Simmering high noon
Seething, sweltering long days
July sizzles on

  July 2016  

am

what I appear to be

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

The Blogging Off Experience

These blogs will cover every Labrador-related topic under the sun and then sum/some! There will be puns intended, off the cuff remarks will rule, attempts at acerbic, acidic and arsed-like humor will be on the menu. Since I have lived outside of the box for most of my life, parameters need not apply.

July 30th

A Day At Chambray

A Day At Chambray

It’s difficult to accept, but here we are a day away from the start of August…………..the 8th month of the year, which means that there are only 4 additional months left after August is said and done with!

For the most part, August is a ‘lay low’ month for the Chambray Labrador's operation. It’s way too hot and humid and it’s the rainy season all up and down and across the state of Florida, so none of the state’s all-breed dog clubs have anything on their agenda for the month as far as conformation competition is concerned.

Since there are no all-breed dog shows in Florida for August, traveling out of state is a must if we are to continue our competitive and winning ways in the show ring. The closest venues are a minimum 700 miles……………………………..and 13 to 15 hours of driving and of course stopping several times to have the dogs stretch out and do their ‘business’ along the way.

Back at the farm at Chambray Acres, we are on ‘full operation’ mode with our 24/7 all-inclusive, dog-related business. That means that our work behind the scenes never takes a break or shuts down for even a day!

Nope, our client’s dogs that spend time with us throughout  the year…………..every day have to be taken care of, have to be trained, have to be conditioned………………..litters and puppies need around the clock supervision and attention…………..did I say around the clock…………..because that’s where the 24 comes from in that 24/7 equation!

Plus………………….there is the endless procession of our Chambray owners with their dogs, training sessions with Chambray owners and with owners of dogs from breeders and kennels far and wide and from down the street as well………………………..then there are the Puppy Placement Interviews!

Talk about an eye opening experience it is to have visitors that you have just met and you have about an hour to get to know them enough to consider placing a puppy with some of them……………………….’some’ of them because half as many that go through the process, leave here with the facts and without the reality of a puppy being placed with them.

I could write a tome or two about getting to know people through the above Interview process…………………actually, with some you decide right away that you really don’t want to know too much more about them and for all intent and purposes the decision making process is a done deal and once the allotted time for the Interview has come, there will not be any further communications needed with those.

Fortunately for Chambray and for the 50+ puppies a year produced by our mentorship and management program……………………there are those outstanding new homes/owners that these limited number of puppies will be placed in/with and both puppy and new owners will benefit greatly……………..plus if I have done my homework and selected the right homes that will become part of the collective for the betterment of the breed, there will be that continuity for Chambray Labradors to move forward and on with the next generation of outstanding Labrador Retrievers to offer those chosen few that will take part in the interview processes of the future.

The vast majority of breeders have a litter of puppies and a list of prospects to place them with, 10 puppies and 10 customers with deposits and when the puppies are 8 weeks old; it’s come and get them time! There’s no in-depth interview process, there’s no matching of temperament/personality of puppy to those that are lined up for them. In many cases, a puppy is shipped sight unseen……………………..like, the owners-to-be have never seen the puppy and the breeder, likewise has never seen the new owners.

That is the ‘pot luck’ method of adding a new member to the family for thousands and thousands of breeders that supply hundreds of thousands of puppies to folk. The exact opposite is the Chambray way for the 50 to 60 puppies a year that we produce…………………however, there are hundreds that may have been interviewed and over a thousand whose emails were answered that were looking for a puppy.

So, while part of the Chambray Team is now in ‘load up’ mode to travel out of state to Kenner LA, those of us that stay behind manning the fort…………..taking care of the other dogs that are staying with us and of paramount importance is the treasure trove of Chambray puppies that are now going through the evaluation process and the Puppy Placement Program.

July 29th

The FUTURE

For those wondering where I have been since there haven’t been any timely blogs offered up………………….well, it’s that time for me where I drop everything………………everything and the only thing I am wrapped up with is the FUTURE!

The FUTURE my friends and fellow Americans is my puppies! Yep, you read right, left, sideways, backwards and upside down…………………….the future for any breeder worth his/her salt and pepper is the litters of puppies they have for the betterment of the breed……………hopefully perpetuating the greatest qualities that Labrador Retrievers possess and ensuring that the next generation produced is as good or better than their preceding one!

When those Chambray puppies reach 7 to 8 weeks old and I perform the all-important conformation evaluation and sort each puppy out and identify each one with their assets for the breed…………………..my next mission is to go over each and every Interview that I have conducted with dozens that want a Chambray puppy placed with them……………………………………………my job then becomes where to place each of those puppies that have risen to the level of being show quality.

Keeping in mind that I practice a totally different and unique Puppy Placement Process………………..the rest of the show breeders at my level ‘KEEP THE BEST AND SELL THE REST’………………….whereas, for the last 26 years, I have been ‘PLACING THE BEST……….WITH THOSE WHO I BELIEVE WILL BE THE BEST OWNERS FOR THOSE PUPPIES’……………………………………….of course the main consideration will be which of those prospective new owners will participate in the Pay It Forward for the breed by working within the collective known as Chambray Labradors Owner’s Program.

So, on purpose, I withdraw to the inner sanctum of Chambray Acres and limit the working sessions, the Interviews, the visits from owners and all other activities that would be a distraction to the matter at hand………………..the FUTURE of Chambray Labradors, the Puppies that will be placed through the Puppy Placement Program!

July 27th

The Lambada Labrador Retriever

Houston we have a problem!

You can’t choose to ‘like’ something that will take the breed outside of the parameters that make it unique and then go ahead and breed for that difference…………………..unique is what each breed is, otherwise they would all look alike or worse, no two dogs would look the same and there wouldn’t be a need for any breed!

I cannot make that any plainer! Each breed of dog that is in existence is unique looking. It is what makes that breed unique. All the members of that breed should look like each other. Now there could be small variances allowed by the parameters set up for each breed. There could be a size variable and also a weight difference that is tolerable. But, by and large all dogs of the same breed should look alike.

To the self-professed ‘breeder’ that ‘prefers’ a bigger dog………………………… “I like my males bigger than those small males seen at the dog shows. My stud dog weighs 112 lbs and is the perfect Labrador for me!”

Perfect for you……………….but way imperfect for the breed! Totally outside of the boundaries dictated by the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard……………….thus not a Labrador anymore! Those ‘small males’ at the dog shows generally range from 78 to 88 lbs or so and that is already at the higher end or slightly above the breed standard call out………………………….112lbs would be 32lbs above the higher ‘preferred’ height as stated by the written blue print. That would be an increase 140%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

140% bigger is a totally different breed of dog! A little bigger and it would be twice the size of a well-bred dog at the upper end of the size range! Get into Newfoundland’s if you like big water dogs!

“I prefer the big block heads!’………………………………..then go out and buy a Rottweiler!

“I compete in agility and have the leaner and taller dogs that are quicker and more agile!”………………….that is great, have fun at those competitions, but don’t breed them to get more of them. Whippets are great dogs for agility, leaner, quicker and agile as all get out! They also eat a lot less and would cost much less to upkeep.

“Yes”………………I know we live in the land of the free and have freedoms of choice. This as an answer to the same person that always comes back with the exact same response “We are free to choice what we want to breed!”.

Yes, again, I agree with you 100%.....................just don’t call whatever it is you are breeding a Labrador Retriever. Use that freedom that we enjoy and be free to come up with another name for whatever it is you are breeding! Why not? Hundreds of other freedom loving folk have done exactly that……………they have come up with their very own ‘looking’ Labrador Whatever and are totally free to fly about the county calling them whatever freedom tells you to call them.

 

Besides, now that I have repented and admit that there are hundreds of different looking and different named Labrador-something or others, you have my undivided blessing to do as you please and name it whatever pleases you and all the rest of the freedom lovers.

June 26th

True Breed Type 

The 'Type' blog brought about lots of feedback, mostly questions……………however, good ones at that!

I am glad that I can provide clarity for those that seek it and have the ability to see what their own dogs either possess or lack.

Realization is the first step in moving towards improvement. ‘Seeing it’ comes first, doing something about it should follow.

The opposite of the above are those that ‘know’ they have a weakness or worse, ‘a serious structural defect’ like ‘cow-hocks’ and keep breeding that defect generation after generation.

In the Type blog, I only covered just that……………….. ‘type’ being the overall ‘look’ of the dog from a side profile.

 

You could look at type in a silhouette photo. If that silhouette looks more like a Newfoundland or a Golden Retriever or any other breed of dog, then it no longer looks like a Labrador Retriever and thus that dog has lost its true type!

A dog entering the ring can be ‘excused’ by the judge for lacking ‘type’. It is not ‘disqualified’, which could lead to the dog never being able to show again, but a dog that is excused by several judges should serve as a memo for the exhibitor, owner or breeder that the dog should not be showing and thus not of breeding quality.

Type can drift to the left or to the right, so that those right dab in the middle of the spectrum would be consider ‘moderate’. Drifting to the left would create a leaner look, drifting to the right would create a ‘thicker’, more substantial look.

Here is where choice comes into play and yet those staying close to the desired moderate, even if drifting some left or some right are still within the dictums of the breed standard for Labrador Retrievers.

It is those that take things too far in either direction by producing dogs that no longer exemplify the desired ‘type’ for the breed.

 

Going too far to the right creates the over-sized, over weight, overdone, cumbersome, cloddy dogs that do not have the visual correct type and cannot function as the breed is intended to do.

Conversely, leaning too far to the left, creates the thinned boned, long-legged, long bodied, long muzzled dogs that do not fit into the silhouette of the moderate looking dog known worldwide as the Labrador Retriever.

