That is HANDLING THAT THE JUDGE UNDERSTANDS!

Standing, waving bait in front of a dog is boring and overused to the point that neither the dog is impressed and the judges become annoyed with……………….not the language that the judge wants to see/hear!

That takes know-how! That takes experience..................that takes years and guess what, not every dog will respond to the exact same method or technique............that takes more know-how, more experience and more years........making it look easy and winning at a greater percentage of the time...................that is know-how, experience and all the time that has been put in..........................that's priceless!

For those that can see and understand the preceding paragraph, then there is hope for them to someday really get it....................for those that have no clue what this is all about, well, it will take more know-how, more experience and much more time and hopefully the bulb will light up!

11/20 IMO News

'Seeing' The Selection Process Of WD ~ WB ~ BOB
From Another Point Of View

At the dog shows, dogs don't really 'beat' any other dog!

 

There isn't any kind of 'strongest to the end', no 'fastest across the finish line'......................no high jumper jumping higher than the others......no dog IQ's at work in the conformation ring...................no real measurable method for those outside the ring, those 1000 set of eyes sitting, standing, squawking, gossiping, conniving outside the ring looking..............looking in, that can foretell which is the eventual 'winner', unless there has been some insider trading going on!

So, they don't run faster, they don't jump higher, they don't beat up all the other dogs, they don't even have to be smarter....................nope, than of that stuff that makes one entity 'beat' another!

Nope, no way Jose................Joe or Giuseppe that any odds or wagers that can intuitively be made, not  mathematically or scientifically or any other way that has proven to be a discernible pattern as to which dog will win ANYTHING!

This 'winning' thing is solely based on someone's opinion on which dog will be handed the WD, WB and the BOB ribbons.

Of course 'we'...................all those of us traipsing from venue to venue, weekend in and weekend out, think we know 'stuff' about the judges, the site where shows are held, the handlers picking and choosing which venue/judge to travel to, the breeders hoping that this particular judge favors their 'different' looking dog.

I state that, because everyone thinks their dogs looks the best, thus different than the rest!

The inherited dilemma that we all face at each and every dog show we attend and 'compete' at is that no matter how good anyone's dog really is, maybe really better than the rest is that more than probable the judge for the day 'sees' things differently and there isn't any official bargaining, bartering or even badgering method devised to influence the judge's decision.

Out of a lineup of 25 dogs, there could actually be 20 that should have the fickle finger award pointed at them..........................BUT, that's not allowed as only ONE dog can be anointed as the Winner! Nope, that pointy finger....straight or crooked.......must be directed towards only ONE DOG.......................no matter how 'GOOD' the other dog's owner think they are!

If all the dogs have the proper conformation as dictated by the breed standard..............all of them have the correct movement described by that official dictum..........................then the selection process becomes a popularity contest!

Oh, I am sure that's not what many folk wanted to hear. But hear me out!

To make an individual dog appear more popular........so that it will stand out for the judge to be swayed in their direction...........something has to click, shine or call attention for that particular exhibit to 'stand out'!

Ah, here it comes.............here is where the whole ball of wax will make a smidgen of a difference!

Once in the ring, each individual dog must have its strongest points showcased.....................whatever that dog's claim to fame is...............that must be emphasized to the max!

This is the coup de grace, the piece de resistance...................the catalyst that turns the table totally favorable for the one handler/trainer or owner that can make that happen!

So, we are back to the opposite of dumacity.....................yep, good old know-how! Knowing all there is about the breed.......................knowing about training correctly...............conditioning for stamina and endurance..................preparing for performance and then knowing the individual dog and what that dog's strength's and weaknesses are! Knowing how to turn the spotlight on the strengths and downplaying any weakness through planning ahead of time so once on the ring, the game plan can be followed.

 

No game plan, then it's hit or miss! Mostly miss, miss and more miss.

 

I see it at every show..................dogs that could be winning walking into the ring with NO GAME PLAN!

NONE! Owners show up at ringside, hand the dog off to a handler and then start wishing and hoping for the best! The handler handles every dog exactly the same.......one after the other because there is no development devised for the individual dog.................NONE!

