Tests the limits of all lives
Forging them stronger
what I appear to be
The love and passion that I have for Labrador Retrievers is what fuels my drive for my total involvement with the breed. The never-ending quest for the Betterment of the Breed is the legacy that I would
like to leave behind after it is all said and done.
This Blogging Off section reflects the "tell it like it is" persona that comprises one of the many hats that I wear in my daily activities with Labrador Retrievers and the people that own them.
"Questions are the keys to understanding,
answers are the open doors that will follow,
choosing the right door to proceed through will
determine if the correct path was taken."
V. Sandy Herzon
Round Up Of This And That
There is only one venue that draws more ‘puppy seekers’ than Ocala and that’s the West Palm Beach show site. Of course, WPB is determinedly skewed to be prima selectin real-estate because I encourage loads that contact me throughout the year to ‘meet up’ with me there!
Still, the locals of Ocala are drawn like horse flies to their horses at these dog shows because the 4 weekends a year we travel to exhibit our dogs there; we are inundated with ‘puppy buying’ folk.
Being more of the diplomatic bloke that I fancy myself as, I give each one of those ‘looking-for-a-puppy’ type, the time of day………..be it a few passing moments, I still make the time to answer their questions and steer them as right as can be done when the vehicle doesn’t really have a steering mechanism.
Not so with another breeder that was sitting at ringside watching the goings on inside the ring! Nope, not the case at all, because I hear tell that when the harmless interloper identified herself as “looking for a pet Lab puppy”………………….she got as direct as a laser guided missile travels………… “I don’t deal with pet people” reply!
So foul smelling was the ambiance at that precise moment, that several other fine folk sitting within hearing proximity………..up and left their seats and skedaddled much like cockroaches do when the Raid man shows up!
I always love it when those that don’t know Didley end up talking to those that don’t know Bo! Must be like a fog meeting up with smoke……………………you end up with foul smelling smog that you can’t see your way out of………….but you can sure smell that you are in the thick of it!!!!!!!!!
I saw a lot of that this past weekend! The clueless gleaning denseness from airheads………….think about that one for a moment or two and with some, or three!
There was one lady that came to confer with me about a certain exhibit she had seen at the last weekend of shows because everyone she had talked to was recommending that she breed her dog to that particular dog since her dog didn’t have a good representation of correct coat for the breed.
I asked her what the Labrador breed standard called for the correct coat. After hearing my question, she looked worse than a deer in the headlights just about to be plowed over by a semi doing 85 miles per hour!
“I really don’t know what the breed standard calls for” she offered up meekly.
As patiently as I swat a mosquito off my arm, I quoted “Short, straight, dense and course to the feel”.
She looked down at her dog that had thin, slick as a seal black hair and signed “Well I guess she don’t have that!”
“What did you see from that dog last week?” I asked, hoping to create some original thought.
“He seemed to have a lot of hair, real long and bushy.” She fessed up.
“Does that equate to short, straight, dense and course to the feel?” I answered/asked.
“Not really but maybe the two of them will mash up and breed some sort of in-between puppies” she offered up an original thought!
Not having any hair to pull off the top of my head and not having any real logical response that would make any headway with that type of thinking…………………….one of my owners threw me a lifesaver my way and saved me from the miring quicksand around me…………………..I excused myself and went into the ring to handle my next assignment.
There was the pesky gnat lady! I just love words that have a g in front of them and that g has no sound!
There’s gnu, gnome and gmeabreak!
In order to get a rise from some folk, I will pronounce the g on purpose like “that was really gnarly (pronounced ga-narly)”………….gets them every time.
So, there was this lady (much like a gnat) that was hounding anyone and everyone about her harem of dogs! Pesky just doesn’t do justice, but that will do…………….I still don’t know what it was she wanted! Kept coming back…………………like in every time I turned around there she was!
Finally the last straw………………right after one of the Chambray puppies took Winners Dog………………I turn around and there she was, came right to me with a photo of a 110 lb dog and she says “I should have had him here today, he would have beaten all those males showing!”
"Hasta la vista gnat lady"!.................................................................For those not savvy en Espanol, the H is silent in Hasta
The Great News About The Chambray Class of 2016
For the purist, true blue Labrador breeder that has the betterment of the breed…………first and foremost in mind, there is nothing that compares to the production of the next generation of puppies.
The quality a breeder produces is what makes that breeder either stand out for being ‘good’ or stick out like a sore thumb for being a ‘bad’ breeder!
