March 2016

 March holds no malice 
 Promises of bliss to come 
 with bright sunny days 
VS Herzon16

 

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.

March 30th

Keep It Coming, Saves Me From Coming Up With New Topics

 

 

 

 

Keep it ‘comin’ Herzon…………you be ‘chillin’ and then you be ‘thrillin’ the very next moment. Never a dull moment with the amazing work you all do with Labradors, proud to be a long, long time Chambray owner. MC and the Gang.

 

 

 

 

There’s nothing anywhere else that compares to your contributions to the breed. There’s no other website/websites like what your outfit runs. I understand that there were those that were overwhelmed with all the information and pages at the original website, however there were those that loved to get lost in all those same pages, so you didn’t compromise! You built two completely different websites, one for the people that are simplistic and one for the complicated ones! Who does that? Two websites to choose from and yet each with the information that each end of the political spectrum wanted! I visit both and switch back and forth between them. I absolutely love your blogs and when days go by without a new one, I actually feel like I do when I don’t have coffee in the morning!
Elsie, Gene and “Molly”.

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, once again! The WPB and Davie dog shows tell the story of why you and Chambray are the ‘Big Dog’ when it comes to Labrador Retrievers in the state and with your recent successes on a national level, beyond the state of Florida.

 

Our whole family came to watch and we even brought our 9 year old Chambray dog to be there at both weekends and you all have taken greatness to a whole new level.

 

What a super class act you all put on with every detail at the all four days of dog shows. The turnout of Chambray owners speaks volumes of your commitment to the breed, to your dogs and their owners. All others pale in comparison, it’s like they don’t exist in your presence.

 

What a tremendous vote of confidence and approval to have four completely different judges award your dogs all the awards! Tom Moore and Family

March 30th

Saying It For The Breed

 

I have been following your blogs for over 2 years now and I have learned so much from your exceptional wealth of knowledge and your insight and perspective with all matters that have to deal with Labradors. It is so refreshing to hear unfettered, factual information, from someone that has been into the breed for as long as you have and have had the tremendous amount of success with your dogs.

Most that are involved with the breed that offer an opinion are more than likely repeating something that someone else heard and repeated themselves. You on the other hand offer in-depth and easy to understand information using the very breed standard that at times seems so confusing not just to me, but to most that I talk to.

I read and re-read your recent blog on the shoulders and front end assembly and I was able to totally visualize each and every segment that you isolated and stripped down to the bare essentials and then put it all back together where it all made real sense. For more years than I hate to admit, I have gone over the actual breed standard and it never made much sense to me.

Now, if only the many judges that do Labradors would take the time and read your articles and blogs and when down in your state, meet with you so that they could learn about the proper position of the shoulders and more importantly about cow-hocks that are so evident at all dog shows.

Melanie S

 

 

Thank you for your feedback.

 

With our very busy schedule here at Chambray Acres…………all week long, I really wouldn’t be wasting my time or anyone else’s, taking valuable time to craft these blogs and posting them to the website, unless I really felt that there would be those that would benefit from my experiences.

 

Keeping in mind that what I know, came through tons of trial and error because back in 1970 there wasn’t an Internet, no world wide web and computers were the size of small cars operated by the government, think tanks and a few of the big corporations…………..so all this information and mis-information being tossed around at the speed of light is a God-sent and also a Devil’s Triangle for all those navigating through it all not knowing what is real and what is rubbish!

 

You have no idea how upset I get when one of my owners repeats some hogwash they heard through the soured grape vine!

 

All those that are part of our various Labrador Owner’s Programs are encouraged to continue their learning of the breed by following the blogs. Of course, the topics cover from one end of the spectrum to the other with the goings on with Labradors on a local basis as well as national and even international.

 

So, I tell all my owners, co-owners, associates, partners and visitors to pick and choose what topics please them and pay no mind to those that do not apply. Hundreds, actually numbering in the thousands reach out to me from all over the world for all sorts of information regarding the breed and the dogs they own.

 

Many offer lots of feedback with the breed standard articles, however just as many are entertained by the antics of the absurd that we deal with at the dog shows………………….so I mix it up a bit to give all a little taste of the conga beat and salsa taste of South Florida.

March 29th
Let The Good Times Roll

 

It was amazing to see all those fantastic Labradors in the ring being judged by a well-known and respected Labrador Breeder Judge! What became an even bigger thrill for us was as soon as we realized that the majority of those great looking Labradors were from your kennel………….as time and time again, we checked the number of the dog in the ring with the catalog and almost every single time our choice was one of your dogs!

 

Having recently relocated to the Tampa area from Maryland, we were very anxious to see what all the talk was about you and your dogs! So, we made the trip from the Gulf Coast over to the West Palm Beach dog shows to see firsthand what the show level of Labradors was like in Florida!

 

First of all, the Labrador ring had as many people around it as did the rest of the 2 large convention buildings combined! Then we find out that most of the people are Chambray owners! In the 15 years of us being involved with Labradors in the NE, we had never experienced such a tremendous following of one breeder!

 

All three sides of the rather large ring were full of Chambray owners! We happened to be seated between a family that has been part of your operation for years and to our other side was a brand new family with their 6 month old puppy in the ring being handled by one of your team of handlers! Next to them was another longtime Chambray family that took the time to explain all the proceeding to the new people.

 

Looking at the catalog before the activities in the ring started, we could count that almost half the 50+ entry were Chambray dogs and we honestly could not fathom how you all would manage to show so many dogs.

 

I asked the gentleman to my left, he owned one of the specials that would be in for BOB, if this was something that you all did all the time, handle so many dogs and he said “Not really, but this will be walk in the park for the Herzons!”

 

Sure enough, that’s exactly what transpired, both days! Yes, we ended up staying an extra day to see it all over again the next day, to say we were blown away with the quality of each and every dog that you all had there would be an understatement! Your team took the time after Sunday’s show to take many of the dogs from their crates to show us and their owners who were there as well were so thoughtful and understanding and supportive and willing to share of the whole process while there at the dog show.

 

As busy as you were with owners and other visitors, you still found time for us even though we explained that we already had Labradors and that we eventually would be showing our dogs too. I could not believe how supportive you were with us and actually welcomed us and made sure that we would look you up once we settled in and started at the dog shows.

 

What a fantastic organization you all have here in Florida for Labrador Retrievers. Our only reservation will be having to compete in the ring with what you all have going! Of course taking BOB both days, finishing 2 new champions and a new grand champion and winning all the awards sure as heck sets you all in a league of your own.

JB and JB

 

 

 

Hey, when it is said as good, why add anything else, but "Thank you"!

 

 

March 29th

Great Feedback, Always Welcomed!

 

I've always admired your  system, which caused me to ask you about how you do it, having so many dogs and not have any living with you.  It allows you to show, to teach others, and have a dog business as well.  You have a wonderful relationship with your customers and team.  I have even heard about you folks from another kennel owner friend in Louisiana.  I know you find great happiness and satisfaction in your dogs and business.  I even tell others that you are the only one I know that comes right out and tells people that your dogs are is your business, and because it is a business, that you go all out to make that business a successful venture.  I don't know why so many others don't call a spade a spade, and say that they have a dog business, instead of saying that they have a dog hobby.  I too put so much time, thought, and money into my dogs and all the time we're still learning, and find out that there is still so much more to learn and master.  Our vacation trip to Florida had unknowingly turned into a business trip, but we did manage to enjoy some sites that Florida is so known for, and even gotten some bass fishing in alligator ponds.  Went canoeing in your intercoastal  waters off of the Palm Coast shores with my brother.  Again, meeting you and your daughter and workers at the show was a highlight in our trip. 

Thanks again Sandy, BV 

 

 

Thank you. It was a pleasure to meet with you at the dog shows and then to have you visit me here at Chambray Acres.

 

I couldn't agree more about a spade being a spade! For me, calling it like I see embodies a tremendous amount of responsibility since it puts me on the frontlines to be scrutinized from head to toe and all the other places in between. Since there are hundreds that rely on my expertise and judgement with everything that involves their Labradors, I have to be accountable for each and every word that I utter or that I stroke out with the keypad and then publish to the website.

 

On top of that, there are dozens and scores that visit Chambray Acres on a weekly basis from all of the owners, co-owners, co-breeders, associates, partner, training clients…………………visitors passing through the state of Florida that want to come by and visit our enterprise with Labradors and all those that are interested in one of our puppies that must go through the interview process.

 

We are all about 100% transparency………………….no smoke and mirrors, no ‘now you see them, now you don’t’……………………………..we are a working project as we speak where each and every one that is part of our collective, benefits with each successful venture that we have innovated and put into play.

 

The greatest benefactor of what we have all worked so hard and diligently for is the Betterment of the Breed that is so evident with the hundreds of Labradors that have come from Chambray. Of course, the tip of the iceberg is the dogs that are at the top of the charts at the dog shows, by in actuality all those that own a Chambray dog, including that larger percentage that is not evident at dog shows………….all benefit greatly with our contributions to the Betterment of the Breed to all our dogs and now beyond with all those dogs that have the name ‘Chambray’ in their pedigree.   

 

March 29th

If It Breaks, Throw It Away!

 

You would think that nothing surprises me any longer, considering the length of time I have been into Labradors, but each and every time that I cover a particular section of the breed standard in the blog section or in an article I write and publish………………..I receive numerous emails telling me that they had learned something new!

 

That would be awesome feedback; however most of those writing in have been breeding dogs for a considerable period of time! The disconcerting thing about that becomes ‘how they have been breeding without knowing’!

 

If a person wants to learn to be a ‘hobby’ carpenter and constructs a table out of the wrong material and it breaks…………….who cares! Throw it away and start all over again. The same person that breeds 2 dogs and produces a litter of wrongly ‘built’ puppies, sells them or pawns them off to those that will have to live with the problem for 12 or more years or do what many in our ‘throw-away society’ do, dump that problem dog somewhere or take it to the dog pound.

 

Yes, there will be those that invariably will state that people need to start somewhere and that breeding by trial and error is how to learn…………………….yep, learning at others expense is accepted by the pet buying public!

 

Buying a puppy at a flea market, from a street corner hawker, at an auction, ordering online from who-knows-who………….at the back parking lot of a Walmart………………….on the side of a country road……………….at a pet fair………………….and now the latest fad, from sight-unseen foreign country sources…………….on and on we go and where the pup stops no one knows!

 

I hear about it daily from all over the country, you would think that it wouldn’t surprise me any longer!

 

The law of supply and demand churning out puppies to those demanding them even if those building them have absolutely no credentials……………..worst yet, don’t know what they are doing……………hey if it breaks, throw it away!

March 28th

The AKC BBE Breeder/Handler Medallions

 

The AKC Bred-By Exhibitor Champion Breeders are recognized for breeding and handling their own dogs to their championship in the special Bred-By Exhibitor class at the dog shows. Only the breeder/owner can handle dogs in this class and the dog must finish their title solely from this class with the breeder/owner as the handler.

 

When a breeder titles 5 dogs from the BBE class the AKC bestows a special designation and a medallion for this achievement. For 5 BBE champions the Silver Medallion is presented to the breeder and for 10 BBE champions, the Gold Medallion is bestowed on the breeder.

 

In Florida there has only been one breeder, Chambray Labradors to achieve the Silver Medallion level for having 5 champions from the exclusive BBE class and as of March 2016, Chambray Labradors is now the only Labrador Breeder with 10 BBE champions and now the AKC has bestowed the 2nd degree, the Gold Medallion for our 10th BBE champion.

 

We are the only Labrador breeder in Florida with the BBE Silver Medallion and in addition, now the BBE Gold Medallion as well.

 

Have I mentioned that we are ‘unique’……………………now let’s add ‘exclusive’ to the list!

 

 

CORRECT SHOULDER PLACEMENT

 

I have received numerous inquiries about the proper layback of shoulder in Labradors, since lately I have touched lightly on the subjects with some of the blogs.

 

I have ‘lifted’ the following from the AKC site’s Labrador Retriever Breed Standard.

 

Forequarters: Forequarters should be muscular, well-coordinated and balanced with the hindquarters.

 

(1) Shoulders-The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach.

 

(2) Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm.

 

(3) Straight shoulder blades, short upper arms or heavily muscled or loaded shoulders, all restricting free movement, are incorrect.

Front Legs-When viewed from the front, the legs should be straight with good strong bone. Too much bone is as undesirable as too little bone, and short legged, heavy boned individuals are not typical of the breed.

 

(4)Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness. Tied-in elbows or being "out at the elbows" interfere with free movement and are serious faults. Pasterns should be strong and short and should slope slightly from the perpendicular line of the leg. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Dew claws may be removed. Splayed feet, hare feet, knuckling over, or feet turning in or out are serious faults.

