Chambray Labradors Blogging Off

 

 


back to the Home Page

 

By overwhelming popular request...........actually more like prodding an old mule to get
up from its haunches and do some of it's intended labor, I have finally succumbed and will offer up a "running commentary" much like those blog websites set up to "show and tell" about every thing under the sun and stars
and at times way beyond what should be said and done!

So, to stay in tune with the times and not seem Neanderthal-like, I will offer up what's on my at times addled mind and then let the sticks and stones fall where they may. Now, to stay true to myself and my esteemed mentor Howard Cosell, I will tell it like it is which is pretty much as I have done all my life..................an admirable trait or a
brick house short coming, depending on which side of the line in the sand you stand on. None the less I will be true blue to myself come heck or chin deep water!

Of course I will offer those with opposing view points their just 15 minutes of fame with the opportunity to vent off when something is not pleasing to them and I too will make the space for those that wish to add further lucidity to the subject matter at hand.

All of the following topics are those brought up in the dozens of emails that I receive daily from interested parties from throughout the country and beyond. I find myself reading and answering the same things over and over again. I figure that for every person that writes in to me about something, there must be 1000 others that thought it but didn't ask.

Also, what you may read in this section is what's being talked about in hushed tones by the breeders, exhibitors and the usual peanut gallery that frequent dog shows, so most likely what will appear here is nothing new, the only difference is that it will now be available to those that are interested and want to be in the know.

So, without further dissertation or ado, let's get this party started!

 

Oh, by the way, I add to this section whenever the mood strikes and I also go back and as needed will edit and at times augment the older postings. When I do that, I will make the changes a different color type so that will act as an alert.

 

IN ORDER TO SAVE SPACE, I WILL ONLY PUBLISH MY ANSWERS (not the questions emailed in) So what you will read below are my responses to the emails that come in daily. I will no longer answer the same repetitive questions over and over again. Instead, I will answer them here at the Blogging Off section for all to read,

 

By the way, I have no proof reader, no grammatical syntax advisor, so from time to time there will be typos and some errant phrasing or two.............so as famous funnyman Steve Martin would hysterically exclaim "Well, excuse me!"

I don't consider myself a "good writer", I think of myself as a great story teller and a free sharer of knowledge!

 

I am Sandy Herzon and I approve of everything you are about to read!

{that's because I wrote everything and I stand 100% behind every word found here}

{explanation to those new to my blog section: This website is to celebrate our love and passion for everything Labrador Retriever. We boast & brag about our collective successes, but you will notice that we always give credit to our dogs and then to our dog's owners before we go off and pat ourselves on our derrieres! We also provide education about all sorts of things that concern this great breed of dog. So, there will be straight away, boring informative material for those that like boring straight away things....................now from time to time when lightning strikes me and the neuron pathways jib and jive in ways unknown to mortal men, there will be

  • off the cuff,

  • tongue in cheek,

  • the pulling of legs and other extremities,

  • smart alec

  • shot from the hip

  • read between the lines

  • trivially sarcastic

  • mangled metaphors

  • and an attempt at humor

So, when you read something at this section, take it with a grano de sal.........believe it or not......take a leap of faith (if you believe), if you don't agree, a flying leap will also do
and most of all enjoy.

 

08/24/2013 A Day of Infamy

We all have them.....those dates that stay vivid, etched deeply in the farthest recesses of our minds, engraved to the recall as to even the hour and minute that something occurred with everlasting consequences.

For me the day President Kennedy was assassinated; the morning of 9/11; and 21 years ago today.......Hurricane Andrew. Nothing more need be said.

 

Well folks, this will be your last Blogging Off blog! Ok, so it won't be a day to remember, but I would like to thank all the faithful and the not-so-faithful that have taken the time and energy to come to this section of my Labrador world, came rain, shine, and other real news worthy actualities...............you came, you saw and you convinced yourselves to come again.....thank you!

Now before anyone jumps off a cliff without a bungee cord,  the Blogging Off will continue as my mind continues to conjure diabolical plots, straighten out twist and turns, unzig zigs and unzag zags and tend to other imaginary windmills that need rattling.

However, from now on you must travel to where no man (or woman) has trekked before............the new, new Chambray website! No, not the new website at www.chambraylabs.com ................I am talking about the new-new, like in just-released, never-ever been tasted-tested...........eventual replacement website to this mothership site, this one you are on now that will be eventually dismantled because of antiquity and also because the website editor FrontPage is now extinct and the website hosting companies have sent the grim reaper out to foretell of the doom and gloom that is assuredly to follow.

So, in the future come read all about it at the following www.chambraylabadors.net

 

So adios from this site and see you in the reincarnation site on the other side.

 

08/20/2013 Questions that have no answers!

I receive hundreds if not thousands of questions a year from every nook and cranny on the planet! Some come from places I did not know existed and can't even pronounce.....most of those emails have gone through email language interpretation software and most don't make sense........that doesn't mean anything because I receive a sizable amount of email from the good ole USA that I could use an interpreter to decipher.

Some as the following need no answer because it wouldn't matter anyways!

Q) How come there are no Labrador breeders listed in Labrador?

Q) I got puppies that don't look like Labradors from my Labrador, how does that happen?

Q) A handler told me the Lab that was given to me isn't worth the money I paid for his pedigree, why is that?

Q) Why do you know so much about Labradors?

Q) My dog humps my females head, do you think they will have puppies?

Q) My dog runs away and then comes back, what can I do about it?

Q) My dog gets pregnant every time that she comes into heat, isn't that bad for them?

Q) Show dogs are hyper does that make my dog a show dog?

Q) I bought a dog at the flea market, do you think it will be a healthy dog?

Q) My neighbor says they will shoot my dog if they do that do you think it will still be able to breed?

The above are 10 good reasons why some people shouldn't have a dog!

 

08/19/2013 "How do I know if I am breeding better dogs?"

Questions are the keys that open doors in acquiring knowledge! If a question is not asked..........an answer is not forth coming!

So, this is the step in hopefully going in the right direction. You looked at your dogs! Great! Now you wonder if they are "better" than what you started with, thus the question, "How do I know if I am breeding better dogs?"

So, that question sets off the wheels in motion to seek the answer.

How do we know if we are tall? How do we know if we are smart? How do we know far it is to the next town?

We use a system of measurements, ratios and comparisons to determine what distance, size or value anything has.

There has to be a measuring stick or certified authority that act as "judges" to determine those values we seek.

For those of us that are building an object (Labrador Retrievers) that will be measured and compared to by the general public or by certified judges there has to be a uniform code to to build that object that later will be scrutinized.

That is where the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard comes in (it's free for all to see and print out at the www.akc.org website). So, you build it and then you seek higher authorities to "judge" it and give it a value as compared to the blue print and as compared to those other "builders" who seek the exact same answer.

For those who build and say that their produce is "good" by self proclamation is to believe that there is gold in them there hills and buying the deed to the land before actually seeing the gold.

Without authenticity it's like buying fools gold.

In order to determine if someone is breeding correctly and producing the right goods, it has to be measured and compared............it has to be taken to task otherwise it is a fool's dream and as PT Barnum correctly proclaimed, "there's a sucker born every minute".

Those thousands upon thousands of people breeding Labrador Retrievers without an inkling that a blue print exists, those that do know about the breed standard but can't make heads or tails about it, those that don't give a hoot and will build whatever they want (remember we live in the land of the free), those that know better but insist like "old blue eye, Frankie" doing it their way"....................their end product may not be what it is supposed to be..........it may have AKC papers, it may have a pedigree 9 yards long................but if it ain't built right, it ain't right!

Ah, the open doors once the question is asked.....................the problem becomes what's behind each of those doors?

That's where time and experience comes in. So we are back to measurements, how long have the builders been at it, how successful have they been? The answer to the question will be apparent with the tale of the tape.

08/19/2013 What a drag it is getting old.

I remember as a young man hearing those lyrics and thinking to myself.......I will never be there!

LOL............no like really, seriously LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!

I went in for a procedure today at the hospital to get me ready to go in for another procedure at the hospital tomorrow!

Does that sound absurd or what? Well, anyways they seat me in a little tiny room and the nurse brings back a metal canister label "radio active". She instructs me to open the canister and withdraw the capped bottle with the 1 pill inside. She tells me to take the pill and swallow the pill while she collects the canister and the pill container wearing special foil looking gloves and then deposits them inside a special container marked hazardous material and the whole thing is then carted away to Siberia or somewhere in the back room that needs a special swipe card to get into.

So, just what was in the pill that I swallowed 24 hours before I have to go back and have the 2nd procedure to check out something suspicious in my thyroid? Hey, if the malady don't kill you, the treatment will! 

So, stay tuned for news of a guy in Kendall the glows in the dark!

What a drag it is getting old for sure!

 

Now on a brighter note, I can't wait for this Thursday evaluation of our newest contribution to the Betterment of the Breed! 9 of the best looking 7 weeks olds ever! More to come!

 

08/15/2013 A Pinch Of Salt, When a Grain Won't Do!

This blog is just for you.....to those that complain about everything and nothing...............yes, I repeat subject matter, yes I forget to remember, yes, I blow hot air out of all outlets.

This blog comes from the mind of Minolta.........aka. Sandy Herzon and a few other monikers, tags and whatnots that I have given license, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for some gifted and not-so-gifted individuals to use when referring to me.

Most of the topics are brought up by inquiring minds, addled minds, and minds of their own and some that should mind their own businesses. There is no rhyme and reason and no rhythm and rhyme for the subject matter, if it does matter at all. Come what may and may what comes, usually after April..................there could be beating of dead horses, kicking when down, hitting below the belt, belting when needed and all those other neat sounding things that we really don't do, but it sounds tough and gruff saying it.

Since I have reached that age where I am given, time honored, old-age privileges..............such as forgetting that I forgot, dispensing of flatulence in other places besides the John, the Jimmy or the Jake, falling asleep at opportune times and snoring while awake...............plus many other amenities that one accrues by surviving the gauntlet of the roulette wheel of life...............I will repeat myself in these blogs, I will forget for days on end to remember to write a blog, I will toot my horn and other parts at will (and grace).......will you get the picture...............pretty or otherwise, come rain or sunshine, the sun will rise each day.....until the day it doesn't and then we will all be history and this blog won't matter an iota or two. So, no sense, cents or scents in getting the hackles bristly if inadvertently or advertently toes or fingers get stepped on................so, to repeat myself, to repeat myself "Well excuse me!" (Steve Martin said it better).

My advice/advise is to keep tuning in because the day you miss a blog, it could be about things that matter to you, it may be about you......................wait a minute, just who are you?

 

 

08/15/2013 Different Strokes For Different Folks

Watching one of those "Extra" shows last night on TV, they interviewed Todd Bridges (Willis) and it put into perspective the mentality of our society..............different strokes for different folks!

Now a days, everyone wants to express their opinions...........big mistake............in my day you quickly learned that no one knew how dumb you were unless you opened your mouth! Today, way, way too many people walking around with their mouths agape!

Not one to beat a dead horse...............but there are many that have manned-up (can we also add womanned-up to our vernacular?)............about the "air" being much fresher to breath with less, in particular people around!

 

This is all about the dogs..............when it becomes about the people......the breed suffers!

 

Watched another TV show last night where the "judge" expressed concerned about the material that the comedian was using, citing it as being "something that she wouldn't take her family to watch"!

This coming from a person who rose to fame taking her cloths off for pin ups in magazines!

Gee, I wonder if the comedian would allow his kids to "watch" her "body of work"!

Let's set the record straight here since I am not a hypocrite, I would definitely pay to watch the comedian's act and I would also peruse through those magazines.

When all fails.....try something else!

 

08/14/2013 Hearing is believing.......if you believe!

"The way I hear it, you all have loaded up the deck down in your sunny Florida. You guys all win a lot because you have out done your competitors in every aspect. What could be expected? By some miracle these other hobby breeders are going to be able to go head to head with your machinery? I don't think so! So, you guys have created a dang if you do and dang of you don't situation down your way. Not many want to bring their dogs out to compete against your dogs and your team. I don't blame them. It's interesting to see what will happen next!"

Well first things first.....thank you so much for your contribution and commentaries. I truly appreciate contrasting points of views as long as they come from well grounded sources. There have been way too many unstable personalities around the Florida Labradors scene..........they, for way too long cluttering the airwaves with self-absorbed illusions and vendetta-like tendencies..............fortunately the air is somewhat easier to breathe in recent months and the vast majority of the contributing cast of characters have settled into a more relaxed atmosphere.

I totally understand where some of these comments are coming from. The unknown always has a way of creating fear and distrust. If you don't know it, you don't understand it, thus the alienation attitude that follows is to be expected.

We have put together a program for the betterment of the breed that does not exist anywhere else in the country........that I know of! If there are others, they may have not reached the success levels that the Chambray program was achieved, so I haven't heard of them.

Breeding better dogs is not the novelty, because there are dozens and dozens of folk that are breeding really great dogs. I applaud those successful breeders and I even use their stud dogs for this same betterment of the breed plan.

What's totally different is how we take those great puppies produced..........................place them.......................train them...................condition them.........................manage them.......................and handle them to the overwhelming success that is so apparent in Florida........................AND THEN..........................breed them to produce the next generation of success!

In an easy to understand nutshell!...........no shell game............no hocus pocus..............no smoke and mirrors...........like the old fashion way, good old plain hard work!

What's different is that we include all the owners that those puppies get placed with! So the dogs and the owners are integral parts of the success equation!

Chambray and the Herzon Family provide the environment for the owners to participate with those great puppies produced and collectively we all succeed together...........a major win-win-win situation if there ever was one.

The dog wins, the owners win and the program wins.

So, does understanding how it works make it less daunting for the other breeders that show their dogs in the same venues that we frequent.................I sometimes feel that they would rather believe that there is subterfuge, that there is shenanigans, that there is nefarious underhanded goings-on to explain the difference that exists. The old "if you can't beat them and you don't want to join them.........then let's trash them for being different and successful".

Like I stated at the beginning of this blog, I do appreciate those that come wanting to know more about it........so long as they come with open minds...................receptive to an idea worth looking into.

Yes, it is interesting to see what does come next. A day does not go by that a breeder or exhibitor contacts me wanting to know if there will be majors at the up and coming dog shows..................I really don't know. what I have seen in the last year, is new exhibitors and breeders bringing dogs out to show, some from their own breeding programs and some from top breeders from out of state.................that's a good thing!

We are doing our job for the betterment of the breed..............we have bred some stellar litters with great puppies from those litters................we placed those great puppies with new and existing Chambray owners.................we are training and conditioning and at the same time educating and mentoring those owners with those new puppies..................we now await the fall dog show season to come around to debut this next generation of champions-to-be.

That is a good thing.................for the dogs, for the owners and for the breed...........a win, win, win situation if there ever was one, two or three!

08/14/2013 This is the USA........Ray!

I agree in part..............yes, this is the USA..............yes, anyone can breed whatever they want.....just like anyone can take a gallon of water, add lots of high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar to sweeten the pot, caramel color, caffeine to energize, vanilla & cocoa extract to soften the taste, sprinkle in some lime extract to give a kick, a little phosphoric acid and some glycerin and presto you have something that may vaguely resemble the most popular drink on the planet but you can't name it Coca Cola!!!!!!!!!!!

It may resemble the real thing, but I guarantee that it won't taste like the real deal! So too with all those that breed whatever they want and then want to call it a Labrador Retriever........so breed at will, we live in the land of the free, the home of the brave.................but don't call it a Labrador Retriever!

But, you can call me Ray! (how many out there remember that line?...........for those that do remember, I bet you wish you could forget........so forgetaboutit)

 

08/13/2013 Well, maybe the chord didn't resonate as well as I thought it would, so to paraphrase Steve Martin.....Well excuse me!

"I just read your blog and realized that you had used my question about a puppy I am waiting for. I happen to like the dogs that look that way, so no need to try and get me to change my mind!"

Heavens forbid that I would try such a dastardly thing.....never ever would I attempt at changing anyone's mind about anything..........you were born with that mind and you will have that mind the day you bid adios to your three amigos.

I can only clarify the way, those that see the light then have the opportunity to move toward the beacon. There will be those that don't see the light and will invariable stumble a bit, then there will be those that see the light yet choose to stumble...........there is hope for those that can't see and stumble.

Remember the old saying "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him dance the lambada!

 

08/13/2013 Hitting a well sounding chord.

"The breeder I am getting a puppy from does not show her dogs, how do I know her dogs are worthy?"

How do those dogs she has compare to the top champion breeders in your area? By the way, in the previous blog about "seeing" dogs.....unless you travel to dog shows or visit those breeders that are at the top of the heap, relying on photos of their dogs will do just as well.

Anyone can offer a product or service and make claims galore...............I see it all the time when I surf to websites that people direct me to. I read their advertising and promotions and then the boat sinks when I see what they are passing off as Labrador Retrievers! As was the breeder of the dogs that the inquirer above was dealing with. Just one look was all that was needed, however to get my fill, I perused through the rest if the website just to see how the other side lives.

On the "stud dogs" page one of the yellow dogs had very piercing yellow eyes (fault) with a light red nose (disqualification), extremely long extremities, with very obvious sickle hocks, roach back, low hung tail carried curled high over the back, long beyond measurement muzzle, no stop from nose to top skull...........not at all what a Labrador Retriever should look like, regardless of pedigrees offered and AKC registration promised.

Sooooooo.....what that leads me to believe is that there is a total disregard for the breed or an immense lack of knowledge..............either way a simple formula for eventual disaster in all areas of expectancy. I see temperament, health and conformation all bundled up together and I can stake a substantial wager that this bundle will become unraveled in a very short time.

 

08/12/2013 A PS: to the blog that follows.

When scouring around for those top 10 champion breeders to compare to, make sure that the area they exhibit in is not a "lame" region of the country were there are few breeders and the point system makes a major out of a handful of dogs. One more thing, throw the Chambray dogs into the mix and see how our dogs size up with those other top champion breeders.

PSS: Let me know what you all come up with, it could make very interesting reading.

 

08/12/2013 Who is right and who is wrong?

"How does any one know which breeder to believe? Each breeder I contact tells me they are breeding the correct Labrador Retriever. You advocate one thing and the very next person I speak to says something different!"

The proof is in the pudding! Don't trust anything anyone says, verbiage can be deceptive! Look beyond the verbal razzmatazz.................look at their produce!  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then seeing a real life dog is worth a million words!

First of all become familiar with the written standard for the breed. Then study the most prominent "champion breeders" of the breed and compare what each is producing. After seeing what 10 or more breeders are producing and winning with, there should be a consensus........ a general look if you will of acceptance that becomes evident. Since we are dealing with a spectrum of production from breeder to breeder, start to see the ends of that spectrum. If there is a moderate, more accepted type of dog, then those breeders that produce to either end of the spectrum, have created a deviation of the more accepted type of dog. It is similar to looking at a bell curve of statistics, the fat part of the curve constitutes the more accepted "middle of the road" type.

The reason why I prefaced "champion breeders" in the preceding paragraph is because they are the ones being taken to task by accredited judges to produce according to the written breed standard. Just as there is a middle of the road consensus amongst breeders as to what to breed, so too there is a middle of the road consensus amongst judges on the correct type of dogs that they put up.

In the previous blog I mentioned that there are breeders that breed totally away from the more accepted norms, deviating at will....... away on tangents that at times creates dogs that differ so drastically that it may appear to be another breed of dog. To compound the problem of all the variables that breeders perpetuate, there are judges that favor those aberrations, adding to the numerous types, varieties and looks of the breed......and just because they exist, doesn't mean they are correct!

In a tongue in cheek moment, I advocate the splitting away of the Labrador Retriever breed to form different breeds according to how they look and function. 

Let's take the shorter, squattier type and bestow on them the name Pudgy Retriever, used to hold paper down, hold doors open and hold their own while eating. Since their short legs can't cover too much ground, their function will be to hold down the fort while the legit Labrador Retriever goes on forays.

The Woolly Mammoth Retriever, these are the real big boys, that big Bubbas like to "rassle" with. In a pinch or two, they can carry kegs of moonshine, kilos of MJ or other toting functions that require maneuvering through the backwood bogs and marshes.

Let's not forget the taller, leaner and meaner versions seen in amble parts of the country. The Leaping Retriever, capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound, faster than speeding bullets.........ok, lets stop while I am still in front of the locomotive!

So I made my point, answered the question/lament with lots and lots of verbiage, well, you get the picture (not worth a thousand words)!

 

 

 08/11/2013 Been There, Had That Happen

"Mr. Herzon, isn't it possible that there are some breeder/judges that take offense at your point of views and take it out when judging you and your Labradors?"...........a correspondence about the following blog.

Yes, human nature being what it is and since most of us are human.........I am certain beyond a reasonable doubt that there has been several instances where I was left holding the bag while being judged by a perturbed judge or two. Hey, you step on someone's toes (and their ability to make a living...$$$$$$) and their integrity heads south pretty darn quick!

To that end I state that I will stand my ground for the Betterment of the Breed, time and time again, tell it like it is, be dumped for what I believe in, rather than be put up for wins and points if kowtow and butt kissing is the name of the game. Ain't going to happen, no way, no how, not while I am still in this life.

Further more, I will not shy away from entering my dogs to any worthy breeder/judge.....giving each the opportunity to show their colors, so that I can first hand experience their worth, their salt and their knowledge of the breed.....based on their selections or lack of selections will determine if I ever enter any of my dogs under them again.

It is to be fully understood that the criteria is not that they have to award me or my dogs the wins, the criteria is that the awards go to worthy dogs, those dogs that exemplify the breed standard.

I would be as likewise and fully offended if any judge were to kowtow and kiss my butsky, award me or my dogs the wins if they were doing that solely because it was me or my dogs.

What's fair for the goose has to be fair to the gander!

 

 08/11/2013 Ok, there's a lot of you's out there.

My bad for taking inactivity as being non-interest! I take it that if most are in agreement, then there's no need to respond! So, if it sounds good, no need to make any noise, but for me it's good to hear from the vast majority that tune in here and hear a good sounding chord.

There must have been a topic of conversation at one of the Labrador-related media recently as I did receive several communications about the same topic. There are so many new boards, chat lines and other exchange of idea mediums  popping up, that I no longer can keep up with all the chatter resonating throughout Labradordom. I rely solely on those that correspond through this Blogging Off section for my "take" on the outside world with Labradors.

The "talk" elsewhere was about forming a "clearing house" on breeder judges, detailing their preferences when judging.

So, here is my thoughts on this topic:

At first glance it sounds doable and worthy, but thinking a little deeper reveals to me that this idea could have the exact opposite effect on the betterment of the breed.

Exposing the judging tendencies of certain judges would create a greater following for those judges by people that have the type dogs that they consistently put up for points. So that over a period of time, there would be certain types of champions that only can finish under those judges known for those traits.

Example: Say that this newly created "Craig's List of Who Is Putting Up Who" would identify.

  • #1) 10 judges that put up "type only" dogs, and say that type is the plodding, overdone, with thick, long, bushy coats.

  • #2) 10 judges that put up the very short upper arms, pudgy, cute as pig's ears dogs with bristled, blown backwards open coats.

  • #3) 10 judges that don't give a hoot whether the dog can move out of its own way, putting up dogs that are obviously cow-hocked, with thick as molasses, sink when wet coats.

Ok, let's just stop at those 3 so that I can make the point quicker............what would invariably happen would be that you would have a caravan of followers traipsing across the country with the examples from #1 chomping up the points and finishing more than their fair share of wholly mammoths.

There would be another wagon train headed to other parts unknown with the chubby, short-legged version, finishing dogs like there is no tomorrow.

Finally, the third identifiable group from above would be tripping all over themselves, their dogs and the judges too, as none would be able to get out of the way of the run away trains.....themselves, their dogs and the judges.

Ok, I know you get my point, so need to beat the horse that wouldn't drink the water that it was led to!

So "just say NO!" to creating a data base of breed/judges preferences......it will only make a bad situation get much worse!

Besides, the 3 scenarios from above is what already happens without this idea of publishing a Craig's List Of Who Is Putting Up Who!

 

 08/09/2013 There is someone out there!

The blog below was not even online 15 minutes when I received a response. Seems that I forgot to mention the largest  group of the Blogging Off movement...........so this Bud's for you (Ice tea for those teetotalers amongst us). Let's add to the bulleted list from below:

  • to illuminate the path for the enlightened!

Now there, does that make my "teacher's pets" feel better?

 

 08/09/2013 Quiet Tropics & Quiet Topics

Tropical waves blown off the western African coast, nearly 4 thousands miles away from the US’s east coast, spell impending weather problems at this time of the year. Fortunately for those that call home to this part of our country, the tropics have been relatively quiet……not much brewing of ominous consequences……………..let’s keep our fingers crossed that it stays that way!

Well, so has been the topics that usually churn up my daily emails………………….sssshhhhhhh, you can hear a pin drop!

Nary a negative note has been struck, strummed or passed………………..either there is a mellowing out of the gentry or those intent on rebel rousing have better things to do with the longer than usual daylight hours…………………..let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope it stays that way.

Of course all those others that live by the light of day………………waking up, letting the dog out, brewing whatever will fuel the AM-startled body, then sitting in front of a computer screen, IPad, IPhone and all those other I-things that are now-a-days considered “life sustaining” necessities of life………………….all those folk just are not happy campers if there isn’t something brewing somewhere in the Labrador world………something that will give me the “get up and go” to spend some of my precious time:

·        chastising the childish ones,

·        directing diatribes at ditzoids

·        embarrassing the imbeciles

·        flogging the flock

·        and generally bringing sense, common and otherwise to those without any.

So, here I sit, waiting for the news that something indeed is brewing, lathering at the chance to use what little wit there is left in the sun-setting part of my life.....but the tropics/topics remain quiet.

 

 

 

08/05/2013 Things you can bank on.

Tony Baretta (Robert Blake character) said it better "And you can take that to the bank!". Here are some rambling Herzonisms to start the week off.

  • Breeding 2 mediocre dogs with mediocre pedigrees produces consistent mediocrity.

  • A great looking dog with a poor pedigree seldom if ever produces himself or better.

  • An average dog with a great pedigree, bred to a worthy mate can produce beyond both.

  • Faults in dogs are perpetuated by faulty breeders.

  • You can't take the faults out of the dogs, but you can put the blame on those breeding them.

  • Accepting a weakness is the first step down hill.

  • Perpetuating a fault is opening up the floodgates for disaster.

  • Winning and losing are very similar conditions, after either one, you need to get going again or you will be left behind.

  • Winning in dogs is a "daily" thing.............the competition starts up again the next day.

  • Believe it or not, losing can be the first step in the right direction if the loss can be used to determine what's needed to win.

  • On the flip side, losing with blinders on, leads to a long down hill slide.

  • Forget about finding faults with other people's dogs.................there's absolutely nothing you can do to fix them!

  • Take the time that you spend scrutinizing the competitor's dogs and apply that time to make your dog better.

  • At Chambray we spend ZERO time assessing the competition and ALL the time addressing our own dogs.

  • There is always something that can be done better, find what that is and then do it.

  • Saying is 100% easier than doing............way too many SAY and way too few actually DO.

  • Show me the Do and save me the SAY!

  • Everyone has an opinion, but very few get anything done with it.

  • Opinions are like a bad cold, the person with the bad cold does everything they can to get rid of it and there are no takers.

  • Losing has a way of bringing out the worst in people.............their opinions!

  • Winners win, losers whine................just listen to the cacophony around ringside after it is all said and done.

 

08/02/2013 The Braniacs say dogs don't see in color.

 

Well have them explain the following:

This is Eko's litter at the Padgett home. 10 puppies, 6 yellows and 4 blacks. They pack, play, wade and sleep by color, from the very beginning.

Same thing happened in the last litter of Hoshie and Bailey, the 4 yellows always together and the 2 black puppies as 2 peas in a pod! Great thing about those 2 black girls, their names are now Phillipa and Phoebe and they live together with Marsha and Mike Shalloway in WPB. Still 2 Peas In A Pod!

 

 

08/02/2013 The Difference is Night and Day

 

With the launching of the new, Quick Version site at www.chambraylabs.com more and more of our visitors are coming to the self-realization of the uniqueness and vast difference that Chambray Labradors has established in the 43 years of involvement with Labrador Retrievers.

 

As of recent, the search engine results for “Labrador breeders” have become dominated by puppy brokers and other mass producers and mass suppliers of puppies to the unsuspecting buying public.

 

I find myself dispensing more “cautionary” information to those searching for a puppy who might not know the pitfalls of obtaining “sight unseen” puppies from “heaven knows where" sources!

 

This time consuming endeavor even though we only have enough puppies for less than 1 in 25 that we correspond with.

 

On another note, the educating of those same searchers of how Chambray Labradors Puppy Placement Program works has become significantly made easier with the new and improved site which has been dubbed by many as the “Blue site”. I actually like that moniker, seems as avant garde as the “Bluemen” were when they first appeared on the scene.

 

Since the inception of the “Blue site”, I have received hundreds of emails letting us know what a immense difference is perceived when navigating our site and then visiting the myriad of sites operated by the hobby breeders, backyard dabblers, fly-by night operators, show me the money puppy brokers, plus the mass producing puppy mills, who supply the thousands of pet shops, brokers and street corner vendors.

 

Yes, there is a difference. A difference that is brought about by 43 years of experience and love for the dogs, a difference that is displayed as true guardians of the breed……………….night and day indeed.

 

 

 

08/02/2013 Pet Peeve #1

 

I have been communicating back and forth with several breeders and exhibitors about my favorite pet peeve………………..cow-hocks!

Interesting theory from one long-time breeder that traditionally has had very nice looking dogs………that is until you check out the trunk! For more years than I can recall, her dog’s rears have had that violin, hourglass look to them……………………wide at the hips, narrow at the hocks and widening back out at the feet.

“Eventually, with time, this will be the accepted feature of the Labrador rear” was a recent comment from her.

I cringe to think that, but I fear it is coming true! If I live long enough, say 15 more years, that theory may be proven right………………..as wrong as it is……………..it may come to be.

As more Labrador breeders join the ranks of those that pass on their “wisdom” as judges, more and more dogs with that particular fault are being rewarded in spite of the short coming, actually “serious structural defect”.

I am not sure why that area of the dog is considered with less tenacity when it should be the one area that needs to be taken to task with the most fervor.

The rear of any active, sporting dog is the main driving mechanism for locomotion. If getting around is paramount, then that structure should be the most correct and strongest

Since the rear is the last place a judge looks at, they may allow all the other attributes to weigh in “against” the rear to make their decisions. Sort of saying, “Great looking head, awesome front, excellent profile…………………….rear, oh well everything can’t be great so let’s give them the points……………………….even if it is specifically covered in the written breed standard:

Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.

The first word (or is it considered 2 words) from that sentence lifted directly from the AKC Labrador Retriever Breed Standard reads “Cow-hocks”, the second half of that sentence reads “are serious structural defects and are to be faulted”.

SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECTS AND ARE TO BE FAULTED

Please bear in mind that breeding dogs that are not cow-hocked is not a “preference” of mine, nor is it up to anyone else to choose whether you like cow-hocks or not…….it is the law of the land (Breed Standard). I breed Labradors with correct structured hocks because that’s the way it has to be, no choice for anyone. You either do it right or it’s wrong!

This is not one of those vague areas of the breed standard where someone may like a certain look about the head and not like another breeder’s dog’s heads and or expression.

The passage at the end of the sentence is not Facebook and does not give liberty to “like” or “not like”………………the passage states for all to read...... COW-HOCKS…….. SERIOUS STRUCTURAL DEFECTS AND ARE TO BE FAULTED.

And no, I will not let “sleeping dogs lie”, neither will I “give it a rest” as a few have opined. If I do have 15 years left, I will harp on it until faces turn blue and the cows come home.

I owe it to the breed.

 

 

07/31/2013 Herzonisms To Enlightened the Unenlightened

From time to time a philosopher emerges and pearls of wisdom emanate from the adobe beneath the barren beacon. So I share freely (like in "there's no charge") and for those that partake, can pass on any and all.................as all are original thought and probably will never be uttered again, unless they make sense and need to be reiterated!  In which case, I relinquish my intellectual property of said dribblings and give license to use and abuse at will.

Vision is the ability to “see” beyond what’s at the end of your leash!

 

When you think you know it all, open your eyes and look around.

 

When you think you know something, wait at least a month before you know you know it.

 

Sharing an idea with someone is only good if you got the idea right to begin with.

 

Dogs are only as good as the people that they own.

 

I never met a dog that I didn’t like, but I have met a few people whose actions made me not like them.

 

Cast a stone into the water and with time the ripples will cease to exist, cast a stone my way and it will have an ever lasting effect.

 

I work with dogs, I train people…………………..the work is far more gratifying.

 

There are ok leaders that have some followers, there are good leaders with many more followers………………..the best leaders have the best followers.

 

I only surround myself with the best, all others need not apply.

 

Following is an art form where some are really good at it; those not good with the art of following lose sight of the leader and get lost along the way.

 

Dogs don’t have to be told who the leaders are; people kid themselves all the time, worst yet, they get kidded more often.

 

With dogs, you either lead or you get trampled.

 

You can’t buy leadership with dogs; they are color blind to the color of money.

 

To be good, you need to get better.

 

Those that wait for things to happen have things happen to them; those that take charge make things happen.

 

Dogs know who is in charge, likewise they know who is not worthy of that post and they act accordingly. That’s why there are so many dogs that behave badly……………they know no one’s in charge.

 

Dog breeders come and go; when they do go, they leave a mess behind.

 

Dog breeder are a dime a dozen, if you think about it, they are worth less than a penny each.

 

In my years in training dogs, with thousands and thousands of dogs coming through my training classes, private sessions, In-Kennel and at seminars, I get to see the results of all those dime a dozen, now you see them, now you don’t breeders that have left great messes behind.

 

In all the doom and gloom, there is clarity, finding it is the task to seeing the light.

 

 

 

What would you do?

I received quite a few responses to the "What would you do" blog.

A) We all know that beating dogs is not allowed, but someone had a good idea about......... what to do with people!

B) Someone wrote in with a plan to have Chambray and professional dog handlers compete against each other and come up with a winner and then have all the rest of the amateurs, backyard breeders, hobby breeders and the like compete by themselves to have winners.  My question is "what do we call those dogs that win their championship from this lesser competition?"

So, I propose the following titles for those dogs that come from that lesser, non professional competition. So let's say the dog's name is Smucky's Lucky Ducky and it beats all the other "almost as good as the professional dogs" and it wins enough points to achieve the new and not-so improved title of:

1. Almost As Good Ch Smucky's Lucky Ducky
2. Not Quite There Ch Smucky's Lucky Ducky
3. HBY Ch Smucky's Lucky Ducky (HBY stands for Hobby Backyard)
4. Call Me Maybe Ch Smucky's Lucky Ducky
5. ROTM Ch Smucky's Lucky Ducky (ROTM stands for Run Of The Mill)

C) Probably the best idea came from a whole bunch of different people, some Chambray owners and some owners of other breeder's dogs and some that are looking to own a dog.

Here is an exact email from one of those "enlightened" folk:

Response to owners that can not win in the ring. Buy a Chambray puppy, become an active partner and hire the Herzons to manage and show their dogs. Done deal.