The validation for being ‘good’ is determined in several ways. Those breeders putting out a good product that is healthy and sound…………..serving the community with longevity and providing good service to those who invested in their ‘name’, will be considered ‘good’. From that group of ‘good’ breeders there will be the few, the proud, the breeders that go the extra mile and take their dogs to competition where the ‘best’ are chosen and those receive awards and eventual champion’s titles…..those breeders will be elevated to being ‘great’ breeders.
So, the next step for one of those breeders after producing what they hope will be the next generation of great puppies is taking them to the arenas where other great breeders also come with the same hopes of proving themselves with the winning hand……………the better puppies and dogs that walk away with the prizes and points that designate them as being even better than the rest that were brought by the other breeders.
That arena for Labradors is the dog shows put on by the AKC. Now, I know that there are other organizations that also put on competitions for dogs and there are ‘winners’ there as well…………….however the main event, the big leagues………………..the NFL for dogs is the AKC venues.
So, with great anticipation, we brought out our newest puppies, those produced this past year in 2016………….now some of them are old enough at 6 months to make their AKC debuts…………….we brought them out to compete at the Florida Winter Circuit……………………..the venue that is frequented by the northern professional handlers that descend to Florida with Labs from some of the top breeders from the northern latitudes.
So, just how did those new ‘fingerlings’, Chambray’s Class of 2016 fair under the big top, the three ring circus of the AKC with the added competition from out of state?
As Tony the Tiger would roar…………………. They did “Greaaaaaat”! Not only did they look good strutting their stuff against other puppies and of course the big dogs, the adults that may just need a point or two or a major to win their AKC champion’s title…………………………….three of those puppies actually won the points!!!!!!!!!!
Yep, that’s right and worth repeating………………not only did they perform………………they actually outperformed the big guns, the dogs that are the ones expected to win.
We had two of our boy puppies come away beating the competitor breeder’s puppies…………they also beat the big dogs and each of them came away with a Winners Dog award and AKC points towards their champions title. So each of them is now AKC Champion-Pointed!
So, introducing for the very first time………………..drum roll maestro.
AKC Ch-Pted Ch/Int Ch Chambrays Southern Magolia’s Beau & his littermate AKC CH-Pted/Int Ch Chambrays Blazing Saddles At Southern Palms both from the breeding of AKC Ch-Pted Chambrays Summer Thunderstorm bred to Ch Devonshires Huckleberry Finn. Beau is owned by Kathy Rodgers and Blaze is owned by Scott Armstrong.
The real big surprise was a 3-point Major Winners Bitch win for Chambray Royal Queen Of Miami ‘Riley’. She is now AKC Ch Major –Pted/Int Ch Chambrays Royal Queen Of Miami, from the breeding of AKC BBE Gr Ch Chambrays First N Counter ‘Gavi’ bred to BBE Ch Chambrays Where Eagles Dare. ‘Riley’ is owned by the Trainer family.
The puppy competition was fierce as there were a total of 9 kennels represented in the puppy classes, with 7 of those being Florida breeders. Not only did the Chambray puppies have to beat the local competitors, the adult competition was even tougher with a couple dozen northern breeders sending their dogs down for the 14 days of shows between Brooksville and the Ocala shows.
So, we breathe a great sigh of relief knowing that the Chambray Class of 2016 represented Chambray and Florida well and of course kept our winning streak going into its 148 dog show weekend which all started right there at the Winter Circuit of 2012!
Comparing Apples To Oranges
"I have been researching Labrador breeders for over 3 years looking for some top bred dogs to augment my breeding program. I keep coming back to your website as your dogs seem to be the most attractive to what I think Labradors should look like. Of course your show record also speaks volumes for your quality. The thing that always gets me is how you raise and place your dogs. I just don’t get it as no other breeder does that or even understands what you all do!" Eli
Yep, I recognized your name/email address after doing a search for it from the 1000’s that email me yearly and sure enough I have received well over a dozen emails from your email address over the years. I have done my best to answer your questions and have also referred you to half a dozen of pages that fully explain our protocol and processes.
Since 100% transparency is how I operate and providing well-intended folk with information is essential for the betterment of the breed, I have prepared one of those ‘comparison charts’ in the hopes that it will make things simpler and clearer for those not following the bouncing ball.
The Latest 'Fake News' About Labrador Retrievers
I received a rather lengthy communication ‘educating’ me on the difference between a ‘pure as apple pie American-bred, proud to be American, American Labrador Retriever’ vs those ‘pudgy, short-legged wannabee, worthless for nothing dogs that show people breed and call them English, British or whatever other foreigner sounding name dogs’!