Having the vision of the correct type and then breeding for that type will create the consistent desirable breed type and look.

Recognizing deviations in a breeding program and then knowing how to breed them out in the succeeding generations will determine how high a breeder rises through the levels needed to be recognized as a knowledgeable custodian of the breed.

July 26th

Validation Leads To Acclamation

Achievements, awards and records are the culmination of perseverance, dedication, strive, and hopefully for the very few that can reach those pinnacles of success, the validation and acclaim of reaching those heights.

Those reached benchmarks are there for others to do their very best to attain and to better. They serve as bars to be raised with more perseverance, dedication and strive and with the breeding of show dogs, in specific Labrador Retrrievers…………….knowledge and expertise goes a long ways to being able to make those claims.

Knowledge and expertise comes with time and of course the ability to collate all the experiences along the way into a workable acumen that becomes apparent with the garnering and bestowments of those achievements, awards and records posted.

Those of us that have put in the time, that have learned what it takes to be at those heightened levels on the most consistent basis, year after year, and then have received those awards and have posted those records take those high water marks and accreditations very seriously.

  

So, when some wet behind the ears, relatively newbie comes along that has not proven their longevity, does not have the consistency beyond several generations……………is still at that hit or miss level and by their own admission of showcasing dogs with serious structural defects has not grasp that all important acumen to be considered at least ‘proficient’ as a breeder……………………. begins to make claims and assertions that tread on veritable reality…………….it becomes time to put them to the litmus test to show their true colors!

Cough up the valid numbers that back up the dubious claims, if the numbers prove to be real, then the claims can sanctified and all is well in Nirvana and a pat on the back is in order, if on the other hand the opposite is true then a swift kick in the rear would be apropos and a suitable place on the shameless wall of no fame is in order.

July 25th

BS Walks...............Some Walk On It Too!

The Internet has opened up a colossal Pandora ’s Box for all sorts to post, blog and make claims galore that have absolute no merit as these BSers make total outright fabrications and post delusional rantings and rambling’..........shameless loonies and wannabees that have total freedom in making those undocumented shout outs without a price to pay!

A single day does not go by that someone doesn't direct me to a website making  some outrageous claim to fame that should in reality land them at the hall of shame………..especially here in Florida!

One of my owners just emailed me with a link to some bimbos’ website claiming to have Florida’s Top Champion Producing Stud Dogs!

Well, that could only happen if that dog were BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan” who has 8 AKC champions to his resume and with a very healthy supply of frozen semen available to future generations of worthy females, he will easily add to those numbers in the years to come as we now ‘dip’ back to his treasure trove and back line breed to 4 and 5 generations removed of his best descendants…………of course the preceding about ‘line back breeding’ all sounds nebulous at best and beyond comprehension for the most part for the people making these claims.

Then there is Bronze Gr Ch Summithill’s Joshua’s Battle At Jericho with 6 AKC champions and with 12 AKC champion pointed offspring right on the cusp to become the next Florida champion, so in the next couple of months, we will see Jericho rise to be the #1 Champion Producing Stud Dog, taking over from Hogan that has held that distinction for over 6 years. Jericho is the Top Champion/Grand Champion Producer from Florida for 2016. There is no other stud dog right now with as many champion-pointed offspring as Jericho currently enjoys.

Right behind those 2 Chambray-managed stud dogs is BBE Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks with 5 AKC champions to his credit and with 2 champion-pointed offspring that are now the front runners from Chambray to finish in the coming months…………….finishing these two will give him a total of 7 champion offspring.

As always, what I tell people that ask about claims is to get documentation from the claimant. In other words……make them accountable, make them PROVE IT………………..make them provide the names and AKC numbers that will make the claims real………………………..or show them off to be blow hearts that talk BS and then step on the BS.

Hey, you can’t have it both ways; you either put up or will be called out to be a shameless bimbo!

July 24th

TYPE 

Out of the hundreds of inquiries I receive weekly……………..yes hundreds of them weekly from all over our great country, yes great country, contrary to what some hyped up folk want people to believe…………there are some questions that cannot be answered with one sentence or even a lengthy paragraph full of ‘this and that’!

A subject that is beyond the grasp of the majority of those asking is ‘what is show quality’, ‘what is the difference between show vs pet?’ and other variations of the preceding.

Since we are ‘show breeders’……………..that is, we breed exclusively for producing the highest level of conformation as opposed to the thousands and thousands that breed for the pet market………………we end up receiving an inordinate number of those folk with inquiring minds, thus ‘what is show quality?’ comes in with regularity.

If I were to truly set out to cover this subject, I would foresee a volume’s worth of information that would need to be written to adequately cover the topic and make it worthwhile for those seeking the answer that would suffice.

However, I don’t have the time nor the energy to even take a tiny step in that direction, so a superficial offering will have to do for now. By superficial, I am saying a quick, glancing look………………which by the way, is all it takes us after 46 years with the breed to ‘see’ that desirable type………………of course we still put each puppy on the table and perform the hands on evaluation ritual to sight-compare to the breed standard………….more or less seeking out the best and filtering out those with any visible fault no matter how small.

So, here’s looking at you babe! I will cover the very first item we consider in the evaluation process and that is the general TYPE of the dog as viewed from the side.

TYPE: Starting with the puppy set up on the table and viewing it from the side. This is where we start…………………the overall ‘look’ of the puppy must fit the preferred outline of what a Labrador Retriever should look like.

When correctly set up on the table it must be to the proportions and ratios as stated by the breed standard. There is a relationship between the height and the length of the puppy. This is paramount to keep in mind and to know that any deviations will increase as the dog develops.

To the trained eye, there should be a ‘squarish’ look to the dog’s outline between the total height from ground to withers (height above the front legs where the shoulder blades meet) to the length from the front of the chest back to the rump. That length should more or less ‘seem’ to complement each other.

Focusing in on the front end, the length from the (#1) ground to the elbows should equal the length from the elbows to the withers. So, if the distance from the ground to the elbows is 11 inches and the distance from the elbows to the withers is correct, also 11 inches, then the dog will be 22 inches tall.

The distance from the (#2) withers to the front chest should equal the distance from the (#3) front chest back to the elbows. Knowing a little about triangles, their lengths and the angles created by those lengths helps to visualize these relationships.

Putting those 3 equals together creates the Front End Assembly which forms close to an Isosceles Triangle. Measurement #1 forms the long side of the Triangle and if all is where it is supposed to be, it will be a perpendicular line starting at the ground underneath the dog’s front legs. This vertical line travels up the front legs through the elbows and emerges at the top of the dog’s shoulders where the shoulder blades meet and are at their highest (tallest) point……the withers.

Then, #2 starts at the withers and travels forward and downwards to the point of shoulder (the front point of the chest)………………..at close to a 45 degree angle. If this line is carried all the way to where it meets the ground out in front of the dog, it will more or less be where the front leg extends forward during movement and is termed ‘reach’.

#3 starts at the point of shoulder and moves backwards and downwards to the elbows at the same angle as #2 did from the withers to the point of shoulder. So, more or less a 45 degree angle coming back to the elbows, which means that the 45 degrees from the withers to the point of shoulders and the 45 degrees from point of shoulders to the elbows creates a 90 degree at the point of shoulder junction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If all of the above is where it should be, it forms the front end angles, which should complement the rear end assemble angles.

So, assuming the dog has the desired ‘squarish’ look as describe above, we now move back to the rear assembly and ‘see’ how it forms.

The rear end assembly is more or less controlled by the various joints that create the whole look.

Let’s look at the rear end assembly just as we did the front end assembly.

Starting at ground level are the rear feet. Naturally placed, the front of the toes of the rear feet are directly under the rump……………..the rump being the furthest most point on the dog right underneath where the tails starts off from the body.

The feet and the hock joint form a vertical…straight up and down line. So the hock, if well-formed and correctly placed will form a vertical up and down line.

From the hock joint we move forward and upwards to the knee joint at a 45 degree angle………….this angle is the complementary angle to the front angle formed by the elbow to the point of shoulder!

From the knee joint, we move up and backwards to the hip joint socket.

The topline is the connection between the front end assembly and the rear end assembly. It should be level and straight.

Now, we go back to the front. If the shoulders were set right and started out at the withers above the front legs, which by the way creates the desirable “legs well under the dog” and then that shoulder blade runs forward and down to the front of the chest as they should in a 45 degree, then the neck will be of sufficient length to appear to have ‘reach’. The neck should rise from the withers with a moderate arch to the head.

The correct moderate arch and reach of neck will place the back of the skull slightly in front of the tips of the front feet. If a vertical line is drawn down to the ground from the back of the skull, it should clear the front feet by a couple of inches.

This is as good a visual to determine a proper placement of shoulders with the correct reach and arch of neck!

A great reference to the above offering is the following LRC coverage of the breed standard.

http://www.thelabradorclub.com/uploads/file/IlloStand2002.pdf

July 23

A Two Thumbs Up Evaluation Bites The Dust
 

Last weekend at the WPB dog shows we were sitting pretty come the last day of showing. We had a grand old time seeing dozens and dozens of our owners from the South Florida area……………..there were loads of Interviews from prospective new puppy owners…………………several ‘tete a tete’ with folk that had differing set of opinions as mine, I listened intently and went on my way…………………..there were over 10 breeders that came to see our stud dogs so that they could later on down the road use them with their females AND our dogs dominated the wins to the tune of close to 70% of the awards being handed to Chambray dogs!

I even had one of those dog evaluations where someone usually ends up getting some upsetting news about their Pooch! Yep, 19 times out of 20 evaluations makes me out to be some sort of two-headed monster because I end up delivery exactly what the doctor did not order!

