Hey, it's February 25th
“So, what’s in your wallet?”
That is something I get asked with quite the frequency and the answer is always the same and yet, because my response is so novel to the inquisitor, it just doesn’t seem to dawn on them with a one-coat varnish reply.
Okay, okay, for those still reading along…………..I have never been asked that question, ever!
Nope, but I do get asked beaucoup versions of the following, “What in tar blazes is this Owner’s Program of yours all about?”
Again, in all honesty, not one single soul has ever used ‘tar blazes’, but hey, you get the gist…………..right?
I do get asked about ‘this owner’s program thing’ with most of those asking having that ‘give-away look’ on their face, you know the one, it’s that scrounged look when someone either isn’t going to like the answer or they expect the answer to be so far-flung that they are already putting up walls and barriers in anticipation that they are not going to be in accord with whatever I inform them about.
Fear of the unknown will do that to people…………………they don’t know enough about something, so they stay clear of it or the other catch-all phrase that Doubting Thomas’ recite verbatim, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it is” …………………that well-worn cliché raises all kinds of red flags, hackles, suspicion, cynicism and tons of doubt and will drive some away…………instead of moving forward and taking advantage of worthwhile deals and opportunities…………..and what an opportunity this Owner’s Program has been to the hundreds that have partaken in one or all of the offerings.
Of course, Chambray’s Owner’s Program is not new, no way, no how, in fact, it is now middle-aged!
That is affirmative to the max because this year marks the 30th anniversary of its inception. 1989 to 2019 seems like a mighty long time and yet some folks that have been around the Labrador world since those dark ages are just now cozying up to the idea that we do have something cooking worth looking into!
For those asking, hey, I can’t make it any easier to digest…………………..We breed for the best…………………we place the best with those that want the best……………………..We provide the best in training and handling………We are the winningest Labrador breeders in the country with those dogs we place!
Proof you say…………..or ask again? Ye want proof, ye get proof…………………the proof is in eating the pudding………………………so, you can have a little bit of this and a little bit of that!
How about some of this……………..More breeder-bred Labrador champions in the last 8 years than any other breeder in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave………….41 brand-spanking new AKC champions to be exact………………any one out there topple that?
Or how about a wee bit of that………………More Grand Champion Labs (25) since the AKC implemented the Grand Champions in 2009! Once again, any toppers out there?
Okay, sample this…………..More Silver Grand Champion Labs 4 out of the 54 Silver Gr Champion Labradors in the country to date……………anyone out there has more?
Hey, taste some of this……………………………..More Bronze Grand Champion Labs (11) than the next one down the line!
Here’s a real big deal…………………More Grand Champions in the AKC Top 100 Labrador Grand Champions...... 5 years in a row and still at the Top in 2019
What about this……………………more champions from the Bred-By-Exhibitor Class with 11 BBE Champions, earning the AKC’s BBE Silver & the BBE Gold Medallion………….not many that can make that claim.
Chambray Labradors Owner’s Program is proven over and over in every category that would qualify any breeder to claim the top spot from over 2000 Labrador Retriever breeders in the country…did I mention that as a breeder/handlers, we have won at every weekend of dog shows that we have competed at since January 2012…………..200 Consecutive Dog Show Winning Weekends………..to May 2019!!!!!!!
The preceding shouldn’t be too difficult to understand unless one fears the unknown or is it that people choose not to see what’s real and then engage in blind & fake hearsay?
I don’t know, you tell me!
What’s in your wallet?
The 2019 New Year came in with a tremendous roar as expectations for a much better year is on everyone’s mind and spirit!
At Chambray Labradors we ticked out the old year on a major winning streak and even better, a champion crowning tradition unequaled by any Labrador breeder in the country…………ever!
Yes, the Dog Show Consecutive Winning Weekend streak wrapped up SEVEN FULL YEARS of winning without having a losing weekend since January 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That truly is something that no other Labrador breeder can lay claim to.
As astounding as the preceding winning streak has become, we look to add more of these super successful winning weekends to the treasure trove we have now………….as awesome as the preceding has become, there is a ‘higher calling’ record that is considered beyond zenith stratosphere in achieving for Labrador breeders……40 Home-bred champions in 8 years!
That number is a lifelong career number for a just a few that maybe have been breeding for 30 years or more!........................those 40 add to the prior 23, giving Chambray Labradors the high watermark of 63 career home-bred champions……….as a perspective, that’s more than three times as many as the 2nd place Florida Labrador breeder.
So, what do we do to make the New Year as memorable as what we have achieved so far………………well, we just keep on with the Winning Tradition by following the Betterment of the Breed credo!
When something has been working near perfection for 30 years, you hone, you tweak…………………you refine, you level up and raise the bar to ensure that the best is yet to come………………that’s a path that will lead to the highest strata of success.
Something new, something blue for 2019………………………we will maintain these pages where we will post news, opinions and educational material, however, the new part is that we will devote much, much more of our time ‘broadcasting’ on social media, with Facebook being the prime conduit of choice.
Just in the month of December, we totaled well over 12,000 views with 3 different Puppy Evaluations conducted and posted to Facebook, with 2 of those on Facebook Live……………………..so Live Streaming is the way to go and we are outfitting ourselves with the needed equipment to create top-flight broadcasts and videos that can be watched live and also accessed on video through Facebook and also the Chambray YouTube channel.
Visit our Webpages often, but to stay up to date with the cutting edge Labrador-related educational seminars, webcasts, instructional videos and live streaming join us on Facebook.
December 8th Evaluation Primer
Evaluations are performed on litters to identify the breed traits from each puppy in the litter. There is a time constraint for evaluating Labrador puppies that are limited to the age of 7 ½ weeks old to no more than 8 ½ weeks old.
Anything before 7 ½ weeks old, catches the puppies not yet developed out where some are not even running fully…………………..past the 8 ½ weeks old mark, catches them in the stretching out period where legs start to extend……………….so optimally the best time is that 6 to 7 day period where Lab puppies seem to be little replicas of what they ‘should’ grow into as adults.
A thorough knowledge of the Labrador breed standard is a must to fully comprehend the process involved since each component of the puppy will be covered as to whether it conforms to the dictums of the breed or if not, how far the deviations are from the stated breed trait according to that ‘blueprint’ for the breed.
The further away a component is from the description set forth in the official Labrador Retriever Breed Standard, the further away that individual puppy will be from the preferred breed type to the point that some deviations will lead to ‘flaws’……………….further deviations will become ‘faults’ and then there are those deviations so far away from what it should be that the standard describes those a ‘serious structural defects’.
For instance: Cowhocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.
(the preceding copied right from the Labrador Breed Standard)
So we have:
Some dogs that make it to the show arena may have some slight FLAWS………….hopefully not too serious FAULTS and certainly NO DEFECTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DQ’s are automatically not evaluated!
During the evaluation, our evaluation, a puppy identified with a DQ or a SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECT, will be taken off the table and its evaluation for show purpose will terminate. I would not invest my time, energy and money on a puppy with a SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECT, so I won’t lend my name as an evaluator on such a prospect for someone else to take the chance with.
In my opinion, this is the only way that an evaluation for the betterment of the breed is worthy! Anything else is a detriment to the breed.
The actual evaluation!
#1 Position Breed Type – Setting the puppy up with a side profile to determine the ‘whole look’ of the puppy. We are looking for the correct OUTLINE of the breed! There are descriptives, ratios, dimensions, lengths, heights, angles, complementary components, and assemblies………………..all of these coming together as described by the breed standard that depicts that breed as being unique for that breed and not like any other breed of dog.
Note: If ANYTHING looks off…………..calls attention……………..reminds you of another breed during this view……………..then something is not right with that individual puppy and depending on the deviation for the described correct look……………slight deviations, moderate deviations and severe deviations each will take away from the show-worthiness of that puppy.
*Several visuals here would be the correct height at the shoulders that corresponds to the correct length…..neck position……topline/tail…….front assembly………….rear assembly
*Proportion-Short-coupled; length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump is equal to or slightly longer than the distance from the withers to the ground. Distance from the elbow to the ground should be equal to one half of the height at the withers. The brisket should extend to the elbows, but not perceptibly deeper.
*The neck should rise strongly from the shoulders with a moderate arch.
*Topline-The back is strong and the topline is level from the withers to the croup when standing or moving. The tail completes the balance of the Labrador by giving it a flowing line from the top of the head to the tip of the tail.
*Shoulders-The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach. Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm. Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body.
*Hindquarters: The Labrador's hindquarters are broad, muscular and well-developed from the hip to the hock with well-turned stifles and strong short hocks. Viewed from the side, the angulation of the rear legs is in balance with the front. The hind legs are strongly boned, muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle, and powerful, clearly defined thighs. When standing the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump.
#2 Position After covering the above side view of the puppy, the puppy will then be turned forward to see the front of the dog.
* Front-The Labrador should be short-coupled, with good spring of ribs tapering to a moderately wide chest. The Labrador should not be narrow chested; giving the appearance of hollowness between the front legs, nor should it have a wide spreading, bulldog-like front. Correct chest conformation will result in tapering between the front legs that allow unrestricted forelimb movement. Chest breadth that is either too wide or too narrow for efficient movement and stamina is incorrect. Slab-sided individuals are not typical of the breed; equally objectionable are rotund or barrel-chested specimens. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness. Tied-in elbows or being "out at the elbows" interfere with free movement and are serious faults.
*Head: Skull-The skull should be wide; well developed but without exaggeration. The skull and fore face should be on parallel planes and of approximately equal length. There should be a moderate stop-the brow slightly pronounced so that the skull is not absolutely in a straight line with the nose. The muzzle neither long and narrow nor short and stubby. Ears-The ears should Page 2 of 4 hang moderately close to the head, set rather far back, and somewhat low on the skull; slightly above eye level. Ears should not be large and heavy, but in proportion with the skull and reach to the inside of the eye when pulled forward. Teeth-The teeth should be strong and regular with a scissors bite; the lower teeth just behind, but touching the inner side of the upper incisors. A level bite is acceptable, but not desirable. Undershot, overshot, or misaligned teeth are serious faults. Full dentition is preferred. Missing molars or pre-molars are serious faults.
#3 Position After covering the above front view of the puppy, the puppy will then be turned to see the rear assembly of the dog.
*Rear Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and parallel. The hock joints are strong, well let down and do not slip or hyper-extend while in motion or when standing. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Cowhocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks, and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.
* Coat: The coat is a distinctive feature of the Labrador Retriever. It should be short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand. The Labrador should have a soft, weather-resistant undercoat that provides protection from water, cold and all types of ground cover. A slight wave down the back is permissible. Woolly coats, soft silky coats, and sparse slick coats are not typical of the breed and should be severely penalized.
So, this evaluation will be a Breed Standard Evaluation similar to what we do at Chambray with each and every litter we breed for the betterment of the breed.
In addition, for our litters, we also do a comparison to all of the previous 10 years worth of litters produced. This is a much more complicated procedure that we use to identify the best of the best so that we can offer those puppies to people that want the best and want to be successful showing. Due to the complexity of that process, we won’t have the time nor the setting to go into depth with this evaluations…………………………………AT THIS TIME, which means that I will come up with a special presentation at some chosen dog show weekend in the future where those interested in this very advanced procedure would meet back at the hotel or a set location for me to go into detail with our special evaluations.
*As a teaser* Back in 2011, we performed one of our in-depth evaluations on a litter and one puppy scored the highest ever for a puppy from any litter……………the highest score on a particular feature or trait is a 99!
Well, this puppy scored four 99’s.
a 99 for TYPE,
a 99 for FRONT,
a 99 for REAR and
a 99 for HEAD……………………………
the rest were 98’s for TOPLINE, SIDE VIEW FRONT, SIDE VIEW REAR, TAIL & SET, and COAT!
To show you the true value of our evaluations, that puppy turned out to be the only female Labrador ever to win a BEST IN SHOW in Florida………………….#1 Female Labrador USA in 2012……………..one of 52 Silver Grand Champions in the country……………..the Top Champion Producer Dam from Florida with 6-champion ‘produce’………………..Dam of 1 Silver Grand Champion, 3 Bronze Gr Champions, 4 Grand Champions, 1 Champion, and, an FCI Grand Champion. That dog is BIS BBE Silver Grand Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter JAMS.
So stay tuned for more!
For a PDF File or Word DOCX
October 9th: How Great Is That?
For all those asking about Daisy and how that placement is working out, here you go.
It’s now been three weeks that she was placed with the 22nd different family that I Interviewed specifically for her. She could have gone home with any of those 22 families, as a matter of fact with any of the 50 other families in the last year that submitted themselves for the Chambray Puppy Placement Interview.