The text in bold and in italic are the actual descriptive used by the seemingly, now empowered nationalistic, probably annoyed that I dared to cast dispersion on the off-branded dogs advertised as being anything but the real deal Labrador Retriever…………………she or he being a lady or man, or whatever people call themselves nowadays. (signed off with Pat in Idaho)!
Now, truth be told in hard text found everywhere through my domain (website) I make sure that I can be quoted directly without interpretation or without using ‘double talk’ or plain talk one day that can be distorted, twisted, reversed, flipped, flopped, or catawampused to mean the exact opposite anytime there after…………….no need to read my lips because I will reiterate in capital, bigger and bolder text the following:
Yep, no need to read in between the lines either…………………..there is only one line right up above!
No fancy foreign sounding ‘double entendre’ word either………………..nope, none of that smoke and mirror, hocus pocus, now you read it and later it means something totally ass-backwards-bass-ackwards…………………NOPE, plain and simple……………………reiterate it again to make sure that the password to get through my gate is correct:
Notice and notice real carefully that there is no ‘American’………………….nor ‘English’, ‘British’……………………………nope, there only is a LABRADOR RETRIEVER!
LABRADOR RETRIEVER has nothing, absolutely nothing at all…………..nada, zilch, as ZERO as ZERO gets to do with nationalistic pride…………………nor with political affiliations, afflictions, because LABRADOR RETRIEVERS don’t vote yet………..of course if the rabid animal right terrorists have anything to say/do about it, there may be 30 million dogs voting in the next presidential election.
So, I stand my ground, what little I may still have and let it be known to all those with an axe to grind and that now use it to speak their mind…………………….there is only one LABRADOR RETRIEVER!
Yep, come what may…………..diatribes, personal insults…………..truckloads of dispersions about my gender, political leanings, height, thickness of my eyebrows, ethnicity……….whatever…………………there has been………………is………………….and will be only ONE LABRADOR RETRIEVER and everything else is FAKE NEWS!
We Are Back.......................Barely!
The Brooksville 2017 Florida Winter Circuit Dog Shows……………………………just the title by itself conjures images of cold, dreary, miserable conditions for the longest stretch of dog shows in our otherwise bright and sunshiny state.
For those not in the know, Brooksville FL has the dubious reputation of being the worst place to be at in winter and also the worst in summer as well of all the locales in our state! 'Inclement weather' and Brooksville Fl are synonymous!
Yep, ‘they’ say that it has the coldest and harshest winters and then the hottest, most unbearable summers from all the places in Florida!
Then, for spring and fall, there is just nothing to do anywhere within a couple of hours away, so definitely not a place that anyone in their right, left or in-between mind would want to spend more than a couple of days at.
So, what do we do to add an even bigger toppings on the adventure.................this year for the very first time that this dog show cluster has been in existence (going on 3 decades), we (Team Chambray) decided to stay for the entire duration of the 10 shows spread out over 2 weeks!
What was I thinking?
The Wilder/Pryor movie, Stir Crazy was child’s play compared to the ordeal of the sameness of dealing with so much of the ‘same old’, ‘same old’, day after day with no letup in sight once we settled in on the first day.
But, hark, a blessing was sent ‘our’ way……………………………….the weather was absolutely perfect to a T from day one to departure day at 12 noon! Twelve days of weather bliss…………….that was perfection for ‘us’………………….not so for the rest of the dog show people that were still there when we drove off at that timely hour!!!!!!!!!
A most ‘definitely not so’ for the vast majority of those others that didn’t leave the show grounds right at 12 noon on that last day on Sunday as we did!
No sirey Bob, as all hell broke loose with all kinds of bad weather………………winds kicking gusts surpassing 75 miles an hour hit the show grounds by the time we were about 75 miles south of Brooksville!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tornado warning were issued, but even before that the big commercial tents that have been customary in use there for decades were being jostled, tussled, pulled out of the ground and many ripped to shreds……………….so much so that the rest of the dog show had to be cancelled as all the good folk there finishing up in the breed rings, then to await for the groups and the finale with Best In Show were advised to head for the hills, for cover, for wherever it would be safer than riding it out on that knoll of land where the most brazen of weather can whip up and create havoc with very little notice.
So, as we headed south on I-75 battling 50 to 70 mile and hour gusts that buffeted our sprinter like if it were a toy truck…………………………making me hold on to the steering wheel with both hands, creating white bare knuckles keeping the van from being swept into the adjoining lanes, my compatriots still back at the show grounds were doing their best to survive the onslaught that Mother Nature had in store after those gracious, glorious 12 days from before.