However……………….yes, however this one was one was an encounter of the other kind! This one was two thumbs up and more! The ‘more’ being that I would be interested in developing the dog for them to show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is a major ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat’ moment!

However, in all the elation, there was a hiccup………………nothing that a glass of water could not cure, but it had to be taken care of because the dog was sold with Limited Registration by a ‘hobby pet breeder’.

Limited Registration means that the dog cannot show or be used for breeding. This dog was sold under those conditions and the buyers knew exactly what they were getting, so no knock so far on the breeder.

But here is where the situation really takes a nose dive to the gutter………………..according the couple standing there with this awesome 15-month old yellow male, the breeder told them that if the dog grew up and had show potential as evaluated by a top professional handler or a well-known Labrador breeder, that she would lift the Limited Registration and sign over for Full Registration.

So, now armed with my recommendations of being worthy to stand in the ring and compete on even ground with one of my own bred by dogs, dogs that had just dominated the wins over the 4 days of showing…………………..they were now headed out to seek the breeder and sometime down the road be looking me up for mentoring and educating about the breed and aiding them in getting into showing and hopefully breeding their super nice Labrador Retriever.

By mid-week the situation with the owners and the breeder had hit rock bottom! The breeder would indeed reverse the Limited to Full, however the owners had to cough up an additional $1500 for her signature!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Although I did my best for the breed’s sake…………….the Betterment of the Breed…………to convince the breeder to do the right thing, she insisted that if she knew the dog was going to be that good, that she would have never sold him in the first place! “That sucker really got away from me” she would say........................ and talk about not budging!

Well, nothing good comes from nothing good! I had always heard folk make that exclamation and me being the optimistic fool that I fess up to being, never paid much attention to that saying until I had the ‘unpleasure’ of dealing with someone so obtuse and selfish and greedy!

So, a great 'two thumbs' up evaluation……………………that 1 out of 20, which by all accounts is 5% of all dogs that are brought to me to evaluate for show or breeding potential goes down the tubes because there are those that are into Labradors and do not have the Betterment of the Breed in mind.

July 23rd

Riding High On The Fast Train

For a breeder, having a dog that they bred become champion is a real big deal! There are those that have been breeding Labradors for 10, 15, 20 or more years and have a ZERO next to their names as AKC Breeders Of Champions, so the titling of one champion in one year is major bragging rights for the vast majority of those Labrador enthusiast that compete at dog shows with their bred-by dogs.

So far for 2016, four new Chambray champions have been crowned in the first 7 months of the year. There are five remaining months of shows and the race for the next Chambray dog to cross that mythical finish line just got a bit heated, with several dogs chaffing at the bit to be our 5th for the year and career #55 home-bred champion!

The following dogs have the possibilty in the next couple of weeks to cross that line to their AKC Champion's title.

Needing just one major-pointed win, a show worth 3, 4 or 5 points is Chambrays Triple Play “Sonic”, which now has a total of 12 points and 1 major. Sonic will be making the trip across state lines to Kenner Louisiana for the 4 days of shows on August 4th thru the 7th. All 4 days of shows have enough entries to make it worth 5 points each day for the Winners Dog, so winning just one of those days would seal the deal for Sonic to finish his champion’s title. Sonic’s title would give his sire BBE Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks a total of 4 champion offspring, which would earn Bailey a Top Producer of the Breed Honorable Mention in the record books. Sonic is owned by Javier Lopez of Miami.

Right behind Sonic are several dogs that need a combination of two days of winning. Chambrays Galactic N Counter, “Gayla” needs to win 2 days at Kenner to come home with the coveted crown as she now has 14 total points but still needs 2 major wins. Gayla is owned by Liz Jackson of Hollywood Fl. Liz just became an AKC Breeder of Champions with the finishing of Chambrays 54th champion, Ch Chambrays Cover Girl who was co-bred with Liz.

Slightly behind Gayla and running neck and neck are Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady and her home buddy, Chambrays Ole Miss Zeta Lady, both with 9 points and both majors. Both Lady and Zeta are owned by Virginia Wilson of Memphis TN. Lady just won a WB and BOW at last weekend’s WPB shows with Jessica Herzon handling and yesterday took a WB for a 3-pt major in Houston TX with Jennifer Bell doing the honors. She would need to win 2 more days in Texas or at the Kenner shows to pick up the 6 single points she needs to finish out. Lady was sired by Jericho who already is Chambray’s #2 top champion producer, with 6 AKC champion offspring, behind the league leading 8 champions that Hogan posted.

Lady’s roommate Zeta also needs 6 single points to finish out her AKC champion’s title. She was sired by Bailey and that would give him a total of 5 champions to his stud dog resume if Sonic also champions out.

Needing 2 more major-pointed wins to champion out is Chambray Black Diamond Out Of The Ruff “Bandit”, who is sitting on 12 points. He is a Jericho offspring and Bandit’s championship combined with Lady’s title would give Jericho a tie with Hogan for the most champions produce for Chambray. Bandit will need to wait for the Florida shows to commence in September to have the opportunity to finish out. Bandit is owned by JC Rodriguez of Miami.

Also needing a combination of wins for his title is Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness now with 8 points. Since he will be showing at the Kenner LA shows and all 4 days there are 5 point majors, winning 2 Winners Dog awards would give Duke the needed points to cross the finish line and join BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard as the youngest Chambray champion at 10 months of age. That would be a be a major WAHOO accomplishment for a puppy and it would make it 2 years in a row with Chambray finishing a champion puppy as Tank’d finished in 2015. Duke is owned by Alyona Nikitsina of Boca Raton FL.

Traveling to Kenner LA with 6 points and needing 2 majors and some single to also finish out is Chambrays Chaos. Winning 2 of those days, with each being 5 points each day, would give Chaos the points to finish out. Chaos was sired by Jericho and is owned by Paul Padgett of Palmetto Bay FL. Chaos’s littermate Ch Chambrays Grace Of The Field was the 1st 2016 finisher giving her co-breeder Fr Darrell Venters his 1st AKC Breeder Of Champions designation, so Chaos would give him 2 Bred-by champions in one year, which would also receive Honorable Mention for the year!

Did I mention that with ‘just’ two of the above mentioned dogs achieving their AKC champion’s title, that would give Chambray Labradors 6 champions for the year…………..the exact number that made us USA #1 for 2015 AND 2014 and also 2012………………….a #1 in 2016 would make it 3 years in a row and 4 out of the last 5 years at the very top!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus as of now with the 4 new champions this year, we have 30 new champions from 2011 to now!

All this great stuff happening and we are supposed to be on hiatus until September! Hey, never a dull moment when you are on the fast track riding high!

July 22nd

Don't Worry Be Happy & Have Fun

“Reading the blog about separating the amateur breeders from the professional handlers and professional breeders makes a lot of sense and evens the field for everyone involved in breeding and showing dogs!”……………..from an amateur breeder/handler that agrees with the person that said she does all this for fun.

Let’s get all this straightened out right up front! NONE of this ‘showing dogs’ is about PEOPLE!

Showing dogs is about DOGS! It is all about BREEDING the best possible specimens of the breed according to the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard and then COMPETING with those dogs to determine which of them are the BEST so that those will be the ones that will BREED to produce the next generation of superior dogs!

If, while breeding dogs according the precepts from above………………..the breeder is having fun, then more power to them……………………if while showing those ‘better bred dogs’ the breeder is having more fun, then hoot and holler and have a good old time!

There’s ABSOLUTELY nothing in the breed standard that allocates anyone having fun either breeding or showing…………..it’s not part of the agenda!

 

It’s not part of the ‘building plans’ for the breed…………..it is not required…………….in fact, none of the owners nor the breeders are even needed at the dog shows. Hand the dog over to a professional handler and let them do ply their trade, win with your dog and get paid!

Making exceptions for blokes that don’t know didley about the breed and then go about breeding those poor examples of the breed and then accommodating them at the dog shows with their own ring to show those poorly bred dogs will assuredly lessen the quality of the breed dramatically.

It would make two separate breeds at the dog shows, which would add to the already other Heinz 57 Varieties of so-called Labrador Retrievers that are now traipsing all over the country being called every which way but loose names!

The AKC implemented the Amateur Owner Handler Series for those non-professionals to be able to compete using their lowered ring handling skills against one another and even have national rankings for those handlers. So, that should more than suffice those people that want to be able to be in the ring against others with their non-professional skills against each other. That activity is more about the PEOPLE than about the quality of the dogs. Most of the time, the breed representative that goes on into the Group competition did not win a single award from the breed competition……………didn’t win Winners Dog or Winners Bitch or Best Of Breed………………………was just the last AOH dog left standing!

Since this type of competition is mostly for the people, the breed doesn’t suffer because the rankings are not so much about the dogs as it is about the amateur owner/handler where the dog really doesn’t get much credit towards its conformation worthiness.

It should be understood that I have nothing against having fun, because I will be the first one in the conga line of fun! I love to have fun and I do have fun both breeding at the highest levels and showing dogs at the highest and winningest levels. But it should also be understood that the primary drive for breeding and showing is serious business about doing it right, both breeding and showing!

In the Florida Labrador ring the best dogs from some of the top breeders in the region end up with 3 top handling teams of handlers. Aside from the Chambray dogs with Team Chambray, which are the winningest Labradors in Florida, there are 2 other set of handlers that bring in top Labs from several breeder/kennels they handle dogs for.

Those breeder/kennels select their best bred dogs and contract those professional handlers to train, condition, and travel and handle those dogs to their absolute best in order to win points and hopefully finish those dogs for those owners.