Each of those families had already been vetted by email and phone conversations before being encouraged to come over to Chambray Acres for the personal, face to face meeting that is mandatory for every single puppy placed from our breeding program.
We take the placement of every puppy very seriously, in fact, it is the single most important process that we feel creates the continuity for our entire Owner’s Program.
Since we only produce 4 to 6 litters a year from over 60 active breeding candidate females that participate in that same program, those litters are the lifeline for Chambray Labradors as is the placement of every single puppy produced. They are what perpetuates us, Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Program for the Betterment of the Breed to yet another generation of top-of-the-line breed standard Labrador Retrievers.
Right about now, I should point out, that we as the breeders, as the owners and operators of Chambray Labradors and the Owner’s Program, do not, I repeat, do not keep any puppies ourselves! Of course, this usually generates the scrounged-face look and the single word question/expression “Whaaaat?”
Yep, that’s right, we place every single puppy produced, sooner or later as in Daisy’s case…………sooner with those puppies that don’t adhere to our high standards for show potential, those are placed as pets right around the 8/10 week mark with all those waiting for such.
The show prospects are kept right here at Chambray Acres and are interacted with, developed, trained and even taken to matches and International shows for the eventuality of placing them with someone that will appreciate our endeavor of producing the best in breed type and conformation.
Then there are the really, really special puppies, those that have show potential and also have the full range of temperament and personality to be a Service/Emotional Support, Therapy & Assisted Living dogs! Those may be here at Chambray for as long as it takes to come across the perfect situation for both the dog and the new owners.
Daisy was special from the time she was born, as is each other puppy born in our litters, as each pairing of male to female is done with the highest regards to the blueprint for the breed, the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard. We choose those dogs that excel in type and temperament and Daisy’s sire and dam were just that. Both sire and dam are AKC champions, in fact, the sire Walter is the winningest Best Of Breed to Sporting Group Placement winner ever, with a 75% ratio of BOB to Group wins! That’s higher than even Kika and Hogan that won half the time they walked into the Sporting Groups. Just to set those statistics into understandable terms, Labradors that win a Best Of Breed normally win any group placement at a 1 in 10 ratio, that works out 10%!
At the 7-week litter evaluation, Daisy stood out in both conformation (show) and in temperament. For ‘show’ potential, she was in the high 90’s, more facts, she rated an overall 97.9, which puts her in the highest bracket as a show prospect puppy. In addition, she rated even higher as Service Potential as well……………..very high!
I have a standing order with several Service Dog Organizations for any puppy in a litter that tests out with high potential for any type of Service Work…………this puppy would indeed be one of those candidates.
So, began the search for the ‘right’ family……and search we have done……….for a family that may need a dog to serve a personal service and also that family realize her other attributes for the betterment of the breed by either showing and then if all the clearances pan out as an adult, to at least perpetuate the breed with having one litter for the Puppy Placement Program.
That was the goal for Daisy and it would take over a year to accomplish that mission.
Mission accomplished! She is now with a previous Chambray family, one dating back to 1997, one that owned one of our home-bred champions from back then, one that contributed to the betterment of the breed with producing a co-bred litter for the Puppy Placement Program, now 21 years later, they have a bubbly, usually happy special needs child, non-verbal, low-interactive 14-year old autistic teenager.
Three weeks later, he is totally interactive with Daisy!
Mission Accomplished! Now the future awaits us with more great news.
How Great Is That!
October 5th Who's On First?
Who is next on the precipice for their AKC champion’s title?
There are a couple of humongous achievements that become well-earned bragging rights to show dog breeders. One of those stellar heights is the number of champions they produce in their career and the other benchmark is the number of champions produced in one year!
Chambray holds that lifelong career mark here in Florida with 63 home-bred champions…………….with us* surpassing the leading Labrador breeder, back in 2003 and now having 40 more than anyone else!
We/us*, all those that are part of Team Chambray have also had the extreme honor of achieving Labrador Breeder of the Year in the USA on four different years, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, with 6 new champions each of those years. That feat of 4 years at the top is also the most by any other breeder ever. For Florida, we have notched Top Labrador Breeder for the year 17 different years!
Here we are with 2 ½ months left in 2018 and we currently have 5 new champions thus far and that 6th new champion is absolutely doable in the up and coming shows we are scheduled to compete at.
We have the following dogs that can burst forward and speed across that finish line achieving their champion’s title with one or two more wins
Here are the leaders at the Points Progression page:
Chambrays Black Diamond Out Of The Ruff with 19-Pts and 1 Major
Chambrays Rose On Center Stage 20-Pts and 1 Major
Chambrays Ruff Walter Jackson 12-Pts and 1 Major
Chambrays Axel Avella 10-Pts 1 Major
Chambrays X Factor Pr Charles Xavier 10 Pts
Chambrays Empress Of Ice Cream 9-Pts 1 Major
Chambrays Ruff N Counter 7 Pts
Chambrays Blazing Sunrise 6 Pts and 1 Major
However, there is always the possibility that any dog that is just starting out or that has fewer points accumulated than the frontrunners can make a run by winning a whole bunch of times and come from behind and grab that sought out bounty! As was evident with Chambray champion #63, where a dog came from the middle of the pack and whizzed by the front runners and snatched that Golden Fleece right off that branch before the seeming front-runner candidates knew what had just happened!
Our newest champion, Ch Chambrays Miss Molly May was sitting in the saddle between the back of the pack and the leaders up front with 8 points and then swooped up two 5-Pt Major Winners Bitch/Best Of Winners to achieve her AKC champion’s title, leaving the rest of those in the AKC champion’s horse race back in the dust.
So, now we look ahead to what’s left in October, Arcadia this week coming up, the Plant City shows two weeks later………………..followed by 3 weekends with 11 shows in Ocala FL in November and then the last shows for 2018, the super-duper extravaganza, the Royal Canin National Championship week of shows in Orlando in December, all these remaining shows could very well produce our 6th champion for the year, Chambray Champion #64.
Of special interest, the Labrador Breeder of the Year going to that breeder that produces the most champions in a year’s time. Five new champions could do it, with 6 being the number to shoot for and 7 new champions, for sure to take the cake! So, with 5 in hand, we are sitting pretty comfortable somewhere at the top, but having one more would really be an insurance policy and a 7th would most certainly seal the deal.
There are several young dogs with less than 5 points each bringing up the rear that could make a run for the roses, but for now, we will just keep an eye out for any of them to make a huge surge towards the middle or to make a run for the finish line before the year is out, just as Molly did recently!
So, we root for the front-runners, the middle of the pack and also for all those just starting out.
Here’s a cheer for all those other AKC Champion-Pointed Chambray dogs.
Chambrays Secret Surprise 4 Pts
Chambrays Silent Bit O Honey 4 Pts
Chambrays Quincy Nichols 4 Pts
Chambrays Champagne Caviar & Cabaret 3 Pts
Chambrays Rhythmic N Counter 2 Pts
Chambrays Stellar Sun 2 Pts
Chambrays Southern Magnolia’s Dixieland Delight 1 Pt
Chambrays Southern Magnolia’s Poised & Perfect 1 Pt
If I have forgotten any dogs in the mix with points, please let me know.
PS: Remember we are also rooting for our newest addition to Team Chambray, Belquest Conclusion Banana Republic ‘Pub’ with 3 Pts that has joined our team as a handling assignment and also as part of the Stud Dog Program.
Just received AKC notification that Ch Chambrays Galactic N Counter "Gayla" is now
Now, 9 New Titles for 2018 in 10 months
1. JAMWS ~ Judges Award Of Merit Westminster Show ~ Chambrays Tank’d
2. AKC Champion #59 & BBE Ch #11 ~ BBE Ch Chambrays Galactic N Counter
3. AKC Champion #60 ~ Ch Chambrays Magnum N Counter
4. Silver GR Ch #3 ~ Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard
5. AKC Champion #61 ~ Chambrays The Tradition Continues
6. AKC Champion #62 ~ Chambrays Just Wow
7. AKC Champion #63 ~ Chambrays Miss Molly May
8. Silver GR Ch #4 ~ Chambray Duke Destined For Greatness
9. AKC Grand Champion #23 ~ BBE Gr Ch Chambrays Galactic N Counter
October 1st: Winning Ways Have A Way
To answer the burning question of the moment…………….Yes, there is a totally unique game plan for each and every dog that is in our Owner’s Programs!
How could there not be! Each dog is a completely different individual with at times, ends of spectrum opposite needs. Treating dogs generically as if one size fits all is a recipe for mediocrity which is what is seen way too much at the testing grounds, the AKC dog shows!
Maybe the preceding is why we are so successful at what we do……………….which is another question we receive over and over again, “What do you attribute to your winning ways?”
Truth be told, the meat and potatoes of that question will be asked in a myriad of ways, not word for word as I laid it out in the preceding sentence, but I am sure you get the gist of the subject matter.
There are various components to the reason for the ‘winning ways’. Setting them in order, a prudent breeding program is quintessential as the first step forward in achieving any type of consistent success.
This may take years, decades and possibly more than a score of years to reach. There is just way too much to cover in a flyby rendering like this, so I will just say that very few folks ever reach the level of expertise to be a top-level breeder of any breed.
So getting off the blocks is not easy to do as can be observed with the thousands of Labrador breeders nationwide, then comparing the humongous numbers of those with the very tiny fraction that is actually accomplished, the truly knowledgeable are very few and far in between!
That brings us to the next hurdle in taking a dog to its birthright………………….if bred correctly, the birthright will be a champion’s title……………….so, dealing with properly bred specimens is first and foremost, then comes the training and conditioning to be able to compete against other dogs that were bred with the same acumen, expertise, and emphasis on breed type.
If all things are equal in the breeding department, then what makes a huge difference in being a competitor and a winner comes down to training and conditioning and this is where each dog is treated on its individual merits.
We take and evaluate the dog to find those traits that are obviously standout in nature………….we term those the ‘plusses’. Taking the ‘plusses’ the dog comes in with and honing them to the highest levels to showcase them later while in the ring.
Then there are the neutrals, those areas that are just so so………………..taking the ‘neutrals’ and working with those to bring them up to a plus if possible.
Lastly, if there are any minuses………………hopefully not many of these, the fewer the better and none would be ideal……………..however, taking each dog one at a time and dealing with any slight deviation where improvement can be made………we do anything and everything with conditioning to take a minus or even a neutral and work at it to make them more acceptable and in some cases, even raising those deviations to a plus!
After putting the dogs through a training and conditioning program, we assess what each is and make a determination as to how they would fare against the competition in the ring, in most cases, the other Chambray dogs are the competition. We will only add a dog to our show roster if it can stand the test against the best.
Once a dog is placed on the show roster, we then come up with a handling game plan that includes what class the dog will be featured from, with all the considerations that come with that decision.
We also craft specific handling strategies for each dog that will enhance all of its features, showcasing the plusses and downplaying any traits that don’t rise to a plus.
Although the dogs are trained to work with all of our handlers so that we can switch those around to see which ones the dogs will work best with while in the competitive arena of the dog shows, within time, a specific handler will be given the assignment for each dog.
As can be deduced from the preceding, there is a game plan for winning at the dog shows and that plan started out years ago with breeding for the best……………………..then implementing a knowledgeable training and conditioning program to make those dogs excel in the competitive arena of the dog shows……………..then masterful handling to put it all together and make winners of those dogs that were born to be champions…………………that is what we attribute to our Winning Ways!
September 25th Lollapalooza
Summer is finally over.................date-wise but certainly not weatherwise!
September is about to roll off the cliff for a whole year and we just concluded our first Florida fall dog show……..phew!
So what’s next?
We now look ahead and are facing a battery of 5 weekends of dog shows, 2 of them in October and 3 weekends with 11 shows in November before December chimes in with the most prestigious dog show weekend of them all, the Royal Canin National Championships in Orlando Florida.
The Royal Canine week of shows with 3 All-Breed dog shows starting on Tuesday, Dec 11th thru Dec 13th,
the Labrador Retriever Specialty on Friday the 14th
and the climax on Saturday, December 15th , the Royal Canin spectacular!
At the moment we are preparing for the two October weekends coming up, first four days in Arcadia Fl on October 11th thru the 14th then a two day weekend at Plant City on October 23rd and 24th .
Since both these events are expected to not build up to majors, the game plan is to bring out the ‘middle of the pack dogs’ that either has no points to their credit or have not pointed out yet, with emphasis on our newest Dog Show Management addition, featured from the Open Yellow class, Belquest ‘Pub’ and also our valley girl from California, Chambrays ‘Skylar’, showcased from the Open Black class................we expect both Pub and Skylar to dominate the wins from their individual classes.
