September brings change
Cooler, blowing winds emerge
Prelude of autumn
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.
You Ask For It!
Okay, I aim to please, so here it is! I have received numerous request for some type of direct
response to each blog that is posted here at the Blogging Off section, so let's try the following:
After the most recent blog you will find the Comment Generator.
Type out your message, quandary, comment or whatever and then press Send!
PS: Although the generator asks for an email address (to void spammers),
it doesn't need to be made public when I publish it to the website.
Also, don't worry about grammar, punctuation or spelling as I will edited and make corrections as needed.
Inquisitive Minds Want To Know
There are many regular folk………………owners, exhibitors and even breeders that started out with Chambray Labradors……………after 46 years of raising Labradors, that number is now well over a thousand at just 30 puppies per year.
Nowhere else is that more obvious than at the dog shows in Florida. Looking about the ring and ringside, at times more than 75% of the dogs and the people are either present Chambray owners or those that started with our dogs in their infant steps with the breed. Looking through a show catalog, the pedigrees on most of the Labradors entered will inevitably show Chambray prominently in their backgrounds.
Success has a way of making people more interested in a ‘happening’ and being the winningest Labrador breeder in the country sure brings out the inquiries. Of course, being ‘different’…………….different in breeding………different in training………..vastly different in the puppy placement process…………….different in the show management/handling sure as heck brings on more questions and queries.
Inquisitive minds want to know! They want to know everything and that’s the way we prefer, in fact we make it a must that those getting in touch with us become very discriminating! Yep, you read right, we want discrimination! We direct those hungry for facts to have their fill with dozens of pages, articles and memos published to the website and also attached to emails sent out to those asking for more info.
While the largest majority of people ask for information regarding puppy availability or about the sires and dams, there is a significant number of inquirers asking about the cooperative venture environment and what it takes to participate within the Chambray Owner’s Program or to become an independent or to those that start out in the system at first and then for whatever reasons, do not work out in the collective and are encouraged to go their separate ways.
Chambray’s unique endeavor in creating an environment where the breeder and the owners of the dogs work in a collective for the betterment of the breed is a successful work in progress that gets tweaked as needed to ensure that the movement is totally about the dogs and that we move forward at all times.
For the whole project to proceed in the right direction, all on board must be committed to the goal of the betterment of the breed first and foremost.
Through experience, those owners that do not understand the essence and nuances of what, when and where this is all going, will eventually either drop out or become a bump in the road for the rest of those that are smoothly working to achieve the desired results.
I have found that no matter how much ‘bending backwards’, ‘making of exceptions’, ‘deviating from the prescribed course’……………………………there are some folk that just will not fit into the ‘norm’ needed no matter how much latitude is created for them.
So, at times there will be those that are encouraged to part ways with for various reason, all having to do with lack of understanding, lack of trust and/or non-cohesiveness necessary when working in a collective environment.
Personality differences also account for a few of those that do not work out as part of Chambray's Owner’s Programs.
However when all the numbers are collated and organized by pros and cons………………..the pros have it by well over 90%. The pros being the ones that have worked well and benefited greatly…………….the cons being those that didn’t work out in the consortium and still benefited greatly by their initial participation in the system……………………….so the percentage for the betterment of the breed is actually well over 97%.
Of Ice Masses & Tips
Most of those that follow my articles, blogs and other written offerings will have come across several of my ‘tip of the iceberg’ diatribes!
I use that well-known, and probably well-worn saying because the vast majority reading it can visualize the intended message…………………..there’s more to it than meets the eye!
Well, here’s another one of those ‘tips’ that wouldn’t put a nick in the Titanic. There is so much more to our involvement with Labradors than just what those across the country and beyond these glistening shores see at the dog shows and the results that we post from that tip-like venue!
Just today, from the first ‘urgent’ message at 6 AM, to the most recent now at 11:30 PM, there have been half a dozen ‘other than dog show’ happenings……………….just as important, maybe even more for the individual owner/dog involved, but just the same an immediate urgency that needed my attention, my expertise to cross a bridge to a better place for the owner and thus a benefit to the dog involved.
Case 1. 6 AM. Chambray Owner is calling/emailing frantically ~ Newborn puppy in distress! What to do? The urgency of the owner was one that I too have felt with my own newborns that maybe were not thriving, not feeding, not responding as all the others in the litter. So, all of my experiences are called into action, 46 years’ worth of naturally doing the things that the vast majority of the time work. Suggestions, tips, things to do! By 10 AM, in this case, only the 2nd litter that this owner has taken part in, it was obvious that intervention was in order and contacting our emergency vets was the best choice. By 1 PM, at the vet’s home, the puppy was flourishing being tube fed a special high caloric formula to kick start the GI tract and get it working so that other nutrients could be absorbed. In addition, the suggestions that the owner learn from the vet the tube feeding method just in case the other puppies in the litter were not thriving as well. Outcome by 11 PM. Small puppy doing well and the rest of the litter seems normal
Case 2. 9 AM. Chambray Owner Female in heat with heavy flow, darkish discharge-like fluid and with a strong smell. “How long has this been going on?” Answer 5 to 6 days, “thought it was normal!”…………………”NOPE, get her to the vet PDQ, LIKE RIGHT NOW!” At the vets by 11 AM…………………. Outcome by 4 PM…………………….vet said “You brought her in just in time, pyometra, but can be treated!” Outcome 10 PM, dog back at home resting after being given an antibiotic shot and also oral antibiotics.
Case 3. 9:25 AM. Chambray Owner emails with dog in distress………..emails photos of vomit and super running stools. I see small pieces of white plastic in stools. Email back asking owner what is missing that was in a plastic container. 10 minutes later reply, ‘found bowl behind couch that had been full of meatballs that was on the counter, part of the lid was bitten up and all 24 meatballs are gone! Give Pepto bismol and wait several hours, touch base with me again. Outcome 11:30 PM. Dog now seems back to normal after several trips to the backyard to poop out most of what it consumed in the middle of the night. Seems like all is well.
Case 4. 11 AM. Emergency breeding! Non-Chambray owner was to breed their female with shipped semen. FedEx lost the package and it was a one collect arrangement. Now they go to Plan B, using the backup that they had contacted me about 3 weeks prior. 11:30 AM contact the owner of the Chambray stud dog and make arrangements for the dog to be dropped off at Chambray. Email female’s owner to come to Chambray Acres by 4 PM for the breeding! Outcome, breeding was done at 4:30 PM and it all looked real good for the female’s timing.
Case 5. Starting at 10 AM ~ All day back and forth to 8 PM. Chambray owner with multiple dogs having problems (for over 10 months) with 4 of the females getting along because one of the females is insisting on taking over, my recommendations from day one based in knowing the dogs inside out and also the owner, to re-home the instigator to a single dog environment with much more human control and a much larger setting for all the dogs, so now a place is found and I need to have the owner make the right call! Not easy, I know, but holding my owners hands at times is the needed prescription! Outcome is still to be determined!
The rest of the day, 6 owners dropping off dogs to travel to the dog show this weekend, 3 working appointments for Chambray owners with some of the new puppies from 2016……………….plus all the dogs that are here already that will be making the trip to Ocala.
Did I say tip of the iceberg! Well, all of the above is what lies beneath all the winning and achieving and championships and great outings weekend in and weekend out and Breeder of the Year and records and on and on that people from near and afar see. All that tip stuff is the icing on the cake because the meat and potatoes is what I deal with on a daily basis not just with the 12 individuals from above, but with dozens and dozens that are part of the Chambray Village.
What's In The Cards For Ocala?
Thursday is the ‘day before embarkation’ ritual…………………………which is loading up of everything that goes into the van (my Mercedes Sprinter)…………………..after performing the ‘day after returning from show’ ritual on Tuesdays, which is the unloading of everything in the van………………………..in-between Tuesday and Thursday is the scrubbing down of said van, disinfecting, deodorizing, insect spray of said van in case bugs came back home along for the ride…………………..washing and scrubbing down of all crates, the travel crates and the set up crates, plus all other equipment, utensils, paraphernalia and whatever is that is taken and returns with us from each and every weekend of shows.
Thursday is also ‘drop-off day’ ritual! Yep, all the dogs that go onboard said van on Friday ‘take off day’ and make the trip with us, most of which were part of the ‘pick-up day’ ritual on Mondays……………so Mondays owners drive out to Chambray Acres to fetch their dogs that traveled with us to said shows!
All day Thursday, most of those same Chambray owners will mosey on out to our little Labrador world with their dogs in tow to drop them off for the next great adventure that awaits them at the scheduled weekend’s dog shows, which we drive over to on Fridays.
There will be last minute grooming, trimming, nail grinding and of course touchup training to start getting each of them in the ‘show frame of mind’. Sure as tootin, those dogs come from their ‘pet’ homes and need to be transformed into ‘show’ dogs PDQ! They come laden with foolishness, silliness, wimpiness, unreliability and the rest of the spoils that owners lavish on their dogs!
We wouldn’t have it any other way!
Yes, you read right………………..I expect all Chambray dogs to be spoiled rotten with all the fervor that their owners can whip up. Truly and honestly, the love my dogs receive from their owners is worth 100 AKC championships! That’s almost twice as many as we already have, so something does smell right in Denmark after all!
The total opposite of the above are the dogs that are in the possessions of the professional dog handlers. Those dogs are always in show mode, without all the spoils of pet life, all acting perfect and ready at the drop of a piece of bait to pose for the judge, to gait around the ring in perfect synchronicity with the handler at its side and just be the great show dogs that they were bred and trained to be.
With the Chambray ‘Wild Bunch’, we take those pampered pets in a day or two’s notice and do our absolute best to transform them into the superstar show dogs that is inside of them, bred to be the best from the best sires and dams………………we as trainers and handlers then work our magic to make it all look good in the ring against those other dogs that the professionals have honed to perfection as well.
How are the projections for the Ocala shows stacking up? If all the males show up and all but one female show up, then it will be major pointed shows for both sexes. So, we drive up with great anticipation that several of our top dogs that just need a major or both majors can add to their AKC championship quest.
Chambrays Triple Play ‘Sonic’ showing out of the Open Yellow Class, needs just one of those majors to finish out his title. Chambrays Midnight Bandit, handled by yours truly from the Bred By Exhibitor Class would need to sweep both at Saturday and Sunday’s shows to wrap up his run for the roses. The same thing would apply to Chambrays Gayla which also needs to win both days to bring home the bacon.
The rest of the starting lineup were present for this past week’s Deland shows with the exclusion of Chambray’s Max that is taking off the rest of the month to vacation in the Carolinas with his owner, Mila Shwab.
However, we will have several debutantes making their way into the AKC show levels for the very first time.
In the 6 to 9 Male Puppy Class we will see Chambrays Bennett, from the breeding of our black super star, BISS SILVER/BRONZE Gr Ch Chambrays Tucker Everlasting bred to Chambrays Tatiana and owned by Michael Gott……………………….from the breeding of Devonshires Huckleberry Finn bred to Chambrays Summer Thunderstorm, we will have 2 littermates, Chambray’s Blaze owned by Scott Armstrong and Chambray’s Beau owned by Kathy Rodgers………………….all three vying for the top colored ribbons.
In the females 6 to 9 Puppy class we will have another Huck X Summer puppy, Chambrays Rayne owned by the Trainer family.
So Ocala will be a mixed bag for our roster, 3 dogs that potentially can finish, 8 other class dogs and bitches that are part of the starting lineup and 4 brand spanking new additions to the roster and our youngster specials, GrCh Chambray’s Tank’s and Ch Chambrays Duke representing Chambray in the Best Of Breed competition.
Let’s see what the cards will unfold up in Ocala this weekend.
Village Chambray For The Betterment Of All Involved
There are so many facets to what makes all that we do at Chambray Labradors work so well for all involved!
It’s from ‘one end of the spectrum to the other’ endeavor, with so many people working in concert as a collective for the betterment of our dogs and also the betterment of dog ownership.
This email from one of my owners exemplifies what this large village of us breeder/trainers, together with our extended family of loyal and loving owners and all the professionals that contribute their services to each of my owners………………………………………it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Cesar was great. It was a great experience. With him and his wife and daughter . All so sweet with me. They let me stay so I was able to see the whole process.
I saw the puppies one by one coming. It was such amazing experience even for a c section and all my fears, worries went away.
They made all be as a great moment for them as it was for me.
Each puppy they celebrate with so much joy!
Thank you for your advice. I truly recommend Cesar and his wife to support whelping for the dogs. It was a something different
Dr Cesar and Dr Olga, a husband and wife team of veterinarians are completely available to me day and night, Sunday to Sunday and that is extended to all of the Chambray owners and also to those owners of other breeds that have aligned themselves with our various programs!
The c-section from above was done with only a couple hours’ notice……………..after regular office hours at the home of the vets using their mobile unit to take care of a perceived problem that I envisioned was going on.
The dam’s owner had been in touch with me every day since the breeding as that is the way I insist on all of the breedings that I perform on co-owned, co-bred females. I want visitations here at Chambray Acres during the entire pregnancy. Included with this particular female was a scheduled visit here at Chambray Acres at 5 weeks of pregnancy, while the vet husband and wife team were also here during a hip and elbow x-ray clinic on 5 different Chambray dogs and also an Aussie.
These x-ray clinics are set up here at Chambray 3 to 5 times a year as needed for all of the Chambray owners whose dogs have to be cleared before being considered for the breeding program.
Both vets are trained and certified in OFA and Penn Hip procedures, so that we can have dogs done before they are 2 years old if needed! Dr Cesar and Dr Olga serve the Dade and Broward area Chambray owners.
Besides partnering with these vets for the radiology clinics, we also sponsor DNA clinics where either blood or cheek swab collections are done and sent to the various DNA testing and certifying laboratories. All dogs in the Chambray breeding program must be tested and certified before being included in our plans for the future.
There are other ‘residents’ of the village that also provide their services and expertise to many of the Chambray members. Up in the Palm Beach county area is two other vet practitioners that we recommend highly to our owners that are too distant to come down to Miami for their everyday vet needs.
Dr Voss is a Rottie breeder and exhibitor that we recommend to all the folk in southern WPB and Dr Buzzetti, a Chambray multiple dog owner, is the go to vet in the north end of WPB.