I pray that the rest of the show people, the judges, AKC officials, vendors, the MBF superintendents, visitors and of course all the dogs made it through without harm.
So, do we now count our blessings and take a respite back at the farm and rest up a while before setting out for more excellent adventures?
In two days we embark for the Ocala weekend of shows……………..yep, Ocala, barely 50 miles north of Brooksville and what’s in store for us there?
Every day is forecasted to be in the 30’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thin, Latin blood and with an affliction of Ranaud’s Syndrome and I will be headed up there again?
What am I thinking?
The Tally Of The Tale Of The Tape Tempers The Tongues
The final tally is in for 2016 and here’s the tale of the tape. Of course these are all dog show related awards, achievements, accolades and don’t include the great accomplishments by those Chambray dogs with Service duties, the ones excelling in Agility, the ones competing in Obedience trials and the ones working in Hunt tests and/or actually working the fields with their counterpart huntsmen-women owners. I will get to those in another brag/blog.
So, here it is the 2016 Chambray dog show awards, acclamation's and achievements.
Let’s start off really big and not save it for last……………..right to the top with the most champions crowned by a breeder/kennel/handling team in the country……………Top USA Labrador Breeder with 6 newly crowned champions in 2016! Those 6 champions also boosted our Number 1 Champion Labrador Breeder status in Florida to 56 Lifetime champions……………….that makes the 2nd place lifetime claimant to settled for 1/3 that number.
Headlining the marquee as well at the USA Top 100 All-Time Grand Champions…………….yep, #1 with 7 of the Top 100 Grand Champions. There was a 4-way tie for 2nd place with 4 grand champions each.
Then there were the 12 New Titles for 2016………..(Florida record 17 for us was in 2015)
one of those, our 2nd Lifetime Silver Grand Champion title (state record)
There was 1 Bronze Grand Champion (our 7th, also a state record).
We also crowned Grand Champion’s #17 and #18, also a state record.
The most astonishing record is the 145 Consecutive Dog Show Weekends of Winning! The incredible streak continues, come what may. They used to say, “They (meaning us, Chambray) only win locally”………………so we then dominate the wins outside of ‘locally’ to include the whole state…………we then pack up the van and travel out of state and win at every weekend of shows we traveled to…………… then they said “they can’t win at specialties”, so we do that big time with a BISS (Best In Specialty Show)………….a 5-pt major win, a 3-pt major win, 3 Select Gr Ch’s at Specialty Show………………….5 JAMSS. Again they opined, “They can’t win at the Winter Circuit”, so we dominate the wins there the last 5 years……………………….then they were running out of places or things and they said, “They can’t win at the real big shows”, so we win big, really big at the BIGGEST SHOW OF ALL, 5 years straight of winning at the Eukanuba National Championships and when that changes its name to the Royal Canin National Championships, we win big there too where we took a Best Of Breed, a 3-pt major Winners Bitch and a JAMSS at the LRC specialty!
So, what do they say now? Not much really, you can actually hear a pin drop.......that always happens when the cat gets their tongues!
So that makes 145 weekends of shows that we traveled to starting in January 2012 straight through the most recent Royal Canin week of shows in Orlando…………………that’s local shows, out of town shows, out of state shows, the Winter Circuit shows, the real big, big shows, actually the biggest show in the country…………….2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016………………at every single weekend of shows all 5 of those years with wins at every one of those weekends!
Now we embark on the 6th year, 2017 and two weekends of shows, that’s 10 shows on the radar. So, here we on another excellent adventure year!
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
The ‘ink’ has not dried yet on the 2016 year! All the great accomplishments for Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed are still as fresh as the freshest cut daisies!
As a collective, ours is more than likely the only breed-related Labrador ‘breeder-to-owner’s’ group in the country and I dare say the world…………………because from everywhere that gentle folk correspond with me, nothing similar exists with Labrador Retrievers within the circumventable borders of the globe.
Nothing compares to this unique consortium……. with the best of the breed in mind right dab in the middle of paramount importance as it should be.
There are so many facets that make the whole ensemble work almost flawlessly…………….wrinkles that arise are always smoothened out and onward we continue without seemingly missing that proverbial beat.
There is one sector that must be acknowledge front and center, because it is the nectar of the fruit that makes the sweetness of the process flow from one generation of puppies produced to the next.