"How do you all win so much?" the relatively newcomer to the Florida dog show scene wistfully asks me as I stand with the puppy that has just won a 3-point major.

Not having a whole day to explain anything that would make any sense for the moment or even eternity, I reply, "It takes lots of luck besides hard work!" Of course those that have been around a wee bit longer must know that it takes soooooo much more.......................well, maybe I am giving waaaaaay too much credit here to those that have been around that wee bit more!

From the 'talk' around ringside that I could hear about why some dogs won and why some dogs didn't on different days, most still think that the decision making process is more than a popularity contest!

Well, I am offering this 'other' way of seeing the whys and therefores..........but guess what, it all comes back to what I have been harping about for years, decades........................the game plan for winning is:

Conformation
Training & Conditioning

Handling.......................all of the above for the individual dog to have its best assets on display!

In order to make a dog more popular, all of the above must be put into play!

Easier said than done because it takes KNOW-HOW!

 

11/15 IMO News

There Are Many Reasons For The Seasons

If randomly, 100 people are gathered, there will be the ends of spectrum in everything under the sun and also the moon!

Exact same thing happens with folk that own/breed/show Labrador Retrievers! There will be differing of opinions on every aspect of involvement....................that is human nature at work.

With some people, dogs are humans and their dogs are a member of the family.............with others, dogs are their pets to be involved with them in whatever.....................others have dogs to participate in their involvement as long as that dog serves their purpose.....................others use dogs as a commodity, breeding, showing and selling their produce.

In the big world picture, from all of the above, there is no right and no wrong!

 

Of course in this new age where everyone knows your name (social media) and everyone wants to tell everyone else what is right and what is wrong according to the little island they are standing on...................what one person does with their dogs will come under extreme fire when a bunch of others with differences of opinions get wind of what they consider to be totally wrong and errant of the supposedly 'guilty as charged' party.

At dogs shows where there is nothing better to do than to indulge in the behind the scenes gossiping, spreading the latest, rubbing elbows and running of jowls, rubber necking and snickering towards those that think and act different with their dogs is pervasive.................it becomes the pastime to pass time away.

Folks...................there is lots to learn at a dog show......................much more than the gossiping and spreading of false gospel! There are some standing around ringside that are more than willing to mentor the vast majority of those that have nothing better to do!

Well, I am here to answer all those that have been coming to 'tattletale to the teacher' on those supposedly 'errant of the ways people'..........................folks, get a life and let others have theirs as well. What someone does with their dog is their business.................it's not like people are skewing their dogs and serving them for lunch.

 

Ignore the trouble makers and the spreaders of manure that have that 'get even' agenda and then there are those that just can't wait to blab the latest news!

My recommendations for all is to spend more time with your own dogs...................look and listen to those that are successful...................subscribe to a mentor, that has the credentials, the success, the achievements, in other words the 'goods' that can be delivered.

Why waste valuable time listening to hog wash and second/third hand drivel from no accounts.............what is that worth!

Hey, I am totally open to those that want to succeed and do something note worthy with the breed..................but please do me a favor, spare me from the stuff that floats around that isn't worth listening to.

11/10 IMO News

Competition Keeps It All Real

Competition is the vehicle that drives those involved, to advance, to improve and excel. It is what makes champions and runners up as well……………………..it is what makes great, average, mediocre and also runs because those that have the competitive edge will do what it takes to get to the top and those that don’t have what it takes, will be part of the pack always looking up.

In the show dog world, the ultimate action is the competition in the show ring!

Everything before stepping into the ring is advertising, promoting and self-adulation {lots of talk}………………the definitive word from the ultimate action is which breeder lays claim to the most wins, the most champions, grand champions and so on………………those are the results that each and every owner, exhibitor, breeder and handler is in search of…………………illusive as all get out and yet, weekend after weekend the canine owning warriors are at it again…………..the quest for those wins, those very inexpensive ribbons!

Every person that engages in showing dogs wants that Golden Fleece and they will travel hundreds of miles, stay in down trodden motels, eat lunch wagon food from nomad existence vendors…………spend and ungodly amount of money, energy and time………………………all for some brightly colored ribbon that costs about a dime!