The responder above happens to own 3 Chambray show dogs, so he gets a free pass into the park, as do 5 other Chambray owners that offered something along those lines, even the Chambray owner that offered the "beatings" gets to walk in. Now to the owners of other breeder's dogs and for those on the waiting list for a Chambray puppy that had similar suggestions for the lamenter, you all go to the head of the line!

The person that painstakingly wrote up a whole page on dividing the competition to have the best dogs compete against each other in a Professional Class and then have all the catch-alls compete in an Amateur Class, would "tar and feathering" be considered "cruel and unusual punishment"?

What would you do?

 

07/28/2013 What would you do?

Lonesome Dove Lament

 

This thought provoking email came in and I had to share it with my audience.

I have edited to make it clearer to understand and also for grammatical errors.

 

Dear Mr. Herzon

I understand what you do for Labradors, yours and other peoples. It is very good that you do all these good things.

The other breeders do not do these things because they are just only breeders. So, when they go to the dog shows they should not have to compete against you and your dogs.

The dog shows should make a different competition because you are a professional and all the others are doing this just as a fun hobby.

So the competition is not fair to them and they don’t win like as much as you do and they get very discouraged and then they don’t show any more.

I think winning is not everything and other people should have the chance to show their dogs.

Mary Del Greco
(name modified slightly)

So, how would you answer this lament?

07/27/2013  More From the Best To Best Breeding Blog

These "wanting to know more" emails really inspire me, gives me the vision that there is hope after all! The desire to learn, opens up pathways not considered before. These newly found options then make people look beyond their immediate situation and actually "see" that there is more and hopefully better........................the Betterment of the Breed!

Here is a prime example of the way I look at a potential breeding.

  •  #1: You consider what you have on hand. Take an inventory of the females that will be bred. Obviously start with the female that will be bred next!

  • #2: Take a good, long look at that female. Visualize how she stacks up to the top winning females in your state or region.

  • #3: Find her good points and jot them down on a note pad. Decide if those good points are the traits that you wish to further your breeding program with.

Those last 2 steps should leave you with a very good feeling, because they will be responsible for the direction you will be going with the breed! If you are not thrilled with #2 and #3 you will not be thrilled with what that female will produce for you. Your females are your flag bearers, you will only rise as high as your females themselves can elevate you as a breeder.

  • #4: Now go back and consider what the weaknesses, the faults, the disqualifications or any other anomaly that the female has that needs to be strengthened, corrected or eliminated altogether.

  • #5: Make a list of all of the above.

Rule of thumb: You allow yourself 2 weaknesses, 1 fault, and 0 disqualification to work with! Of course if there were no weaknesses, no faults and no disqualifications then the task at hand would be a flatter up high climb.

**If there are several weaknesses, then no matter how much shoring is done with a great stud dog, some of those weaknesses will show up on some of the puppies produced.

**If there are a couple of faults coming from the female, then the chances are greatly increased that most of the puppies will have at least one or other of those faults.

**If a disqualification is being worked with, even if some of the puppies produced do not show that DQ, then that DQ is being perpetuated for generations to come in a recessive form that will rear its ugly head in greater proportions in the future.

Having considered the above, the next major hurdle is selecting the stud dog that will complement the female with attributes that will enhance areas that need work on the female.

I will use an example of a recent breeding here at Chambray.

 

Under consideration is a black 2 year old female. She is BY and has passed all her clearances, so no considerations other than what colors to produce. Since I prefer dealing with yellows, the prime consideration here is choosing a yellow stud dog for her. Of course pedigrees are paramount, but that's another ball of wax to deal with in another blog.

Now, comes the process of evaluating her strengths, weaknesses and faults! I don't consider ever using a female with a DQ.

She has one obvious weakness............her front is on the narrow side! It has more to do with the breath of her fore-chest more than anything else. She has good spring of rib (not slab-sided), she is not pinched at the elbows as the elbows form a good line from the ground to the side of of shoulder blade. From the side, her point of shoulder is well developed and forms a pleasing looking "keel" to the front assembly, her legs are well under the withers with half the body above the elbows and the other half below the elbows (the equal distance describe by the breed standard). The distance from the withers to the point of shoulder is equal to the distance from the point of shoulders back to the elbow, once again the dimensions and ratio described by the breed standard. There is no impediment in her front movement whatsoever. She has the desired front reach and retraction, with no elbowing out, nor crossing over that are at times seen with narrow fronts. 

The rest of her conformation is spot on, with a very nice rear end as seen from behind and also from the side.

She has a fantastic fully bound-around traditional Labrador Retriever coat, short dense and hard to the feel, as prized by the breed standard. The "Otter tail" is perfectly clothed and bound terminating in a tightly spiraled twizzle. Totally as called for by the breed standard.

This female is an "introduction to our breeding program", thus does not have the typical "Chambray" look about the face or expression. So this is an area of "preference" that I will work with.

Her pedigree is "world class" as her sire is one of the top producers in the breed BISS Ch Castlewoods Just Do It "Nike" and her dam is Ch Belquest Very Impressionable. Top top notch dogs and great producers.

So my job, in order to do the breed justice is to bring about an improvement in that area that otherwise would be considered a weakness in the breed and in my breeding program.

#1 and foremost, I need to consider a stud dog that not only has a great front, but that also passes that characteristic on to the large majority of his offspring. If that is accomplished with the greater percentage of the puppies in the litter, then mission accomplished!

#2 is the "look of the dog". There is a recognizable look to the Chambray lines that is preferred by the multitudes especially by the judges at the AKC, UKC and International shows. It is a culmination of 9 generations of selective breeding that now has become a recognizable "brand" known throughout the country.

So the decision is to breed her to a Chambray stud dog that will bring about the desirable "look" and also give us the best chances for improvement in the one weak area.

The dog chosen, AKC BBE Ch/UKC BIS Ch/Int BIS Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks will create a "distant line breeding" going back to Eng/Am Ch Langshott Gale Force From Kimvalley "Garry", which is Bailey's great grand sire and on the female's side Garry is Nike's sire.

Bailey brings to the table a Perfect 10 Front and a Perfect 10 Rear (Bailey was the highest ranked male puppy at 8 weeks of age). He is also has been the best moving Chambray male dog of all times. He also has the classic Chambray look and expression.

The one area that can be considered a "neutral" on Bailey, may be his coat. Although thick and course, it may appear to the eye a bit short, more or less what the standard calls for, but in comparison to the over-abundant coats being produced today, it does appear short, however on physical examination it is what the standard breed calls for.

The female under consideration brings about that thicker coat that is so prized by the "specialty breeders", so the expectations for this breeding is for the majority of the puppies displaying the correct front, the Chambray rears, the superior movement of our dogs, the sought-out thicker coats and the traditional Chambray look!

On May 29th, 6 puppies were born. 5 girls 1 boy.

The evaluations have just been completed and the results are in!

5 puppies with the Chambray look.

4 puppies with the correct wide fronts

6 puppies with the thicker, longer coat

6 puppies with Chambray rears

5 puppies with perfect movement

4 Show quality puppies out of 6 and 1 of the "pet" puppies would be  a "show" puppy from every other breeder in the state.

 

EUREKA! Mission Accomplished! A litter for the Betterment of the Breed!!!!!!!!

In fact there are 3 puppies that ended up with with all the superlatives from above.

1 puppy ends up with the highest 7-week evaluation ever!!!!!!!!

That's how you get better with each generation produced.

 

07/27/2013 More Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Yep, you guessed it, another very favorite fan subject that moved the needle berserk on the Geiger counter! Those that dwell in Psycholandia (I just made this location up, so please no flames from Scandinavia or any other sovereign state that it may conjure images of)......so those that call this fictional but very real realm home, those with OCD-Laden tendencies really were up in arms over my stand on puppy buyers from that region of the world.

However, those others whose bailiwick is more in the Temperate Zone, seemed to have enjoyed that particular blog, either way, I did receive major feedback from both sectors of the planet.

So here's another beauty for your reading pleasure or displeasure depending on what locale you call home: Client got so far in the "interview process" as to being "approved" to send a "reservation check". They were then advised to come visit to "get to know each other".....another vital step in the decision making process for the placement of a Chambray puppy.

All went well with that part of the game plan, with much information traded back and forth about the client's expectations and also how the placement process could work in her favor with the placement of the "perfect match" for her and her family.

The next day I receive an email asking for a repeat visitation to bring the neighbor's kids to associate with the puppies; at the time we didn't really know which one would be placed with as that would happen after the all important evaluation at 7 weeks of age.

In a very professional way, I attempted to educate her on the how the process would work and that me making extra time to bring out a bunch of kids to play with puppies was not in the puppies best interest, especially since we didn't know if there was going to be a puppy available at all from this particular litter.

No sooner had I hit the SEND button on the email function, that the phone is ringing and I see her name on caller ID.

Whoa Nelly! We had a run away train in our midst and it was coming straight out of Psycholandia! On and on she ranted, non-stop, not even for a breath of air, maybe 3 minutes worth of emotional, psycho-babble with no end in sight until I hung up the phone.

RING, RING, there was the same name on caller ID, I pick up the phone and answer in the most professional fashion "Hello", to which she answered/questioned "Did you just hang up on me?"

To which I replied in the most even tone I could bluster, "I had concluded our interview process for determining if you would be placed with a Chambray puppy and there was no need to hear any more!" CLICK! The check was voided and returned to sender!

 

Another Fun In The Sun Demento: Family calls searching for a puppy to add to their family. The Puppy Placement Process is explained, detailing that there is a Reservation Waiting List with potential clients that have been waiting as long as 6 months or longer. However there is a possibility that a puppy the sex and color they seek may become available if the person next in line does not opt to take the puppy. They are advised that a deposit is not needed as I would add them to the list if the puppy is not taken by the client with a prior deposit. Arrangements are made for the family to drive down from the middle of the state the following weekend to see the puppy. 2 days later, the original client with the deposit calls and comes by the farm and decides that they indeed will opt to take the puppy. That night an email is sent to the far away non-deposit client-to-be that there is no need to make the 4-hour trip down to sunny South Florida because the  puppy is no longer available.....this 5 days before the scheduled trip! They are further advised that they will be next in line for a puppy from one of the litters that would be ready in 3 weeks.

Holy moly...........hell hath no wrath as that of a spurned buyer-to-be! The woman's email tirade was flaming too hot to touch................still in an above the board professional way, it is again explained how the process works and that I am sure that if the shoe were on the other foot (with her having been on the waiting list for 3 months) that she would be very appreciative of the way that I do business.....the ethical way! Of course there's no detouring an out of control locomotive and the transaction ends with a loud thump!

 

07/27/2013 Striking A Chord Is Good Music To The Ears

I just love it when a topic in my blog hits a well sounding note with my readers. It gives me impetus to come sit in front of this computer and conjure some more thought provoking subjects that will awaken the lazy minds to think outside the self-imposed and limited boxes that most revel in.

This last thread about "breeding the best to the best" seems to have just done that! Maybe some toes were stepped on or maybe it is the thought that exposing the frailties of the "same ole, same ole" system of producing mediocrity may hurt some pockets!

Regardless of where the pain was felt, broaching these "better kept secret" subjects delights me to no end, because it may very well touch some enough to get off their duffs and change their ways and hopefully add to the betterment of the breed.

"How do I know if my dogs meet your idea of being the best?" was one of many emails that I have fielded regarding the blog thread.

They may be the best you have, but how do they stack up against the breed standard? Anyone can look at the 5 dogs they own and arrange them in any order they see fit, singling out one that may be better than the other 4, but of what use is that if they all look like Great Danes instead of Labrador Retrievers.....worse yet, they may resemble another species...................porcine comes to mind!

The absolute best way to realize what a breeder has on hand is to bring them to an AKC dog show and "stack em up" against the other dogs from breeders of that area. Over a period of time a pattern will develop with the outcome of showing those dogs to many judges. Those breeders whose dogs never win, may very well have dogs that do not rise to the minimum of the standard........not the best at best and mediocre at worst!

Well, that's exactly what happens at the dogs shows. The top breeder consistently wins.....like cream rising to the top in a churning vat of butter and we all know what happens with the other part of the butter that sinks to the bottom of that vat! Think about it, which would you want, the cream from the top of the vat or the slued that settles at the bottom?

 

 

07/26/2013 What's Good For This Goose,
May Not Be Good For The Ganders

I have received quite a bit of feedback from folk that read the blog about "breeding the best to the best".

It seems that some breeders "think" that their breeding program or approach to producing better puppies is exactly like what Chambray has put together.

"Not exactly" comes to mind from the mind of Minolta! Borat said it in one note by saying "NOT"!

Follow the bouncing ball and it will become as clear as the brightest day in May.

So, let's look at some of the well-known facts that abound in the dog breeding fancy.

  • Fact #1: The truly great breeders, those that really, really know what they are doing know that without a doubt, it is the females that are 65 to 70% responsible for the quality of the puppies produced.

  • Fact # 2: The vast majority of breeders have a bunch of females that they use to produce litters. They will take those females and breed them 3 to 5 times each. That could span a period of 9 years or so.

Not too many people will dispute the above 2 Facts.

So, now we draw some conclusions from those facts. A breeder is only going to be as success as his females are good!

If most of the breeders out there have mediocre females, regardless of what stud dog they breed to, invariably those breedings will produce mediocre or slightly above, at best......but certainly not Chambray's best from the best!

Instead of using the same female to produce 5 litters in almost a decade of time as most breeders do, at Chambray Labradors instead of breeding the same dog over and over again, we would rather take the best puppy that a female can produce and wait until that puppy grows up and can produce a litter of its own, keep the top puppy from that litter all over again. We would then wait again until that 3rd puppy would grow up and we would then breed it to produce an even better generation......so that by the time 9 years go by, we would have produced 3 to 5 generations of best to best to best.

Meanwhile back at the "Same Ole Ranch", all those other breeders are still breeding the 1st generation from the original female that they have had 4 to 6 litters from.

More facts:

Most breeders don't have the space nor can afford to keep puppies from every breeding, plus they can't afford to just breed their brood bitches just once.

At Chambray Labradors we don't keep any dogs ourselves for breeding, instead we place the best of the puppies produced from our co-bred litters with new owners that want to be part of the most successful breeding program in the country, they in turn will be the owners that will produce with Chambray the next generation of the Betterment of the Breed.

So, what works for this goose will not fly for the thousands of ganders out there.

 

07/24/2013 Psycho Buyers Eventually Turn Into Psycho Breeders

It's certifiably true................................just ask me!!!! Those puppy buyers that turned into raving mad, psycho owners and then metamorphosed into Lab breeders carried the extra chromosome with them into their newly-hatched altered state! History seems to repeat itself with a regular conga beat as the worst case scenario Jekyll/Hyde owners could not keep their true colors in the closet for long and the urge to pounce sooner or later emerged. However there has been a silver lining from the ominous black clouds that lingered overhead for me with the half dozen or so of these unpredictable, volatile and disruptive individuals .........................the majority of these purveyors of havoc, turned-breeders contorted their many Faces of Eve towards the unsuspecting, un-initiated and un-prepared puppy buying public that they themselves now cater to.

The tales are many, the circumstances topsy-turvy to say the least, but the results seem to always end up the same................disgruntled and slightly scorched puppy buyer/owners with lots and lots to talk about and guess who now hears all the horrid tales and affairs?

So, now I listen very intently for any telltale signs.......I scrutinize each and every email, phone call and visit to the farm and I am even thinking of posting a sign for all to see...........................PSYCHOS NEED NOT APPLY!

 

Live & Learn! Water Bags Are Not For the Birds!!!!

Remember a while back when the late, great (and weird) Alfred Hitchcock dispatched his black avian airforce to Chambray Acres.......................where the literally millions and millions of the ruffed-up noir-feather friends, in my case not-so-friendly friends, or at least the unfriendly results (poop and coccidia all over the place) of their uninvited sojourn in my neck of the woods. You will also remember that I tried everything within legal and ethical realms to thwart their stay and hopefully have them head for greener pastures..............................and nothing worked including the zip-locked water bags that I hung all over the place.

Well come to find out this week, when I returned to the restaurant that employs said water bags to repel uninvited denizens............................that I was given a bum steer by a dittoer (remember what a dittoer is?). Yes, on my initial visit when I saw the water bags hanging all over the outdoor eating place of the restaurant, I had asked one of the "servers" what the water bags were for. Her answer "they drive away all these bird that poop everywhere under the canopy".

EUREKA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The answer to my prayers.........how to get Alfy's feathered-flock to hit the road or in this case swoop the airwaves......would be more appropriate!

Guess what? The water bags are used to drive flies away..................................something about them seeing a million reflections with their hundreds of eyes! So, now Chambray Acres is practically free of flies, but I now cringe the sequel of the return of the Birds!

 

Dilemma.....the Legacy of the Betterment of the Breed!!!!

As Edgar Bergen's dummy, Mortimer Snerd would say "Who'd of thunk it?" (of course we all know that it really was Edgar that was "speaking" for the dummy).

Yes, who'd of thunk it that Chambray Labrador's program for the Betterment of the Breed would become a mind boggling dilemma for me, the spokesman for the master plan!

Let me clarify a bit here. If we only breed the best from one generation produced and that "best" then produces the next generation of "bests" and then we only take those best and breed them to produce the next generation......................it is conceivable that somewhere down the line, say by the 9th successive generation of breeding the best to the best from the best we will only be producing the best puppies possible!

Well, guess what? It's here! Along with that well-deserved and planned for great outcome also comes a great dilemma!

Example of the dilemma: We have seen each succeeding generation produced, have a good percentage of puppies in a litter that are equal to or better than their parents, thus the best from the best produces even better! A couple of years back a litter produced the best 2 puppies ever for Chambray, Kika and Gavi and each validated the zenith-like high rating that each got. Well, we just had a litter from one of those super stellar girls...........Gavi bred to Ch Blackthorn Rock U Too "Bono".

She produces a litter of 9 puppies with 8 of them reaching same stellar heights and even higher.

So pray tell, what is the dilemma? Well, no sooner do those "out if this world puppies" head to their new homes with all the expectations that we had for Kika and Gavi..............that now the very next litter sports 3 puppies that rival or exceed the astronomical Gavi litter!!!!!!

So, that's a good thing, right? Well, call me maybe.........................what do we say to the owners from Gavi's litter that may have waited a couple of years for that perfect super star?

Wow, what a dilemma to have! I bet that hundreds of breeders that are reading this blog right now wish upon a falling star that a dilemma of these proportions would somehow land on their hands!

 

 

07/21/2013 Here, hear and there, whatnots, doodads and whatevers

Some blokes responses to the Eenie, Meenie, Minie Moe blog:

"Why are you such an elitist with people searching for puppies?"

"What's wrong with someone wanting to spend time with a puppy to be?"

"My vet says that I should be able to see the parents of the puppies!"

"My vet says I should be able to bring the puppy in for an exam before buying the puppy!"

My "catch-all answers to the above and all the other emails pertaining to that blog!

I take the placement of one of my puppies very, very serious! Chambray Labradors is not a "puppy in the window", all you can see buffet of puppies running around for anyone to show up on a whim and "look at them suckers" operation.

Each litter is judicious planned with the betterment of the breed in mind, with the single goal of producing the absolute best show puppies possible. So, I justifiably become very, very discerning with the people I will consider for a placement of one of my prized possessions.....totally the opposite of those looking for one of those "suckers" mentality! So, yes, call me an elitist when it comes to going through the placement process. I want the best possible homes for each and every one and I am going to ensure that is the way it will turn out.

You have to be kidding when you don't see something wrong with someone's request demanding a daily visit to "play" with a litter of puppies..............sounds like a "Fatal Attraction" in the making to me! That request and the other lady that wanted to be there when the puppies were being born sounded major alarms, caused the red flags to wave and had national security scrambling the stealth bombers...........so no wham, bam, thank you ma'am for me, so let's pass the Poupon please!.............next in line!

For a lay person "seeing" the parents is like that same lay person buying a used car......they all look alike and kicking the tires does not indicate whether the car is a lemon or a grapefruit! In fact, there was this one bumpkin that shared with me that the last dog he had purchased, he had seen the sire in the back yard tied to a tree and that the dog looked "decent enough". Later, after buying the puppy and having it for 10 months and going through major aggression problems with said puppy, he finds out that the sire spends most of the time tied to that tree because he can get "pretty nasty" according to the dog's owner! So, bottom line, the vet's recommendation to "seeing the parents" would fly better than Howard Hughes's Spruce Goose, only if you would bring a mechanic to test out that used car.

Taking a puppy anywhere without buying it first????...........Really??????...............test drive a puppy?????? I think right about then, I would be in the market for a new vet! But hey, the puppy searcher thought that was a grand idea, so you know what.........like Snagglepuss used to say "Exit stage left!"

 

To the Dittoers blog:

Dittoers!!!!!!! That blog brought about some discussion as well. Several do-gooders were upset because they claim that they mean well with the passing on of information, with the reasoning that it goes well most of the time. What troubles me here is the instances where it doesn't go well..........few as few can get, it still means that no matter how little the "bad", the "wrong", the "ill-conceived" or the "misquoted" can get, it can do more harm than the good, that the "sometimes" correct information does! This is like going to a brain surgeon that gets it right more often than not. To me that's just not good enough, so I would look around for another brain surgeon if I ever need one!

 

To the Did You Know blog:

If any Labrador breeder out there can rightly boast and brag about their triumphs and accomplishments, then give them a soap box to stand on and I will be the first to say "amen" to their spiel! So, yes I will sing the praises to every single feat that a Chambray-connected dog achieves and if those feat are record setting, then I will thump my chest, crow like a Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, and strut like Richard Prior did in the movie Stir Crazy when he is put into the jail cell with those savory/unsavory characters.   

To the person that emailed saying "it is not fair, you all have the best dogs, so that's why your dogs win all those things", well bowl me over and bust my britches, isn't that the way it is supposed to be? To the victors go the spoils and winners go to Disney world and no one asks where the losers go. The best rise to the top and the mediocre will pack in the middle and the lesser have a tendency to settle to the bottom in every sport, function or endeavor.

Here is Colonel Sanders secret recipe.....for free!

  • Breed for the best,

  • train and condition them to be the best

  • then have them handled by the best

Hey, this is dog show stuff is not a soup kitchen where the slop gets passed around evenly to those standing in line, this is the big times where there is big business being transacted all around, where some of the top dog's owners, benefactors syndicates or whatever else is behind them with a war chest of bucks spend a hundred thousand or more a year to get the dog top ranked. This is where you bring your best wares and go head to head with the top professional handlers in the business and if you snooze, you lose in the blink of an eye.

The majority of the dogs that we show were bred by Chambray and those that came from other breeders were scrutinized and evaluated and only taken on because we felt that we could train, condition and then compete with them and win! If not, then regardless of where they came from, they ain't going to be on the other end of our leashes at the dog shows. We firmly believe that the best dogs should be the ones that will win and if that's not the case, then we don't want to be handling a dog that doesn't deserve to win!

To answer the person that emailed asking if I ever felt guilty that "those other breeders seldom win":   If "those other breeders" do not have competitive dogs that stand a chance of winning, then I don't feel an iota of guilt that they seldom if ever win! I can only be concerned with the large network of owners, exhibitors and breeders that are part of Chambray Labradors Management Program for the Betterment of the Breed. They made the right choice in associating with me and my programs, collectively we enjoy the successes and move forward and have very little time to look backwards at any of the other folk that just don't get it!

 

07/20/2013 Did You Know That…………………..?

 

There are thousands that follow the Chambray Labrador dogs on the Internet, at the dog shows and of course the hundreds of owners that own those marvelous Chambray dogs.

What’s interesting is that most of our owners are not aware of many of the following:

 

  • Did you know that Chambray Labrador dogs are recognized the world over like “rock stars”?
    Yes, I get emails from every nook and cranny of our dear planet earth telling me of their acclaim in these far away, exotic and foreign-to-us countries…………rock stars indeed!
     

  • Did you know that we received a $35,000 offer from a breeder/exhibitor from China for one of our super star champions? Well believe it or not the offer stills stands and I am reminded by the interested party almost on a monthly basis! Kika, our darling champions of all champions attracted attention even before she reached that pinnacle of success, so she truly was a “sight to see” even from the get go with her!
     

  • While on the subject of Kika, did you know that she holds some very impressive national and also state records?
    1. The only female Labrador in the country to win a Best In Show in 2012
    2. The #1 ranked female Labrador in the country for 2012
    3. The Labrador with the most 2012 Eukanuba Honoree Invitations with 4
    4. The highest ranked (Ranked #1) Florida female Labrador ever
    5. The only female Labrador from Florida to ever win a Best In Show
     

  • Talking about Best In Show winners, did you know the following?
    Hogan was Florida’s first-ever, born-in-the-state Best In Show champion
     

  • Did someone mention “champions”? Most of our owners may be aware of the following, but just in case here goes.
    1. Chambray Labrador has bred a state-record 36 AKC/FCI Champions, that’s twice as many as the next breeder down the line.
    2. We also hold the record for the most home-bred champion in 1 year with 6, which is 3 times as many as whom ever comes next.
    3. Chambray holds the record for the most-ever Eukanuba National Qualifier Honorees Labradors with 7 for the 2012 Eukanuba, almost doubling our own record of 4 for 2011
     

  • When it comes to winning, Chambray leads the pack like there is no tomorrow.
    1. A record 59 Winners Dog & Winners Bitch wins in 2012, compared to 21 WD & WB for all the other Florida breeders combined!!!!
    2. In the last 5 years a total of 193 WD & WB while all the other Florida breeders combined for less than 70 WD & WB

If you play poker, it is good to know what cards you are holding, likewise if you play with your dog it is good to know what you are holding at the end of your leash.

 

PS: For those interested in more of these "did you know facts", there is a Seattle slew of them at the Trivial Pursuit page at http://www.chambraylabradors.com/TrivialPursuit.htm
 

 

07/18/2013 Eenie Meenie Minie Moe
method of selecting potential new Chambray owners.

NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!

Well, if we are going to be real here, not in my lifetime!

I made mention yesterday that there are about 20 times more request for puppies than what we have available, thus 19 out of 20 inquirers will end up getting their puppy elsewhere, so I have received some emails asking what criteria I use to screen potential new clients.

Like the Flo Rida song lyrics "I get this feeling" and I go with it. So that comes first, if for any reason I get a "bad feeling" the thread ends there.

Case Files:

  • There was this lady that insisted that the puppies come in contact with 7 surfaces, because that's what she read on some website. After explaining that my puppies are all home raised by the dam's owner for six weeks where they come in contact with dozens of things and then they come to me for the last 2 weeks before the are placed with the clients I choose. Furthermore, while here they come in contact with hundreds of other surfaces, materials, objects and whatnot.................she wanted to know specifically know what those objects and surfaces were! Outcome: END OF CORRESPONDENCE!

  • There was the man that wanted to personally meet both parents to ascertain if they indeed possessed the correct Labrador Retriever temperament. After detailing to him why I was the ultimate authority on the breed, he proclaimed that he didn't trust anyone. Outcome: GOOD BYE!

  • There was the loonie that insisted that she take the puppy home before she bought it to see how it would adjust to her environment Outcome: Sayonara!

  • There was this other wacko that wanted 10 Referrals from Chambray owners so that she could contact each one. Outcome: Yep, you guessed it, she is one of those 19 out of 20 non grata personas.

  • There was another real doozy that wanted to come spend an hour each day with the puppies as they were growing so that she/they could bond as the surrogate mother-to-be. Outcome: She was advised that there were no beds available in the mental ward.

  • There was the guy that actually made it as far as the personal interview at the farm................but I didn't take a deposit from him at the time so that I could "feel" out the situation a little bit further. Lo and behold within a few days he started to show up at my gate unexpectedly (no appointment, no service is the rule without exception). On his first "stalking" appearance at the gate, I turned him away telling him that I had a training session with a client and for him to email and schedule an appointment when I had a clearing. 3 days later, without an appointment the guy was out front at the gate honking his horn. After 20 minutes of standing next to his car and honking the horn every once in while, he texted an email that I picked up and answered, telling him that I was busy at work at my computer and had no time for any visitors. On his 3rd unexpected appearance at the gate, he was told to "hit the road Jack"! Really.........................his name was Jack! 

I could go on and on, but by now the drift is piling high and I am sure you get it.

Even with this "feeling out process", there have been some that avoided the radar and snuck in. Some of those hard-cases, nut-jobs and square-pegs-in-round-holes just went away, while several were asked to leave. Most of those that are part of Chambray know too well how upsetting these wayward individuals were and how much worse they became after being shown the door!

 

07/17/2013 Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder.
Here is a round up of what's on my mind.

Yes, I know that I have not updated the Blogging Off section in a whole week!

No sooner than I go through the arduous task of evaluating a great litter, then go through the mind-boggling process of deciding with whom to place my prized positions with, that it starts all over again with another litter with world-class implications. They are now 6 weeks old and the sleepless nights have now begun! There is a yellow male and a yellow female that rock...............appropriately enough their sire is Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks!

Plus, Paul Padgett with Eko and Juan Marrero with Fer both tell me that there are some stupendous puppies in each of their litters..............what a great predicament to be put in!!!!!!!

 

Then to top everything off......my Labradorwell.com website gets hijacked by hackers that ends up costing me tons of $$$$$$$$ and aggravation in dealing with phone-tag support techies that are probably that ones that come up with all this malfeasance so that they get hired to clean up the mess in the first place!

 

In the last week or so, I have received emails requesting information on a website that lists Chambray Labradors in their meta tags and descriptions. This technique is an attempt at deceiving searchers looking for Chambray Labradors to end up at their site. If you do a Google search for Chambray Labradors, this nefarious practitioner shows up in the top 10. I will not publish their name here at my website so that they don't get cross reference from search engines indexing the Chambray website. HINT: this scurrilous practice makes them NO ANGELS....................GRACE have mercy on their souls! I have no idea who they are, what dogs they own or breed, have absolutely no connection to them, have not given them permission to use the Chambray name on their website, even if it is deep imbedded in their html code to fool the search engines!

Now, for those folks, owners, breeders, exhibitors or whatever other hat a person wears..........if you own a Chambray dog, if you use a Chambray stud dog, if you attend our training classes, if we have ever handled your dog or if you have great things to say about Chambray Labradors...........then you have my 1000% permission to use our "good name" on your website..............hey you benefit from the search engines finding you through the use of the Chambray name and we benefit from the cross reference.....sounds fair to me!

 

For the life of me, I will never, ever understand why people feel they need to bad mouth and trash other breeders in order to sell a puppy! On any given day, there are way more people looking for puppies than there are puppies available! Demand far exceeds supply.....simple law of economics!

For instance, we receive 20 times more requests for puppies than the number of puppies we have in a year! There is no way in the world that I can place 1500 puppies!!!!!!!!!!NOR DO I WANT TO!!!!!!!!!!!

So for those potty-mouthed urchins that think that negative promoting is effective, do yourself a favor and concentrate on the positives you can offer those that have contacted you because chances are greatly that if they are dealing with you, that I have already passed up on them myself.

 

Showing dogs that are fat and totally out of condition demeans the breed to no end. If these are the best dogs that the breeder can field for showing............then I would really hate to see what's left behind back at the fort! These dogs have seen brighter days and should be enjoying their golden years relaxing around the farm.

 

Breeders promoting on their website that they are "breeders of champions"................aaarrrggggg! There are several right here in Florida that are as guilty as all get out. The closest they have been to a champion is when they sit at ringside and watch someone else's champions in the ring.

 

Mentors: Everyone is a mentor now a days! Just this past weekend I was listening to folk that are relatively new giving advice to others that are just getting their feet wet! Not just around the Labrador ring, but with other breeds as well!

The worst culprits are those that quote me to others...............then I hear from the 2nd party and they either heard it totally wrong or the "pseudo-mentor" had it ass-backwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seems that with the advent of instant Google answers for everything that you would want to know about or that you don't want to know about....................everyone is now an expert at giving out answers on everything that they Yahoo, Google or Bing! So, I am coining a new word-phrase for these passer-ons of information.............."Dittoers"!

Yes, a "dittoer" is a person that accumulates information and then passes it off as their gospel truth without really having the benefit of validation or expertise on the matter. Way, way too many dittoers walking, talking with nothing really worth for anyone to listen to.

 

Ok, now.....that's all off my chest! How was your weekend?

 

 

07/10/2013 The Daily Questionnaire

They come in like clockwork........arriving from all points that the compass points to...............from newbies, truebies and all sorts in-between...............they are repetitive in nature and once in a while they come in in droves about the same subject. My assumption when that happens is that there is a thread at some chat room, board, list or other medium of expression that either directly mentions Chambray or deals with a subject matter that my audience relates to and then responds to as well.

Now, truth be told, this Blogging Off page seems to be a force to be reckon with on a local (Florida) and likewise not-so local, because there is a lot of knee jerk reaction whenever I broach a touchy subject..............touchy when it "touches" someone that is holding the questionable goods!

At a not too long ago blog, I made mention of "following the advice of clueless ones". I didn't mention any names as that is not the mission of my blogs..............no need to "out" anyone in particular as they tend to out themselves with their actions. As a kid, I always heard the following "No one knows how dumb you are until you open your mouth" Well, just like the "clock work" I mention in the first paragraph, no sooner than I publish that "Clueless" blog, that I receive several forwarded emails detailing some disgruntled bumpkin's ramblings on Facebook!

How's that for "outing" themselves! I just may have been referring to another bumpkin and this one takes the credit! Oh well, like that saying I used to hear when I was a kid........keep the mouth closed and no one will know any better!

 

There was a recent "topic of conversation" at a Labrador list that was about "cow-hocks" and sure enough my name gets mentioned and then I receive a bunch of forwarded emails about the thread and also asking questions about cow-hocked dogs.

It seems that there are 2 sides to this issue............the proverbial fence that dives the dueling clans, like the McCoy's and the Hatfield feud of yesteryear. Those with dogs that are cow-hocked are on the defensive side of the fence and those whose dogs are clear and free of the fault, find fault with those that possess those wayward legged dogs.

Around and around we go and where the merry-go-round stops only judges can help out. If judges were to do their jobs by judging on what the standard dictates, then a dog with an obvious fault would never receive a single point and the owners of said dog would not be so anxious to breed a dog that will perpetuate that glaring fault.

 

I have received numerous emails from folk around the country detailing how the name "Chambray Labradors" is showing up in Google, Yahoo and Bing searches and they are then led to some "unknown entity's" website.

There are many shysters out there that ride on the coattails of those with a "recognizable, good name", they do it by either adding the name Chambray Labradors to their visible content on their website or the more nefarious ones, prominently add Chambray Labradors to their HTML code so that the search engines find it and then give that hooligan's website out to people doing a search for Chambray Labradors.

Those breeders that own our Chambray dogs and those who have used our Chambray stud dogs are not included in the above, because they have a legitimate reason to post and mention the name Chambray at their website and in their meta tags and descriptions. Of course this association to Chambray drives extra traffic to their sites, but once again, that is 100% ok to do.

 

The dog that bit its tail

A while back there was a complaint that I was black-balling a certain dog that was being campaigned. I answered that rumor with a blog detailing how those same complainers had been documented (signed and sealed and ready to testify) bad mouthing the Chambray dogs. So, needless to say, the complainer made scarce of herself.