Besides veterinary care, there are several Chambray owners that have, as a result of their association with our Owner’s Programs, have since become involved in training, conditioning and caring for other owner’s dogs when needed.
Right here at Chambray Acres, with Jessie’s involvement in the animal health and care sector now going on 13 years (4 years in high school in the Veterinary Academy, 2 years in Animal Science studies at Miami Dade Honors College, 2 years at the University of Florida in Gainesville, 2 years at FIU in Rehab & Therapy and now at the Miami Dade Medical School’s Veterinary School for Veterinarian Technician, she is now finishing up her studies to received her degree as an animal care specialist for conditioning and post-surgery rehab.
The training and conditioning services that we provide are a 24/7 experience. Where we start early in the AM and then continue into the PM with night training classes 3 nights a week. All of our trainers are involved and take part in the daily and nightly training sessions.
A whole village at work and play with our dogs as the main focus, it doesn’t get any better than this!
However, if you know me………………………really, really know me, you know without a doubt that I will find a way to make it even better……………………for the Betterment of ALL INVOLVED!
Labradoreze, My 3rd Language
Just had a long conversation on the phone……………………………..I just probably forgot half of what was talked about……………………but let’s move on before I forget the rest of it.
To set the mood here, at the other end of the phone wires was someone 15 years beyond my own 67, so doing emails was beyond the wiring of her circuitry, so an exception to my no phone rule was in order.
Bred Labs way back……….down under…………….30 years ago in Australia!
Wanted to set up her grandson here in the states with good breeding stock Labradors and was making the rounds to ‘honorable’ breeders!
Had seen the Chambray dogs in Houston TX and again in Kenner LA and was impressed with the overall conformation and sound movement of the Chambray dogs.
So, I knew that she had a ‘good’ eye for the breed.
What a pleasure to speak to someone that really knows the breed! Really knows the breed, more than just the superficial that the vast majority that dabble with the breed know.
I find way, way too many folk that get into breeding that have very little in-depth knowledge of the breed. Very few that can verbalize the different components of the breed that make the breed unique.
Most recite ‘head, coat and tail’ like a verse from the Good Book, yet that’s the extent of their acumen! Few of those can expound upon what makes the Labrador ‘head’ look the way it is supposed to look.
Do they know about non-converging (parallel) planes? That the foreface and head are interrupted by a moderate brow, that is slightly pronounced keeping the head and the nose from being in a straight line. That the head length and muzzle length should be approximately equal length, while the back skull should be wide?
Let’s not even get into coat…………………………just this weekend, someone that is a breeder mentioned that a particular dog had an awesome coat…………………….until I pointed out that fluffy and long is totally contrary to ‘straight, short, dense and course to the feel’ as dictated by the breed standard………………………….that what they were gushing about was a Golden Retriever’s coat on a un-reasonable facsimile Labrador!
There was another supposed breeder that mentioned another dog at the match on Friday night having a great tail………………….too bad that it was a ‘FOX TAIL’ and not an ‘OTTER TAIL’ as detailed and described in the breed standard.
FOX TAIL = Open coat, bristled out hairs, like a bottlebrush would be, thick from start to finish, open and round ended at the tip! We have seen several of these FOX TAILED Labradors in the ring lately; including a couple that have been erroneously been given their AKC champion’s titles by tail-confused judging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OTTER TAIL = distinguishing feature of the breed. It should be very thick at the base, gradually tapering toward the tip. It should be free from feathering and clothed thickly around with the Labrador’s short, dense coat, having the peculiar round appearance that has been described as the otter tail!
So, it was refreshing to converse with someone that spoke my language for a change, because from what I see in the ring from some breeders and from some of the judging, it sure looks like the Labrador language is Greek to some of those folk!
I could envision some of the old timers of the breed, the legends of yesterday, long gone today and mostly forgotten by the new people and breeders of today that have no history of the breed…………..I could see those oldsters rolling over in their final resting places seeing dogs winning points and BOB’s that could sink the Bismarck………………..let alone the old huntsmen gun boats used by those employing the breed for their intent and purpose. A dog that weighs as much as the boat it sits in and then has to jump off from into the water and then swim out and retrieve back and clamber back on board…………….well first time it leaps out of the boat and flops the gun boat over on edge, ends the day’s outing leaving those on board, overboard and wet to boot!
To the judges that forget that dogs should be shown in working conditions well-muscled and without excess fat
Just what kind of work can an overdone, overweight, out of condition, dog showing excess fat can do? Maybe we should have asked the judge.
Then there’s a ‘breeder’ that sells a yellow dog with a red nose……………what does the standard state?
The nose should be black on black or yellow dogs, and brown on chocolates. A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment is a disqualification.
Plain in black and white! A DQ………………………..that means that it will be told to leave the ring because it DOESN’T HAVE A BLACK NOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Two DQ’s and you are not ever invited back for a 3rd time!
Now, here is the kicker, the buyer of the red nosed yellow Labrador wants to know if she can show the dog!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN SHOW THE DOG!
YES, IT WILL BE DQ’d because one of the breed’s 5 DQ’s is directed at a yellow dog has to have a BLACK NOSE……………………………..so, a non-black nose takes a walk…………..out of the ring!
More severely than in baseball, in the Lab ring, 2 strikes (DQ's) and you are OUT FOR GOOD!
So, when I say I had a good old time conversating with someone in my own 3rd language, Labradordeze, I say that I just had a blast from the past!
Very good blog pointing out portions of the breed standard that we see overlooked regularly. The old timers had a vision of what the Labrador Retriever should be to perform what it was bred to do thus the breed standard. What caused the train to jump the track on the judging?
JR Citrus Springs FL.
The Labrador becoming the favorite dog in the world caused it!
Instead of a few dedicated breeders that knew the breed inside out.....................thousands and thousands now breeding for whatever it is they are into! Some want house pets, others want obedience competition dogs, others dock jumpers, others agility dogs..............................after all these breed for what they want, the dog doesn't look like it should.
Then they became judges and pass judgement on to others that are as divergent as they are!
After 20 to 30 years of that, we have the situation that we see in the ring today.
Very, very sad for me to have been witness to the preceding for 46 years. I now see myself as a relic of the past. Trying to keep the embers glowing, but with each day that passes, newer and newer people taking over and none of the old timers are left to tell them any different.
Tar & Feathering Is Not For Me
I have received numerous emails suggesting that owners and breeders with cow-hocked dogs should be informed as such by people like me that have ‘expertise’, in fact there were several suggestions that maybe I should ‘inform’ some of those errant judges that award points and BOBs to cow-hocked dogs, on their ‘wrongful ways’!
There are inherited perils with those suggestions! Like in maybe taking my life in my own hands by crossing that line in the muck with anyone! Best to act like those three monkeys that see, hear and speak no evil!
Yep, that would be worse than trespassing into someone’s property that has signs posted that read ‘You Will Be Shot First, No Questions Asked’………………….then fed to their pet alligators!
I actually believe that this act of telling someone that their Pooch is defective will set in motion scenes from the exorcist! Yep, head twirling, screeching and howling, crawling on the ceiling and for sure the lopping off of my head will follow!
Now here’s the raw deal………………………..for breeders that keep breeding that dastardly trait…………………would it make a rat’s behind of a difference what anyone would say to them?
I don’t think so! Nope siree (that’s the opposite of yes siree)!
Heck it just may be thrice as worst as telling someone that their children were ugly! I really, really think that people are much sillier sensitive about their dogs than they are about their own kin.
I can prove that last statement! If a dog bite someone, the owner would make up dozens of excuses and it won’t be the dog’s fault, if their kid bite someone, they would slap the jillickens out of that kid……………..I rest my case!
Either they know 100% that it is wrong and don’t give a hoot……………………or they don’t know what in tar blazes they are doing and still won’t care because if they did care in the first place, they would know!
Folks, that is the epitome conundrum of a ‘damn if you do and damn if you do again’ situation!
Then there’s the suggestion of ‘educating the judges’……………………..I wouldn’t touch that with a mile long pole, check or someone that was hungry!
First of all, judges are given godlike powers by the powers that be, the AKC………………….like in they can’t be questioned, smirked at or even the refusal of taking a lesser than deserved ribbon………………….all grounds for tar and feathering of the transgressor and plucking of pockets and contents of wallet too, then standing on hot embers for a set period of time!
Nope, not for me, as I don’t do pain well, nor can I afford to contribute to the treasury of the AKC and I hate it when I get tar and feathers all over me, plus I don't do heat well either! Hey, maybe we can get Mikey to do it!
It’s a lot safer for me just to keep jammering and hammering away right here on my keyboard where they can’t readily get to me because I have one of those no trespassing signs hanging on my front gate, ‘You Will Be Shot First, No Questions Asked’!
1000% Trust Fuels The System & Keeps It Purring!
Our Show Management & Development Program is 100% geared for the individual dog. It is 100% about the dog to the exclusion of finances, personal gain, ego, kennel name or any other agenda that plagues the 'business as usual' dog handling business.
Oh, there is an ‘economic side’ to our entire operation. No one does anything for free, especially when there is a huge overhead involved! Plus, it is exclusively what is that we do on a professional basis……….fulltime by at least four of us and at least 4 more on a part-time basis. That's training, conditioning and providing the handling services at the dog shows to all those that have joined in by choice..............individualized, personalized professional services provided with no equal in the business.
Each dog that is on our show roster, i.e. the dogs that are seen at the dog shows…………each is there because we know that each is capable of winning their class and then vie for the winners points.
For each dog that makes an appearance at a dog show from our show management program, there are at least 4 more dogs that are part of the development program back in their own homes biding time to get into the starting lineup!
No dog is ‘strung along’ as 'gas money' or 'spot fillers' as is seen at dog shows by others in the business of handling dogs.
Each dog that is part of our ‘team’ is also a partnership between the owners and me……………….me, the one that runs the whole kit and caboodle!
Yes, I have a partnership with each owner with their dog. Each owner trusts me 1000% to always do the right thing with their dog.
If perchance, I don’t feel that 1000% feeling, then that dog is not part of my mission with the breed! It is as simple as that, no qualms about letting any dog/owner go their separate way if there isn’t the two-way trust. Hey, I have let others go for even less than batting an eye………………….either they are on board the whole way or it’s the 4 lane highway.
From this past weekend’s shows, decisions have been made with a couple of the dog owners to put their dogs up for further development. My suggestions based on performance and the dog’s chances of winning points! Each owner understood and agrees 100% with me………………….that 1000% trust in place that I have 100% the best interest of their dog, thus also 100% the best interest in our partnership with them and their dog.
Since we don’t deal with names, it would be rather simple to figure out which those dogs are by checking the starting day roster for these shows and those coming up in the near future……………….dogs that were on the starting lineup for Deland, may not be there for the Plant City shows. However, there will be other dogs taking their place in the lineup, dogs that have been at home with their owners, that are now in their prime and ready to take their chances in the big leagues..............those dogs will be called up to take the place of those that will be on the developmental program back at home.
This Chambray mission is only about the dogs, nothing else, nothing less will do………………..it’s the Betterment of the Breed one dog at a time……………….the right dog at that right time!
Here We Go Again
I have received a bunch of emails from folk that have been ‘enlightened’ (their own words) about certain traits, or maybe ‘lack’ of those traits in Labradors that are very obvious at the dog shows!
The ‘good’ trait would be hips, knees, hocks, and feet all in one plane where those from one leg would be parallel to the other hips, knees, hocks and feet of the other leg.
Simply put, hocks on opposite legs will be parallel to each other. The exact opposite of that statement are hocks that converge towards each other.
For those that read these passages and just cannot visualize what a cow-hock looks like……………take a look at a cow’s behind……………………yep, that’s where the term ‘cow-hocks’ come from.
That is EXACTLY what cows are supposed to have…………………….yep again, cows and cow-hocks go together like ‘love and marriage’………………… ‘you can’t have one without the other’
So, there is a use for cow-hocks after all………………out in the great big pastures where those that need them can graze on the green grass that grows there, that’s where a congregation of bovine can sashay to and fro, hither and yonder with all the cow-hockness as all get out!
The converse of that is the DOG SHOW RING……………….in particular the LABRADOR RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LABRADOR RING & COW PASTURES ARE AS DIFFERENT AS DAY & NIGHT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Parallel and cow-hocks are as different as night and day!
DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!
READ THE LABRADOR RETRIEVER BREED STANDARD.
It’s there as plain as day………………..the same day that is different from night!
Right there it states:
Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.
How plain and simple can it get? It is specifically stated in the breed standard. It is short and simple because the written breed standard is very short itself. It could have been hundreds of paragraphs long and it could have covered tons and tons of different aspects related to Labrador Retrievers……………….however, it doesn’t cover all those other aspects which it could have, instead it covers a few areas of the breed and one of those areas is the dog’s rear NOT BEING COW-HOCKED!
So, all those newly enlightened folk are amazed and aghast at how many breeders………………….good, well-named breeders are producing dogs that are predominately displaying SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECTS!
These dedicated folk that have done their due diligence in studying the Holy Bible for Labrador breeders, the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard actually know what the correct way is and now they are perplexed because they know what’s right and yet right there in front of their eyes, in fact in front of all those eyes around ringside………………………………………………AND…………………………..more importantly RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE JUDGE’S EYES……………………there in all its splendor is a whole herd of cow-hocked DOGS!
Now here is the problem………………………………..those anointed eyes never make their way around to the dog’s rear! So, the whole herd of cow-hocks goes unnoticed by the judge, yet, all those around the ring have that perfect seat and all of those see what cow-hocks are!
Hey, they are plain as day out in a pasture full of bovine……………..herds of cows with the correct rear assembly…………………..COW-HOCKS!
What about inside the Labrador Retriever ring…………………………….what do we see there? Do we see the correct rear assembly……………………………………….PARALLEL LEGS? Are the hocks apart the same distance as the knees are, the same distance as the feet placement is? That would make them on the same plane and PARALLEL!
You tell me!