That is exactly what we do with our own bred by dogs and between us and the other 2 groups of professional handlers, 90% of the wins in the Florida Labrador ring are won by these 3 teams of handlers. That leaves the occasional 10% or less of the wins to be divvied up by owner handlers and other professional handlers that at times compete in the Lab ring.

That is the business side of dog shows, business in breeding, training, conditioning and then handling at the highest levels to ensure that the best of the best of the breed are the ones that go forward and are the ones used to breed the next generation of the breed.

 

If all those involved in this endeavor can rejoice and have fun while having the Betterment of the Breed, first and foremost then all is well and not rotten in Denmark!

July 21

Show Dog Horse Race Update!

Chambrays Midnight Delta Lady just took a 3-Pt Major win in Houston Tx and now is neck and neck with her homey-sister at 9 points and 2 majors. Lady is owned by Virginia Wilson of Memphis TN, who also owns Chambray Ole Miss Zeta Lady which has 9 points and both majors as well! Congratulations to our super Chambray owner Virginia Wilson and to Lady's handler in Texas Jennifer Bell.

July 20th

Show Dog Horse Race

 

 

Horse Race To The AKC Champion’s Finish Line

There are 5 months left in the 2016 Dog Show Season for our dogs to achieve their AKC Champion’s title.

Here’s the tale of the tape of the dogs that are showing on a regular bases that have a chance at wrapping up their quest for their AKC champion’s title:

Chambrays Sonic       12 points  1 Major................................

Chambrays Gayla       14 points ..........................

Chambrays Lady         9 points 2 Majors ..............

Chambrays Zeta         9 points 2 Majors...............

Chambrays Bandit      12 points..........................

Chambrays Duke          8 points..........

Chambrays Chaos         6 points.......

Chambrays Hank          4 points.....

 

 

So far in 2016 four of our dogs have crossed that highly desired and mythical line:

Ch Chambrays Grace Of The Field ~ March
BBE Ch Chambrays Where Eagles Dare ~ March

Ch Chambrays Shining Diamond Dazzle ~ March

Ch Chambrays Cover Girl ~ June

July 20th
No RR When There's Work To Be Done!

We are ‘good to go’ as we now go into semi-hiatus mode until the Florida shows kick back up in September. 

That’s the note the first half of the Florida dog show season ended up on this past weekend at the West Palm Beach dogs…………………….well, at least for all of those that are part of Chambray Labradors and the Owners Program for the Betterment of the Breed. But that doesn't mean RR, it just means a little bit slowing down of the action, but the work continues.

The four days of shows right in our own backyard gave many of our local dogs the opportunity to strut their stuff in front of their owners that came to root them on and of course to cheer on the rest of Team Chambray.

Well, the cheering crowd had much to celebrate as the dogs from Chambray took 60% of the wins from the 4 days of showing, leaving the other 40% to be shared by 3 other top handling teams with their roster of top dogs from the breeder/kennels they represent.

Two top records were added to……………our Consecutive Dog Show Weekend Winning streak was extended to an unheard of 138 weekends and the record for the most Trifectas {BOB, WD & WB in one show} ever by a breeder which stood at 60, now stands at 61!

Five Chambray dogs won a total of 6 Winners Dogs/Winners Bitch awards out of the eight available, taking 75% of those wins. Taking two Winners Dogs and now pointed out and only needed his majors to champion out was Chambrays Bandit who won WD/BOW on Thursday and WD on Friday too. Bandit now has 12 points and hopefully, when the Florida shows start back up again, there will be majors for him to compete for.

Keeping pace for the finish line for his AKC champion’s title was Chambrays Duke, who had won three consecutive Winners Dog back at the Orlando shows, this weekend took Winners Dog on Saturday and 3 Reserve Winners Dog the other 3 days of shows. He now has a total of 8 points and will point out with 1 more win and then only need the 2 majors to title out. Duke is headed out to the Kenner LA shows in 2 weeks in search for majors which are a possibility at the 4 days of shows there.

Another one of our dogs that has a great chance to title out in 2016 is Chambrays Lady who won one of the Winners Bitch/BOS for 2 points and now has 1 major and 6 points. Lady lives in Tennessee with Virginia Wilson and just spent 2 months with us training, conditioning and in our handling roster. She now heads this weekend to Houston TX with professional handler Jennifer Bell, so we expect some great news coming in soon.

Splitting the other 2 Winners Bitch awards were Chambrays Rose on Friday and Chambrays Viva on Sunday. Both youngsters are just starting out and each now has 3 points to their credit.

One of our champions, BBE Gr Ch Chambrays Evie came through on Friday and took one of the 4 Best Of Breeds for the weekend. This gives Evie 7 Best Of Breeds and raises Chambray’s state record BOBs to Career 345 BOBs. Evie is now ranked in the 2016 USA Top 20 Labradors at #18 in the Canine Chronicle Grand Champion’s rankings. She also scored Select Gr Ch bitch on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Evie now only needs 4 grand champion points to achieve her Bronze Grand Champion’s title, which assuredly she will come home with from the 4 days of shows Kenner LA in 2 weeks.

Other notable wins were Gr Ch Chambrays Where Eagles Dare ‘Tank’ taking a Best Of Opposite Sex at Saturday’s show and a Select Gr Champion at Thursday show. Tank is gunning for his Grand Champion's title and hopefully will compete at enough shows to claim that title before the year is out.

Our newest Silver Grand Champion, Florida's 5th Silver and Chambray's 2nd, Chambrays Tucker Everlasting scored a Best Of Opposite Sex at Friday’s show and a Select Grand Champion at Saturday’s show to add to his Gr champion totals.

BISP Gr Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard scored 1 Select Grand Champion award adding to his credits towards his Bronze Grand Champion title pursuit. He is now ranked #15 USA Canine Chronicle Grand Champions rankings and #18 Canine Chronicle All-Breed rankings. He too will be off to the Kenner LA shows.

With these WPB shows behind us and Jessie heading off to the Kenner LA shows in two weeks……………back at the farm, Chambray Acres, we now begin concentrating on the rest of the 2016 show season that comes back to Florida at Deland FL on September 24/25.

Our existing lineup of dogs will see the addition of several new dogs that will be joining our dog show roster vying for those WD/WB wins plus our champions will continue their quest for higher rankings in the different categories available to them…………………this all leading to the grandest show of them all, the 2016 Eukanuba National Championships to be held in Orlando on December 13th thru the 17th!

July 18th

Of Spirtualness & The Betterment of the Breed

Thank you all for all the feedback on the Different Strokes For Different Folks blog! I know that the subject of misadventures by the Calamity Janes and Wacko Waldos of the world………………….the fruity pebbles and looney tune breeders/exhibitors……………………….the Puppy Placement Interviews and farm visits and other foibles and faux pas happenings really get people tickled.

 

So, there was one more ‘encounter of the 8th kind’ (the first 7 encounters have already been identified, so I am staking claim to creating the 8th encounter), where an alien from our planet comes to me talking in foreign tongues mixed in with Pidgin English, saturated with blips and burps, falsehoods abound and delusional hysteria metaphors spring to a life of their own!

The intra-terrestrial also brings an album chockful of ribbons, rosettes, cutouts, photos, fading newspaper articles, mementos, garlands, talisman, pressed leaves and even real paw prints from every dog she has owned!

She has this special female she wants to breed and she has been ‘consumed’ (her actual words) with each and every stud dog at the www.chambraylabs.com stud dog gallery! She has been meditating for spiritual intervention to guide her to choose the right ‘soul mate’ for her Sweet Caroline!

The ‘thing’ is that she wants the two dogs to roam the beach at night under the stars and find that perfect place where their cosmic essences will merge and become one with the universe to enhance their creations for eternity sake!

Gee, that sounds like our program for the Betterment of the Breed!

On second thought, maybe not!

After explaining how stud service works, her comment to me was that it was way too impersonal for it to be ‘organic’, too clinical for the ‘spark of life’ to be of ‘natural beginnings’……………………..so the waif-like person, closed up her album and spirited off, almost butterfly-like flitting left and then right through the crowded ring isles and off into the sunset………….or so I figured as she headed out the west doors from the West Expo Center.

July 18th

Not All That Glitters Will Eventually Turn Into Gold

 

True Labrador Retriever show breeders………………….and I state that right up front because there are way, way, way more blokes breeding haphazardly than there are folk breeding judiciously, thus the ‘true’ label for the real deal breeders!

So, back to the thought of the moment……………………….those of us that carry the proud ‘union label’ of doing all that is correct and great for the breed know that at times even a puppy or dog with all the right components of conformation as called for by the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard………………even if that puppy or dog looks way better than some of those others being dragged around the ring…………………that there may be a limit as to how far that individual dog can ascend up the ladder to achieve its AKC champion’s title.

There comes a time that a cut and dry decision has to be made and let the owner know that the dog doesn’t have everything together to continue on with the journey towards a championship.

Now here’s where it all gets a bit murky! Most of the time when this happens………………..it’s not the dog's fault and that really becomes the biggest shame and maybe a loss to the breed as a whole.

If the dog has what it takes and it becomes an external thing that prevents it from advancing, then it is a loss for the breed, for the individual breeder’s breeding program and of course for the dog too because it should have had to opportunity to have passed on it’s great attributes to the next generation because that is the main mission for producing outstanding examples of the breed in the first place!

  1. One of the biggest reasons the above happens when the dog is going through the ‘growing pains’ of learning to show and NOT WINNING! The owners get impatient with the process because they erroneously equate NOT WINNING with NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH! The owners just don’t get that this showing dog stuff is not about the best dog winning because there could be multiple dogs that are just as good and ONLY ONE DOG will get that win because that’s how the ‘system’ works!