I speak and write of the owners of our females that produce the succeeding generations that factor into the pay it forward movement that Chambray Labradors is totally based around.
This past year, six of those females were called upon and together made the continuum possible for our vital endeavor to proceed.
Those half dozen girls produced the essence that will be the chosen ones that two or three years from now will be the ones called upon to produce yet another budding generation to carry the whole process forward one more time……………..time and time again.
We had 45 puppies produced in 6 those litters starting with Chambrays Titanic N Counter ‘Tatiana’ that was bred to Silver Gr Ch Chambrays Tucker Everlasting. Tatiana is owned by Olga and Juan Marrero of Miami Lakes. A couple of their puppies are now on the Development Program.
There was Chambrays Summer Thunderstorm that was bred to Ch Devonshire Huckleberry Finn. Summer is owned by Fr Darrell Venters of Kentucky. We have 4 of their puppies that have made the Show Roster.
BBE Gr Ch Chambrays First N Counter ‘Gavi’ was bred to BBE Ch Chambrays Where Eagles Dare ‘Tank’ owned by Marie Knapp. Gavi is also owned by Olga and Juan Marrero. We have 3 puppies on the Development Program with 2 of them set to showcase from the Show Roster.
Chambrays Cajun N Counter ‘Jolie’ also was bred to Tank from above. Jolie is owned by Charles Scearce of Dunnellen FL. We are currently showing 2 of their puppies.
The last 2 litters born in the fall are now 11 and 14 weeks old and they are set to meet up at Chambray Acres for a Puppy Social this weekend. This is where we begin the assessments, the training and the conditioning for each of the ones that have the highest potential to move forward.
The litter from Chambrays Bella From Ipanema owned by the Farias family of Weston Fl was bred to BBE Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Ruff Jewel Walter JAMS JAMSS. We expected several of these puppies to have a stellar show career and be on the front lines by the middle of this year.
WInQuest Christmas Gift ‘Laika’, owned by Geraldo DeSouza from Davie Fl was bred to Ch Devonshires Huckle Berry Finn also produced several puppies that will be front runners on the Show Roster into early summer.
The bottom line from all of the above is that without the Owner’s Program as the center of production for our puppies, not much else would be possible with the entire operation. It all starts there and then radiated outward for all the other pertinent components that are in place to take the precious produce yet a step further towards the top reaches of conformation for the betterment of the breed.
Now, we concentrate on those females and their owners that are the chosen ones for 2017 to perpetuate yet another great generation of puppies that will find their way to new owners that will join our collective efforts for the breed………………now owners that someday will be called upon to pay ot forward themselves after having been served well by the entire consortium.
And The Beat Goes On...............And On
It took me a while to fully get what it was that you guys do with the breed. In fact, I have visited your website for over 2 years and each time I came away with a bit more of an understanding of your breeding and placing puppies. I have since purchased 2 puppies, both now over a year old from different breeders and in that time, I too have done lots of research and additional learning. I now go back to your site and read through your blogs and also the pages that you provide that are full of information. I too wanted to learn about showing and breeding and was turned off by several of the show breeders I had contacted. I also contacted you and you replied to several of my emails. I was a bit intimidated by your top show and breeder status and also by your conditions for placing a puppy.
Now I totally understand the why you operate the way you do. It seems that the 2 dogs I purchased may not be the best for showing as neither of their breeders is actively showing, so their show value is questionable. In fact, several trainers and a professional handler told me that neither would be competitive here in Florida against the dogs that you breed and show. I am now going through the DNA testing of both dogs because neither of the sires or dams have any clearances, so it seems that my investment in these two dogs may have been in vain even though I did all the research for what I thought were responsible breeders. I now realize that maybe I wasn’t too much of a responsible buyer because I didn’t go deep enough with doing my homework and finding out what was really necessary.
In addition, the professional handler that I contacted went so far as to say that neither dogs were of breeding grade and they would only produce more pet puppies.
Knowing what I know now, it makes all the sense in the world to have obtained a puppy from you. I want to meet with you at the shows up in Brooksville for you to teach me more of showing and how you go about deciding which dogs to breed to in the future. If you will place a puppy with me, I will wait until you find the right one for me. Thank you for the time you have taken to answer all of my emails. TC
There are thousands of people breeding Labrador. In the US each year, over 300,000 puppies are born with about 200,000 of those being registered with the AKC.
The quality of those puppies produced, ranges from one end of the spectrum to the other.
From mass-production operations with no quality assurances…………………all the way to the tops in the breed specimens from show breeders with maximum quality and breed type specifications!