Yep, me too………………me too, in search for the next win, because last week’s wins are yesterday’s old news and there is this in-satiable desire to keep right on winning…………..somehow proving that we as breeders breed the best…………we as owners own the best……………..we as trainers train the best and as handlers, handle better than the rest!

Yes, we are all in this to win with our dogs……………………that’s the competitive nature of what we do at dog shows………………………..because to each and every one that owns, breeds, handles………………..those dogs at the end of those leashes are the best!

Of course, the judges can only choose 1 class male for Winners Dog………..1 class bitch for Winners Bitch…………………..1 male/bitch Best Of Breed! Those will be the winners for the day!

Then to please a few more of those competitors, there are always the bones tossed out for Best Of Opposite Sex and the recent addition (8 years ago) of the Grand Champion scheme of things……………..making a few more whet their lips and keep them coming back for more.

Hey, truth be told, it keeps me coming back, weekend after weekend, year after year…………..30+ years outside the ring, inside the ring……………in and out of the winner’s circle……………I have trekked with the best of them…………..some of those winning their fair share and others, perennial participants searching for their take, waiting for their ship that may come in some day.

All lining up in the early morning with that magical expectation that today is the day…………..that they and their dog will be the ones jumping up for joy when the judge points to them…………………the nervous energy that competition brings……………………that electricity that is pervasive at every dog show right before stepping into the ring………………..every competitor waiting outside the ring is on even ground before taking that first step into the stanchion-lined arena that will serve the competitors.

Then the gladiators step into the ring…………then the reality of different conformation levels comes into effect…………………………training and conditioning becomes evident between the exhibits……………………and the ‘piece de resistance’, ‘performance’...................bringing together conformation, training/conditioning is the handling, which is the catalyst that makes the whole, that makes the performance!

More often than not…………………that is what makes dogs win at a greater percentage and when those elements are lacking, it is what makes some dogs/owners keep coming back the next day, the next week and so on.

Competition is addicting..................and that's a good thing because it keeps all of us coming back!

11/09 IMO News

Whoa Nelly!

Addendum Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The numbers that you will read below in the 'Follow The Yellow Brick Road To Success' offering,

only applies to our ways and means @ Chambray Labradors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like Tricky Dickey once said, "Let me make this perfectly clear!"

So here is some clarity {real time facts}..............there is no other Labrador breeder that has produced 33 champions in any 5 year period...........PERIOD!

Most of the big names in Labradors produce 2 to 3 times, maybe 5 times as many puppies per year, soooooooooooooo, the ratio between numbers produced to champions finished will be nowhere nears

(as close) to what I just covered in the IMO below this one.

In the real world, from one of the top breeders, instead of 33 champs to 240 produced..................that real number may look like 10 champions from 500 produced and that is being very liberal and giving, because it could really be 10 out of thousands instead.

The preceding in no way diminishes the quality of any top level breeder, it just shows how effective our ways and means are in producing, raising, training, conditioning & the coup de gras, handling!

Who else does that?

These are my opinions, for whatever they are worth. They are free, so enjoy!
11/09 IMO News

Follow The Yellow Brick Road To Success

Two very interested Interviews……………….'show' interested that is! Each came up with a very similar question that I am sure is on the mind of the majority of those showing dogs, “What is the percentage of puppies/dogs that evaluate as Top Show Prospects that actually fulfill that expectation?”

There is a number, but the preamble to that number is the most telling to fully and justly answer the question.

The ‘starter’ number at the onset……………………the number of puppies that are evaluated as Top Show Prospects from our breeding program in 2017 is 8 out of 10, those receiving at least an average of a 90, with none of the traits being less than a 90!

I state that 8 out of 10 is our 'today' number because it has steadily climbed to that ratio from 30 years ago when the Owners Program came into being……………….. when it was maybe…….just maybe, 1 puppy in 3 litters may have been in the ballpark to be considered show potential!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13 years ago which is 3 generations in the past, it was 5 out of 10 with an average score of 85 needed to be considered a Show Prospect and 82 as Showable…………………………..now, whole litters have rated beyond the 90 that it takes for a trait to rate as Showable………………..and a whopping 95 to be designated as a Top Show Prospect.