  2. Owners lose interest in showing because it seems to be such a subjective ordeal depending on who the judge is or who is handling the dogs or other extraneous goings on!  Not totally understanding the ways and means of the BIG PICTURE, while they only see the LITTLE PICTURE of just their dog. So, not knowing how the system works or not accepting the way it is creates a no win situation for the dog’s future successes.
     

  3. Loss of interest derails many prospective dog’s chances of attaining their champion’s title. Owners are involved in other things to spend the time and energies in training, conditioning, traveling and showing their dogs. There are always multiple things to do on weekends when there are dog shows to go to.
     

  4. Financial consideration also scuttles many dog’s chances to fulfill their destiny as show champions. Some owners experience a downward turn in economics and finances and that just about stops all the action of showing for the dog. There were so many dogs that were lost due to the recent recession of the economy, thankfully as things have turned around quite a bit on the last 6 or 7 years, we have seen less dogs drop off by the wayside as a result.
     

  5. Lack of training and conditioning definitely will put a huge damper on a dog’s show career. This is really a tough one for me because we put so much into training and conditioning, in fact we provide unlimited free training for the lifetime of all our show puppies. That is on a private basis and also three nights a week training classes! However, it is up to the owners to take advantage of all we provide and then also follow up and take care of their end of the bargain with working with the dog at home.

It is always sad for me as the breeder and also the Dog Show Manager to be the one that puts the brakes on any dog’s future plans for any reason!  However, if the road just doesn’t seem conducive for a smooth ride, for any reason, then alternate plans need to be put into play. As a breeder, it pains me to no end to have a dog that I know that is as good as or better than most showing at the higher levels, to have to curtail that mission because of those prior mentioned reasons.

I just had that conversation with two different owners today. Two dogs that could go all the way……….that are better than most dogs from the majority of our competitors and yet, they will be indefinitely sidelined because of external reasons beyond each of their valued conformational value.

So, I am sad now.

July 18th

Different Strokes For Different Folks

At all dog shows that I travel to, I make myself available for Mentorship for any and all that want to learn about Labrador Retrievers………………..I arrange for Interviews for those that are interested in obtaining a Labrador puppy or dog………………………people make appointments with me to discuss pedigrees for breeding bitches to our stud dogs and plus……………I also make the time for those with contrasting points of views that read my blogs and would like to cover a certain subject matter that I have brought up at the Blogging Off section!

This past weekend, I performed all of the above………..with 7 Interviews for the Puppy Placement Program……………………………………3 Mentorship sessions, with one being a person filling out her criteria to become a judge and 2 beginner breeders………………………..5 folk that have females to be bred and wanted to cover the possibilities with our stud dogs and 2 people of the contrasting point of view.

For this blog, I will cover the 2 cases of folk that don’t agree with something or other that I had covered at the blog.

There was the couple that wanted to discuss the ‘differences between American and English Labradors! Actually the man was intent on ‘educating’ me about there being those differences.

What he didn’t know was that I had repented a couple of weeks ago and that now I am a ‘born again believer’ in there being hundreds and hundreds of different ‘Labrador Whatever You Might Call Them’!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, I let him have his peace in telling me how he had never liked the ‘English Labrador Retriever’, “Cause it couldn’t hunt and do anything it was supposed to!”

He told me how about 20 years ago he purchased for $250 his first Field Labrador Retriever. How that dog was a ‘hunting fool’! “Dog was obsessed with hunting anything that moved………………..crickets, moles, earthworms, beetles, roaches and when he went shooting at the local lake………whatever he shot and ‘kilt’………….that crazy dog would go fetch and have half -way tore up before he brought it back!”

“Yep, got that black dog from some fellows that lived way out…………. and those dogs, they had lived outdoors and roamed those fields of corn and rye that was planted way over there…………….yep, those were true field-bred dogs!” He went on to say how they let him pick the ‘best one’ in the litter. They would toss a stick and the one that would fight off the other dogs and get that stick……………..that was the best of em!

His next 2 Labradors were the American type……………………..they were tall and lean and could fetch all day!

Just then a rather large Rhodesian Ridgeback walked by and he pointed to that dog and said his 2 yellow American Labs were about a "hand taller than that red dog there!”

The Ridgeback that he pointed to was well over 26 inches tall!

After about 5 minutes of nonstop storytelling, I finally get a word in edgewise and I tell him about the ‘new me’……………………how I now go about singing the new tune of ‘everyone name that Labrador’………………name that dog anything you want!

Before I could go on, he was telling me that if it ‘ain’t made in the good old USA, it ‘ain’t’ worth the salt that comes off a man’s brow!

“Yep, the true Labrador is the American Labrador because he can still do his job and not just lay around looking like he ate a tub of lard or two!” he would continue.

Well, I had given that nice couple their allotted 15 minutes of whatever and it was time for me to mosey on down the road a bit, so I tell him it was a pleasure striking up the conversation with him.

The man looked a bit confused and asked if I wasn’t going to argue the point with him. “No sir, it was your turn to talk and mine to listen………………………..I do all my talking at the Blogging Off page, so stay tuned there and maybe I will add my good old hard earned American two cents worth there!”

No sooner than I got up and took two steps from where I was seated with that couple, that another set of folks was standing there waiting their turn for their session with me.

On another day, a lady that looked familiar approached me to let me know that she was one of those that shows dogs for fun! So, right off the bat, I knew this was going to be one of those that don’t much have a use for my blogs or opinions but still resides at the Blogging Off section every day, chaffing at the bit to read whatever has caught my fancy or ire at the moment……….which is exactly what drives my OCD leanings to pontificate at will because I know that there are those that like to read that kind of stuff.

She begins by telling me that she really thinks that professional handlers and breeders should not be in the same ring with those that breed and show for fun! “All professional care about is making money" she would say and then add “Same thing with the big Labrador breeders, they just breed and breed and sell and sell……………making money left and right and not caring too much about the little breeders!”

Meanwhile, the ring steward is calling for the next class to go into the ring. Soon there are several people calling out a certain number that is supposed to be in the ring showing their dog. Then another lady comes running to where we are seated and tells the woman speaking to me that she is supposed to be in the ring with her dog!

She gets up and runs over to her crate and pulls out her dog without putting the leash on it. The dog slips away from her and the lady trips over the soft crate that is placed under a sign that reads NO SOFT SIDED CRATES ALLOWED!

She is able to round up her dog and scamper into the ring where the judge is patiently waiting for her and the dog. The judge tells her to take the dog around the ring and stop by the ring entrance. She takes a couple of steps and drops all her bait out of the top pocket of the men’s shirt she is wearing. The dog dives head first unto the matt trying to gobble up as much of the sausage links that she is using for bait.

It takes her several yanks to get the dog moving around the ring and finally ends up at the designated stop for the judge to go over the dog. Easier said than done as the dog is a wiggly mess and forget the bite and teeth examination…………………the judge finally gave up and told her to do a diagonal up and back……………….the lady takes off around the ring again! The judge calls her back and points to where she is to go up and back on the matt…………easier said than done again as the dog never took a correct step on that up and back.

She came out of the ring all flabbergasted and out of breath, bumping into anyone and everyone as she made her way to the soft sided crate that was still tipped over on its side right under the NO SOFT SIDED CRATES ALLOWED sign.

Watching the whole fiasco I wondered if she was having fun yet and then I came to the conclusion that she was absolutely right about having a ring for the Rank Amateurs That Just Want To Have Fun and another ring for those that are serious about the breed and want to do the right thing!

Fortunate for me with that lady, she picked up her soft crate after being told she wasn’t allowed to set it up inside the building and headed out the door, not even bothering to come back for Winners with her dog…………………she didn’t come back the next day either……………………so I hope she reads this blog and sees that I agree with her 100% about Having Fun and there being two rings for folks with different strokes!

July 12th

This One Is Short & Sweet

Continuation: The Show Management Program

For us, as the management team, everything that happens at a dog show is business as usual. It is all part of the ins and outs and ways and means of the profession. It is what it is and what it has been and what it will be for time to come……………very little has changed throughout the great expanse of time that I have been involved in showing dogs.

Well, a little more than a little has changed and that’s because, me the consummate innovator……………..always looking for a ‘better way’ has had a tiny say and do in what little has changed……………..of course all for the better for those that have subscribed to my ways of doing things better!

That’s where the Chambray Show Management Program has insinuated itself into the mainstream of things at the Florida dog shows……..in particular the Labrador Retriever ring of things!

Yep, I am responsible, just as Dr. Frankenstein created the monster…………………I too created a hydra with many heads! The hydra here is the many owners that participate in the programs that I put into play………………….programs that up to then had never been available to dog owners simply because the old guard, the long empowered establishment, the Empire of Professional Handlers would have chopped at the knees any meddling dog owner that dared to tread upon their stronghold of ‘TOTAL CONTROL’ of the dogs they took on for TRAINING, CONDITIONING and ultimately HANDLING!

Total control meant that the dog owners relinquished their dogs to the pros and the pros then would take over 24/7 EVERYTHING that the dog needed! No qualms, no questions asked……………that is the way it is done and it is a done deal!

Until I, the innovator came along!

Is it a good thing? Depends on who you ask! Ask a pro and they will tell you that I am nuts! Ask them who wins the most in the Florida Labrador ring and they will chop you at your knees!

Ask a Chambray owner, well 97% of them and they will sing the blues, the conga or start rapping, depending on what type of music their ears are wrapped around. Yep, those that have benefitted immensely just gush and brim over with exuberance by being part of the most successful show management program of its kind.