Plus everything else in-between, from Kalamazoo to Timbuctoo……………….. from holes in the wall, fly by night types to caring long-established family run businesses …………………they all exist and the product, Labrador puppies are prized by puppy buyers regardless of where and whom the breeders were!
All of the above also leads to one end of the spectrum to the other in observable quality, health, soundness and even temperament differences that will eventually show up even before the puppy loses its ‘cute as a pig’s ear’ looks!
I know, because for 47 years now, I have been training Labradors and I have seen puppies and dogs from all those different sources show up at my gate for training, breeding or for an evaluation……………….and there have been dozens that were just dropped off for me to re-home because the owners could not deal with the mess that they had gotten themselves into by obtaining a puppy from all the wrong places!
In the last year, the number of daily requests for puppy information has risen to twice the usual amount. Not a day goes by that at least 10 emails come in asking for puppy availability. Of course, being involved with the breed now for almost 5 decades, having all that word of mouth from hundreds if not thousands that have had a Chambray puppy/dog and from the 45,000+ that have been through our training environment……………………..all those satisfied clients drum up a tremendous amount of interest in our offerings and then to add thick layers of icing on all that cake, the various Chambray Labrador websites act as a beacon to attract as many wanting information as well.
With all those that contact as for information, the toughest part for me is to explain to them, is that there are only a few puppies available compared to the tremendous numbers that inquire. Plus, that we do not breed to produce ‘just pet puppies’………………..that our entire efforts to breeding is to produce the best specimens of the breed so that they can be the ones that will perpetuate the breed by being the ones that will be bred to produce the next great generation of Labradors.
Most people email in wanting ‘just a pet’……………….a ‘home companion’ and some will actually write in expressing that they are not interested in breeding or showing……………………which is exactly what we do! We breed to produce outstanding Labradors that will compete at dog shows to determine which really are the best examples so that they will be the ones chosen to produce the next prospects to be used to breed all over again.
For those wanting ‘just a pet’, the preceding sounds very foreign! However, thinking a little deeper would bring them to a realization that the opposite of what we are engaged in is those dastardly places and breeders that breed indiscriminately, with no rhyme nor rhythm, no game plan, no quality in mind, no guarantees, no breed type adherence nor temperament testing……………………..nothing but a puppy that can be marketed and scooped up by the waiting masses of puppy buyers………………………puppy buyers that think they are getting the real deal and end up with a ‘not so reasonable facsimile’ of a Labrador, other than the hefty price they paid for a ‘cute as a pig’s ear puppy’……………….until it grows out of the ‘puppiness’ stage and begins to show its true colors of poor indiscriminate breeding practices by the majority of those breeding dogs for profit, the fly by nights, the mass puppy producers, the backyard breeders and even the so-called ‘hobby breeders’.
The nightmare for me now is to wade through the hundreds/thousands of inquiries, answering each of them to get them to read through the numerous pages that detail our Puppy Placement Process and to reply back to me if they understand the procedure for placement and whether they would like to proceed in acquiring more information where they would supply me with more of their information where I would then consider them for a puppy placement.
"My problem with contacting breeders is trying to convince them that I am serious about wanting a show puppy. The minute that I say anything about showing or eventually breeding if it all turns out; is that they have treated me as if I have the plague! One named breeders went so far as to tell me “Good luck in getting any show breeder to place one of their puppies with you!” then ended the conversation and hasn’t answered any of my emails, let alone returned my phone massages. Another breeder wants top dollar for her puppies placed on Limited Registration which she says she will reverse if she feels the puppy grows into being a show prospect! There was another breeder that wanted lots of money and a whole litter back! One breeder wants total control of the dog, choosing the handler and which shows the dog will be entered in, while she expects me to foot the bill. I want a puppy that I will be in control of; that I will train and maybe show myself or hire a professional handler of my choosing! What is so difficult with that?" Lacy in TX
Feedback Is Good When It's Good
Every week I receive upwards of 30 emails requesting information on puppy availability. Since there isn’t the time to speak to each individually when that many emails a week will add up to over 1500 per year and there are only 50+ puppies available in that year………………..it isn’t feasible to tend to that many potential clients when there isn’t the corresponding number of products to be made available to that many. So I provide dozens of pages full of information that anyone searching for a puppy can use to decide if what we have available will fit into their plans as an owner of a Chambray dog.
Once in while one of those people that has been searching for a puppy will share their experiences with me, which gives me a better understanding of what it is like to go through the process of looking for a puppy and the different sources out there looking to sell their products.