So, we start with this newly elevated number, 95 to be declared as Top Show Prospect.

Okay enough of the tease………………………..so how many of those placed as Top Show Prospects make it to become champions??????????

Here is where it all expectations change when the cat is out of the bag!

The cat being the puppy and the bag is where the puppy calls home!

No need to read in-between the lines here………………………the owner, each new owner makes a world of a difference if that Top Show Prospect fulfills the destiny of the breeding program………..or not and sadly failing is more often than not!

So there is an eventual ‘true to where it hurts’ answer and it has nothing to do with the evaluation process of the superior quality of the individual dog………………it has to do with choices, some good choices and same dastardly choices by others outside of my realm of control.

Left to 100% of my choices and decision…………………..I would predict that 90% of those dogs evaluated as Top Show Prospect will finish their AKC champion’s title…………………..so, out of 10 dogs rated as Top Show Prospects………………….9 would be the champions they were predicted to end up as, if I had 100% say and do with them! I am leaving leeway for the eventual 1 dog out of 10 that Calamity Jane would claim for herself…………yep, that one hapless individual that everything and anything will go wrong with!

I have records and records……………dossiers full of WHY A DOG DIDN’T FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You name it and I have it on record with dog’s name and dogs owner’s name AND THE REASON WHY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reasons for dogs not finishing:

 

People that don’t go through with showing a dog (40%)

Finances (10%),

Divorces & relocations (10%),

Dumacity (30%)…………………(lots and lots of this, these and that…………including wacko personalities, not knowing what they don’t know, listening to others that don’t know what they don’t know……………….I have each and every one of those documented, names, dates, you name it, it is there!

And yes (10%) the few that succumb to Murphy’s Law and the Calamity Jane syndrome.

All those contribute greatly to those dogs that are kept from crossing the finish line because they were out of my realm of control and ultimate decision making process.

So, now for that pie in the sky, the real number of how many do or don’t………………………….simple as a dimple on a spotted dapple……………………………….33 Chambray champions since 2011……………………with an average of 40 puppies born a year, makes 240 puppies………………at 80% show prospects, makes 192 placed as such and 33 of those MADE IT!!!

So the actual verifiable number is 33 out of 192……………..which is somewhere around 13% or so……………and very little has to do with the actual dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, once the cat is out of the bag, it becomes a whole new ballgame with others calling the shots………………bad shots, cheap shots, dumb-ass shots, missed the mark shots, crap shots, blank shots, totally screwed up shots……………..the list of ‘why’s and therefore’ of missing the mark is a long and winding road when left to others.

Straight and narrow when the master has the say……………and fortunately for 33 that listened up and followed the yellow brick road all the way to the promised land of an AKC championship for their dog!

It’s all about numbers and numbers don’t lie nor ‘FAKE IT’!

11/07 IMO News

Think Big When Big Is At Hand!
Otherwise Be Wannabees!

The aging lady (aging, just as I am going down the same slippery slope), Labrador breeder for quite some time, brings me a lovely 6-month old girl puppy and asks, "What do you think?"

My honest to goodness reply "Are you kidding me, she is awesome!"........................."Is she entered in today's show?", I babble on!

"Well, no.................I was waiting to see if you were bringing out any top potential puppies." she rather hesitantly offered.

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat................why in the world would you wait to see anything from anybody? This puppy is as world class as any that you have ever had before!" I answer with overflowing exuberance and admonishment all at the same time!

Listen up folks, if you have the goods, then by all means go out and deliver them! You are either in or time will speed on by and leave you behind holding the bag......................there is no waiting for this or for that because there are no train stations on this ride we call showing dogs.................THAT SPEEDING TRAIN STOPS FOR NO ONE!

There are dozens and dozens of wannabees always on the sidelines looking in.............always 'ah wishing' and 'ah hoping' and never coming through with any of their produce or dogs that they have back home that they say "will some day come out"...............lots of talk and lather and nothing to show for all the blabber.