"Why don't experts in the breed like you tell those owners that there dogs are cow-hocked? Why not go and tell the judges that give wins to dogs with cow-hocks too?" Jamie C MA
"Since reading your blogs and really understanding the gravity of the situation, now when I see a Labrador first thing I check is the rear, so you must be making progress by making people aware of this serious problem. I am sure that many judges read your blogs as well, because at some shows that I have been at, it is talked about." Shirley M TX
The Betterment of the Breed
The Betterment of the Breed does not have a kennel name!
Oh, there may be certain breeders that seem to ascribe to that mission with more vigor and with much more mastery and their consistency at producing at a higher level seems to be on auto pilot, but when others rise to the occasion, credit must be given for a job well done.
For those that truly love this breed of dog, a particular kennel or breeder in front of the dog’s name in a catalog, should not deter giving proper ‘kudos’ for the quality of the dog produced.
If there are personal differences between personalities, which is human nature………………….those differences should end where the Betterment of the Breed begins.
I will be the first that takes anyone to task that crosses that line. I will take that action 100% of the time regardless of whose dog I am standing up for that indeed has risen to being a worthy specimen of the breed………………even if the person, breeder or kennel of that dog has no use for me………………….keeping it real, this is not about individuals………………………..this is about the breed.
I may not sing Kumbaya or play Ring Around the Rosy with the individual that bred the dog, but calling a spade a spade still holds meaning in my book and a good dog or a good breeding that produces top quality (Betterment of the Breed) will get my acknowledgement every time.
If more people would take a stand against the useless behind the scenes snipping and negative, personal diatribes………………….stopping those transgressors dead in their tracks, then there would be more hope that more folk would follow the path to a larger following for the Betterment of the Breed.
“Hear, hear, well said! Let’s smite those that besmirch, smear and otherwise show their cattiness alongside their rears!” JR
“You have my blessing to lead the charge and knock the stuffings out of those that transgress against the betterment of the breed.” NM
“With the overwhelming successes and achievements on a national level that you and your organization have made in the last decade with Labrador Retrievers, why haven’t there been others that have followed your lead? It’s not like you keep the things you all do a secret!”
Avery Case MN
Your observation is not unique, as I have been receiving this subject matter more and more in the past year and especially in recent months. Of course, having that success on a ‘national level’ creates a tremendous amount of interest, followed by scrutiny and finally a realization that something is different and that it is working at a much higher level than the existing working models.
Those existing working models are what the establishment has been employing for a century or more………………it’s the way it has been and the way it still is…………….it works for those that are part of the old guard and it will be business as usual as always!
Even with the overwhelming body of evidence that our way works so much better, there is huge reason why others have not flocked to the Chambray Way!
Very, very simple……………….no breeder is willing to place their best produce with the ‘unknown’!
Yep, the unknown are those that search out breeders to obtain puppies from!
Breeders have followed the old wizen mantra handed down to them from the legends of dog breeders…………… “Keep the best and sell off the rest’!
That’s it, that’s the reason, plain as a hotdog with nothing on it!
The breeder keeps the best and sells the buyers the rest……………….which obviously is not the best, since the breeder kept the best and what’s left is the rest!
So, what transpires after that is that the dogs the breeders keeps will be the ones that win and become champions…………….leaving the ones that the breeder sold to their clients, holding the bag and not an AKC champion’s title!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Since it has been the modus operandi for over 100 years, it is the accepted norm by all involved! Those obtaining dogs have been ‘educated’ by the system that it is what it is and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles! No questions asked because that is the way it has been and continues to be!
Well, all that is peachy keen, until the Chambray Way becomes known on a firsthand basis!
Because just like in the political ‘ring of fire’ world, where mudslinging, innuendo, character assassination and helter-skelter-run-amuck is standard fare, so is the pervasive atmosphere when something is different and it works in the Labrador world.
So……………..firsthand, in person, see it for your self is a must, because secondhand information about our ways usually is given by those that either just don’t know didley or are directly impacted by the tremendous successes that the Chambray Way enjoys and that is not the best source for information!
“How do you determine with whom to place your puppies with?” Janice Gordon LA
First of all, my very best prospects for one of my prized possession puppies are the highly ‘discriminating client’! Those are the ones that practice due diligence, that educate themselves with as much information that there is available………………………..from all sources! Never trusting just one mouthpiece and most important, going to the source and getting it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Yes, the educated consumer is the best customer………………..with me it goes beyond, because in addition to becoming educated with all the facts, then taking it further by being extremely discriminating and only dealing with the best……………….makes that person the best candidate for the placement of a Chambray puppy.
“What commitments are you imposing on those people that you choose to place your puppies with?”
The paramount commitment to the Pay It Forward mission of Chambray Labradors is as follows……………………..we only breed for improvement………………….that improvement is evaluated at the highest levels of competition, the AKC shows………………………….those Chambray dogs that receive the highest accolades at the AKC shows will be the ones chosen to perpetuate the breed with the next generation of puppies produced so that the process becomes a ‘continuum’!
The ‘continuum’………………..one generation begets the next generation.
The commitment then becomes taking part in the breeding, raising, training and showing program with those dogs that indeed rose to that next level of being the best from the previous best!
Those chosen few totally understand the mission and are exercising their free will and choosing to join the Pay It Forward movement with the placement of a Chambray puppy.
It is simple, there are hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of breeders producing Labradors, so there is an overabundant supply of puppies for puppy searchers to seek out and buy a Labrador puppy from. Meanwhile back at the ranch, actually more like a farm, we only have about 50 puppies a year and we are very choosey where each is placed as we have over 1000 people a year touch base with us about buying a puppy.
We seek out the discriminating ones, the ones educated about our ways and then we get to know then better for us to have a clearer picture as to whom we place our puppies with.
The Beverly HillBillies Are Alive & Well
Well, it’s time to load up the truck and head out to Beverly…………………Hills that is……………….Swimming pools, movie stars!
Nah, we are actually headed out to Deland FL for the first weekend of dog shows in Florida since the summer break started in July after the West Palm Beach shows!
The long hiatus is now over and today it’s packing up the van and getting everything we need to load up the dogs and the humans tomorrow afternoon for the trip to as near a hillbilly location as there is in Florida. When we hit the road it will be a 2 1/2 hour trek up the pike to Ft Pierce, jump over unto I-95 and continue north another 2 ½ hours to Deland to stay the night.
Bright and early Friday morning we make our way over to the Volusia County Fairgrounds where we will be showing several breeds while the Labradors have the day off, waiting for their turn in the ring on Saturday.
Of special interest for this weekend is a Beginner Puppy (BPUP) competition for puppies from 4 months to 6 months old. This gives puppies a learning experience at the AKC shows so that by the time they reach 6 months old, they are not the usual ‘deer in the headlight’ beginners.
Chambray will be ‘representing’ with 4 of our top show prospects from the Class of 2016. Among the puppies that will be there handled by their owners will be:
A male from the Summer X Huck litter, Chambrays Blaze owned by Scott Armstrong of Merritt Island
A female from the same litter Chambrays Rayne, who was awarded Best Female Labrador Puppy at the 26th Annual Puppy Event at Chambray. Owned by the Trainer family of Citrus Spring FL.
Chambrays Heidi from Tank X Gavi litter owned by Rosie Feeley of Boynton Beach
Chambrays Riley from Tank X Gavi litter owned by the Trainer family.
Our regular starting lineup for the regular AKC shows, both Saturday and for Sunday’s class male’s roster:
Chambrays Chaos showing from the Open Yellow Class comes in with the most champion’s points with 6. Chaos is owned by the Padgett family of Palmetto Bay FL
Chambrays Hank owned by the Trainer family of Citrus Spring (Seminole Labradors) has 5 pts and will be showing from the Bred By Exhibitor Class.
Chambrays Yeti has one Winners Dog for 1 point and shows from the 12 to 18 class. Yeti is owned by Southern Palms Labradors from Merritt Island.
Chambrays Magnum, who returns to the show roster since he was 6 months old will also be featured from the Open Yellow class now that he is 2 years old. He is owned by the Dillon family of Palm City FL
Chambrays Jackson, owned by the Blount family of South Miami is showcased from the AM Bred Class.
Chambrays Max, owned by Mila Shwab will show from the 12 to 18 class.
Chambrays Miles owned by the Oviedo family of Miami will also show from the 12 to 18 class.
From the girl’s side of the roster we have several pointed towards their AKC champion’s title
Chambrays Jolie featured from the Open Yellow Class tops the list with 5 points. She is owned by Charles Scearce of Dunnellon Fl
Chambrays Viva is showcased from the Bred By Exhibitor Class and she currently has 3 points
Chambrays Rose also shows from the Open Yellow Class. She is owned by Juan Marrero of Miami Lakes FL.
Cleo, a recent import for Korea will be handled from the Open Black Class. She is owned by Southern Palms Labradors.
The Best Of Breed competition will feature 2 of our youngest champions ever!
Chambrays Tank’d, who finished his title at 10 months of age, now 18 months old is owned by the Ceballos family of South Miami
and our newest Chambray champion, Chambrays Duke, finishing at 11 months old, now 12 months old, owned by Alyonna Nikitsina of Boca Raton.
Let’s see what this mostly, younger Chambray crowd of dogs do at these major-pointed shows where our 139 Dog Show Weekends of winning are on the line!
Discriminating People Make The Absolute Best Chambray Owners!
Discriminating People Make The Absolute Best Chambray Owners!
They want the best…………….the best for their investment, the best for their time put in, the best in the long run! Nothing but the best will do and that’s the way we at Chambray like it!
We want to get to know those discriminating people, we want them to get to know us and the way we do things that leads to us having the best there is in Labradors.
The best there is in training!
The best there is on conditioning!
The best there is in show management and handling!
When it comes to Labrador Retrievers it doesn’t get any better than this.
Well, it will get better because our adamant breeding/raising program which is the best there is, uses the best of the best, then breeding those best of the best to the best of the best, produces yet another generation of the best there is! So, with each succeeding generation, the best gets better!
We make it plain and simple for all those that contact us daily, adding up to more than 1200 inquirers a year………………………if they are NOT discriminating about where and with whom they deal with for a Labrador puppy, we don’t have the time for them!
We want those that read through all the page of information I have provided at the website! It’s all there in black and white, all the information that any discriminating person needs, to be able to make the RIGHT decision on where to go for adding a new member to their family.
Oh, that’s another thing; we only place our puppies and dogs in loving HOME ENVIRONMENTS!
No Chambray puppy or dog will ever be placed with mass puppy producers or haphazard backyard breeders…………………NOPE, none of those………………only DISCRIMINATING folk where the puppy/dog will be a member of the family!
The Best of the Best to the very Best family as the best just keeps getting better!
What's Next Pussy Cat?
So what’s next?
It is only been two days since our congregation of puppies back here at Chambray Acres and we have some of the giddy new Chambray owners asking for more!
You know what, when you have the best and you know it, pride wells up and the mission for each puppy becomes clearer for those that just jumped aboard the Chambray Express!
There’s nothing like comradery to move things along, the bandwagon starts to roll and those on board feel the rush and specialness of our movement for the betterment of the breed, sort of letting the good times roll!
They may not fully comprehend the scope and entirety of the big picture; however they need not really get in over their heads too quickly as it all takes time to sink in. Of course each of those new owners has our full Support Network and our Mentorship to guide them along as they first get their feet wet and then with more knowledge can immerse themselves as much as they choose.
With our guidance and decision making process in place for each puppy, the path for each puppy is as smooth as glass, with virtually no mistakes that are common with those that hack their way through years fraught with missteps and mistakes.
So, for some of those puppies, it will be AKC debut time this weekend coming up at the Deland BPUP 4 to 6 month event. This is a non-pointed competition for those puppies under 6 months of age.
The following weekend at Ocala, we will be seeing the first of these puppies in the actual thick of things vying for the real-deal AKC champion’s points in the 6 to 9 Puppy Classes.
Also in the itinerary will be the IABCA shows in Ocala on November 5th and 6th. There will be 2 shows on Saturday and 2 shows on Sunday for our up and coming puppies that are now part of the development for show program.
We all really look forward to yet another new class of puppies, the Class of 2016……………… this being the 26th Year/Class to debut at the AKC level. If the past 7 years is any indication of puppies rising to the top even before they reach a year old, these guys are the ones to watch at the Florida dog shows for the rest of 2016 and also with the New Year of 2017 right around the corner.
Welcome Aboard To The Newest Additions
It sure is exciting to see all of the top puppies from the current year’s litters; all together under one roof…………….actually the sky’s the limit when it comes to the roof, because there we all were, in the great South Florida outdoors with those puppies!
To be more precise, all those Chambray owners, the Team Chambray Handlers and Trainers and the Herzons………………plus half a dozen guests………………….and of course all those great puppies that were gathered less than half a mile east of Everglades National Park……………..which is just down the street from Chambray Acres…………………….which itself is my 5-acre Labrador world, just 7 miles east of Kendall, which is a western suburb of Miami! Did everyone get all those compass points?
My ‘Great Expectations’ for these puppies was more then met after having them come back to Chambray and seeing how they have developed in the months that they have been away to their new homes.
Yes, some were spoiled rotten in the short period of time away from our influence, however I always tell my Chambrays owners that each puppy is a ‘work in progress’ and that with their timely visitations back to Chambray, eventually they will all be the model dogs that they were bred to be!
Of course, besides being ambassadors for the breed in temperament, these highly gifted puppies are also Chambray’s future………………….like in they will be the ones responsible for perpetuating the great qualities of the breed to yet another generation.
So seeing them was more than just an emotional rush………………….seeing them gives me faith that these owners will come through when it comes time for them to pay it forward in our mission for producing the next installment of the Betterment of the Breed.
That’s not a given as we all know too well, the exact opposite of the preceding ‘hope’ that I hold for each and every one that I place one of my prized Lab puppies with!
There have been a few that have been given the torch to carry, that have been entrusted with the life giving seeds for Chambray’s breeding program……………………………that were specially chosen to have placed with them the very best that someday would be called upon to be the producers of the next great generation of Chambray dogs……………………..only to have them abscond with the ‘dog’ and then betray the ‘promise’ and somehow justify their actions of not following through…………..of not paying it forward as was ‘paid forward to them’…………………….of taking something that was placed with them with ‘agreed upon’ conditions and then have them ‘greedingly’ walk away with the prized and treasured possession.