The special's class is fully loaded with 4 champions seeking the top prize of them all, Best Of Breeds, with Chambray’s Tank’d leading the charge, now ranked in the Top 40 Labradors in all three rankings, Breed, All-Breed and Grand Champions…………………..the one and only Gayla, best moving Labrador in a real, real long time in the Labrador ring, Chambrays Gayla needing just 2 more Grand Champion points to achieve her Grand Champions title, followed closely behind for the same title is Chambray’s TC just needing 5 more points for his crown.
Also entering the BOB fracas is our newest champion, Chambrays Molly, achieving Chambray’s first-ever, back-to-back 5 Point Major wins against dogs from 18 different states that recently congregated at Biloxi MS, coming from the middle of the horse race pack and leap-frogging over the front-runners in the race for the AKC championship!
The first 9 months of 2018 have been a lollapalooza of a bonanza for AKC titles!
1. JAMWS ~ Judges Award Of Merit Westminster Show ~ Chambrays Tank’d
2. AKC Champion #59 & BBE Ch #11 ~ BBE Ch Chambrays Galactic N Counter
3. AKC Champion #60 ~ Ch Chambrays Magnum N Counter
4. Silver GR Ch #3~ Chambrays Tank’d On The Boulevard
5. AKC Champion #61~ Chambrays The Tradition Continues
6. AKC Champion #62~ Chambrays Just Wow
7. AKC Champion #63~ Chambrays Miss Molly May
8. Silver GR Ch #4~ Chambray Duke Destined For Greatness
A real, 'Who Does That' scenario! 8 Major Titles in 9 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And more to come.
The 3rd and 4th Silver Grand Champions so far this year now give Chambray a total of 4 Silver Grand Champions which is the most Silver Gr Champions in the USA.
The 63rd AKC Champion is #1 by far in Florida and also the 39 new AKC Champions in the last 8 years are the most in the entire country in that time span.
The 11th Bred By Exhibitor is #1 in Florida by a breeder, with 3 times as many as the next Labrador breeder, giving Chambray the only AKC Silver BBE Medallion for a Labrador breeder with 5 and of course the only AKC Gold BBE Medallion for a Labrador breeder with a minimum of 10.
So, what records or achievements are on the horizon that could very well be obtained before the 2018 Dog Show Season officially will be in the AKC’s record books right after the Royal Canin in December?
USA Top Labrador Breeder of the Year ~ Well within reach is Top Labrador Breeder of the Year, as we now lead the pack with 5 new champions thus far…………..a 6th would more or less seal the deal and a 7th would lock the prestigious Mt Everest 'top of the mountain' achievement as tight as a drum………………..then there is the possibility of an 8th which would set all kinds of records to kingdom come! All doable within the 3 months remaining in the year. We already possess the record for the most Top Breeder of the Year with 4 times to that summit, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 with 6 new champions each of those years.
USA Number of Grand Champions ~ Chambray owns that record with a total of 21 Gr Ch’s…………..adding 2 more Gr Ch’s is right around the corner in the next couple of weekends with Gayla and TC needing each just a few pts to reach that stellar height.
USA Number of Bronze Grand Champions ~ We already have that record with 10 and #11 is possible with 2 more Gr Ch pts by Chambrays Beau.
So many Great Expectations, especially knowing how GREAT OUR DOGS ARE! The Lollapalooza of championships, achievements, and titles...................................that is the bonanza at the end of top breed conformation…………..the expertise in training and conditioning………………..the epitome of show presentation…………and the best owners on the planet………………………that’s Team Chambray (you/us and our dogs) leading the rest with 181 consecutive Dog Show Winning Weekends, a true record for the ages!
So, this Bud's for all those out there larking about, having 'fun'..........NOT, and NOT getting the job done with NOT breeding the best..............NOT training & conditioning to be on top...................NOT handling to make it all come together and NOT achieving what it takes to be at the best!
The sum of a bunch of NOTS adds up to NOTHING!
Of course, the polar opposite of the preceding is Team Chambray where NOT doesn't exist!
So, What's In Your Wallet?
09/17/2018: What's New Pussy Cat?
We just wrapped up consecutive dog show winning weekend #180 and boy was that a bruising beauty!
Yep, came into it with that streak burning bright and there right in the first day of the 4-days of shows, we had taken care of business by upping the ante to 180 with a 5-pt Select Grand Champion award and then on the 4th day of showing popped the cork on the bubbly with the finishing of Chambray’s 63rd home-bred champion by one of our class bitches winning two 5-Point Majorshows and wham bam, thank you ma’am, whomp there it is, numero 63!
Topping off the cake before eating it were back-to-back Best Of Breeds by one of our specials and adding extra icing to that lemon cake was the winning of a Group 3, giving that dog over 200+ All-Breed points for national rankings and also the addition of 15 Grand Champion points towards the his Grand Champion’s title.
So, what’s next on the itinerary for Team Chambray…………………
California Here We Come
California I’ve been blue
Since I’ve been away from you
that’s why I can hardly wait
open up that golden gate
Here you Come (yeaaaaaah!)
Right back where you started from
………..well actually, we brought California here with Chambrays Champagne Caviar and Cabaret ‘Skylar’, coming back to Chambray for a stay until Royal Canin and that’s the way!
So we debut the 3rd puppy, Skylar from Jericho’s and Sasha’s litter, as you may already know, the other two, Ch Chambrays The Tradition Continues and newest dog to title, Ch Chambrays Miss Molly May are among the 5 new Chambray champions for 2018!
Of huge interest is are newest addition to the Chambray Show Dog Management & Development Program, AKC Ch-Pted Belquest Conclusion Banana Republic, ‘Pub’. Pub will be part of Team Chambray’s roster from now until the Royal Canin week of shows in Orlando Florida in December. He will debut and be featured from the Open Yellow class for the Deland shows.
The rest of the excitement for Deland will rest with our go-to guys & gals…………….our cast of characters from the classes and our leading women and men from the special’s lineup, the 4 champions representing Chambray, Tank’d, TC, Gayla and the newest addition to that slate Miss Molly May!
August 14th: When Too Much RED Is Not A Good Thing
The email came in:
“I have a great deal for you. I am looking for the best Labrador female to breed to my Quanto! He comes from Shiloh Creek Kennels all the way from Montana and was the pick of his litter of 13 puppies!!!! I ended up paying twice as much for him because he was the rarest of colors, the true Fox Red, which is the hardest color to produce. I am not looking for money for his stud fee, instead, I will select 2 puppies in lieu of the money which will save you from having to sell them. I am attaching several photos of Quanto so that you can appreciate his breed traits. This is a true Labrador from the tip of nose to end of the tail and would be a champion at any dog show that he would compete at, however, I am not into all that fancy running around and posing, to me it’s what can the dog do when turned loose at a park! This dog runs circles around all the other prissy dogs that the owners take there, he can jump taller than every single dog that he encounters and brings back everything he finds along the way! I want to visit your kennels and select the female that I am interested in having puppies from.”
Although I 'thanked' the person profusely on a reply email………………then I let him know that all my breedings are planned sometimes years in advanced with the type of dog that best suits each of the females under consideration for breeding……………………….wouldn't you know it, lo and behold, several weeks later there at the gate was the Lone Ranger & Tonto!
Well, neither the Lone Ranger, but Tonto was close because on further inspection, without even approaching the gate, tied to the rollover bar behind the cab of the gigantic red pickup truck, I could see clearly the tallest fox red Labrador-looking dog that I have ever seen……………..so I surmised that this must be Quanto!
Just as I had conjectured when I read the first email, Quanto was named Quanto because that is the translation of ‘how much’ in Spanish. Remember that the guy stated that he paid ‘twice as much’ because of how rare the color was……………..well you get what you pay for and $3800 will buy you a long-legged, long-muzzled, long whippy tail, long floppy ears……………..all as dark red as dark red comes, in fact, the darkest fox red I have ever seen in my 48 years with Labradors!
As a matter of fact, so dark that it wasn’t really red anymore, more like burnt smudgy brick brownish-reddish……………..not at all attractive in any sense of the word! Not the color and certainly not the dog………………no matter how quanto it cost the guy!
So, now what? What do you say to an outer space alien that comes up to you speaking in forked tongues, not making heads or tails out of anything reasonable……………….do you pull out the kryptonite hoping that he comes from Krypton……………….do you channel surf until you find Judge Judy reruns?
Wait, wait, I dropped back and punted!
Before I could cast an objection or two, he blasted out......................................................
“Hey, I was in the neighborhood and thought I would stop by and show you Quanto!” The red-haired man in the ginormous red pickup truck with the unreasonably colored fox red Labrador-wannabe dog would bellow out of his rolled down truck window.
Without waiting for me to answer……actually before I could turn him away without wasting a valuable second…………….he bounded out of the super-elevated truck and untied the knot from the side of the roll bar, and with a mighty leap, Quanto seemingly flew through the air with the greatest of ease………………easily a near 6-foot tall distance over the side of the truck and down to the ground…………………..yep, built like a racing greyhound, roach-back, sickle hocked and long hare-like feet!.....................................BRIGHT YELLOW EYES! RED NOSE, RED EYE RIMS, RED LIPS!
Not only was it a Fox Red………..it was also a chocolate in disguise with glasses!
Just then, I seized my ‘out’ on a silver platter!
“Whoa, stop the carousel”, I would speak up…………….. “no need to go any further, he’s a Dudley and not a do right at that!”
Dudleys are a disqualification for the breed………………..one of 5 DQ’s as ordered by the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard………………………..He is also about 27 inches tall………………….another DQ according to the official dictum………………………………..Another DQ, no coloration on the eye rims!
That would render him as not being within the parameters of the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard.
Undaunted, without missing a beat the carrot-topped man would proudly profess that he just come from breeding him to a Silver Labrador female down in Homestead!
Oh my, oh me! Armageddon is upon us!
July 30th: Horse Race To The Finish Line
The ‘horse-race’ for the AKC Champion’s title is wide open with any of the current dogs in the running to make a mad dash over the finish line and become our newest cause for elation and celebration!
Those leading the pack are Chambrays Rose On Center Stage with 20 points and 1 major and right behind her is Chambrays Black Diamond Out Of the Ruff ‘Bandit’, with 19 points and 1 major..….both dogs have gone beyond the mandated 15 points because each had several opportunities to finish on a given day with Winners Dog or Winners Bitch awards, yet ultimately were denied the 2nd needed major for lack of a single dog being pulled out at the last minute or not crossing over as Best Of Winners, which would have vaulted each to the end quest of their champion’s title that day.
Both Rose and Bandit will be included in some of the up and coming shows where majors will be anticipated, maybe the Biloxi MS shows in September.
Also needing 1 more major-pointed win is Chambrays Ruff Walter Jackson, standing now with 12 points and 1 major………… clinching the AKC crown with the needed 3-pt major. Jackson will be headed out to the Kenner LA shows this week where there is the opportunity for him to achieve that major-pointed win. If the plans don’t pan out for majors this week because of absentees, we will consider the September Biloxi shows for Jackson as well.
Chambrays Axel Avella now has 10 points and 1 major and will be included in the out of state show to Biloxi too as these shows seem to be picking up a huge head of steam from numerous handlers and exhibitors with the prospects of majors for all 4 days there. If the major is a 5-pointer as we have had there in Biloxi in previous years, Axel could very well finish out with just one of those wins!
Showing from the California area is Chambrays X-Factor Pr Charles Xavier with 10 points, now needed are the 2 majors for him to title out.
Chambrays Miss Molly May is headed out to Kenner LA this week and could point out at these 4 days of shows as she now has 8 points to her credit. She would need to collect the needed 2 majors at some of the future shows such as the Biloxi week of shows in September.
Slightly with longer odds, in diminishing order are other dogs that could possibly make their AKC championship before the 2018 dog show season is history are:
Chambrays Ruff N Counter, ‘Heidi’ now sits on 7 points.
Chambrays Blazing Sunrise with 6 points & 1 major
Chambrays Secret Surprise with 4 points
Chambrays Quincy Nichols with 4 points
Chambrays Stellar Sun with 2 points
Chambrays Rhythmic N Counter with 2 points
Chambrays Silent Bit O’Honey with 2 points
Chambrays Southern Magnolia’s Dixie with 1 point
Of special interest will be Chambrays Champagne Caviar and Cabaret, 'Skyler' flying down to us from California and joining our fall dog show roster with Deland Fl kicking off her 4-month stay with us at Chambray Acres. She comes to us with 3 points and a Best Of Breed win from California.
For now, Chambray sits on 4 new champions for 2018 with the great prospects of hitting 5 very likely, 6 very doable and 7 an outside possibility…………………the higher the number of champions we achieve for the year, the greater the possibility of being Top Labrador Breeder of the Year.