Now in reality, I did make mention that I didn't like that dog's rear as it was on the weak side for a dog that is being campaigned with the likelihood of that dog being used to perpetuate the breed by being studded out. This was the common rip by most in the Labrador ring about the dog.

Well, the dog bit its tail and that's the end of the story!

 

 

07/09/2013 Opening a Pandora's Box

 

Whoa Nelly. Hold your horses. Keep back those crowds. It seems that I stepped on some of my owner’s little toes with that last blog about Major Elations Episodes for yours truly! I apparently left out some events that truly deserve Top 10 Status. So to calm the apparent storm that is probably still brewing in the land of the Chambray owners past and present, here are more Massive Celebration........It doesn’t get better than this........Kodak Moments that I have also experienced.

I won’t assign any numbers so as to not slight one over the other: All of the following “moments to treasure” occurred with Chambray-bred dogs.

·        Winning the 1st Best In Show with Hogan in 2008 with Jessie handling.

 

·        Winning the 2nd Best In Show with Kika in 2012 with Johanna handling. (yes, I know that I covered both together in the 1st blog, but in reality, the thrill is a never ending joy ride)

 

·        The crowing of the very 1st Chambray champion, Russell in 1993 with yours truly handling him.

 

·        Winning the very 1st Trifecta (WD, WB & BOB bred by same breeder) in 1993, Russell WD/BOB and Tikki WB.

 

·        Having Hogan with Jessie compete at the 2008 Westminster at “the Garden” in NY.

 

·        Having Karley qualify & be the first Chambray dog to compete for the Eukanuba National Invitational Championships and having Jessie handle her there in 2004

 

·        Chancey awarded the very 1st Judges Award of Merit (JAMS) at the very first South Florida Labrador Retriever Specialty in 2001 with Johanna handling her. That was 12 years after I help form the SFLRC.

 

·        Connie with Jessie winning back-to-back weekends of AKC Best Puppy In Show in 2001

 

·        Having our very first dog ranked for the year in the Top 10 USA, 1995 Caleb (#9 USA) and then the icing on the cake, having Caleb become Chambrays 1st ever Westminster competitor.

 

·        Celebrating our 1st Grand Champion (Charm), our 1st Bronze Grand Champion (Cher) and our 1st Silver Grand Champion (Kika)...........3 Eureka moments to relish from 3 beyond-stellar dogs.

 

·        Finishing 2 champions in the same weekend of shows, TWICE!!!!! Dakota & Maya 2005 (brother and sister from the same litter!!!!!! Bailey & Scarlet 2012.

 

·        Winning the first-ever International Grand Sieger BEST IN SHOW (Miracle), the first and only Labrador Retriever to achieve that honor in IABCA history.

 

·        2012/2013 Having 3 true living legends of the breed come acknowledge my dogs as “some of the best”, “among the best in the country” and “Kika as being the best they had ever seen”……………………thank you ladies for making my day, my year and my career as a breeder. I won’t mention names, as they know who they are and I would never, ever put anyone worthy of their status on the spot.

For sure I have left some long lasting, memorable moments out, but as Steve Martin would exclaim………….  “Well, excuse me!” lol. The old grey mare (mind) ain’t what she used to be, so if I did not mention a time or occasion that included someone’s dog out there, when I remember, I won’t forget to remember to make another blog about it, so now forgetaboutit!

 

07/06/2013 Measuring Elation

I am frequently asked "what in dogs excites you the most?"

The answer is complex and also varies according to the hat I am wearing at the time.

My 43 years of involvement with Labradors has provided me the Rocky Mountain High of highs and the Death Valley of lows! You name it and I have been there, done that several times over. In fact, I was even blessed twice with what is only suppose to happen once during a harvest blue moon during a total of eclipse of the sun! (FYI........that has never happened............you can't have a solar eclipse at night when the rarest of rare harvest blue moon is in full regalia).

Anyways, here is the count down to the Numero Uno whammy of all whammies of elations for yours truly.

  • #10 - Winning points with a dog at a dog show. Yes, I still get a super high when one of our dogs wins points regardless of what some people may think. It doesn't matter that our dogs win at every weekend of dog shows we compete at.....it still re-energizes me to "keep on truckin"!

 

  • #09 - Hearing that a Chambray dog has produced champions even if that dog is not part of our present management program. Just this year, there have been 3 Chambray-born stud dogs that sired a dog that went on to earn its AKC championship...............like Carly Rae Jepson sings "Call me maybe"

 

  • #08 - The placement of a top show prospect with someone that will take that dog to Disney World! Actually, Westminster, Eukanuba, the Nationals, Canada, Brazil..............the World Shows all the preceding will be the destinations that I prefer for my show dogs!...............like "Yeah baby!" Just had a litter where out of 9 puppies, 7 of them are "Yeah Baby!"

 

  • #07 - Producing a puppy (or 2 or 3) in a litter that totally out-ranks the highest scoring puppy in any litter before that!!!!!!!!!That's like "California here we come"...........however, the destinations in #8 would do much better! So, we have a handful of puppies that have surpassed super stars that have won Best In Shows.....deja vous and "Second that emotion"............."Yeah Baby, yeah baby"

 

  • #06 - The safe delivery of a litter where the mother and the puppies all come out ok. "Halleluiah"!

 

  • #05 - Winning a Trifecta.....Winners Dog, Winners Bitch & Best Of Breed, all at the same show!!!! "Youser, youser, youser". There are blokes that have been showing for 30 years and have yet to score 1 Trifecta and Chambray dogs have run away with them to the tune of 42 times!!!!!!!!!!

 

  • #4 - The crowning of a new AKC champion. The culmination of a hard fought campaign that for some dogs lasts a couple of years and for some maybe never ...........I have savored that thrill 36 sweet as can be times, that's twice as many as the 2nd person in line..........."I got my thrill on blueberry hill!"........."King of the hill"............."Strawberry fields forever!"

The next three really cause me angst in deciding which came first, the chicken or the egg. But, I had the thrill of experiencing all 3 so, there had to be a 3rd, a 2nd and a 1st., so here goes. Of course I will be most grateful if before I fade away to where all breeders go at then end of the "long and winding road", I could savor one more of the following 3.

  • #3 - Most Eukanuba National Championships Qualifiers in 1 year (2012) for Labrador Retriever breeders...ever, a record that no other breeder had accomplished before.....7 dogs receiving the special Honoree Invitation to the Big Top Event!!!!!! As Jackie Gleason would say "how sweet it is!"

 

  • #2 - For a Labrador Retriever breeder, a Best In Show win is the "Unattainable dream" in a lifetime career of showing. So rare is the feat, that most Labrador breeder boast about winning a Group 1 that entitles their dog to just compete for Best In Show, so the G-1 becomes their major bragging rights...........A Best In Show is so rare that the feat was only experienced twice in all of 2012 with over 3000 dog shows across the country, a paltry 2 Labradors managed the really big one, a Best In Show and I had the extreme honor of being the breeder of one of those. But the original, real deja vous moment, the first time it happened was back in 2008!
    2 Best In Shows for a Labrador breeder is the Mt. Everest climb of all times......not many will ever reach that summit and when they do, I will be there to congratulate them!

Now, drum roll Ringo Starr....................the NUMBER 1 mother of all inventions................although there has been one of these for every year for years where at least 1 Labrador breeder was proclaimed to be the #1 Breeder for the year, the 2012 Breeder of the Year was doubly "ummmm good" for Chambray because it actually was a triply good affair.

  • Top Breeder of the Year is the #1 Elation of all times and what makes it even more of a chest thumping moment to savor for the rest of my Labrador-related time...........breeding the most champions in 1 year {6}, qualifying the most champions {7} to the 2012 Eukanuba National Championships and having 1 of only 2 Best In Show winners for 2012.....all in the same year.....................now that's what I call the Godzilla Trifectas of all Elations!

Can someone spell BRAGGADOCIO?...............................R-O-L-A-I-D-S!

 

07/03/2013 "Where's Waldo?

Whenever I am away from this blog for a day or more, the emails starting to flow in calling "Car 54 Where Are You?" Oh boy does that really date me or what? Car 54 Where Are You was a TV series back in the 60's and Fred Guinn (also played Herman Munster) was one of the main characters.............anyways like the two lost patrol cops in Car 54, I too like to "get lost" whenever I have an awesome litter and I have to make huge decisions on with whom to place those puppies with.....especially the top show puppies and like the movie Sleepless In Seattle.....I go sleepless in Miami!

But fret not if you miss me or if you cheer my absence because on occasion you find yourself at the receiving end of the Wrath Of Khan.......I am still here!

 

Like those searching for Waldo emails, I also receive and inordinate amount of emails wanting to know about "So and So Breeder"......the list is long and the names run the gamut from really cool sounding locality names, exotic regions, raging rivers, really tall mountains, tree names, rock names, jewels and gem names, animal names, weird names and really weird names and much much more.

 

The thing is, that I don't do undercover, exposé, cloak and dagger research.....but once in a while on a lark I surf around to some of those "turned in" named "kennels" or "breeders" or whatever else they can be called.

OMG!!!!!!!!How does anyone buy a puppy from some of these people? There's a website that depicts their "top stud dog" wearing a prong collar and he is tied to a tree with a long line that is wrapped around the tree a good 10 times!

There is another "Labrador breeder" with photos of puppies milling around in front of a chicken coop, obviously where the puppies are sheltered up for the night and the poop underneath the coop is a good 10 inches high!

But I guess there are all types with different standards of living and acceptance.

 

 

Ok, got to go now and think some more as to where my next batch of winners will be calling home! ET phone home!

 

06/29/2013 "What ails the masses?" the email read.

Ok, I can come up with a cure for natural occurring parasites carried by flocks of wild birds (see blog immediately following this one), but I must admit that I have no cure for the summer time blues that afflicts a few of those that compete against us at the dog shows.

That was my answer to a recent inquiry as to why there are still some party poopers with major negativity about the Chambray presence in our state. Of course I am aware as to the why.................................competition brings out animosity and lack of winning brings out frustration...........................combine the two and that becomes the catalyst for the ill will and the casting of dispersions.

Delving deeper into the quandary, we can surmise that fear of the unknown plays a pivotal part in the irritable state. Not knowing how our programs work for the betterment of the breed causes some major anxieties. Not being able to offer any of the amenities that come with one of our puppies also leaves some perplexed and they react by alienating themselves.

4 decades of involvement with Labradors have passed (actually 43 years to be more precise) and I have reached that point that it matters not an iota how any other Labrador fancier operates or conducts themselves. What they say and what they do becomes a reflection of their worth. Those that constantly berate and trash exhaust themselves to no avail and create a negative aura about themselves that those with any sense can measure immediately.

I can not begin to recall, how many have repeated the exact same thing about those with bitter tongues. Instead of hawking their own wares (dogs) with a positive approach, they instead use a negativity to berate our program and dogs.

Business 101 teaches to always build up your product and say as little about the competition as possible, in fact never mention them at all. Never approach a possible client with a naysayers point of view because that's exactly how they will remember your product.

So, to answer the burning question, what ails the masses.................there are many things that ails the masses, but there is not much that I will lose time in curing..........................................I have way, way too many positives agendas to work with than to try and fix something that's hopelessly broken.

The above blog was in reference to an inquiry about puppies from someone doing their homework in searching for information by contacting as many breeders and coming across a couple that felt compelled to bash and trash rather than to rely on their own merits to attract the client. Probably the lack of merit is what prompts some to go to the dark side instead of offering a positive agenda of their own.

 

06/29/2013 If you can't beat them, cure them!

Like the Hitchcock thriller the Birds.........they descended by the millions..............green trees in seconds became totally covered in black..................black birds..................Common Grackles to be precise! Soon fences, wooden decks and grass growing underneath trees became white, chalky white...........bird poop white! Within a day of the massive congregation of flocking birds my 7 week old litter of puppies were overrun by the coccidia that flourishes in the GI tract of the feathered invaders! There was no need for microscopic fecal testing because the unaided eye could detect the disease on the poor birds that swooped on by. Most of them had very dirty rear ends, where their feathers were all shredded and and very thrifty looking.

Since my first forage into animal husbandry was raising birds circa 1968.............having read from front to back and front again the book written by Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz)...............................I knew what was ailing them and what they in turn were passing on to any other animal that came in contact with them and their constant dropping.

I love birds.......................I must have been a bird in a previous life..............but I hated these birds. I hated what they were causing me to go through with my precious puppies! My fat, rolly-polly, happy as lark puppies were all now experiencing non-stop diarrhea........................coccidia-laden diarrhea spread by the flighty denizens. It took all my expertise, accumulated over 43 years to combat the ill effects that the microscopic, spore-forming, single-celled obligate intracellular parasites were inflicting on my poor little puppies!

Although I could reach into my bag of homeopathic and tried & true, time-honored, sure fire treatments to remedy the gastric disturbances that were occurring with the litter of puppies, there was nothing under the sun................under the sun because as soon as the sun set, off went the flocks to bed down for the night in places unknown to me..........but at the break of dawn "Here's Johnny", the yellow-eyed, black-feathered insurgents were back wreaking havoc with their  downward castings from their chosen perches!

"Put up plastic owls" offered up a helping-hand compatriot, "It will scare them away" they assured me. So, in desperation, off to Home Depot I sped to. 3 Hours later with plastic owls now secured to the house roof, I watched as the birds used the reasonable facsimile figurines to land on and use as a launching pad to dive down to the ground to where the puppy yard is located.

"Set of firecrackers" was another "sure fire suggestion"........................................yep, it worked as thousands would take flight after lighting off a round or two and then back down they came with a  vengeance..........................4 hours of lighting firecrackers and casting them towards the "not scared flock"..........$65 worth of exploded ordinates and a severe head ache and the crusty avian were still on masse on the trees, roof of the house, rafters of the dog runs, 600 feet of fence and several blocks of telephone wires!

Several of my gun-toting acquaintances offered to come fully loaded with their shotguns and blow the smithereens out of the air-borne squatters. But for 43 years I have held the belief that I have been the intruder of this locale and that all the wildlife that was here before I settled on these 5 acres have the first right of survival here, so no guns and no smithereens!

"Use rat poison" was another hair-brained idea..............................no thank you!

 At the Riconsito Latino restaurant they have an awning covered, outdoor sitting area that had been plagued by birds dive bombing those that sat out there to have lunch. They hung water-filled plastic bags that has warded off the aerial assaults for months..............................so of course I put the water-filled plastic bags to use.............................within minutes of hanging the ornaments on the trees, I swear I saw a few of the birds ROTFLTAO!!!!!! For those not with the modern grammar/lingo that's "rolling on the floor laughing their asses off"!

At total wits end..........................ready to commit Harry Carry.................................it dawned on me! Since they were here to stay.......at least until their urge to migrate to greener pastures...................everything in sight now was a chalky white!

Cure the birds and like Superman...........save the day. Medicate all the drinking troughs, water buckets and the food that I was feeding the puppies and the other dogs. Simple enough.......................save the Trojan Horse (the birds) and kill off the inhabitants inside (the coccidia)................................so now we have harmony between avian, canines and homo sapiens...............sans the microscopic, spore-forming, single-celled obligate intracellular parasites!

 

06/27/2013 The Difference Between A Mentor and a Disaster
Follow up on "A Bit of Knowledge is a Very, Very Dangerous Thing" blog from 6/25
(I added 2 very's to the original title)

Think of an ant hill and now think of Mt. Everest...............get the picture?

Night and day.....right?

Black and white at it's most stark contrast!

That's the difference between 999 people as opposed to 1...................think of 1000 Labrador people that you know.......999 of them are the ant hills and 1 of them will be the mother/father of all Earthly protrusions!

Chances are, that all of the people you know with Labradors......that think they know Labradors are the very ones that have that little bit of knowledge and wield it with reckless abandon. Dispensing it like a drug pusher would push drugs at a non-supervised rehab facility.

Not one single day passes that I do not receive a correspondence from someone re-telling some dastardly, catawampus, mangled, and otherwise mutilated advice on a myriad of topics and subjects concerning Labrador Retrievers.

The worst of course are the home remedy treatments that are passed around the Internet like errant Frisbees at a dog park........OMG............overdosing with the wrong amounts, the wrong medicine, not being able to convert measurements, doling it out like candy in a kindergarten.....OMG indeed!!!!

Not as life threatening, but getting my ire just the same, raising my hackles and causing me major angst are those that divvy out advice on:

  • breeding of Labradors,

  • correct vs. incorrect structure,

  • training, conditioning, handling

  • the Breed Standard

AAARRRGGGGGGGG!

Time and time again at the dog shows, through emails and phone calls, I hear it and I see it.....totally clueless people advising other totally clueless people! I know it's not politically correct to make this statement anymore but like in the old days, it's the blind leading the blind around!

Just this past weekend at a dog show there were folk advising others that majors could not be had because of such and such........the problem is that none of those folk can figure out the different ways to achieve a major if their lives depended on it. Bottom line...........majors were had.

One of the newer owner/breeders that works with me sends me a photo of a puppy being evaluated on a table. Who ever the bright bulb at the other end of the wire draws lines, squares, squigglies on the body of the puppy to illustrates certain points. Huge problem.....none of the lines or the squares or squiggles actually corresponded to anything of structural significance! If their mission was to impress others with their knowledge of Labradors, then they just became one of the illustrious 999!!!!!! Fortunately for this owner/breeder, she consults with the ONE, before she takes a flying leap of faith on the advice of ant hill dwellers!

People, always consider your source for any information that is being dispersed about anything!

How many of those that you know are cardiac specialists? Maybe 1 in 999......lLa même chose!!!!!!

Why in the world would anyone listen to a person that has never delivered a litter give advice on whelping, or a person that has no credibility as handler give advice on showing a dog, or someone diagnosing illnesses and diseases who is totally out of their field of knowledge (if any)?

Way, way too many preachers and way, way too many in the choir humming the wrong tune!

 

Ok, now my hackles are relaxed and my favorite things in the world (my puppies) need tending.....like in tender loving care, so stay tuned for my ire to rise again and angst to overtake me for the next diatribe on whatever ails in the Labrador world!

06/27/2013 Clarifications to questions posed

Q. I am not from your state, so I have no idea who you refer to in some of your blogs.

A. Human nature being what it is plus the dynamics of groups have no boundaries, so whatever transpires in my locale more than likely, sooner or later repeats itself elsewhere, however the faces and names will be different. In every region or state, there is always one top winner (the leader of the pack), there are always the in-betweeners, there are always the newbies, there will always be the clueless, there will always be the sore losers, the complainers, the trashers & bashers, the do-gooders, the do-badders....................and like a recent blog, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

So for those that dwell in my stumping grounds, they know the cast member's names.....for those not in our neck of the woods, you can substitute your character's to fit the role.

 

Q. You all seem to have so much fun and different things always happening in your state.

A. Ok, so that wasn't a question.....but I will address it anyways! Yes, you are right our state boasts some major idiosyncrasies that rival any other part of the world.

  • We are the Mickey Mouse capital of the world!

  • Boa Constrictors are running rampant eating up alligators!

  • Hanging Chads.........no need to say more.

  • It took almost a week for our votes to be counted for the recent presidential election.....who cared, we already knew who had won by then!

  • There are republics within the state.........way down south, as far south as you can go there is a place misnamed in the wrong direction.....Key West, which is west of nothing and south of everything and they are the Conch Republic!

  • You head due north of that place that is not west of any thing and cross into the Banana Republic, some bananas  actually grow here, in fact my whole 5 acres is a banana plantation......but in reality, that's not why it is the Banana Republic.

  • The oldest settlement in America by the same nationals that run the banana plantations way down south, those "discoverers" arriving way before John Wayne and the Pilgrims.........actually they discovered nothing because there were "natives" that had trekked into these woods, swamps, beaches hundreds, maybe thousands of years before, probably before BC.

  • There is a Gator Nation where my daughter resided for several years while going to school there.

  • There is a Panhandle where few panhandlers go to and my son was also part of that ambiance, not panhandling other than the bucks we kept sending him to attend school there.

  • And then there is the Labrador World which has been one drama after another by a zany, whacky at times, bizarre the rest of the time, cast of characters that would make a great soap opera for the ages. I have been taking notes all these years and maybe I will write a book that will rival that Best In Show movie........and yes to make it hard core, I will name names! lol,lol,lol,lol,lol,lol.........now rotFLmao (the FL doesn't stand for Florida)

06/26/2013 Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery

Never mind all the record setting achievements that may never be equaled or bested, at least not in my lifetime, the greatest form of flattery is the imitators of our ways and means! Especially when at one point or another they themselves were major vocal detractors of those same ways and means!

"He brings too many dogs to the dogs shows" was a frequent rally cry at those pesky Labrador forums by those that now bring many of their own dogs to the dog shows. So what was not good for the goose then is now a savory treat for the gander.

"His website is like a Las Vegas neon sign with boast and brags about every little win his dogs achieve!" was another oft repeated rant anonymously posted by the faceless ones. Well, now things have flipped and those same non-descript chimers are taking claim at their websites for any burp or flatulence that any of their dogs pass.

"He follows the favorable judges and brings them more dogs and withholds dogs from non-favorable judges" was a common complaint whenever we repeated wins with a particular judge or if we did not bring a large lineup to judges we felt were looking for something else than our dogs. Well guess who is playing the same game? Yep, you guessed it, the trasher and basher now are more selective with their entries.

More Flattery:

  • Arriving early & getting the best setups

  • Strategically setting up the chairs at ringside

  • Color schemes for crates, covers, chairs and other identifiable brands.

Hey, when you have learned from the best, you do as the best does!

I am deeply flattered!

06/26/2013 More Flattery

As interesting to experience as the above blog is at the dog shows, there is nothing more delightful than witnessing today and for the last 10 years the great number of dogs winning and finishing their AKC championships that have deep rooted pedigrees coming from our breeding program. At the most recent dog show in Orlando Fl, 24 out of 44 dogs entered had Chambray pedigrees in their background and yet about half of those Chambray-related dogs are not part of our present day management program. When those dogs win, it validates our commitment to the Betterment of the Breed and the long lasting legacy that Chambray has crafted and left for others to benefit from.

Once again self appreciating flattery at its best.

06/25/2013 A Little Bit Of Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing!

Whoa Nelly! Pull in the reigns a bit here, choke up on the throttle, stoke the fire a little less because there are people carrying loaded nitroglycerin containers and they think that they are twirling batons!

There is nothing worse then to have someone come and tell me something I purportedly advised another bumpkin and both had it bass ackwards!

Give someone and inch and they incorrectly convert it into a meter!

Tell someone to dose at 3 ml per lb. and 9 times out of 10, they will administer 10 times as much!

When in doubt, go straight to the source. Don't stop along the way and garner info from the clueless, because you will get just that CLUE LESS.....or worse.....you could end up with a ticking time bomb of epic proportions!

Always consider your source of information. How knowledgeable have they been in the past? How long has their past been in the matter that they spout knowledge about? Would you stake your life on anything they say?

We all know caveat emptor........buyer beware.....now we need to heed caveat cupitor............"seeker beware"!

 

06/24/2013 Telling it like it is!

For years I have been beating the drums and not many would stop to listen to the beat……this beat was not about the conga, no sir, this beat was about an ever-ominous, ever-present black cloud of vindictiveness perpetrated by a masterful player……………only the few that had been stricken themselves and had to deal with the venom first hand, knew of the depths of the under doings.

 

We all know that tuning out for most is usually par for the course of human nature……………..if it doesn’t affect a person directly, then they don’t want to get mixed up in the manure.

 

Of course that’s exactly what the harbingers of doom are counting on! That’s Warfare 101, “divide and conquer” at its best……………..isolate the easy pickings, get them to flip through intimidation, fear of persecution and other assaults to the senses……………get them to also turn on the intended target, making it the “more the merrier”………………let’s trash and bash together to make others around either join in or not want to align themselves with the intended, once again for fear that the “hoopla”  would turn against them.

 

Throughout human history there is always a turning point in identifying the 3 elements, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. No matter how long a sinister plot endured, there was always a downfall to the regime and according to biblical prose “good triumphs over evil every time”………..or so we hope for human kind’s sake!

 

The year 2013 has turned out to be that turning point in the Florida Labrador Retriever history. It wasn’t so much my steadfast stance on doing what is good for the breed, nor my continued waving of the hurricane warning flags…………no it has been more of nature taking its course, where everything has a cycle and one of the 3 elements reached that natural circuition.

 

This left us with seeing the Ugly............the emissary from misery this past weekend at the Orlando shows. Right there in plain sight for all to see and witness……………….no longer lurking about in the background, now front and center, no longer speaking in hushed tones with forked tongues behind turned backs………………..now with the spotlight glaring, now visible for all to identify………………….the black cloud with sullen eyes, grimace, gloomy scowl of a face perpetrating one last fling-like swirl like a moth into the flames of a raging bonfire.

Of course, even then there were the masses that turned their backs and pretended that it didn't concern them, it didn't affect them, it wasn't about them, still fearing "what if they came for them?" Ah, human nature at work once again. Fortunately there are always the few, the proud that stand up for what's right even if there is jeopardy at stake.

 

The interesting thing about a nightmarish saga ending……………………..now most can speak freely without fear of being the next target……………now they are brave again. In some societies, celebrations of mass significance ensue once the oppressors seemingly dissolve…………the same that stood silently on the sidelines and allowed the regimes to exist are the ones that seem to rejoice the most………………as Artie Johnson would chime up (Laugh In circa 1970’s) “Very Interesting”. Those same masses that had turned their backs now speak out on how they "knew" what was going on. Interesting indeed!

 

Let’s hope we have seen such foul weather once and for all and we can experience clarity at it best in days to come………………….so Alicia Keys, please keep on singing your song…………….. “It’s a New Day”, after all.  

 

Let's enjoy some "breaths of fresh air".....................because another time-honored saying "history repeats itself" may be lurking in the shadows waiting to take some prisoners! 

 

06/20/2013 You are all welcome.

It looks like I sprung up a gushing geyser of gratitude from those around me..........................so to those that took the time to email or call me after yesterday's Thank You blog.....................you are all welcome, now get it all down pat, make it part of your essence and then pass it on to those that come along your way

 

 

06/19/2013 Thank You!

Most of my mentors are resting in a better place………………those that along my arduous path to where I am today, stopped long enough to offer up some time-garnered pearl’s of wisdom………..to them all I say “thank you”…………… again!

 

I state “again”, because I hope that I thanked them way back then…………….of course when you are a young whippersnapper like I have been all my life (now a days an old whippersnapper), in haste-like fashion we tend to not appreciate what is being offered to us at the time……………..then years later when it makes perfect sense, we wish we could somehow show our appreciation to those that led the way.

 

George Bragaw (Shookstown Labradors, Labrador breeder extraordinaire, AKC judge, mentor to hundreds) a true giant in many ways………..mostly his love and passion for all that was Labradors……………….and his way of imparting his knowledge of the breed to those that he felt could use it, gave me one piece of the life puzzle that still resonates as clear as a clear day can get…………………….. “Work on things one at a time and don’t be afraid to start all over again if it doesn’t look like it will work”.

 

Anna Kathrine Nicolas (world renown dog person……..actually royalty, one of the true greats of show dogs, author, AKC judge and on and and). In the early 90’s after having judged Labradors she sought me out and chatted a few fleeting seconds with me……………….can you imagine how special I felt that this royal lady of all breeds, especially Labradors would even take the time to look my way…………… “You will be one of the great ones in the years to come, build up your lines through your bitches, use someone else’s top producing dogs, let them do the real hard work, and cull out as you go along, only keep the best and recruit others to work with” the diminutive, immaculately dressed, articulate to a T, authority on all dogs……offered up to me.  I often wondered why that day she chose me to speak to and how many people she offered up the first line of her pearl’s of wisdom. Of course, I like to think that it was a unique comment, so I have treasured it so much more thinking that way.

 

George Heitzman (very popular AKC judge and champion dog breeder) always took a few minutes from his busy day at the dog shows to offer up some tips that he felt could help. “You have good dogs, now sharpen up on your presentation” he said to me on more than one occasion.

 

 Marcia Foy (well-liked AKC judge) “Treasure your 2 children because they will be the ones that will be seen by the judges”…………………Ryan was only 6 years old and Jessie was 11 at the time………in fact we have a photo of her with both Ryan and Jessie after awarding Ryan a Winners Bitch with Jessie’s dog, BPIS Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter “Connie”.

 

Connie Barton (AKC judge and one of the great ones with her knowledge of Labradors). After awarding AKC Ch Chambrays Chisholm Chancey a Best Of Breed and a Gr 2, “This is your foundation bitch………a true Labrador bitch, this is your future as a breeder, get rid of all the others and work with this one to produce future generations”

 

There have been others along the way and each and every comment was an inspiration that created a patchwork map to follow.

 

So thank you Mr. Bragaw, I still see and do things one at a time. Seeing what needs shoring up and doing what it takes to make it right one at a time. He pointed out a weak rear on one of my girls………………she was cow-hocked and that image is vivid in my mind’s eye………….it was the impetus that has driven me to have the best rears in the country today………….bar none! Plus, there were something's that were not working and those were then short ended. Indeed, thank you Mr. Bragaw.

 

Ms. Nicholas your statement “You will be one of the great ones” has driven me to be the best I could be with Labrador Retrievers……………..it has been a mission to live up to that statement and I thank you for creating that drive. Your steadfast theory that the females are the builders of kennels and breeders is a mantra that I offer up to any and all that will listen today. Thank you again!

 

George Heitzman planted the seed that a great breeding program is not enough in the world of dog shows unless there is a great presentation offered up with those dogs. Those that know me today, know that I am totally OCD about training, conditioning and presentation…………………..thank you George because once that seed sprouted, there was no turning back and today 20 years later the proof is in the pudding at all the dog shows we go to.

 

Marcia Foy could see the future way back when Jessie and Ryan were little tykes, she could sense what was to be and today it is like she forecasted…………the whole Herzon family at work and play with the most successful show management program in the country.

 

Connie Barton was to judge Labradors on 3 occasions while Chambrays Chisholm Chancey was active in the show ring……………20 months apart………..in 2 different states with 2 different handlers she was able to find Chancey and award her a Best Of Breed and each time she would profess how ideal this bitch was to the Labrador world, the 2nd and 3rd time I reminded her that she had given her breed before and she responded “I see so many dogs, but I can always pick out the best…………….now stop showing her and get to producing more like her!”.

 

Yes, Ms. Barton, we indeed took your heed and bred Chancey twice and she gave us 4 AKC champion offspring………………..2 of them Top 25 Ranked, a Group 1 winner, a Best Puppy In Show (twice), 35 Best Of Breeds between them and 3 generations later a Best In Show, #1 2012 USA Labrador female, great grand daughter!

 

There were others, way too many to summons up and to give credit in this blog, but from time to time, I will make sure that I take the time to thank each and everyone that has contributed and that has led me to offer up mentorship to any and all that wish to stop a few minutes and listen up.

 

06/18/2013 It's a new day, it's a new day

Alicia Keys could not have picked a better song to chirp about!

Not much to write or gripe about when the engine purrs with contentment...........or so it seems of late in the Labrador ring. Mind you, I'm not referring to the number of wins we have been posting.

No folks, I harmonize of bigger and better things!

"What?" with suspicious incredulity you ask.....at a dog show, what could be better than winning?

This new found newness has more to do more with the clearer air we are looking through at the Florida dog shows within recent, short term memory.

There is a major respite in the tensions that had existed........existed for quite some time in the otherwise usual sunshine state of affairs, sunny state.

It seems that Old Man Sun has has finally triumphed over the dark ominous clouds that were so pervasive for days on end.................so many days that most had lost track of long gone, now back Happy Days.

There now exists a "taking care of business"...................where the showing of the dogs is first and foremost and nefarious shenanigans are a thing of the most recent past.

Sing on Alicia Keys, sing on!

 

06/17/2013 Lift Off for new www.Chambraylabs.com website!

Liftoff occurred very early this morning, so our alternate site is now orbiting the planet in cyberspace!

06/14/2013 New Chambray "Quick Version Website" almost ready to launch!

We heard from many of you and we acted, there will now be two Chambray Labradors sites!!!!!!! One site will stay "as is" to quell the thirst and hunger of those looking for educational material, the archives of Chambray dogs past and present, this Blogging Off page and other old time favorites, thus www.chambraylabradors.com will be the go to place to continue to come to...............so, let the dog out, brew the coffee or tea, unfurl the newspaper and then sit a spell in front of your computer screen and check out the latest as has been the custom for a decade and a half!

Now for those in a hurry, the quick in and quick out types, those that want to "see" more than they want to "read".................there will be www.chambraylabs.com

Check it out and let us know what you think. Your feedback and ideas may very well be put to play as we are constantly tweaking and tuning up what is on there now.

 

06/12/2013 How Do You Spell SUCCESS?

Answer' SELECTIVENESS!

This questions comes in all forms by all sorts at every dog show and in several emails throughout the week.

Being Selective Spells S-u-c-c-e-s-s.

It makes perfect sense to me especially with the highly acclaimed success that Chambray Labradors and the hundreds of our dog owners have been enjoying.

 

  • Selectiveness #1: We start the arduous process by selecting from the large pool of owner dogs, the absolute best, top show quality dogs to breed. This is the conformation & temperament evaluations that all Chambray breeding dogs are put through. Only the best of the best will be considered for the next step in the selection process.

  • Selectiveness #2: From that highly selective group of dogs, we then put them through a battery of tests to determine any health or genetic issues of which may include some or all of the following; including DNA tests for blindness (PRA), DNA tests for muscle collapse (EIC), DNA tests for neurological conditions (CNM) and radiology on hips and elbows and any other joint area that is suspect.

  • Selectiveness #3: Using 43 years of expertise with the breed we will be selecting the soundest and strongest pedigree that will complement and augment the succeeding generation, so in-depth scrutiny of pedigree and family background of all dogs used to perpetuate the betterment of the breed.

  • Selectiveness #4: Once the litter is born, selecting the tried and true techniques of raising and rearing; drawing upon our 4+ decades of experience as professional dog trainers having worked with well over 20,000 Labrador Retrievers in that span of time. Employing innovative and unique social, natural developmental and hands on training methods that have been overwhelmingly successful for all those years.

  • Selectiveness #5: The selection process then ascends to heights not reached by many, the crucial Puppy Evaluations for Temperament and for Conformation. No need to go in-depth here, for very few breeders have the ability to “see” what the future will bring for any individual puppy and this then becomes the “make it or break it” for being successful in the Labrador Retriever dog show arena. In any given area of the country there is only one really successful breeder………the one with the extraordinary vision and the rest, well they mostly just show up. In Florida that record speaks for itself.

  • Selectiveness #6: The Puppy Placement Program, this is the most crucial step in our journey to being the most successful Labrador Retriever breeder………………….Selecting the future owners of the very selective group of puppies from those highly successful pairings. This is where s-e-l-e-c-t-i-v-e-n-e-s-s reaches a level that only Chambray Labradors excels at……………………..the ability to consistently bring in owners-to-be that understand the unique mission and goals of our endeavor and that will participate in the perpetuation of the next generation of success.

  • Selectiveness #7: Our avant garde dog owner’s amenities programs that includes The Total Dog Management Program, Lifetime Free Training for the show dogs, Lifetime Support System for all our puppies and dogs, Breeding Program and the Puppy Placement Program for all litters that are co-bred and co-raised and our exclusive Show Quality Guarantee.