Not everyone can be counted on to be team players, that is part of human nature………………it’s sifting through to find the special ones that will be part of the team, part of the Village that will work in unison to pay it forward as a collective.
There are rewards to collect for contributing and prices to pay for dereliction of duty!
Those that play along and join in with the program receive overwhelmingly the long end of the stick………….the long list of amenities and multitudes of positives are incalculable and everlasting.
Those few that choose not to fit in and not contribute as agreed upon, for the most part either fade away, spin their wheels or just waste their time away getting nowhere as fast as standing still will get a person! There’s an observable track record of the preceding, it is a repetitive cycle by every one that went that route and there are no exceptions to that rule!
Moving on, because we don’t dwell on the negatives as there are way too many positives for us to concentrate on the few that choose to become square pegs thus not fitting into the nice rounded holes that have served the multitudes now going into 5 decades!
So, we welcomed the newest additions to the Chambray Owner’s Betterment of the Breed Movement that is leading the way in the Labrador world.
26th Annual Chambray Puppy Event ~ In The History Books
These puppies are absolutely awesome! One of the best congregation of puppies from a year’s worth of breeding! Not just from me, also the judge for the day and also a consensus from some of our long time Chambray owners in attendance for the awesome event!
The Class of 2016 Puppy Fiesta is now history, to be appreciated soon with photos and videos that we had taken by a designated photographer and also from the dozens of owners that were here with their puppies………………………….as soon as we review all of them, those photos and videos will be posted here to the Chambraylabradors.net website and also to the Chambray Labradors Facebook and Instagram accounts!
The turnout was great, both with puppies and with our Chambray owners. More than three dozen folk sat ringside………………………100% under the trees where the shade made the Florida afternoon (3 PM starting time), tolerable. We had also set up two tents with 20+ chairs, but those tents received no use as all those chairs ended up under the famous Chambray Acres’ Old Orchid Tree (where all the Interviews occur).
As the sun started to move further towards the horizon, the rather tall canopy of trees on the western side fence provided great shade for the 50 X 50 ring that is always in use to train dogs here at Chambray. Both the puppies/handlers and the judge, Pino Renzuli had plenty of shade to work in, which was a relief from the heat.
The catalog for the event listed 15 of 2016 best show prospect puppies and those that made it to the planned event did not fail to impress both the judge and also to some of our more seasoned Chambray owners that have been with us, in some cases a decade and even some that are now into their 20+ year.
Of course, those new to Chambray Labradors with their brand new puppies are tickled-pink with their new addition to their families, so it would be silly to even ask them what they think about their own puppies.
From the four litters we have had in 2016, these were the best of the best. That is saying loads and loads because three out of four of those litters received PERFECT 100% Top Show Quality evaluations…………..meaning that every single puppy in three litters was a Top Show Quality Prospect!!!!!!!!!!!
Our invited judge for the day, Pino Renzuli, a top professional handler from Venezuela, himself a breeder of Pugs, Rottweilers and also Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dogs……pronounced ‘SHOW-LO-ITS-CUENTLEE’) has been handling Labradors since arriving here in the US back in 2001 and attending the Chambray Training Class several times a week for many years and eventually his first dog ever championed in the USA was Ch Chambrays Franco in 2002! He commented to me that this was the best group of puppies from the 16 years that he has been following our breeding program.
After going through each age group,
the 3-month old litter of BBE Ch Chambrays Where Eagles Dare ‘Tank’ bred to AKC Ch-Pted Chambrays Creole N Counter ‘Jolie’…………………
the 4-month old litter of Tank bred to BBE Gr Ch Chambrays First N Counter ‘Gavi’……………………
the 5-month old litter from Devonshires Huckleberry Finn bred to AKC Ch-Pted Chambrays Summer Thunderstorm
and also the 6-month old litter from Silver Grand Ch Chambrays Tucker Everlasting bred to Chambrays Titanic N Counter ‘Tatiana’…………………
he declared the Best Male Labrador Retriever Puppy as Chambrays Brody (Tank X Jolie) owned by the Fisher family from Davie FL and Best Labrador Female Puppy as Chambrays Rayne (Huck X Summer) owned by the Trainer family of Citrus Springs FL.
First of all a humongous thank you to all of our owners for realizing how great in many ways their puppies are……………………to the judge Pino Renzuli and his family that attended the event………………….to my super Team Chambray trainers, handlers and most of all to my family, Johanna and Jessica, without their combined efforts all of this that I do with Labradors would only be ‘a wishin and a hopin’…………….fantasy and not the overwhelming reality it is in the Labrador world!
IT TAKES A VILLAGE!
We have that perfect Labrador-related VILLAGE…………….Chambray Labradors and our commitment to the Betterment of the Breed.
Mission Accomplished………………………..thank you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chambray's 26th Annual Puppy Event
& AKC RDO Day
Today we sponsor our 26th Annual Puppy Event and the 17th Annual AKC RDO Day!
Wow, 26 years and still going strong holding these puppy fun matches for the Chambray owners.
Did I say ‘strong?”…….well at least ‘going’ because when you reach 67 years old, I figured I would be rocking my life away on some porch in one of those retirement homes for old fogeys like the ones I used to see in Miami Beach when I was a kid back in the 1950’s. Yep, that now famous South Beach was a continuous old folk’s home from one end of that motel/hotel row to the other end, all you saw were old people sitting on the front porches of those hotels rocking their lives away!
But not with me and my Labradors, no sir, no ma’am, here I was at the crack of dawn out getting the rings, the sitting, the crating, the staging areas ready for the action that would take place later in the afternoon.
This would be the Class of 2016 Puppies coming together once again since they had been placed in their new homes with their new/old Chambray owners.
New/old because a fair share of the 4 litters that Chambray produced for 2016 were placed with existing, loyal Chambray owners. Out of the 21 Top Show Prospects, 6 are living with ‘old’ Chambray owners.
We have Rosie Feeley of Boynton Beach FL with her 3rd Chambray dog, following her first back in 2004, BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan, then Gr Ch Chambrays Summer Breeze ‘Hanna” a Hogan daughter) and now she has Chambrays Ruff N Counter ‘Heidi’ (a Hogan great granddaughter). We expect Heidi to have a great show career as did Rosie’s 2 other Chambray dogs.
Mila Shwab of Miami & South Carolina now has had 4 Chambray dogs in the last 20+ years. She now has 5 month old Chambrays Otto, following her addition of Chambrays Max last year and her two other Chambray dogs from 20 years ago, Basil and Oliver. Both Max and Otto will be showcased throughout the coming year and also in 2017 on our show roster.
The Trainer family added 2 of the puppies, Rayne and Riley from the Class of 2016 following their introduction last year to Chambray with Chambray’s Hank who is already AKC champion-pointed. All three of the Trainer’s puppies and dogs will be in the thick of things in the coming shows this year and next.
Scott Armstrong of Merritt Island Fl has one of the top show prospects from the awesome class of 2016, Chambrays Blaze. This addition follows 2 other Chambray dogs, Chambrays Jewels and Chambrays Yeti that he acquired last year that are now both showing and are AKC champion-pointed.
Ivan Toro of Miami Beach Fl just added his 2nd Chambray Lab following the placement of Honey 2 years ago. We hope to see Dyna, the new puppy at most of the Florida shows coming up.
Mark Castel of Boston MA just added one of these 2016 puppies following his Chambray Lab from years gone by.
Today’s puppy event has Chambray owners coming from all points north of our most southern locale.
He have Chambray owners heading this way with their puppies in tow, from Jacksonville, Citrus Springs, Dunnellon, Boynton Beach, Weston, Merritt Island, Miami Beach, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Coconut Grove, Boca Raton, Davie, Ft Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
We have planned a lot of fun activities for the owners and their puppies, including a ‘match’ where guest judge, Pino Renzuli will officiate the 15+ puppies that hopefully are making their way down to Chambray Acres for the afternoon event.
I will update this blog tonight after the Puppy Event has concluded.
Deland In The Mist
The Deland dog shows are right around the corner on September 24th, so we are busy at work getting the starting lineup ready as can be. Last minute brush ups with a little bit of trimming and snipping of imaginary unsightly hairs and of course there is never enough training and conditioning.
Of course, by now most of the dogs on our handling charts are as sharp as cheddar cheese, so a little bit of tweaking from now until show time can’t hurt!
Most of the training classes from now until then will be more of the ‘showing’ more than the training and conditioning that we have relied on heavy for the last 4 weeks since taking a break from the frantic pace that takes place as soon as the show season cranks back up again.
Our male’s roster is heavy on the young side with 5 out of the 7 being under 2 years old………….from the other 2 dogs, 1 is just two years old and the other not yet 3!
The two year-old male is returning to action at the age of 2 years old after having been put up since he was 6 months old.
Only two of the males are pointed with each having less than 6 points!
The girl’s side of the roster is also on the younger side with 5 out of six girls under 18 months old and 1 just over two years old.
We have a brand new female, an import from Korea that made the starting lineup.
Two of the other girls each have 5 points each and the rest are all beginners with no points yet.
So, a semi wet-behind-the-ears bunch to test the waters of the Florida Fall Dog Show Season, however we are game for whatever we encounter and will put up even our younger group of dogs against whatever will show up at the dogs shows.
We look forward to seeing the 60 Labradors that are entered for the Deland shows coming up.
‘Going Live’ on Facebook at our training classes, both the night group sessions and also some of the private one-on-one sessions with individual dogs and their clients has brought about a tremendous interest in our methods and also the tools and apparatuses we use to accomplish the obvious results at the dog shows. Of course, having the huge successes at those dog shows creates the added impetus to find out what it is we do to arrive at those accomplishments.
For those that follow us on Facebook at Chambray Labradors Facebook and watch the live feeds, I must advise each that there is a special ‘prescription’ for each dog that is worked with and that what is done with one dog may not be the indicated procedure to use on another dog.
There is alternate training or conditioning or handling curriculums implemented for each night we conduct the group sessions. That special curriculum is decided upon when the dogs arrive at the class with their owners. Sometimes, the class environment will be to focus just on handling by the handlers that are there for the evening, other times the class will be more for conditioning of the dogs to learn new patterns, other times the class will be directed to building stamina and endurance. Very few classes will ever be repetitive because the dogs working the class will change and their needs will be completely different.
So, for those following along, some things will be of interest, while other things being worked with will not be pertinent for some dogs. Things that are indicated for one dog may not be constructive for another dog.
For instance, in one of the recent broadcasts, there were two black Labs being worked by two of our Chambray trainers. We were using the block method at the time and each trainer should have been following an individual technique on each of their dogs.
Jenna was working with Yeti and while on the block, his individual, personal prescription is to teeter-totter over his shoulders by holding the bait below his chin line where he has to lurch forward and downwards, this motion works out the muscles along the top of the topline, while strengthening the front end assembly, and at the same time working out the rear legs that were set further back than normal. While in this position, he is not in the ‘show pose’! This exercise is to strengthen areas of weakness and not meant to make him look perfect in the show stack.
When he moves to the next block, the rear legs are set wider apart than normal while performing the teeter-totter technique for the topline and for the front end assembly. At the very next block, same procedure for the teeter-totter technique, however on this 3rd block the rear legs are positioned normally behind the rear of the dog. So, he has a prescription for the front end and 3 different positions for the rear leg sets.
The dog behind Yeti was Cleo being trained by Jessica and her prescription is to hold the show pose on her front end with the bait positioned right in front of her with her head held so that muzzle is perfectly parallel to the ground. So no teeter-totter technique with this dog, however just as we do with Yeti, the rear legs are set with the alternating pattern of wide, stretched back and regular.
I have had quite a few dog owners emailing me for individualized instructions for their dogs. The absolute best way to accomplish this is to make an appointment and come visit here at Chambray Acres where we can evaluate the individual dog and determine what is needed and what the owners can accomplish on their own at home.
For those owners that are not in South Florida, they can set up a work session with us at dog shows in their area that we will be at showing our dogs.
True Blue Evaluations
To the person that after reading the ‘True Blue $$$$’ blog, stated that I only give ‘good’ evaluations to those dogs that I breed...........this Bud’s for you!
First of all let me say that you have keen observation and retention! That’s right; your hypothesis is on point in many ways. Yes, there is an overwhelming, preponderance of proof that the dogs bred by me have received the gigantic lion’s share of the Tony The Tiger “GREEEAAAAAAAAAAAAATE” evaluations!
Good eye in spotting that bit of factual circumstance!
I wonder why? No, really, why do you think that is?
Is it me cheating? Is it me being biased? Is it nepotism at its worst? Am I kennel blind and only see the good in my dogs……………..the bad and the ugly in those baked somewhere else?
Nah! It’s me being adamant about doing the right thing for the breed! That’s my pledge, mission, credo and goal……………….the Betterment of the Breed!!!!!!!!
It’s me using my 46 years of association with the breed……………………association because the breed and I work hand in hand for the betterment of both of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In fact, I am twice as hard on the Chambray dogs! Want to know why?
Simple as dimples on Shirley Temple! There’s no way Jose that a Chambray dog will breed or show if it isn’t the very best as a breed example as there is!
Listen up; the Chambray dogs already are under severe scrutiny everywhere they go! It’s like they and their owners are under a microscope with the microscopees* (made up word) looking for anything and everything for them to have something to talk about.
Don’t believe me, ask my owners Pat and Russ when they show their champion Chambray dog, Dazzle up in the NY, NJ, CT, MA…………..and the rest of the NE! Ask them if they and Dazzle are not under scrutiny and possibly worse by named handlers up there.
Of course, I let those ‘known’ handlers to watch their backs when they come down to my house, Florida!
Hey, what’s good for the goose will cook the gander as well!
So, you better believe that I breed for the best with the best for the best, which by the way really, really works! So Homey here will not give a super glowing report unless it merits it, because me and my name are all over that dog!
There have been those ‘stand out’ evaluations where the dogs were from another breeder. I have on many occasions documented those! In fact one of those puppy/dogs has become one of the most influential contributor to Chambray Labradors!
Of course if you are a Chambray owner or a regular to my blogs, you will know that I speak and write about Bronze Gr Ch Summithills Joshua’s Battle At Jericho CGC.