The following is one of those that I asked feedback from to see it from the potential client’s point of view.
In our search for a responsible Labrador breeder, we have contacted dozens of well-known Labrador kennels. We have asked all the right questions and have moved on from those that did not respond to our liking and made notes about the ones that seemed to be on the up and up.
Then we came upon your website with all the information you provide. What a world of a difference does not begin to describe what you do and offer with your Labradors.
At first it was a bit intimidating because it was all so different and new to us. That’s because all the other kennels and breeders are carbon copies of each other and there isn’t much to distinguish one from the other, other than price and of course name recognition.
All have puppies that they need to sell and it is a supply and demand market for most. The amount of information that most offer is very limited and it seems that prying it from them is standard procedure.
Many have a ‘don’t bother us’ attitude, where they made us feel that we were fortunate to be considered for one of their puppies, without them offering much else than just a puppy.
There were some that were totally put off and became rude when pressed for answers. In fact, several just stopped communicating with us after our 2nd of 3rd email asking for more information.
We even encountered a few that wanted very personal information, including how much money we made a year before placing a puppy with us.
At first we too were a bit put off with your policy of choosing the puppy for the owner. However once we began to understand the reasons for your Interviews to determine the type environment to match the right puppy temperament………………plus the more complex designs of your Owner’s Programs that include choosing owners that will participate in your mission to produce the best examples of the breed, then it all became clearer for us to follow along.
As you provided more information and we became more acquainted with your programs and procedures, we began to get a better understanding of your undertaking.
We became very intrigued as to how it all worked and eventually we too began to envision ourselves taking part in the effort to produce the best examples of a great breed such as Labrador Retrievers.
So, now we would like to meet with you to take part in your Interview Process.
James and Ella Finley
There are many more as the preceding that have shared their experiences in the search for a well-bred puppy. I do strive to provide as much information and transparency in all of our involvement with the breed. For me it is on on-going life-long project to both continue our successes with our Breeder/Owners Program for the Betterment of the Breed and to further the recognition of the vast differences Chambray Labradors provides not only the individual Chambray owner, but the whole breed as well with our Pay It Forward movement where each owner joining us can be a part of the betterment of the breed and know that they have contributed their share as owners and breeders as part of our collective efforts.
Full Steam Ahead
It is only the 3rd day of the New Year and the Chambray operations are at full tilt!
The ‘show roster’ has been updated for the next month of shows………………deadlines have been met for entries to the 5 dog shows coming in 9 days, plus the next 5 shows the following week……………….training sessions have been designed for each and every dog that is on the ‘starting day lineup’…………………………a Puppy Social Event for the newest 2 litters that went home in December will take place on January 8th, this to keep them primed for the future and to give us a chance to see how they are developing and how their home training is coming along!
A couple of breedings have taken place that will become the first litters born for 2017………………..several other females have been chosen to be bred in the next couple of months and there will be several more that will be bred in the summer and early fall, which will comprise the rest of the New Year’s produce.
Since the first 5 days of shows for Florida’s Winter Circuit turned out with very poor entries for Labradors, no majors, we now look ahead to traveling outside of the state to pick up possible major pointed shows in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana…………………….where it takes less males and less females to make up a major show.
Also, the preparations for the run up to the 2017 Westminster show in February with Jessie handling our Top Ranked Labrador for 2016, BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard……………….plus her top Cane Corso, Blue is front and center with our priorities!
Back at home with our Labradors; we enter the 2017 Dog Show Season with the most novice and young dogs in the last 20 years…………having finished so many of our dogs in the last 5 years, leaves us with very few dogs that are far along with their championship points.
At Brooksville’s first 5 days of shows, only 2 out of 6 of our dogs showing have points and only one of those has a major! So 2/3 of our dogs are as green as algae and the 2 pointed ones are not even half way up the ladder for the AKC champion’s title. However, such a scenario is but a small price to pay when we finished as many dogs as we have done in the last 5 years.
The development program is very fertile because of the awesome production of top caliber show puppies in 2016………………..more than likely, this past years puppies will rival some of the previous top years that produced so many awesome dogs and champions.
After a ‘well-taken’ time off following the Royal Canin week of shows in Orlando finishing off on Dec 19th, the night classes resume tonight and continue on for the rest of the week. That’s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Night Training Classes.
Of course, the private one-on-one training sessions here at Chambray Acres never take any time off as we have been meeting up with dozens of owners and their puppies and dogs straight through the holidays.