We are now in the 9th generation of the above process. Breeding the best from the best. Taking the best produce and placing them with owners that will be part of the process for yet another generation.

Since all of the above is not remotely available anywhere else in the country with Labrador Retrievers…..it should also make perfect sense to anyone reading this offering. SELECTIVENESS does indeed spell SUCCESS!

 

 

 

 

 

06/10/2013

The Never Ending Conundrum
(redundancy at its best)

Competition is defined as the following:

World English Dictionary
-noun
a contest or event in which a winner is selected from among two or more entrants.

In the dog fancy realm, the contest is held at a dog show. The winner is selected by a pre-approved, licensed, thus knowledgeable judge from a lineup of two or more dogs, thus the entrants.

So, following the definition of competition from the World English Dictionary, if there are 2 or more dog entrants present at the event and one of them is selected as being the winning exhibit from the lineup, then a competition was held and one dog was declared to be the better one from the slate presented to the judge.

At AKC sanctioned dog shows the winner of this event then takes a predetermined amount of points according to how many dogs were competing that day and what the "point schedule" is for that breed in that area of the country.

Plain and simple for those that prefer it that way; there is a competition between 2 or more dogs, the number of dogs competing could be 2 or 25 or 100.....or more........one dog is selected as the winner, thus "beating" all the rest and it is awarded the appropriate amount of points that it deserves.

I don't think it can be made any simpler than that!

The judge doesn't know who any of the dogs are or who owns them or who bred them, none of that matters to the judge as his job is to select the best from the lineup.

Conversely, for the winning exhibit, it doesn't matter who the competition was, who owned them or who handled them or who bred them...........a win is a win is a win!

In the title of this blog, did I mention a "conundrum"?............So here comes the conundrum.

"It must not be as rewarding beating your own dogs to win points" exclaimed the rather sour-faced bloke standing outside the Labrador ring at the West Palm Beach shows this past weekend.

So, here we had a competition, presided by an accredited judge where a number of dogs were present (most from Chambrays Management Program) and at the final analysis both male and female winners were accountable to yours truly......................thus the acerbic remark from the obviously disgruntled dog owner.

"Was your dog competing today?" I replied with a cat and mouse-like wink of the eye. I say that because I knew all the dogs present for competition and I knew that he had not entered any dogs. Among my vast preparations for competition is to know who the other dogs and handlers are, so before entering the ring I scope out each dog listed in the catalog, who the handler listed is, who the breeder of record is and who owns up to the dog!

"Why would I when I know your dogs are going to win!" retorted the now testy hostile witness.

"Thank you very much, I appreciate the vote of confidence you have in our successful dog show management program" I replied with a smile and a twinkle in my eye and before there was further exchange I added "As they say no pain, no gain, your dogs can't lose if they don't show up!"

So that brings us to the here and now, you have people grumbling because their dogs can't win, so they don't enter them and then they complain because the majority of the dogs being entered are those that are in our management program. So, the chances are extremely high that a Chambray managed dog will walk away with the points each and every week. So, you have the best dogs competing and you have the best dogs winning. Which all brings us back to the original conundrum:

It's not necessarily the number of dogs you bring, it's the quality of those dogs and the measure of that quality is the success they have in a ring of competition.

Competition is defined as the following:
-noun
a contest or event in which a winner is selected from among two or more entrants.

That now brings us to the subject of one of "our" dogs beating another one of "our" dogs. By default (the competition not showing up) and by proclamation (the outright admittance) by those withholding their dogs from competition......................when one of our "own" dogs wins, it is a much greater victory for that dog by beating the rest of the best competitors, "our" other dogs!

 

06/10/2013

Adding It All Up.

"How do you guys do it? The invited guest inquired. Part of the selection process for who becomes a future Chambray owner is to visit us at a dog show or at our home at Chambray Acres or both!

Among the crowd around the Labrador ring this past weekend at the WPB dog shows were more than half a dozen of these "invited to the action" visitors. They were there because they are under consideration for a top show quality puppy and could very well be the owners sitting around ringside in the coming year with that very puppy that may be placed with them.

Chambray had just won back-to-back Winners Dog and Winners Bitch (Saturday and Sunday) and had also just won Best Labrador Puppy to boot. So this one client that had previous experience showing dogs was more than awed to see our team in action, thus the how do you guys do it query.

Un-like Colonel Sander's Secret Recipe what we do is not a secret at all because on hundreds of occasions I have served up that "recipe" to any and all that want to know.

Here is a synopsis:

  • Breed only the best dogs, not necessarily the best you have because they may not be good enough, so you would invest in the best dogs that money could buy.

  • Evaluate and select out only the absolute best puppies from those best-to-best breedings.

  • Take those select puppies and place them with owners that appreciate what it takes to consistently produce that superior quality generation after generation. Work it out where those new-owners-to-be will participate in the next generation of the Betterment of the Breed.

  • Bring those selected puppies and owners onboard with the most advanced and successful show dog management program in the country, Then manage those puppies to excel and continue on with the Chambray Labrador's Winning Tradition.

  • Train those selected owners along with those superior puppies to perform at their very best.

  • Condition those selected puppies as the breed standard dictates, "shown in working condition".

  • Handle those dogs to perfection with the best handling in the Labrador ring.

When added all up, you have the true blue recipe for success.

 

Unfortunately many of the competitors follow the old "pot luck" method:

  • They breed what they have on hand, regardless of quality. They may be breeding what they think is their best, but among the rest they have, how good is their best?

  • They have very little insight into the evaluation process. Oh, they do the evaluation or have some of their crony breeder friends (others with as little success at the dogs shows) join in for the scrutiny process. However anyone can look at 1o puppies and point to one as the best.........but is it really?

  • They end up keeping the best for themselves, but was it really the best one? They keep the best and place the rest...............since they don't want anyone benefiting from their "lines", puppies are placed on Limited Registration. So no one will ever see those puppies..............you can't show Limited Registration puppies.

  • They have no management program for any of their dogs.

  • They have no training program for those dogs

  • They have no conditioning program for those dogs..............the proof is in the pudding, check out those out of condition, fat dogs that can barely get around the ring.

  • They either attempt to show their own dogs or hire it out to professional handlers that may show up at the ring or send a "stand by" (anyone capable of not tripping all over themselves while attempting to show the dog while the handler is in another ring).

So, "How do you guys do it?" in an easy to follow, sure fire recipe that none have been able to reproduce and it's really no secret!

.

The Winning Team above.

So, let's apply the Winning Success Recipe to the winning exhibit above.

  • Chambray Labradors and Greenhead Labradors teams up to produce an outstanding litter of chocolates

  • The top pick female from that litter is placed on a future co-breeding with Dave Baxter. After training, conditioning and handling through the Chambray management program to its UKC and International titles and passing the appropriate clearances, the dog is co-bred to a top producing champion stud dog.

  • The pick show puppy is placed with the Jackson family on a future co-breeding. After training, conditioning and handling through the Chambray Management Program to its International title and also become AKC Champion pointed and then passing all its clearances the dog is co-bred to another top producing champion dog.

  • The pick puppy from that litter is placed with Patty McKee on a future co-breeding. Now 10 months old and having been through our training, conditioning and handling program, the dog just won back to back Winners Bitch and has also racked up several Best Labrador Puppy and Sporting Group Puppy placements.

Did I mention the recipe for success?

06/07/2013 Shows, Shows & more Shows
Plus real exciting news...................................we are almost ready to launch a brand new website, an alternate website exclusively for our stud dogs and our newest addition for the Betterment of the Breed, our puppies!

I have had no time for this Blog or to even scratch and itch on my backside! We have had dog shows every weekend since I don't know when and there are 3 more weekends chock full awaiting us and our dogs!

We now have 6 dog show weekends in a row with at least 1 Best Of Breed win and there were a couple where both Saturday and Sunday's BOB was taken by a Chambray dog. That's 8 best Of Breeds in 6 weekends of shows & 3 Group Placements to boot! Kika leads the charge with 3 BOBs (2 in Zolfo and 1 in Biloxi MS), Jericho comes in with 2 BOBs (1 BOB in Vero and 1 in Brooksville), Walter racks 1 BOB up in Vero, Miracle scores 1 BOB in Ft Myers and Moe slams his first BOB out of the park at the Lake Charles LA. shows.

Last weekend while Jessie and Ryan trekked up and over to Biloxi MS, the old folks, Ma and Pa Herzon sallied up the pike to Lakeland for the IABCA shows where our newest wave of awesome puppies made a splash by taking 6 Best In Show Puppy awards. We can't wait for some of these little guys to make their AKC debut at the Orlando 3 days of shows on June 21-23.

 

The new, alternate Chambray website is about to launch!!!!!
Watch for the big debut news at the front page of this website!!!

Well, most of the hard work has been put in and we are on the verge of launching our new website dedicated to our stud dogs and to our newest addition to the betterment of the breed, our precious puppies!

 

So, if you all want to know where I have been the last 7 days................well now you know!

 

 

05/30/2013 The last 3 days....................When It Rains, It Pours!!!!!!

3 days of solid rain and everything is soaked and/or flooded and what's worse, there's no end in sight. What a mess it is when you have 10 week old puppies and older dogs and they have to be confined to their pen areas and can't go out to the large exercise yards because of the weather.

Well, we got Jessie & Ryan off to the Biloxi MS dogs shows in spite of all the foul weather. They say they had the rain all the way through their 12 hour trip. They arrived well with dogs in tow and showed today.

Now, I battle getting ready for the Lakeland FL International shows this weekend................sloshing through standing water each and every time a dog goes out to potty.....not a pretty sight especially when most have already been groomed and bathed and there won't be a chance to re-do any of them before we embark tomorrow afternoon!

Just whelped a litter of 7 puppies.....full term to 60 days and they are the smallest in weight that I have had in 43 years with Labradors! Normal puppies will come in at 16oz and some whoppers will tip the scales at 22oz. In this litter one puppy, the 1st one was exactly 16oz, however the other 6 ranged from 9 1/2 oz to 12 oz. All are healthy and kicking, just a bit difficult for the small ones to stay latched on to mom's teats. So, on top of all the rain, now it's puppy hand feeding time every 3 hours! Each time that the mom goes outside to relieve herself, she comes back in wet and muddy!

Did I say "When it rains, it pours?".............................more like "Are we having fun yet?"

It all isn't fun and games and enjoying the spotlight at the dog shows..................there is always the dirty end of the job.

 

 

05/27/2013 "What are the other breeders/exhibitors missing?"

This was a question to this morning's blog that follows this post.

The simplest answer is that our program is a "professional model" versus the "hobby" nature of the majority of those breeding Labradors. Using the 5 Stars to Show Success:

  • Chambray's breeding program is totally geared to produce outstanding quality by assessing each and every dog in the program and deciding the dog's (1) positive points, (2) neutral points and (3) any negative points. Dogs with a couple of negative points are eliminated from the breeding program no matter how successful they have been showing or other. A breeding program can not get better with too much dead weight in negatives. This single area is where most other breeders go awry, they will breed whatever they have on hand and hope that better puppies will come of it.....................this method is what I term the "wishing and a hoping" method of breeding. Of course it takes a heightened level of expertise to be able to determine the dog's strong and weak points and also be able to select the right dogs to breed to that will enhance strong points and overcome those weaknesses (negative points).

  • Training is another area that can be a deciding factor in winning or walking! Many of the owner-trained dogs lack the competitiveness that is seen with the dogs that travel and are handled by professionals and of course not even close to what the Chambray program provides even when the dogs are in a home environment versus the show environment.

  • Conditioning is certainly an aspect that is totally lacking in about half of the dogs in the Labrador ring. Way too many are sitting pretty at the owner's feet watching re-runs of Howdy Doody! Way, way too many dogs that are totally out of condition. Some of the area breeders are the worst culprits. Conditioning is a must for every dog in our management program. If the owners can not provide this vital element, then it is "Hasta La Vista Baby" for dog and owner.

  • Handling is the finishing touch to the canvas from above...............it is the final brush stroke that puts the preceding together, forming that pretty picture that will catch the judge's eye. Here is where Chambray outshines even the professionals in the Labrador ring.

  • The one object that frames that pretty picture in the ring is the management of each dog. This is way too elusive to explain in a short blog, it is all encompassing and far reaching. There is an order and a direction that becomes the working plan that leads to the overwhelming difference between what we accomplish and what others wish and hope for. I don't see any other breeder that has a game plan of any kind other than doing the entries and then showing up at the dog shows. The bottom line is that if there is no script, no game plan, then no success follows.

 

 

05/27/2013 "What's the secret to your winning success?"

The gentleman had attended his 5th show weekend in as many months. He had talked to most at ringside at those shows.............from breeders to handlers to owners.........he had been taking notes and now he had come to a conclusion.

Mission accomplished as those were my explicit instructions for him to be able to decide where he would be placing his money on his next show dog.

An educated consumer is our very best client!

When he first contacted me 9 months ago, he had already accumulated some information from some of the Florida show breeder's websites (also some of the top breeders nationwide). He had followed the results from each of the Florida dog shows at the www.infodog.com and www.onofrio.com

His initial question to me was "What's the secret to your winning success?"

My answer to him was "Do your homework and gather as much information as you can".

Now, he was ready for the answer to his initial question, an answer that he could relate to with all the facts and figures he had assembled in his quest for knowledge.

So in a nutshell for this blog here goes:

Being a successful (winning on a consistent basis) Labrador Retriever show breeder involves mastery in 5 distinct areas. So the 5 Stars to Show Success are:

  • Conformation: Breeding the best dogs bar none. There isn't enough time nor space to go in-depth with an adequate synopsis here, but there are countless articles written and published elsewhere on this website that can throw more light on conformation. 

  • Training: providing customized and individualized training for each dog according to a myriad of criteria. So expertise in training is a must, whether it is contracted out or in our case, home grown, tested and taken to perfection on most dogs. Since all of our show dogs live with their owners, there are those dogs that may never ever have the required type of training, but we still do our best to compensate for the short comings of dogs not living in a pure show environment.

  • Conditioning: Once again, Chambray provides guidance and mentorship on tried and true conditioning regimens for each of the dogs in our management program.

  • Handling: A great handler can take a mediocre dog and make it look great! Now imagine what a great handler can do with the best bred dogs, best trained dogs, best conditioned dogs? No need to say more!

  • Management: This is the finishing touch that is missing in the majority of the dogs being shown today. These is no individualized game plan that is put into effect, days, weeks and even months in advance. No day to day fine tuning and tweaking of what needs work, no augmenting those areas that are a major plus that can be the break it or make it moment for the judge. At Chambray, all of these points are well taken and honed to razor sharp edges.

With each of the 5 components in place against those others that may have 1 or 2 of the items from above, the difference is night and day as seen at the Florida dog shows. Overwhelming success vs. hit or miss, win once in a rare while or those that in order to win, travel great distances to show where others of their kind and nature ply their hit or miss ways.

Armed with 9 months of independently gathered information, the gent was able to take that education and punctuate it with the 5 Stars to Show Success from above. Thus the answer to his keen question.

 

05/24/2013 "What's the purpose of continuous harping on structural faults?"

My answer to the above questions: To me it is a no brainer........bring to the surface what needs fixing and maybe, just maybe there will be some that take heed and actually do something about it.

Keeping "mums" does not make it go away, in fact, the more that people see the fault, the more accepted it becomes!

Take cow-hocks in Labrador Retrievers; as Rodney Dangerfield used to say "Take my wife, please take my wife.........really take my wife", in this case "Take cow-hocks, please take cow-hocks......really take them and go away!

Showing cow-hocked dogs had become so common that more than half the dogs at most shows were very cow-hocked. The breeders bred them that way, the owners accepted them and the judges put them up for points! Not only were the breeders slacking off in producing dogs with severe structural faults, some judges actually thought that it was supposed to be that way!

We had long term breeders with 15 to 25 years of breeding time perpetuating the dastardly deed and then you had all of their groupies joining in to create a "mirage" if you will of what it isn't supposed to look like. Some of these long established breeders and kennel names had very decent looking dogs until you took a look see at the rear and wham, bam, thank you ma'am there it is as big as a bowed-in bass fiddle, them there hocks at times were so close to each other that sparks would fly when they would rub against each other as they moved in opposition. (maybe I am exaggerating a bit here, but hey, light a fire under someone's buttsky and watch them do the cucaracha!)

So, yes ma'am I will continue to harp away at anything contrary to the "betterment of the breed"!

If what you claim to be true...................that in other parts of the country the majority of the dogs being shown have "turned in hocks" (a real cover up way of saying COW-HOCKS).........then I apologize to those in the Florida area for harping so much at some for their cow-hocked dogs!...............then on second thought....NOT!!!!!

I think that I will just keep calling a "spade a spade" and anyone that begs to differ, let me hear from you.

 

05/24/2013 The Blogging Off page hits #1

You all have made the Blogging Off page the #1 destination page at the www.chambraylabradors.com website!

Blogging Off emails only rank 2nd to emails about puppy availability, but it is closing in on that spot as well.

 

05/24/2013 The launching of a new Chambray website is close at hand!

The new website will be parked at www.chambraylabs.com * (it is not functional at this moment). It will be totally dedicated to Stud Dogs & Puppy availability. It is designed for easy in, easy out for those that are overwhelmed with the "monster" that I created with this original site. This new "quick version" will allow those looking for puppies the ability to click once and be transported to what they are looking for, plus those searching for top champion stud dogs will have full photo galleries of our boys, plus all the other information they are seeking without having to wade through countless pages.

* Notice that the original one & only "www.chambraylabradors.com" has the whole name "Labradors", where as the newest offspring/offering for the betterment of the breed uses the shorten "Labs" as part of the URL address

Of course, this website will remain our mainstay as the leader for all Labrador Retriever related information, included here in the original will be the Blogging Off section. For those that like to be knee deep (really more like chin deep) in over 900 pages and well over 2000 photos..............this website will remain as the front runner on the Internet for Labrador Retrievers and will be used to springboard all those folk that like it simple to the new fledgling at www.chambraylabs.com.

I will make the announcement right here at the Blogging Off section when the new website takes flight!
Stay tuned!

 

05/22/2013 Opposing Points Of Views Welcomed

To the email about opposing views: Yes, anyone is welcomed to respond to anything I post. However, the person must own up to their opinions, take responsibility and be accountable as I do with everything I publish, so no anonymous posts will be published. 

 

 

05/22/2013 Things come in waves!

Cow-Hocks.................must be that "Universal Thought Conspiracy Theory" thing..... just today 3 emails inquiring about cow-hocks!

 

To the 1st inquirer and photo........yes, that 12-week old puppy is severely cow-hocked and also close quartered in the thighs and way too high in the hock, making it also sickle hocked! And no, nothing will reverse any of these conditions to make the dog show worthy! If your breeder "guarantees" that it will all change, then have her pay for the entries and the handling at the dog shows! See how fast she hems and haws and backtracks her stance on that puppy being a show dog!

 

To the 2nd email and photo........that's the way a rear should look! Hip socket, knee, hock and feet all in a vertical plane with each other. The exact same distance between the knees is between the hocks is between the feet. The strongest column structure is a straight line and all these joints are bearing the weight and impact, plus g-force when in action.

 

3rd email..."How do you tell when a dog is cow-hocked?".

  • First, stand behind the dog

  • 2nd look at the rear formation.

  • it should look like a wide open U.

  • the legs should be parallel to each other.

  • feet should point straight ahead

  • hocks should have the same distance between them as the feet have

  • the knees should also point forward and there should be ample space between the 2 thighs.

Just because they show the dog doesn't mean it is show worthy, even with the points it has won, it is still a severe structural fault to be as cow-hocked as the photo you sent me. The fact that the handler can twist the hocks to look acceptable does not change the fact that it is cow-hocked. Worse yet, it will pass that fault on to its offspring at a greater percentage.  

 

 

05/22/2013 Oklahoma and the Mid West

God Bless, we feel your pain and angst.
The sights and sounds brings back our own memories of Hurricane Andrew.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

We are donating to the Red Cross and asking all our Labradors owners to join us as well

 

 

05/22/2013 I hear you all loud and clear!

Seems like I awoke up a bunch of sleeping giants!

So, New York.........forgetaboutit,

NJ.....I know you are there,

MA...... Boston Strong!

PA .....gotcha covered, in fact all of the New England & NE states.....yo I sees yous.

All of the Southern states, howdee and ya'll come back now,

The Mid West "you showed me".

The mountain states.....love that Rocky Mountain Hi/High

The West Coast..............hey I know you guys are just waking up to us guys having our lunch, but just the same dozens let me know that you also tune in every day to the Blogging Off section.

I really appreciate knowing that the time I take for this blog somehow benefits someone else.

05/21/2013 Ok, now we are cooking with canola oil!

Just got word that a couple of owner/breeder/exhibitors will be entering for the Orlando shows! If the pledges hold, looks like we now have 16 male dogs headed that way, so just 3 more will tip the AKC Points Schedule scale to register a major pointed 3 days of shows! I will keep you all posted if there is more good news.

 

05/21/2013 Correction!

It seems that many of you thought I had the order wrong of things to do in the morning! Most of course:

  • Wake up first

  • Let the dog out

  • Brew/drink coffee and excuse me.....tea!

Now here is where many emailed in to correct me......

  • read the Blogging Off section before reading the newspaper!!!!!!!!

  • then check out the newspaper!

It still boggles my mind the number of people that keep up with this blog! Several of our Texas followers tell me it is the grapevine that they use for information. From Colorado comes word that it is a morning tradition; several from Tennessee and Kentucky would not start their day without checking the blog first; there is a large following from Georgia that sip tea instead of coffee while chuckling at the Blogging Off offerings, there are many more reporting in from just about every state in the union and of course the biggest contingency comes from the sunny state of Florida...............the state that:

  • still is haggling over hanging chads,

  • still counting the votes from the recent presidential elections,

  • where one of the most famous cities is really not west of anything but due south of everything! (Key West)

  • where building a major in the Labrador ring is considered a terrorist act!

  • where showing a class dog that needs a major by winning BOB is blasphemous!

  • where bringing out numbers of the best dogs to show is labeled unsportsmanlike!

Hey, I wouldn't trade this state for the world! C'est la vie!

 

05/21/2013 Mississippi here we come!

Now that's what I am talking about cooperation and working towards a common good for the breed! The Biloxi MS shows on May 30/31 & June 1/2.....all 4 shows are 5 point majors!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This gives those dogs and their owners the opportunity to compete and vie for the wins to finish those worthy dogs that have probably been sitting at home for a long stretch because the vast majority of shows just are not getting the entries. Good luck to all and may the best dogs win.

 

 

05/21/2013 Why show at the UKC & IABCA shows?

Why not? Anything and everything that will make our dogs better through involvement and participation is worth the effort. 40 years ago every club would host 1 or 2 fun matches throughout the year in addition to their annual shows. Those days are long gone as costs have all but shut down the fun matches. The few remaining ones are now done the same weekend at the regular dog shows.

So, now I highly recommend that our owners get involved in these other dog events as a form of training and socialization for up and coming puppies and young dogs.

 

 

 

05/20/2013 Building a Major for the Orlando 3 Days of shows on
June 21/22/23 sounds like a grand idea!

Great, several of the Florida exhibitors and 1 from out of state have contacted me to find out if the Orlando 3 days of shows will be worth entering in search for majors for dogs needing them.

Well, like Bob Barker used to say "Come on down"!

Hey, I am all for it! 2 of the judges are provisional, so no telling what they will like or put up, the other is a rather quirky guy who goes with what he likes on a given day, so as neutral as neutral can get type judges.

I just touched base with most of the Chambray owners and other dogs in our management program and all gave me the green light to enter their dogs if I thought we could build a major! So, I am figuring on at least 10 Chambray boys or even 12 if several 6 to 9 month old puppy owners can be persuaded to enter and attend. That means that a mere 7 to 9 more males will get us over that hump!

All aboard!

Ok, I have done my part, let's get others to join in and build a major without having to travel over a 1000 miles to get to one that is made up mostly with Florida dogs anyway!

 

 

 

05/20/2013 All-Points Reporting In
Weekend of May 18/19

Long Island NY ~ Ch Chambrays Diamond Destiny winner of 2 AKC Grand Champion Points. Now needs 4 points and a major win for her Grand Champion's title.

High Plains CO ~ Chambrays Oh What A Chance {Zeus X Stella} female, wins 5 BOB's and her UKC Championship

Jackson TN ~ Chambray Summer Thunderstorm {Zeus X Lilly} wins 4 shows in a row, Winners Bitch & Best Of Winners for 4 AKC points.

Brooksville FL ~ Ch Summithill Joshua's Battle Of Jericho wins Best Of Breed for a 4-Point Major Grand Champ enough to achieve his AKC Grand Champion's title and then finishes off the weekend with a total of 30 points towards his Bronze title. He is now the #1 ranked Grand Champion from South Carolina and #18 in the USA

Brooksville FL ~ BIS BBE Bronze Grand Champion Chambrays Celestial N Counter wins the needed 4 grand champion points to achieve Chambray's first-ever Silver Grand Champion's title. She is the 3rd Labrador in Florida to reach that milestone. Kika is now ranked #2 Female USA and #8 overall.

 

05/20/2013 Good morning America (and beyond)

Ok, now that you have walked the dog (more than likely let it slip out the back door), brewed and downed your morning java, perused through your favorite sections of the Daily Tattler and now have settled in front of your computer screen for your next installment of "As The Labrador World Turns" (Herzon's Blogging Off section)....................let's set things in their most colorful perspective.

I appreciate all the tremendous feedback/queries that comes in daily. This lets me know that there are many of you out there thirsting for education, insight and also gossip. I also get energized by the renewed interest at dog shows for personal mentorship and exchanging of ideas and concepts.

For me, anything and everything for the betterment of the breed.

I use what happens at the dog shows that I travel to as the basis for material for most of the blogs posted here. That's because this is first hand information that I gather and then relate here to all those hundreds that daily frequent this page. I don't accept one-sided second hand information from other parts of the country as this would make the Blogging Off more of a purveyor of gossip rather than the conduit if information that I take pride in providing.

Even the times that any blog posted here seems more of a tirade towards some individual's actions or a cliques ranting and ravings, they actually have a useful meaning broadcasted in a colorful way. For instance the recent "what goes around comes around" theme is to enlighten those that revel in wardances around bonfires, that the same torch can and will come back to burn their own tushies!

Nothing I post here is meant to actually flame anyone in particular, but more or less to bring up glaring inconsistencies on their modus operandi. For instance:

  • Chambray doing our best to bring on multiple conformational dogs to compete and being criticized and flamed continuously for that and now those same folk are themselves bringing on multiple dogs to the dog shows.

  • Some of those same folk bad mouthing the fact that our dogs were only beating our own dogs at some low entries shows...........well now the shoe is on the other foot with them having almost every dog present at a very low attended show...............and "winning" everything against their own dogs!!!!!!!!

  • Criticism for showing dogs when a BOB was needed for a major and then they again step on their own toes by doing the exact same thing they were criticizing in others.

Everything that happens in one section of the country at dog shows eventually happens everywhere else with repetitive frequency! So whatever subject matter is covered here in this blog about any occurrences at the Florida dog shows has and or will repeat it self elsewhere! You can bet the house on it because in my 43 years with Labradors I have heard it all.................a thousand times over!

 

05/20/2013 Type, Type and Typey! A true Catch 22 situation!

I do believe that the above title causes more confusion within the aficionados of Labradors than any other subject of conversation. Even with those that consider themselves in the higher echelons of the "knowledgeable-type".

It is a word that is "thrown" around by many without much thought or understanding of the true meaning when talking about a breed of dog. The following are the 3 definitions as used by those in the world of dog shows.

  • Type #1 - as in "I prefer this type of head over another type". When used in this manner, it implies a preference from a range of choices. That personal preference may be what that dog's individual breed standard calls for or it may be something way out in left field, totally away from the parameters set up for that breed. I encounter this particular situation way too often when dealing with people looking for information to either purchase a dog or when considering a breeding program. Individual preferences that deviate from the traditional time-honored breed standard decorum tends to pull the dog away from its intended look (type #2). I receive requests for puppies that have the "American look" or with a "Rottweiler-looking block head" or the "English type dogs" and on and on we go around the merry go round of personal preferences.............as wrong as they may be, but still it is something that has to be dealt with. Fortunately there are those that take heed and listen and learn and then there are those headed down the slippery slope and nothing said will impede their eventual descent into the abyss of no return.

    What is really detrimental to the breed are those that breed dogs based on personal preferences. This practice is what really moves the boundaries of what dogs eventually look like and creates a myriad of variables within a breed to the point that some dogs of that breed look totally different than their standard calls for. 

 

  • Type #2 - When this term is used correctly in a conversation about the defining points of a breed, it refers to the typical look of that breed on a universal bases totally based on the written breed standard. The preceding excludes any personal preferences that would alter that traditional look of that breed of dog. So, BREED TYPE refers to the universally accepted "look" of the dog according to the breed standard that is drafted for that breed. Most breed standards offer up photos or depictions of the "ideal" representative of that breed which gives those involved in breeding a visual blueprint of what to adhere to.

    This is where it really gets murky with Labrador Retrievers! There is not a photo or illustration of the ideal dog that is officially part of the breed standard. Of course that doesn't stop Tom, Dick and Harry from chipping in their 2 cent's worth and offering up photos of what each of them consider to be the perfect Labrador Retriever. Some of the "best" books on Labradors use drawings to illustrate the outline and/or the parts of the dog and yet, the very image they use has many contradictions to the written breed standard. So, it becomes a matter of the #1 type of dog that may be used to prove a point or to show what that author thinks that ideal dog should look like...............so at times what is used as a reference may very well be someone's personal preference type(#1) rather than the official type(#2)

 

  • Typey - Ah, let's add to the confusion by introducing a form of the word "type"..............typey. Used in a sentence it would look like this "That dog is very typey!". This term does not appear in the descriptive breed standard, yet it is flung around like a Frisbee at a "Let It Fly" contest! Used so much and so often it has become part of the vernacular of those that dabble into the fancy of breeding, training and exhibiting Labrador Retrievers. It is used as a sort of personal preference to describe a heavier version of the typical, more moderate accepted form of the breed's type(#2). So, a typey dog adheres greatly to the breed type, but is a bit heavier looking. Maybe thicker bone, shorter coupled, less leg and probably a more prominent head piece.

    So, once again, we are taking the official breed type (type #2) and using type #1 to alter it to fit our whims and desires, moving it from the universally accepted form and through preference, making it a different version

    So the question here is, do these preferences and alterations ultimately lead to a natural evaluation of a breed or are they a passing fad that like a pendulum, will swing back to being the accepted form of previous acceptance.

In may 43 years with Labradors I have seen fads come and go and a return to the moderate, however I have also witnessed things that came on and stayed in place, in essence changing the breeds look so much that dogs that were in dog shows in 1968 would look like a different breed of dog at a Labrador Retriever specialty of today!

So what is right and what is wrong? Do breeders get an option to breed what they prefer? So, is "type" what you like, as in "what type of dog do you prefer?" or is "type" the accepted, traditional look of the breed?" and do we make it better by making it "typier"?

I am not sure I have the answer, maybe I will come back in 40 years (2053) and write up another blog on how the breed has changed since 2013 or maybe it will stay the same and there won't be a need for me to resurrect and beat the drum some more!

 

 

05/20/2013 The more things change, the more they stay in same!

This past weekend at the Brooksville shows, our mission of the "betterment of the breed" was in full glory.

New Grand Ch Summithill Joshua's Battle Of Jericho won his 5th Best Of Breed in as many months since becoming an AKC champion. He accomplished that first feat before he was 2 years old. I state, "feat" because not many dogs finish their AKC title in Florida before they are 2 years old. Well, here he was earning the necessary points to add Grand Champion to his very impressive resume! Jericho started his show career as a 10 week old puppy with Chambray Labrador's Show Training & Handling Management Program. Jericho's primary handler is Jessie Herzon.

Right behind Jericho in the winner's circle was the Best Of Winners/Winners Dog, Brighton Blue Water Reel Deal, owned by Mary & Bob Jakeway. "Cappy" is now part of our roster for training & handling as well. He was handled to his WD by Jessie Herzon and his BOW by Ryan Herzon

Third in line receiving winner's ribbons for Best Of Opposite Sex was BIS BBE Silver Grand Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter handled by Johanna Herzon.

By the names in front of each of those dogs, a picture should emerge............and if it doesn't than I will lead the horse to water here..................3 different kennel/breeder names that adorn each of those dogs and yet all handled by the Herzon team of handlers.

Didn't some folk complain that our dogs only beat our dogs? Well, here you have proof positive that those harpers could not be more in error! Not only do we win with our dogs, we win with other worthy dogs that are accepted because of our credo........the betterment of the breed........to which we should add, "regardless of who the breeders are!"

Of course the weekend wasn't over yet and I heard tell "they won this weekend with other people's dogs"!

What was even worse was this one I heard about......."those dogs only won because it was the family on them!"

"You can't please those that are unappeasable" (Herzonism)

 

05/16/2013 You can't please them all, all of the time....in fact,
you can't please anyone that doesn't want to be pleased {a Herzonism}

A. "I don't like the blogs that are not educational".................about half like it that way.

B. "I don't like the technical, educational blogs"............and here's Johnny, the other half!

C. "I don't like it when you boast and brag"..............that's called promoting and advertising, if your product is the best there is then and only then are you allowed to build the highest, biggest soap box and flog yourself into ecstasy!

D. "Write in plain English"...............some of those spelled it "plane".

E. "Do you have an opinion on everything?"..............an obvious criticism which I take in pride/stride.

F. "You need to be more direct"..........................like what, take a dagger and skewer then in places with a tight fit?

G. "You need to name names"..............no need, they know who they are and everyone else involved in the game of showing knows too!

H. "I don't like it when you don't write blogs every day"...............I know that:

  • waking up,

  • letting the dog out,

  • sipping a cup of coffee,

  • reading the newspaper

  • and then checking out the Blogging Off page and not finding anything new is earth shattering.

So I suggest the following after finding out that I haven't posted anything new for the day........

  • go beat (brow beat so that you have no legal problems) the wife or husband or partner or whatever else you claim to be your other half

  • kick the dog, preferably your neighbor's dog............did I just write "kick"?.....no, no I meant "lick"

  • harass your neighbor while you are abusing (licking) his dog or maybe go covet his wife, husband or significant other (licking may do in place of coveting)

  • go fire the boss (like really set him/her on fire*), tell him/her to take this job and shove it!

  • then go stand in the unemployment line, lose your house in foreclosure, have the IRS hassle you about your Tea Party affiliation/afflicton, go homeless and become a street urchin.

*just in case ~ that's rhetorical fire I am advocating not the pyrotechnic type!

Or just come back another day when I come up with some fresh material!

 

 

05/16/2013 "Translation in English, Please"

Ok, ok............I know that if 2 different people take the time from their very busy day to correspond with me, either complaining or needing "clarifications" about one of my blogs.................that number translates into 10X being in the same "not knowing what I mean" perplexed state (not the Florida-type state). So, I conjure (think) that if 2 were lost in limbo (clueless state...not the Florida kind), that there were at least 20 more that found themselves on the same roller coaster ride of ambiguity (confused state..............again not the Florida-type state).