 

The sections that are highlighted are the ones that pertain to the ‘layback’ of the shoulders. I have ‘sectioned’ off and numbered 4 passages so that I can cover each as to how that affects the shoulder and the correct layback which creates the correct front end assembly!

 

(1) Shoulders- The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach.

 

The opposite of ‘well laid-back’ would be straight up and down! So, if well laid-back is the perfect placement of the shoulder blade, then straight shoulders are 100% wrong!

 

That cannot get any simpler!

 

‘Long and sloping’…………..now let’s say you go skiing………..would you rather have ‘sloping’ trails or vertical drop offs………………………..get the point?

 

Picture where the point of shoulder meets the upper arm, which by the way forms the keel in the front of the dog’s chest………that junction forms an angle of 90 degrees……………see where it reads “long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees!”

 

If the shoulder blade is not well laid-back, if rather it would be more of the vertical drop off, more of the up and down, more of the straight shoulders………………..then the junction where that wrongly placed shoulder blade meets the upper arm in front of the dog’s chest would be much, much greater than the correct 90 degrees that is called for.

 

Heck, I have seen dogs being handled in the show ring with 180 degrees (total Terrier front)…………….no angulation of the front assembly because the shoulder blade was totally up and down, forming a perpendicular with the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Of course that would be the absolute worst shoulder placement; however, there are varying degrees that are seen all the time in the show ring that deviate from the 90 degrees sought out by knowledgeable breeders.

 

When those deviations happen is covered with the following …………….that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach.

 

90 degrees permits the dog to move is forelegs in an easy manner with strong front reach…………………whereas straight shoulder placement causes the dog to move with a stilted, choppy, parade-like front gait because they cannot physically reach forward.

Once again, simple enough even for a 5th grader to follow along with.

 

Now here is another road map sign to follow: If the shoulder blade is placed where it should be, laid back so that it forms a 90 degree where it meets the upper arm………………following that layback from the tip of the withers, through the intersection of the upper arm all the way to the ground, out in front of the dog…………………the intersection of that line with the ground forms a 45 degree angle! That place out in front of the dog, should be the forward most point of front reach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Moving along we come to: 

 

(2) Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm.

 

Ah, here is where some more deviations of what should be take place. Those breeders that insist on ignoring this very important passage of the Labrador Breed Standard………….you know that many toes will be stepped on with this next breed standard coverage!

 

Yep, all those breeding dog……………..show dogs with shortened UPPER ARMS! Now read this!!!!!!!!!!!


(2) Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm.


Yes, yes that is a direct dictum from the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard………….I swear on a stack of my best Labradors ever that I didn’t make that up…………………don’t believe me, go here……. http://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/LabradorRetriever.pdf?_ga=1.35022818.212248642.1459099444

 

You visually measure from the top of the withers (top of shoulder where the left and right shoulder blades meet) to the point of shoulder (the 90 degree angle formed by the shoulder blade and the upper arm)………………………..that shoulder blade length should ideally equal the length of the upper arm.

 

The upper arm starts at the 90 degree meeting of the shoulder blade and goes down and back to the elbow. The elbow being where the upper arm meets the long bone of the arm that goes down to the ground!

 

I swear I can’t make that any simpler…………………I think that by now I am in 3rd grade territory!

 

Soooooooooooooooo, if the dog’s shoulder blade is twice as long as the upper arm………………… “Houston, we have a problem!”…………………as big as Houston is, this short upper arm problem in Labrdors is dastardly even bigger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Put it this way, if COW-HOCKS are a 10 on the Richter Scale then SHORT UPPER ARMS come in 2nd with a 9 on the seismograph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Ok, now we move to an easy one where I don’t really have to dwell too long on.

 

(3) Straight shoulder blades, short upper arms or heavily muscled or loaded shoulders, all restricting free movement, are incorrect.

 

That is pretty straight forward! Build a Labrador with the wrong dimensions, wrong ratios, wrong angles and what you end up with could be a Buffo Frog!

 

(4)Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body.

 

Here is the nail in the coffin……………..the finishing touches on a Rembrandt, the last brick laid in the foundation.

 

If all the preceding items from #1 through #3 were adhered to and the blueprint has been followed to a T…………………the I’s dotted, cedillas added where need be and all the punctuation provided to make it all flow and be legible, then this last dictum will fall right underneath the front end assembly and make it all come out smelling like roses.

 

Follow along:

  • Shoulder blades are laid back at a 45 degree with the ground and are forming a 90 degree angle with the upper arm,

  • Shoulder blade is about the same length as the upper arm

  • The elbows are directly under the withers

  • Front legs are perpendicular to the ground

  •  

Now let’s add a passage from the section about Size & Proportions:

 

Distance from the elbow to the ground should be equal to one half of the height at the withers.

 

By the way, that means that elbow to ground is the same length as elbow to withers!

 

There, you now have all the nuts and bolts to the perfectly built Labrador front end assembly!

 

All you ever wanted to know about the placement of the shoulders, the correct size of the upper arm compared to the shoulder blade, the correct proportion between the elbows to ground to the elbow to the withers!

 

If all the above is what, where and when it is supposed to be, and then more than likely if all the other vital components are in order, the dog will have proper movement.

 

Those handlers walking or dribbling around the ring in slow motion are covering up wrongly placed shoulders! If those dogs were to move around at the proper speed, their heads would drop below their shoulders and that is not desirable nor proper for a dog that needs to retrieve a weighed object as a duck, without stepping, trampling and tripping all over it!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

March 26th

Professionalism Or Hobbyist
Who Are You Going To Call?

 

What Is Any Type Of Breeder?

 

From time to time this topic is rehashed at the chitty chatty, busy body, queen bee-driven Sour Grapevine Gossip Rooms.

Yep, you now know my sentiments with these ‘let loose parlors’ where anyone with anything to say about anybody on any subject is given life, liberty and the pursuit of whatever tickles their happiness.

 

The little good that may occur is greatly overshadowed by the passing of falsehoods and dastardly conclusions arrived at by no accounts and then shared by the many not in the know to the many more at the same locale………………..those that dwell at Nonothing, USA!

 

So, what has arrived at my doorsteps (emails and phone conversations) to flip me off to express badly needed compacted anal glands?

 

A recent thread at one of those chambers of horror, full of spewed venom and ill-conceived elixirs masked as remedies to cure all!

So, there you have a bunch of loose-screw types addressing what constitutes ‘reputable breeders’, ‘legitimate show breeders’, ‘backyard breeders’, ‘hobby breeders’, ‘pet breeders’, ‘mass producer breeders’, ‘commercial breeders’, ‘professional breeders’, and on and on!

 

The problem with the above, besides spending an inordinate amount of wasting time with the back and forth bickering and useless banter is that no one wants to be labeled what they really are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Plus, those that live in glass houses are the first to cast motley gook at others…………..when in f-actuality they haven’t a clue about the goings on there……………………………..especially when the casting of dispersions is directed at me/Chambray. Insinuating that my professional endeavor with Labradors is somehow not in the best interest of the breed!

 

So, I will step in and set the whole kit and caboodle on the correct path because so many of those uppity entities are nothing more than hornets in bee outfits, buzzing about with no honey to show for any of their zipping and zapping about!

 

Face it, there is an infinitesimal itsy bitsy number of real show breeders……………………those with the real betterment of the breed in mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Infinitesimal means very, very few that really, really know what they are doing to be able to really, really contribute to the breed with the best intentions………..and itsy bitsy makes that small number even smaller!

 

So, I will start at the top levels of involvement with the breed. The top show producers in the country!

 

These can be divided into two groups…………those that do what they do in their spare time………….a ‘sparingly project’ if you will and those that spend an inordinate amount of time, maybe all their time doing what they do with the breed.

 

So, it would be simple to designate a working label for each of those! Those with the ‘sparingly projects’ we will label as Hobby Breeders and then there are those dedicating all of their time to the tasks at hand that will stand at the other end of the spectrum as I am.

 

Hey, let’s call a spade a spade and quit tip toeing through the tulips! No more Tiny Tims here, let’s put on our grownup pants and stand up and be counted.

 

I AM A PROFESSIONAL WITH EVERYTHING I DO WITH LABRADORS!

 

I do Labradors 24/7…………………..7/28,29,30 and 31……………………….365/366 days a year. I even took a cruise with the missus and I didn’t skip a beat thinking, strategizing and planning shows and which stud to use on which bitch!

 

I am a consummate professional at everything I do with Labradors. I provide each of our Chambray clients, owners, co-breeders, stud dog owners, associates, partners and my working staff with the absolute best environment based on my professionalism with all aspects of breeding, raising, training, conditioning, handling, managing, artificial inseminations, deliveries of litters, evaluations, conducting seminars and workshops………………………………….all activities where a compensation for services and products are rendered!

 

That last sentence constitutes a professional transaction between 2 or more parties………………..thus a professional environment for a professional endeavor!

 

Since it is difficult to pinpoint and get an honest answer from many others that seemingly have similar operations, I am not sure how many more out there consider themselves in my league as being a professional Labrador enthusiast.

 

I know that there are many that cloak themselves and would rather have folk consider them as Hobbyist, which would be the opposite of being a professional. Why they do this, I am not sure because if I were to ever need a job done or I was to need to buy a product………………………I would much rather deal with a professional than with a hobbyist!

 

Need any of the following?

 

Brain surgery……………….professional!
Electrician……………..professional
Dentist……………………………a pro
Putting up a fence……….yep, let a pro do it.
Car giving you problems………….better get a pro!
Rocket Scientist………………..no way Jose job for an amateur hobbyist!
Planning a wedding…………..oh boy, nothing like a hobbyist to screw things up!
Football or baseball players…………………….forget about it!
How about house painters?..................No runs, no drips and no errors with the pros!
Sewer Problems…………….avoid a smelly mess with the pros!
Have ghost in your home, who you going to call?


At the dog shows, who you going to call to handle your dogs if you really, really want to win?

 

Want a top notch puppy to show, who you going to call?……………..the hobby breeder down the street or the proven, established professional breeder that is the top champion breeder in the country?

 

Want your dog trained/………………..the hobby guy or gal who just graduated from a 4 Lesson PetSmart Doggie Training Class or the pro that has trained well over 35,000 dogs?

 

So, yes, I am a professional Labrador…………………..breeder, trainer, conditioner, manager, handler, artificial inseminator, evaluator, litter mid-wife/husband, seminar and workshop conductor, and many more services that I provide and receive just compensation for.

 

Each of my enterprises is registered as a corporation and we have people that work for us to train, condition and take care of the dogs in our charge. We travel to dog shows almost every weekend and handle professionally dozens of different breeds………………….of course our specialty is Labradors and there isn’t any other professional handler group that wins as much as we do as a handling team in Labradors…….none……………..witness our current 130 consecutive weekends of dog shows of winning, a streak that started on January 2012!

 

So, when the call goes out for identifying what each Labrador breeder considers themselves, put me down for PROFESSIONAL!

 

I can’t speak for the rest out there………………..oh, we know what they are and most grin and bear it when they paint themselves the color they want people to see them as…………………the vast majority can see through the thinned veiled façade, we go along with it, but we know that selling puppies for upwards of $2000 each comes out to a hefty take and some of these ‘hobby breeders’ have 3 or 4 litters a year or more………………..do the math……………………..the AKC has an average of 8 puppies per Labrador litter………………..32 puppies at over 2 grand for each……………………..hey, the $64,000 Dollar Question has just been answered!

 

“What hobby produces a ransom’s salary?”

 

Are they a hobbyist or are they professionals? Only their hairdressers know for sure!

 

Finally, do I benefit from my involvement with the breed?

 

Absolutely!

 

Does the breed benefit from my involvement with the breed? Ask the hundreds……….no make that thousands that have been part of Chambray Labradors for over 4 decades!



 

 

 

March 26th

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

 

Slipping Hocks Into A Bog

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…………….geez sounds like our political system that I am about to spurt out about!

But wait, before you turn off the sights and sounds……………..this is about people making bad choices……………………wait, wait, I promise this is not about the morass now being played out in the reality soap opera on the Nightly News…………………I promise………………….besides homey doesn’t do  politics!

 

Not the scummy type of politicians nor the slimy stuff behind the scenes at dog shows…..neither nor!

 

So, what’s got me in a dander now?

 

Two weeks ago I performed another of those litter evaluations………………..actually it started out as an ‘abbreviated evaluation’, where the breeder was only showing me what she had already selected and was not going to show me the whole truth and nothing but the truth whole litter!

 

That is until I saw her ‘picks’ and then insisted on seeing what lies beneath!