Don’t ask the competition, most of whom have withered away, hidden under rocks and just don’t come out to play………………mostly because winning for them is like finding water in the Sahara.

Most would rather skedaddle north up I-95/I-75, saunter west on I-10…..several states over, maybe a thousand miles out of their way to find greener grass because looking over at this side of the fence just doesn’t look appealing to them.

So, the bottom line, the ‘little’ change that has occurred has had great benefit for our owners, for us as breeders and handlers and of course for the breed with the ever Betterment of the Breed mission getting better and better.

Did I say that I am always looking for a better way?

July 12th

This Is A Long One

Handling Priorities 102
 

How Handler Priorities Work 102………………….Most Of The Time As Nothing Is Cast In Stone!

A year doesn’t go by that somewhere along the line; the smooth riding train of our Show Management Program doesn't hit a bumpily stretch of rail!

Invariably situations will emerge that make one of those that are part of our programs screech with acrimony because of perceived transgressions, by us, by the judges, by another competitor, by a handler or just by not knowing what is transpiring around them.

‘Perceived transgressions’ because in reality every single incident, case or scenario…………..even the most topsy-turvy situation of the day/year are/were being covered with alternatives that are always under consideration, yet the person whose toes were seemingly being stepped on did not have a full grasp of the inner working of our Show Management Program.

In other words, lack of knowledge, not enough accrued expertise, little time put in………………...not knowing the ropes, not up to date on the rules, or procedures or protocols that are in place when the unexpected occurs is what creates some of the derailments for some of those owners…………………derailments for the owners, but just ripples in the usual smooth sailing for us as we have navigated these same waters for decades and have weathered the roughest of times and here we still are on top of things……………in more ways than one!

 

As the ‘overseer’ of the entire Chambray Labradors and Chambray’s Show Management Program, I use my 46 years’ worth of mastery and expertise with all matters relating to Labrador Retrievers to guide along this most successful breeding, training and handling consortium…………………….actually, the most successful business model in existence in the country today for producing show champion Labrador Retrievers!

I can honestly attest that 99% of any and all occurrences that can and will come up at any given dog show, is already part of my game plan and I have one or several alternatives to handle each of those things that at times go ‘bump in the night’ or in this case, bump, bump at a dog show! I will concede a 1% opening for something that has not been covered, but my wits are still razor sharp when it comes to defending my pack (Chambray Labradors and the entire program built around the dogs that make up the kennel/breeder)…………………..that if and when that 1% rears its head, I will assuredly loped it off before it bites anyone!

Weeks before a dog show, even before the deadline for entry, which is most always 17 days before the Saturday of the weekend for those shows…………..so way before the deadline I compose a working roster for the show.

Since I have a large contingency of top show level dogs at my deployment and I am 100% responsible for each of their show careers, I first figure in the venue and the judges and determine if that particular slate of judges at that site will draw enough dogs to add up to major pointed shows.

This criterion determines if dogs that are pointed out and just need majors will make up the roster or if those dogs that need any points will receive roster priority. Of course our champions that are the ‘regulars’ for each weekend of shows receive ‘champion’ priority over champions that are only entered at selected shows. This of course rewards those dogs and owners whose dogs are on the front lines weekend in and weekend out.

Once the roster is drawn up with those dogs that are indicated for the venue and the slate of judges, each of their owners are contacted and encouraged to have their dogs entered to compete at those shows.

One of the rules of thumb that we practice is not to overload any particular class with too many dogs. Several things dictate the numbers per class. First and foremost, since only 4 dogs receive placements from any class, it doesn’t make sense to enter more than 4 of our dogs to go head to head with each other.

Nothing turns owners off more than to have their dog walk out of the competition without a placement. Of course, the owner whose dog takes a 1st place is in hog heaven for the day. The other owners all want to know why their dog didn’t win that coveted 1st place blue ribbon!

 

Another rule that has to be followed at the dog shows is that there is no time at a dog show to cover why any dog won or didn’t win!

 

I tell all my owners that it will be covered individually with them later, maybe on the Monday after the shows when they come pick the dog up.

I tell each, “Think about it, we show 20 some dogs each day, there isn’t the time to sit and talk half an hour with each of those owners……….no matter what!”

So, not only do we establish handling protocols, we even establish when and where we discuss the events of the day with each owner.

Back to the entries of the dogs: It should go without saying, but I will say it anyways ‘different handlers will handle different dogs’! One handler cannot handle 20 dogs, so dogs are distributed out to the handlers that work for us.

Handler priorities are designed for those dogs that have the most points and are the closest to finishing their AKC champion’s title.

Dogs that need majors will have priority with their assigned handler. What this means is that if that particular handler had dogs in 2 or more classes and each of those dogs won a first place, that handler will go back in for Winners with the designated priority dog for ‘Winners Dog’, or ‘Winners Bitch’.

 

It is predetermined and following the script is important. When all this is transpiring, the owners of those dogs are not part of the decision making process and have already been covered not to bother the handlers involved as those handlers already have their working orders from me.

Having stated that last sentence, I still reserve the right to call exceptions as I see fit, for there are things transpiring all around that most people only see superficially, while the true nitty gritty actions is apparent to only a few and of course, very little escapes me.

More Handler Priority: Once a class dogs wins either Winners Dog (WD) or Winners Bitch (WB), then the consideration is whether it can ‘cross over’ and also garner the higher number of points if that is the case. This entails either the WD or the WB beating the other for Best Of Winners (BOW). If both WD and WB each achieved minor points (1 or 2) and neither can ascend to winning a 3-pt major, then the vast majority of the time, the consideration now is concentrated on the ‘specials’……………the champions that are competing for Grand Champion points and for the traditional National Rankings where the Top 5 from each breed receive an automatic invitation to the following February’s Westminster Show!

Although the vast majority of professional handlers do not take into account the winning Best Of Breed (BOB) with a class dog to cross over and achieve a Major-Pointed win………………..I do consider that possibility...................remember, I pride myself in covering all the possibilities!

However there is much more involved because very few judges are reluctant to award BOB over top ranked specials to a class dog and even a tougher hurdle to leap over when there are multiple champions in for the BOB competition.

Unless I receive certain signals from the ‘action of the day’ or a get a drift about the judging, 99% of the time, the specials in the ring maintain their handler’s priority and a WD or WB will be covered by an alternate handler which will have been designated even before the show started as part of the ‘coverages’ in the different case scenarios.

What most owners don’t realize is that while they are 1000% totally zoned into their own dogs while we are all gathered around the Labrador ring…………………as professional handlers, we have other breeds of dogs that are also showing…………………..and possibly at the exact same time that Labradors are in the ring!

These dogs are also factored in with handler priorities which at times create huge conflicts in covering all the different dogs in the different rings at the same time!

 

Since the ring times are released in advance, we already come in prepared for the day for the overlaps and may at times have 5 or 6 professional handlers under contract to work for us during those hard pressed times………………such an occurrence happened a couple of years back where one of our handlers was in another ring that was running considerably overtime because the judge had become ill and had to take a few time outs, meanwhile back in the Labrador ring, the Best Of Breed competition had begun with the handler’s specials dog having to walk in the ring with an outside contracted professional handler.

 

That handler was instructed to ask to go to the end of the line………….out of catalog order so as to give the intended handler time to finish up at the other breed ring and make it in to handle her Labrador priority assignment. Unfortunately, once a dog is examined by the judge, a handler change is not allowed and even though our handler made it back in time before Best Of Breed was over, she was not allowed to switch off with the substitute handler in the ring.

Coincidentally, the exact same was preventing her from switching handlers in the other breed ring because that judge had already examined her and her dog and by AKC rules, that handler must finish off the exhibit in that ring!

The Labrador owner whose dog was affected by the unplanned timing issues and AKC requirements for handlers in the ring………………being new to procedures, protocols, rules, regulations and the general ways and means became one of those ‘imagined transgression scenarios’, that do come up creating temporary ripples. However with our show management program in place and my ability to cover those 99% of the time situations and even the 1% ‘unknown’ that still is lurking around out there, smooth sailing is the usual course there with the majority of cases.

What I tell all our owners and handling clients, “We are totally out there to give each dog we take on the absolute best chances with the resources that we have on hand!” What needs to be taken into consideration is that there are situations that arise that may ‘seem’ to be out of our control, however behind the scenes, I have already assessed the conflict and have made decisions that will more than adequately cover each of those situations.

More to come.

July 11th

WPB Dog Shows

We have worked and trained the dogs, we have rallied the troops and the finishing touches for the West Palm Beach Dog Shows are behind us, we have some last minute brush ups, light trimming and the coordination to have everyone there come this Thursday…………….the first of 4 days of shows in our own backyard!

Plus, this will be our last shows of the year right here in South Florida……………..that’s right, from now until the end of year Eukanuba National Championships in December in Orlando, the rest of our fall lineup of shows will take place, minimum 4 hours north of our neck of the woods!

So, I am calling on all our Chambray owners to come and support the home team at WPB starting on Thursday thru Sunday…………cheering on our class dogs where several have the opportunity of winning their AKC champion’s title by winning one or two Winners Dog/Winners Bitch awards.

Of course, our top champions will also be there each vying for the most coveted win of them all, the 4 Best Of Breeds, one each day that will be on the line besides the Winners Points for the class dogs.

Because there will not be a Davie Fl in November, or a Miami show in December, for the first time since 1990…………….that’s a 26 year tradition, we will not be having an end of year get together here in South Florida.

Of course, those of us that will make the trip up to the Eukanuba week of shows in December will be there under one roof and we can celebrate another beyond stellar year of raising, training and showing for Chambray Labradors and our Owner’s Program for the Betterment of the Breed.