In 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016…………………..each of those years we notched 6 new champions for the year and 6 was the magic number each of those years to ascend to the #1 spot atop the marquee for Labrador breeders in the entire country!
4 champions in 2011………………
3 champions in 2013……………
2 champions for 2017
4 champions so far in 2018………………
adding in the 24 champions from 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016………….
Chambray has amassed a total 37 new champions in that short span of time, Tops in The USA
Let’s see what the rest of 2018 brings our way.
July 5th: We Now Wait For WPB
T-minus a week and counting………………..come next Wednesday, July 11th, the van/vans will be all loaded, with the exception of the dogs that are featured on our dog show roster……………those dogs that travel with us to the show sites that are local enough for us to drive to and then drive back home at the conclusion of our day’s work……those dogs are loaded up starting at 4 AM early dawn Thursday and finally, the last on board are the Team Chambray handlers, the Herzons and whomever else assistants are staying overnight at Chambray Acres.
So, now we have 7 days to bear down and totally concentrate on getting those dogs as ready as ready can be! There is time to knock off a pound or two on those that have been eating too much arroz con pollo………………..time enough to whip into some sort of stamina those others that thrive all day in front of their home’s A/C unit…………..time enough to put some through the patterns and routines that we have taught them, but we know that the owners really, really don’t practice enough at home with……………..time enough to get the willy-nilly, the ‘mommies’, the endless summer enabling……………the spoils that make them the greatest pets on the planet (according to Garp and their owners)……………………………………….now we need to convert all that ‘personality’ and that born-with trait greatness and make them presentable so that it all comes together at the 4 days of shows at West Palm Beach!
Mission Impossible for most……………not for us, the Labrador Retriever taskmasters!
Yep, we take the spoiled rotten, yet the best conformation Labradors from the sunny state and we transform them into top performing machines………………………….well, we cross our fingers and hold our collective breaths and hope for the best once we are in the ring!
Of course, we are in a major ‘dodge’m’ mode with the weather…………the peekaboo thunderstorm flare-ups and the torrential downpours are a daily disrupter and then come the afternoons and early evenings, we know that those class training sessions more than likely will be washed out.
So, now we mostly rely on training at our own time revolving around the times when the sun isn’t baking rocks and the clouds can manage to contain themselves!
We have worked out short soirees where the dogs come and stay for 2, 3 or 4 days and we train and condition them when the weather cooperates!.
Some of the dogs that travel with us to the shows, will be coming to stay with us for several days before D-Day……………….that’s debarkation day, early Thursday morning, July 12 when I yell out “All aboard”, right before I pull out of the Chambray Acres gate and head north to West Palm Beach to get the day’s work done!
June 29th: What It All Boils Down To
Inquiring minds want to know and I make it my goal to enlighten those searching for that beacon of light!
Subject matter of questioning………………… The method used to pick Winners Dog & Winners Bitch!
Time and time again, it’s the new folks that hop on board showing dogs for the first time and then, even some that have been at it for a while, still not totally versed on the method of determining which dog wins and why, will ask just that………….. the why a dog wins and why their dog doesn't win................why only one dog is chosen over many more that may be just as impressive and deserving, having the same breed standard traits as the winning exhibit…………………….. adding to the quagmire of confusion is that the winning exhibit from one day, the very next day may not even be under consideration by the next bloke judge……………..bringing up the next query “How can that be?”
Then, with a little bit of further scrutinizing by those with the inquisitive minds……………there will invariably be the question from those that do delve a bit further……………”If that’s the way it is, doesn’t every dog that shows eventually get awarded enough wins to accomplish the AKC champion’s title?”
ANSWER>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Yes and No!
Then they come back to “How can that be?”
Well, sit a spell and listen to the story about a man named Jed…………………ooooppppssss, there I go, off on a tangent for the millionth time! (I have always wanted to write ‘millionth’, so whomp, there it is!).
Actually, I don’t know too many Jeds that are into showing dogs, in fact, I don’t recollect a single one in my 30+ years in the show ring………..but any hoot, back to the matter at hand.
Let’s start out with the supposition that there are 30 class male Labradors showing in a given region/area/state………………..those range from the Open classes right down to the 6 to 9 Puppy Class and everything in between. At most every show, the same male dogs show up to vie for the Winners Dog points.
Theoretically, any of them can be pointed to as being the Winners Dog………………..but in reality those 30 males have predictable odds of winning, much as do the horses at the Kentucky Derby.
Not all of them have the same high caliber breed standard traits that the majority of judges* will be looking for……..not every one of them will be on their best behavior, with a few on any given day, performing way beyond their normal range and those others that decide to improvise and act up in the worst way for the handler…………….so from day to day, dogs will jostle for being at the top of the class and just as happens at a horse race, there will be those long shots……………….those that most of the time will come in bringing up the rear…………..and expectedly, they will and do.
Invariably there is always the Top 25%, so out of those 30 class dogs…………………..8 or so will be the likely ones that are really grabbing the attention of the majority of the judges. Those 8 or so will be the Winners Dog 90% of the time!
There will always be a good 40% that are either developing/maturing or bidding their time accumulating wins from the odd-man judges** . Give these an 8% of the time of ‘maybe’ winning the points.
Then there are the 35% or so that always bring up the rear, these come and go, most last a year or so and are replaced by other bottom dwellers that form the back of the pack. These have been known to garner 2% of the Winners Dog awards………………why do they win at all, we don’t know and maybe we don’t want to know because there is no reasonable reason for these to ever beat the Top 25%, nor beating the next 40% middle of the pack dwellers…………………..but once again, whomp there it is as part of our reality and inexplicably some oddball judge will give the nod to a real loser of a dog!
Which now brings me to the recap of all of the above…………………..with patience and time, the Top 25 will have their multiple days in the winner’s circle, enough times for many of them to finish out their championship……………….once each finishes that title, they then move out of the classes and leave an opening for others from that group to vie for those Winners Dog points.
Those in the middle of the pack, if persistent and shown enough, they too may end up gathering enough wins for their titles. However, not many from this group persevere long enough to actually finish out, most drop off over a long period of time of showing.
Then there is the bottom of the totem pole………………that 35% to 40% that will show and show and eventually will fade away not having won enough to make them champions.
So, there is a filtration system at work…………..granted not the best method of choosing eventual champions, but sufficient enough that it was been in effect for as long as I can remember and 50 years before that.
The breed standard worthy dogs will have enough of ‘their days’ to champion out, some much sooner than others of the same caliber……………because so much goes into the final product that makes one dog stand out over another.
For our program of raising, training, conditioning and handling, the chosen ones, the ones that we evaluate and bestow them with top show caliber status………………………those all will enter the ring as part of the Top 25%....................those dogs will have the absolute best chances of finishing their due championship because they are at the top of what the breed should be.
Then on top of all that…………..once in the ring, those dogs in our Show Management Program have an additional advantage………..being part of the winningest training, conditioning and handling team in the country……………..having finished more Labrador champions than any other breeder/handling group, with 40 new champions in the last 10 years!
June 16th: What Does It Take For My Dog To Be A Champion?
If only I had a dollar for every time someone in the last 30 years of showing Labradors has asked me “What does it take for my dog to be a champion?”…………..geez, I would be set for life, whatever is left of it!
That is a super easy question to be asking from all those that haven’t been into showing dogs long. Even for some of those that trotted around the block a couple of times, it looks so simple.
From the bleachers and even from ringside, it looks very easy and doable………….hey, pay your entries for the show………….show up at ringside when they call in the dog’s class…………traipse around the ring a couple of times and just like that the dog can be a champion!
Well, I don’t want to be the one to be raining on anyone’s parade, but there’s more………..lots more to it than meets the eye. Just ask those that have been circling that well-worn block more than they can remember and still have zippo champions under their belt!
First of all…….it takes breeding!
Yes sir, yes ma’am it takes a knowledgeable ‘dog mixologist’ (breeder) to whip up the right ingredients (breed traits)………………those that make that individual dog stand out beyond those others that walked into the ring ‘ah-wishing’ and ‘ah-hoping’ for those elusive Winners Dog and Winners Bitch awards…………………those WD’s ad WB’s that all add up and the sum of those numbers may lead to that most wanted champion’s title!
“But wait, there’s more…………order right now and we will ship you 2 for the price of 1……………yeppers, BOGO, buy one get one free!”
How many thousands of times have you seen those ads before………..the only thing is that in showing dogs, it doesn’t work that way…………even if you have the ‘right stuff’, from the right breeder, it takes blood, sweat and tears to be able to walk on the yellow brick road to a dog’s championship!
First of all, Labrador breeders are a dime a dozen and then on most any day of the week, there are clearance sales where those breeders are heavily discounted and a dozen can be purchased with a wooden nickel!
That’s where ‘sourcing’ comes in! Getting the right ‘goods’ from the right source………………….that goes a long, long way in getting to where a dog is headed to accumulate all those winning points!
So, let’s say that a person, any person………..one just off the busy street ends up with one of those gems from one of those stellar breeders…………….what will it take from that junction in the road to cruise to the mythical finish line of an AKC champion’s title?
Oh, I know all too well what that arduous trek is like because I have been driving Miss Daisy (showing dogs) now for 30 years, but I love it when I hear it from someone else, especially from an outsider that is looking in and is not attached to any breeder or handler…………….in other words, isn’t tainted or blinded by the light!
So, how welcomed it was to have phone chatted with someone that was at ringside today observing the high octane goings on at the Labrador ring and the best thing was that the call was totally unsolicited and unbiased, not in any way attached to me, to any of my dogs or to anyone that was there as a spectator or competing with their dogs.
Now, I will take credit for them being there because they were among dozens of folks that were interested in obtaining a top of the line Labrador Retriever and emailed me in the last couple of months. I then gave them the information about the Tampa shows and how it would behoove them to go and visit and see firsthand what the top breed standard Labradors in Florida and neighboring states look like.
Their observations where right on point!
“The best dogs showing in the ring were being handled by 2 groups…………..the Chambray dogs were in a class by themselves and pushing them were dogs being handled by professional handler Janice Granda. The interesting thing about this was that she was handling top dogs from different breeder/kennels going head to head with dogs from one kennel, yours!”
They further added that there was a huge difference in the conditioning of the dogs that were being considered for the wins and that the judge did a great job in consistently choosing those dogs that were what the breed standard called for and that were in great working condition. The overweight and out of condition dogs couldn’t keep up with those that had the energy and enthusiasm that the breed should have!
Now that’s what I call knowing what it takes to make a dog a champion!
PS: as some that have read this post have been asking......... the Winners Dog was Chambrays Axel Avella and the Winners Bitch was Chambrays Miss Molly May..............both Chambray dogs handled by Team Chambray...................the Best Of Breed dog was handled by the other group mentioned in the email quoted above, with the Select Grand Champion going to Team Chambray handled
Silver Gr Ch Chambrays Tank'd On The Boulevard.
So the person calling was super-duper right on point about which were the best dogs showing and the handlers handling them!
May 23: More On Fronts
I just love it when a post to the website brings about lots of chatter! First of all it tells me that there are many out there reading my offerings and second it shows that there are those that want to learn and need guidance so that my time is well used!
Yes, yes, the front end assembly’s main feature forms a triangle! That triangle has 2 sides that are equal length and equal angles!
Instead of writing up a lot of stuff at one time, I will break it up into shorter offerings to make it easier to follow and hopefully understand.
Those 2 equal length sides are composed of:
Point A the Withers (top of shoulder) to point B the Point of Shoulder (keel). So Point A is where the shoulder blades meet at the top of the shoulders, which are the withers. Point B is where the shoulder blades form the front of the chest, which some call the keel. If the shoulder blade is set correctly it will lie back at a 45 degree.
Point B the Point of Shoulder (keel) to Point C the elbow. Once again, if set correctly, Point B will lie back towards the elbow at a 45 degree.
Those 2 sides should be equal length and of course both form 45 degrees. Now we complete the triangle by adding the 3rd side……………..this one is the long side of the triangle and it is also the vertical and perpendicular to the ground side. This side starts at Point A and drops down to
From withers to elbow is the 3rd side of the triangle and as mention above, it drops down from the withers, vertically to the elbow forming the triangle………………..then that A to C line continues down to the ground forming a perpendicular with the ground.
Furthermore, the distance from A to C which is withers to elbow, is equal to the distance from elbow to ground.
With all those points, angles and lengths being where they are supposed to be, we then have the perfect front end assembly.
So, let’s see what can go wrong,
What if the distance from A to B is much longer than B to C…………then you have overloaded shoulders and the triangle will be off.
If the shoulder angle is too steep (greater than a 45 degree), then the dog has upright shoulders, steep shoulders and the triangle will be off.
If the shoulder’s angle is set back too far, then it has too much layback or offset shoulders…………..triangle is off.