 

Good thing for her……………………but maybe not! You can sling out a lifesaver to a floundering person, but it is still up to them to cling on to it if they choose!

 

A litter of 7 puppies…………….4 males and 3 females, from supposedly a show breeding between the breeder’s self-professed ‘best female’ bred to a current ‘stud dog in the news’!

 

Knowing the female in question, I would have never bred to the male that she selected as both dogs in the pairing shared the exact two deficiencies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Upright shoulders and poor rear angulation!

 

So, what do you think the outcome of the puppies will be? With warlocks and witch’s brew, black magic and voodoo there may have been a chance……………………….but the pot was stirred with the exact same faults and the end product should promise more of the same no matter how many herbs and spices the Colonel sprinkles in!

 

So here we were, my visitor all giddy with excitement having told me via email before arriving at Chambray Acres that this was her best yet, her best litter in 15 years of breeding Labradors! This was the one that would have her first ever bred-by champion and she kiddingly bragged that she was going to handle the best puppy in the Bred-By Exhibitor class where in her words, “the Herzons have been having their way!

 

Okay, hey I love people with positive optimism!

 

So, she pulls up into our front training area under the old Orchid Tree, so that her SUV could be in the shade and she lets out, according to her, the top 3 show picks because she had already gone over the entire litter with 2 other ‘Labrador people’!

 

Each of the puppies goes up on the table and we begin the ritual of going over tip of nose to tip of tail and every other trait in between.

 

Right off the bat, without much fanfare……………………………..ALL THREE HAD UPRIGHT SHOULDERS AND POOR REAR ANGULATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

In addition, both females had slip-hocks that extended beyond 180 degrees………………that means that the joint could easily be straightened out and then bent backwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Torn ACLs in the making!

 

The one male out of the ‘3 supposedly show picks’ had better hocks that held nicely when tempted backwards, however the upright shoulders and totally overdone, massive front was just not right for the breed………………….and this was the trait that she boasted about, “Wow, just look at that front!” were her exact words! Of course on an English Bull Dog that would have been acceptable, but on a Labrador…………NOT!

 

“Take out the other 4 puppies!” I beckoned to the anxious ‘breeder’……………as she was nervously awaiting the verdict on her ‘precious litter’………………………….. 15 years in the making!

 

She pronounced a number to each puppy that she let out from the back of the SUV. The last puppy was her 7th pick, the 3rd female.

 

It would be the only one puppy in the litter worth keeping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice laid back shoulders and complementary rear angles to go with the proper front assembly. Although slight in bone, it was the only one that did not possess a serious structure fault…………………………….not to mention that all 3 of her show picks displayed degrees of COW HOCKS………………which each of you know by now is a SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECT! That means that it goes beyond a fault…………………it enters into a DEFECTIVE MERCHANDISE!

 

So, you would think that devastation would be the operative reaction with this ‘supposedly Labrador breeder of 15 years’!

Well, you would be wrong, because after delivering the dismal verdict about her ‘best ever litter’, she informed me that she would be keeping the ‘Great Gatsby Fronted Male’ and one of the original ‘show pick females’…………………..of course by now you have to know that the ‘show pick’ label was of her ill-got choosing……………since her 7th pick in the litter was the only one that I recommend for her to keep. In reality, not because it could actually compare to any real top show pick, but more so because she was the breeder and it was a bit better than the dam of the litter, so a slight improvement is much better than sliding backwards in a bog of mud!

 

Poor choices made now means that the chances of seeing them in the ring are slim to none, because these seemingly small deviations grow at the exact same rate as the dog does and by the time a dog is 70lbs and almost full grown size, those deviations are a huge bull’s eye for even a sight impaired person to see!

 

Another evaluation bites the dust and even worse, it was a whole litter down the swirling whirlpool’s drain……………………………..worse yet, a supposedly Labrador breeder that has yet, after 15 years as a hobby breeder dabbling in the dog show fancy……………….in reality has zero to acclaim and account for…………….lack of vision, lack of knowing what is and what ain’t………..spinning wheels got to go round! It’s a crying shame when lucidity is right in front of them and they take the downtrodden path time and time again!

 

Proves beyond a reasonable person’s thinking why some rise to the top of certain undertakings and others wallow in oblivion, never ever smelling the roses and always mired in the mud! All dogs are not created equal because there are so many creating them that can be blind as bats or worst yet, not seeing the light when shone brightly right in front of their noses!

 

I hope that by reading this blog, the culprit decides not to bide my time ever again and continues her senseless efforts in futility, leaving me to spend whatever time I have with those that truly will use it for gain with the breed…………………..I know, I know that at any time I can say “No”, but there is this part of me that sees the best in each person…………….even if it is a far stretch of the imagination with some, so I leave the door slightly ajar for all……………….hey, maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but I will continue to take a hit for the breed in the hopes that some good will come out of my efforts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 25th

Beware Off Wares!

 

Very seldom do I have the extra time to surf around the Internet and when I do, I certainly do not search for the ‘unknown’ Labrador breeders! Most of the time, when I do visit other Labrador Retriever websites it will be part of a pedigree research where one of my co-owners, co-breeders or partners will have directed me to a certain stud dog for me to ‘look into’ for using on a female that is under consideration to be bred as part of Chambray’s Breeding & Puppy Placement Program.

 

Each and every person that aligns themselves with Chambray and is accepted into the Breeding Program with a female that has been chosen to produce the next great generation of superb conformation quality, is given the responsibility to be part of the stud dog selection process and I assign them the ‘fact gathering’ task of coming up with possible suitors for their females. From all those that they ‘like’ and from a list that I will give them, I usually will narrow down the list to at least 3 stud dogs and then let the owner decide from that ‘sweet short list’!

 

Depending on the current ‘hot’ topics that arise from the blog section, at times that generates a lot of interest in other reasons to check out lesser knowns, unknowns and ‘I wish I never knew’ sites!

 

Without exaggerating, a normal person could spend hundreds and hundreds of hours flipping from one absurd, dastardly breeder’s website to another! I am talking real OMG places that exist…………………or maybe don’t really exist, other than on the screen and the blokes behind the scenes are actually mass produced puppy mill purveyors!

 

There are many out there that derive some pleasure in visiting these God-forsaken places and sites and then ‘report’ to me of their existence and worst yet……………………that have stolen lots of my ‘copy’ and even photos of our dogs and then use them at their sites.

 

They will take an article I have published or one of my blogs, copy it, and then change a few words, especially at the beginning of the piece, then upload to their site as their own creation!

 

AAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG!

 

I can live with that…………….somewhat…………….and I really won’t waste any more time than the moment of aggravation I feel at that precise time…………………..what really upsets me and that will stay with me much, much longer is the poor specimens of the breed these hoodwinkers use to breed and thus over populate the market with inferior, suppose-to-be Labradors!

 

The dogs depicted on most of these nefarious, shady/shoddy sites are so out of the loop from what the Labrador Breed Standard dictates to what would make the breed unique looking and acting as well……………..in addition, because of poor breeding practices, lack of clearances of the breeding stock and no regards for breed-indicative temperament………………..these dogs are fraught with genetic and health and mental problems.

 

The naïve, uninitiated and unsuspecting buying public assuredly is left holding the proverbial bag and worse, a problem in the making that usually leads to a poor outcome for the owners and the dog as well.

 

Right now going through our Obedience Training Services are 2 dogs that came from different dismal sources………………both dogs have huge anxiety problems, immune system problems and one in particular has severe hip dysplasia, observed by me at 5 months of age and eventually taken for radiology and confirmed at 10 months of age.

 

Neither of the dog's sires or dams have any verifiable clearances, so the chances that the other dog that is now 11 months old will pass hips and elbows is minimal if at all!

 

Neither of their owners knew a thing about pet shops, brokers, mass producers, shoddy backyard breeders and all the other ‘wrong’ people and places to go about obtaining a puppy from.

 

They ‘assumed’ that anyone breeding was as good as the next! They assumed that all dogs are created equal. They assumed that having ‘papers’…………….. ‘AKC papers’ was an indication of worth and value!

 

What an assumption! ‘Erroneous’ does not begin to cover the errors of their ways! One of the dogs had ‘papers’, from some ‘fly by night’, ‘here today, nowhere to be found tomorrow’ outfit………..they take the gullible puppy owner's money and supply them with a ‘registration’ not even worth the paper that it was printed on. So, yes, the dog has papers that it can use to soil on!

 

I dedicate a whole website for educating…………………….I dedicate an inordinate amount of time answering emails……………over a thousand a year………….when there are less than 50 puppies to place………………that’s 950 answered emails with NOTHING TO SELL! Not an efficient use of valuable time, however, if just one person were to heed my mentoring and avoid the huge pitfall and years of agony and hardship with an ill-bred dog, then my times was well-spent!

 

Would you believe that with all that in mind, some of those folk that I am able to reach still go out and take the bait and are hoodwinked by the smooth talking, smooth emailing, slick websites that perpetuate the deplorable situation of poorly bred dogs by the many unscrupulous shyster breeders!

 

There’s not much else I can do and you would think that I would be happy as a Lark on a bark that the few puppies we have a year have the greatest homes on the planet……………………….you would think wrong…………………..because it irks me to no end to know and see the opposite end of utopia.

 

It is never out of sight, out of mind for me!

March 24th

Those With A Positive Agenda Move Forward
Those With A Negative Agenda......Well You Know!

 

Sometimes a thread takes a life of its own even though it has been covered here at the blog section numerous times before with very little interest, whereas now champions in the making is a ‘hot potato’ topic!

 

When writing and documenting records from Florida, I mainly use my 46 years of involvement with Labradors right here in the sunshine state, so recollection is the primary tool for that information. My first foray into the dog show world occurred in 1971 with a visit to the Greater Miami Dog Club show at Dinner Key Auditorium where I met the more prominent Lab breeders of the times.

 

Through the years, I have collaborated with those breeders and others that had the biggest impact on the breed, some of those breeders were already operational before I took my first baby steps with the breed in the early 70’s.

 

Through that humongous expanse of time, Chambray Labradors has risen through the ranks to eventually emerge at the top of every major dog show record available for Labrador Retrievers.

 

I chronicle each and every one of our prized records as a benchmark for us to equal or surpass. If they provide an impetus for the other breeders in the state to rise to, so be it. The page, By The Numbers  at the website celebrates each and every amazing mark set and bettered through the years.

 

The setting and bettering of records becomes the resume for a breeder which when all totaled ascends into a legacy when it has all been said and done by that individual. As I near the half century mark with Labradors I am committed to continue the quest for the best……………………….the betterment of the breed!

 

Through that quest, we will see more of our Labradors excelling in the many endeavors that they participate in with their owners………………..endeavors that we as the breeder/trainer/handler provide the environment for those dogs/owners to participate in.

 

That leads to the collective that becomes the tip of the iceberg………………..what those outside of our large contingency of enthusiast, which includes owners, exhibitors, associates, co-breeders, partners, our staff and the Herzon family…………………what those outside looking in see!

 

Although our collective efforts for the betterment of the breed may seem overwhelming for those that are not part of it…………….there are no barriers, no blockades, no walls have been built around what is seen, there are no ID cards that need to be displayed…………….any and all with the betterment of the breed in mind are welcomed……………….that’s all………………………..all colors and creeds, all religions and beliefs, all nationalities (both people and dogs), all political inclinations and leanings……………………there are no exclusions as long as each and all have the best in mind when dealing with Labrador Retrievers.

 

Of course having the ability to working cohesively with others, especially with me is paramount to a great positive relationship…………………….all those in the consortium will attest that I go way, way out of my way to accommodate the inevitable differences that come with the dozens……..scores or more that participate with Chambray Labradors. I take the assets of each person and use those to form a union with that individual to achieve the desired results with their dog.

 

There is no 100% utopia when dealing with the masses and that also occurs with our efforts with the breed. With some individuals come traits that are not conducive with incorporating into a working environment with a large group of people. I either deal individually with those folk or there have come situations that it was best to let those that could not fit in……to let them go their independent way.

 

Unfortunately there are those that take that action as a bitter pill and then proceed to dwell in a very negative place and cast their sentiments with ill will and poor posture. I have no response to any of that negativity because we have absolutely no time to waste going backwards……………..positive and forward seem so much more constructive.

 

To those that hear that diatribe from those with a bad taste from the bitter pill, I say find out for yourself what is what………………..look around and see what those with the negative agendas have going for them, what they are contributing to the breed besides litters of puppies, what type of a following they have if any……………………these are good gauges that determine a person’s intents and value, thus a barometer of what they pass on to others…………nothing…………………..but negativity!  