For the time being, let’s see how many of our Chambray owners will come out to support us at these 4 days of shows in WPB. This is where it all comes together for all those involved in our mission to produce the absolute best Labradors……………….where all our dedication and hard work, our energies and efforts are on display for all to see, especially the judges that are given the task of selecting the best, the champions of the breed.

See you all there!

July 9th

Show Management & Handling 101

The Chambray Way

It is already established that Chambray’s Show Management Program that primarily serves those specially selected Chambray Owners is the most successful venture of its kind, in fact when it comes to Labradors country-wide there is no other show group that comes close to the successes that have been posted for Labradors in the last 6 years.

Besides being the most successful Labrador show management program, it also a ‘one of a kind’ venture……………………. operating totally avant garde from the traditional ‘business as usual’ ways of the establishment.

It is for that reason, that from time to time an explanation of our unique operating system and specially designed protocols is a must in order to bring up to date those new to the program and especially those new to showing dogs.

Since a good percentage of our owners are indeed new to the realm of dog shows, it becomes important to detail how the usual business model works for the thousands upon thousands of owners that hire professional handers to ply their trade in the ring handling dogs.

The Professional Handlers Way relies 99% on the pro handler to do everything to get the dog ready for show and then continues to do everything at the shows to present the dogs in the ring to the judges.

The 1% that the pros allow the dog’s owner to be involved in is the paying for all the services rendered by the pro!

All of the top professional handlers ‘take’ the dog on and make it part of their ‘show lineup’………………………taking the dog on entails the dog going to live with the pro and also traveling with the pro. None of the ‘elite’ pros will work any differently………….that is, either the dog is in their charge the whole time, or they will not bother with any other arrangements.

There are varied reasons for the above requirement, but the leading reason is termed ‘taking the owner out of the equation’ which simply put means, to remove all of the inconsistencies that owners load up their dogs with.

Inconsistencies are the exact opposite of what a pro works to achieve. So, from day one that a pro takes a dog on, it becomes removing all the ‘spoils’ heaped on the dog by the owner and building a relationship with the dog that is as reliable as possible where the pro knows exactly what the dog will be doing every second it is in the ring. There is neither wasted energy nor valuable lost time in the brief period the dog is in the ring to be presented to its best, so it must perform exactly as it was trained to do………….anything else just will not do!

A dog that acts up, misbehaves, plays around, that is distracted and just doesn’t perform becomes an embarrassment to the professional and it also as bad advertising for their services as trainers and handlers. No top professional will be caught dead in the show ring with an unruly dog!

To be honest, I also hate to be seen with a dog that is acting up and not in show performance mode, however, as the old saying states, ‘you make your bed, you lay in it’, so too happens with our Chambray Owner’s Program dogs!

This is where the pros and Chambray's method become totally divergent……………….like in a 180 degree split………………………they, the seasoned pros, they take the highway of time-honored tradition where they are 99% responsible for everything the dog does……………………….we of the Chambray Show Management Program operate totally different and that’s where the ‘unique’ comes in!

We incorporate the owners into the scheme of things. We determine what it is that the owners can accomplish with their time and energies all the while taking part in the dog’s show development.

That is all fine and dandy and sounds as sweet as candy, however that road is fraught with dead ends, bumps, potholes, traffic jams, one ways and even sheer drop offs. Not all those that start the journey end up crossing the finish line as there are the inevitable that drop off along the way, which also happens with frequency following the yellow brick road of the professionals.

However, with all that being said, we still boast the most successful Labrador show handling management program in existence today.

Stay tuned for the next installment 102!

July 7th

The Meaning of Mission Accomplished

The Litter Evaluation blog from yesterday brought out lots of feedback. I never really know which subject matter that I conjure up, will elicit the reaction that a writer/author seeks, because writing for posterity’s sake is as aimless as drawing back the string and targeting the moon with a bow and arrow!

My time is precious, as I would rather spend 24/7 of it somehow involved directly with my dogs and not sitting in front of a computer composing my thoughts. Of course spending all of my time with a dog, that’s not a reality, since each of ‘my’ dogs is actually owned by someone else and any time I spend with one of them I also spend with the other………………the dog and the owner!

 

However, I realize that communications from my level of involvement with the breed is vital to all those that are in the ‘discovery’ stages of the inner workings of the breed and my sharing via the blog does have valuable merit, enough for me to allocate some time to that endeavor.

So, it tickles me vermillion (pink is not a chromatic favorite of mine), when a topic or subject matter resonates, hits a nerve, or piques someone’s interest enough for them to take the time and respond. It doesn’t really matter if they agree or take a contrasting point of view, for a writer getting a reaction is the payoff.

 

Someone wrote in wondering if there is a point reached where the Chambray puppies will not get any better.

I would be totally overjoyed if all the puppies produce from now until the ends of time, were of the level that the litter we just evaluated are. The goal would be to have ‘cookie cutter’ litters where every single puppy would be at the top level of show conformation. So, producing litters of 100% Show Quality would be the ideal.

Of course, ‘easier said than done’ applies here as ‘things’ come up along the way to dampen those euphoric expectations………………..however, producing at close to those levels would for sure define the breeding program as close to pinnacle as can be achieved when compared to the other breeders in the same competitive realm.

Whereas there are some breeders that can from time to time field a competitive individual, our program now can field whole litters that will be on the front lines as soon as they make their debut at the AKC levels. This is pretty much what has been occurring the past 6 years where younger and younger dogs and puppies from our breeding program are sweeping up the points and the titles, with each succeeding breeding season raising the bar once they make their appearances at the competitive venues even from the puppy classes.

In the recent couple of years, we have seen our dogs achieve their AKC champion’s titles at younger and younger ages, with one of our dogs attaining the AKC tile at 10 months of age!!!!!!!!!!!! Right before that dog, one of our girls finished right at 12 months of age. At a recent weekend of 3 dog shows, a 10 month old puppy took 3 Winners Dog wins in a row over stiff competition from older, more show polished dogs.

So, while it would be great to produce better and better individuals, what is now occurring is that with each succeeding new litter, we are seeing a very high level of consistency throughout the entire litter, which is what I term the ‘cookie cutter’ achievement.

All of the preceding is a major win, win for us and Chambray Labradors as breeders, however there is a much bigger picture that encompasses a greater and further reaching canvass ………………………whereas at the beginning of this mission for the betterment of the breed twenty six years prior  there was only  one voice with one vision……………….today in 2016 there are well over 100 different voices/visions that make up the movement of Chambray Labradors and Chambrays Owner’s Program for the Betterment of the Breed.

Today, those successes are all possible because of the collective of all those that came on board and shared that vision and made the decision to join in and then pay it forward to the breed with the next great generation of Labrador Retrievers.

July 6th

Litter Evaluation Braggadocio Time

There is nothing more satisfying than a ‘100% Show, Litter Evaluation’………………………..well, winning a Best In Show with a Labrador (a once in 3500 all-breed dog shows) and then repeating the extraordinary occurrence 4 years later and then there is achieving USA Top Labrador Champion Breeder for the Year, 3 years out of the last 4 (first time ever for the same breeder to achieve it 3 years) certainly both of those astonishing achievements has to rank beyond where no man/woman has gone before…………………………..HOWEVER…………………………..fulfilling the mission of the Betterment of the Breed to perfection in a given litter certainly has to rank in the Top 5 of The Greatest Hits as a breeder!

Okay, back to the ‘100% Show, Litter Evaluation’ explanation and why it is such a humongous deal!

Back in the beginning of time, circa the late 1980’s………….16-something years after my first ‘wetting of feet’ with Labradors (1970)………………I dove head first into the murky waters of showing dogs! Yep, murky waters because there was no one to provide clarity about the process other than unloading their ‘lesser than average produce’ on those that didn’t know any better (me)!

So as a beginner breeder armed with lesser than stellar beginnings, I would be extremely fortunate if one single puppy out of 3 litters produced in those less than ‘wonder years’ would amount to being at any level comparable to those showing in the ring at the time. So dismal were the prospects then, that no one ever noticed nor really cared when someone new made their entry into the world of showing Labradors. The majority of the time, those new would never make it beyond the beginner stage and seldom produced anything of any value to the breed, let alone to themselves.

So, today, 30 years later producing a litter where 100% of the puppies in that litter…………..all 7 specimens are not only show quality, they have the potential to compete at the highest levels with those other Chambray dogs that are dominating the wins in the region’s dog show venues!

This comes right after the last Chambray litter evaluation that also rocked with 100% Show Quality to the point that it was the highest averaging litter to date………………..of course that time at the top for that litter was short lived as this party of 7 just toppled that mark a bare 6 weeks later……………….which bodes extremely well and sets an audacious precedent for future litters to follow but one that has been ascending to these levels year after year with percentages well above the 90% mark and in the last 3 or 4 years, more than half the litters reaching 100%..................where now that goal set back in 1990 is a certain and highly expected reality with each succeeding litter.

The testament of these high scoring litter evaluations is the proof-positive winning track record at the dog show level the last 6 years with 28 new AKC champions and a total of 47 new AKC titles…………………from Grand Champions, Bronze Grand Champions, Silver Grand Champions, Best In Specialty Show, Judges Award of Excellence, Judges Award of Merit at Specialty Show, Top Bred By Exhibitor at Eukanuba and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s time for a new saying as ‘It doesn’t get any better than this’ seems a bit worn at the edges, so now I coin a new phrase “The Betterment of the Breed, Mission Accomplished”…………………….of course those that know me, have to know that there is no resting on laurels here, no sir, no ma’am, ‘we’ (Chambray Labradors and Chambray’s Owner’s Programs) continue on with the mission at hand………………the continuation of the Betterment of the Breed, now and beyond!