If Point B to C is too steep and not at a 45 degree, then Point C will not be under Point A to form a vertical line to the elbow and the triangle will be off.
In other words any deviations in length or in angle or in positioning will throw off the breed dictated triangle formed by Point A to Point B to Point C and back up to Point A.
There are times when someone will exclaim that a dog has a ‘Great Front’ because seen from the side, the chest sticks way out in front of the dog………………………..well, this may not be well after all, because in some of those cases, the dimensions for the triangle will be way off from what they should be. Some dogs with obviously protruding fronts have the 2 sides of the triangle, the sides formed by withers to chest and chest to elbow way too long as compared to what should be the long side of the triangle which is formed by Point A to Point C. Although to the uninitiated and layman’s eye it looks impressive, it actually is totally incorrect for the breed.
Heavy loaded fronts tend to make the dog very plodded in its movement, causing it to look labored and not the effortlessly look described by the breed standard. These dogs will have a hard time working in heavy cover and will also be seen as over-working while swimming in water.
See, there are other pertinent areas besides cow-hocks that need to be covered.
May 22nd: 2 Hours After Publishing The Post Before This One
The most recent post on ‘What is a show Labrador’ was only published to the website for less than 2 hours and I started to receive emails asking more questions.
What are upright shoulders?
What are overdone shoulders?
I never heard of cadence, what is that?
Inquiring minds want to know, problem is that most of those have already been putting out litters after litters proving beyond any doubt that there are way too many breeding dogs that just have no clue.
Correct Shoulders: The shoulder blade should have a lay-back of 45 degrees. If it is lying back as it should be and the upper arm that meets the shoulder blade at the point of shoulder (forming the front keel of the chest) and that upper arm is the same length as the shoulder blade and it too is positioned at a 45 degrees back to the elbow………………………………at which point where the upper arm joins the elbow should be directly underneath the upper most tips of the shoulder blade which is the withers……………which makes the withers and the elbow a vertical perpendicular to the ground then you would have the perfect front end assembly.
Shoulders 45 degrees
Shoulder blade & Upper Arm equal length
Upper arm 45 degrees back to elbow
Withers, elbow and feet vertical and perpendicular with ground
Distance from withers to elbows equals distance from elbows to ground = Perfect Front End Assembly
Upright Shoulders: are not set at 45 degrees! They are straighter; they are more up and down than slanting at a 45 degree, thus the term ‘upright shoulders’. So right off the bat, we have one of the components of the front end assembly being off from where it is supposed to be, which will then throw off the other parts off of the front end assembly.
Overdone Shoulders: the breed standard dictates that the shoulder blade and the upper arm should be the same length. In overdone shoulders, the shoulder blade has been seen to be twice the length on some dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is seriously overdone! If the distance from the withers to the point of shoulder (the shoulder blade) is perceptionally longer than the upper arm dimension, then the front assembly is once again being assaulted! Dogs with overdone shoulders have a very heavy, plodded movement, causing the dog to look labored as it gaits.
Cadence: When all cylinders are firing in perfect synchronicity, everything just purrs. In Labradors, if the structure of the dog is as the breed standard calls for, with the front end assembly being in perfect complement to the rear end assembly, both being exactly what the breed standards dictates, then the dog will more than likely have the effortless gait called for with working dogs. Each footfall is exactly where it is supposed to be at that precise time making the dog seem to move effortlessly………………. moving the dog forward as smooth as that synchronized engine purrs.
May 22: What The Cat Dragged In Today!
What is a ‘show Labrador’? How does it differ from the preponderance of ‘generic’ versions seen everywhere that would not fare well at dog show competitions?
These and other similar questions come up almost with daily frequency through emails that land here for me to read and reply to.
There are no answers that will truly satisfy those asking because the vast majority of those that do ask have no formative inkling as to what a true-blue specimen of the breed should look like in the first place and referring them to the written breed standard will totally set them on a lost cause trek since there are no pictures or graphic depictions for anyone to really gather any semblance of the optical version from the descriptions provided in that blueprint of each breed.
To compound all of the adversity quoted in the preceding paragraph, the custodians of the breed, the actual breeders that perpetuate the breed are a sad sack group of folk! That’s because the overwhelming numbers of those blokes that breed dogs………………SHOULDN’T be breeding dogs, especially those breeding Labradors!
With most other breeds, the balance tips in favor of the knowledgeable breeders of their breed, thus most of those breeds of dogs actually resemble much closer to their breed type…………………whereas in Labradors the balance scale topples totally off the table, way in favor of the ‘NOT KNOWLEDGEABLE’ breeders!
We are talking 95% ‘NOT’ versus 5% ‘YES’……………………………..95% of people breeding Labradors SHOULDN’T be breeding Labradors or any other breed at all because they have no expertise with the breed to be charged with making more of what they have no clue as to what they are doing!
In dealing with a bloke who bred his female that is a ‘good’ specimen of the breed that adheres correctly to the breed standard………………..then produced a litter of puppies…………….I mentioned to him that the stud dog had totally overdone and upright shoulders and that it was moderately cow-hocked, thus its structure was catawampus at best and those ‘out of standard’ faults contributed to the dog’s incorrect breed movement with it being out of cadence.
In other words, a really, really bad choice to pair up with the female that came from a top show-bred sire and dam, in other words, this dude is a great example of someone that SHOULDN’T be breeding dogs because they have no clue what proper breed type is and that’s because they lack expertise in the breed they are breeding! A perfect conundrum if there ever was one.
Now, factor in the varying levels of show quality……………………from ‘barely’ to ‘superior’ and a bevy of levels in-between those extremes and you will have about 5% of the Labradors in the country………………….YES, the other 95% would be the generic versions that are the most visible to the general population.
For over 25 years I have offered to evaluate Labradors for owners that have purchased dogs for show and/or for breeding and also for beginner and intermediate breeders that wanted to make sure that they were keeping the best puppies for their future breeding programs.
An incredibly large percentage of dogs that came for evaluations would fall short of being ‘good’ breed type! In fact, only 1 out of 10 dogs received 2 thumbs up for show purposes, which will work out to 10%.
Four out of 10 would be ‘okay’ (1 thumb up) and 5 out of 10 would be outside the dictum's of the breed, in other words, the generic, non-conforming type of dogs seen everywhere!
For showing, the criterion rises to a whole different ball of wax. Whereas owners and breeders can get by with the generic run of the mill, the mediocre, the okay, the slightly better and then there are the few, the proud………. the show types……………………the litmus test changes drastically for those showing up at the arena where the best of the best have come to be judged for breed type……………………….‘good’ in most cases is just not good enough to compete and win at a consistent pace to make it to become champions of the breed.
At the dog shows we get to observe at what level each of the breeders are at by what they bring to compete for the wins.
There are the very few at the top level that will win at about an 80% clip. That could be one, two or three breeders (around 10%) in any given area that will take the lion’s share of the wins, with the other 20% of the wins divvied up by the rest of those others with less acumen about breed type. So, 10% will take 80% of the pie, leaving 20% of that pie to be scrapped over by the largest group of show exhibitors.
That brings us back to the original question of what is a ‘show Labrador’. From the info supplied in the preceding offering, it is a relative and nebulous ‘idea’ according to who has the dog at the end of their leash because of the varying levels of knowledge about ‘what is true-blue breed type’, some have it and therefore are excellent ambassadors of the breed and most don’t know what and of course that makes them the opposite of what should be!
May 10th More Feedback
"As a family, we have been breeding Labs for 7 years. Almost 2 years ago we bought a matched pair of breeding dogs with show backgrounds from a breeder in another state and we bred them and had a litter of 9 puppies. We want to keep the best two puppies, a male and a female for us to get into showing with them. At the training classes we attend, there are 2 different Lab breeders that show their dogs. Both of them came to see the puppies and their father and mother and both told us to sell all of them, the puppies and the parents because they were not good representatives of the breed. We just read your recent blog about getting rid of the old and getting what is current. We have so much invested in these dogs and don’t know if we want to start all over again. What is the right things to do."
This is another one of those situations where it is difficult to advise anything because there is so much to learn before diving into the water and going scuba diving! It looks easy, but boy could really, really bad things happen without prior learning!
Breeding & Showing dogs as an activity is the pinnacle of the dog fancy! Much as playing at the Major League Baseball level is the end game for that activity.
In baseball, kids start at in Pee Wee Leagues……………years and years until they reach the age of Little League, more years and years……………..then it is 4 more years in High School Baseball…………………then several years in College Baseball……………………..then for the vast majority that are still involved that are good enough, it could be years in the Minor Leagues………………..then a ridiculously minuscule, extraordinary infinitesimal, itty-bitty tiny fraction of those that started in Pee Wee League make it out unto a Major League team.
Likewise, there are thousands and thousands and beau-coup more thousands.......heaping piles of more thousands of blokes breeding Labradors!
Anyone can grab a male dog and a female in heat, throw them into a backyard and watch them go at it and then wham, bam, thank you ma’am, whoop there it is 60 days later a clutter, a cluster, a clutch, a caboodle, a hatchling, you name it because some of them brand new ‘breeders’ won’t even know that a bunch of little puppies are termed a ‘litter’! I just had one of those email me recently telling me she just had a ‘liter’ of puppies!
Much as in baseball………………from Pee Wee League to Major League, there are so many stops along the train ride that most fall off or get knocked off the wagon, long, long before entering the pinnacle level of the majors………..so too occurs in breeding and showing Labradors…………………….the only difference between the 2 endeavors is that no baseball Pee Wee leaguer can jump into the fracas at the major league level………not so in breeding/showing where anyone with a 4-legged Lab with AKC papers, pay for the entries at the dog show, drag the dog into the ring, traipse around the ring with the dog in tow and get their moment at that pinnacle level……………….of course the judge could stop the circus with the first go round and hasten the exit of the dog and exhibitor by either excusing the dog or disqualifying the dog for lack of merit or for disqualifying faults………………hopefully never to be seen again in the pit of higher achievers, the show ring!
For years, decade and now a score or more, I have been the advocate of ‘don’t show if it ain’t worthy’!
During the time there was professional handler that would always admonish me for being so open and by chasing off potential competitors in the ring…………. “We need all these people you are turning away, they add numbers for us with the better dogs to beat and that way we can finish those dogs and they will eventually learn on their own that those dogs just are not good enough, so no sense in chasing them away now!”
All these years later, I see the light! I see that it didn’t matter how ‘helpful’ I thought I was being, because people are set in their ways and they will do whatever it is that they have no reason to be doing it and yet they will do it any way! In fact, most do things in spite of what should be.
Now to the preceding add gobs and gobs of emotional layers that people accrue with their dogs and the worst addendum that is carried over with the whole enchilada is total lack of know-how………………yeppers, folks getting into the mix of things without a smidgen of a clue of what they are doing, worst yet, what the breed standard calls for.
Needless to say and unfortunately, both of the breeders that went and saw the litter of the ‘matched pair of breedings dogs’ were right on point! From the photos provided, the sire and dam were nowhere nears breed standard material and the litter of puppies will eventually follow in their parents footprints.
"Last year we purchased what we thought would be a good show dog and eventual dog for us to start breeding with. Now we find out we find out that the dog has dysplasia and will be neutered. We contacted the person we bought the dog from and she told us that she is not the breeder of the dog, but rather the stud dog owner and that she received the dog as payment for stud service and that she is not responsible for any guarantees since she is not the breeder. We picked up the dog at the breeder’s home and they provided me all the paperwork, record of vaccinations, AKC registration and microchip transfer form. We also contacted the breeder and owner of the dog’s mother and they say that since we didn’t buy the dog from them, that they are not responsible for anything to do with our dog."
Oh boy! Sounds like a huge can of worms with blokes passing the buck and the buck not having a place to stop at and call home!
I bet, had your dog gone and become a champion, that both the breeder and the stud dog owner would be clamoring about to take credit for the dog’s successes.
Since you do have the cancelled check as proof that you paid for the dog, more than likely the person that sold you the dog would be considered a ‘broker’, thus this would be the person that the Lemon Law would apply to…………………….and that person that would have to refund you the purchase price of the dog.
Since the breeder ‘gave’ you the dog and you paid them nothing and received no bill of sale from them, they would not have to refund you ‘nothing’, which is what they got from you.
Someone should have given you a USDA Certificate of Inspection for the puppy which the breeder should have had done and then given that to the ‘broker’ that sold you the dog.
I would contact the AKC and find out what their position is on ‘owning up responsibility’ in this case. Then I would contact the USDA office in your area and provide them the details to see how they would proceed in determining which entity is indeed responsible for your dog’s condition and what if any recourse you may have.
The preceding is one of the biggest reasons to only deal with responsible breeders with longevity in the business.