The only way to get ahead in the show dog world is to bring on the goods and let's see where they are at with head-to-head competition.........................otherwise those on the sidelines that never make into the ring are just pet breeders and let's call it that!

I can't wait to see this new puppy come into the ring as she should give the rest, including any that I have coming out a run for their money!

11/02 IMO News

The Dialogue Continues & That's A Good Thing

Great conversations this past weekend at the Ft Pierce dog shows with 3 very long time Labrador breeders…………with more than 120 years of breeding between us! 5 Intermediate breeder/exhibitors with a good percentage of the entries at most Florida shows and 3 relatively new comers that seem to have the right stuff to keep it going………..good audience and group for sharing the ‘this and that’ of the breed.

Topic of conversation this past weekend: What the grapevine is saying…………which at times goes catawampus and cockamamie on social media.

One of the all-time top producing stud dogs of the breed, producing genetic inconsistencies according to the collective wisdom of a bunch of newbies, no accounts, has-bins and other never-will-bees.

Listen up molly grubs, pollywogs and tadpoles if a dog breeds enough and has a large population of offspring, say 2,000 to 3,000 little offspring all over the country and world, every known genetic anomaly will show up in that extensive population……………………you name it, there will be a representative or two for that precinct or district, of course in the normal expected range!

Hip and elbows not passing……………………..the typical 20% or 1 out of 5! That is the number for every dog that will produce enough numbers to collate and keep statistics on! That is a good number when using dogs that have had ‘passing’ scores and are paired up…………………..that number will rise if OFA results are not used as a basis for breeding, however that number only nudges up 5% to 10% more.

All the other non DNA testable diseases and condition will show up at very predictable percentages. The DNA testable diseases should not be a big factor in the current topic of conversation because using only CLEARS to breed to him, will produce 100% non AFFECTEDs!

Now the biggest problem is the spreading of information by people whose dogs fall within the expected ‘not good’ parameter. Say there are 3000 offspring……………..the natural results within that population of offspring not passing elbows and hips is 20%....................................here is a shocker for some that no know nothing of math, percentages and ratios……………….20% of 3000 is 600!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yep, the normal expected passing will be 2400 and those left holding the bag will number around 600!

Well, it may NOT sound a lot using ‘out of 10’……………8 will receive celebratory news and 2 will be down in the dumps! But hey, grubs, wogs and poles…………………..that is exactly the same percentage! It is what it is and no amount of blabber, scorn, ridicule or lamenting is going to change the luck of the draw!

Now hear this……………………..all dogs not passing OFA scrutiny were NOT born that way……..in fact the conventional wisdom of the think tanks and Illuminati tell us that each and every new born is born with perfect joints and the minute that they come out of the safe harbor of the amniotic chamber that they are developed in for 60 days or so…………………once they hit the ground running, crawling, slipping and sliding and being stepped on by the mother, other dogs................kids and whatever else they encounter on their way through life……………that starts the beginning of inconsistencies that will later show up during radiography.

All the things that could go wrong........will...........for a good percentage, amounting to 20 to 25% by the time they are old enough for that type of scrutiny.

One very interesting statistic that came up during the multiple participant's discussion was how pet breeders have a much, much lower rate of dogs not passing…………………this according to one of the Fake News gossip spreaders on one of the social media discussions.

Well, that is one of the 'dumb-ass statistics'* that the spreaders and purveyors of Fake News clamor up and use to manipulate the thought processes of those that subscribe to that form of mind altering propoganda.

*'Dumb-ass statistics' are those that have a scintilla of truth but the veracity plummets because that sliver of truth is taken and stretched to the outer limits of credibility, of course turning it into the new national pastime of creating FAKE NEWS.

 

The reason that pet breeders don’t seem to have to deal with claims from owners at the same percentages that show breeders deal is that pet breeders sell their dogs to the pet market and those in the pet market don’t do radiology to test for hip and elbows………………………thus, there are much less reports of pets producing non passing offspring………………………those ‘real’ number we will never know because there are no statistics for dogs that don’t have x-rays done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now try to reason with the 600 that get the ‘bad’ news and they also happen to be addicted to whining and complaining on Social Media……………………no sense in trying to reason with the senseless! They will go on rampages flaming this and burning that because in our society, someone has to pay! Doesn’t matter who, someone has to pay for the natural occurring oopppssses that will come up at the very predictable numbers.