July 5th

What Is A Labrador Retriever

Just what is a Labrador Retriever?

Sure, everyone knows what a Labradors Retriever looks like and how they are supposed to be the friendliest dog in town, actually the whole wide world/web………………….yep, that’s the perception of the most popular breed in the good old USA and parts beyond!

Right on all accounts! The Labrador Retriever has become the most admired breed of dog ever! Not only ‘ever’…………………….. ‘everywhere’ too! Not just the USA………………..nope, the rest of the world is in a lovefest with the breed!

Interesting enough, it is a wayfaring breed if there was any…………………………….Great Britain is given credit as the ‘origin country’ for the breed…………………………..however, the breed’s descendants are not European, no sir, not at all, because the founders of the breed are from North America!

From the breed’s name, Labrador Retriever, you would surmise that they came from Labrador, a providence in north Canada which would account for their name……………….well you would surmise all wrong because off the coast of Newfoundland which is south of Labrador is the island of St John and that’s where the original water dogs that made up the beginning of the breed hail from and swam around in!

The lore is that English fishermen used those early descendent dogs that were more or less natives to St John’s Island and were known then as the St John’s Water Dog, trained them to retrieve nets and whatever fell off board for them while working the fisheries in that region of the world back in the early 1800’s.

Eventually some of those dogs made it back to Scotland, Ireland and England where locals also valued them for their retrieving abilities and over a period of around 100 years came to more or less fix a certain look to the retrieving abilities of those early prototypes.

Right before the turn of the century, circa the late 1880's to early 1900’s, a handful of breeders had developed the breed enough to be able to register them with the United Kennel Club (Great Britain) and several decades later the first import to the US would make its way from a Scottish breeder.

Fast forward a century and here we are today, with the most registered dog on the planet because it is the most adaptable breed of dog there is.

It can just about live anywhere and adjust to most any condition. When bred correctly, it is a healthy as a horse and most important, it can be trained for a myriad of tasks, including being the #1 sports afield hunting and retrieving dog & then also as a Service Dog…………………………the #1 breed for the Sight Impaired……………………#1 Living Assistance Dog………………………..#1 Narcotic Detection…………….Bomb Detection………………Cadaver Recovery………….Search and Rescue………………………Seizure Alert……………………….any and all fields of task where dog and human depend on each other!

Of course, it is also the #1 Home Companion to the tune of 3 times more Labradors registered each year than the breed that comes in 2nd…………………….so second to none is a great virtue to have for this breed of dog!

One of the perils for any breed is ‘popularity’! When there is a clamor that causes a surge in demand for a breed of dog………………….up from apparently nowhere spring up hordes of blokes that mash together any reasonable facsimile of two dogs from a breed and presto, sixty days later there now is an endless supply of more reasonable and unreasonable facsimiles of the breeding pair!

Cute puppies abound all around town……………town being anywhere on the planet because with the advent of online brokers, Saskatchewan, Katmandu, and other off sounding destinations are now several connecting flights away as a point of departure for puppies, including Labradors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A couple of years back, I would have never imagined seeing Labs from anywhere else but the USA………………….wrong…………because right now at the show levels there are dogs from Croatia, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, France, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and I just was informed that there will be a Lab puppy that will be showing right here in Florida from Cuba! Like I said, I would have never imagined any of the above!

So, what’s my point? Caveat Emptor! .............................Buyer Beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not that obtaining a puppy from down the street is any safer, but at least you know where the breeder lives!

With these ‘long distance’ transactions, there is less control of quality and support that those close at hand may be able to lend.

Happy 4th of July

Pay It Forward

Paying It Forward to the Betterment of the Breed.............Chambray Labradors…………….Chambray Labradors Owner’s Programs.

The above are two entities that go hand-in-hand; much as the song Love and Marriage’s lyrics go, you can’t have one without the other.

Chambray Labradors of course came first…………….from 1970 to 1990, for the first 20 years of trial and error, to be honest mostly errors without any mentorship or willing breeders to help out.

Then came the idea of a ‘mentoring partnership’ between the breeder and the eventual owners of the puppies produced! A simple and novel idea………………….but one that has taken 26 years to make as perfect as there is!

Today, it is the most successful business model in existence where a breeder takes on all the owners into an association for the Betterment of the Breed through guidance, education, mentorship, training and total support for the lifetime of each puppy/dog placed.

There is no other like it....................none! It is totally based on collectively producing the best with each succeeding generation of puppies produced………………….produced from the best from the previous generation that was placed with owners that totally get and understand the inner-workings of the entire process.

We produce the best from the best and then we place the best puppies with those that will join in with the program to perpetuate the great qualities of the breed with the next best generation of puppies……………….which will then be placed with the best candidate new owner or existing owners that are already part of the successful network of Chambray Owners!

This for the Betterment of the Breed mission we call the Pay It Forward Movement……………….that is, those that came on board and benefitted with a great example of the breed, will more than gladly want to pay it forward to the next set of new owners that seek the best!

Together Chambray Labradors and Chambray Labrador’s Owners Program Paying It Forward to the Betterment of the Breed

July 2nd

Doing It Right Is Right For The Breed

I was recently directed to a ‘forum discussion’ at one of those chat rooms where anyone that can peck away at a keypad and dribble out anything that can be legibly deciphered which then lets others rant on with pros and cons and other non-sense…………….. this particular topic was about breeders such as myself supposedly claiming that we are somehow making the Labrador Retriever ‘better’!

First of all, I don’t waste a single second following any of those ‘whatever goes’ congestion mash pits! Even if there was one person out of the dozens that add their ½ cent worth……….which isn’t worth ½ of the ½ ………………the rest of the mumble jumbo shared by the senseless, totally ramshackles whatever good intentions anyone may have to offer. So much misconceptions and erroneous information is passed on by those that just don’t get it and will never get it, yet babble on perpetuating the wrongs and at times the dangerous, that there is absolutely no good that comes from these community cesspools of opinions.

So, back down to earth and about this ‘bettering’ topic!

Let me start by stating that the Labrador Breeder is as perfect a breed as there is!

Secondly, there is nothing that really can be done to make it better!

“Whoa!” you are thinking right about now ………………….. Sandy Herzon, the guy that drums out over and over again “For the Betterment of the Breed” now says that there is nothing that can make it better? How is that possible?

Well gather around my little chickadees because I will bring clarity to the nebulous scene for you!

For the Betterment of the Breed entails ‘us’…………………………..us being all those that profess to love the breed to make sure that we do all those things that will ensure that the best puppies are produced from the best possible specimens!

If that occurs, then the breed is served, thus the stated goal of the Betterment of the Breed is accomplished!

The opposite of the Betterment of the Breed is those blokes that have no clue about a Breed Standard, have no clue about faults and defects, have no clue about clearances for DNA and for joint conditions…………..what’s worse than not knowing and there are thousands upon thousands that are breeding that DON’T KNOW and end up doing it all WRONG………………………..then there are  thousands upon thousands that DO KNOW and go ahead and DO WRONG just the same and that wrong is trying to change the breed to accommodate whatever it is they think the breed needs to make it fit their desires!

So, now you have 2 groups producing 200,000 to 300,000 Labrador puppies a year and both are all WRONG! Some because they don’t know any better and others because they may know and don’t care or are doing the changing at will, either and both are the same, nothing they are doing is for the Betterment of the Breed!

Now on the other hand, a very small hand at that because the numbers are quite small for those doing it RIGHT…………………..you have folks that truly love this breed of dog and do everything that is right by the breed……………………..this small group of breeders are the true ambassadors of the breed, they are the ones practicing for the Betterment of the Breed.

They are the ones that are responsible for the continuity of the breed being the perfect breed it is and that’s because doing all the right things ensures the Betterment of the Breed.

So, there is a huge difference between those doing the right thing in the name of the Betterment of the Breed and those that don’t know didley and think that they can make the breed better by changing it to their whims and inclinations.

July 1st

Kumbaya Y'all

Let’s start July off with a bang! Let’s all Kumbaya, play ring around the rosy, gather around the camp fire, toast marshmallows and do what’s best for the breed!

“Do you provide mentorship to those that have nothing to do with your programs?”

Yes, absolutely! My stating ‘Any and all’ means ‘any and all’! No holds barred when the breed is the beneficiary!

Even if those that are being helped along are competing directly in the ring with the dogs in our program………….even if ‘we’………….they and I don’t say a hoot to each other on a social or amicable level, the channels of communication are totally wide open for that one area that would benefit the breed!

Even if those that need and request the mentoring have been in our programs and no longer subscribe directly to us, even if they were the few that needed to part ways because of ‘whatever’ transpired that caused the rift that caused the parting of ways!

First and foremost, the breed comes first! Personal differences on my/our part will take a back seat and the agenda at hand will be taken care of and nothing is expected in return, because my payoff, my compensation is that the breed will be served best!

There are quite a few that started out with Chambray and today operate as independent entities and yet they occasionally contact me for assistance in all areas of the breed. From health issues, to breeding, to genetics, to show handling and even to providing evaluations for their litters and yet they are not part of the programs that dozens upon dozens of owners that form Chambrays Owner’s Programs are engaged in.

I even provide guidance through these blogs to those that choose not to associate with us directly or publicly, yet I know they frequent this blog section, so I will in a roundabout way extend my expertise and knowhow to them in the educational blogs and also in offerings more or less directed at them without using names, but I know that they are getting what I am implying because sooner or later they end up acting upon my suggestions and advice.

I derive great satisfaction, whether the recipient is one of ‘ours’ or one of those that choose to be one of ‘them’……………as long as the breed is served, I am a happy camper!