March 23rd

Real AKC Titles Earned The Old Fashion Way

 

There has been quite an interest in the ‘making’ of a champion’s title in the last week or two with the communications I have received. There seems to be so many people that blatantly make claims about their status as ‘champion’ breeders….boasting and bragging away at their websites about their status as ‘top’ this and 'top' that…………………and since there is very little that inquirers can use to verify any of those outrageous claims……………….many email me to settle their doubts about the breeders they are dealing when attempting to acquire a puppy for either breeding or showing.

 

First of all, there are several organizations that host conformation shows throughout the country and each of those outfits grant out titles to the dogs that compete there. However, the AKC is the world-wide renown and recognized icon holding conformation competition where the champion’s titles are held in the highest regards.

 

I have been directed to websites where the breeders are claiming all types of titles and championships and Best In Show wins…………………….while those claims may exist, only AKC titles, championships and Best In Shows have the merit on a global basis.

 

We encourage all of our owners to participate in any and in all other competitive venues and events hosted by whichever company is hosting the event. We even organize a large show roster of our youngest puppies and dogs to cut their teeth and debut at the IABCA and the ICE events as an introduction to the show ways and means.

 

We also provide the information for our Chambray owners to go to the UKC events as well as all these venues help tremendously with training and experience for those dogs that are specially chosen to continue on at the AKC level. Only the best of the best will receive our nod and approval to be managed and handled at the highest level of conformation competition………….the AKC level.

 

Thus an AKC champion’s title carries the overwhelming weight in the eyes and expectations of those breeders with the top show quality dogs. So the following applies to the records set by our dogs in Florida and also with the national records as well.

 

These are all AKC records.

 

There are many categories where a breeder can lay claim to be the top breeder of an area, region, state or even a country. The conventional criteria used by most are the total number of AKC champions a particular breeder produces over their years with a breed of dog.

 

With Labrador Retrievers, a more fleeting period of time is considered, as Top Breeder of the Year has been the benchmark used for over 4 decades. Since the AKC publishes at the end of each year the number of champions produced in each breed and who the breeders were that bred those dogs, this has become the main focal point for designation of Top Breeder in Labradors.

 

Of course for those that have been into Labradors, the total number of champions over the years still reigns supreme as the bar that needs to be bested to be considered the Top Champion Breeder, especially in a given state where there are considerable numbers of breeders such as Florida is.

 

With the finishing of our 51st, 52nd and 53rd home-bred champions in the past two weekends, that career-long record will stand for quite a while as whichever breeder can lay claim to second place with total numbers is still counting in the teens!

 

Meanwhile our efforts for the betterment of the breed is proceeding at a much more accelerated pace in the state than any one other Labrador breeder can compete against, so those numbers of home-bred champions will continue to rise at a crisper rate than all the other breeders combined can achieve.

 

While the career-long record is more or less ascribed to the state of Florida, the ‘per year’ record is a national level record. The numbers posted by Chambray for 2012, again in 2014 and the repeat in 2015, all 3 of those years with 6 new champions was the top number of champions produced by one breeder, thus the Top Champion Labrador Breeder in the country designation.

 

The finishing of 3 new champions so far in the first three months of 2016 bodes well for at least reaching the 5 or so needed to top the charts for 2016 and with 3 class dogs now more than half way to their AKC champion’s title, reaching the magic number of 6 is very doable and even a couple more beyond that in the remaining 9 months left in the New Year.

 

Although at every chance I get, I make it perfectly clear that what we accomplish is only doable due to the collective of our owners working in concert with me, the breeder and with the rest of my organization for the betterment of the breed which includes my top-notch and specially trained  handlers in the ways of Labradors…………..my hand-picked trainers that have been mentored and specially trained using my 46 years of experience with Labradors to condition and train all the dogs in our management program:

 

  • starting with the puppies here at Chambray Acres even before they leave for their new homes at 8 weeks old……………………..

  • continuing several weeks later with their owners coming back for their ‘free training’ and being immersed in our special Chambray ways with our ‘Nurturing Puppy Raising’ for puppies from 10 weeks old,

  • to our ‘Puppy Primer Training’ for puppies less than 6 months old,

  • to our ‘CGC Training and Testing’ that recently celebrated our 100th Class and graduated 12 new puppies and young dogs with the AKC’s CGC title………………………………..

  • all leading to our specialized conditioning and training for all of our top show dogs!

 

In other words, all those records and numbers come about, not by luck, not my magic, no smoke and mirrors, no hocus pocus, no jabbering……no rubbing elbows……………..no schmoozing, no knowing someone or being known by this bloke or that stoolie………………………………………nope, none of the preceding need apply, because it all is done the good old fashion way……………..lots and lots of hard work, where everything gained came with the price of sweat that hard work produces and the product and services reflect every achievement, award, accolade, and AKC title that adorns each of those dog’s names and also the Wall of Honor at Chambray!

 

There's no doubt, no how that I would accept any other way!

March 23rd

Earning Top Status

 

The recent blog about Top Breeder, Top Stud Dog and Top Brood Bitch brought about quite a few inquiries as to how it is figured out. So, “Here’s Johnny!”

 

Over the years, several publications have kept up with the ‘scoreboard’ of dogs and breeders that received acknowledgement for their achievements. Those breeders, stud dogs and brood bitches that had 2 or more champions in one year were listed as being meritorious above the norm.

 

The breeder with the most champions in one year would receive the highest accolade as Top Champion Breeder………………those breeders with less, would receive Honorable Mention for that year…………..either of those designation would be major bragging rights……………..of course Top Champion Breeder is revered as the pinnacle, the Mt. Everest for all to ascend to and those that reach that elite, zenith, King/Queen of the Mountain spot could savor that distinction as a ‘career’ accomplishment and use it in their resume forever!

 

In normal years, 5 champions produced by the same breeder could very well end up making that breeder the Top Champion Breeder for the year. Chambray has had the distinction of reaching the summit 3 different years (2012, 2014 and back-to-back 2015) and each of those years the magic number was 6 new champions produced for the year.

 

Stud Dogs are also cataloged and ranked according to how many champions they ‘get’…………….as ‘get’ is the terminology for what a stud dog produces. A dog with 2 champions in 1 year receives an Honorable Mention and of course the dog that produces the most in 1 year gets the Golden Fleece of awards as Top Stud Dog for that year. There is also a designation for stud dogs that produce large numbers of ‘get’ that become champions over their lifetime and beyond (frozen semen) as a producing studs.

 

A stud that produces 5 or more champions is considered to be a Top Champion Producer and that can be used as part of his credentials in advertising and promoting.

 

Brood Bitches are also recognized for their contributions to the breed with the number of champions they have and the term for their offspring is ‘produce’ whereas the stud dogs their offspring are referred to as ‘get’.

March 22nd

It Takes A Community To Achieve

 

“Amazing”, “Out of this world”, “Stupendous” are but a few of the superlatives launched this way from those that are following the excellent adventures being experienced by the Labradors and their owners that are part of Chambray Labradors…………………..of course all those accolades are coming from the finishing of 3 new AKC champions in three successive dog shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

That’s truly a “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” moment!

 

Think about it, there are not many breeder/exhibitors that finish three new champions in their entire breeding & showing careers……………………even fewer that can lay claim to having three new champions in one year of showing!

 

In fact, the time-honored tradition for the breed is to bestow Top Stud Dog, Top Brood Bitch and Top Breeder designation to any sire, dam and breeder that has 2 new champions in one year, thus the sire and dam of those champions and the breeder also receives upper echelon acclaim that is etched into the AKC record books under the appropriate category.

 

The proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ is that all those in attendance experienced at those dogs shows and so too are all those looking in from the outside…………………those in the know, those that have been chosen to be part of Chambray Labradors, they know that those titles and super achievements are only possible by the die-hard, no holds barred, uncompromising and unwavering commitment to the betterment of the breed.

 

The winning of the final points necessary to achieve the AKC’s champion’s title is the culmination of four and half decades…………….46 years of specializing in one breed of dog…………….THE Labrador Retriever!

 

Being grateful to all those breeders that came before Chambray, those whose dogs are prominent in our pedigrees…………………..those that were also committed to the betterment of the breed enough to have produced the quality that enabled Chambray to build up on.

 

So, I share all the kudos, congratulations, job well done and other forms of acknowledgements with all those that came before us, all those that have been and are now part of our programs and also to those that stand in judgement of those dogs and validate the contributions made by our programs for the breed with those well-earned champion's titles that bode so well for Chambray as the breeder and the sires and dams of those dogs.............................and their owners that provide those dogs with great loving homes!

March 18th

There Can Never Be Enough Preparations

 

Preparations are the preludes for success, without them it becomes a 'hit or miss proposition', with ‘miss’ leading the way and ‘hit’ missing the mark!

 

Yep, ‘sure as tootin’ the above is a working mantra that I live with and subscribe to wholeheartedly!

 

In fact, there can never be enough ‘preparing’ in my mind for whatever comes next. I prefer to cover all the bases and then deal with the eventualities as they present themselves along the way, then to deal cold turkey when things go awry and those situations will arise assuredly as the sun will rise as well.

 

“Expect the unexpected because when you least expect it, expect it!”

 

Being able to step back and view the entire panorama of what constitutes the dog show world, starting with the breeding/raising program……………………the training/conditioning/preparations for show…………………..actual show management at the dog shows…………………………….stud dog service program……………………..Puppy Placement Program……………………….the whole kit and caboodle of what Chambray Labrador is and does gives me the perspective to be able to make the right calls the vast majority of the time, cutting out missteps as the whole programs forges forward.

 

This past weekend at WPB, we experience a career weekend that very few will savor in decades of breeding/showing dogs…………….more wins in 2 days than most experience in a whole year!

 

Yet, the next day on Monday:

 

  • we were back at work planning future breedings with several of our owners……………….

  • breeding 2 of our top females with a couple of our owners……………

  • arranging the transportation for importing an addition to our lineup of show and breeding dogs…………………..

  • evaluating/consulting with owners which dogs to move up into the show roster now that 2 dogs have finished their AKC champion’s titles and have left an opening for other dogs to take………….

  • Putting the finishing touches on a handler’s seminar scheduled for mid-week

  • Conducting the daily training and conditioning sessions for all the dogs scheduled for the next weekend’s shows

  • Operating the on-going night training classes which see the largest attendance right before a weekend of shows.

 

In other words, business as usual twice over in preparations for whatever comes next!

March 17th
Words Of The Day, Unique & Animus

 

So, how’s the new 2016 Dog Show Season evolving for Chambray Labradors and the collective movement for the betterment of the breed?

 

Well, how does "not skipping a beat sound?"

 

Sure as ‘shootin’ from a sharp shooting, shotgun toting son of a gun!

 

Yep, firing on all cylinders would be a great descriptive of the juggernaut that has become the programs for the betterment of the breed that are in place for all those that subscribe to the working credo of breeding the best, placing the best puppies with the best owners and then incorporating them into the continuum that produces results and success like no other……………………that’s because there is no ‘other’!

 

Like in……………this consortium of owners aligning themselves with one breeder that doesn’t exist anywhere else, local, national or even on the global stage………………no siree Bob, Bill or Bert, not even close……..unique as the word unique implies!

 

u·nique

 

yo͞oˈnēk/

 

adjective

  1. 1.

being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.

"the situation was unique in modern politics"

 

synonyms:

distinctive, distinct, individual, special, idiosyncratic;

 

 

 

"Unlike anything else", sounds about right now!

 

Of course with anything new……………..especially if it somehow or other threatens the establishment, if it goes against the grain……………..if it seemingly steps on others toes…………….if it becomes overwhelmingly successful………………that success apparently at the expense of the very establishment that probably doesn’t totally comprehend the nature, complexity or worse yet, the long term implications…………….in other words the fact that it is here to stay no matter how much animus is felt by those with stepped-on toes!

 

So, here we are a mere three months into the New Year………………..three months after posting another record-breaking year, which came after another record breaking year before it! That’s back-to-back years of Top Champion Labrador Breeder and how’s the tally so far?

 

Well, how does 2 new AKC champions, 1 new Grand champion, 1 new FCI champion sound like……………….with 4 AKC champion-pointed dogs bobbing back and forth, nip and tuck for the lead to become Chambray’s 53rd  lifetime home-bred champion and the 3rd for the year……………………another year well on its way to tie or surpass the 6 new champions from 2015 and possibly another USA Top Champion Breeder, making it a possible ‘three-peat’! Hey, it sounds very doable and it would be the first of its kind……………………………..UNIQUE!

 

So, here we go, on our way to the Davie shows………………….which interesting enough several of our Florida Labrador breeder competitors are right now on their way a thousand or more miles away to dog shows outside of Florida…………….one of those in particular resides less than 20 minutes from the Davie show grounds where we will be!

 

Did I mention ‘animus’?