Avoiding middlemen and brokers is at an all-time high as these sources are dominating the sales of puppies and dogs on the Internet. Most of these shady characters lurk in anonymity, never to be seen, however their presence is hard to ignore with their spiffy and enticing websites with cute puppy photos galore.
Their slicker than greased pole sale’s pitches rival those of the fast talking, gum chewing car salesmen, their magic disappearing act once a problem arises outperforms the best Houdini could envision.
More and more of these fast talking marketers are emerging as they horn in on hobby and backyard breeders, taking whole litters under their wing and brokering them without ever having even seen those puppies.
It is consumer beware, because here today and gone tomorrow is their ways and means after the sale is done and collected and cashed!
May 1st: Not The Usual Spring
Normally, spring brings renewed hope with new growth and fast swirling winds of change……………..normally, but we no longer live in ‘normal’ times!
Not even close as this spring is a reflection of all the other chaotic non-sense that overwhelms the senses of those with any sense left to talk about.
The information age has come to a grinding halt, as misinformation has become the front-runner in a race with worldly implications…………………..no longer is the truth the truth and nothing but the truth!
Now, the truth is malleable, bent, twisted, condensed, constricted, contracted, constrained and utterly co-mingled with whatever the broadcaster wishes to convey from their angled, saddled or twisted point of view and then it is served up as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, meanwhile resembling nothing of the original veracity intended.
The ominous storm brewing is not so much the castration of credibility by the smooth slick talking sayers……………….the real maelstrom comes from the swallowers of said mangled verbal deceptions, all based on what would ring as ‘truth’ to the yearning and biased ears of those lame-brawned followers!
What is worse is that those that know……………..know the worst is yet to come!
Brace for the perfect storm!
So now to the case of the day……………seeing as how so many of the readers and followers of these blogs, posts, diatribes, rantings and general ‘who done it’ type non-sense………………revel in the ornery, persnickety, obtuse-oriented and butthead-like offerings that take place as common as a whippoorwill calls out how poor he is!
The Interview showed up right on time and I let them in and directed the gentleman and lady to the usual sitting place under the old orchid tree………………which by the way after 40+ years, several earth-shattering hurricanes, that tree has now succumb to the latest onslaught (Hurricane Irma Sept 2017) and now looks to be in its last days!
After the welcoming ‘say heys’ and halfway into my canned ‘this is how we do it’ song…………………the man interrupts me to tell me that they are here to decide between the litter that I have to show them or a puppy that they had picked out from a litter of 11 they saw the day before ‘at another breeders place’!
Now, mind you, I make doubly sure that before I schedule an Interview that will take up a valuable hour of my time, not to mention several hours of the visitors time in getting here where I have been raising, training and showing Labradors since 1973……………that’s 45 years and counting…………………that’s more time than every Labrador breeder, combined…………………… that is currently breeding/showing Labradors in Florida today...................I make sure that those scheduled for a visit have read all of the information that I have published to the website about our practices, procedures and protocols for our puppy placement program.
But any hoot, back to the matter at hand………………..I wait until the guys offers up and then I tell him that I don’t offer a whole litter to anyone……………………..I ‘MAY’ offer a puppy or dog to someone that I feel will fit into my agenda………in other words, I don’t run a ‘U PICK EM’ ………….I run a ‘I PICK EM’…………to which he stated that he was the buyer and he was the one that decides the dog he wants…………….to which we parted ways shortly thereafter and that was that!
*Now, that was the end of the story as far as I was concerned………………..but not the end of the story as far as that fellow was concerned. It seems that he went back the following day to pick up his ‘pick’ puppy from the litter of 11 and was handed a reasonable facsimile!
“Nope, this isn’t the one we picked out” the fellow would bellow out!
The seller than stated that he had changed his mind and was keeping that ‘other’ one!
Moral of the story..........I guess just as in cakes, you can’t pick your puppy and have it too!
*As told to me by a mutual acquaintance
April 30th: Full Moon Is Arising!
There must be a full moon arising on the horizon as the loonies are out in full bloom!
Oh my, oh me…………………….just answered an email from a sour-pussed dog owner whose dog was excused from the show ring for being ‘out of breed type’!
Yep, the judged excused the dog, citing the dog with hyper-extension of the hocks which he stated was covered in the breed standard: The hock joints are strong, well let down and do not slip or hyper-extend while in motion or when standing.
So, how do I fit in to this recent caper?
Well, it seems that when I was away to a dog show, a Lab breeder wanted me to ‘look over’ a litter she had back at her camper.
After showing Labs and in between waiting for the sporting groups to take place where my daughter Jessie was to be handling our top specials, Tank’d, which had won his 25th Best Of Breed……………I moseyed on over to the Lab breeder’s RV set up and sure enough there was an 8-week old litter of yellow puppies romping around a large x-pen setup.
The lady wanted me to look at the 2 females in the litter because she wanted to keep the best for herself and sell the other one to another lady that was waiting for her to decide which one was going to be hers.
Now, I wasn’t there to do an extensive evaluation, because according to the breeder, that had already been done by a bunch of others………………….in fact, she had already decided that she was keeping one and selling the other!
I took one look at both puppies and immediately could tell that both were displaying hyper-extension of both hocks and both knees (SLIP HOCKS AND SLIP KNEES) and both had major lateral instability of both joints!
Talk about wobbling around from the rear! Oh my, oh me!
I asked her if any of the ‘other’ folk that had evaluated the puppies had mentioned anything of the hocks and knees being so laxed and loose that they were hyper-extending way beyond a safe mode.
'No, I guess no one noticed" she meekly replied!
How does any one worth their salts NOT NOTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My recommendations to her were to take the puppies to a vet and have them examined……………………that is the exact recommendation I have given to every single documented case that has asked me for an evaluation of their newly acquired puppy!
Oh my, oh me and there have been quite a few in the last couple of years that I have forewarned those owners and in the majority of cases the heeding wasn’t taken to heart and the results later on down the road was of the ‘told you so’ nature, but of course, stooping to those levels would add more injury to the injury that most dogs with these conditions experience left untreated……………………not to mention, render them as Non-Breeding candidates…………………..because they will pass on the dastardly deed to their puppies at a super heightened rate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, here we are 9 months later and somehow, this very irate owner wants to take it out on me because the breeder used me as a reference as ‘having evaluated the puppies!’
My response to the owner left holding the bag...................... Veni, Vedi, Reliquit………………..I came, I saw and I left!
I saw 2 puppies………………..I noticed both with slip hocks and slip knees……………….I told the breeder to take them to the vet!
What I didn’t say, which goes without saying…………………..you get what you get and you end up paying for it when you deal with blokes that don’t know/care any better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
January 30th: Is Winning All There Is?
In the dog show world, winning is everything! However it is not the end all just to win one day!
Not by any measurement known to man……………because that winning is in the here and now. The operative word is that the winning is on a ‘daily’ basis, otherwise what happened yesterday is old news and as soon as the sun rises on a new day, all the cards are on the table again and the winner from yesterday is a just a competitor today, just as are all the other dogs that didn’t win the day before.
Since winning is not based on which dog runs faster or jumps higher or can whip the other competitor's bootie…………………nope, this type of winning is solely based on someone’s opinion!
Yep, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder can have all types and manners of whims and what not and then the next day there is another ‘beholder’ using different eyes in choosing which dog out of the lineup is their ‘chosen one’!
So, that leads to there being the possibility of different winners on differing days. Of course that doesn’t stop the owners, breeders and handlers of the winning exhibit to celebrate like 1999 (boy is that saying passé!), okay, okay, how about celebrating like there is no tomorrow!
The big problem with this system of one day this dog wins and the next day that other dog wins………..is that there is no sure fire consensus on what will win and which dogs are left holding the proverbial bag!
Another obvious observation is that if there are 30 dogs showing and only 1 dog is handed the winning ribbon……………..that leaves 29 dogs………………owners, breeders and handlers in the state of being ‘not happy campers’!
Case in point, at a most recent dog show, one of our Chambray owners emailed me to say that “they were really happy today”! Of course that happiness came because their dog won the points that day. Not so the day before or the day after………………nope, happiness only saw the light of day that one ‘bright’ day.
Since I wear many hats……………breeder…trainer…owner…handler…manager……………..my perspectives differ as does the judging from day to day. As the breeder and owner of the dogs we manage and show, I want all of them to win.
Things look quite different as the manager/trainer/handler………………yes, I too want each of the dogs to win, however I am very satisfied if they performed to the best of their ability.
Performance is a step in the right direction to higher expectations for any dog. Without performance, it becomes a long shot for any judge to choose that exhibit. So, I gauge the performance at a much higher level than do the individual owners of each dog that value a wins as the end all to showing.
Now, here’s the rub………..tell that to the owner of a dog that didn’t win on a particular day! Not the thing they want to hear………………nope, they want ‘wins’ and nothing but wins! Anything else is a 2nd banana and no one wants to be anything but the first fiddle!
Knowing all of the above, we as a team…………Team Chambray, where only the best of the best show prospects are encouraged to show………..then developed using our unique training and conditioning methods……………..then with the show dog management program, handling them with the most successful handling team in the Labrador ring………we go all out with each dog, each and every time we walk into the ring to compete for those wins and of course, we want them to perform to the best that they are.
January 3rd: Here's Looking At You Kid
Well, no sooner have we watched the big ball drop in the sky at Times Square signalling in the New Year on the eastern edge's of our always great country via the Eastern Seaboard................that here it is the 3rd day of the year! Once again proving that time stops for no one and never stands still.
So, our choice is to move along forward and positive, because there isn't anyone that has ever gone back to the past.............so forward is the way to go and we at Chambray see that path clear as day, have since day one and will continue to do so until the ends of our times.
We only look to What's Next and What's New To Do as there is much to do with our dogs and with the breed. We have plans galore for the New Year, now 3 days old, places to go, people and dogs to see and new conquests to be had...............new achievements to be made, new records to be set, because the best never rests and we as an Owner's Community strive to be the very best we can be.
Our owners, those purist among us that hold our dogs as loving family members first and foremost, loyalist as owners and keepers of the faith of that special bond that dogs and man/woman have forged through the tests of times........together we make the difference with those dogs whether it be as loving companions serving their families in as many ways as they can be counted on..................serving the community as Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, Assisted Living Dogs...............serving the law enforcement and the private sector as Sentry Dogs, Watch Dogs, Detector Dogs, Search/Rescue Dogs......................faithfully fulfilling their function as Sports Afield, Tracking, Scenting, Hunting, Field Trial......................the lists go on and on, a testament of the most versatile breed of dog on the planet...............the most popular breed of dog ever!
At Chambray Labradors we are fully supportive of all the endeavors that the Labrador Retriever excels at and provide all owners our expertise garnered over four and a half decades and 2 generations of Herzons at play and work with this most extraordinaire breed of dog.
As we step into this 48th year of our involvement with Labradors, 1970 seems quite a long, long time ago, but I wouldn't want to change it for anything else in the world.
I truly look forward to this time-packed journey to continue with so many of our loyal and loving owners, as good as it has been, and it truly has......................I know that without a doubt our best together is yet to come!
Happy 2018 New Year!
APRIL 28th: Not All That Glitters Is Gold
Case #1: The email starts off with “What are your guarantees for hips and elbows?” Then it details how they bought a puppy 2 years ago from someone that had a female that was bred to another person’s stud dog and that stud came from a Chambray litter.
Now, their dog, which was obtained from someone that I had never heard of, that owned a dam that came from somewhere in the midwest and was bred to a dog that I don’t own nor represent……………….now their 2-year old was diagnosed as being mild dysplastic on one elbow and she was told by the vet that she shouldn’t be used for breeding.
The person that sold them the puppy tells them that the stud dog owner is 50% responsible for guaranteeing the offspring to be free and clear of disease and joint problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Say what, like a true, ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaat’ moment?
Preposterous to the max, however even if that were so, the stud dog is owned by someone that bought a dog from us and is not part of the Chambray Owner’s Programs…………………..so that we at Chambray had absolutely no part in the breeding of that litter…………..don’t know ANYTHING about the dam of the litter and haven’t seen or heard from the stud dog in over 5 years that is now 6 years old.
So, here we have a clueless owner that purchased a puppy from a shyster breeder (telling her some whacko story that the stud dog owner somehow will guarantee the puppies she is breeding and selling)……………that breeder giving them ‘off the deep end erroneous run arounds’………………………then they contact us asking if we will guarantee a puppy that we would have never approved of the breeding in the first place, not knowing what in tarnation the dam looks like and knowing that the stud dog owner was one of those that was given the ‘parted ways’ directional sign because of inappropriate and unprofessional ways and means.
Now, here is a fact and warning!