When I tell folk that we are a 7-day a week operation, that ain’t no fib……………………365 days that are available to all our participating Chambray owners.
Reiteration Is A Good Thing If It Makes Sense
Our training, conditioning and handling program works completely different from the usual ‘business as usual’ ways of the dog show world. In blogs and articles, memos and what have you, I have covered those differences until the cows just don’t want to come home any longer!
But, one more for the road won’t hurt since so many have written in asking questions as to how it ‘all works’.
Yesterday I emailed out a memo to all those that have been chosen to participate in Chambray Labradors Owner’s Programs. These are the gentle and loyal owners that have demonstrated their understanding of our mission ‘for the betterment of the breed’ AND the concept of working together in a collective and cooperative venture for all to succeed.
This whole network is built on ‘trust’………………………….the owners trust me implicitly to steer the ship in the right direction at all times after I entrusted them with the placement of our most valued treasure, our next generation puppies that will keep the ‘pay it forward’ movement going for yet another generation.
Any deviations to any of the preceding changes the individual course that each owner is assigned, with some working with us at the top levels of confidentiality and others being considered as works in progress and others still being worked with more distantly as independents. As long as an owner has a Chambray dog, I will always give them the time of day no matter the level and designation of the relationship.
Those at the top levels of course receive priority and 100% of all of our expertise, ingenuity, planning, strategy and Dog Show Management…………….with the Stud Dog Program and with the breeding of the females for the Puppy Placement Program.
While the professional dog handlers only concern themselves with 100% of the training and handling of the dogs at the dog shows and do not get involved in stud service or in the breeding of the dogs………………………………our programs differ totally in that we engage the owners to participate in a much as they have the time, energy, know how/capabilities with the dogs with training and conditioning.
We also provide the different programs for stud service and the inclusion of the owners into the breeding program with their females.
Of course, those owners that do not have the time, the energy, the know-how, will rely on our various offerings and services as the need arises for their dog.
One of the very important points to cover is that each and every dog is constantly being evaluated and their value to the program is discussed with their owners. That way, everyone involved knows where they stand with their dog and where that dog’s future path lays within the program.
Through, blogs, articles, memos and one-on-one conversations, the mentoring process is a daily, ongoing process.
All on board knowing where the ship is headed to.
January 2nd 2017
Happy New Year Memo
2017 Dog Show Management Program Prospectus
I customarily send out a memo welcoming all of our Chambray Owners back to yet another year as part of the now 47-year odyssey that we have been with Labradors.
Although we celebrate the beginning of a new year, my work managing the entire operation known as Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed, has no real time off because what I do is 365 days a year.
So, today I sent out various types of memos to those whose dogs are part of our management program. There are those who own male dogs that participate in the Stud Dog Program for the perpetuation of yet another great generation of puppies.
There are those whose females are under consideration for our breeding program and I must decide from the super stellar array of girls, which 12 to 18 will be considered to be the 6 to 8 of them that will actually be bred in 2017……………..keeping in mind that those females are the heart and soul of Chambray Labrador’s next offering in the form of puppies produced to keep the torch moving in the right direction. All of these females represent our Breeding & Puppy Placement Program.
Then there is the Dog Show Management Program, which consists of 3 separate entities. There are those that form the Dog Show Roster……………..the first team, the starting lineup!
Then there are those on the Development & Conditioning Program…………….waiting their turn to be called up to the big leagues of the AKC dog shows.
Then there is the Taxi Squad. For various reasons, these dogs are on the sidelines. There are those that need much more time to fill out…………………….those that are taking much longer to learn the show ropes to perform adequately………………………some are recovering from accidents and injuries and other ‘growing up’ conditions………………….there are some that are affected because of economic situations, personal trials and other life-like tribulations. We have not lost hope for these dogs and continue to afford them all the amenities that come with a Chambray show dog.
So, some owners will receive one type of memo, while the next owner will be receiving another memo more pertinent to their dog’s status and situation.
Of course, some owners will be delighted at the great news of their puppy making the ‘first team’ and I am sure that some will be disappointed to find put that their puppy will be either on the Developmental Program or on the ‘Taxi Squad’………………………….both of these classifications means that those dogs will not be featured at the up and coming dog shows.
This is the only way that we can insure that only those dogs that have what it takes to be competitive at the highest levels will be the ones that get the shot. Meanwhile the others will receive our entire training and conditioning and support system in order to give each of them the best opportunity to develop and eventually have the same shot at the dog shows.