 

Hey, a man and also a woman has to do what they need to do and if trekking way, way, way out of their way to avoid competing against Chambray……………..so be it! I will take that as a huge compliment!

 

However no matter how much of a morass others dwell in, we forge ahead with our great dogs and equally great owners that are part of the collective known as Chambray Labradors for the Betterment of the Breed……………………a very, very UNIQUE situation if there ever was one!

Marach 16

To Braggadocio Or To Not Braggadocio

 

No braggadocio needed, just the facts ma’am!

 

Chambrays Grace Of The Field
New Champion! Now Ch Chambrays Grace Of The Field ~ Chambray champion #51
Saturday: Winners Bitch ~ Best Of Winners ~ Best Of Breed ~ Group II ~ 3-Pt Major
Finishes with a 5-Pt Major, a 4-Pt Major, a 3-Pt Major, a Best Of Breed and a Group II

Sunday: Select Gr Champion for 2-pts ~ Win Over Competition

 

 

Chambrays Where Eagles Dare “Tank”
New Champion! Now BBE CH Chambrays Where Eagles Dare ~ Chambray champion #52
Saturday ~ Reserve Winners Dog

Sunday ~ Winners Dog ~ Best Of Winners ~ 3-Pt Major
Finishes with 3 Major Pointed wins.

 

 

BISP Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard
New Grand Champion! Now BISP Grand Ch Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard ~ Grand Ch #17
Saturday: ~ Select Gr Champion for a 3-Pt Major

Sunday: Best Of Breed for a 5-Pt Major ~ Win Over Competition

 

 

BBE Gr Ch Chambrays Eventful N Counter
Sunday: Best Of Opposite Sex 3-Gr Ch Pts and Win Over Competition

 

 

Chambrays Vivacious N Counter
Sunday: Winners Bitch 2 Pts
Saturday: Reserve Winners Bitch ~ Best Labrador Puppy ~ Puppy Group 1

 

 

Chambrays Galactic N Counter CGC
Sunday: Reserve Winners Bitch

 

 

Saturday’s show:

Winners Bitch/Best Of Winners/Best Of Breed for a 3-Pt Major and then a Group II for 167 All-Breed Points

Select Grand Champion for 3-pt Major and Win Over Competition

Reserve Winners Bitch, Best Labrador Puppy and a Puppy Group I

 

Sunday’s Show:

The Trifecta*

Best Of Breed* 5-Pt Grand Champion Major, Win Over Competition

Winners Dog*/BOW, Best BBE and Group IV

Winners Bitch*

Reserve Winners Bitch

March 15th

Hoot & Holler Time!

 

The action was fast and furious this past weekend…………..no we were not at a NASCAR event in Daytona………………actually we were relatively close by in WPB………………………we too were constantly turning to the left as we went around the pit (ring), but it wasn’t cars that was fueling our drive………….we were at a dog show with our dogs in tow or in some cases our dogs towing us as we tried to keep up with their fast pace!

 

This was one of the big ones, where there were enough dogs to make it a ‘major-pointed’ show! 

 

More than 50 top-of-the-line show dogs were chaffing at the bit to pounce into the ring and make themselves known and shown……………………..and show they did………………………some showed really, really 'grrrrrrrreat' as Tony the Tiger would roar and some showed their mischievous sides causing angst and well-worn grief for their owners! 

 

Some of those owners also showed really, really great and a few showed their weaker sides!

 

Hey, that’s the nature of the beast…………………humans and dogs! Even computers that are programmed hiccup and crash, so I expect the unexpected and prepare for all eventualities.

 

The tale/tail of the tape at day’s end is the results! That’s the measure of success or having nothing to show for all the efforts, energies, anxieties, expectations…………………time and money………………….sweat and I saw a few tears too (good tears)……………..all emotions that go along with anything that is competitive and folk are involved.

 

The great news is that succeed we did………….beyond all expectations………………way, way beyond……….like in a Buzz Lightyear and beyond!

 

Did I say succeed…………more like in warp drive, super-achieve!

 

Let me count the ways!

 

How about 2 New Champions for the weekend!

 

1 New Grand Champion!

 

2 Best Of Breeds out of 2

 

A GROUP 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAATTTTT????????????????

 

A Best Labrador Puppy and Group 1 out of 1 available

 

A Best Bred By Exhibitor and Group 4 out of 1 available

 

A Best Of Opposite Sex out of 2

 

2 Best Of Winners out of 2

 

2 Winners Bitch out of 2

 

1 Winners Dog out of 2

 

4 Select Grand Ch winners out of 4

 

3 Reserve Winners out of 4

 

Sure as shootin I am forgetting something or other, but hey Steve Martin said it best 

“Well excuse me!”

 

Now, we prepare for more of the unexpected all over again…………..yep, another weekend of dog shows, this time closer to home in Davie FL……………..down the road and a few twist and turns and whoop there we are!

 

We dust ourselves off from executing and delivering one of the greatest weekends ever for Chambray and for all those smarties that have aligned themselves with us. 

 

We now we get all the paraphernalia, the dogs and the owners up and at them so that Team Chambray can go work our magic in the ring going around to the left some more, this time in the horse-trotted red clay of the Davie Rodeo Arena.

 

So, let’s get our western gear on, step into our boots and let’s go kick some good ole booty at the western edges of Broward County come Saturday and Sunday!

 

If you plan on attending to stomp, hoot and holler, email me and I will let you know the times and rings we will be in.

 

Yeehaw y'all!

March 15th

Priorities

 

“How does handling priority work?” Comes in loud and clear as more and more new owners come on board with our show handling management program.

 

Well, here’s to you Mrs. Robinson………………this Bud’s for you!

 

The top priority in each breed for a handler is the ‘special’s dog’………………the champions that go in at the end of that breed’s competition. That means that whatever dog that particular handler was on in the regular classes for Winners Dog and for Winners Bitch takes a back seat  to the dog that the handler has committed to in the ‘breed’ competition……………in other words, the champions have top breed priority.

 

Now, there may be a conflict that may arise between different breeds that a particular handler has on his handling itinerary. There is no way to predict when timing conflict will flare up, even with the times that are posted for each breed………………..that’s because each judge works at their own pace and at times a judge will go through 25 dogs in one hour while another judge in another ring may take an hour and a half with the same number of dogs!

 

That is where backup handlers and cover handlers come in. If a possible conflict is expected, then the handler will designate another handler to cover his handling assignments until he/she is able to make it back to that ring.

 

Back to the Labrador ring:

 

Best Of Breed is the top priority for the handler.

 

The class dogs are given priority according to many variables.

 

  • Those dogs that travel with the handler

  • Dogs that have the most points

  • Dogs that need majors

  • Dogs that need singles

  • Dogs that are showing  weekend in and weekend out

  • Older dogs

  • The Open Class Dogs

 

 

Each handler creates their very own set of values as to what constitute ‘priority’, including money! Yes, money………………the root of all evil! Some handlers will sell priorities to the highest bidder.

 

A well-known Labrador handler took $500 per day at the Labrador ring to sit at ringside and NOT HANDLE ANY OTHER LABRADOR, save the one that ponied up the half GRAND!

 

So, that was selling priorities for a price………………….which by the way DOES NOT HAPPEN at Chambray!

 

Our priorities are not for sale. Each dog that is given a priority must earn it and be worthy of that designation.

 

Now, here’s how it works for the Chambray Dog Show Management Program.

 

A game plan is devised for each dog on our handling roster. Each dog is assigned a ‘class handler’. If all goes according to plan, that handler will walk into the ring with that particular dog in that class.

 

If a conflict arises where the designated handler cannot make it into the ring, an ‘alternate handler’ will handle the dog instead.

 

If a handler has multiple dogs in each sex and wins with more than one dog, then a priority for gender of dog is in place for Winners Dog or Winners Bitch. A hierarchy or priority is in place where the handler goes back in for Winners with the designated priority and backup handlers are used to go back in with the other dogs that the handler won classes with.

 

At the recent dog show in WPB, Jessie handled 5 males from the dog classes. She won first place with 3 of those dogs. Her priority was the Bred By Exhibitor Class winner and both days she went back into Winners Dog competition with that dog. Backup handlers were used to bring Jessie’s other class winners back into the Winners Dog competition.

 

The whole scenario of winning classes and the use of backup handlers was already covered before we began to show for the day.

Contingency were in place for going back for Winners Dog and the eventualities were covered without a hitch, with all the class winners being covered by our handling team and shown to their best.

 

In part the successes accomplished by our handling program is our ability to cover our dogs with the best strategies for priority and backups in place.

March 15th

BOB, BOS, BOW, WD & WB

 

Best Of Breeds, Best Of Opposite Sex, Best Of Winners, Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.

 

Yikes, what's it all?

 

NOTE: Bold/Italics are part of the terminology used in the dog fancy, so that becomes the vernacular of the endeavor.

Around this time of the year……….every year, questions come up about what’s transpiring in the ring where dogs win points and others win Best OF Breeds…………dogs receive ribbons and others walk out of the ring without one!

 

So, the following is everything you wanted to know and more…………or less if what you read doesn’t suit you as much as you would like.

 

Let’s start out backwards……………….yes, let’s start out where it will all end up!

 

There are 3 Parts to the whole shish kebob and that 3rd part is where the top dogs of the breed make their entrance into the ring. This is the ‘Best Of Breed’ competition……………………..but the old-timers and dog show aficionados use shorten lingo and called it ‘breed’!

 

The object for the judge of the day is to peruse through the whole lineup of ‘specials’……………that’s the vernacular for a champion that is being ‘campaigned’ , the judge then selec the best specimen of the breed and award that dog the highest designation from each breed…………….’Best Of Breed’………….. ‘BOB’!

 

Then the judge selects the best dog of the opposite sex and that is appropriately termed ‘Best Of Opposite Sex’. Follow along here for a moment……………….if the BOB is a male, then a female must be designated as ‘BOS’.

 

Okay, so far, easy peasy! Now, let’s get down dirt and gritty!

 

Also in the ring at the very end of the line right behind those champions, those ‘specials’ are 2 dogs that were in the ring earlier in Part 1 and Part 2…………………..remember we started out at the end and are working ourselves to where the actual starting line is for each breed of dog in the completion. Those two dogs are labeled as the Winners Dog and the Winners Bitch! We will come back to these, because now we are going to play Skip To My Lou My Darlin!

 

So, in Part 2, the females that are not champions yet compete for the required points to become champion. Now for simplicity sake, we will leave that quagmire of a situation (the ‘Points Schedule’ for each breed) for another of these educational offerings from the Mind Of Minolta, that’s me in case you are not into my scheme of things!

 

So, at the beginning of part 2, the baby girls, 6 to 9 months old are brought into the ring for the judge to choose one to be first place……………….she then becomes the ‘Class Winner’. Same thing happens with the next class, the 9 to 12 class…………….one first place puppy receives a 1st place blue ribbon.

 

There is a 12 to 18 class, a Bred By Exhibitor class, an American Bred Class, a Open Black, Open Chocolate and finally an Open Yellow……………..where in each of those a 1st place is awarded.

 

Now, with all the classes done up, all of the girls that won a 1st place blue ribbon are called back into the ring and the judge has to choose one of those as the Winners Bitch………………the bitch that wins the points!

 

So, that backs us up to the very beginning of the show……………………………Part 1! That’s where the boys come in to compete that are not champions yet! Just as transpired with the females……………..la meme chose with the males……………………………….each class starting with the wee little 6 to 9 months old all the way to the big bruisers, the Open Yellow………………..there will be a winner if each of those classes and then all of them descend into the ring for the judge to choose a Winners Dog that takes the points for the males competition.

 

So, we have complete Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3…………………………………….so back to the end…………….the judged just selected the best specimen of the breed………………………Best Of Breed………………….the judge then selects the best of the opposite sex, Best Of Opposite Sex……………………he must now decide between the winner or Part 1 and Part 2, which is the better of those two, then becomes Best Of Winners!

 

Ok, that was something old, and now something new……………………Select Grand Champion! Yep, something old something new, some borrowed and something blue! Well, maybe we can leave out the borrowed and the blue and just skim over to the new! The runner up to the Best Of Breed and Best Of Opposite Sex is now Select Dog and Select Bitch for Grand Champion Points………………………..we can also leave this deviation for another rainy day!

March 11th

The Winning Combination Makes It A Small World

 

You lose some, you win some! I’m not referring to what happens at dogs shows with that opening line, although that’s what may happen when showing dogs.

 

Of course when referring to our weekend winning streak, that’s another whole ball of wax as we are currently riding the highest wave of winning ever posted by a Labrador breeder………ever, in the country with 127 consecutive dog show weekends of winning! That’s every single weekend that Team Chambray has shown dogs at since January 2012!