Not every Chambray-bred dog has our SEAL OF APPROVAL as true breed type! That means that not every Chambray dog will be considered for the breeding program and only those that have the highest breed type are the ones that are invited to be in our various Owner’s Programs.
Yep, the above is fact and true……….even though EVERY single pairing of dam to stud dog that Chambray Labradors is involved with is to perpetuate the great qualities of the breed by choosing the very best dogs available to us………………..NOT every puppy will rise to the occasion, not every one of them will rise to the highest levels that the chosen parents are at……………………these will then be placed as ‘companions’.
Now, more truth to be told………………….those puppies that do not grade out to be show prospects, that fall short of the high bars that they are graded for, those puppies may very well be better breed specimens than 95% of the dogs being bred by those other blokes advertising themselves as ‘show breeders’!
Case #2: Another owner with a 2 ½ year old bitch bred from a Chambray male and a Chambray female…….neither of which have been chosen to take part in our Owners Programs For the Betterment of the Breed (for various reasons), that person meets up with me at the most recent dog show for me to evaluate the dog for show.
Not what the doctor ordered and definitely ‘kill the messenger’ with bad tidings!'
Yep, the dog evaluated as mediocre at best with recommendations not to show.
The owner was furious!
“How can a dog that comes from your lines not be show material?” the indignant person wanted to know.
Simple as a thimble on a thumb!
Yes sir, yes ma’am, the dog is that way because the parents were not show prospects to begin with and I would have never bred them individually to any dog, and absolutely not to each other!
So, in my infinite wisdom ways, (lol) I offer to mentor this highly agitated person by suggesting several stud dogs that may bring about some breed type and improvements to the puppies that her dam may produce.
“No need…………………..I already contacted several breeders that I intend to breed her to!” was her response. Never mind that the breeder’s names she rattled off were no account, pet breeders with nothing remotely acceptable for show purposes, in fact, one of the blokes she mentioned breeds Pointing Labradors!
Once again, take heed and warning…………………I am only responsible for breedings that I put together and that I then place the puppies through our Puppy Placement Program. Any dogs produced by the decision making process of others that don’t have any breed acumen, that have no credentials in the show world, that have no time put in and that have produced zilch for whatever their duration with the breed has been………………………that is exactly what they will produce in turn! Zilch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once the decision making process is no longer mine, then the results are directly related to the decision making process of that decision maker! I can’t make that point any plainer or simpler.
Dogs being produced are 100% directly related to the expertise of those making the decisions.
Case #3: I receive an email from someone that is on a waiting list for a litter from a Chambray dam that was placed as a show prospect and she did indeed attain that potential.
Now, she has been bred outside of the parameters of the Chambray Owner’s Program and Puppy Placement Program, meaning I have nothing to do with the results of the produce. Her owner who has never bred a litter has made all the decisions, consulting with others that have bred maybe one litter.
She was bred to a stud dog that I would have not approved for this particular female as the dog and the dam do not complement each other’s traits and weaknesses……………..in essence a no rhyme or rhythm breeding…………………….hit or miss, with miss leading the one mile race by a mile and a half! The puppy buyer contacted me to be assured that this was going to be something that he could be competitive with at the dog shows!
My reply, “I have nothing to do with neither this breeding nor the results there of!……..good luck!”
Now, I could have gone on and stated…………………………all about the initial pairing and how far off that would make for any puppies to stand out………………….then I could have stated that there is no way that the owner of the litter could ever decipher which puppies truly would measure up to be top prospects, even if the other blokes that advise this owner put their two cents worth in (we all know what two cents worth actually accounts for)…………………………so another one forecasted to bite the dust because way too many blokes get into things they have no clue about and then they listen to other bumblers that are stark clueless themselves, dispensing advice as the winds blows!
Then they contact me! Good luck.
April 10th: There’s A Few Well-Bred & Then There’s All Those Other…………………..Ill-Bred Labrador Retrievers
I asked for feedback from the Chambray Owners, and boy have you all chimed in with a myriad of themes and topics. The title of this memo and post at the website hopefully will answer half a dozen of those that emailed in asking about the difference between an American Labrador Retriever and/or an English Labrador Retriever or a British Labrador Retriever.
The simplest answer is that there are ‘well-built’ dogs of our breed and that are a preponderance amount of ill-bred dogs of our breed!
Man, that’s as simple as a simpleton can assimilate and yet, there is so much confusing propaganda being spread that mayo is going out of business! That disservice of false advertising by those unscrupulous breeders of off-wares that even vets are as confused as the lay folk that are being sold the false goods.
No need to chew the fat here……………no wasting time ‘conversating’ until the cows come home about ‘This & That Labradors’!
No siree Bub, Bob or Bill………ain’t no 57 Heinz Varieties to count here………….there is only ONE BONA FIDE, TRUE GRIT Labrador Retriever and that is the plain Jane, LABRADOR RETRIEVER!
No such sucker as an ‘American Labrador Retriever’……………………..although that’s exactly where the ancestors came from! Yep, the originator stock that eventually developed into what today we call with so many pseudo names, got its roots due north of here…………………….like in way up north, North America!
Actually, country-wise it would be Canada as the ‘home state’ for the breed, because St John's Island Canada is the port of call according to the trusted and crusty records we have been able to procure as verse and bible to the truth and nothing but the truth (or so we think) about where the first breed migrants came from.
So, even the official name of ‘Labrador’ Retriever is in itself off by several hundred nautical miles North By Northwest…………………..the landmass of Labrador/Newfoundland being NW of St John’s Island!
So, those that think they know didley well serve up with “British, English, American Labrador Retrievers”, meanwhile the Music Man right here that’s educating utes will tell you right up, downright………..no flip flopping here…………..that there is no official ‘American Labradors’ of any kind…………….NO SUCH THING!
No American, no English, no British…………………….no nothing in front of Labrador Retriever!
All those labels attached to the front of Labrador Retrievers is FAKE DOG NEWS!
All made up to sell you a pork in a barrel! So, grab on to your ample sides, because there ain’t no “American Labrador Retriever” no matter what anyone says………….not one to be found in any official , legitimate tome of any kind………………….NO SUCH THING ALL OVER AGAIN………………or for those into the French ways, deja vous being regurgitated a second time!
So, we have no bananas……………………ooopss…………………no American, no British, no English, none of those spiffy sounding names to get you to buy their goods………………….or ‘not so good goods’!
Let me show you another way to look at things!
Say, you want a house built and the architect designs the house of your dreams…………….he/she draws up ‘blueprints’ and you then go on Craig’s List and dial up a ‘builder’. You give them your plans for that ‘dreamt about adobe’ that you want to call home.
This is Evidence A This is exactly what you want! The architect knows his stuff and puts it all down on paper………………….the BLUE PRINTS! Follow the blue prints and the house will look exactly what the doctor ordered and what you will pay for!
So, the builder gets to work or play and delivers you the following
This is Evidence B
A is the exact house as called for by the blue print that the architect drew up for you. That would be a 'Well-Built Structure'!
B is what some yokel built because they couldn’t read blueprints! That is an "Ill-Bred Structure'
So the following is how to look at Labrador Retrievers.
First there is what some yokel………..some so-called 'breeder' down by the recycling plant up the road from Mt. Trashmore at a ragtime kennel named Same-As Labradors wants to sell as ‘built in America’, ‘American Labrador Retriever’………………….Mr Yokel has never, ever read the blue print for the breed! He doesn’t even know that there is such a thing for ANY BREED! He just builds or breeds at will and calls it whatever some ‘PT Barnum, sucker born every minute’ will fork over the cash and then carry the goods home (in this case, the not so well-built/not so well-bred goods to the 'not-so well built house').
This dog, Mr.Yokel and his Merry Men (and Women too that can’t read a blueprint) offer up and label it an ‘American Labrador Retriever’!
Unfortunately the by far and large, those Yokely-bred dogs outnumber the well-built Labrador Retrievers, so that the general population sees those and think those poorly built dogs are the real deal, so do many vets that only see those ill-bred dogs that come to their practice.
Below is how it is supposed to look like…………………..the one and only Labrador Retriever.
No need to call it anything else but a ‘Labrador Retriever’……………..a well-built dog of its breed!
Meanwhile all those others that do not abide by the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard (the blue print for the breed) are just ill-bred………incorrectly built houses…………..oooppppsss dogs!
So, what are you going to say the next time someone asks you if your dog is the American, the English, the British, the Long-Legged Louisiana, the Short-Legged Nor Easter, the California Valley Girl……………..Labrador Retriever?
Of course, now you know and you will just answer
“My dog is a Labrador Retriever that is well-bred!”
April 5th More Chambray owner’s feedback.
There were several owners that responded with very similar areas of concern, which I will roll up together into a single coverage to spare me time and effort and also duplication, which at times becomes boring for our readers.
This topic was more about the numbers of ‘Chambray top show prospect puppies’ being developed by us and showing them at the same time, which pitted each against the other……….more or less creating their own Chambray competition against each other.
There are still are other puppies and young dogs from other breeders, exhibitors and handlers at those same shows, however, the bottom line is that the Chambray puppies and young dogs have become the ones that have surged forward and have become the more competitive exhibits by winning at the majority of the shows.
That is a great thing and yet, now seemingly prickly predicament to be in!
In the last 5 or 6 years, this has become the new norm here in Florida! It is a great thing to achieve as a breeder/kennel but it does create a new situation for us to negotiate and navigate through.
Now bear with me as I delve a bit deeper on how we have arrived at this fortuitous ‘impasse’ and/or bottleneck of sorts.
For the last 30 years, our adamant breeding/raising program has used the best studs and dams to produce top prospect litters…………………….from those litters, through our proprietary evaluation process, the best puppies from each litter have been placed with owners that appreciate what it takes to produce and develop those best puppies so that they will in turn be available to be the ones that procreate the next generation of superior puppies.
Now, 9 to 11 generations later of unwavering dedication to producing the best from the best……………….we have arrived at our destination! Whole litters of puppies where each puppy is at the top of the charts in conformation!
The evidence to the preceding is on display at the dog shows in Florida and elsewhere where we have shared our successes with owners that have been specially chosen to have these awesome specimens of the breed placed with them.
That evidence of greatness then becomes the ‘bottleneck’ that we see at the dog shows where multiples of our puppies and young dogs are ‘competing’ against each other and that our Chambray owners are experiencing.
At our end of things, we too have had to make huge adjustments to the ways and means of our operating system as compared to just 5 years ago because this is all so new……………………….the tremendous luxury of having so many great rising stars to have available and yet, that same luxury becoming somewhat of a predicament to have to deal with.
The old saying of ‘too much of a good thing’ comes to mind…………………however, this ‘much of a good thing’ is a real good thing to have!
To put into understandable and appreciable terms…………………..it has only been done a couple of times in our breed’s history, where one breeder had the vision and the ability to put together a breeding, raising, placement and development program that benefits the breed in superior conformation………………benefits the individual dog through ideal placements…………benefits the new owners with top-notch breed specimens……………..and of course, all of the preceding benefits the breeder in their quest for the best.
So, here we all are at the Mt. Everest of achievements and we are working our way through all the newness that comes with forging where very few have breeders have ever arrived at before…………………..taking each situation, one at a time……………….since each new owner/puppy combination is an entity unto its own, each having completely unique and individual circumstances that will dictate which direction each will take…………………how each of those placements will work into our ever-changing operation system for the betterment of the breed.
We will continue to provide our tutelage, our guidance, the mentorship, our expertise in all aspects with Labradors and our vast know-how to each and every one that appreciates and understands what it takes to keep the whole great endeavor continuing forward so that more people that want the best can partake just as have the hundreds that have been an integral part with their contributions to Chambray Labradors and to the breed to be the best there is.
APRIL 3rd: There Are GOOSE And There Are GANDERS, What Works For One May Not For The Other
There were many emails offering excellent feedback on my request for points of view from the Chambray owners on how to make showing & breeding a more attractive goal for those new to Chambray Labradors that have top show potential puppies placed with them.
In the coming weeks, I will use some of the more interesting replies that may provide good material for our newer owners to read and take in as did the ones that offered the advice and counsel.
The ‘What’s Good For The Goose………………….Should Apply To The Gander As Well’, tale/tail!
We had been working with a really promising show prospect puppy, starting right from the 10-week old mark through 7-months of age. The owner scheduled training sessions punctually every 2 weeks and implemented each and every lesson that was designed for her puppy.
She attended a couple of Puppy Events right here at Chambray Acres and even participated in sending her puppy to one of the International Dog Shows………………she had planned on attending but something came up last minute and her puppy traveled with us and was awarded its Int Baby Champion’s title by the 4 judges that she showed under.
After turning 6 months old, the puppy was included in the show roster for several weekends of AKC shows where it was settling in with good performances, which is paramount in the eventual process of winning points.