Here were the inquisitions (questions/statements) "Why don't you write in English that we can all understand?" and "Say what you mean and don't use all those fancy words!"

First and foremost the blog from yesterday was presented as "humor with a point", not as a witch hunt or retaliation for prior transgressions...............oooppppsss there I go using those highfalutin words again!

To simplify the message................things change when the shoe is on the other foot!

The funny thing is that I don't even want those "guilty as charged" to eat crow!

Not at all, because unlike them and their child-like behavior in the past (and I am sure in the present as well), I am a firm believer that if you have multiple dogs that are better than what the other breeders/exhibitors are bringing out to the dogs shows........then bring them on!!!!!!! Hey, the more the merrier! Bring them on and let the best dogs win!!!!!!

To answer another frequently brought up question..............No, I don't dislike any of those that are breeding/showing today. Maybe if I had to answer that same question a mere year ago, my answer may have been slightly different.......but today there really isn't anyone that I really detest, dislike or make detractions about. I will go one step further..................I actually like some of the dogs they are showing!

So much so, that I have written blogs right here on this page (scroll way down and read), to try and help them present a better exhibit! Hey, how can I knock the majority of those dogs owned and exhibited by them, their dog's sires, grand sires and grand dams came from Chambray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As much belly aching, complaining, trash talking as they have done in the last 12 years, they have been achieving most of their successes thanks to the dedication and hard work that I have put in with those dogs that will sit mighty sturdy in the pedigrees of the dogs they call their own. So, no matter how much they "chatter up clam chowder" (bull sheet) , they still have to go home and sleep with those Chambray names in their dog's pedigree!

*For those that couldn't find "baksheesh"....................... it is a form of compensation or pay back if you will!

 

Ok now, stew on this goulash for a while as I take some time to ready the Silver Bullet Express for the up and coming Brooksville shows this weekend.

05/15/2013 Licking my chops and jumping for joy!

I just totally love it when "what goes around, comes around" and bites the living stinky derriere of the feces spreaders!

Twasn't too long ago in the land of yore (Florida) that certain uppity tongue-waggers were extolling the un-virtues (don't spell check it) of Chambray because we were bringing on the majority of the dogs to most dogs shows!

  • "Unfair" they shouted in low hushed voices behind the victor's back..............

  • "Unsportsmenlike" they screamed at all the anonymous, cowardly forums on the Internet...........

  • "His dogs win because they win against his own dogs" they gloriously proclaimed as they packed up their vehicles after yet another non-winning day.

  • "He owns the judges, he has them in his pocket, his whole family has an in with all the judges" were more of the nefarious, skulking in the shadow proclamations made by the faceless ones (actually they do have faces but in the dark, no one can identify who to credit with the disclaimers)  

OMG......by the voracity of the fervor by which the witch burners were inciting riots, you would have thought that a capitol crime was being committed by Chambray and of course yours truly...................well wouldn't you know it that here we are in the now and present and those same fodder mongers are the ones traipsing the majority of the dogs to shows outside of their home turf.

Just got a heads up from a lamenter that dwells and breeds Labradors in a near by state that just hosted 4 days of shows. That complaint from that peachy state was that a "horde" descended or better yet ascended (they were traveling north) with 80% of the Labrador entries (8 out of the total of 10 Labradors that were entered were the nomadic invader's dogs) for the 4 days of show!!!!!

Between the 2 rebel-rousing, trash talking maidens..............both the more notorious of the "whining n complaining" medieval crusaders (or is it mid-evil).................they managed to win almost all the points!

Well, now isn't that a great accomplishment? What's the difference between "now a days" from the day's of yore?

Of course the biggest difference is that they have to "now a days" travel much greater distances to accomplish those "not fair" wins.........in fact, at most shows in the fair state they call home, they are nowhere to be found!

Hey..............I totally get it, if you can't beat them and you can't join them then pack your bags and head for the land of "Slim" where the "easy pickins" are fair game!

 

Ok, was that juicy enough for those that frequent the Blogging Off section salivating for hot, spicy, jalapeño-laden Cajun baksheesh? Pray tell, let me know.

  

 

05/14/2013 What a difference a day makes!!!!!!
Good news abounds and the messenger is still alive!

The new numbers are in and our stallion black beauty, Ch Summithill Joshua's Battle Of Jericho hit the #1 spot for Grand Champions from the state of South Carolina (state were he resides sometimes and originally was registered from). Jericho now has 24 grand champion points and will in all probabilities achieve the remaining 1 point to Grand Champion at the up and coming shows this weekend in Brooksville FL.

PS to Carol, Jericho's owner...................put the champagne on ice and bring it with you to the shows this weekend!

Confirmed! Hoshie is carrying 7 or more puppies. Hoshie is Int Ch Belquest Evening Night Hoshie. She comes from Belquest Labradors, one of the top Labrador breeders in the country (guess who #1 is). Hoshie's sire is the incomparable "Nike" , Am Ch/Can Ch Castlewood's Just Do It ( http://www.belquest.com/nike.html ) and one of Belquest's top producing dams, "Vera", Ch Belquest Very Impressive ( http://www.belquest.com/vera.html) Hoshie was bred to our super star stud dog extraordinaire, AKC BBE Ch/ UKC Best In Show Ch/ Int Best In Show Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks. We expect beyond astronomical black and yellow puppies born at the end of May.

Talking about "Rock You Like There is No Tomorrow" puppies..........WOW, OMG, YAOOYFM and several other capitalized abbreviations used by the politically correct whippersnappers of the "Now" generation.........Gavi & Bono's puppies....talking about a U 2 experience. For those not in the know and that haven't visited the DropCam to see this amazing litter............Gavi is our stellar BBE Ch Chambrays First N Counter and Bono is Ch Blackthorn Rock You 2. Talking about puppies that will make a splash when they hit the dog shows......more like a tsunami!

05/13/2013 Run of the mill dogs will never produce competitive conformation dogs!!!!
But please don't kill the messenger that delivers the news!

It doesn't matter what the breeder of those puppies tells you..............it doesn't matter if it is the pick of the litter! Don't be that sucker that PT Barnum spoke about over a century ago! All 8 week old puppies look adorable, cute as pig's ears, cuddly and furry...............then those from run of the mill sires and dams will grow up to rival Godzilla in shape and form!!!!!

In thousands and thousands of evaluations that I have performed in well over 30 years of showing, there has never been 1 single dog from pet breedings that could compete at the AKC show level!

Unless you live in some neck of the woods that still has rabbit ear antennas on top of black and white TV's and the good folk that are breeding dogs there refer to puppies as them there "suckers" and consider a sale of a puppy as "gettin rid off" ..................and a great dog house is a 55 gallon drum turned over on its side and all the breeds of dogs look identical to each other as they run in packs populating the good earth with more of their kind...............then and only then will the produce of the sire and dam whose photos you sent me be competitive.

You send me a photo of dogs that do not adhere to the breed standard and actually look like no breed of dog I know, then you reply "insulted" when I do my best to educate you. I have nothing personally to gain by advising you to look further, I have no puppies to sell you, there isn't a charge for my services to educate those that love this breed of dog as I do.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day!

 

05/13/2013 Well bust my britches and lose my soul!

Here we go again with the building of majors thang!

NO, there is no way that a class dog can win a major out of the Labrador breed ring this coming weekend at the Brooksville FL shows!

What is so complicated about adding numbers? Why do so many people that have been into showing dogs have such a problem figuring out what constitutes a major and how to add up the class dogs and include the specials when a dog does win a Best Of Breed from the classes?

Let's follow along with this really slow bouncing ball!

  • There are 8 class males

  • and 16 class females.

  • There are 5 champion males and 1 champion female

If a class male wins Best Of Breed then you add the 8 class males together with the 6 champions (the 5 males and 1 female) which should equal 14 in English...............it takes 19 dogs to make a major........therefore there is no way that a class male can take a major-pointed win by going Best of Breed.

Now let's work it out for the class females if one of them wins a Best Of Breed. There are 16 class females and the same 6 champions, 16 plus 6 makes 22................which is 2 shy of what is now needed to win a major pointed show for a female! Close but no bananas!

Sooooooooooo, none of the Chambray dogs that we manage and that need majors will be handled in the ring, in fact all of those will just stay home this coming weekend.

Now, for those that want to argue the point to the edge of a slippery precipice where there is no semblance of a chance of making it back up...........................yes, class dogs have won Best Of Breeds, and have gone on to be given a Group 1 placement, thus picking up a major if there were any sporting dogs that had also won a major that day! It is a super long shot of epic proportions, so much so that I have only seen it once in all the years that I have been showing dogs.........................soooooooo once again I won't hold my breath of any dog that I currently know of that can duplicate that feat!  As rare as it is for a Labrador champion to win a Best In Show, me thinks that it is twice as difficult to get a judge to give a class Labrador a Group 1.

 

05/13/2013 You got to be kidding!

Some real out of this world emails: Over the years just about when you think you have heard it all......remember the grain of salt with some of my comments! lol

  • A Labrador that lived to be 17 years old.............. a Chambray dog that was born in 1996!!!!!!!!!

  • A breeder in Georgia with a bitch that had 9 litters! Dang it, she could have had 10 litters but she probably up and died!

  • Another breeder with a litter of 16 puppies.....all lived! Now that's an assembly line female worth feeding!

  • A show breeder that the AKC tested and found a litter sired by 3 different dogs!!! Now that's a real "Who's your daddy?" litter!

  • A dog that was missing for 5 years and then showed up one day! The contributor didn't say whether they took him in or gave him the boot!

  • A black puppy born from 2 yellow parents.....DNA certified!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know, I'm still scratching my head with this one!

  • A dog that got away from an alligator's death roll, with out a scratch! The alligator probably wanted something that tasted more like chicken!

  • A Dachshund male that "got" a Labrador female preggers..............The outcome, either "Dashadors or some of those short-legged Labradors seen up in some northern states!

  • A Labrador dam that lost her litter of puppies and raised a clutter of kittens whose mother was killed by  a car. All we needed in this one was a fish that swallowed a man to make it a real fishy tale!

  • A litter of Labs that was orphaned and raised by a young cow with milk.....the pups actually suckled directly from the cow! Holly cow and the cow's name was Teresa......................get it? Mother Teresa!

  • A litter of Labrador pups that was thrown into a canal in a tied-up plastic bag and washed up where all were saved. Don't you just love these great ending stories?

Remember the grain of salt.....well maybe I should have said a teaspoon of salt!

 

05/13/2013 "Who Writes In To Your Blog?"

Obviously the person that sent in the preceding question is among those that partakes in the tomfoolery.

But I too have wondered what the actual demographics would look like if all the "real" information was in plain sight on those that read and take the time to email in.

Truth be told, I suspect that there are those that use multiple emails accounts, with different addresses and various pseudo names that engage in the banter. I come to this conclusion by the similarities and in some cases, duplicitous writing styles (or lack there of), identical phrasing, repetitive grammatical errors, and errant spelling, of course not to mention the continuous clamoring on the exact same subject.

Followers or detractors (whichever the case may be) mostly departed from Florida to arrive at my Blogging Off page. However, within a month every state of the union will be represented, plus a bevy of other countries as well will be accounted for.

Below are some guestimates that I have come to:

  • I would safely state that 99% own a Labrador or 2.

  • From the subject matter posed in the queries, I venture to guess that most dabble in breeding dogs.

  • About 50% are into showing dogs

  • The vast majority, unfortunately, have very little grasp of the breed standard.

  • By the numbers, an overwhelming majority agree with whatever stand I take on a given subject.

  • There seems to be a few that always disagree no matter what 

  • There are several that are "habitual" inquirers about all subjects

  • There are also those stuck in a rut about a particular subject matter.

  • Most inquire about structure and conformation with "cow hocks" leading the list.

  • Those that "whine and moan" do it about "Chambray's winning ways at the dog shows"

I have come to some conclusions as well from many of the email subject matter that comes in on a regular basis:

  • By far and large, there seems to be immense appreciation across the country for my "tell it like it is" and my adamant "for the Betterment of the Breed" credos.

  • From the feedback I receive the "Blogging Off" blog is unique in nature and scope on the Internet when it comes to Labrador Retrievers.

  • Most are of the opinion that the blog is very influential in bringing out to the surface subjects that need to be discussed and improved upon that affect the breed.

  • The consensus seems to be that the Blogging Off blog is time well spent by those that frequent regularly.

Well, there you have it....................all you ever wanted to know about "Who writes in to your blog"!

05/11/2013 DropCam 101. A must for all Chambray Co-Breeders!

For over 25 years now, I have offered my whelping/delivery expertise (immense time and exertive energy, not to mention having an over-abundance of patience) to those owners that are part of Chambray's Puppy Placement Program. For those that co-own and co-breed litters with us, I offer to provide "backup" through the use of the phone (on call 24 hours) when their females were due to deliver their puppies. For 99% of those, I was able to "hold hands" with them over the phone and there was a 1% where I actually traveled to their homes and took over the whelping process.

Of course the 1% where I did the hand's on delivering were the ones where I had the most control over as I could actually see what was about to occur by observing the actions of the mom-to-be and then go into action myself when nature was not taking its course.

The other 99% that relied on the phone for me to convey what was going on, for me it was more like groping in the dark and more or less a hit and miss proposition because I couldn't see what was actually transpiring. Having to listen to someone describe what they are witnessing can be confusing at best and total maddening at worst. Added to the "translation of visual to audio" is the added burden of overcoming the emotional aspect of an owner witnessing the birthing process for the very first time from a dog they consider to be their own daughter! Oy vey!

Necessity has a way of overcoming all the adversity that presented itself during all those years with the countless deliveries I phone-assisted on. Although each and every one of those assists was exacting both physically (too many sleepless nights to count) and emotionally (totally drained after an average of 12 hours per litter), the immense gratification that comes from "being there" for my owners and especially my "girls" has no negative equal. *is the preceding the only time you can use 2 negatives and still mean what you imply?*

Well, come puppy birthing time:

  • no more phone calls that have me feeling my way around in the dark,

  • no more second guessing what my owners were seeing and then describing!

  • No more not "really knowing" for sure and giving advice that may not suit the situation,

  • no more losing time cutting through all the emotional turmoil that has presented itself when things were apparently not going right at the other end of the phone line!

So, what has changed? What has caused me to be jumping for joy and singing the blues about a new adventure that changes the game 180 degrees?

It's called DropCam! A video system that monitors the whelping box 24 hours a day and uploads to a dedicated website where I can visit whenever I want and observe in real time the dam days before she is due, giving the owners time sensitive and pertinent advice on what to expect and when and then be there with "first hand", "hand's on (kind of)" directions and information for the entire delivery process!

Check it out https://www.dropcam.com/p/IhoxV7

The litter above was born last week and I was able to assist the owner throughout the 20 hours that it took to deliver the 9 puppies that Gavi had. (BBE Ch Chambrays First N Counter bred to Ch Blackthorn Rock You Too "Bono"). This experience was almost as good as me being there. The only difference was that I was able to keep my hands clean throughout the entire process! The slight hiccup was that I still had to describe to the owner what to do at times, however I could see if he was doing it correctly or not and get him to do it right

Being able to see Gavi throughout the whole birthing process gave me the opportunity to recommend timely instructions on:

  •  administering calcium,

  • when to use oxytocin,

  • when to take for walks outside to reload oxygen intake,

  • when to place the puppies to suckle,

  • when to remove puppies as the next subtle contractions began to occur,

  • when she was in rest mode as oppose to being dystocic or in a calcemic state.

  • how to revive a puppy when not breathing

  • how to activate a very slow puppy 

There was even a time when she had delivered what was the projected number of puppies (7) according to x-rays done 8 days earlier. She was lying comfortably on her side for a couple of hours when looking at Gavi on my computer screen I noticed a very small protrusion on the lower part of her abdomen. It was there one moment and then it was not apparent. I immediately called Gavi's owner and told him that I "saw" another puppy making its way towards the birth canal and to be ready within half an hour as it was coming. I suggested that he give her a calcium tablet (Tums), have her drink Pedialyte and to take her outside for a walk to load up on fresh oxygen..............................like clockwork Gavi delivered puppy #8 half an hour after I saw the little bump on her side! 

So, apparently she had the last of the puppies, 1 more than predicted by her vet and as seen on X-rays, and was in rest mode for about 5 hours. Seeing her on the screen, there was a very slight contraction towards the rear most part of her belly. I again suggested the preceding procedure and of course a walk outside.....................where she unceremoniously plopped puppy #9 out in the garden.

Of course not all litters will be this "normal" and present itself relatively un-eventful as this 20 hour long litter did or as successful as this one was............................but it really makes the whole process less of a "hide and seek" game and more of a "I see you" event, where I can be there "heart", "not body" and "soul"! The "not body" is the operative word here because it is impossible for me to be there physically at every delivery and the absolute best alternative is this DropCam innovation.

For all my co-owners/co-breeders this is a must for those litters that I will be assisting with in the future. The equipment is sold for about $149 and the website monitoring service costs about $100 a year. However, the monthly plan can be used for the whelping and puppy raising period which is about 2 months, which will run about $20 instead of the yearly plan of $100.

Try it you'll like it! Actually "we'll" like it!

05/10/2013 "Where's the action?"

I'm still here! Those rumors of me missing in action are a bit exaggerated! Well if truth be told, I have been out of the blogging action for 4 days, so I guess that inaction in one area can be considered "missing", but it is more of missing a beat and not so much of the whole enchiladaction.

What doesn't miss a major chord is the amount of questions and inquiries that flow this way on a daily basis regardless of whether I am stirring the pot or not.

For those concerned about my inactivity.............it is 6 to 8 Week Old Puppy Time at Chambray Acres. It happens to be the most crucial aspect of breeding and raising puppies for show.  It is a time that I wish I could just magically disappear for those 2 weeks and just concentrate on the placement process

This is the make it or break process that spells s-u-c-c-e-s-s or f-a-i-l-u-r-e for those breeders that are at the upper levels of showing dogs. The evaluation process starts it all off and then the sleepless nights begin trying to decide which puppy will be placed with which new owner.

Well, the litter between our champion superstar, Ch Summithill Joshua's Battle Of Jericho and AKC-Ch Pted/Int Ch Chambrays Queen Of Hearts has gone through the complicated evaluation process and we have some fantastic show prospects from the 4 black males, the 3 yellow males and even the sole black female is under consideration as show potential.

Although the accurate evaluating and selecting of the truly worthy puppies seems to be something that eludes many show breeders, for Chambray it has become a forte that seldom misfires. However the placing of those top puppies still causes me major consternations.

So, if I am short for words..................(is that possible that I can be short for words?) If I seem to be missing, now you know why!

So, as Arnold once said "I'll be back"..............the difference here is that I just hope Maria will be in a welcoming mood when I return!

05/06/2013 Answering the "nitpickers"

Yes, I realize that there is also a "chance" that by going BOB & then Group I in sporting, that a class dog can attain a major-pointed win! Also, there is a "chance" that winning a Best In Show can also deliver the promise land!

Those are "chances" we do not consider in our policy of handling to win a major. Those "chances" are as slim as Pickins was fat! In fact.................................the winning of a Best In Show by a Labrador is so rarified that in 2012, with thousands and thousands of Labrador Retrievers competing throughout the country at well over 3000 shows.........................there were only 2 Labradors that managed to take home the Golden Fleece!
 

{a little boasting and bragging here.........one of those 2 Labs was BIS BBE Bronze Grand Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter "Kika"......who right now only needs 4 more grand champion points for her Silver Grand Champion title)

Since I am more of the word-type of guy and not really the mathematician, maybe one of those MIT-type guys can figure out what the chances really are from all those mind boggling numeros! In fact, in all the years that Chambray has been competing at dogs shows....since 1986, I have only witnessed 2 Labradors in Florida win a Best In Show....................."Kika" mentioned up above and her grandsire BIS BBE Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff "Hogan"! (more boasting & bragging)

Even winning a Sporting Group I for a Labrador is a Mt. Everest climb-type of achievement, it just doesn't happen with any predictable frequency!

FACT: With the overwhelming winning success that Chambray has posted in the last 25 years in Florida with some of the winningest champions being campaigned, Chambray dogs have only been able to garner 8 Group I placements and each one of them was a champion and not a class dog!

Yes, I am aware that there was recently the bitch that took the Best Of Breed out of the classes in the Lab ring and then the same judge gave her a Group I over all those nationally-ranked sporting specials.....a remarkable feat indeed and the cow will have to jump back over the moon for that to occur again!

So to answer the recent "gotcha" nitpicker, the "chance" for a major-pointed win for a class dog is only limited by the taking of a Best Of Breed or a Best Of Opposite Sex out of the Labrador ring..........no stretching that chance to winning a Group I by the Chambray Management Program.

By the way, the boasting and bragging is being spread a little thicker, since it seems to really ruffle the feathers of the pooh poohers. 

 

05/05/2013 A differing of opinion!

For as long as this website has been operational, I have shared my knowledge and expertise freely with any and all that would come and visit. Of course with an open and unfettered soapbox comes a lot of opinions. So, in an effort to be as fair-minded as can be, I have always allowed for those with differing of opinions to express themselves. So here is one of those that has shared her take on "holding back dogs if a major can only be achieved by taking a Best Of Breed over the champions being campaigned. I will honor her request to remain anonymous. We will just identify her as "Compliant In Florida".

"It seems such a waste for a dog to win points if it doesn't need them. Taking them away from a dog that may need them is not right and not fair to those that pay for entries and pay for handling and all the other expenses of dog shows. So I don't agree that a dog should be shown when there is little chance that it will win a Best Of Breed."

First of all, thank you for your input. I certainly appreciate your coming forth and I support your actions of doing so.

Since there are no official AKC rules or even traditionally-followed protocol that covers this situation, it more or less becomes one of those "at the discretion" thing.

As an ambassador, caretaker and educator for the breed, I must point out that there are 2 sets of commonly followed guidelines as far as handling is concerned at dog shows. Don't look for them in any book, don't do a search on Google for them.......they exist as a "passed on thing" that those in the know do. I think that it is the confusing of the two sets of operations that is at play here in Florida and to add to that, there is also the self-serving whims of some of the affected.

First let's go over the varying 2 sets of commonly practiced 'ways of doing things" as far as handling is concerned.

  • The Professional Handler's Way ~ As a form a professional courtesy amongst themselves, this rather important subset of practitioners at dog shows, have traditionally pulled class dogs out of competition if a major win could only be had by going Best Of Breed or Best Of Opposite. This is done to benefit those handlers that are campaigning a top-ranked champion, which of course means that the same courtesy will be repaid those handlers in another breed of dog or in time to come. This is all fine and dandy for the professional handlers to play around with because it actually benefits economically in prolonging the time it takes to finish a dog. By pulling dogs that need majors to finish out, that dog will be out a bit longer which translates into more money charged by the professional handler. Keep in mind that they are charging whether or not the dog shows up in the ring or not as that is the common practice spelled out in their handling contracts. In the last couple of years or so, we saw this same scenario played out more than a dozen times, where a professional handler refused to show the class dog because it would have to go breed over some other professional's champion dog. This resulted in the breaking of more than 12 major-pointed Florida shows in Labradors.

FACT: In that same time period, we also saw more than 15 times where a class dog took a Best Of Breed over the top ranked specials showing! In fact, there was even one situation where the class dog took BOB and then was awarded a Group 1 in sporting, thus achieving a 4-point major and finishing her championship in one-felled swoop!

  • The Owner/Exhibitor's Way ~ Throughout the country it is customary for owner/exhibitors to look out after themselves. The owner/handler is also a very important sub group of dog show aficionados that has grown in terms of their numbers in almost every breed of dog. Much to the chagrin of the professional handlers, who feel that their profession is being eroded and of course that their economic opportunities are being minimized by the "do-it-yourself" type. With the exception of a few wayward Florida fanciers, the rest of the country follows conventional wisdom of doing what's in their best interest and not cow-towing to the professional's creed of holding class dogs back from competition to benefit the professional's agenda.

FACT": This subject matter has been broached in every Labrador forum..........from the "nice, goody-two-shoes" to the "nasty-as-you-wanna-be" consortiums and the overwhelming folk putting up their 2-cents worth, favor the owner/exhibitor way of looking out for themselves.

Even though we offer our services for training, conditioning and handling on a professional bases, our unwavering policy is and will be to totally do what's right for the individual dog, be it a class dog or a champion. We feel that a dog must compete to win and if that dog is worth our time and energies to take it on in our management program, then that dog will always compete if there is a chance that it could earn a major by winning a Best Of Breed or Best Of Opposite Sex over all champions including those that we are campaigning!

 

So, here in a nutshell is "what's up Doc"...........NO DOG WILL BE LEFT BEHIND!!!!!!!!!!

05/05/2013 Happy "Cinco De Mayo" day

More questions asked.

Q. "Are you opposed to owner/exhibitors traveling out of their states to show their dogs in other states?"
A. Nooooooo, absolutely not! I 1,000.000% (that's 1 million) approve and totally encourage it! If it were not that we lived at the extreme south end of the state, we would travel out to other states more often. I firmly believe that the more dogs that compete, the more significant the title that will be earned.

Q. "How do you decide which dogs to travel with?"
A. If I think that enough dogs will be entered for any given venue, then I will enter our top dogs, those that need majors to finish out their championship. In turn, if the prospects for a major are dim at any up and coming show, then the younger dogs, those needing any points will become our show roster.

Q. "How many dogs do you have to show?"
A. Since we breed exclusively for show purposes and we then place those puppies that have the highest potential as show dogs.........................we end up training, conditioning and handling those dogs when the time comes. At any given point in time, there may be close to 30 dogs in our show management program. From that group of dogs and owners, we decide which dogs to actively campaign and which dogs will stay home. What actually dictates the number of dogs that we can handle at the dogs shows, is how many of us are available to handle for that particular show. Also at those shows closer to Miami, more of our owners can take the dogs to the shows whereas at far away venues, most of the dogs have to travel with us.

Q. "How do you determine priority for any given dog?"
A. Not a simple answer! Usually the dogs with the most points are given priority over those with less wins. At times, spur of the moment decisions based on what's happening at the moment may necessitate a change in the handling roster. As the manager of the program, I make all the decisions at a dog show according to what I think is best for each dog.

Q. "I have heard that you all have influence with the judges."
A. This and other urban legends are the excuses that many of the other breeders and exhibitors spout out since they don't win at the frequency that our handling management program provides for those dogs in our system. What makes us more successful than all those other competitors is the whole package that we provide.

  • The best in top show quality dogs

  • The best training dogs in competition

  • The best conditioned dogs

  • The best handling

Put all that together and you have the most successful program in the country

Q. "Why do you take dogs in from other breeders and kennels?"
A. The Betterment of the Breed! First and foremost................................the Labrador Retriever comes first. Quality has no restriction by a kennel name. We only work with the best, regardless of who the breeder is/was. We will take in any dog that can be an asset to the breed and of course whose owner appreciates what it takes to be successful by working with us.

 

05/04/2013 Quick Answers to Repetitive Questions

Q. "Do you have an opinion on everything?"
A. YES! Especially any and everything Labradors!

Observation:....................opinions are only worth depending on which end they came out of!

Q. "How are the other breeders in your state going to be able to finish their dogs?"
A. Only worthy dogs should be able to finish.

Observation: Breeding better dogs, training & conditioning those dogs and management & handling will go a long ways in the mission of producing champions.

Q. "Do you know the judges?"
A. Yes, their names are printed in the premium list distributed by the superintendent.

Observation: Making excuses is part of the "loser mentality". There is no secret as to how and why the Chambray Labradors programs work and succeed........................all that other stuff that comes from the whiners becomes a mountain for them to ascend. In essence, creating their own obstacles to success.

Q. "Is it fair to show so many dogs?"
Q. "Is it fair to go to so many dog shows?"
Q. "Is it fair to have your whole family showing dogs?"
Q. "Is it fair to have your owner's breeding program against what a single breeder can produce?"
Q. "Is it fair to show dogs when it would take a Best Of Breed to attain a major-pointed win?"

A. YES!

Observation: Ah, the "unsportsmanlike" haranguers................................those that want the rules of the game altered to fit their in-ability to compete at the heightened levels brought about by excellence and innovation. My suggestion to this troupe of wannabees is to quit your bitchin and whining and concentrate on how to be successful and not waste so much time in trying to lap up your spilt milk.  
 

.

05/04/2013 Pricing

This one question comes in droves even though I have dedicated a whole page at the website to cover pricing. http://www.chambraylabradors.com/PuppyInfo.htm

Price is determined by the quality of the product. The more that goes into ensuring the quality, the higher the price will be for the finished product made available to those that are searching for the highest value for their investment. That is simple economics.....................supply and demand at its best.

Those that can afford the best, well seek the product that has demonstrated to be the best in the long run. Those that can't afford the higher end products or services will settle for lesser worth products, seconds and discounts.

In the dog world, supply and demand reigns supreme. Those with the proven best dogs will be able to market their puppies & stud service at the price range that those seeking those products can afford. That is the simplest way to explain pricing. Of course there are other determining factors that will vary from supplier to supplier.

Besides a top-of-the-line product, considerations such as the following will affect the differences in demand that will result in differing prices from breeder to breeder:

  • Long established & proven entity

  • Accessibility & complete disclosure with information

  • Ease of transaction & workability between buyer and seller

  • Services provided to ensure the product meets the expectations

  • Warrantees & Guarantees that are iron-clad

  • Support system for the buyer if any issues ever come up.

There are even situations where a breeder may charge different prices according to the sires and dams involved in producing the litter and in the case of stud service, the fee charged for the actual dog used may vary. Plus, in any given litter, the price may be higher or lower depending on the individual puppy in that litter.

All puppies are created equal....................however they all do not come out the same! In some litters, there may be 1 or 2 puppies that stand out head, shoulder and rear higher than the rest..............then there are those litters where nothing shines bright regardless of how great the sire and dam were.

Price is the meeting ground between those that have the product and those that want that product.

   

05/03/2013 More & More UFO Sightings!

The reports from neighboring states just keep on rolling in.....more UFOs (Unknown Florida Out-Of-Towners) making more and more appearances in their neck of the woods at their dog shows, especially those arriving with Labrador Retrievers!

Now, don't misunderstand, the indigenous from those locales are not complaining since most practice good old southern hospitality............but they are bewildered as to the occurrences and frequencies of the apparitions.

Traditionally, dog shows in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama see Labrador Retriever entries totaling less than 12 dogs per show, but more recently the usual numbers have increased by incursions from the sunshine state Labrador Retriever community.

So, just what has caused this over-spillage of folk from one destination to descend upon another's bailiwick?

Well there are actually 2 main causes of action that accounts for the reaction from those converging upon out-of-state turf by the UFOs.

First, there are those that are weekend-migrating to these outlaying regions in order to get away from the highly competitive Labrador ring back in the balmy, sunny state of Florida. In other words, they can't win here so they pack up their bags, load up the van with dogs in tow and scurry up I-75 or across I-10 to those destinations due north or west away from their own stomping grounds.

Secondly, there is another group from Florida , mostly those connected with Chambray Labradors that also packs their bags, load up the van with a multitude of dogs and also cross state lines in search of more competition, hopefully higher numbers of entries to make major-pointed shows...........since the AKC's point schedule is much lower in this region of the country, thus making major-pointed shows easier to build.

So, as the seasonal spring/summer dog shows kick in high gear for the deep south destinations, there are bound to be way more UFO sightings in them there woods!

 

05/03/2013 Show Me The Money!

Talk is cheap............facts don't lie! Anyone can talk until they are blue in the face, yet they are lost for words when it comes time to prove their spiel!

In my quest to create educated consumers.........those poor souls out searching for that puppy of their dreams only to be bushwhacked, waylaid, held up and mugged by unscrupulous purveyors of mass produced litters of puppies...............I hear from all sorts of people about all sorts of commentary spouted out by car salesmen-type dog breeders.

I say to all to say to all "Show me the money!"

They tell you they are "top show breeders", you say "show me"................."show me the wins, show me the awards, show me the champion's titles.........show me why you claim to be the top of anything?"

They claim to be "respected within the Labrador show community", ask them by who and get that other person's contact number/address. Make sure they aren't giving you their roommate's number!

They claim to be champion breeders, get the dog's AKC # and do a search at www.akc.org using that AKC #. Remember that in order to be a champion breeder, that person must have bred that dog that became champion. I know of several blokes that claim to be champion breeders merely because they paid stud service to a champion dog......... the thinking here is that since they bred to a champion dog, somehow that makes them champion breeders. Hey, sounds logical to them so they do their best to make it sound logical to others.

At Chambray, we claim it, we own up to it, we prove it! For those having a hard time understanding the native tongue.......here's an alternative "la prueva esta en el pudin".

 

05/03/2013 Dogs in Florida don't need all that extra coat & fat (what is seen as bone)!

{Just got off the phone with a Labrador breeder from Michigan}

Oy vey! I have heard one too many of the same old, same old erroneous urban legends that are passed around by huddled masses, circled around fireplaces in the frozen tundra regions due north of the sunshine state!

Listen up Labrador breeders from the other 48 states that do not have tropical breezes blowing year round! (don't correct me, I know there are 50 states but keep in mind that Hawaii invented "tropicalness", so 2 states that will warm your heart (and other parts as well) and 48 states whose fridgedity will numb the 5 senses, short circuit neuron pathways and derail logic receptors.

All dogs living in Florida, regardless of where they came from, regardless of who the breeder was will end up shedding all that copious clamored coat and have burned away that desired "bone" so admired by those in tundra territory..............coat & bone, two items that are relished and expounded by our northern brethren are two things that nature will dictate to the dog here in the balmy, humid and rain forest-like weather of the glorious sun-in-your-face state to get rid of or else!

The "or else" is death by over insulation! Simple as a Siamese cat in Singapore! Just ask any of your neighbors that have shipped little polar bears (Labs) down to Florida for showing (a ritual that was commonly practiced in days of yore....but that's another subject for a Jalapeño-like blog). Ask them what the dog looked like when they packed its bags and handed it off to the handler-to-be that was headed down for warmer pastures and then what it looked like 3 months later when the handler-that-was lumbered back north with a slither version of what used to be!

Now ask me why I don't pack my bags, load up my dogs and cruise up to latitudes beyond north 30 degrees (just south of the Florida-Georgia border) to show at specialties and at all-breed shows in the fall and winter.

I even hesitate to show under breeder/judges who are "looking" for the over-abundant furry/hairy coats and the preponderant, plod-like, pudgy, paunchy, plumpish looking dogs.....but of course that is referred to as "bone"!

Nah, I think I will stick around Margaritaville, sipping watermelon coolers (non-alcoholic as I don't do booze) and leave the snow plowing to those with extra layers of poly-unsaturated fat.    

Oy vey indeed! 

05/02/2013 "What makes a breeder the #1 breeder?"
 

This one query from our visitors and readers seems to be gaining momentum since our 2012 record-setting dog show year!

In sports, such as football, winning the Super Bowl automatically entitles the victor of the game bragging rights as being the #1 football team on the planet! Likewise in baseball, the winner of the World Series lays claim to be the best baseball team in the world.....Numero Uno!

Over the ages, tradition has had it that the breeder/kennel that championed the most dogs in a given year, could boast to being the #1 breeder of that breed for that year.