 

Totally unheard of and preposterous if someone were to claim that feat without documentation………….did I mention that every single weekend of dog show winning is documented at the website? Well, if I hadn’t done that before………………….whoop there it is!

 

Nope, that’s another story, a great story at that, but this win/lose blog is about Great Interviews vs. those with an ‘L on the forehead’!

 

Yep, had 3 real doozers of a loser ones this past week………………this even after having prior ‘screened’ each of those visitors via several emails and even a rare phone conversation with one of them.

 

But homey here doesn’t cry over spilt milk……………..no not me, I go and get Jessie’s cats and have them lap over all that spillage. I let bygones keep on trucking as fast as a wet noodle slips off your forked ladle!

 

So, this blog is more about the ‘keepers’, the ones good enough to work with and not throw back in like the loser types!

 

Just recently had a great prospect for inclusion into the Puppy Placement Program with awesome possibilities of forming a positive working relationship for the Show Dog Management Program and also for the Breeding & Stud Dog Program!

 

A family that winters down here in Florida and then spends lots of time in the Midwest…………………Wisconsin and surrounding states the rest of the year!

 

They actually took me up on my invitation to meet up at a dog show up in Central Florida. They patiently waited through all the action in the Labrador ring……………..waited for me to conclude another ‘away Interview’ with another prospective new associates and then we sat and chatted away for a good and satisfying amount of time.

 

Come to find out, they had been to the 2015 Eukanuba week of shows and had watched Team Chambray at work with our show roster there.

 

Now they were down here in sunnier Florida where it does get a bit hotter and more humid, especially considering that just less than a mile away is the eastern boundaries of Everglades National Park! Yep, like in major alligator land right down the road from Chambray Acres…………………and there they roam absolutely free where ever they want to roam to! There are none of those ‘Don’t Pet The Animals' signs there because by all means you will become the soup de jour!

 

All went well with the exchange of information…………………..CRYSTAL CLEAR would describe it better! Nothing better than folks that read the large print…………………..the small print………………in between the lines…………………..the writing on the wall…………………………gaze at the photos…………….peruse through hundreds of pages jammed packed with my idiosyncrasies, policies, protocols and whatnots.

 

That’s called TRANSPARENCY……………….using today’s politically correct verbiage!

 

So, everyone’s on board and the train is off again towards the working credo of the ‘betterment of the breed’ for us and for them as well.

 

Now, here is the ‘small world’ effect at work when folk have the same interests in mind……………that same interest being great Labrador Retrievers!

 

A week or so has lapsed since their trek down to this end of the country and lo and behold I receive an email from them apprising me that they just found out that one of their family members all the way in Virginia made the same journey to meet up with me at a dog show in Ft Lauderdale a year ago and then also made a trip further south to my little Labrador world right here at Chambray and that they too were accepted into our growing family of dog owners with one of our Labradors.

 

Not just any Labrador……………………..my very personal dog…………..my baby Tikki, the one that was born a singleton to Charm (Jessie’s own dog).

 

Yep, Tikki who I tube fed at first and then bottle fed fresh goat’s milk because her mommy, Charm had no milk after the c-section was performed. No milk meant that Charm never formed an attachment to the puppy as being her own, so no mothering of any kind………………….no licking, no cleaning……………none!

 

So, no need for the new born to be even in the same place as the mom……………….new born in my bed for the 1st two weeks of life and then everywhere I was to go after that for almost 2 years!

 

Problem with all that is that the puppy/dog loses all of the natural doglike, learned behavior and forms an unnatural attachment to humans…………………so Tikki was destined to remain at Chambray forever!

 

Well, until the most perfect situation arose and the rest is history as hundreds if not thousands of people have been privileged to follow along with Zac’s and Tikki’s exploits and excellent adventures. Tikki as Zac’s official SERVICE DOG!

 

So, how’s all that for a small world happening? There’s that saying about ‘great minds think alike’ and with Chambray Labradors it’s all about ‘great dogs make us unite’!

March 11th

The Twilight Zone

 

The rambling email is the second one from the same email address in the last couple of weeks, but this time it comes in with someone else’s name attributed at the end of the seemingly aimless offering……………………maybe a red flag waving or maybe I am just seeing more red these days!

 

One thing is, I read all emails that come in………………..that’s my guarantee to all since I don’t do phones any longer……………………….the day is not long enough to spend jabbering on the line and chances are, I won’t remember much of what transpired anyways.

 

So, here I sit navigating through a long winded and at times, confusing email from someone that "wants to get into Labradors"!

“We got 1 puppy and want another one to keep it company” it states. “We want the dogs on open registration since we plan on breeding them” it continues on.

 

Hey, none of the above is a problem if the folk behind the message know diddley, or at least know that there is a breed standard.

 

The next line from the email tells me that neither diddley or a breed standard is something that is within this persons sphere of knowledge.

 

“We are looking for the largest puppy in the litter, a male since we now have a female and she comes from really large parents!”………………the senseless dribble continues.

 

There was an attachment to this email that showed the puppy that they had just acquired and also the parents!

 

Wowser, wowser, wowser! Yep, them there’s mighty big dogs……………………….the sire of the puppy probably tipping the scales at over 130lbs…………………………big, really big………………way, way too big for the breed, not only in weight, but more than 2 inches over the 25inch top limit, which is a dastardly disqualification for Labradors!

 

Although the dam of the puppy looked within the top range for height at around 24 inches tall, it resembled more of a greyhound, tall, long, spindly legs and extra-long muzzle and curled long tail to match! Not a disqualification, but a candidate for being excused from the ring for lack of merit!

 

So, place yourself in my shoes……………….do you even answer an email from someone so far from out in the twilight zone, so clueless and totally not aware that a breed standard exists and they want to be breeding dogs?

 

Well, guess what? Yes sir, yes ma’am, I take the time to educate even if I am not going to be making a cent/sense from my undertaking!

 

There’s no way that I will be placing one of our precious babies in such a situation, however I still take the time and do my best to illuminate about and spread the word about learning the breed standard and doing the right thing when contemplating the perpetuation of the correct breed specimens.

 

Do I really think that it will make sense to someone coming in from such a distant cold place…………………hopefully I plant a seed that may take some time to grow and make a difference somewhere along the way.

 

Hey, I owe it to the breed.

March 11th
T-Minus 24 & Counting

It minus 24 hours and counting!

 

Yep, this time tomorrow morning we, like in Team Chambray and the dozens and dozens of owners that make up Chambray Labradors Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed will be jumping like Mexican beans with excitement at the West Palm Beach dog show!

 

The bugle will blow and the national anthem will be played and at its conclusion, just like that the 6 to 9 male’s puppy class will be called into the ring and we will kick off our first weekend of shows for the 2016 ‘spring' Florida dog show season………………..yes, I know that spring doesn’t officially doesn’t begin until March 20th…………but hey, we ‘spring’ forward with daylight savings time this weekend, so that’s close enough for me since I am the one crafting these pesky blogs!

 

So, we have done all we can, we have trained and trained some more, we have conditioned and either put weight or took some off, we have trimmed, groomed, bathed and blown dried and now it’s show time………………..well tomorrow morning anyways!

 

This week the night training classes at Chambray Acres have been overflowing with owners and their dogs getting in a last few licks of socialization and touch up training for the big event.

 

I have touched base with every person that has contacted me from the South Florida area and let them all know that coming out to these shows and watching the absolute best Labradors that show in Florida, will be strutting their collective stuff in the ring, especially the Chambray dogs…………………..puppies………………young up and coming dogs………………..our top class dogs………………and of course our super star ‘specials’, our champions will be front and center, all will be in the mix for the Winners Dogs, Winners Bitch, Best Of Breeds and the Select Grand Champion points too!

 

At super stake are the major-pointed wins if all the class males show up and compete……………if that happens, the Winners Dog (WD) will take the highly sought after 3-point major win. If Chambrays Sonic, Chambrays Dazzle or Chambrays Tank were to be the one that the judge awards that win to, then they would become Chambray’s 51st home-bred champion!

 

Of course, if any other Chambray male wins that 3-point major; we will be celebrating just as much and as loud!

 

Now here’s the deal for the female's side of the coin…………………….the Winners Bitch (WB) is worth 2 points, since there isn’t enough females to make it the required number for a major (missed it by 1), so for the Winners Bitch female, she must be awarded Best Of Winners (BOW) to also earn a 3-point major.

 

One of our girls, Chambrays Gracie can become Chambray’s next champion by taking a BOW if indeed there was a major for the boys.

 

The big prize from each ring is winning a Best Of Breed…………………..that makes that dog the official best Labrador for the day, so that’s one that all breeders aim for.

 

Swinging for the fences are 4 of our top champions. At WPB will be Chambray’s #1 champion for 2015 was Ch Chambrays Tucker, joined by Ch WinQuest Chambray Amos, our sweetheart girl champion, Ch Chambrays Evie and our newest champion, Ch Chambrays Tank’d……………………….joining them for Sunday’s show will be one of Chambray’s top producer, 9-year old Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks making a nostalgic return to the ring, maybe this one last time after 4 years of well-earned retirement.

 

Let’s see what good fortunes comes our way from all the work that all of the collective folk and dogs that make up Chambray Labradors have put in.

 

Good luck to all!

March 10th

In My World, 2 + 2 = 4

 

The vast majority of those that land at the different Chambray websites truly appreciate the amount and wealth of information that I have accumulated, crafted, collated and published to the various pages through those Internet locales………………..especially the www.chambraylabs.com site at the Puppy Page.

 

Especially that page because the overwhelming type of visitors to our sites are those folk that are searching for puppy information.

 

Well, let me define that last sentence and modify to state; the most visited page by new visitors is the Puppy Page, that’s because the page that receives the most visits on a daily basis is the Blogging Off page. So, more new visitors arrive at the Puppy Page than any other page, while there are more visitors dropping by the Blog page, new and old combined!

 

I know they appreciate my efforts at educating and mentoring because they tell me so, letting me know that there isn’t another website on the Internet that is as informative as what I have created and update on a regular basis.

 

All those visitors let me know how evasive and secretive most other breeders are with their puppy placement process, with their pricing policy, with their warrantees/guarantees if they even disclose that, with the fact that no other breeder offers a support system………………not to mention FREE TRAINING with their puppies!

 

Every once in  a while there will be a tyke-like that may subscribe to some type of out of this world math,

where 2 + 2 doesn’t equal 4!

 

No matter how much information……………………………clear as a day is on the moon (remember no clouds on the day side of the moon), well you get the picture as in CLEARITY beyond any obscuration known to man…………………..that’s like in ‘it can’t get no clearer’!....................there will be someone that just can’t read the writing on the wall……………….can’t fathom the spoken word either and no amount of leading to water will quench their intergalactic thirst for whatever it is that makes some type of weird sense to them.

 

In other words in kiddy language………………..can’t make heads or tails out of them when they have the two polar ends mixed up! Listening with their tails and walking on their heads!

 

So, that’s what the blog from yesterday was all about for those asking!

 

Or did I just make things more confusing for those that don't know what Mitch Miller's bouncing ball was all about?

March 9th

You Got To Know When To Hold Them & When To Walk Away

 

The next appointment was right on time………………I really like that! So, we start off with the right foot for a Puppy Placement Interview.

 

Upon pressing the electronic button and opening the front gate, I directed my guest to the sitting area under the old Orchid tree…………..very similar as I have done, thousands of times here at Chambray Acres for Puppy Interviews as this and to 10 times as many dog training sessions with clients.

 

I had already ‘primed’ this interview-to-be with all the prior information needed for me to now be able to take them to the next step of ‘discovery’ on my part to determine if they are to be considered for a  Chambray puppy ownership.

 

Usually the puppy searcher contacts us via email and I supply them with a generic response directing them to the Puppy Page where I display the sire and dam of the litters we are working with. If the litter has already been born, there will also be photos and possibly videos of those new puppies.

 

Also at that Puppy Page will be links to other pages that are downloadable and printable documents detailing at great length all the information that anyone would need for them to determine if they want to proceed with our Puppy Placement Process.

 

All the information that anyone could possibly use is there in black and white in easily understandable 8th grade English…………………….that’s because all written material that is intended for the masses is better suited using the time-honored reading ease scale based on an 8th grade education.

 

Now here we were, the middle aged couple with the oldster, me about to go further with our ‘getting to know’ more about each other.

 

After exchanging the usual pleasantries, I ask them if they had gone over the material that I directed them to at the website………………those documents and pages that has taken years to write, edit and make plain as day for any and all levels of smarts or lack thereof.

 

The reply from the 45-ish year old woman was “We would like to see the puppies.”