Another topic of discussion by the many: People that have risen to ‘fame’ as breeders/exhibitors of Labradors using money to get there!

Hey, I wish I had had money way back then……………………..shitsky forget about way back then, how about now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If someone gets there buying their way and they end up with great dogs………………THEN, LET'S EVERYONE GET OFF OUR BUTTS AND GIVE THEM A STANDING OVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They had the interest, the intuition, the gravitas to take a commodity they possessed and then invest it in something they yearned for and were either lucky or had forethought and ended up being successful.

The above, because I have also known quite a few dumb-asses along the way that did the exact same thing, but used their butts and not their brains to invest and ended up big failures………………in fact in my 47 years with Labradors, I can state that for every 1 that made it big, there were 9 others that were pure out and out blowhards and bust outs………………with all that money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The few that have made it big by buying dogs…………………actually have served the breed well. That’s because they made names for many of those dogs that they invested in and spent lots and lots of money on handling, traveling, advertising and promoting……………………………if those same dogs would have stayed with their breeders, the likelihood is that the breed would have never heard of them!

So hip hurray for money to get there……………………brains to get there…………………..perseverance to get there…………………………..good old fashioned hard work to get there……………………..luck to get there…………………whatever it takes, getting there is the name of the game and major kudos to the few that reach that pie in the sky………………because the Betterment of the Breed has benefited greatly from all those contributors!

 

Stay tuned for more conversations from the Labrador community.

11/02 IMO News

The Continuum For Greatness…………..Uninterrupted!

 

All That Matters, let’s count the ways!

Amazing, no matter how much things change………… greatness stays the same! Come wicked weather, not in recent history experienced by the whole state of Florida and surrounding region…………adversity so widespread that 6 million people were directly affected………………the betterment of the breed built on everlasting greatness still keeps on truckin and no pipsqueak or aberrant weather phenomena can put a damper on the forward momentum! 

What Matters #1:  #163………..The Winning Streak Continues no matter what, when, where or who…………….163 consecutive dog show winning weekends……………….5 years plus and still counting, January 2012 to now October 29th, 2017…………that’s every single dog show weekend, 163 dog show weekends with wins in every single one of them………..never been done before and more than likely, not to be repeated by any other Labrador breeder/handler. That’s 163 weekends tallied in 7 different states………….every state that Team Chambray has traveled to since January of 2012! Not one single exception to the rule here…………..every jaunt, trek and venture, 163 consecutive dog show weekends. Who does that? Obviously no one before!

What Matters #2 Numbers:  #33………..New Champions, 33 of them from 2011 to the now and to the present and the year is not over yet………because the rotund missus has not yodeled yet………………..that’s 4 years as Top Labrador Breeder with 6 new champions each of those years, count them, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, that’s 24 champions in those 4 years…………….then 3 champions in 2013, 4 champions in 2011 and now, so far for 2017, 2 more champions……………….count them, 33 new champions and 2017, it is worthy of repeating, the year isn’t over yet, the most champions bred by a Labrador breeder since 2011 in the whole great country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who does that? Anyone want to up the ante?

What Matters #3 Numbers:  #20……………. Grand Champions, 20 of them……………..more Labrador Grand Champions than any other Labrador breeder since the AKC’s inception of the AKC Grand Championship in 2009. Leading the pack, the whole countrified pack, not just the state, not just the region…………..the whole kit and caboodle! Who does that? So far, no one else!

What Matters #4 Numbers:  #7……. Top 100 Grand Champions, 7 of them……………….more Grand Champions than any other Labrador Breeder………..deja vous …….the caboodle thing again twice! Who does that? Any takers, going once, twice, going 7 times!

What Matters #5 Numbers:  #9………… Bronze Grand Champions, 9 of them………………more Bronze Grand Champions than any other Labrador breeder………………….the old hat trick……….it’s three-peat caboodle time! Who does that? Anyone up for this challenge?