Since the advent of the Eukanuba National Championships where dogs receive invitations to compete according to certain criteria, the breeder with the most qualifying dogs for the year could also clamor for bragging rights.

Another way to being the top breeder is the number of wins in 1 year by dogs from one kennel or breeder.

So, to answer the "real" burning question of "what makes a breeder #1?"...........which is an indirect way of asking why I proclaim Chambray Labradors as the #1 Labrador Retriever champion breeder for 2012......

  • We championed 6 new champions for 2012, which is the most by any kennel name in the country. It also happens to be a Florida record that doubles the previous number before that.

  • We qualified 7, the most bred-by Honor Roll Invitees to the 2012 Eukanuba National Championships. That number is also the most Labrador qualifiers in any year since the inception of the Eukanuba National Championships.

  • For 2012 Chambray dogs won a record-setting total of 59 Winners Dog/Winners Bitch, that was twice as many as all the other Florida breeders/exhibitors combined and more than any other breeder in the country was able to post.

So a triple whammy of bragging rights to being #1.

PLUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe another criterion for being #1....there were only 2 Labradors in 2012 that won a Best In Show in the entire country.....one of those was a Chambray co-bred, Chambray co-owned, Chambray trained and Chambray handled dog! Major bragging rights to being #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Another "hot" inquiry topic..."How does Chambray's breeding program compare to the top show kennels in the country?"

In terms of QUALITY.....toe to toe with the Top 5 best known kennel names and for 2012, #1!!!!!!

In terms of QUANTITY produced.....not even close as most of the well-known kennels/breeders produce 3 to 10 times as many litters per year. From 2000 to 2009 Chambray accounted for an average 8 litters a year or about 70 puppies for the whole year. Most big time show breeders produce upwards of 25 litters a year, with most co-breeding a slew of litters outside of their kennels from dogs they sold and co-own for breeding.

The last 3 years, 2010, 2011 and 2012 our average was 4 litters a year or less than 35 puppies produced each of those years. Keep in mind that we receive well over 1500 email/phone request for puppies yearly.

 

Limited Registration Vs. Open Registration placement of puppies.

Here's another smoldering subject that people inquire about!  I know that most top show kennels have developed a "close ended" mentality about placing puppies, where as they only place puppies on Limited Registration to the majority of their clients.

There are numerous reasons cited for placing puppies on Limited Registration:

  • To protect their lines so that others don't benefit from all the work they have put into bettering the breed.

  • To reduce the number of puppies produced a year by others.

  • To prevent puppy mills from breeding their line of dogs.

At first glance those reasons noted may make sense to those that have not thought of the "big picture".

  • "Protecting their lines" ~ this is cited by many because they have heard it from others and they think it sounds like they are doing good saying it and doing it. What a bunch of crock! Their lines?.....Really???? If it weren't for someone else before them that placed a puppy with them to begin with, where would they be? By cloths lining new comers to the better breeding lines, it forces them to begin with sub-par, mediocre and at times dastardly dogs that do not adhere to the breed standard and then they end up perpetuating the "pet looking dogs" that we see all the time out in public.

  • "Reduce the number of dogs produced" ~ again, noble sounding...........but very limited in scope! If people want to breed dogs, they will buy them from the pet shops and puppy mills, so the only thing being limited is the quality of dogs produced!

  • "Prevent puppy mill from obtaining breeding dogs" ~ once again, the idea seems worthy, but for those of us that do our homework and go through a determination process on each person that inquires about purchasing a puppy..................the good idea doesn't fly as good as the excuse.

Making dogs available to those that are new or even to those that have been trudging along with inferior dogs works for the betterment of the breed in the long run by making available better conformation dogs to the general buying public.

Hey, that's the way I see it...............what do you think?

    

05/01/2013 It's May Day!!!!!!!
That's the 1st Clear Day In May. {actually it's raining cats and toads)

Lame Laments This Fine Day In May

Lament #1 ~ "Since your dogs dominate the wins in Florida, out of state breeders and exhibitors are reluctant to travel down with their dogs to compete against your dogs!"

Ok, let's figure this one out.

  • Point A. Is it a good thing that Chambray has raised the bar to be as good or better than the other handful of top breeders in the country? I think that it is a GREAT thing that the old traditional common practice of northern breeders shipping down dogs with top professional handlers to "clean up in Florida" is a thing of the past.....passé to the max nowadays.

  • Point B. Does the lamenter suggest that we NOT SHOW the Chambray dogs in order to have the out-of-state breeders ship their dogs down here and take all the wins? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, no way, no how as long as the Good Lord continues to bless us and our owner's dogs.

  • Point C. Maybe the thinking is that Chambray should "lose" on purpose to facilitate others to win and be happy? For the record.....L-O-S-E is not in my working vocabulary. The rare day we don't win, is not considered a loss, but rather an opportunity to assess what can be done better to have the desired results of WINNING.

  • Point D. Are there other moaners that concur with this wayward train of thought? If this is the consensus of conventional wisdom........then the train is headed in the wrong direction and a derailment of mass destruction is bound to occur!

Lament #2 ~ "You have forced the other Florida breeders and exhibitors to go out of state to try and win points there".

That is very obvious with the entry numbers being way down in Florida while at the same time, more and more Florida breeders and exhibitors are traveling to nearby states. Checking the catalog entries and results from any of the Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and the Carolinas, quickly shows many Florida residents that have scurried north and west, traveling great lengths looking for wins when none can be had much closer at home.

Well, like in a great game of poker where hands are dealt and each player most make the most of what cards they drew......................in order to augment our winning ways, especially finishing those dogs that need major pointed wins, our hand has been forced to travel out of state as we did last year in 2012. This is a major change of plans as we had decided to stay within the Florida area shows for 2013. Last year our out of state excursions netted Chambray 2 new champions crowned outside of the sunshine state, while 4 were championed within the borders of our home state, looks like this year we will be looking to raise those stakes in our neighboring states.

  

04/30/2013 Now that's cooking with grease!
Ooopppps.....that's not politically correct anymore!
So, here's........................That's cooking with poly-unsaturated fat!

To show or not to show?

By an overwhelming body of voices (is that humanly possible?), actually an avalanche of agreement.......all those that have chirped in about the "show dogs if a major is possible" are singing the same tune in perfect harmony to boot! In fact, every single email that has responded to the recent blog about showing a dog for a major when it has to win breed are in total agreement!

Every single person that I have communicated with lately would show their dogs if a major could be had by winning a Best Of Breed or a Best Of Opposite. So as Robert Blake as Tony Baretta used to say "You can take that to the bank"!

So for the Ewoks that think different................................get back up on the turnip truck and fall off again!

 

To Trek or not to Trek?

Wow, the drums are beating in synchronicity, the palms are waving in unison......it seems that we have struck a major chord of harmony..............................the reception is crystal clear and the angels are harking the blues about the Chambray team loading up the Conestoga wagon and heading west as the young man did!

I hear ya'll loud and clear and it sounds good to me too! We have now added several weekends of shows to our travel itinerary to include jaunts to Mississippi and Louisiana. Several breeders & handlers have made contact with us and are encouraged that majors will be built so that their dogs may also have the opportunity to champion out.  

 

Kennel name clarification

WinQuest Labradors and Grandquest Labradors are not the same. I didn't realize that there were some that were confused by the two kennel/breeders. For the record Grandquest got started back in the late 80's by Michelle and Jose Granda. They were very active and successful through the 90's and the early part of 2000.

WinQuest Labradors is a Chambray partner kennel started in 1999 with Geraldo Desouza. With the exception of Geraldo's first 2 litters that were a co-venture with Surry Labradors, all the rest of WinQuest's litters have been co-bred with Chambray Labradors. The WinQuest/Chambray joint venture has produced 4 AKC champions to date.

  • Gr Ch Winquest Chambray Cadbury

  • Gr Ch Chambray WinQuest Summer Breeze (Hanna)

  • Bronze Gr Ch WinQuest Chambray Reaching For The Stars (Jake)

  • Ch Chambrays WinQuest Handsome Island Boy Louie

Other breeder/kennel Chambray co-joint ventures that have produced champions in the last 10 years:

Guardian Labradors a Chambray co-venture with Humberto Calvo.

  • Ch Chambrays Guardian Rum Tum Tugger

  • Ch Chambrays Guardian Diamond Destiny

Scuba Labradors a Chambray co-venture with the late Jennifer Shake

  • Ch Chambrays Lady Scarlet

Co-breeding under the Chambray Labradors name, Val Till

  • BIS BBE Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter

  • BBE Ch Chambrays First N Counter

Co-breeding under the Chambray Labradors name, Debra Richmond & Dave Baxter

  • Can Ch Chambrays Carley


 

04/29/2013 Question: What's the Opposite of Boasting & Bragging?

Answer: Bitchin & Whining!

When I first coined "Winners Never Whine & Whiners Never Win" I never imagined how apropos it would be over the long haul of showing dogs. As Chambray Labradors now cruises through 4 and a half decades, that's 43 years to those not into decade thinking..........................the whining and bitchin is still the same although the cast of characters acting out those undesirable behaviors has certainly changed over that tremendous chunk of time. The one constant through all those years is the lone person doing the boasting and the bragging, the little old wine maker, me.

It seems that every 10 years (a decade) or so the faces in the fancy change, of course the older kennel names also fade out and new ones replace the forgotten. Just recently there were several now-exhibitors gathered before Labradors would walk into the ring of competition. the topic of conversation was some of the old time breeders that don't show anymore in the Labrador ring but are still attending dog shows with other breeds. I mentioned several kennel names that were fixtures at all the dog shows back from 1990 through the turn of the century (2000)...................names like Heatherwood, Walkabout, Pleasant Oaks, Alors, Three Oaks, Millabs, Silver Palm, Byecho and a few others and all in the group gave me quizzical looks, in fact I mentioned the kennel name Grandquest and I had one of the relatively-new-to-the-fancy folk correct me and say "WinQuest", to which of course I corrected them by stating "close but no bananas...................not the same thing!"

Well most of those that used to whine are no longer exhibiting dogs, although some are still producing puppies, but what hasn't changed is the whining and bitchin that takes place when po-folk don't win.

There are 2 constants that stay the same....................the boaster & braggart and the bitchin & whiners!

 

04/29/2013 Yes, a Trifecta is a Real Big Deal!

To answer several emails and also to follow up with several conversations at the recent Vero Beach dog shows, most exhibitors, breeders consider themselves very lucky to have their dog win points at a dog show. So having one of their dogs win is a huge day for most. Imagine how that person would feel if they had a male and a female showing and each ended up winning the points for the day.............................wow, OMG and halleluiah all bundled and wrapped up with the biggest bow imaginable, that would be a day to remember! That realistically is something that a breeder or owner dreams about, having two of their dogs win the points on the same day.

So, one dog winning would be a:

  • LUCKY DAY

So, having two of their dogs win in one day would be a:

  • DREAM COME TRUE DAY

Now, what if that same person were to have the Winners Dog also the Winners Bitch PLUS....the Best Of Breed winner ALL in one day of showing...........in essence all of the meaningful awards, what kind of a day would that be?

  • CAREER DAY

Yes, that would be a once-in-a-long and successful career of showing day! There may be only a few breeders that have experienced such a fortuitous string of luck in one day's worth of showing.

Since the very first "fortuitous string of luck in one day's worth of showing" back in 1992, where all 3 of the winning dogs came from Chambray, there now have been a grand total of 42 more of those very special occasion days.

Since "fortuitous string of luck in one day's worth of showing" is such a long and winding road of verbiage, I have coined a much shorter word to commemorate such an extraordinary occurrence that very, very few ever get to savor.................................thus we now have the word TRIFECTA to appropriately cover such a spectacular achievement...............................Winners Dog, Winners Bitch & Best Of Breed......the career defining Trifecta!

So, Chambray Labradors has been in that special winner's circle reserved for a very elite handful of breeders that have ever accomplished a Trifecta............................Chambray has been there an incredible 42 times!  

 

04/29/2013 Change of Plans For the Rest of 2013

In light of the continued developments with poor competition turnout at the Florida shows and in anticipation to there not being any major-pointed shows in Florida for the rest of the year, we have altered our show plans to now include 4 to 5 weekends of travel to Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. We will mostly be targeting those weekends with 3 and 4 days of shows to minimize the expense in these long range trips. We will contact handlers and exhibiters that normally travel to those show dates to let them know that there is great possibilities in creating major pointed shows with the added roster of dogs that we will be bringing. So, Alabama here we come, Louisiana here we come, Mississippi here we come and we will all have a grand old time!

 

04/29/2013 Very Interesting Observation.

If you can't win in Florida, load up the van and drive out to nearby states.

It was just brought to my attention by a very keen-eyed blog follower that many of the dogs that show and don't win at the Florida shows go out to every state nearby and win there, including a high-ranked specials that has not been winning Breeds against Chambray's two specials, Kika & Jericho! Plus another Florida resident champion that doesn't make it to the Florida shows and yet makes long commutes to area states.

Can you imagine if we traveled out of state more frequently how many more champions we would finish and how much higher our specials would be ranked?

What a great commendation by our Florida competitors....................or should that be lack of competitors, to not want to compete in their own state against the Chambray lineup! Thank you all for your awesome PR.

04/29/2013 Blonds Better Duck!

All Chambray Managed Dogs Will Show...............if and when there is a possibility of a major being achieved by winning a Best Of Breed (BOB) or a Best Of Opposite Sex (BOS)!

 

Since I know the preceding may be exceedingly difficult to comprehend for some {the……………….dumb ox, dumb da dumb dumbs, dumb arces, and of course the dumb blond types}………..unplug the ear phones connected to a muted CD player……………………as Judge Judy would admonish “Put on your listing ears”……….listen up very intently as I am only going to say this a million times more!

“Keep your dogs in if it can be a major by going BOB or BOS!”

Now, for those with extra thicken brows, those skiing behind a turnip truck, those that keep tripping over the same imaginary line in the sand, those in a stupor-induced fog on a clear day in May…………………..As Tricky Dick (not Dick Tracy) once famously proclaimed “Let me make this one thing perfectly clear!"

Follow Mitch Miller’s bouncing ball below

·        You own a dog

·        You enter the dog at a dog show

·        Your dog needs a major-pointed win

·        A major can be had by winning BOB or BOS

Then DUH……………….you show the dog!

Ok, I know that even after all the preceding and aforementioned clarifications there is still a 1%er……………… {that’s an itsy bitsy tiny weenie, miniscule iota of the population}………………so since I am an equal opportunity dispenser of knowledge and education, I feel that I have to go the extra million miles to reach all those that may be perpetually blond and not get the drift even with a category 5 hurricane blowing them to kingdom come!

So this keg-sized Bud is for you.

SHOW YOUR DOG!

 Of course I know this harping will fall on deaf ears, dumb ears and blond ears and like they say "you can lead a horse to water and you can also expect him to take a leak in it"...........................likewise with the country bumpkins and airheads that frequent the dog shows........................"that's all they're capable of, getting there and not much more"!

04/26/2013 Chambray Labradors Total Show Dog Management Program
An Equal Opportunity Developer For Top Quality Dogs

For all those that have been emailing about our various programs for all Labradors.

  • The Breeding Program - Encompasses the best of the best from our long established Chambray lines, now into our 9th generation of superb quality. It also includes dogs from other breeder/co-breeders that have joined our vast offerings, plus owners of dogs from outside sources. All dogs most be approved by me after having had all available clearances performed and must meet the highest standards for the breed.

  • The Training & Conditioning Program - Is open to all owners, regardless of where they came from. Most of the dogs are part of our management program, while others are totally independent.

  • The Show Management & Handling Program - This is an exclusive sector for the very best dogs that are participating in our breeding program.

So, yes, you will see dogs that came from top breeders that are not part of Chambray, yet have been accepted for development in our various programs. There are also dogs that are from co-bred litters with associate breeders & kennels. All dogs regardless of where they came from, once in the program are afforded our top most attention

04/25/2013 Interesting observations from the recent dog show

There were several "observers", "prospective puppy buyers" and other "interested parties" milling about the Labrador ring at the recent Zolfo Springs dog show. After speaking with several people that approached me, it became obvious that they were also speaking to most of the other breeders and exhibitors present at the show.

So here are several commentaries that were made that causes a wrinkle or two on the old forehead.

I lady that was looking to get into showing again after a long hiatus was given this response from a breeder/exhibitor when she asked what their status as a breeder was "I am a hobby breeder" was the proud proclamation. When she asked me I stated "I am a professional breeder, professional trainer and professional handler with 43 years experience with the breed". So her response to me was "Well, you're the person I want to do business with when I obtain my next show dog!"

So, you be the judge...who do you want to do business with, a hobbyist or a professional?

After Saturday's judging was a wrap........Chambray Labradors ended up winning our 42 Trifecta Since 1993!!!!!!!A Trifecta.......taking all the awards that have points..................Winners Dog...........Winners Bitch..............and the diamond in the sky, Best Of Breed! A gentleman observer had been speaking to me right before I went back in for Best Of Breed with the Winners Dog, which won Best Of Winners (Chambrays Laffitte Lucas), the Winners Bitch was Chambrays Mean Green Josephine (I didn't name her that) and Best Of Breed went to BIS Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter (her 28th BOB in 13 months) with my wife Johanna handling.............................just for good measure my daughter Jessie won Best Of Opposite Sex with Ch Summithill Joshua's Battle At Jericho (Chambray Management Program), plus Ch Chambrays Diamond Destiny won Select Bitch with Team Chambray Handler Angel.

The gentleman came back and congratulated me and I shared with him that we had just achieved our 42 Trifecta. About a half hour later he came back around to speak to me about leaving a deposit for a show prospect and shared with me that some of the other folk that he spoke to told him that no one keeps track of the Trifectas they have won, which he then asked them "So, how many of them have you won?" and of course their answer was "none yet" to which he answered "I think I will go speak to the man that has won 42 of them!"

At Sunday's show another oddball proclamation to another prospective show buyer was "I'm a top amateur owner/handler". To which the observer responded "How does that compare to what Chambray does?" The answer was "Since they are professional handlers, they are not allowed to compete against the amateurs!"

So, again the dilemma of amateur vs. professional.................who do you put your money on?

 

04/25/2013 Answers to question about the Tune-Up Program

One of our Chambray owners was concerned about us helping other breeder's dogs.........well in true homage to our credo "For the Betterment of the Breed" we mean exactly that!!!!!! It doesn't matter whose dogs it is (well, if I am going to be totally honest here, there may have been an exception to the rule.....but I don't have to worry about that anymore). So, my offer is totally open to all owners, breeders and exhibitors of Labradors............bar none now!

A conditioning program will benefit any and all dogs, even those that are not show quality.

Besides physical training and working out, a well-planned Tune-Up may very well have nutritional implications as well.

Tune-Ups are very age dependent as what will work wonders for an adult may not be suited and actually detrimental to a younger dog. Even geriatrics will receive great benefit from a conditioning program suited for their age and condition.

There is no charge for my services...........gratis.....pro bono.

Yes, I will post testimonials here if they are submitted to me. Let's share the good news. I already have 3 testimonials submitted and I will wait until we have more to make a day's blog of it. And yes, I will post your name if you wish.

Yes, at our nightly training classes besides show and conformation training, we also practice with conditioning techniques.

We start all our puppies with the conditioning program by 10 weeks of age. Of course it is age dependent for puppies!

Using the right training and conditioning techniques creates interest and the puppies and young dogs just love what we put into place.

 

 

04/25/2013 Major Kudos for the Tune-Up Program

I recently offered to work out a conditioning & tune-up program for any Labrador be it a Chambray dog, a competitor's dog or a dog that I have never seen before........in other words anything for the Betterment of the Breed!

In less than 2 weeks, I have had over 2 dozen owners and breeders respond. Most have approached me at dogs shows, while some have sent in videos and photos with areas of concern.

Not surprisingly, the majority of those that have touched base with me that had an area of concern has been those with cow-hocked dogs. Since this is one of the most accepted of serious structural faults perpetuated by breeders of all types and the one fault that I expound so much about, it would follow suit that it would lead in the area of most concern with my readers.

From general observations over a 4 decade span of time, the majority of cow-hocked dogs that I have seen and evaluated were of the more serious genetically linked type. In other words, the dog inherited the fault from the parent/parents. By breeding dogs with serious faults, the breeder is practicing "selective breeding".............for NEGATIVE traits!

In many articles published to this website and in previous blogs, I have covered the subject of cow-hocks better than a thermal insulated quilted blanket, so I will cut to the chase with this blog.

  • Nothing can be done to fix a dog with severe cow-hocks. It is born with the structural fault, it will live with it and it will pass it on to its offspring.

  • If considered for a breeding program, the chosen mate must be totally clear of the same fault AND that dog's sire and dam must not exhibit the fault either.

  • The resulting puppies from a Normal X Cow-hock breeding will produce a given percentage of cow-hocked puppies and the ones that don't appear to be cow-hocked will carry the fault in the recessive (will pass it on to its offspring in a lesser ratio than a dog exhibiting the fault)

Now, for the good news, about 25% of those concerned with their dogs displaying some degree of cow-hockness (new made up word)..................there are some dogs that are slightly cow-hocked or that hold their hocks inward because of poor posture, lack of conditioning or other deficiencies that may be corrected or at the minimum, improved upon.

It was those 6 or 7 owners/dogs that would benefit tremendously with a well executed work out regimen. Each of those owners were given an individualized, custom designed Tune Up program to work with their dogs. In each case I gave enough instructions for a 3 week period. I plan to follow up with those owners and track their progress. Of course it is up to the owners to follow the plan religiously for the desired effects to take place. I will write a follow up blog with the results of this mission.

The 2nd area of concern for those contacting me about a personalized Tune Up was movement. With only 1 exception*, all the rest had issues with drive...................mostly the rear mechanism known as drive.

Each of those owners were also given a regimen to work with and I also timed these custom designed Tune Ups to span 3 weeks. At the end of that time, I will follow up on their progress and I will also report the results in a future blog.

* One dog had an observable problem with reach, the forward movement of the front legs. This particular dog had very upright shoulders, with no front angulation what so ever, so the front movement of the legs was totally incorrect with the front legs doing a high, parading type action. Since the dog's shoulders were totally out of alignment with the entire front assembly, there was no remedy available for this dog other than not to show it and definitely not to be used for breeding.

 

04/24/2013 For those wondering "What's up with the blog?"

For those that know me well.....or as well as you think you know someone..................my puppies come 1st through 10th !!!!!!!!!! That means that before I sleep, my puppies come first...............before I go to a dog show, puppies come first....................before I boast and brag at my website, puppies come first...................before I conjure up diatribes, go off on tangents, joust with imaginary windmills, detect nefarious shenanigans, tend to my blogging flock, my puppies are first and foremost!

Now add to all that straddled-on self-imposed burden, the period between the 6th week and puppy pickup time at 8 weeks, becomes my Achilles Heel for major obsessive compulsive disorder. With whom to place my puppies is a totally sleepless ordeal................the usual taking-care-of-business me, the quick to respond and true-blue to make decisions me..................becomes a silly-putty schmuck of epic proportions!

My most precious cargo.................my puppies...............those that will perpetuate the betterment of the breed to yet another level.................they, another generation of Chambray Labradors that will be on the front lines of life for all to witness regardless of what activity or endeavor they participate in...........am I obsessing right now or what?

So, if you have missed my blogs in the last week or so,,,,,now you know where I have been!

Stayed tuned for when I get a chance to catch you all up on the going's on at the Labrador world as I see it.

 

04/17/2013 Vini, Vidi but not Vici!

Imitated but never Trumped or Duplicated!

Since the advent of Chambray Labradors Owner's Programs there have been those that have been there (vini), that watched (vidi)..............................tried to do the same but didn't succeed (not vici).

# 1 The Handling Program: the numbers of dogs that we have entered and handle!

There was once, years back a successful and established breeder that tried matching our numerous entries at a local dog show.................the Miami Dog Show! So incensed was he that Chambray could field 1/3 the entries at any given show, that he too loaded up the truck for that weekend's dog shows and brought on as many dogs as Chambray had entered. It did look impressive in the catalog having so many dogs from another breeder here in Florida!

Matching our entries at a dog show.................................Mission accomplished.....................................and NOT!!!!!!!!!!

It all looked honky dory until the bell sounded for the 1st round! They had a dog entered in every class starting with the 6 to 9 puppy class and that went well as there was a Chambray puppy in that class as well. The first round went to Chambray as our puppy took a first place.

Ding, ding, round 2. Chambray had 2 puppies in the 9 to 12 and the Other Breeder had 1 puppy.................1, 2 for Chambray and the Other Breeder a 3rd place.

Now, it wasn't so much that our dogs were winning each of the classes that was a problem, it was more that the Other Breeder was starting to run ragged running back and forth to their dog setup to put dogs up and pull dogs out of crates that were being called into the next class of competition.

Keep in mind that our Total Show Dog Handling Program has a roster in place for each show where each dog has a given handler as well as back-up handler and also dog holders and gofers in place to keep the flow of action running smoothly. At some of the bigger shows, we even have a designated "Ring Manager" that keeps the handling roster in hand and makes sure that all the dogs are where they need to be at any given moment.

It become painfully obvious that the Other Breeder had not covered all the bases when entering such a large number of dogs. Even though he was there with his wife with his young daughter was doing the actual handling, they came totally unprepared and with no game plan for any eventuality. So much so that they had their dog setup more than 5 rings away and just getting a dog from the set up to the ring became a major ordeal!

Although for the first 3 classes the judge was patient with waiting each and every time for them to make it back to the ring with a dog, by the Open Black dog class......patience had worn thin and the judge made a comment to the man that was not too well accepted and a confrontation ensued that the breeder's wife interceded and hauled the breeder back to the dog setup compound and told him to just stay there and her and the daughter would take care of the ring.

Seeing how rattled they had become, I offered the wife our aid by having some of our owners hold dogs outside the ring as the wife and daughter handled dogs in the ring.

Of course it didn't help matters any that except for 1 class, all the rest of the classes were won by a Chambray dog.

When all the first place male dogs were called back into the ring, all but 1 dog (the Am Bred Dog) were Chambray dogs. Each and every one of them had a handler that went back into the ring for Winners Dog.

Winners Dog...........Chambray...........................Reserve Winners Dog.................Chambray!

That's the last that we saw any of their entries that day......................as the breeder packed up the truck with all the dogs and none of the females that were entered made it to the ring.................................and none of the dogs came back the next day for competition!

So, what appears (vidi) to be an easy task..............is much harder to do (vini)!

It's not how many dogs you bring to a dog show that counts, its how good those dog are and how efficiently they are presented to the judge that makes it or breaks it!

 

# 2 The Breeding Program

There was an attempt at joining forces by several established breeders to put together a breeding program similar to the one in place for the last 20 years at Chambray. 4 or 5 of these breeders decide to have as many litters as possible to flood the market as a form of competing against the 8 or so litters that the entire Chambray Owners Program puts together on a yearly basis. The breedings went well and 9 months later after the joint venture was launched, they had 3 times as many puppies as they had sales! Some of the litters had reached 4 and 5 months old and placing those older puppies had become a major problem. In an effort to move some of the puppies, prices were eventually slashed, tumbling more than 60 to 75%!!!!!! The wheels started to fly off the conglomerate as nerves became frayed having so many puppies on hand............................there was some internal bickering and the breeder's association ended before a year's time! There were some dogs that were already a year old and still not found a home and many were placed for no money with the expectation of deferred payment when those dogs were bred and their litters could be marketed.

The idea was great but there was no foreseeable marketing plan in place, they had no:

  • decades-long following of referrals from multiple professional sources.

  • top-ranked website

  • 43 year's worth of word of mouth

 

# 3 The Co-Owners, Co-Breeders Program

Then there was the breeder that decided to compete with Chambray by placing all her best prospect puppies with new owners.................all with co-ownership contracts (Chambray doesn't hold anyone hostage with a contract). Needless to say and to cut this whole blog short...........within a year, a major disaster with the majority of the new owners very unhappy, not satisfied...................leading to legal actions, lawsuits and not a happy camping ground for any of those involved!

 

So, They Vin1......................They Vidi.................................and None Vici!!!!!!!

 

 

 

04/16/2013 A Moment Of Silence For Our Boston Brethren
& All Those Impacted By The Recent Atrocity.

God Bless America.
 

04/15/2013 Who visits this blog?

This Blogging Off page

  • receives well over 350 visits daily

  • most from 6 AM to 9 AM to the tune of about 75% versus 25% for the rest of the 24 hour period.

  • the average visitor spends 2 minutes per visit.

  • 80% of the visitors are from Florida

  • The Miami/Ft Lauderdale area accounts for 40% of the Florida visitors

  • the Orlando and surrounding area is 2nd

  • the Tampa/Sarasota/Brooksville area is 3rd

  • There are daily visitors from Mexico, Brazil & Colombia and also from India!

  • On a daily basis there is an average 50 unique visitors (first time), which means that over 300 are regulars.

  • There are 50+ that visit every day.

The Chambray website receives around 6oo visitors a day and we receive about 40 emails, most requesting puppy availability information. I also receive about 10 emails responding to the Blogging Off section. About half request more educational material and the other half prefer to read the "attempt at humor type/hype".

 

04/15/2013 Follow up on "Breeders From Hell"

"Can of worms" time! Yep, I just opened the proverbial can of worms with that blog! Seems that everyone and anyone that has had a bad experience with a breeder decided to vent out and "out" that breeder.....are those 2 outs a double play?............(attempt at humor). It seems that the "bash a breeder bandwagon" is barreling down hill as loose as a caboose!

Since I receive a preponderance of visitors from Florida, those breeders from the sunshine state were the most mentioned or maybe most besmirched!

Talk about dirty laundry being set out to hang without being washed!!!!!!Oh boy! The stuff I have received in the last 2 days looks/smells like a Mt. Trashmore of epic proportions! This is equal opportunity bashing at its best! We go from some of the habitual show breeders to the pond scum types as well! The old saying "Hell hath no furry as that of a scorned woman" can be justly applied to "scorned puppy buyers".

Of course I won't mention names, but boy do I have a "dirty laundry file" on hand on many of those that have been regular trash talkers of my efforts with Labradors! All those that have cast stones should be very thankful that I am not a vindictive person.............................................(attempt at humor)!

 

 

04/13/2013 Breeders From Hell!

As an equal opportunity spreader of info-dder.........opppsss........info-rmation that is, I must present an opposing view of the Tales From The Crypt puppy owners-to-be (see blog below). Of course the opposite of a puppy buyer will be a puppy breeder! Human nature has a way of creating ends of spectrums with every subject known to man/woman and just as there are nightmares in the puppy buying group, there too exist breeders from the Twilight Zone.

Oh, they pass themselves off as happy go lucky, cheerful and cute as pig's ear personas................but in typical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fashion their heads will turret three sixty and venom will spew from bulging eyes. Unless the puppy buyer possess ESP, there is no way to discern exactly who theses denizens will be until an un-refundable deposit has passed from the buyer's hand to the breeder's claw! Then Pandora's box is is irreparably pried open and the demons are set loose.

The stories that I have heard from puppy buyers would make great full-length scary movies, Fatal Attraction would seem like a Disney movie compared to some of the nightmarish tales that have been shared with me about antics perpetrated by some well-known breeders.

Caveat Emptor rules supreme for both puppy buyer dealing with the multitude of breeders, just as it does for breeders going through the gauntlet of puppy buyers.

Moral of the Greatest Story Ever Told........................get to know who you are dealing with!

 

04/12/2013 Tales From The Crypt

More than 90% of those that are encouraged to come and visit me at Chambray Acres will have a puppy placed with them. The "Come on out and visit with me" routine is an integral part of my evaluation process to determine if there is to be a puppy to new owner match up.

As happy as those in the 90% group are, there are those in the opposing corner, about 10% that make the trek to my home/farm and will eventual walk away without being chosen for a placement of one of our treasured babies!

For those that have done their homework and researched the Chambray Labradors website, apprising themselves with as much information as they can handle, there comes the realization that the old "take a trip to the pet shop or mass breeder and pick out a puppy from hundreds to choose from" does not exist with the top breeders, including Chambray Labradors. Especially Chambray Labradors where the 85 or so puppies that are produced yearly are eagerly awaited for by 10 times that many interested parties (actually we receive well over 1500 emails requesting available puppy information).

So, just who are these 10%ers that fail the litmus test? Well, they come from all walks of life. They arrive in ordinary cars and there are those that pull up in autos worth more than some homes!

Here is are 3 examples of the Good, The Bad and the Ugly...............well for this blog we will only deal with the Bad and the Ugly:

  • They have an 11 AM appointment and show up at 9 AM. Dogs and puppies are fed, watered and their pens and houses are taken care of from 8 AM to about 10:30 AM, there being a half hour period for a break and a shower before accepting any visitors. That's the routine for the last 40 years! The dog's needs come first and foremost. The "early bird" visitor is apprised of such and their comment was "Well, we are here and you can take care of the dogs after we leave!" My response was "You will need to wait until I take care of all my dogs first." An hour passes and the hurried chap honks his horn. I stop what I am doing and walk out to the gate for a second time. The rather perturbed gent chimes in again "You do realize we are out here waiting and may or may not buy a dog from you"". My 2nd response to the fellow "You can decide that later when I am finished with my chores and I show you what may or may not be available." Not a good way to start an interview (Interview With A Vampire 1995 with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise comes to mind) and the rest of the "get to know" session kept going south until it was time to be let out of Chambray Manor.

  • The 1 PM appointment was running half hour late when three cars pull up to the front of the gate, where upon 14 people commence to pile out of said vehicles. My gut instinct was to turn them away at the gate, but the nice guy in me gave them a chance.................wrong move!!!! I inform them that I have a 2 PM appointment and if that one is on time, that this session will end then. 5 wild banshee kids from 3 different sets of parents go on a wilding spree in my front yard. 9 "pseudo" adults begin to ask questions at will with no one listening to any of the answers I provide to the point that some of the question become repetitive. I ask the lady who was the original appointment to reel in the kids since they were riling up my dogs in their pens. The 5 totally out of control hooligans paid not one iota to the in-effective lady. I then stand up and bark at the top of my dog trainer's voice "NOOOOOOOOO", which gets the Wild Bunch (1969 Ernest Borgnine movie) to stop and look my way, "Your mother is calling you and I want you here now as my next appointment is here and you have to leave!" As soon as the 5 obviously enabled, out of control imps make their way to where we are seated, I get up and open the gate with my remote control.....................End of "Nightmare At Elm Street" interview!

  • The "In From The Cold" woman and her husband "Lurch" (of course, not real names), have been sitting with me for well over an hour. The CPA-type woman asked incessant questions about costs.............cost for food, cost for vet care, cost for licenses, cost for in-home training........cost for costs and on and on........the well-over 6 foot 6 man never moved his mouth. The rather well-behaved 8 week old puppy sat mostly at my feet throughout the interview process which was going nowhere pronto. The well-dressed woman picks up the puppy and keeps it at arms length so as to not dirty her Sunday white dress, she then proceeds to plop the puppy down before the puppy's feet had touched the ground!!!! Let's make this story short, cut to the chase and as Arnold said, "Hasta La Vista Baby" and the interview process is "terminated"!