Yep, showed up at my gate with his owners Carol and Chip Wilkening at about 10 weeks of age and I totally loved him! The rest is history now because working together with his owners and Jericho under our Total Show Dog Management Program he would receive training........conditioned and handled by Team Chambray to his awesome AKC show career and now he enjoys being a Top Producer…………………more than likely in the very near future surpassing our own BISS BBE CH Chambrays Out Of The Ruff “Hogan” and become Florida’s #1 Champion Producer ever. Hogan owns that designation with 8 champion get, Jericho now has 7 champion get and 2 more are on the cusp and likely to finish in the next couple of months.
There are have been a dozen or so very welcoming evaluations on ‘outside dogs’ and most recently, one of the participating Chambray owners, Scott Armstrong, an established breeder with a Korean import female. She received 6 thumbs up! Yep, Ma and Pa and Jessie too really appreciated her breed type, so much so that we took her own into the Total Show Dog Management Program and have included her in the specialized training and conditioning program and also into our Dog Show Starting lineup for handling.
As can been read and seen, when it means the right direction for the breed, we are front and center, regardless of the breeder/kennel name in front of the dog’s name. In fact, there have been a couple of dogs that were accepted into our various programs that achieved great success through our efforts and their breeders may not have been the chirpiest of fledglings that their breedings were involved in our affairs!
There are still many out there that are very self-centered when it comes to what they breed and would rather it disappear into ‘never to ever be seen black holes’ than to have ‘their’ dog participate with another breeder’s program.
The ‘me first’ is alive and well when it comes to breeding……………that is until you venture into the realm of Chambray, where we place the best with the best candidates for us to share our best and in turn have those dogs participate in our various Owner’s Programs for the Betterment of the Breed. Where both owner and breeder work together to ensure that the dog has the absolute best chances of fulfilling its destiny as a ‘born champion’……………………born, then groomed with all the trimmings and then exhibited to its mission to be an AKC champion.
At Chambray, that’s mission accomplished!
Staying True Blue In The Face Of Not Making $$$$$$$$$$$
For the ‘true blue’ Labrador breeder…………………….those are the ones that practice ‘improvement breeding’…………those only pair sires and dams that will seemingly produce better progeny…………..that small group relishes the outcome of their efforts when a litter has a large percent of the puppies that reach or surpass that goal!
That’s ‘improvement & consistency breeding’ which is what each and every breeder should be aiming for.
The opposite of the above would be the overwhelming majority of Labrador breeders that slap together ‘Brutus’ with ‘Hershey’ to produce a bunch of reasonable facsimile puppies………..mediocre at best……………..run of the mill more than not and dastardly at worst! The apparent results because neither Brutus nor Hershey was the right examples of the breed, with each having a litany of observable deviations, faults and defects.
It is simple genetics, what you see is more than likely going to be what you get! In fact, by looking at a pictorial pedigree (one with photos as well as the dog’s names), that will even give a better ‘picture’ of what to expect! This is not like digging in the foothills hoping to come up with a diamond or a nugget of gold……………………from 2 mediocre dogs, no diamond and no gold will spring up………….from 2 dastardly looking dogs…………………keep digging!
I see the results from the preceding over and over again where folk obtain their puppies from those unknown ‘breeders’ or even some known named breeders who make outrageous claims at their websites and by mouth as well and then don’t deliver the ‘goods’!
I just performed an evaluation on a 16-week old puppy and a 2 year old dog from a breeder that sells them with Limited Registration at first and then will ‘lift’ the limitations and sign off to Full Registration if the dog develops into a ‘showable/breedable’ dog………………………..for a price, an extra $1200 is due upon signing off for the full!
The owner brought both dog and puppy because she was interested in using the Chambray stud dogs on the 2 year old, but first she needed a ‘major’ breeder or professional handler to validate the dog as being ‘breed worthy’. The puppy was to be evaluated to see if the owner could begin into conformation if it was indeed show quality where a handler would take the puppy on as a handling assignment.
Those of my readers that have been following along for a while can more or less predict where this evaluation session went!
Yep, two more bite the dust as far as I am concerned! One of them cost me $1200 to tell the owner that her 2 year old was not worthy of procreating and perpetuating the next generation of Labradors!
That female had a ¼ inch under bite and missing teeth on both sides of the mouth
Severely cow-hocked, so much so that at times the hocks would actually touch each other when she was in a standing, resting pose.
Frail and very light-boned, slab-sided (no spring of rib), narrow between the front legs where only 1 finger wide was the span between the 2 legs.
Straight, upright shoulders with no fore-chest.
Under no conditions would I approve a breeding to one of the 20 Chambray stud dogs, nor would I sign off on that dog being anywhere near being show quality.
Obviously the owner was very disappointed; however I asked her if she couldn’t see for herself the dog’s tremendous short comings when compared with dogs at the dog shows. She told me that the breeder said that the dog would need time to grow and develop!
The 16-week old male puppy was next to be evaluated and more disappointment was coming the owner’s way. Before I visually and physically went over the miniscule-looking puppy, I brought out a 12-week old male puppy named Turbo that was here for show training and development.
As I approached her with Turbo and she held her puppy on leash, as soon as I was close enough it was more than evident that Turbo was already twice the size, yet a whole month younger.
I free styled Turbo into a show stand so that the lady could see his side profile which is a major determining factor as to breed type.
Then I had Turbo take a few steps towards her to show his perfect ‘square looking front, where the distance between the elbows was the same distance from the elbows to the ground) and his broad head with the proper stop and the proper plains of head and muzzle…………….again I moved him around for her to see his rear, powerful looking as a puppy, perfect U-Shaped (NO COW-HOCKS), with great angulation, the footfall being right underneath the rump and finally I gaited him around our large sanded ring for her to see proper movement.
To be totally fair, Turbo happens to be one of about 25 top show puppies from the 35 puppies born for Chambray for 2016 and what she brought here was a puppy bred by someone claiming to be breeding “Champion Puppies”. Maybe, just maybe, I may have seen this supposedly “Champion Breeder” sitting in the peanut gallery once or twice in the last 5 years of going to every show weekend in Florida. Notice I stated, ‘sitting’……………….that’s like only watching, because that person hasn’t shown any dog bred by them in I can’t remember when.
After putting Turbo up, I asked her to compare her ‘Brody’ to what she had just seen. I took Brody and had him stand for profile. He just stood there, semi-humped back (poor topline), rear legs totally under him with very little angulations, actually the hock joint was not apparent as from the feet it visually went straight up to the knee, with very little definition of the hock joint.
I turned the dog for her to see the front, slab-sided with no separation between the elbows, forget about the head (long, pointy both head and muzzle, close set eyes and small ears………………..rear view was not better and forget movement……………………………dog can’t move correctly if it ain’t structured correctly!
NOPE and NOPE were the verdicts………………..since the owner lives relatively close by here, both dogs would have been training clients ($$$$$$$$$$$$)………………………..the females would have been a stud dog client (BIG $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)
Honoring The Flag
Yep, gotta watch your step and also what is formulated in the noggin before it is blurted out or even smartly and compassionately shared……………………because there are some folk waiting at the drop of a hat to pounce with the opposite persuasion ways of thinking!
I mean for God’s sake, with our beautiful national anthem, half the good folks stand perfectly at attention, arms at their sides when the Stars and Strips is played or sung and there’s the other good folk that place their right hand over their heart……………………..both good folk, hopefully all real law-abiding citizens showing their way of respecting the flag of this GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS!
Way, way back in 1956, when I was in first grade at Morningside Elementary in one of the oldest section of a then much smaller Miami, we did the Pledge Of Allegiance to the flag with our right hand over our heart and then came the National Anthem and the teachers would make us stand as straight as boards with our hands down to our sides, or else face the ‘board of education’…………………………….a wooden paddle 3 inches wide with a bat long handle; swung much like a bat to our bottoms where we would get whacked as the whacker took great pride in instilling nationalistic pride with sadistic delight!
Then with those nationalistic observances, we all sat down and lowered our heads for the Lord’s Prayer.
Every day in school we performed those civic/religious rituals until 1963 when the Supreme Court sided with an anti-religious group headed by avowed atheist Madalyn O’Hair. Also, by Junior High School, only the Stars and Stripes were played and the Pledge of Allegiance was dropped. I myself have continued to hold all three, the Pledge, the Stars and Stripes and the Lord’s Prayer very close and very dear to my HEART!
So, sixty years of tradition, so much so, that when I hear that Stars and Stripes start to play, I forget that my back is in constant pain, because in my mind, the whack from those old teachers is going to hurt much, much more than the pain I am feeling at the time…………………..but hey, not to be misunderstood here, my first loyalties is real pride for my adoptive country and standing tall and straight (as much as I still can manage is my choice/duty and my way of being a loyal American.
Why did I bring the preceding up? At a recent dog show, after we all stood up and half of those proud Americans stood straight and tall with their hands at their sides and the other half stood with their right hand over their heart and when it was done, most clapped and then a seemingly indignant lady came to me and asked if I wasn’t ‘honored’ to be living in this country because I wasn’t ‘honoring’ the flag correctly!
A little US Flag Code history lesson was in order for the woman wanting to have her way. So, I proceeded to inform her that there has been a prescribed etiquette to follow when saluting the flag since 1923, which became ‘code’ in 1942. Up until 2008 there was no mentions of non-military civilians to place their rights hands on their hearts…………………just as I have traditionally and faithful followed for 60 years.
In 2008 there were revisions to that code by a committee to make it fit the times as much change had occurred in 86 years since the original inception. There was neither public input nor general consensus for the revisions made by the few on the committee, so legalities and changes were made and approved without any debate. Some of the wording to the new revisions became nebulous as to what were the preferred actions to follow, whether to stand straight or the use of the right hand over the heart. An addendum was then made to include ‘placing the hand over the heart’, all again by some designated small group of people.
We all know what happens when small bands and groups of people get together and then given ‘some authority’…………………they have the ways and means to put into play their political leanings and personal ways of doing things.
After having shared the preceding with the now seriously red-faced woman standing in front of me, I then questioned her about wearing an apparel displaying the American Flag, actually the whole shirt was a painted flag totally wrapped around the rather rotund body……………….. with a ‘political inscription’ “Let’s Make It Great Again” written over the stars and stripes defacing that same flag.
All of those actions are, ‘wearing the flag’ as an apparel and worse yet, defacing the flag are totally against the Unified Code for the Flag of the United States, including using the flag for personal political leanings! But of greater impact for me was her insulting the flag by inferring that it is NOT GREAT NOW!
She was totally aghast and now sweating profusely……………………………red faced, aghast and sweating profusely, I immediately offered her a drink from the cooler that is always kept ring by ringside. She took the bottle of water and pressed it against her swollen, red cheeks and then she took a long, long gulp of water and thanked me a million or two trying to catch her breath and compose herself and soon thereafter was on her way.
OMG, a real Oh my God moment!
The Deland dog show’s entries for Labradors added up big time to MAJORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s freaking twilight zone stuff!
The cows are homeless and have no place to go!
The moon is made of curds and whey!
The sky is falling and Chicken Little doesn’t care!
Sooooooooo………………….WTF just happened? (the F in WTF stands for ‘FRIG’)
Like in the Eleanor Rigby song, “Where do they all come from?”
Where did 60 Labradors just materialize from for a Florida dog show? That’s 26 males, 26 females, 4 male specials and 4 female specials!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Coming out of the woodwork doesn’t begin to describe those numbers! But HEY! Isn’t this what I have been drumming up? Numbers, yes numbers and here we have them, have them at last!
Now we apply the old WWW, no not another wrestle mania organization, no, not the World Wide Web…………..no, this is Which, Whose and from Where.
Which are these dogs?
Whose are they?
Where did they come from?
The prior three criteria is just for interest sake, because the reality is that we got the numbers we needed to start to finish many of the dogs in Florida that just need majors to finish their championships!
Hopefully these numbers will hold up for the succeeding Florida dog show weekends coming up!
Kudos to all those that entered their dogs! Competition is what makes the best there is, better!
It Would Be Outlawed, If Politicians Would Do Their Jobs
From time to time I receive communications from ‘do-gooders’.
These are folk that although mean well with their concerns, go beyond the normal realm of proper and logical behavior. Many of them are also into conspiracy theories and many also seem to suffer from OCD and ‘OWT’ behavior.!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>OWT = Other World Thinking……………..really like thoughts coming from the beyond of our Milky Way!
Now, we all know that I don’t hold a PHD in psychology, so I really have no clue what’s wrong with most of these ‘pervasive-intrusive types*’, but I do know that they are possessed by ‘radio waves from alien cultures**’!
*I just coined that phrase!
** Ditto the above!
Just received this email……………“You all should be ashamed of yourselves with all this training of young puppies!”
Well, I ‘surely’ (Leslie Neilson always comes to mind when I hear ‘surely’)…………..I surely know for sure that when this lamenter was a baby she wasn’t totally left to her own resources by her parents, guardians, care-givers or wolf pack to fend for herself
But, I may be wrong here!
No sir, no human infant should be left to take care of itself……….that would be a no-no and also illegal, punishable by incarceration or tar and feathering depending on the epoch!
The ‘training’ of our species’ newest additions/editions is a must for survival of our own numbers……………..according to Charles Darwin or the good book, whichever may be your pleasure.
Yep, teaching them all the good and other things that will make them functioning members of our tribes, clans, gangs and political parties will ensure that those ways and means will be replicated creating a continuum of morays, morals, morass, mayhem, murder and other M&M flavors!
So, when these bleeding libels (I know it’s supposed to be liberals) or bloodless rationalist (yep again, traditionalist fits here)…………………….when they try shaming me………me the ultimate shameless warrior when it comes to knowing what is best for dogs…………………..all dogs not just the ones here with me…………………not just the ones owned by those that I choose to own those dogs …………………not just the thousands that have relied on me to help them understand, relate and have a meaningful relationship with their canine best friend…………….no siree Bob, Borynka, Bruce, Bubba or Benito (equal ethnic opportunity purveyor here), it perturbs me when someone that knows Didley Squat about their own species and infinitesimally less about canines admonishes me………………………………me the Pope Of Labradors…………………………me the newly crowned Excelsior Of The Highest Order Of Excelsior’s (I just made that order up and anointed myself the supreme being thereof) ……………………….how dare some pimple on a derriere accuse me of abusing puppies by teaching them from day one alongside their mothers with what they will need to become the great dogs they were destined to be!