I could go on with the record setting, breaking numbers that matter like in 1, 2, 3… (That’s infinity for the non-versed) and on like Buzz Light Year & Beyond….. but let’s let the dog’s records, streaks, benchmarks and other top of the totem pole exploits make the statements………………….can’t argue with numbers because the only argument that would prove a didley squat is a bigger number…………………..and that bigger number doesn’t exist and if someone was to claim and prove a bigger number, than gladly I would pass the hat on for that number that matters………………but until someone steps up to the gaming table with a raise to the ante, not with words but with verifiable, certifiable deeds………………that top hat fits mighty nice on my hairless dome!

That old saying about “there’s lots of folks that offer a lot of cheap talk……………………but them whole lot of cheap talkers become hide and seek balkers when it comes time to man up with the real deal!”

11/02 IMO News

When The Going Gets Tough...................

Back in the day when I was a young whippersnapper, there were tried and true sayings that people lived by and this one runs very deep through my core, even today,

"When the going gets tough......the tough get going!"

Yes, sir, yes ma'am at every conjunction of my life when things seemed insurmountable, I'd dig deep and summoned some spark that led me to prevail.

Today, I still think that way, the only difference is that it is so much tougher to get up in the morning, so much tougher to heal from cuts and bruises, so much tougher to bend over from the aches and pains, so much tougher to pick up loads (even light-weight ones), so much tougher to handle full of 'vim and vigor' dogs, so much tougher to go around the ring several times, so much tougher to get up when I have tripped and fallen..............................................................so, so much tougher to admit that the mind just doesn't work the way it used to!

The going is getting tougher and it is just much tougher to get the tough old body/mind to tough it out anymore.

Then there is that little spark.................

November 1st IMO News

What Is An Opinion Worth?


Let me put that title and question into a relative mode......................an opinion from a dumbass is totally a waste of time and energy in listening to it..................while the opinion of a top leading Wall Street stock broker (insider trading) could be worth millions!

So, there you have two opinions from 2 different people......... with a few words from one that could make many very wealthy and millions of words from the other could lead people off a precipice!

How do we know who to listen to? For some of us, that's a no-brainer!

 

Obviously for others, those that fail over and over again at everything they get themselves into................they just don't have the proper scrutinizing ability to decipher which is the broker and which is the broken.

Just this weekend at the Plant City dog shows, I had several conversations with different folk that covered the full range of complexity about people listening and acting upon the two ends of spectrum of the opinion world!

One person is negotiating the purchase of a young adult Labrador to add to their 'collection' of other recently 'purchased' dogs........from different sources.

So, they wanted my opinion on the dog....................after having received the opinion from someone else.

Well, there's nothing wrong with getting 'second' opinions...................or is there?

It all depends on who the dispenser of those verbal gems is! Yep.................getting dental opinion from a jackhammer operator is as senseless as diving out of a plane without a golden parachute, gee any other color would do just as well, too!

So, why oh why would anyone come to me after having been to someone that is as clueless about the breed as they were the day they got into it 5 years ago? Why oh why, indeed!

But then get this...................the inquisitor questions my opinion by referencing what Tweedledum had just told them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A true whaaaaaaaaaat moment if there ever was one!

 

Goes to show that my Hersonisms from below have so much weight that they could sink most of the straw boats that many are navigating on! 

October 30th IMO News

Some Things Of Human Nature Never Change

The following are Herzonisms, feel free to quote at will and no need to give credit to the source, which of course would be me.

 

It fascinates me to no end when a fallout occurs between folks........how fast each will spill the beans about the other! Seems to me that if the dealings were so off kilter about the goings on, that there would have been a parting of ways...................way before. Go figure!

Should be a law that would prevent mud slinging if the slinger is mired knee deep in a bog!

The difference between a man of his word and a man of many words is how fast the tune changes when the wind blows with the latter and how much easier it is holding a man accountable to a few words with the first!

There are many that say they do and few that do what they say!

The polar opposite of mediocrity is success. A good measure of a person is................is how high they rise above the mediocre and mundane.

While many want to succeed............very few are equipped to actually get there..................some are perpetually in the mediocre doldrums and getting ahead is not in the cards.