 

 

04/12/2013 "What's the Difference?"

This one query seems to head the question's list by far and away! "What's the difference between Chambray Labradors and all the other breeders?" It comes in one form or another, be it email, phone and/or in person becoming the most repetitive question asked by most of those searching for a Labrador puppy, regardless if it is a pet or a show prospect they are searching for.

To fully answer the simmering question, an email response will not even scratch the softest surface. That is why I have provided in-depth answers in the form of articles covering every Labrador-related subject known to this man. So instead of answering each and every email with a limited personal response, those with inquiring minds are directed to various pages that are fully loaded with answers and comparisons.

There are those that insist on a phone call to answer their list of questions. To be honest, there isn't enough time in one week to answer all the calls & emails requesting a call that come in in 1 day. What most people do not realize is that everyone has exactly the same questions and sitting on the phone or replying to emails to answer those same questions would necessitate a full time receptionist, for economic reasons that is not going to happen.

So, in anticipation to all those that want answers, I have taken an inordinate amount of time and have offered up all you could ever want to know about Labradors, puppies available, training and the sort in the form of hard copy articles that can be downloaded, copied/pasted, printed out, saved or whatever else can be done to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge about the breed and in particular, the difference that Chambray Labradors provides.

I truly hope that the information I have provided serves all those searching for answers and that it makes their journey in obtaining a 14-year long investment in time, energy, money and most important, emotions with the acquisition of a new member of their family.

All those informative articles can be accessed from the Reference Library section

04/11/2013 Defining "An Educated Consumer"

An educated consumer has nothing to do with a school education. It has to do with arming oneself with as much information when considering making any type of time, energy and/or money investment. Because of the tremendous time constraints that we face on a daily basis with our dogs, we prefer to deal with people that already have researched all the sources available for information, including the Chambray Labradors website.

 

Defining an “Educated Consumer”………….As it applies to a potential new Chambray Labradors Puppy Owner.

 

The main purpose of the www.chambraylabradors.com website is to provide information to the thousands upon thousands of visitors that are directed to us;

·        By referral from vets, trainers, groomers and other professionals involved with dogs

·        By referral from the hundreds that have owned a Chambray dog

·        By word of mouth, the absolute best form of promotion known to man/woman

·        By the search engines to our site.

 

What makes our web presence different than the multitude of breeders clamoring for puppy sales is that we offer a thorough education on all aspects concerning the breed. We may be the only Labrador Retriever source in the country that is qualified to give advice on all of the following topics:

  • Breeding - with now 43 years of experience.

  • Raising - having kept and raised hundred of dogs in the span of time.

  • Professional Dog Training – professional trainers for 37 years, amassing experience in training well over 20,000 dogs, mostly Labradors in nearly 4 decades.

  • Conditioning - providing a training/conditioning environment for all Chambray managed dogs.

  • Professional Handling – 26 years of providing our services at the dog shows.

 

At the website there are hundreds of articles written about every subject matter concerning Labradors. The information in those articles will guide the reader to making the absolute best decision on where and from whom to obtain their newest addition to their family.

 

Through the website pages and in many of the articles published there can be found one of the slogans we use “An educated consumer makes the very best puppy owner” or something to that effect. Since I don’t like repeating myself the wording on the slogan may vary from article to article, but the meaning stays the same. We would much rather deal with a person that;

·        has done their homework,

·        that has researched as much information on the breed as possible from as many sources that is available,

·        that has contacted several other breeders and requested and received written guarantees (or clearly stated in their website)

·        that has compared what is being made available to them

·        and then gone over the Chambray Labradors website, reading the most pertinent articles and pages dedicated to educate.

 

That then becomes the Educated Consumer that we wish to deal with. When we receive inquiries from potential puppy owners, we provide all of them with generic information by directing them to several general information pages that should answer their initial questions such as pricing and puppy availability. Depending on the replies we receive from the initial email we send out, we may then provide them with further reading material that will acquaint them how our Puppy Placement Program works.

 

Further emails may lead to setting up a visit to our home/farm in Miami Fl. which is a must for those in South Florida that are within 2 to 3 hours driving time. For those further away or out of state the interview process will eventually lead to one or more detailed phone conversations.

 

It is through this “getting to know” procedure that we make a determination on where/with whom each of our puppies will be placed.

 

The more informed the inquirers are, the more likely that they will be chosen to own a Chambray Labradors puppy.

 

 

04/09/2013 You can't please everybody all the time!

Whenever I get into my "Professor Persona", I tend to write in dissertation fashion, spewing out educational fodder like it was going out of style.......................then I get into my SNL mood and the "lampoonist imp" emerges. Depending on subject matter, the feedback days later is equally divided into requesting from those wanting more of one type of writing and those that have had their fill. Comedian Arte Johnson (Laugh In, 1970's) as Wolfgang the German would say "Very interesting........but stupid!"

 

04/09/2013 Another "In The Spotlight" subject.

My willingness to mentor those searching for knowledge about the breed, my unwavering stance on making available top show quality puppies to those with good intentions brings about another major rift in acceptance or not! Of course those fine folk that are looking to get into the higher echelons of Labradors are tickled pink with the opportunities that my "open door" programs have created. The converse are those breeders that feel that they paid their dues dearly coming up through the ranks only to have these as they call them "wet behind the ears" neophytes coming on board and benefiting from Chambray's 4+ decades of involvement with the breed.

Once again, the ratios run about 50 50! Those in favor, the many that have been closed out in an attempt at bettering their lot, closed out by breeder after breeder and of course those opposed are those same breeders that are shutting the door on newcomers.

Land locking the breed is not the answer to the betterment of the breed, opening doors to new people is a way to expand the gene pool and also to limit those same new people from perpetuating the inferior quality of dogs that they otherwise would obtain if the doors were all shut closed on them.

Makes sense to me!

 

04/08/2013 Latest from the dog show arena.

Of more importance first: I received the greatest of compliments this past weekend at the dog shows. Of course it wasn't meant to be given as a compliment, more like a "I told you so" complaint.....but nonetheless since the results is a step in the right direction for the betterment of the breed.....I will put it into my "accomplishments" folder. So here goes: A well-known and respected handler approaches me to tell me that the dismal entries in the Labrador ring can be attributed to my Blogging Off column! The reasoning cited was my "outing" of structurally incorrect dogs being shown and then the owners of said dogs realizing their dog's faults and then choosing not to show them anymore!

Well pat myself on the back for that!!!!!!!!!!! In the long run, I see that as a major step in the right direction for the breed and if it means that the entries at the dog show will suffer for the short term, then so be it! If this column or anything else I have said and done will benefit the breed, then I will take all that as a major compliment. Now let's hope that those same folk that have those dogs with those faults will either not perpetuate those faults by not breeding those dogs or that maybe they will do improvement breeding on those areas that I have "outed" on. From a quick look see in the show ring, most of the severely cow-hocked dogs that had been showing in the last year or so, were no shows at this show.

Tresja vous: Of course everyone knows what deja vous is..................well yesterday at the dog shows, I had a tresja vous moment. By the way, that's a made up word, so don't look it up or correct me on wrong wordage. Three well meaning dog owners independently approached me within 20 minutes of each other with the exact same area of concern. All three owned dogs that needed improvement with "rear drive". All three had really nice dogs with little or no visual faults other than lacking fuller rear drive. In my humble (or not) opinion, all three dogs could improve immensely on rear drive with a well-orchestrated and executed conditioning regimen. I detailed the exact workout program for each owner & dog to follow. Since conditioning programs are very individualized for a specific dog and following the wrong regimen can actually cause more harm than good, so I will not detail specifically what was recommended for these 3 dogs so that others won't jump to conclusions with their own dogs. I will be more than glad to evaluate anyone's dog either in person or through videos and develop a Tune-Up Program on an individual basis for others. Keep in mind that there is also a nutritional regimen that dogs that are being conditioned must be put on as well, I can also recommend that regimen to anyone interested. By the way again, since I am an equal opportunity for the betterment of the breed guy, out of the 3 dogs that I made recommendations to, one was a Chambray dog, so it goes to prove that all dogs could need a "useful" tuneup.

 

HEALTH NEWS: I receive emails from all over the country about all types of situations and conditions affecting Labrador Retrievers. In the last month or so I have received an inordinate amount of correspondence from owners across the country with tick-related diseases. Lymes, Erhilichia, Babesia, A Platys, Tick Fever head the list from those reporting in. In the last month alone, I have heard from at least 5 owners whose dogs died from complications from tick-borne blood illnesses. The problem with these diseases is that they all have multiple symptoms and they all may resemble one another. There have been several dogs that were infected with more than one of the maladies. Supportive IV therapy, Doxycycline is the anti-biotic of choice along with steroid treatment seems to be universal in combating all of the above and several other tick carried diseases.

 

Improvement Breeding: Here's a brief synopsis of how to go about doing an improvement breeding.

First take the female being considered for breeding and do a total, from one end of the dog to the other end, realistic evaluation. Here are the main points to look at: In my case the female, Hoshie being considered comes from the top well-known kennel from the Northeast.

  • Outline Type - this is the overall look of the dog as it conforms to the breed standard. Seeing the dog from the side-view, looking at the outline of the dog is the tell all. The dog's length should be a bit longer than it is tall to the withers. The measurement to the withers from to the elbow should be equal to the distance from the elbows to the ground. The standard calls for the following MALES from 22 to 25 inches tall, Females from 21 to 24 inches tall (that includes the half inch up or down). There should be a gradual slope of shoulder up through the neck to the head piece, with a good length of neck. The topline should be level and the tail set dropping off a tad at the romp and held straight out or slightly gay. The outline type also takes into consideration the Elbow to point of shoulder to withers triangle and the exact dimensions called for by the breed standard. Also the correct angulation.
    Hoshie - Outline fits the standard for type spot on. Excellent bone, great coat, great head and expression. Rating = POSITIVE

  • Front as seen from the front, now we observe an individual area: The correct front includes the rib cage to be well-sprung and not slab-sided. The legs are positioned right under the rib cage and not pinched in, but with a distance between the elbows that is equal to the distance between the toes on the ground which should be close to the distance from the ground to the elbows. In other words, the front should look more square than it does a narrow rectangle caused by no distance between the elbows. Feet should be straight forward
    Hoshie - Well-sprung ribs, well placed feet...................Slightly Pinched Elbows! This is the one structural weakness this dog has.
    Rating = NEUTRAL

  • Rear as seen from the rear. We want to see a wide open rear with the hips, the knee joint, the hock joint and the feet all in the same plane, all right on top of each other in the same line. NO COW-HOCKS!
    Hoshie - Spot on
    Rating = POSITIVE

  • Movement -  If the structure of the dog is correct, then the dog should move correctly. Side gait should be smooth and without much energy being displaced. Front movement should be clean with no elbowing out or crossing over. Rear movement should be in-lining with no crossing over or outward leg placement. With a great moving dog, front reach should equal rear drive with the dog's head height above the shoulder's height. No swaying, bobbing, weaving or rolling of anything.
    Hoshie - Side gait is spot on, Rear movement is correct and even though she has pinched in elbows, her front movement is clean.
    Rating = POSITIVE

So given the above parameters, it is obvious that an improvement breeding for Hoshie, would call for a stud dog that possess the perfect front formation and that has it coming from both sides of his family and preferable from all 4 grandparents. That would greatly minimize a recessive trait being perpetuated as an unseen or unknown. Hoshie has been bred to Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks.........a dog with a perfect 10 Front, perfect 10 Rear and few if any dog can move like him. Bailey's sire and dam both have POSITIVE fronts, so did Bailey's maternal grandsire and grand dam. Bailey's paternal grandsire and grand dam both had outstanding fronts.

Realistically we would be looking for 75 to 80% improvement in a litter of puppies, say 8 out of 10 puppies possessing the POSITIVE that Hoshie is lacking, meanwhile we would be also looking at the litter and identifying those puppies that have the not as desirable fronts................those puppies of course will be placed as Pets with no breeding rights.

   

 

04/05/2013 What's New Pussycat?

I have been immersed, twitterpated and enthralled with my newest babies! It's been quite a while that I have had newborns, so I am going to town with Charm X Jericho (1 yellow male) and Viper X Jericho (3 yellow males, 4 black males 1 black female). Now I await Vicky X Bailey's 6 week olds to make their trek to Chambray Acres this coming Monday and we are very anxious to find out if BBE Ch Chambrays Fist N Counter (Gavi) is pregnant bred to Ch Blackthorns Rock U Too http://www.blackthornlabs.com/Bono.html

I truly enjoy handling and competing at the dog shows, but nothing compares to the perpetuation of the betterment of the breed with each new litter.

Ok, now back to serious blogging!

Q. I have known through the years that you are an advocate for disclosure, yet the breeders that I have dealt with seem to take the opposite approach. This past year a dog that I bought and co-owned suddenly passed away and the breeder made such a big deal about keeping it hush-hush and she wasn't the only one that advised me as such. How do you explain the difference?

A. This is another major division between how Chambray Labradors operates and how the rest of the show breeders do things. Remember the "Keep the best and sell the rest" (other breeders) and our "Breed the best and place those best with the best owners", well this "hush-hush" way of doing things and our "full disclosure" policy is another different as night and day matter. The thing is that no matter how hush-hush these people want to keep things, I knew about your situation a week after it happened and many of the other Lab people were whispering in anyone's ear that stood in one place long enough to hear the "latest"! Those with nothing better to do, relish every scrap of gossip and are chafing at the bit to spill the beans to others with nothing better to do.

All that gab fest goes on deaf ears with me, so my main drive in disclosure is to do what's best for the breed. Several years ago I put on an Optigen DNA PRA 20/20 Clinic that drew 52 different dogs to sign up and be tested for PRA. You would have thought that the majority would be appreciative for the efforts of one breeder.....well true blue to those green with envy, I got slammed on one of those heresy forums for having "outed" some dogs that were bred by other breeders! Mind you that there were 3 dogs out of 32 Chambray dogs that tested out as "carriers" for PRA and yes there were 5 dogs from other breeders that tested out as carriers as well.

I will take disclosure over hush-hush every single time!

 

04/01/2013 Today is April Fools Day!

The way I see it on this First Day Of April.

If you are wrong, admit it, you will be much lighter for it.

Admitting you were wrong doesn't make the wrong right, it just makes you right for admitting the wrong.

"Anyone" can make a mistake..........."someone" seldom makes mistakes................choose to be someone.

"Everyone" is born a genius, then some decide to be "anyones"!

Fools make the same mistake twice, it's deja vous for them a lot.

Morons can't count beyond two, so they tend to repeat themselves over and over again.

Never give anyone more than 2 directions, unless you want to lose them.

Ask a fool for his opinion and he may give you the shirt off his back, ask him again and he will try and give you the shirt he no longer has on his back.

Opinions are a dime a dozen when fools are tending the store.

Everyone looks smart...............then they go and talk and with some, the truth comes out.

When in doubt, keep your mouth shut....it will keep everyone, anyone and someone guessing!

If you have something to say...................................................say it to yourself first and hear how it sounds.
If it sounds foolish, then don't say it!

If you go ahead and say it and it is foolish, then you no longer are a fool, you have graduated to be a moron!

Being a moron really isn't that bad because you would be in great company.

I know all of the preceding to be "great truths",
because I have personally done each of the above.....been there, done that!

 

 

03/30/2013 Comparing Apples, Oranges and Road Kill

A recent visitor to the farm brought with her a list of "breeders" she had been in touch with in her search for a Labrador Retriever puppy. I have always stated on my website and to all those that visit here that "an educated consumer makes my best puppy owner"............or something to that effect!

Educating prospective new owners is one of the main purposes of the website.........to impart useful knowledge to those that visit so that they have something to compare to. Not just cutesy photos that may or may not be the puppies being offered for market.......................but hardcore facts that can not be manufactured, manipulated and manhandled............."just the facts ma'am"! Along with those facts are iron-clad proof and results of all the claims of achievement and success that Chambray has amassed in 43 years with the breed.

So, when my invited guest unfurled her lengthy list of "names" and of course the usual "woman's" list of question to ask me, I had to chuckle and choke a bit (could that be a chokel?)................all at the same time! For right there in front of my aging eyes was a list that included:

  • a notorious Florida "silver" puppy mill breeder

  • a shameful nation-wide mass puppy broker

  • a well-known (to the Fl. Better Business Bureau) shyster

  • another mass producer with many USDA complaints (54 according to the USDA website)

  • a non-existent "breeder" that buys litters and then registers them herself and sells them as her own.

Well to the visitors credit she also had

  • another top show breeder

  • Chambray Labradors

That's like comparing Apples, Oranges and lots and lots of road kill!

By the way, I published an article titled Chambray Labradors Comparing Apples To Oranges that makes for further interesting reading...............at least it does to me! If you go to the article, be prepared to sit a spell as there is plenty there to read up on and I didn't even cover the road kill breeders!

  

 

 

03/30/2013 The Real Deal Labrador Retrievers

Not a single solitary day goes by without me receiving an email or three about "this and that Labrador Retrievers". English vs. American, field vs. short/squatty and on and on we go and only the Merry Go Round operator knows where we are headed to!

It's interesting to know that in England (official place of origin of the "official" Labrador Retriever), they have as many different looking Labradors as we have here in the good ole USA...............................however our Brit cousins from across the big pond do not label all those reasonable facsimiles with all the great Gucci sounding names that we have a hankering to do over on this side of the watery expanse.

Nah, over there they look at a dog and correctly describe it as either being "well-bred" or for those that don't adhere to the breed standard as being "ill-bred"! Simple as a dimple on Engelbert Humperdink....................no fooling around these distant relatives of many of our founding fathers...........................keep it as simple as possible.........either the dogs are bred according to the blueprint for the breed (the well-bred type) or someone didn't follow the master plan and built something that may resemble the real deal but either falls way short or may be a tad too much (ill-bred types), too long a leg, no legs at all, a variety of none-accepted colors, no coat or way, way too much coat......you name it and it has been named by our mass market mentality..........if it sounds good to the ear, then it will sell! PT Barnum hit the nail square on the head............................."there's bears in them there woods".........................ooppps, that's not what he said...........................more like "there's a sucker born every minute"!

 

 

03/30/2013 The difference between selling & placing puppies!

Q. "I noticed on your website that you state that you don't "sell" puppies but that you "place" puppies after interviewing people that inquire as to puppy availability. How do you decide who to place your puppies with?

A. That is correct...after an interview process that starts out by email contact, for those in Florida it is followed by a visit to the farm where I live where I get to "know" more about each prospective new owner. Likewise for those out of state, a lengthy email and phone process will usually ensue before I will place a puppy with anyone.

Since I disclose the whole kit and caboodle at the website........that is all the information that anyone would need to make a wise decision on where to obtain their next addition to their family...............I then make it my job to find out as much about those searching for a puppy.

Not understanding and not trusting me and my programs are the biggest reason that I will not place a puppy with someone that inquires or that comes as far as visiting. If for any reason I get negative vibes from a prospective puppy buyer.......then it's adios amigo! Since I don't advertise "puppies for sale" and since I make it perfectly clear that I "place" my puppies with whomever I choose, I have no qualms about turning away someone that I feel will just not work out.

Environments that seem helter-skelter will definitely sound the alarm as a place not to place one of our puppies. Since a dog will reflect its owners within a very short period of time, the decision not to place a puppy in such a situation is very easy to make. Out of control owners make for out of control dogs, remember there are no bad dogs, there are bad owners!

I would say that I turn away about half the emails that come in for one reason or another and that about 1 in 10 visitors to the farm will not have a puppy placed with them. 

By and large...more like very large to the tune of about 97%, the placement process has been extremely successful as there have only been a handful of "I wish I hadn't done that"......placing a puppy with the wrong person.

 

 

03/28/2013 A very repetitive inquiry.

Q. What makes Chambray Labradors different than other breeders?

A. Read the following:

http://www.chambraylabradors.com/ChambrayChallenge.htm  &
http://www.chambraylabradors.com/TheChambrayDifference.htm


 

03/27/2013 The favorite "short" Q & A to date"

Q. "What do I do when watching TV and my dog stands in front of it?"
A. Move the TV!

I got more responses to the above then to any other Q & A.

Questions after yesterday's Q & A blog (below)

No I don't know where losers go.

9 out of 10 people get mad after getting an evaluation of their dog..........................because they don't agree with me!

I wrote that "I am not like them!".......................not that "I don't like them!"!!!!

How to fix the breeding problem in Labradors??????..........................Shoot them and I don't mean the dogs!!!!!

Ok, there are those other breeders that breed nice dogs....................see list below (of course no real names used, so no sense in making the list)

03/25/2013 Short Answers to Short Questions (remember to "read between the lines")
 

Q. "Why do you write these blogs?"
A. Because you read them!

Q. "What type of Labradors do you breed?"
A. The type that don't bite!

Q. "Why is winning so important to you?"
A. Because I like going to Disney World!

Q. "Why do you evaluate other people's dogs?"
A. Because I like to have 9 out of 10 people mad at me!

Q. "Why do some of the other breeders not like you"
A. Because I am not like them! (for those with slow vision, re-read the question and the answer a couple of times)

Q. "Do you ever plan on retiring?"
A. Yes, and then I am going to breed more dogs and show more dogs!

Q. "Is it true that some judges favor your dogs?"
A. Yes, absolutely and the proof is each time a judge awards one of our dogs a win, he/she favored that dog!

Q. "If you could fix 1 thing about Labrador Retrievers, what would it be?"
A. I would fix the number of clueless people breeding them!

Q. "Besides yourself, who else has as good a dogs as you have?"
A. All those people that got their dogs from me!

Q. "What's more important, a great winning dog or a great producing dog"
A. Long Answer: It all depends on the hat I am wearing at the time! When I am in the show ring, I want a great winning dog. When I go home and think about the future, the great producing dog wins! Fortunately I have been blessed with dogs that wore both hats as well.

Q. "They say you can't lead a horse to drink water, what about a Labrador Retriever?
A. WHAT?????????????????? I got this email about a month ago and didn't have a blog to put it in, so here it is. I have no idea what the question is, what the meaning was or if it was legit. But my answer is "I think that a well trained Labrador is very capable of leading a horse to water and then it will be the horse's prerogative to drink it or not".

 

Ok, well back to tending to my Jericho X Charm baby and Jericho X Viper babies! By the way, since Charm has plenty of milk, she is nursing 3 of Viper's 8 babies.

 

03/24/2013 The exception to the rule! There is a meeting of the minds between dog and man! And no, that is not an "American Labrador" (no such thing).

Yours truly with Phara the Pharoah Hound at the recent Davie Dog Show.

.

 

03/24/2013 No...............there will never be a meeting of the minds (between man to man)! See you later Alligator!

Forget all that Mother Teresa wishful thinking about Labradors breeders uniting and eventually all producing "what should be" instead of the current "what is it"!

Herzonisms of the day:

Put a two way fork in the road and people undoubtedly will trample down a third path!

Give people choices and the majority of the time they will choose wrong and what's worse is that some will do it on purpose!

For all those that periodically email asking how to bring about a consensus on what a Labrador should look like, remember the old Italian saying........Usually when you don't forgetaboutit, you die. So make sure you "forgetaboutit"............. now that you remembered..................forgetaboutit!

Ain't going to happen no way..............no how.........even if the cows come home and go back out again!

There are way too many "ifs", "ands" and definitely "butts" about it! You know that old saying....."give a person a butt and then they act like one!" Ok, so you never heard that one before because it just curdled up in my lactating mind!

So, what's got me in a frazzle this fine day in May........ooopppssss I am way ahead of my time here (literally), but I couldn't come up with anything for March other than the "Ides of March".........and I always have a problem with that one because as long as I could remember as a kid, I thought that it was the "Eyes of March'! Of course the "think outside the box me" wondered how come the other 11 months didn't have eyes!

I had a fine family visit recently for my usual "come visit, sit a spell and we will chat up a storm about Labradors", or course what all yous all don't know is that I am really interviewing each of yous so that I can decide if I am placing one of my "babies" with yous! (please don't email me correcting the YOUS.............I am the one writing these arseinine blogs and I will adlib my own twist on things, thank you very much).

Ok, back to the matter at hand.......the fine family visiting................nice enough looking family of 4.....nicely groomed husband, well-kept wife, pink outfitted toddler girl and blue decorated baby boy.............ahhhhhhh so cute!!!

So, what in the world beyond could propel me into the stratosphere with a nose bleed? Well, they were visiting different breeders, 7 of them so far, looking for a Labrador that looked just like MAX.

The nice, definitely, maybe even defiantly as well, in-charge lady pulls out an album (I-Pad) of her recently departed "Labrador Retriever". Well Wahzoo Alabama (My Cousin Vinny).....if this wasn't the whopper of all "What the hell is it Labradors" (yes, Steve Martin and Bill Murray SNL skit again). Youser, youser, youser this was really the granddaddy of them all.................all 145 pounds dripping wet..........yes, dripping wet right out of the movie "Swamp Thing"..................WOW, OMG and eventually Hell Hath No Furry all intermingled, intertwined, between and betwixt.....no doubt about......read all about it...............biggest sucker I had ever laid EYES on (or is it Ides) and right in the middle of March! Left that other oversized 127lbs dog that had visited me the week before, looking downright pretty puny!

Of course I contained my contempt............my composure and proceeded to quote the Raven Never More......actually I quoted verboten from the obviously "not too well read"  Labrador Retriever Breed Standard about the size restriction and disqualifications if under and over the size stated.

The nice blond lady responded '"He was never disqualified from anything!"

END OF INTERVIEW! Keep on trucking....................looking that is!

03/23/2013 Dogs develop differently.

I wish I had $100 for every puppy request wanting a dog just like the one they had for 14 years! Play those scratch off games and your chances will better be at soothing the itch than you will at getting an identical dog.

A litter of 10 puppies will produce 10 totally different looking and acting individuals. For show purposes, from a top show quality breeding, there may be 1 or 2 outstanding prospects and the rest of the litter will taper off into "almost", "close" and "no bananas"!

I just read an email from a middle of the road breeder stating that she couldn't decide from her newest litter of 8 puppies which was the top pick because they all looked like "champions"! Not putting a damper on her fantasy, but I will wager that none of the puppies will be much better than the parents..............neither of which even won a single point after being shown at quite a few shows. Wishful thinking only goes so far (to the fences of the property) and then reality sets in (once out in the dog eat dog world).

Not being able to "see" and "project" for the future when looking at a litter of 7 week old puppies is the doom and gloom of being a breeder. The biggest or even the cutest puppy may not even be close to show standards.

10 months ago I evaluated a litter from a very good breeder friend of mine. He had tagged what he considered the top 2 males in the litter to be placed with potential show owners. My interest was to eventually procure these new owners to join my show dog handling management program.

I surveyed the whole litter and immediately picked out the 2 puppies he had chosen as his top 2 pick males. They were the biggest puppies in the litter.................but upon a thorough evaluation each had detrimental structural faults that would knock them down the totem pole. As it turns out, his 3rd pick male puppy would rate out as the only male from the 5 males that I would pronounce as definite show potential.

Now, 10 months later, the 2 puppies that he had thought were the best have grown up and the faults that I had seen at 7 weeks were so obvious now at a year of age that neither will be showing. Meanwhile the one puppy that I designated as show potential is a dream come true 1 year old..................unfortunately a dream come true spayed 1 year old as his owners were not interested in anything but a good house dog.

03/23/2013 Passing Thoughts.....not to be confused with Passing Wind!

Herzonisms back by popular request!

The likelihood of buying a puppy from a breeder that has never produced a show champion.....and having that puppy amount to much in show terms is like the kid down the block becoming an Olympian champion! How many Olympian champions do you personally know?

Nowhere is the term "the height of mediocrity is still low" better applied than it is to the breeding of show dogs!

Build a better mouse trap and the mediocre will trip all over themselves to step on it.

Jealousy knows no bounds, its only rival is envy.

Ask a fool for directions and you will get nowhere fast.

Mentors that have no vision will lead their followers astray.

Asking someone that doesn't know any better, won't get you any better results.

Two bad dogs never make one good dog.

To prove "Misery loves company", at a dog show watch how all the losers commiserate.

Fools only fool themselves twice, the rest will fall for it again. (re-read the footnote at the end of this entry)

Whoever said "it's better to be right and poor than rich and wrong" was certainly not right when they said that and most definitely not rich!

Winning is a game played by non-losers.

Winners are contagious, losers are cantankerous. 

 

Don't look any of these up anywhere because they are original thought...................and if you do find them elsewhere, then they were stolen from me! (re-read the "fools" Herzonism from above)

03/22/2013 "Different protocols for handling by different handlers"

Developments at a recent dog show has brought about a buzz from inquiring minds, addled minds and those with no minds at all. Once I receive more than 3 inquiries concerning the same subject, then I know that whatever is brewing has become the talk of the dog show village.........for better or for worse till death do us part................usually for worse because the rumor mill and the loose lip mongers prefer the juicy fat morsels much better than a good filet mignon.

Before I delve a bit into this "touchy" (handling.....get it?) subject, let me state that each handler sets their own protocols, their own priorities and that matter is between them and their buckaroo paying client. What procedures our Total Show Dog Handling Management Program follows may be totally different than what is being practiced by others offering their handling services. Who is right and who is wrong is decided by those shelling out the money for the services provided. You don't like the product or service.........you get in your car and you drive down the street to the next market place!

A little deviation to state my case. You all know my 2nd pet peeve.........................the holding back of class dogs by professional handlers if the taking of a major calls for the class dog to go over specials! Remember my "moronic" outburst at a dog show when class dogs were pulled, breaking the major and a class dog took Best Of Breed missing the major by 1 dog? Well, that is just one of the differences in our way of doing things and what other blokes do. With us, there is no pulling of dogs to favor another dog or another handler..................you want to win something, you do it the old fashion way................YOU WORK FOR IT!

Back to the brouhaha of the day.........or maybe by now the cud of yesterday seems passé (or passed through) and something more delectable has flared up. The moral of the story..................it will pass over as something else will become the whispered in the ear..............out loud so others could hear..."did you hear the latest?"   

03/21/2013 "My dog doesn't look like your dogs!"

There used to be that commercial that stated "the heartbreak of psoriasis"...........with the preponderance of different looking supposedly Labrador Retrievers that "heartbreak" saying reverberates on a continual basis, the only difference is that there is "discovery" instead of psoriasis! Discovering that maybe what a person bought from Dime A Dozen breeder may not be the real deal! Oh, it will have AKC papers and a pedigree a mile long, it may even resemble the real thing, but the deviations could actually be disqualifying faults!

For instance, the visitor I had last week with the 27 inch tall, 120lbs "supposedly" Labrador Retriever. I greeted her at the gate and had her and the dog come inside my 1/4 acre front yard. Before I dove into an evaluation that she requested, I walked her over to where some of my Labradors were housed. I wanted her to see what a dog that adheres to the breed standard looked like so that when I went over her red-nosed, whopper of a dog, it may make some sense to her.

It didn't take long for her to exclaim "My dog doesn't look like your dogs!"

Now, there are many ways that a person can emphasis that statement, but her meaning was crystal clear! It came off like "There is something wrong with your dogs!", as she was beaming with pleasure and delight that "Frankie" was so much bigger AND he had a red nose to boot!!!!!!

"People stop me everywhere I go and all of them are so impressed with him" she blurted in a machine gun-like staccato voice. Beaming beyond what a beacon could illuminate she continued "They all want one of his babies!"

Now mind you that standing in front of her in their pens was AKC BBE Ch/UKC BIS CH/Int BIS Ch Chambrays Bailey On The Rocks (Eukanuba 2012 qualifier), who had in the last week's time bred to 3 females from 3 different Labrador breeders and in the pen next to him was his littermate AKC BBE Grand Ch/Int BIS Ch/UKC BIS Ch Chambrays Charmed N Counter (3 time Eukanuba Qualifier).

After introducing her to those 2 stellar Labrador Retrievers she exclaims "If he breeds to Charm will he have these small sized dogs or will they come out more like him?"

KILL IT BEFORE IT MULTIPLIES! If I were a serial killer, she would have been one of my victims!

Needless to say that the evaluation of Tyrannosaurus Rex was not greeted with grace or acceptance! "I don't care for these show dogs because they don't look like Labrador Retrievers and if that breed standard wants them to be that small, then something is wrong!"

In lickity split fashion, the two of then hopped into the fancy convertible and sped away with her blond her blowing in the wind in synchronicity with the dog's long, hound-like, flapping ears! What a sight to behold.

 

03/21/2013 A little "head's up" for those that take these blogs "at heart"!

There are no secret meanings here...............no read in between the lines for anyone out there.............there is no singling out by name any breeder, exhibitor or handler for ill deeds! There will be kudos when kudos are deserved......you take my suggestions and put them to good use and I will recognize that effort.

Yes, there are "puns intended" but mostly done in good humor. I however will not wage vendettas with this blog. If someone has a chip on their shoulders, well then they will be the ones carrying that weight because I will not engage in silly, sophomoric banter.

If you read a blog and you think it pertains to you...........maybe in spirit it does, but it applies to dozens as well, so no need to raise your hackles and make a big deal about it because more than likely there are many more that are accepting credit for the same blog as well!

03/21/2013 Watch a duck from behind.......waddle, waddle!

Each step the duck takes forward, the ducks body sways over in the direction of that foot. This is simple mechanics because each of the duck's feet are placed outwards from the center of the duck's body. So when the left foot reaches forward, it also deviates to the left away from the midline section of the duck's body, likewise with the right foot, deviating to the right away from the same midline. So, instead of walking perfectly straight ahead, the duck shifts from right to left and back again in a meandering path causing the aforementioned waddling action. Since ducks don't travel great distance using their feet to walk, it really doesn't matter that they are covering ground in a most inefficient way.

Dogs don't fly! Left to their own resources, their only mode of locomotion is using their feet, so efficiency is the name of the game to maximize energy. There in lies the problem with poor structure and breeders, as custodians of the breed have a responsibility to know what's right and what's wrong and not perpetuate the wrongs. Not "knowing" is not an excuse and worse yet is knowing and continuing to do so!

I have received way too many correspondences and also photographs of dogs being used in breeding programs that have very obvious structural faults............many detrimental to the longevity of the dog.

Because of this awareness I have instituted an extra requirement with the use of any of our stud dogs. Besides the usual clearances required of each female to be bred to our stud dogs, I am now requiring photographs of the females front, side and rear before I will agree to breed one of our dogs to that female.

I realize that this action will not make a dent in the over all big picture because those breeders that are turned away will be breeding to the stud dog down the block, but at least I will be doing more than talking up a good game, I will also be taking action to back up the talk. From Buddha's teachings....."Actions speak louder than words"!

 

03/19/2013 To answer all those that have been emailing wanting to know how our programs for the betterment of the breed works

Read the following ChambrayPuppyPrimer3 while you are at it, read Primer 1 and Primer 2 as well. This will answer the majority of the questions being asked by all those inquiring minds.

03/19/2013 Great balls of fire! (Jerry Lee Lewis circa 1957)

"Whoa Nelly" (Pat Brady, the Roy Rogers Show, later used by sportscaster Keith Jackson).......seems like every time I bring up the thread about cow-hocks, it sets off the Geiger Counter purring like plutonian would!