Being there for them from day one to the 6th week of their lives, the 6th week, that’s 7 days after starting the weaning process where mom no longer really wants to care for them……………………..nature’s way by the way………………..not some catawampus, human ascribed 'other' way…………………………at the 5th week of age, mom’s milk is no longer abundant nor nutritious so, Sandy then steps in and takes over…………………over 100% to ensure that the puppies flourish both physical and mentally! Then, from that time to the time that they leave my care and well-being and go off to their newfound homes, I care 100% for them.
Physically by supplying them the absolute best foods, supplements, vitamins, vaccinations, anti-parasitic medications, insect repellents and whatever else will make them grow strong and healthy!
Mentally by providing them all those stimulations, situations, conditions, obstacles, apparatuses/structures that appear in nature that members of their species have been dealing with for millions of years, not some arse-wipe, muggly-wuggly idea that humans use with their saplings and then think that the same ‘round peg’ will fit the ‘square hole’ that another species thrives on!
If a human baby was exposed to all that a puppy dog is exposed to in nature…………………….the person exposing the human baby to all that would appropriately by charge and convicted of child abuse and sentenced to the appropriate punishment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would personally donate the 5 gallons of tar and I am sure that some chicken farmer could cough up 10lbs of chicken feathers!
So, how in TARnation can some bumble-brained, drained of all gray matter, lambaste me for starting too early with training!
Dunderhead! Training starts the minute they are born, just as a human baby is being trained by its mother from second one!
Now, I will be the first to tell a lamebrain that there’s no use to try and teach an 8 week old puppy how to play a violin……………….nor to teach a 2-month old child to lap up milk from a saucer bowl.
When humans go over the edge and begin to try and ‘humanize’ a dog, there’s going to be problems! First of all, just the name of the problem is problematic to read and spell!
YIKES! Even the deadly disease ‘ANTHRAX’ feels more welcoming and tons and tons easier to spell and forget about trying to say on the first try!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yo homey, I know problems folks heap on their dogs! I see them in my sleep, in fact when I can’t fall asleep at night, I count people that have come to me with their dogs full of human induced problems, yep, instead of sheep, I count problem laced dogs with their owners jumping over the fence! That’s 40,000 of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yep, that’s what silly-puddy minded folk are inflicting on their Pooches thinking that it is the right way, the end all way of making the ultimate connection between man and dog, which of course, I’m letting you now that it isn’t!
Hey simpletons, dogs will never, ever by allowed to vote………………although that might be a better way to get politicians that will actually do the work that’s needed instead of living and eating and partying and filling up their pockets and generally ‘living high off the hog’! But hey, hey, hey, that’s a totally different species there (politicians and porcines), so we will leave laying dogs lie (in more ways than one)!
So, keep those idiotic ideas to yourself (to humans)………………………..keep dogs………….dogs, because we already know that humans have made a mess of the human race and trying to make dogs into humans is the absolute the worst idea that the braindead have come up with!
The Future Looks Bright
Okay, the entry deadline came and went for the first dog shows back in Florida, after a long respite due to the hot and humid, raining season in our super sunny state (does that not classify as a conundrum?)!
Officially the Deland Fl dogs shows kicks off the 2016 Fall Florida Dog Show Season and this year it is a truncated one at that, as 2 different dog clubs vacated their show dates for 2016 and moved those dates further into the future by several months into the 2017 New Year.
Our dogs have been entered for Deland and we now anxiously await the ‘numbers’ for Labradors at the two days of shows. Yep, we will see what the interest level of the local Florida aficionados; the breeders, exhibitors, handlers, newcomers, the regulars, the oldies like me and probably a stray or two from out of state, what they have decided to come back with for the new season.
More or less, the numbers at the first set of shows usually determines what the rest of the shows coming after will field as far as entries are concerned. For our dog show management program, decision have to be made as to whether to enter those dogs that just need majors so as to not cost their owners extra expenses. Although the standard fare by the professional dog handlers is to go ahead and enter all their dogs, regardless if it is thought the majors will not add up, with our system, we work hand in hand with our owners and try our best to save each of them money by ‘guess-selecting’ which shows will have the added numbers for majors to hold up.
Several new dogs will debut that either had been put up, waiting on the backburner to step up or bidding their time as they developed enough to warrant them a spot on the starting day roster. Also a couple of ‘imports’ will make the scene under the ‘Chambray’ banner! These are dogs that have been accepted into our Total Dog Show Management Program for showing and hopefully incorporation into the breeding program as well.
The credo, for the Betterment of the Breed extends out to ALL Labradors, not just to the home-grown Chambray dogs or just to the born in the USA dogs……………it also extends out to those dogs outside our national borders.
Right now in the Owner’s Programs we have dogs from Russia, Korea, Mexico, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic and we are working in bringing one from Brazil.
One of our owners will be importing semen from a world famous Italian Labrador and another owner has chosen to breed to a dog from Canada, also having semen shipped from there from a top champion producer.
With the tremendous successes with the breed we have been enjoying for the last 10 years, folks from one end of the country and actually beyond now are realizing and acknowledging those accomplishments…………..we have had a surge in the number of request for top show prospects and with many inquiring wanting to join our programs for breeding, training and showing Labradors.
Alone in the first 9 months of 2016, we have had 3 already established Labradors breeders join our collective with Chambray additions to their show/breeding programs.
We have more than doubled the ‘show prospect puppies’ with actual show placements, which means we will see more of them in the future taking part in our Total Show Dog Management Program…………………which will give us a much larger group of dogs available to our breeding program.
With the increase demand for top show prospects from interested parties that will actually take part in the showing and breeding, more top show-bred litters will be planned for 2017, which creates an ever growing continuum for the Betterment of the Breed.
The future looks mighty bright!
My Last Word On Fluffy Labradors
“I got 2 full-bred Labradors, the ‘fluffy type’. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Everywhere I go with them, people want their puppies! “ MD
“My Fluffy Labrador is big and loving and very cuddly. I have full papers on my dog and they are official AKC Labrador Retrievers. I even got AKC microchips registered with the AKC and also a certified 5 generation pedigree with his full family tree.” DD
“I ordered a Fluffy Labrador and paid twice as much money than for a regular Labrador, now the people at the training class and dog club say he looks like a Golden Retriever. What do you think?” (photos attached) signed Nancy in Texas confused
A sampling of the stuff, I have received about everything and anything………….you name it, I hear about it!
Answer to first person: Keep them, don’t trade them for anything in the world……………..just don’t breed them!
Answer to 2nd person: Awesome! Start up a huge scrap book with all the photos, selfies of the dog in all those outfits you dress it up in, have the AKC Certificate of Pedigree framed and hang it up on your favorite wall, same thing for the AKC Registration. Celebrate its birthday every year with that cake you make with the ‘doggie’ ingredients and enjoy the dog.
3rd person. It sure does look like an overgrown Golden! However, the coat is more like a NewFoundland’s coat which resembles more of the Long Haired gene now plaguing the Labrador Retriever gene pool.
Since 2005, I have seen about a dozen of the long haired gene Labrador Retrievers. People would either call or email me and want me to look at their dog to determine what the problem was with the dogs having twice to three times the amount or coat and also the length of coat. Sure enough, when they visited here at Chambray Acres, I was stunned to actually see the long gene expression in person.
Without much information back in those days, I conjectured that it was a miss-mating between a Lab and a Golden Retriever or a Flatcoat Retriever………………….however, right from the start, there was something different with those dogs.
I had seen quite a few ‘on purpose' crosses between Labs and Goldens………………..quite a few breedings that were done in the 1970’s and 1980’s by several hunter breeders, friends of mine. So, I knew that look real good.
These ‘long haired’ guys looked different as the coat was shiney on the blacks and wavy, but the biggest difference was their physical look. They had much more bone and were more substantial in body and also a bit taller.
Another huge difference was their heads………………..it neither was a Labs head nor was it a golden head and it didn’t look like a combination of the two either!
To be honest, with the first 4 or 5 specimens that were brought to me, I was a bit perplexed, however with each succeeding dog, I began to see a pattern forming AND now I also had pedigrees to look at and surmise that something else was occurring.
From those pedigrees supplied to me by the owners of the dogs, I could see that there were several dogs in common in the different dogs that visited me here at Chambray and that were also brought to me at dog shows where we were exhibiting our dogs.
Then the lid came off the boiler cooker as several top show breeders ended up producing quite a few of the long haired genes right at about the same time (circa 2010 or so, sorry I didn’t keep exact details). Sometime around then the DNA test became available to determine whether a dog possessed the long hair gene or not.
So, it became official, the long hair gene was present in the Labrador Retriever gene pool and what I had been seeing were not cross-breeds, but real live Labrador Retrievers that were manifesting two recessive genes for long hair!
The reason that it all came to the surface was that at about the same time were several top show dogs that were CARRIERS of the trait……………….carrying in the recessive, the gene for long hair. The breeder/owners themselves did not know that their dogs were CARRIERS until several dogs that carried that recessive gene were mated and then ‘whoop there it is’, long haired puppies bounding around.
Of course, when something shows up that was totally unexpected, someone has hell to pay and there was a bit of a brouhaha for several years where the blame game was being flung around like a Frisbee at a park, but the PR repercussions suffered by some reputable breeders whose dogs were ‘closet’ long haired gene carriers was totally not called for!
Fortunately, those breeders were able to weather the storm and pubic onslaught and continue their excellent work with the breed, of course doing the right thing with the DNA testing and making sure that CARRIERS were identified and not bred to each other.
As more and more info came to light, it was seen that not only was the coat different, so where the body types and also the head types……………………….it was almost as if one of the breeds from long ago, 200 years ago had all of a sudden surfaced………………….well in actuality that’s exactly what had occurred!
Genes that were present long, long ago, had now reunited and re-surfaced making themselves known! “Howdy, how are you, long time no see!”
Seeing these dogs is like looking at a completely different breed of dog! The thing that is interesting is that they are actually very appealing both in looks and also in their temperament! I kept up with about 10 of those dogs over the years and without exception, each grew normally, lived long, healthy lives and all of them had exemplarity temperament! Of more importance, none of the dogs were ever bred, so none passed on the gene for long hair.
Of course only heavens know what happened to the litter mates from those litters. Here’s the deal, if just 1 ‘fluffy’ puppy is born in a litter………….that means that both parents are CARRIERS! That means that at least there are 50% of those in the litters that will themselves be CARRIERS and 25% be AFFECTED (the fluffy looking ones) and 25% will have inherited two genes for none-long hair!
While the potential is right there in the gene pool to produce more of these ‘off-shoots’………….there already are enough breeds of dogs available in the world for anyone to be nurturing a new (old) breed!
I know they are cute and they have great temperaments, but it will take a long time to get them recognized as a different breed, if it would ever happen…………………so traversing that uncertain gulf would certainly be perilous because there wouldn’t be any real steering mechanism to set up the guidelines for what the breed’s particulars should be.
I know that there are some folks that are already breeding dogs that have both copies of the long haired gene and that they are getting the ‘rare bucks’ for the puppies produced from the pairings of a male and a female with those genes……………….so it’s mostly $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ that is fueling some of the movement with the ‘new breed’.
I myself don’t have the energy or the time left to wage any type of battle with this situation, so this will probably be my last post about the ‘fluffy’ Labradors.
Fluffy, Silvers, Sad State Of Affairs
I would rather not use my name just in case you decide to put this up at your site. I am really upset that you made your opinions known about the Fluffy Labrador Retrievers! They are real and are registered with the AKC which makes them official! You make it sound like they are genetic monsters or something! They are born in litters and they need homes just like the normal looking ones! It is so unfair when someone that has so many people that read your pages take a stand that hurts people who have these puppies for sale to good homes.
Editors Note: The above is not word for word as I ‘cleaned’ it up quite a bit to make it understandable.
AARRRGGGG! All it takes is DNA testing to find out how not to produce them! DNA test are less than $75.
THESE DOGS ARE NOT LABRADOR RETRIEVERs AS THE BREED STANDARD DICTATES!
Read the official breed standard for the breed! No way, no how do these off brand wares even remotely look like the breed!
AKC registration and AKC papers are TOTALLY 100% worthless if the dog at the end of the papers doesn’t adhere to the dictums of the special standard for that breed! You can take a Great Dane and breed it to a Whippet and fill out a litter registration using two Great Dane’s numbers and the AKC will issue ‘papers’ for each of the illegitimate puppies born from the miss-match breeding! The AKC doesn’t have the hundreds of thousand inspectors to actually go out to everyone’s home that has a litter to police over what is real and what is fraud!
Anyone paying $4000 dollars for a knockoff and then trying to ‘recoup’ the ‘investment’ by mass breeding them doesn’t illicit any ‘sorry feelings’ from me for the culprits breeding and perpetuating that fraud!
There are contradicting theories as to how the gene got into the Labradors DNA Chromosomes, let’s be honest here, all it takes is an oooppppsss breeding where two dogs from different breeds mate and have hybrids that may look like one or the other of the two breeds and then have the unthinkable………………….have the breeder register then as one of the breeds and sell them as that breed! That to me is one way all the silvers, the blues, the charcoals, the pure whites and all the rest of the off wares that are being clamored all over the Internet as being “official AKC registrable Labrador Retrievers came about!
I am being nice, saying the above, because in reality, the majority of all these hybrids and mixed breeds have been done on purpose!
I saw my first silvers back in 1976! I visited a farm down in Homestead Fl that was advertising Silver Labrador Retrievers in the Miami Herald. Intrigued, I call the number and got the address and drove south the 12 miles to the edge of Homestead and Florida City.
I really didn’t need the address because every telephone pole on the way had a sign indicating where to go for about a mile before the final destination. Then on the side of a large tractor trailer moving van was an old weathered hand painted SILVER LABRADORS sign.