After the first 2 weekends of AKC shows, the lady owner would arrange to pick up the puppy on Monday’s right after the shows and we would discuss the performance and how to improve for the future and all was good!
Following the 3rd weekend of AKC shows, the woman’s husband came to pick up the puppy that Monday and informed me that they would not be showing the dog anymore as it was costing way too much and there was nothing being gained by the time and money put in.
Hey, I can only meet each owner half way…………………the dog needs to come to me for me to do anything with it………………….a dog that stays home is a dog that I have very little to do with (not by choice), even if it is a top show prospect! Of course, it hurts to see and know that the adamant breeding program to produce excellent breed type for the betterment of the breed is working on all cylinders and yet some awesome breed-type dogs are lost to the breeding program.
Six weeks passed and I received an email from the woman owner requesting a training appointment, we term those as 'At Kennel Training'………………….for Chambray show owners, they are Pro Bono (free) for the lifetime of the dog……………….that’s any type of training, not just show training!
Sure enough, I fit her in on a desired day and time and both the owner and the dog arrive, as always on time!
We never went over the why’s and there fore’s of her stopping for 6 weeks or starting back up again with the training and renewed eventual plans to start showing………………….that is until now, when I requested some input from my owner’s as to how we can make showing/breeding of superior specimens of the breed actually take part in all our programs offered.
Her input was the following whopper of a tale:
Seems that the husband’s point of view on what was costly and not important became irrelevant when it was brought up that he invested in season tickets for the Dolphin games………………..season tickets for the Marlin games………………Club House Membership to a topnotch golf course for golfing with the buddies twice a month…………………………….2 boats, a 34-footer for deep sea fishing and an 18-footer for backcountry fresh water fishing (both boats lodged at a marina)………………none of the fish ever made it home since he was a ‘100% catch and release fanatic’……………………… all the aforementioned excursions that he, with the two sons and the buddies who mostly went on the vast majority of the time……………..not to mention a whole week of out of state deer hunting with some old fraternity brothers!
So, the dog training, dog shows…………all that time and money put in, when detailed on a ledger was a mere drop in the bucket compared to the tremendous amount of time, energy and beaucoup bucks that was being spent with all the other ‘man’ stuff goings on!
Now, the most interesting point made was that both man and woman made 6 figure incomes……………..her 6 figure income happens to start at 1 digit higher than his!
So, expense in energy, in time and in money is all relative to who is interested or not in the endeavor!
So, the moral of the story here is that anything that anyone does that provides some sort of pleasure, whether it be watching the Dolphins go through another frustrating season, fishing the Everglades full of mosquitoes or spending time with a dog in whatever endeavor works for dog and owner is just a relative thing for that person.
To some it looks absurd to spend so much money, time and energy going deep sea fishing and not bring one fish back to eat………………….while there are those that probably shake their heads at the ‘dog people’ packing up on Fridays and hightailing out of town to some dog show in Elkton, Newberry, Brooksville, Davie or any other place that ‘normal’ folk would never plan on going to unless they owned a dog and took a ride to a dog show there!
Different strokes for different folks and it’s all about what tickles your fancy!
Numbers Tell Their Own Truth & Nothing But The Truth
March 12th: West Palm Beach Fl.
Numbers tell the most exact and truthful story! There is no hedging or exaggerating with numbers because they are iron-clad and irrefutable………………..no FAKE NUMBERS here at all.
This past weekend at the West Palm Beach shows, many in the vast crowd cheering on the Chambray dogs, over 70 Chambray owners and invited visitors in attendance, each day watching Team Chambray in action……………………..I received so many questions right after one of our dogs became the 59th Home-Bred Champion………..adding to the already state record by one breeder.
Many were inquiring about our ‘other’ numbers, so here goes!
Hey, a four is a four, is a cuatro, is a quatro, is a quatre, is a vier, is a never anything in any language but the number it is supposed to be!
No shyster, no fast talking schmuck, no slick Willy politician or elected buffoon can make any number out of a number other than that number.
So, I love numbers! They are real and you can COUNT on them to be there no matter what!
So, here are some numbers to relish upon!
59 ~ That is a Florida Labrador Retriever Record for Labradors that have become Champions, Bred By the same Breeder! That number can’t be lied about or fudged about and here is the icing on the cake……………..no other Florida breeder can claim that number!!!!!!!!! No other breeder can even claim HALF that number! So, Chambray owns that number until the very next Chambray dog champions out and then we step up a notch and claim the next number in line!
33 ~ Ah, this number goes nationwide! In the last 6 years no other Labrador breeder in the entire USA has championed anywhere nears this Mt Everest number! That makes Chambray Labradors the Top Labrador Breeder of Champions in the last 6 years from sea to shining sea! Did I say that I Love these numbers?
8 ~ This is a real ‘GRAND’ number! In the AKC’s Top 100 Grand Champions, Chambray lays claim to 8 Home-Bred Top Grand Champions in that pinnacle USA Top 100. Now here is the sweetness of this number, whichever other breeder is in 2nd place can only lay claim to half that number, so far and away, we rock the number 1 spot atop this prestigious designation.
10 ~ Most Bronze Grand Champions in the country............yep, another national monument number!
21~ Another ‘GRAND’ number! That is the total number of Grand Champions Chambray Labradors has on our shelf………………that is again the most Grand Champions by one breeder, so another #1 to chalk up.
173~ This one number has become a Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’………………it just keeps rising without an end in sight…………………..this number boldly tells how many dog show weekends that Chambray has won at…………..that’s consecutive dog show weekends, starting in January of 2012 and now spanning 6 solid years of traipsing all through Florida, across state lines over to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and North Carolina………………to every city that we traveled to, our dogs won at those weekend of shows!
2~ A small number but it is 2 more than any other breeder can lay claim to…………………that’s because no other Florida breeder has ever bred a Best In Show winner.
Chambray has the only 2 Best In Show winners born in Florida.
There are many other numbers, but boy do the previously mentioned ones above tell an exact story, no extras no short falls………………..the facts speak for themselves, numbers tell the exact story, when the numbers are added up they tell who is who and who is telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
December 24th: The Pay It Forward Movement, Paying It Back To The Community.
For all those new folk that have been coming to the website in the last week, this Bud's for all of you wanting to know about our involvement with the breed. Well besides doing great at the dog show ring................here is a whole bunch of stuff that we do throughout the year.
This year we have provided 4 different occasion OFA X-ray Clinics throughout the year right here at Chambray Acres with 21 dogs participating. The clients paid the vets for their services and we provided the place, space and care for the dogs while they recuperated....free of charge.
In addition, we also held 5 DNA Testing Clinics, where aside from the 21 dogs that came for the OFA Clinic which also had DNA test administered while here, another 27 dogs were cheeked-swabbed and those kits sent to the three different DNA organizations we use for DNA testing, Paw Print, Gen Sol and Animal Genetics. The dog owners paid for the DNA kits and we provided our services free of charge.
We held two 5-week AKC CGC Training & Testing courses that saw a total of 23 dogs participate, with 22 passing and receiving their AKC Canine Good Citizen certificates. Among those participating were 7 other breeds beside Labradors. The 4 nights of training & the administration of the CGC test was provided free of charge to all the participants.
We held 3 different Weekend All-Day Training & Conditioning Workshops that had 33 dogs attend with their owners.................free of charge.
We have partnered with Miami-Dade College and their Veterinarian/Vet Tech Program for all day hand's on work sessions where 30+ students spend the day here at Chambray learning all about animal husbandry, handling, training, conditioning, bathing, feeding, giving oral supplements, artificial insemination and all those other things that dog owners, exhibitors, breeders and dog handlers do on a regular basis..................all provide as a service to the community..............free of charge.
For all the Chambray owners that receive unlimited Private Training Sessions for their Chambray dogs.........................from January 1st 2017 to today December 24th, we have provided 557 of those FREE 1-hour training sessions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did I mention that they were FREE!
For all those Chambray owners that receive unlimited Night Training Group Classes, the Tuesday Night, the Wednesday Night and the Thursday Night Training Classes....................there were a total of 101 of those night sessions! FREE OF CHARGE! That was 101 nights with an average of 5 participants per night, totaling 505 dogs/owners!
PLUS, we held 3 different Puppy Play Dates, where our newest Chambray puppy owners were able to come back for their puppies to reunite and have a grand old time!
This year alone, Chambray using The AKC Microchip, Home Again, and Reunite working together, having micro-chipped over 150 new dogs and puppies and having reunited 11 found dogs where the owners had moved and not updated their new address with the data base............Chambray went to work and ultimately found each owner and they were able to reunite with their lost/found dogs! Yes, again, no charge.
For those new to Chambray, you will hear all the talk and chatter from those that don't matter........those that just talk and provide no action, no account, no contributions to the breed or the community.
Welcome and come and visit again.
Breed Standard Seminar & Workshop
Start the New Year on the right foot!
Sunday, January 7th ~ 2 PM to 6 PM
Provided as a service to the Labrador community.
The session will be attended by 2 different people that are mentoring with us for the AKC Labrador Retriever
Open to all Chambray owners and others with Labradors that want a working understanding of the dictum's of the written breed standard.
Dogs are welcome and will receive a written breed standard evaluation.
What's even better is that it is totally free!
In order to reach those that attend, we are limiting it to the first 20 that sign up for the session.
Congratulations to the 4 dogs that Passed!
X-Ray Clinic For OFA Day @ Chambray
Chambray Labradors, serving the community like very few others do.
Future Vets/Vet Techs Day @ Chambray 12/04/17
Chambray Labradors serving the community.
Miami-Dade College Vet Tech Program with 32 future Vets & Vet Techs receiving vital hand's on
training from their Veterinarian Professors at Chambray Acres.
Who Does That?
We do at Chambray!
Ready? Set? Go (in 11 Days)!
It is all systems go……..that ‘go’ is for the up and coming, year ending, biggest canine dog event of the year, of any year before it, the 2017 AKC Royal Canin National Championships.
‘Those’ going would be any breeder, owner, exhibitor, handler of any breed……………that is, any breed recognized by the AKC or in the process of being annexed by said organization…………..among ‘those’ going will be the dogs and owners of Chambray Labradors and now armed with the special Regalia Invitation that is expressly reserved for actual Breeders of Purebred Champion Dogs!
‘Going to’, would be heading up to Orlando Fl for the 5 days of events that this year totaled up to be the largest entries of dogs at any venue in North America!
Here it is T-Minus 11 days and counting and we are feverishly, as squirrels collect nuts, we collect all the pertinent accoutrements, including the dogs that have already been accounted for and entered with the just past deadlines…………………..making sure that everything is in order because once there, the whole world is watching.
Watching as they have been since the inception of the very first gathering of this kind back in 2001 under the guise of the Eukanuba National Championships………………then, every year following that until 2016 when Eukanuba was no more and it became the Royal Canin affair.
So, we now prepare for the 2nd annual ‘Royal’ gathering, however for us it is ‘one and the same’, in fact most that have been involved since the beginning are finding it difficult to call this ‘biggest for last’ canine event anything else than the ‘Eukanuba’……………..of course with a little more time passing, the old will be passé and the new will take its place and the newly named extravaganza will have earned its proper calling.
Meanwhile back at the ranch……………farm……………Chambray Acres………..we scurry around incessantly gathering all the items needed for the 6-day stay at the rather cavernous Orlando Convention Center.
Six days because although our main breed of Labradors is done with at the Saturday December 16th Royal Canin National Championship day………………………Jessie’s other breeds, the Herding and Working Groups are done on Sunday the 17th, so Ma and Pa Kettle stay until the rather large and rotund operatic lady chimes in with the last song!
For now, dogs urgently need MORE TRAINING………………keeping in mind that the powers that be predict that 150+ million people around the world will be watching!
OH MY GOD! The thought just hit me……………………….all those Chambray Labs spoiled to the nth degree by all their loving owners in front of the ‘ready, camera, action’……………..in front of 150+ million people…………………..whaaaaaaaaaaaaat was I thinking!
But, fear not…………….here he comes to save the day……………..Mighty Mouse is on his way......... well not really………….saving the day for most of those ‘cute as pig’s ears’ puppies and adults (still acting like puppies) will be a visit to me………………….most of them are coming here for refreshers and attitude adjustments, training and more conditioning.
We have 11 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But fear not again, we have done this since the very first Eukanuba and now with a ‘need to get used to’ new name, we will rise to the occasion just as we have done in previous years and we will get the job done……………..trust me and take that to the bank and collect interest on it.
At Chambray Labradors…………….right now, right this minute and every minute that is being count down for the first Star Spangled Banner opening salvo at that venue where more dogs will congregate than ever before………………we will be representing with our best..........................among the best there is and we will be ready!