 

I halt my thinking process and back up considerably, compose myself and respond with "Did you see at the Puppy Page who the sire and the dam was of the litter that was just born?"

 

'Just born' would mean that they were several days old…………………………..several days old would make them no larger than a large mouse! Several days old would mean that they would be in confinement, isolation and away from any possible contamination, especially from people coming from unknown places.

 

To ask to see puppies that age and that small signals a problem right away……………….not to mention that there is a detailed description of the entire birthing, raising and placement process in plain sight.

 

There can be no clearer mode of transparency then the exacting details made available to anyone inquiring about any information concerning all of the workings of Chambray Labradors and the Puppy Placement Program.

 

Just to make things even clearer for this interview, since they had come from 2 hours away and I had already set aside an hour of my very busy schedule, I cover the entire process of where all our top show dogs live…………………….with their owners! Where the mothers-to-be deliver their litters, with their owners in their owner’s homes! Where the litter is raised until it has been weaned from the mother at 6 weeks of age……………………..then and only then do they come to me for my extensive part and contribution to each puppy……………………….including deciding where each new puppy will be placed……..thus the aptly name Puppy Placement Process!

Both man and woman listened intently until I had run by the entire process leading up to this part we were traversing, the all-important Interview, where I decide if I would place a puppy with anyone!

 

The woman then asks, “We would like to see the parents, are they here on the property?”

 

So, right about that time, I felt that they have exhausted an hour’s worth of my time in the 10 minutes that had actually elapsed.

 

“To save us both the time and the effort, I have decided to curtail this Interview session because I don’t feel there is a need for me to go any further as I don’t see a puppy placement that will suit your needs.”

 

I get up from my chair, push the electronic gate’s button in my hand and take several steps in that direction………………..both man and woman get up as well and head out the front gates to other parts unknown!

 

It makes no sense to try and squeeze a square peg into a round hole………………ain’t going to fit no matter how hard anyone tries, best thing to do as in Kenny Roger’s Gambler song...........................

 

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away

March 9th

Here We Go, Our Newest Puppies, Our Newest Owners
& our 30th Year Showing Labradors in South Florida!

 

The newest Chambray puppy owners are giddy with excitement about their ‘baby's’ much awaited debut at this weekend’s dog shows in West Palm Beach!

 

They have done their due diligence in coming to the private training sessions and also the night training classes afforded them with their Chambray show puppy. We have even upped the bar by having this new wave of puppies participate in the AKC CGC Training and Testing that also comes with one of our dogs……………..all before they were actually 6 months old!

 

So here we have these newest additions to the betterment of the breed already sporting an official AKC title, the CGC added to their puppy’s last name and they have yet to step foot/paw into the show ring!

 

Now these ‘supposedly’ well-behaved puppies are expected to strut their stuff and compete for Winners Dog and Winners Bitch points!

 

That is a mighty tall order because they are going head-to-head with older puppies, young dogs and those top class dogs that are within a win away from being crowned AKC champions!

 

For the majority of these youngster’s owners, this is also their first excursion into the exciting and competitive world of showing dogs.

 

There is so much to learn and once at the show site, so little time to smell the roses because the action is nonstop and there is no time for us, the leaders of the entire Chambray pack to catch our breaths and explain anything to the wide-eyed deer in the highlight newbie owners!

 

To the uninitiated it all seems so helter-skelter, totally maddening, no rhyme nor any rhythm……………….dogs going into the ring, standing there and then running around…………….having the designated judge go over the dog’s mouth, body and what seems to be checking their private parts too!

 

Then there is some type of selecting an order between the dogs in the rings and then the handing out of ribbons and those dogs exit the ring with another batch coming into the ring and it all seems to start all over again with this new group of dogs.

 

There are no announcements as to what is transpiring there and there are multiple rings where the exact same procedures are taking place, however those rings have different breeds there.

 

There are people holding dogs outside the ring and then some of the dogs get put back into their crates with other dogs headed back into the ring. When the judge gives out certain ribbons, certain people outside the ring cheer and applaud and others are not as cheerful.

 

At some point in time, some of the dogs that were in before..............those that won the blue ribbons from each of their classes come back into the ring and now seem to be competing against each other. The judge seems to have them move around, go up and back and then the selection of one dog from that group seems to bring about a huge commotion with people outside the ring clapping and cheering! For the males, this dog just won Winners Dog.

 

As soon as that is settled, it all seems to start all over again, this time with the little girl puppies! Same procedure with a bunch of different classes going in and out of the ring until all the females with blue ribbons make their way back into the ring…………….where the pointing by the judge to one of those females brings about yet another round of cheering and clapping! For the females, this dog just was awarded Winners Bitch.

 

No sooner as that activity is complete that another group of dogs enter the ring, including the male and female that just were the objects of all the cheering and clapping. This group of dogs are the champions competing for Best Of Breed, including at the end of the lineup, the recently awarded, both Winners Dog and the Winners Bitch.

 

The same procedure as before with the judge selecting his choice for best Labrador for the day, Best Of Breed! The judge also selects a Best Of Opposite for a dog of the opposite sex to the dog that won Best Of Breed.

 

Wait, we are not finished here. The judge must pick a better dog between the Winners Dog and the Winners Bitch…………………..that becomes the Best Of Winners!

 

Not finished yet……………………………..the judge now selects a ‘runner up’ to the Best Of Breed and to the Best Of Opposite Sex…………….if those were champions…………………………..these are designated as Select Grand Champion Male and Select Grand Champion Bitch!

 

PHEEEWWWWWWWWWW!

 

Did I mention helter-skelter?

 

Not finished yet! Wait, wait there’s more……………………….at Saturday’s show there will be a Best Labrador Puppy award, so the Class Winner (blue ribbon winner) from the 6 to 9 month old and 9 to 12 month old class from both the male’s and female’s classes will come back into the ring and the judge will select his/her choice of Best Labrador Puppy!

 

At Sunday’s show, there will be a Best Bred By Exhibitor winner……………….so instead of the puppies coming back into the ring, it will be the blue ribbon winner from the males and the female’s Bred-By Exhibitor class going head to head for that award.

 

Not finished yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Best Of Breed winner and the Best Labrador Puppy (Saturday), Best Of Breed winner and Best Bred-By Exhibitor (Sunday) will need to wait until late in the afternoon and compete in the Sporting Group competition.

 

Not finished yet and here is where we, the Labradors get skewered!

 

The first place winner of the Sporting Groups gets to compete for Best In Show………………….not many Labradors ever get that special treatment.

 

In all the years, now 30 years showing, the Chambray Labs have only been there in Best In Show a mere 16 times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Which by the way is more than all the other FL Labrador breeders put together have ever won a Group 1 and got to strolled into the Best In Show competition………………….now here’s the real charm, out of those 16 times in BIS, the Chambray dogs have won Best In Show twice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! which by the wayagain is twice as many BIS as any Florida Labrador breeder has ever done!

 

So, here we go, full speed ahead, for the 30th year in South Florida...............let’s have fun out there and remember that we all do this for the betterment of the breed!

March 7th

Welcome Back Kotter & WinQuest!

 

Welcome Back…………..Let Me Count The Ways.

 

Since I offer education and mentorship to so many and certainly to the vast majority that first come to me seeking a Labrador puppy, most of what I have to say over a period of time is very much the same because so many folk are brand spanking new to the world of what constitutes well-bred, conformation (show) Labradors.

 

I know and understand that the blogs seem to have a repetitive nature to them where the same topic is brought up with almost predictable frequency. That’s because there are so many new people that are asking and searching for the exact same information at the beginning of their journey of getting to know Labrador Retrievers.

 

I cover those subjects from every angle that I can envision so that there is something fresh each time that I go over a particular subject that comes up regularly.

 

If anyone has ever read all of my blogs they know there has never ever been a ‘copy and paste’ one………………….each is whipped up new and served with different relish and toppings, that’s because your homey here doesn’t do leftovers nor do I ever do anything twice the same…………………..if we are successful doing something, the next time I am looking for better!

 

However, the topics are very much standard fare.

 

For instance, the traditional evaluation of dogs is something that occurs at Chambray Acres and at dog shows all the time. Not a single week goes by that I don’t offer my expertise and critic’s eye and lip service to folk that are interest in either showing or breeding their beloved pet, thus the evaluations that I have become infamous for…………infamous because the overwhelming amount of time, it’s not what the dog owner came to hear from me!

 

Over a tremendous period of time…………………now more than 4 ½ decades worth…………….yes, that’s right and not a typo, that’s almost half a century now with Labradors………………………I have performed the deed of evaluating our dogs or someone elses………………….the majority of times it seemingly comes across as a dastardly action because so many of them leave here with bad news.

 

Those evaluations are now numbering well over 1000, probably more, but visions of something so much the same makes them seem like a huge fog instead of a sharp memory, so that’s just a fog-minded guestimate.

 

If I were to be excruciating honest, I would have to say that the real percentage of ‘two thumbs up’ evaluations to those that are ‘nightmares’ are really more like 1 good one to 20 bad ones (to the British it would be 1 well-bred one to 20 ill-bred ones).

 

From those figures it makes sense that the vast majority of blogs that I offer up have to do with the dastardly, dismal scenarios…………………………..however every rare once in a while there is that ray of hope where a puppy or dog brought out to me to cast my eye at and pass my verdict on, goes beyond the usual expectations.

 

Well, that just occurred! A beyond the usual expectation, actually a ‘eureka’ moment evaluation!

 

So, what’s the difference between this most assuredly ‘2 thumbs up’ happening versus all those other pitiful happenstances?

 

This particular great result came about because the owner of the new dog did their due diligence!

 

They dealt with a top notch breeder………………a breeder with a proven track record………………a real breeder of AKC champions…………………….a breeder willing to place a show/breeding prospect. The owner-to-be actually traveled to where the puppies were and was able to approve of the puppy and compare it to the puppy the breeder was keeping for show and for breeding.

 

Since the puppy was to be incorporated into the Chambray Owners Program, the owner-to-be consulted with us with the pedigree of the puppy, giving us a grasp of the background and depth of genetics. Having our ‘ok’ signaled to the new owner that we were on board with the dog’s ancestral lines.

 

Of course the real deal, seal of approval is the actual evaluation that in this case was a full '6 thumbs up'…………….all three of the Herzons’ giving the 7 week old puppy our full blessing and going even further, accepting her into our Total Show Dog Management Program!

 

So, not all evaluations end up in as road kill in a dead-end alley……………………….not all of them are headed south even before taking the first step………………..some like this latest one a couple of days ago are destined for our working credo……………….the Betterment of the Breed!

 

As part of my bucket list of things to see and do before I rest my head to rest that one last time, I would like to experience 100%, super-duper, as good as it gets, 6 thumbs up evaluations!

March 6th

Ode To Never More

 

“Why do people insist in taking their dogs to you for these evaluations when you fail so many of them?”

YA from CA

 

It’s not me that fails those dogs!

 

The ones that fail them are the breeders that bred them and then the folk that would go out and obtain the dogs without knowing what they are getting!

 

That sets up the next step which is the finding out of reality that the dog doesn’t have what it takes to show or to perpetuate the breed by reproducing itself!

 

I am merely the messenger that delivers the God honest truth.

 

Honestly, I wish that every single dog that I will evaluate in the future is as good as it gets, then I will be as happy as a field full of chirping larks!

 

Where as the sign at the Statue of Liberty declares …………… “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore…………..send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

I say instead:

 

Keep the tired and the huddled masses, keep the wretched refuse and the pitiful poor,
while you are at it leave the homeless and tempest-tossed at someone else’s shore!

 

Please send me your best, your keepers, so that no longer a lesser dog will be turned away at my door.
Send me the finest, the ones I can show, the ones that will get two thumbs up and not a nay never more.

 

I want to spread cheer and good tidings around to make someone’s day.
I want great folk to bring their dogs to me to hear what good news I have to say!

 

Yes, make my day, make my week, and make my year
for it is the betterment of the breed that I hold true and dear.

March 6th

Another Evaluation Bites The Dust

 

The recurring scenario………………another dog evaluation that heads south even before the dog steps through the front gate at Chambray Acres! Heck, the south bound trek gets going even before they departed their home some 97 miles away north of my ‘out of the way’ place west of Miami.

 

Before I was to lay eyes on the subject dog, I already knew where this has headed and the direction was not going to be what the new owners were trekking towards. The owners had supplied me with photos and a family ‘tree’................that being an AKC certified pedigree of their ‘champion-to-be’…………..wishful thinking at its best……………yet, headed as fast downhill as a skier can boogie at its worst!