I pulled off the road next to the fence where inside the property the tractor trailer with the hand painted side sign was and inched forward a bit to look into the large acreage wondering where the driveway was.
Just then and old codger from across the street approached my van and asked if we came to look at those silver Labs. I said that I had seen the ad in the paper and that I was fascinated with a new color that wasn’t supposed to be real.
“Heck yeah they are real………………..cause over there in the red dilapidated barn you will find the mother and the puppies! Female she being a light fawn color, puppies look just like their daddy!” he was still pointing to the old crumbling building that must have been easily 100 years old!
“Are you the owner” I would ask the old sun weathered, leathery looking man.
“Nope, me and the owner been shooting at each other for years!” he would fess up. “Heck, if I were a better shot, that piece of %*#^$#*#, wouldn’t have knee caps by now!”
He offered more information, “If you pull up above 30 paces, you can look way down the fence line over there next to that irrigation equipment and you can see the daddy of them suckers………………he’s that real tall, long-legged Waymagraner…………..I think they call those dogs!”
“Every six months that poor old gal will have a litter of a dozen or so of them there suckers”, the real McCoy resembling man would serve up. “Yep, she gotta be well over 9 years old about now cause we got into the first time he towed that dam eyesore semi-truck and parked it right here inside his fence across the street from my driveway………………..with that huge hand painted sign of Silver Labradors on it!”
Sure enough after I thanked the old farmer and drove around the other side of the sprawling property, I did drive right next to the irrigation equipment and right there in plain sight in a large fenced in paddock was a Weimaraner dog! Yep, that would be the daddy of the silver Labradors!
Eventually some real backwoods fellow, nothing wrong with being backwoods, but this guy had his fair share of scars all over his face and arms, so I did fear a little! “You here to see the Silver Labs puppies……………they are rare, so they be twice as much as the regular colored ones!” would be his greetings to me.
“I get $300 for the chocolate ones when she has some, and its $600 for the real rare Silver ones…………..they all got real papers and a pedigree yay long!” he would be pointing the length of his arm!
That day, I did see 11 scrawny, boney, skin sagging, sorry looking silver whelps, no older than 6 weeks old, not much more than 5 or 6 lbs each……………….all silver of different shades……………….long floppy ears, long narrow muzzle and very light colored eyes…………………………….all NOT WHAT THE BREED called for!
Of course I drove away empty handed…………..on purpose, telling the real rough neck that I would think about it………………………think about it I did……………….for years and years and still today 40 years later remembered it all vividly!
Be Careful What You Ask For
It totally amazes me the power and far reaching effects of social media!
For over 28 years now we have been conducting night training classes……………..the first 5 years right here at Chambray Acres and then 20 consecutive years at the FPL Headquarters parking lot and now the last 3 years back at Chambray………………that’s 2 and 3 nights a week for 28 years and our exposure was significant for us to have seen 30+ dogs per week, for maybe 1200 dogs a year, over 30,000 over all these years!
My daughter Jessie………..part of the ‘connected’ generation……………….like if they can’t have some type of gadget connecting them to the cyber world, then they shrivel up and act like dead possums………………….she takes her cell phone and decides to go ‘live’ with a Facebook broadcast of our usual night training classes.
Hey, innocuous looking enough…………………..a person with a small cell phone out at the fringe areas of civilization (where Chambray Acres is)…………………who could be attracted to that!
Zip, zap and just like that, she announces that we have 89 followers! Like in 89 souls are tuned in and watching her little tiny cell phone ‘live’ broadcast of me doing what I have been doing for the last 28 years………………………….that probably not too many knew about and now there were 101 followers, because by leaps and bounds more and more people were ‘following’!
There was anyone and everyone that we know and don’t know from the dog world and then some!
Our friendly friends and those friends that you keep close…………….our competitors, both handlers and breeders, owners and who knows who else…………………..for me a real ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??????’ experience!
How do I know how many and just about who? Not only do these little cell phone, ‘live’ broadcast out to all those knowns and unknowns as well…………………………………..this ‘Facebook’ broadcasting thing actually knows who is watching and then it reports it back as pronto as Tonto would say ‘Kemasabe’!
Within barely minutes of running the class, Jessie shows me certain people that are Facebook stalking…………….well, the terminology is ‘following’…………………..but it sure does feel like stalking to me! There was a ton and a half just from Florida, but then 'surprise' a Mexican connection and I really then said "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?"
But hey, that’s a grand old thing to be happening because that’s what this social media is all about…………………..having folk connected at the hip with little cell phones, everyone privy to whatever is happening ‘live’ here, there and everywhere, where I am sure that Old McDonald would be happy as a horned lark!
So, Little Old Me is happy again because lately I had been bitchin like a nag without a bag that these young whippersnappers, Johnny Come Lately Labrador breeder blokes with all this hyped up at the speed of light social media, were leaving me in the dust in the ‘world acclaim’ realm.
Never mind all of our collective successes, with all the years that it has taken to reach the lofty status of Top Breeder………………the blood, sweat and many tears along the long and winding road to get here from way, way back there………………………now to have the relatively new upstarts get all the fame and glory, all because they have these little cell phones and these little live broadcasts in Facebook and other media that I don’t want to know about because at my age there isn’t enough gray matter to wrap up a chocolate covered cherry, never mind trying to wrap my diminishing mind around Instagram, Twitter, Skype and a myriad of other off-the-wall sounding things to try and learn about.
So, I put my foot down, actually it’s getting harder and harder to lift it off the floor………….but hey, you know what I mean………………………I kept moaning and groaning until one of my protozoans (I know the usual term is progeny, but over here, protozoans gets the job done) I knew that if a acted codgery enough they would get sick and tired of the bellyaching..... and Jessie finally did something that the old man wanted done!
Just like that, it was a done deal! Now, there is an endless stream of followers on Facebook that want to be ‘friends’ or want to be ‘liked’ or whatever it is they need to be confirmed to be able to follow better than they have been doing, or something like that…………………………guess what……………….more work for me to keep with the hundreds now that have joined along with this social media zip line with no end in sight!
Be careful what you ask for!
Say NO to Fluffy!
My name is John Doe (name changed). I Have had a couple of labs in my life (best dogs ever!) and now my 16 year old daughter wants one. I have been looking and keep coming back to your website. I have a few questions:
1. She has expressed interest in a “fluffy”(Paddington) lab. I looked on internet and found some information but not enough, and I don’t know anything about this. First, are “fluffy” labs still something you breed and are they still AKC? Second, how do they acclimate in FL . Third, anything else I would need to know to seriously consider a “fluffy lab”.
2. Do you know timing on upcoming litters that a pup wold be available for us to purchase?
3. Can you let m know a little more about your process? Meaning, my daughter wants the puppy experience (seems I have always gotten mine at 8-12 weeks of age), but I also understand the value of professional training (and I see its offered from your website)… What age would training start and how long would initial (puppy away from her) last? We won’t show, and I know enough to keep them trained but no where near enough to properly teach boundaries or other skills like that.
Thank you for your interest in our Labradors and our Puppy Placement Program.
First I will address the 'fluffy' Labrador situation. Mostly because I have received more than a dozen inquiries about them in the last year and this reply to you will serve as an educational blog at my Blogging Off page.
There is a breed standard in place for every accepted breed of dog. Each breed standard (blue print) is as unique as each breed should be. Unique is what sets breeds apart, otherwise why have different breeds?
Following those 'guidelines', keeps those breeds true blue. In Labrador Retrievers, the area of 'coat' is covered explicitly!
There is absolute no question about the color (ONLY 3 COLORS! black, yellow and chocolate) and there's no questions that straight, short, dense and course to the feel means...................it means straight, short, dense and course to the feel!
Just because an aberration, anomaly, mutation, or addendum (on purpose) shows up in any breed, doesn't mean that those breeding that breed should jump on a divergent bandwagon and continue to perpetuate that offshoot that showed up!
It doesn't matter if they can 'prove' that it is present in the gene pool (so are 1000's of other unwanted traits)................in fact a true breeder of any breed will do everything possible to ensure that this non-breed type recessive does not perpetuate and create another 'mess' for the breed.
Of course, when a whole breeding program is at risk to being wiped out (loss of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$), then people, being 'human' will take a different view on what's best for the breed!
Those true blue defenders of the breed..............of Labradors, surmising that they may be dealing with the long haired gene ('fluffy' sells better) in their breeding stock, will have the DNA test done to identify the carriers and then not breed carriers to carriers that will produce 25% CLEAR (non-carriers, non-affected, in other words the real GOOD ONES)...................50% Carriers (the ones carrying the BAD GENE)............................... & 25% AFFECTED (the cute FLUFFY, OVER-SIZED, more like Golden Retrievers, BUT MUCH LARGER................whatever you want to call them, BAD FOR THE BREED dogs)
Now, back to the real Labrador Retriever. Being in Florida, you have come to the right source if any of the above rings a bell for you as to doing the right thing!
If that's the case, then I will take my time, of which I am very short on because of my 24/7 involvement with the breed and with the owners that own the 100's that are part of my various programs for Labrador Retriever, for the last 46 years....................I will make the time to further your appreciation of the breed as it should be and if after our exchanging of information, we feel that we can continue to work together for the betterment of the breed, then there may be a Chambray puppy that may then work well with what you and your daughter have in mind.
ESPECIALLY, since my 27-year old daughter, Jessica Herzon operates the only Junior Handling Program in the South East US, mentoring dozens and dozens of kids from 6 to 18 in all aspects of dog showing, training, conditioning and more. We are mentors for several high schools with Vet programs and academies where students in those programs get hands on training right here at Chambray Acres.
Check out our Training Page and then follow us in Facebook, especially for our Live Broadcasts from the various training classes that are ongoing here 7 days a week.
Ill Winds Still Blow
Through the years, I have heard it all!
However, just when I make that statement, along comes a whirlwind that blows up something from heaven knows where…………………….which I then must add to all the things that I have heard through the years!
Around and around we go and where that merry-go-round stops only my time left on these Green Acres will tell!
Sit a spell and I will share of few of the riddles that have snaked along through the ages.
Way back in the beginning when Chambray’s ‘Place the best from each litter’ came into practice, the establishment………………………..those old and crusty, mostly those from the fair sex, were indignant to hear that some ‘wet behind the ears upstart’ was actually telling his owners that ‘he’ really placed the best puppies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Hogwash!’…………………………… “Con artist”, “Car salesman”…………………….hey you name it and they said it…………………of course these were among the nicer ditties that resonated from all points north, east and west of my little safe haven right here where I have grown old……………………keep in mind that where I have resided for 4+ decades is as far south as there is a Labrador show breeder!
Of course it didn’t help matters much that the insurgent (me) was a ‘he’! Oh boy, yes, oh boy, because you see, Labradors have been ruled by Iron Maidens………………yes, they of the gentler gender have had their say about this grand ole opry Labrador country of ours!
They of the ‘Queen Bee’ persuasion, laying the law down and forming bee hive cliques that would swarm all over any intruder.
Boy do I know the preceding first hand, second hand and so on! Swarm they did and have…………….and 4+ decades later, still do!
Very few men have been included into the sorority-like domain of Labrador breeders and I have never been asked to even visit the woman cave, where ever it may be!
So, there was ‘Johnny Come Lately’ (me)…………………….gee I would have been happy with that name, so imagine the names that I have heard through this humongous time span!
After having been established a bit, enough to make the waves a little more than beginner’s ripples………………the knocks were “he runs a puppy mill because look at all those puppies he brings out’!
“He must be breeding hundreds of litters because no one has that many puppies showing!”
My poor owners heard the onslaught and I let each of them know that it was okay because sooner or later ‘THEY’ would get it! ‘They’ would see for themselves and come to understand this new movement of placing the best, which meant that WE/ME didn’t keep ANY………………..therefore, there would be many more puppies and dogs showing from that breeder (me) than there would be from them, who kept the best and only showed a few!
You would think that after 2 or 3 years of witnessing the process that THEY would get it!
I WAS WRONG!
THEY NEVER GOT IT……………………….even today, 40+ years later they would get it...............nah, there are some from that old school, that have been front row and center…………………that have seen wave after wave of owners with Chambray dogs, years, decades and scores of years and owners and still they DON’T GET IT!
The old ways have a way of persisting even in the face of newer, better, more efficient ways! Some folk are like that, resisting in the face of success………………success, not just for the breeder (me), but for the hundreds and hundreds of owners over 40 years or more and then there is the Betterment of the Breed………………..how much have all of us, me and the owners, how much have we all contributed to the breed…………………….in calculable, tons and tons worth!
How much have those that ‘kept the best’ for themselves, how much have they contributed?
So, when I say I have heard it all, I look over my shoulder, shuddering and waiting for the next ill wind to blow!
A Day At Chambray.............Even On Sunday!
A “Not So Good” Interview @ Chambray
Right on time the 10 am appointment pulled up to the front gate and then followed the instructions of the sign attached to that front gate, ‘Do Not Park In Front Of Gate’………………..the car pulled over to one side of the gate and 4 occupants proceeded to exit the immaculately shiny Bentley.
I approached the gate and as usual…..usual being thousands and thousands of times repeating the exact same procedure of meeting guests, existing Chambray owners, training clients and Interviews for puppies……………….all those thousands that have visited Chambray Acres for a variety of reasons, and here was @#$@#&#%#% +1!
The prim and proper looking family of four approached the gate as I push the remote control to open up the passage for them to enter my realm. I greeted them from my usual chair under the Old Orchid Tree and directed them to come and sit with me for us to exchange information.
No sooner that the four of them sat down, that the ‘designated’ mouth piece, the man………………I assume the father of the 2 pre-teens and the woman who appeared to be too young to be the children’s mother, spoke out in a very demanding tone of voice, “I have read your informative website in its entirety and I would like to dispense with the formalities and actually see the puppies that we came to see if there is anything we like!”
Already knowing where this Puppy Placement Interview was headed, my reply was short and sweet, “You must have missed the page where it explains that there are no puppies being made available at this time, so you will need to come back when the litter that is due at the end of the month is 7 weeks old!”
Taken quite aback and lost for words, the Ivy League groomed fellow comes back with, “There must be a misunderstanding or communication failure, because I won’t drive out an hour to nowhere and not be able choose what I am interesting in buying!”
Since I review all emails from the expected visitors right before they are due to arrive, I had gone over the email where I make it clear that there are no puppies now and that a litter will be born in Weston Fl at the end of the month and that by the middle of November, they will be here with me at 6 weeks of age. In addition, there is a 2nd email that more than clearly stated that those puppies will be evaluated at 7 weeks of age to determine their show status and also their temperament, which will give me the needed information as to whom each puppy will be placed with.
“You must have your sources mixed up, since I don’t sell puppies, rather I place puppies where I think they will fit the best with several criteria. A buyer choosing a puppy is not one of the criterium, so I don’t think it is conducive for either of us to lose any more time taking this any further!” My end all reply seemed to resonate in the orderly pattern way of thinking for the ‘man in charge’ and up as if on cue, the man rose from his seat and headed out the front gate, with the other 3 tagalongs never uttering a single word.
A Highly Successful Puppy Placement Interview
The very next appointment to Chambray Acres was another Puppy Placement Interview with a family of five. Still thinking about the wayfarers that had just sailed by my little Labrador haven; I was hoping that this would be a more pleasurable visitation!
I would not be disappointed as the exact opposite of pleasant vs uppity, friendly vs stiff upper lip, genuine vs plastic……………………the right stuff for a family to have a Labrador Retriever!
Not just any Labrador Retriever, but the best Chambray Labrador Retriever!
Yep, a ‘Eureka’ moment because what we have available for placement right at the moment are 3 astronomical show prospects and I have interviewed/passed up 15 families to get to this one family that are likely candidates for one of Chambray’s bestl
For all those Chambray owners out there that have one of Chambray’s best, you all know what I am talking about! Yep, each and every one of you should know, because I handpicked each one of you to be a Chambray owner!
Yep, quite a special group, these cherry picked owners that passed the gauntlet, the hurdles, the litmus test to be able to be a Chambray owner………………..but you all know who you all are!
So, iF all bodes well in our next meeting, they will be the newest Chambray owners.
An Exultation Visit To Chambray…………………For All Involved!
The very next visitors to Chambray had lots and lots of business and ground to cover, so I allotted two hours for them. ‘Them’ being a husband and wife from Merritt Island Fl…………………..that’s like a 4 hour ride north of here. They are also existing Chambray owners with 2 of our produce and before that they had already been involved with raising Labradors on their own for many years.
They came on board wanting to enter into the show dog realm by associating with a successful entity and in Florida; there is no other organization that remotely measures up to Chambray’s offerings for the betterment of the breed.
So, todays visit was far reaching and also risky for all the different components to come out smelling like roses!
For, right off the bat there was to be a dreaded DOG EVALUTION FOR SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG………………….the chances for a 2-Thumbs Up evaluation for a dog to be rated as worthy for show is dismal to say the least…………………………………..barely 1 in 20 make the grade…………………………those are dastardly odds for someone that has spent quite a few bucks on a dog from another breeder and then bring it out for me to evaluate to see if the dog is worth competing in Florida…………………………….in Florida against the best Labradors in the country………………….those from Chambray……………..no idle boasting here………………..TOP BREEDER 2012, TO BREEDER 2014, TO BREEDER 2015 and, and, and drum roll maestro, more than likely a Three-Peat with TOP BREEDER in 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But here they were, driving that long trek down to my neck of the woods, I am sure hoping for the best that the Labrador they just imported from Korea…………………..yep, that’s Korea, like way over there by China and Japan…………..that Korea………………….now here in South Florida, right next to the Everglades where I have been living now for 43 years, raising, training and exhibiting Labradors all those years!
So, let’s just cut to the chase here and say EUREKA! Yep, Siskel and Ebert would have approved their two thumbs up as well as I did. So, now this ‘Korean’ import Labrador Retriever joins Chambray Labradors and our Owner’s Program for the Betterment of the Breed through our Show Dog Management Program……….to be trained, conditioned and exhibited under our avant garde offerings!
So, a super rare 1 in 20 Two Thumbs Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, so one down and two to go from my owners from Merritt Island!
Next up, the soon to be one year old male black puppy that was placed with them last year as the Top Show Prospect of a litter where the sire was Florida’s #1 Labrador and #6 in the USA……that puppy left here for the last 2 weeks for training, conditioning and ultimately for evaluation to see his worthiness for us to continue showing him.
If he were to not get a ‘passing’ from the Chambray consigliere (Ma and Pa and Jessie), then we would honor our show quality guarantees of replacing him with another top show prospect!
FRET NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He passed with flying colors! In the two weeks here he transformed from the proverbial ugly duckling to a beautiful showy black swan! Don’t take my word for it, ask the owners as they were bedazzled by the show presentation that was provided them to see how far he had ascended!
Hey, even I was super amazed and I have been watching and supervising the entire process here with his training, conditioning and psychological development!
If the two thumbs up legends, previously mention, Siskel and Ebert would be able to raise 4 thumbs up, well, this would have been one for their book, a 4-Thumbs Up conclusion. Now we await the up and coming Florida shows for this awesome young boy to put on a likewise performance.
Now to the third and final agenda on the menu for the day with our very excited owners that so far have had great news delivered!
But, there’s no way that agenda #3 could go wrong! Here they were deciding on another show prospect!
This time a yellow male!
Now get this, because this will not happen with any other top show Labrador breeder in the enter country!
They actually were given the choice from 3 of the best yellow show males from the 2016 breedings!
In fact, the top typiest of all the puppies from 4 litters we have had this year! Half-brother from Devonshires Huckleberry Finn to our newest champion, Ch Chambrays Duke and half-brother to Chambrays Vivacious N Counter from Chambrays Summer!
Pip, Estella and Ms. Havisham would really have great expectations from this golden boy!
Plus the two best moving puppies from several of those litters…………………………..their nicknames tells their story, Flash and Turbo!
There’s more……………………………….all 3 have been receiving advanced show training right here at Chambray Acres since they were all 6 weeks old! So, they are supercharged and ready to go. Come the first Florida shows now in the fall, they will be up and at them and scoring big right away!
So, what say ye? Well, with a little prodding and directing, they went with what I thought would fit with their existing dogs and program……………………the Golden Boy will be there newest Chambray addition!
AN AKT Training Session
No sooner that we were wrapping up two hours plus with that family, that the next AKT, that’s AT KENNEL TRAINING……………………..which is free for all our show puppies....................... pulled up right on time.
As we walked our finished appointment out the front gate, the next ones were coming back for their first puppy training session since taking their new puppy home 3 weeks ago. When they left back then, the puppy was 8 weeks old and well behaved because of our daily training sessions here at Chambray…………………………..well, three weeks later he was in for a rude awakening because he had been having his way at his new digs and that stuff doesn’t cut it here with us especially if the owners tells us 'he has gotten out of hand’.
So, a major tune-up is performed and after an hour with us here teaching the new owners what it is they must do and instill in the puppy, a different attitude emerges from the puppy and the owners now can attempt the same procedures at home to illicit the same response!
Of course, for us, it is a major win, win situation because this particular puppy is one of the top show puppies from his litter and we hope to have him and his owners on board with our Chambray mission for the betterment of the breed!
So, you would think that after such a busy day, we are now finished, wrapped up and calling it a day………………………………….NOT!
Here it is 5:15 PM and we await the last appointment of the day, our newest champion for 2016, number 5 for the year, number 55 total homebred champions, Ch Chambrays Duke Destined For Greatness…………………………a champion before he even turned a year old, now Grand Champion pointed, with 3 Wins Over Competition……………….that means he has been beating much older and more seasoned champions and he just turned a year old last week!
So, what’s he here for……………………….more training, more conditioning and more strategies for his future!
Oh by the way fret not again about the two puppies that were not chosen, because as it works out, the Highly Successful Interview from earlier in the day, will now have the choice from Flash and Turbo and they too will be joining our ever growing families of Chambray owners that appreciate the highest quality of Labradors in the US………………right here in South Florida.
A Picture Is Worth
The old faithful geyser saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ can tell the story so much better than all the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of word that I have used to describe what it is we do with Labradors that does create the Winning Edge at the dog shows!
Since going ‘live’ on Facebook with our night training classes, we have received dozens of inquiries about our training and conditioning programs. The best part is that some of those that have communicated with us are telling us that they finally get it! That they realize what it is that we do to make it all come together for those dogs in our Show Dog Management Program.
So major kudos to pictures and to videos for ‘saying by showing it’ and saving me the breath it takes to tell people anything! I’m still going to be re-iterating over and over again our total involvement with the breed for posterity’s sake, but it sure does make it ‘real’ for all those with Doubting Thomas persuasions to actually see what they for whatever reason don’t want to admit is one of the main ingredients to success when dealing with showing dogs.
Recently at a dog show a breeder/exhibitor shared with me that it was difficult to compete against the Chambray dogs because our dogs are so fit and perform much better than her dogs because she doesn’t have the time to go to training classes and doesn’t know what to work on with her dogs at home.
That’s the reason why some young guy just out of college signed a $40 million dollar contract to come on the Miami Heat’s basketball team versus the other 40 million guys shooting hoops at their nearby park not making a cent for all the sweat they dripped all over the asphalt courts they toil at.
In every endeavor, sport or fancy there are always one or two at the top with multitudes watching from afar ‘awishin and ahopin’ that they too could somehow partake in the gravy train. The dire fact is that they won’t never, ever get to that pinnacle because they just don't have what it takes to get there, some don’t even know what it is they need to do!
Fortunately, for those striving to have the best Labradors, there’s the breeding and raising program of Chambray Labradors and then to have those dogs trained and conditioned and eventually taken to the show ring and provided the best possible handling in the Labrador ring, there is Professional K9 Services (Ma and Pa Herzon) and Xclusive K9 Services (Jessica Herzon) to make it all happen.
To the perineal contributor that laments there not being a separate venue for amateurs and another one for the professional handler/breeders…………………no amount of photos and videos will affect change in that way of thinking! What good would it do to have a bunch of lesser conformation, lesser trained, lesser conditioned and then add haphazard handled dogs? What you would end up with is the best of the least! These would be so much less, by virtue of how they got there, would for sure carry the stigma of ‘lesser grade’ Labradors…………..then they would end up breeding to each other…………….perpetuating the less-ness to yet another generation of less than stellar dogs? Where would all that lead to?
There are over 100 great Labrador breeders in the country, producing at the same level as Chambray Labradors does. Their conformation level is at the highest there could be and they are very successful at the venues that they exhibit their dogs at. The sad fact that goes along with the preceding is that there are 1000 times as many blokes breeding that just don’t light a candle to the minimalist’s list of 100 or fewer!
To the lady that complained that what we do as breeders, trainers and handlers………………..that it really doesn’t serve the breed as much as it does our own kennel…………………………well there’s truth in that dig, however not much forethought was applied in thinking it through before jumping off the wall of half-baked conclusions.
Just as hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands other breeders………………we too have our own ‘private stock’, our own dogs that we brand under the names Chambray, WinQuest, N Counter (3 kennel names that we manage from one end of the spectrum to the other)……………………then there are 100’s that have no kennel name, that co-breed under the auspices and breeding management of Chambray Labradors and all these dogs and their owners take 1000% advantage of all our breed-indicative services…………………so we can verify that there are 100’s, maybe over a thousand that do derive great benefits from all our Labrador-related offerings and services.
Not to mention the 100’s if not 1000’s of owners with their dogs in the last 46 years of training, conditioning and handling that came from other breeders and kennels that have partaken in everything we have to offer to the breed.
How many other breeders in the country can make any claims remotely comparable to the preceding? So when we state that Chambray Labradors and all of our Labrador-related undertakings have been providing a great venue and resources to Labrador Retrievers, we have tons of the ‘proof is in eating the pudding’ to back all of that up, with thousands of very satisfied Labrador owners.
Now, it would be totally impossible for us to reach the minions/millions out there, we barely have enough time to take care of the 100’s that ‘follow’ us on a daily basis, like in really, really follow us right here at Chambray with their dogs in tow………………then there are those other hundreds that Facebook follow us as well. So, for those that can’t make it physically here at Chambray we are now proving ‘live’ Facebook broadcasts of our night training classes and also on selected private one on one sessions with clients and their dogs!
How many other Labrador breeders do that?
Well, here we are on the 1st day of September. We are now into full-fledged training and conditioning for the second half of the dog show season here in Florida which commences again on September 24th at Deland Fl.
This year for the very first time in over 30 years, we will be missing 2 weekends of dog shows right here in our own backyard of South Florida. Neither the South Dade Kennel Club’s show in November, nor the Greater Miami Dog Club’s show in December will take place!
So, we are down 2 weekends of shows to wrap up the 2016 Dog Show Year.
However, still on the itinerary will be the ‘still standing’ weekends of dog shows as follows:
Deland ~ September 24th & 25th
Ocala ~ October 1st & 2nd
Arcadia ~ October 8th & 9th
Plant City ~ October 29th & 30th
Ocala ~ November 17th thru the 20th
Finishing the year off with huge fireworks will be the 2016 AKC-Eukanuba National Championships week of shows on December 13th through the 18th in Orlando FL.
Right now we are working on matching last year’s Top Breeder of the Year, where Chambray Labradors had 6 new champions for the year, tying our own records of 6 champions in 2012 and in 2014, which each year gave us the most new champions for a breeder for the year.
So far in 2016, we are leading the pack with 5 new champions and are anxious to see if at least 2 more of our class dogs will attain the needed points and or majors for their AKC champion's title to join those awesome 5 dogs and hopefully tally enough to give Chambray an unprecedented 4 years at the top, with 3 of those years being a Three-Peat!
Our Dog Show Weekend Winning Streak is on the line with 139 consecutive weekends with Best Of Breeds, Winners Dog and /or Winners Bitch wins.............unheard of and unbelievable until varified with our Dog Show Results of every single win inclduing all those weekends where all three major wins, BOB, WD and WB were all won by Chambray.
In addition, we have a super stellar group of puppies and youngsters waiting to make their debut at the September/October and November shows. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the next generation of puppies that are Chambray’s contribution to the betterment of the breed.
So, as in football, it’s time to suit up and begin making the treks to the Florida dog show venues.