 

I could have easily made the call without seeing the dog, by just perusing over the photos and the accompanying ancestral chart…………….yet the biggest clue to the lack of merit for the dog was the readily identifiable name of the place where they, in their words ‘rode all the way up to’…………..saying it as if though traveling a great length guarantees some type of quality assurance.

 

I could have by-passed the eventual deliverance of ‘not what you want to hear’ verdict and save them the long ride down to my neck of the woods, however seeing is believing and I wanted to show them the difference of what it should look like versus what they had, what it shouldn’t look like……………..for right here with me were some of our best show dogs in Florida getting ready for the West Palm Beach dog shows coming up.

 

I figured that I would use their dog’s lack of breed merit and then demonstrate to them what ‘great conformation merit’ looked like with any of the champions and top class dogs that we had on hand for training and grooming.

 

Somehow plans always look and sound so good in thought and on paper and then reality sets in! Some folk can be educated just as horses can be led to water………………………yet, some horses can’t be made to drink, likewise some folk resist accepting reality as if though somehow their obtuseness will make things right!

 

WRONG!

 

No amount of denial, no amount of belligerence will right a listing ship, likewise no amount of steadfastness in the face of futility will make something that genetically and thus physically is not correct.

 

My intentions to educate for the betterment of the breed fails miserably when the intended target chooses blinders and ear muffs and refuses to wear their thinking caps.

 

So, another dog evaluation that bites the dust and a loss for the betterment of the breed.

March 5th

The Big Picture Emerges

 

Someone recently reminded me that in my blogs I frequently refer to the ‘big picture’.

 

They then proceeded to inform me that such a reference without a description of what that big picture entails makes me sound as if though I were an elitist or that some type of a ‘private club’ exists that knows of this secret sounding ‘Area 51’ and that there are many that are excluded the knowledge or entry or even the access to this fraternal order.

 

So, for anyone else that read too much into my ramblings, the big picture of all that I do with Labradors is the betterment of the breed! That’s it and I guarantee all the good folk that follow along that it is no secret at all! I gladly share each little tidbit, each little stroke of the brush that eventually paints that famous ‘big picture’!

 

Those that first join up with Chambray Labradors with the inclusion of one our precious puppies, is only interested at the task at hand…………….their brand new bundle of joy…………………..picking up poop, cleaning up wee-wee, putting up with barking and crying through the night, biting and more biting and then biting some more…….yes the pure pleasures of a brand spanking new puppy!

 

Does anyone honestly think that a new owner wants to get bogged down hearing some dissertation from me about the ‘big picture of the betterment of the breed’ when what they have is a most ‘pretty picture’ in their newest addition to their family and household?

 

But lo and behold for those that hunger for more, whose thirst is not quenched with just owning a great Chambray puppy……………..for those that yearn beyond that ‘pretty picture’ of a puppy that they now are owned by…………..for those that want more, much, much more……………………….that want to know the how and why that puppy is great and that greatness being recognizable everywhere that they go with that puppy………………those that want to know how far that puppy has the potential to go……………….they will be given access to all the knowledge that this great expanse of time has given me…………………….they will be shown the big picture where their little ‘pretty picture’ puppy fits in!

 

That is a guarantee with my name on it………………..no secret, no special memo, no exclusive club, fraternity or elitist order…………….nope, inclusion into this consortium needs only the betterment of the breed as the working credo for all involved in that ‘big picture’ that the Labrador Retriever community at large is abuzz about.

 

Undeniable, unequaled success has a way of bring about that allure and recognition that is now so apparent for the big picture that Chambray Labradors has mastered.

March 4th

Comparing Apples To Oranges
We At Chambray Can Do That!

 

There are very few instances that can bring about the exhilaration of the  birthing process by one of our awesome girls……………..an act that perpetuates the betterment of the breed to yet another generation of Chambray dogs and for the breed as well.

 

I would say that producing greatness can only be upped by the achievement of the ultimate greatness award……….winning a Best In Show for a Labrador!

 

Winning that beyond stellar bestowment once is something that only a rarefied field of Labrador breeders will ever savor………………………..winning a Best In Show twice is totally off the charts………………comparable to a Richter Scale magnitude 10 earthquake and a Saffir-Simpson category 5 hurricane, both hitting at the same time!

 

Labrador Retrievers are lucky to be awarded a BIS once in 3500 shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

That is the stark, reality TV statistics facing the best Labrador breeders in the country.

 

So any breeder, nah let’s make that a very special top drawer breeder  could very well expect to go to thousands and thousands of shows and never, ever feel that euphoric moment that the very few that achieve the nearly impossible will realize.

 

So, when I state that the news of one of our girls having reached the 60 days for the awaited special delivery package, an act that ascends close to those heights mentioned for reaching the pinnacle rosette handed to the last dog left standing at a dog show, a BIS, I know what I am talking about and that comes from real, hard earned experience and not from reading books or looking at photos on Facebook!

 

Although a dog having puppies seems natural occurring and not much of a big deal as it happens all the time……………………….almost infinite of thousands of times in as many places as cannot be counted………………for us at Chambray…………………. ‘us’ being the consortium that constitutes the collective movement that defines Chambray Labradors, we celebrate wholeheartedly each and every time one of our precious litters are born.

 

We all know that the gestation period is 60 days for a litter to be born………………that’s two months after the breeding, actually after the artificial insemination takes place.

 

60 days doesn’t seem like a lot of time in our super-duper faced paced world!

 

For Chambray Labradors, those 60 days are but the tiny tip of the proverbial iceberg………………..it is a smidgeon of time compared to the long awaited period it takes to bring any dog to breeding age………………….the totally unseen and unexpected hurdles, hindrances and hitches that can and do arise along that long arduous journey.

 

During that ‘hold your breath’ expanse of time from the birthing of that individual dog to when it finally is the chosen one to be bred, there are way-layers and bushwhackers along the way in the form of clearances for a bevy of conditions and maladies that can afflict our dogs. That is dealing with what natures throws our way and we do all that is possible to ensure that the next generation of puppies has the best chances of all coming out with that perfect ‘bill of health’.

 

Realistically we know that it will never be 100%, but that doesn’t deter us from going to bat for each generation to come and hopefully take those numbers that were in the 50%’s way back when I got started in 1970 and now we are experiencing into the middle 90% of ‘GOOD’ and ‘NORMAL’ vs. ‘AFFECTED’ and ‘DYSPLASTIC’.

 

That is something to really be proud about, almost a doubling of what we want and the lowering of the unwanted to less than 10%!

So, to those on the waiting list……………….those that have been through the Interview Process and were advised that they would be under consideration for one of our puppies………………….those think that 60 days is such a long time to wait to see if there indeed will be a puppy for them, for us it has been years and years waiting for those same puppies to arrive.

 

That is why I can compare and justly so, as I know the feeling for both………………how a new litter almost rises to the level of winning a Best In Show, or in our case, two of them!

March 4th

What's On Your Mind

 

“The blogs you write would be so much more meaningful if you would identify those that you use as examples!”

 

I fully comprehend your thoughts and implications; however it is not my intention to bring to light anyone individual that is not adhering to protocol or to proper procedure.

 

I would rather think that by putting a spotlight on a subject that those that are affected would proceed a little further on their own and gather the remaining information so that they can come to their very own conclusion about the problem or the people involved.

 

I have always advised those in my learning environment to come to their own conclusions and not to blindly follow anything that any one person advocates………….including me!

 

“Follow me only if you can see where it is we are going!”

 

 

 

“It is so wrong for these breeders that are not willing to show their dogs in Florida because they don’t think that they can win against your dogs. Don’t they know that winning against lesser quality dogs makes their dogs less quality themselves, kind of a cheap champion’s title?”

 

You can flip a coin many different ways and the end results 99% of the time comes up heads or tails! Every once a while that coin may end up teeter-tottering on its edge! So, nothing surprises me anymore.

 

Each breeder/exhibitor is in a world of their own making! Heavens only knows what is fermenting inside the cavernous cranium that some were blessed with. What makes perfects sense to the sensible is a quagmire to the perplexed………………………those with a perpetual ‘out to lunch placard’ draped around their neck, adorning their back have a different view of their surroundings and will tread about with their own rhyme and rhythm even though the drummer and the beat is only obvious and audible to them.

 

It should be totally obvious to the rest of those on firm ground that the end results between those that have the goods to be able to compete at the highest levels and those that go way, way out of their way, skirting the true blue competition and settling for the colorful ribbons in venues where it becomes taking candy from a baby………………………….just is not the same thing and therefore not the same value.

 

Oh, the AKC titles will look the same, the bragging and advertising at their websites will be celebrations fit for kings or queens………………………however those in the know………………….those that KNOW what is and what isn’t, KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!

 

“There are those that choose to soar with eagles and those that don’t dare to rise above the chatter!”

March 4th

It's A Down Hill Slide For Most

 

“You make it sound like breeding dogs is a science and that not many can be successful at it!”

 

To everything new, there’s a learning curve to be negotiated before an appreciable ‘aha moment’ becomes applicable. Unfortunately for most new comers, that eureka happenstance takes years to materializes because expertise is something that either accrues along the way or it just eludes the majority that undertake an endeavor that requires more than the ‘average Joe’ can muster.

 

The vast majorities fall by the wayside, never to really forge ahead with appreciable improvement to their credit for their breeder’s resume.

 

A very repetitive pattern emerges that I have observed in my 46 years of involvements with all aspects of Labrador Retrievers. This pattern or syndrome, I have labeled as the Down Hill Slider Syndrome.

 

Newcomers obtain good stock and then proceed to breed those dogs and may produce something consequential in their first generation litters…………………that successes is mainly achieved thanks to the expertise of the original breeder they obtained their stock from.

 

The subsequent generations of produce then become the litmus test for the new breeder. Those succeeding generations will either make it or break it for those at the beginner levels. For those that start out with high quality conformation that they obtained from an established, successful breeder and then proceed to produce less than the levels they started with………………..the Down Hill Slider Syndrome is in effect!

 

In the last 10 years we have witnessed several people that got into Labradors with excellent conformation dogs and then produced a couple of generations with their own decision making process and the produce was very evident not up to par with that they initially started with.

 

From my observations spanning all those years, less than 1 in 10 that get into breeding dogs for show actually avoid the Down Hill Slider Syndrome…………………meaning that 90% fail miserably as perpetuators of the breed as far as the betterment of the breed is concerned.

 

Those are pretty grim numbers and percentages, which just goes to show how difficult it really is to acquire the expertise and knowledge to become a top winning successful breeder.

 

Anyone can snatch up a male dog, throw in a female dog that is in heat and voila, 60 days later a litter of puppies is born! That doesn’t take a 5th grade education to accomplish. That’s more like nature taking its course and no amount of knowledge or expertise is needed.

 

So, those statistics I speak of and lay down as my observations from almost half a century is only covering the little tiny speck on the tiptop of the iceberg that actually deal with ‘improvement breeding’……………..like in for the betterment of the breed.

 

I am not referring to that humongous sector of the populations that breeds dogs for all the wrong reasons! So, yes, it should take a science degree before anyone should be given the privilege to take up ‘animal husbandry’!

March 2nd 

The 100th CGC Training & Testing Class!

 

CGC Class #100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Seems like it was only yesterday that I called to order the very first Canine Good Citizen training class…….of course yesterday was over 2 decades ago and now well over 1000 participants that have come and gone through that huge expanse of time!

 

For the longest times the classes and the test at the end of those training weeks were conducted at our training facility in town at the FPL Headquarters parking lot, where we met since 1993 every Tuesday and Thursday night for all types of dog training.

 

You name it, we did it there………………the mainstay of course was our show training and conformation classes on Thursday nights, with the first half hour dedicated each of those nights to the puppies under 6 months of age……………..the next hour and a half was for the show dogs and for those owners that wanted to learn how to train and show their own dogs.

 

On Tuesday nights we worked on the 8-Week Basic Obedience Training for 1 hour and followed that up with an hour of advance and drill obedience training.

 

Between the conformation and obedience training, we saw over 25,000 dogs in the 21 years we conducted classes there. At times we would average between the 2 nights of training, well over 40 dogs per week there.

 

When the AKC rolled out the CGC Program in the late 90’s, I was one of the very first to be certified as an AKC Evaluator from Florida and immediately instituted the CGC Training and Testing as part of the Tuesday night training.

 

In 2013, FPL moved their headquarters to Satellite Beach FL and we then moved our night training classes back to Chambray Acres where it all really started back in 1989. We added a 3rd night of training sessions and now we have night classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night………weather permitting!

 

So, CGC Training & Testing #100 just celebrated the passing of the first 6 of the 12 that started the class. The rest of the group will test next Wednesday night and hopefully we will add 6 more to the list of successful owners and dogs that will have the title CGC added to their dog's name!