The fault is imbedded in some lines of dogs like a Beaver in a dam! It will spring up like a King Cobra from a bush when least expected, sometimes even skipping a generation in between. So, when breeding to the fad of the month dog without knowing what lurks in the pedigree........will certainly leave the flood gates wide open for later to be seen rapids of faults in the progeny.

Breeding is not for the faint of heart, it takes iron-clad resolve to navigate the "what ifs" and later the "whatnots". Many a times it is almost like "what you see is what you don't get" and "what you don't see is what you get"!

Think about it for a moment or two, if it was that easy to produce top quality by just breeding to the top producing dog, then every body would be top breeders and the stark reality is that top breeders can be counted on both hands and both feet and nary one over that count!

One email suggested that I not mention it anymore so that people wouldn't notice it as much!!!!!!!!!!!!!WHAT?????????? That would be like an Ostrich sticking its head in the sand so no one would see it.

Hey, I didn't invent cow-hocks......................I just bring attention to a major fault perpetrated by what seems like a majority of people breeding Labradors and dogs of other breeds. Maybe if I keep stomping, more toes will be stepped on and some good will come of it.

Well one of two things will happen to shut me up about what's best for the breed, hell freezing over and/or the grim reaper having his way with me!

 

03/19/2013 Check one, two, three? I propose a reality check! Waiter, check please.

In order to drive, people have to take a driving test......pass it and are awarded their driver's license..........well, I seriously propose that before people are allowed to read anything on the Internet, that it be required to take a reading comprehension test................pass it and then be allowed to read posts and the like from the Internet! There's way...........way too many knuckleheads that read something as clear as the clearest day in May and get something totally catawampus from the "let's make this perfectly clear" intended message.

03/19/2013 Major strides in the right direction!

It's rewarding to see and hear that some of what I harp about is not falling on "muffed ears and barren brains" (Herzonism)!!!! Hey, I know of barren brains.................I just had one recently!

OUT OF CONDITIONED DOGS - At least one "stand in your own corner" breeder/exhibitor has taken my heeds to head! Looks like the light switch was flipped to the "ON" position and the usually frumpy, "out for a Sunday walk" dogs have received some major boot camp training and the difference is "noche a dia"!

COW-HOCKS - Another area of vast improvement in the recognition department! This past weekend at the dog show, I had 5 different people bring up the subject of cow-hocks, with 3 different owners bringing me their dogs to evaluate for the same. My theory is simple.......if you don't know what it is, you can't fix it! Seeing it is the first step in taking the next step. You don't necessarily throw out the baby with the bathwater...............depending on the range of the condition that is! Giving the anomaly a 1 to 5, slight to severe rating, there is an action for each score.

  • #1 Slight Cow-Hock- poor posture, lack of conditioning, weak topline, could account for some of the cases. A well thought out nutrition and conditioning regimen will work wonders for the majority of the dogs in this category. A deviation of 1/2 inch inwards. Keep the baby.

  • #2 Minor Cow-Hock- the above causes plus some poor feet placement could result in as much as a 1 inch displacement inwards of the hocks towards each other. Both 1 & 2 are dogs that are likely candidates for a breeding program if these are the only Negatives (see previous blogs). Keep the baby.

  • #3 Moderate Cow-Hock- Ok, now we are treading in shark-infested waters with this condition. This is usually a weak looking rear and movement might also be compromised. More than  1 1/2 inches inward are typical for this category. The dog would have to be as perfect as Bo Derek was a 10 for this dog to be kept in a breeding program. If that is the case, keep the baby, if not throw out the whole mess!

  • #4 Serious Cow-Hock- with these dogs, there is usually a series of other contributing conditions such as sickle hocks, tight thighs, east-west feet placement and probably poor hip joint formation. Forget about wasting water bathing the baby, just throw the baby out before bathing!

  • #5 Severe Cow-Hock- I don't even want to go here! Chunk the whole mess and start all over again!

Now here is the clincher to this thread..............................I have seen all 5 of the above conditions at the dog shows!!!!!!What???????????????? Yes, there are some now showing that the hocks actually touch each other when standing when the handler doesn't set them apart! What's worse is that some of these dogs have been put up for points and a few have even been awarded a Best Of Breed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What's with that?????????????????????? So much for basing a breeding program on what some judges put up! What's even worse is that the breeders either can't see the atrocity or just don't know any better....................either way, it's a crime against the breed!

03/18/2013 I'm Back!!!!!!!!!!!! And I told you so!

I was going to take a few more days off to clear the senses but boy did I get a whiff of smelling salts to get me off the old skinny duff!

I just could not let this greatest of opportunities go by and not gloat and say "I told you so!".

Yep, I rest my case for eternity and beyond!

I know that most of you know that my #1 Pet Peeve is all these dogs that are being traipsed around the show ring as cow-hocked as bovine fodder.............................well coming in very close in 2nd place is the moronic idea that class dogs can not win Best Of Breed over specials and maybe win the much needed majors that are nowhere to be found!

So, to prove my point for future's sake, this past weekend a class bitch not only went over several top ranked specials for Best Of Breed, the same judge sent her into the Best In Show competition with a GROUP ONE!!! She goes from 1 point to a 4 point major in a Jiffy John of a moment!

So, the next time someone pulls their class dog so that it won't go over the specials for BOB and maybe take a major...............let's award them the Bass Ackwards Award of Excellence.

 

03/18/2013 She Seconds That Emotion!

Once again........I was proven right by a higher authority!

As another enlightened judge for the day was handing me yet another Best Of Breed with the top ranked Specials Bitch in the country, she remarked "I really liked your dog's rear, I have never seen so many cow-hocked dogs before at a dog show!"

You think she reads my blogs?

 

03/18/2013 Before wild fires scorch the land we stand on!

I understand that there is a current thread at one of those "Burn Them at the Stake Forums" about an email conversation I had with a breeder from parts beyond Florida.

Here is the exact wording of the email I sent to her. "You ought to think about sending some of your youngster down to Florida to show especially your males. Right now the competition is slim with lots of young males and none of them setting the world on fire, including those from Chambray."

This was a half-hearted attempt at getting more dogs to show down here and hopefully make majors since it is obvious the locals are not coming out to play! No where does that email say that the Florida dogs suck. In fact, for the last 5 years in a row not too many shipped-in-from-across-the-Florida-border dogs could do much against our lineup of dogs. So, for those in a tiff, take a chill pill and instead of bellyaching come on out and let's play Ring Around the Rosie* in the Labrador ring!

*By the way, for those cyber surfer academics out there.....do a search on that most favorite nursery rhyme and you will be aghast as to its origin!

 

 

03/11/2013 Stupid is as stupid does!

Me at the recent West Beach dog shows...............no explanation needed for those in the know.

I may not be posting for a week or so until some of the effects from recent medications wears off.

03/08/2013 One Blog Answers All Questions About "What Is It Labrador".

There is only one Labrador Retriever with just 1 name! LABRADOR RETRIEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

No such things as:

  • Lion's Mane Labradors Retriever (from the photo supplied it looked like a cross between a Labrador and a Chow) Let's name this cross the Lo Mein Dog

  • Block Head Labrador Retriever (from the many that I have seen, they look like Mastiff or Rottie or a Pit Bull cross) Good name for this cross would be Matador Dog or Rottorooter Dog or Bullador Dog.

  • Louisiana Long Legged Labrador Retriever (looked like a cross between a Lab and a Greyhound)"Whatthehellisit Dog (for those Saturday Night Live buffs out there, famous 1979 skit between Steve Martin & Bill Murray)

  • Silver Labrador Retriever (most look like crosses between Weimaraners and a Lab) Great name............HiHoSilverAway Dog. I can't wait for the new movie coming out with Johnny Depp as Tonto!*

  • Pastel Dilute Labrador Retriever (the photo supplied looked like the dog from hell....piercing yellow eyes on a faded away light chocolate coat.............even at the Chocolate Lover's Convention it would not be considered a delicacy. Great name "Twinkle Toes Dog..........yeah that's the ticket (SNL Jon Lovitz circa 1985)

Ok, let's lay this absurdity to rest, both the stupidity of all these hybrids, crosses and what have you and my Limpkin attempt at humor. (no freebie here, you need to work a little to get that one)

If it it looks like something else other than a Labrador Retriever, if it reminds you of another breed, if they are marketing it as Blah Blah Labrador Retriever, than you are getting the royal jelly treatment! Unless you like being stooped over, stand up to these perpetrators of fraud and call them out of the outhouse! (another Herzonism)

Here's the revealing clue of the mentality of people emailing me searching for such dribble.....they were just at my website and they see the photos of the dogs there and they ask if I breed these other atrocities! DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PT Barnum was absolutely right with his famous quote "The bigger the humbug, the better people will like it". I bet you thought I was going to quote the one about fools being born every minute!

*By the way, I have a theory and I want to know if anyone else has ever come up with this. In the Lone Ranger, the white guy calls the Indian guy "Tonto" which means idiot or dumb guy, meanwhile Tonto calls the white guy Kimasabe...................in Spanish the opposite of a tonto is a quien ma sabe.............."he who knows more!" So my theory is that the author was making the white guy hero of the book the smart guy and the Indian was made out to be the dumb guy of course he created a smoke screen by spelling "quien ma sabe" as Kimosabe. Hey, it's my theory, anyone else?

03/08/2013 West Palm Beach Dog Show Tomorrow.

Let's see what fodder I encounter this weekend at the dog show to use at this Blogging Off section.

I hear that some are keeping mums around me at the dog shows so that I don't quote or expose them here.

Maybe that's the good that the Blogging Off section is bringing about.........."If you can't stand by what you say enough to be quoted, then keep your lips pressed together!" (Herzonism circa 03/08/2013)

 

03/08/2013 Here's an oldie.

What chases ducks, catches ducks and walks like a duck?

Answer please...................drum roll Richard Starkey.................a cow-hocked Labrador Retriever.

How many had to look up that famous drummer?

 

 

 

 

03/06/2013 It's what's up front that counts......it's what brings up the rear that counts....it's knowing every aspect of what makes a Labrador Retriever a Labrador Retriever that counts...............it all counts and that is what it takes to breed consistent year after year!

.

 

The illustration above shows a correct Labrador front (labeled Normal) and an incorrect front on a Labrador (labeled Terrier)..................what we refer to as a straight front.

Looking at the "Normal" front:

  • the leg is well under the top of the dog's shoulder blades (withers). If you drop a vertical line from the upper most tip of the shoulder blade, it should drop down through the elbow.

  • the elbow is below the chest line

  • the shoulder blade and the upper arm form a 90* angle

  • The distance from the withers to the point of shoulder should equal be equal to the length of the upper arm.

Looking at the "Terrier" front

  • The leg is almost in a straight line with the upper arm

  • the elbow is way forward

  • most dogs with straight fronts also have too short an upper arm that sits higher than the bottom line of the chest

 

03/05/2013 You either have it or you don't!

There's no taking a break from the "big thrill"! Being away from the show ring and continuing having litters signals one glaring fact......................times have past those breeders by and they don't have it anymore if they ever had it to begin with!

Making umpteen excuses as to why their dogs don't show anymore just doesn't cut it. Even if the breeder doesn't have the bucks to show, where are the dozens of litters they have produced and sold to others that may have the finances to take those dogs to the 3 ring circus?

Let's call a "pink elephant a pink elephant" (not politically correct to use the spade saying anymore........of course now we wait to find out what the Society of Pink Elephants has to say). Those breeding dogs to sell puppies......... just admit that is what they are doing.

We've seen them come out with a dog that just doesn't measure up to the competition and then they fade away again. So, when I replied to the email about the dog with a straight front and straight rear and made mention of that particular breeder not having anything worthwhile in 15 years, I could have been talking about a bevy of other breeders that are still "into it" (producing litters) but not "into it" (showing).

The point of this blog.......................if they are still breeding and not showing...........should they still call themselves "show breeders"?

 

03/04/2013 Here we go again..................no I don't name names!

That's a game I don't play! I have been bit on the tush too many times to go there. Besides some of the worst culprits have been doing the same thing for dozens of years no matter how much outing takes place. I don't think setting up a "central clearing house" is the answer because that can lead to major cronyism and vendettas by the moderators as has been done by some of the forums and chat rooms. Before purchasing a dog from show breeders, look around, ask questions of others that have been around the block a couple of times. If there are skeletons in the closet, they will come out doing the lambada!

 

03/04/2013 The value of OFA

I get this question a lot. This is one of those "need to know basis" situation...........like one of those big brother classified "no one should know" stuff. There is a different answer depending on the person's grasp of the big picture or those that don't know there is a big picture!

  • There is a general population answer for those that know nothing about anything

  • There is a "pat on the back" answer for those searching for a puppy that have read up on "what to ask" a breeder but really don't know what they are asking.

  • There is a "caution to the wind" answer to those that know a little enough to get themselves in trouble.

  • There is "middle of the road" answer for those trustworthy individuals that you can count on repeating everything you say to Tom, Dick and Hairless.

  • There is the "look around before you speak" answer.

  • Then there is what you will know when you have been doing this dog stuff for a really, long, long time.

Chances are 99.9999999999% will never reach that last point.

 

03/04/2013 Question on missing teeth

Missing teeth is considered a fault by the breed standard, but in reality, it doesn't affect the function of the dog at all. Breeders and judges need to use common sense when considering what affects the dog the most. I have seen "tooth fairy judges" penalize a dog with a missing tooth and then put up a severely cow-hocked dog! So you have 2 faults, one with little or no affect and a second fault with major consequences for the function of the dog not to mention the long term health and well-being of the dog!

So, missing teeth are way down at the bottom of the totem pole when I am evaluating for breeding. Structural faults that can affect the function and longevity of the dog go to the head of the list.

 

03/04/2013 Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"My breeder/mentor says that as long as both ends match, then it's ok. My dog has a pretty straight front and the rear is pretty straight too. She says we can breed those out of her."

Sounds like you have been sold a store full of Commodore 64 computers! For the young whippersnappers out there, those where the hottest computers back in 1985! They came with 64K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is nothing "pretty" about anything being straight when angles are called for! Somewhere down the laundry list of things that make me aghast are straight rears, probably in the Top 5 of major faults in Labradors, that's closely followed by straight fronts. Of course we all know what heads my dirty basketful of cloths....cow-hocks!

The reason that straight rears are worse than straight fronts is that the wear and tear of the rear joints is 3 times worse on the dog than the wear and tear of a dog with a straight front. The chances for torn ligaments such as ACLs is greatly magnified with lack of angles of the rear.

Of course aesthetically, nothing looks worse than a dog gaiting with a straight front.....giving high fives to the air in front of it as it moves around the ring, where as a dog with a straight rear can compensate by shortening up the rear drive and "look" efficient while gaiting.

As for breeding anything out of a dog..................that's a lasagna made out of malarkey, poppycock and gibberish and as Lucy would say "And tasty too!".

Any dog with 1 major fault drops way, way down in consideration in a progressive breeding program! That dog would have to be loaded with major positives to be worthwhile as a breeding dog.

In my system of evaluating a dog for breeding......special note here.........the evaluation for breeding is totally different than the evaluation for puppies/dogs for show.........I use a 1-2-3 method of classifying all features of a dog. A 1 is a Positive, a 2 is a Neutral and a 3 is a Negative.

So, looking at the dog's front angles, it will receive one of the classifications from above, likewise with the rear angles, the rear from behind, the front from the front, the layback of shoulder, the topline, the outline, the tail set, the head, the bite, the number of missing teeth, the dog's movement and a host of other features that make a dog either great, average or a washout for breeding consideration.

Of course the best dog is one fully loaded with positives. A dog with 75% positives and 25% neutral is worthy, a dog that possesses more neutrals than positives is an average dog. Any dog with a fault is a work in progress and it must possess abundant positives to be considered for breeding.

There's a reason why your breeder hasn't had winning dogs in the last 15 years.

A dog with a straight front and a straight rear is out of here in my breeding considerations.

 

 

03/03/2013 When too much is too much!

No, I don't do Facebook, Twitter or any of the other 300 or so social network media! I don't follow any of the forums or online chat groups either.

I actually spend my time with my dogs and those of the dozens that come for training weekly. When I am not taking care of business physically, I am at work running the vast network of owners that take part in the different programs we offer for the betterment of the breed. A recent tally shows that number to be at around 75 owners/associates/co-breeders/stud dog owners/handling clients and the sort. A good percentage of these people touch base with me on a daily basis.....some multiple times a day!!!!!!!!! Also, I field well over 100 emails from people with Labradors from Hialeah to Timbuktu and every imaginable place in between.

When I do travel to a dog show for the weekend and I get back........there is a huge backup of phone calls, emails and things to do, that takes me 2 more days after I am back and then I am behind those 2 days!

So, now you can see why I don't do anything else......................I don't have the time!

For years, I have been meaning to write a book about all my experiences with Labradors, but a book is a collection of yesterdays and I live so much in the here and now that I don't want to make the time to recall those days gone by.

So, for now my communication with the rest of the planet will come through my website, this blog thing and emails that I exchange with those close to me.

 

03/02/2013 Elaborating on yesterday's blog.

Even litters produced at Chambray Labradors will not guarantee greatness! Not every litter produces that special puppy like one of our great show champions. Any puppy can be the "pick of the litter", but compared to what? If all the puppies in that litter were sub-par, what good is the pick of the litter from those sub-par puppies? That puppy will grow up to be a sub-par show dog at best and a washout at worst.

If a client wants a top quality show pick, then they need to wait until such a puppy is born. Merely accepting a puppy from a supposedly "great breeding" does not ensure Bo Diddley Squat!

Yes, there are some that luck out and actually end up with something in that hit or miss system of placing and buying puppies, but it is rare and extremely far in between.

Here is how rare that occurrence has been in the last 26 years that I have been evaluating dogs brought in from outside show breeders.........with well over 400 evaluations there has only been 1 puppy that caught my attention as a top draft choice. All the rest were so so and ended up being so so adults. Those prior-mentioned 400 or so excludes more than 600 others that came from backyard breeders, puppy mills, pet shops and mail order jobbers with none of those puppies and dogs amounting to much for breeding or for show.

By the way, for those that may inquire as to which one puppy made my day.......he actually didn't come for an evaluation but rather to visit my nightly training classes. Once I laid eyes on him I insisted on evaluating him and convincing the owners that we indeed had a diamond in the rough on our hands. The rest is history as that puppy joined our training and show management programs, finished his AKC championship before he was 2 years old with multiple Best Of Breeds and Group Placement and is now part of Chambray's Stud Dog Management Program, now expecting 2 litters and one of those with one of our all time top champion females, AKC Grand Ch/Int BIS Ch/UKC BIS Ch Chambrays Charmed N Counter..............................that puppy is now AKC Ch/Int Ch Summithills Joshua's Battle Of Jericho owned by Carol and Chip Wilkening.

 

03/01/2013 Even the best bred dogs need training.

Breeding f0r the best and training with the best go hand in hand! Today I evaluated a 11-month old dog that came from an out of state top show breeder.................excellent show potential........terrible training to date!!!!!!!!!!

The owners had "heard" that a dog needs to mature and develop before any serious training takes place................WHAT?????????????????????

The dog is so far behind all those puppies and young dogs showing that it will take months of catching up just to get it to understand how to "stand" correctly. Even the breeder had told them to just "wait" and see how he develops!

At Chambray Labradors we start "handling" the puppies as young as 6 weeks with table work, Leadership Training and general Leader of the Pack mentality. We have also developed a free style training routine using our Block Training Method that starts at 9 weeks of age.

In the past we had special classes for the puppies until they were 5 months old.............that has all changed and for the last couple of years, puppies are introduced to the regular conformation and show training right from the get go!

So an 11-month old dog that shows up with no obedience or show training is so far behind all those that have been coming for class and private training plus some have already been through the show process by competing and some winning points already and there are a few that are not even 9 months old!!!!!!!!!

For those that think that just buying a dog from a "top show breeder" and then enter at a dog show and expect to win something.................there's a huge learning curve up ahead!

In the Florida Labrador ring, it will take top breeding, the best training and conditioning and then the absolute best show management/handling there is if there is any hope of winning points. The bar has been set so high that even the northern breeders are reluctant to send their dogs down to Florida to show for the "easy pickins' they were accustomed to in years long past by.

Now we will see what kind of commitment these owners make with their dog. They have contacted several handlers that will take the dog on to show, but without any training or conditioning, I see a very short ended journey.

 

03/01/2013 Not every puppy from show quality parents will end up being a show prospect.

Too often I receive emails and phone calls from folk that have just purchased a puppy from a "top breeding" and they expect that puppy to become a champion. Well, the chances are certainly much better than having bought a puppy from a pet shop..............but still it is a long shot if the puppy was not the best in the litter and the pairing actually produced as good or better than the parents.

I have had several phone calls from someone that now owns such a puppy and they are concerned that it may not have the quality of the parents. To begin with...............how good was the dam of the litter? If she was an average type of show dog, then most likely the majority if not all of the puppies will tend to be like her in the quality department!

Breeding middle of the road females to the world's top show dog will not produce anything nears the sire's quality! This is not an idle conjecture.....................I will wager money it. It is every breeder's pipe dream to breed to those awesome stud dogs and to produce just 1 semi-awesome puppy. Of course knowing which puppy is that diamond in the rough takes a very critical eye. So if all the stars and planets align for that breeding and even if a near great puppy is produced, being able to evaluate and keep the right puppy becomes the Mt. Everest task.

So what chance does any buyer have of actually obtaining that once in a rare while "out of this world" puppy? Keep in mind that 99.9999% of the breeders out there "keep the best and place the rest"!

Of course by now you should know that at Chambray Labradors...........you want the best and we will make sure that you end up with the best! We breed the best and then we place the best. If you want the best, you will have to be patient and wait until that puppy is present

 

02/28/2013 Disqualifications & Excusals.

There 5 Labrador Retriever breed disqualifications.

Disqualifications

  1.  #1 Any deviation from the height prescribed in the Standard.

  2.  #2 A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment.

  3.  #3 Eye rims without pigment.

  4.  #4 Docking or otherwise altering the length or natural carriage of the tail.

  5.  #5 Any other color or a combination of colors other than black, yellow or chocolate as described in the Standard.

There are other disqualifications that apply to all breeds as well. Dogs that are surgically corrected are not eligible for show. Dogs that attack people or other dogs are DQ'd after the 2nd incident. Dogs that are disqualified may not be shown ever again.

Dog can be excused from the ring for various reasons as well. Lack of merit is at the discretion of the judge. Overly groomed dogs, with excess coatings or powders or colored noses can be excused from the ring. Dogs that act unruly and can not be examined can be excused as well. There are no limits to the number of times a dog can be excused.

 

02/27/2013 Feedback.

"Ok, I get it now, I did all the wrong things in buying my dog from a backyard breeder. I found out they got one dog from a pet shop and then ordered the 2nd one from an online mailorder house (probably a puppy mill). My dog looks nothing like that puppy "Rico" and my dog has those cow-hocks, now what?" Elba Moore NC

The most important thing to do is to love your new puppy. Then make sure that it doesn't ever reproduce and perpetuate the undesirable qualities. Start it on a joint support supplement as soon as possible and keep him on it for the rest of his life. Hopefully the dog's temperament and health are indicative of the breed.

 

"How do you fix cow-hocks, my trainer and hopefully handler says that it can be taken care of?" Jen Lester TX

There is no "fixing" for a structural fault a dog is born with unless it has become detrimental for the dog's well being. However, there are rules that prevent surgically altered dogs from showing. The fact that a handler in the ring can force the legs into a correct stance does not "fix" the problem.

 

"Why do you have such a hangup with cow-hocks?" TL CA

I have a "hang-up" with any deviation from the "correct"! Be it cow-hocks, ill-bred dogs, short-legged dogs, wholly mammoth coated dogs..................anything that is contrary to the betterment of the breed. Since most of the dogs that I see at dogs shows come from breeders with more experience than the run of the mill breeder, most of the dogs at dogs shows are not as "ill bred" as what is seen in the general population. So, what catches my eye the most are dogs that come from breeders that should know better! There happens to be a propensity for cow-hocks coming from those sources. However that does not mitigate my concerns for other anomalies that are detrimental to the breed.

 

 

02/27/2013 There is hope!

*Thank you to all that have emailed in with support of my efforts with the betterment of the breed in mind. The vast majority of those that have emailed since the "Glass half empty" blog have been very optimistic and encouraging.

As one respondent stated "I am one of those ripples that you have created in the still waters, so if there is one, there are bound to be many more".

Boy does that give me hope!

* I understand that a dog doesn't have to be a perfect example of the breed to bring joy to those that own it. However, that alone does not qualify a dog to perpetuate the breed as a stud or as a dam. Having a litter from a "well-behaved dog does not mean that the puppies born will be identical to the 'well-behaved dog".

* Having a litter of puppies for the kids to "witness the miracle of birth" is absolutely the worst reason for bringing in 10 new dogs into the world!

* Form Follows Function - Almost all individual breeds have developed according to the working principle of form follows function. In the case of a Labrador Retriever......initially developed as a water dog, their form developed over a long period of time to facilitate their time in the water retrieving whatever was needed of them. Thus their bodies evolved through selective breeding to be the best breed while swimming in water. The fact that they can also be used on land to retrieve is an added bonus.

However, along the way more has been asked of these awesome water dogs........sometimes to an extreme! Take the case of those involved in hunting trials where speed is essential in receiving top scores. Over a span of several generations of selective breeding for speed, the outline of the dog is changed to reflect more of a "Greyhound look rather than the outline of the Labrador Retriever as described by the world-wide breed standard. So, they call these dogs "field Labradors". So, the form of the dog has been altered by the function required of them by their breeders.

So, yes form follows function.........the problem with the above scenario is that if there were 100 different activities that the Labrador Retriever was involved in with their owner/breeders and each owner/breeder developed their own agenda for breeding according to what suited their activity, in a few generations there would be 100 different looking so-called Labrador Retrievers.............................gee isn't that what we have on our hands right now?

The problem with people breeding whatever pleases them is that eventually all breeds will lose their classic, identifiable look and we will be back with the Heinz 57 Varieties of dogs..............which in reality, we are not too far off with Labrador Retrievers.

As one of the fine folk that I encountered while train/walking "Rico" the young pup from a couple of blogs before this one. "He's really cute, but I prefer the classic American style Labrador with the longer snout and much taller than these English dogs".

AARRRRGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The interesting thing about this English vs. America hogwash is that in England there is no "English type or American type" they refer to dogs as either being "well-bred or ill-bred"! So if it doesn't conform to the outline of what it is supposed to look like.....that's ill-bred!

The worst culprits of the ill-bred type of dogs are the puppy mills and the backyard breeders that breed indiscriminately for the good of money.

a

 

02/26/2013 By popular request.....the correct gait as seen from the rear.

 

[photogallery/photo00007557/real.htm]

 

*The dog moves straight forward as each rear leg alternates underneath the dog's mid-section. This is called "in-lining". Seen from behind the dog's head is always moving straight forward to where the dog is headed.

In the cow-hocked dog, each rear foot placement pushes the dog away from the true forward movement, thus diminishing efficiency with each step the dog takes. If that was all that was occurring, it wouldn't be all that bad, however internally the dogs joints are suffering because of the poor alignment of the joints and bones. This is a structural fault that causes long term joint, ligament and bone problems for the dog.

While were are at it, here is the proper side gait for a dog.

.

  While were are at it, here is the proper side gait for a dog. Notice the rear leg underneath the dog's body comes inside of the front leg that is also underneath the body. In the cow-hocked dog this is not possible, so most cow-hocked dogs tend to crab or drift off true forward heading in order for the front and rear leg not to hit each other. So not only is the gait affected as watching from the rear, so is the dog's side gait impacted as well.

 

02/26/2013 Is the glass half empty or half full? You be the judge!

*The optimist in me wants to believe that there is hope and that somehow the pebble tossed into the still waters will somehow create ripples of change.

*The pessimist in me sees and reads the stark reality that abounds...............that no amount of harping will cause anyone to change their erroneous ways.

*I would truly hate for the glass to be half empty..............meaning that no matter what anyone (me) does or says or writes, that the glass will eventually be totally devoid of water.

*Please, if there are any of you out there that derive some sort of education or impetus to right the course, please, please let me know.

STARK REALITY - 

  • The vast majority that have corresponded with me on the subject of cow-hocks seem complacent with the status quo that exists today in the breed..

  • That if enough dogs display the fault that somehow that makes it ok.

  • That judges are giving wins to cow-hocks dogs therefore it's ok.

  • That "Bigname Labradors" breeds them that way, then that makes it ok.

  • Since the dogs they have are cow-hocked and seem and act ok, then that's good enough for them.

Now, the battle is solely not about cow-hocks as there are other areas where deviations in the breeding of Labradors has taken what I see as being very detrimental detours to the preservation of the breed as it should be.

Way too many people electing to breed them their way.......................way away from the dictums of the breed standard. There are way too many variations of Labradors across the country. It is almost like there are 10 different breeds being labeled Labrador Retrievers.

When that happens, the breed loses its identity. When people have to ask "What breed of dog is that?", then we have a serious problem!

This past weekend in Tallahassee there was a congregation of all types of activities going on at the sprawling North Florida Fairgrounds.

As I walked the show grounds with one of our newest charges in the show ring...............an 8-month old male puppy that won Winners Dog under all 4 judges for the weekend (see Rico below).

.

An important fact that attests to his worthiness as a great representative of the breed as seen by 4 licensed AKC judges.................several people came to ask me "What breed of dog is that?"...............or worse yet "Isn't your dog too fat?"

They all went on to say that the "Labradors" they see "don't look like that". In fact, most had just come from the agility area and had watched several "Labradors" running the course there.

Sure enough, there were 5 "Labradors" running agility for the day. None of the 5 adhered to the world-accepted conformation for the breed, yet the majority of the lay population see it totally different.

My contention here is that if the overwhelming percentage of those breeding Labradors get their way in choosing what traits they prefer, then the true-blue Labradors Retriever will be in dire straits in the very near future, if it already isn't there now!

Someone please email me and tell me that I am being too pessimistic here, that there is hope, that harping and casting of stones will make a difference!    

 

 

 

02/25/2013 Just because other breeders are breeding dogs with faults and that judges are putting up those same dogs for points, doesn't make it right!

*Are we Lemmings or Homo Sapiens? If people jump off cliffs will you? Running a red light at an intersection because the car ahead of you did will not release you from paying the fine! Speeding on a highway because everyone else is speeding doesn't free you from breaking the law.

Dogs that are cow-hocked will produce more cow-hocked dogs no matter how many points it wins, no matter if it finishes and it has a Ch. in front of its name because it will always have a cow-hock on its rearend !

 

02/25/2013 Ok, I take it back, we will discuss a repeating "burning issue" once again since so many have emailed in and several approached me with the subject this past weekend at the Tallahassee shows!

*The dreaded cow-hocks!

.
Double-click to add photos

Correct Rear- In the illustration above seen with the dog standing still, the 1st image shows the hip joint right over the knee joint which is right over the hock joint which is right over the feet...............this is the strongest possible structure that provides stability and reduces wear and tear to each joint involved in movement and standing as well.

Cow-Hocked Rear - The 2nd image shows a cow-hocked rear end with the hocks turned inwards toward each other, forcing the foot placement to be east-west. This stance places most of the weight on the hock joint which increases wear and tear to that joint and greatly maximizes the possibility of ligament failure in the knee joint right above the hocks.

In the 3rd image above are spread hocks (bandy-legged) which we really don't see much of in Labrador Retrievers.

Close Quartered Rear - The 4th image is close quartered highs which we see some in Labrador Retrievers. While not as detrimental as cow-hocks, it is still a major structural fault which places undue outward pressure to the actual hip joint causing degenerative bone disease and arthritis.

The 5th image shows an asymmetrical formation with one side being cow-hocked and the other being more correct. These are also seen frequently in Labradors and they too end up causing bone and joint problems for the dog because of over compensation from the cow-hocked side to the normal side.

 

.
Double-click to add photos

The image above shows the improper gait by a cow-hocked individual. The footfall should be right under the mid section of the dog (in-lining), with each foot facing forward. Above the dog's feet are cast outward away from mid-section and they are also turned east-west. This causes inefficient movement to the sides as each rear foot pushes off the ground causing the dog to drift the other way from the straight line movement that is achieved by a correct rear. So as the left rear legs contacts the ground to create forward drive, it pushes the dog forward and to the right away from the desired straight forward direction. As the right leg reaches forward and comes in contact with the ground, it drives the dog forward but it also pushes the dog to the left. This action of each rear leg pushing the dog away from the intended straight path causes wasted energy and also places undue stress and pressure on all the joints involved in forward locomotion.

 

Now here is where all this gets sticky................out of the 3 people that discussed this subject with me this past weekend, one was a long time "breeder" (no names) who didn't see a "problem" with the above condition and they had bred many dogs that were like "that" and they didn't see any difference in looks or performance!

Houston we have a problem! Not knowing, not recognizing is one thing, knowing and perpetuating the fault is inexcusable! "There are just as many dogs with inwards turned hocks as there are those with the other", is not acceptable either!

Let's not call it "inward turned hocks"................they are out and out COW-HOCKS! The standard calls "cow-hocks" a serious fault! Giving the condition another name does not lessen the severity of the fault!

It is not "inward-turned vs. the other" it is COW-HOCKED vs. CORRECT!................................PERIOD!

 

02/19/2013 No, I have not lost interest in the Blogging Off section.

*Almost all the emails I am receiving lately are repetitious in nature and I have covered all those same issues several times already in previous blogs. Unless I receive some new material to write on, I will save the best queries and answer them once a week.

02/15/2013 How to breed better dogs?

*There is no quick answer here! I truly wish it was that simple, but the truth is that it is not!!!!!!!!!! There are right ways and better ways to start then some, but bottom line is that it will take time to learn all there is to learn and then there is a continuing learning curve for as long as the person is involved in breeding. I liken this process to receiving a doctorate's degree in any discipline. The biggest difference is that no degree is needed to start dabbling into breeding. Another difference is that there are those with beginners luck scoring a "hole in one" without much acquired knowledge. However, those relying on beginners luck will soon run of of gas because the lack of expertise will nip them in the butt much sooner than later!

I have seen it happen over and over again, so much so that after 43 years of being involved with the breed it is very predictable with no exceptions! Those few that got into breeding that lucked out right from the get go, all fizzled out soon there after, none were ever able to capture that "fire" that seemed to glow when they first succeeded without truly knowing what they were doing. That seemingly "lucking out" was really no luck at all, it was more arriving on the scene on the coat tails of others who placed a great producer with them.

For these neophytes, the "proof is in the pudding" moment comes when evaluating their 2nd and 3rd generation. Too often, more like always often................they start out like gangbusters with their first generation and then there is a discernable down hill slide for several generations of produce before a few can change the direction of their downward dive. This reversal only happens with the emergence of expertise! Unfortunately most will fade out way before they right the ship.

Those that stick with it through thick and thin, that take each step as a learning experience, those that draw from the few mentors that will give them the time of day, those that persevere with trial and error and are capable of recognizing those errors and can come up with solutions, those will be the few....................the proud, the ones that succeed.  

02/14/2013 Cow-Hocks Again!

*It seems that there is a thread going on at the Wiscoy Labrador Forum about cow-hocks. First of all let me state that I don't waste any time on that forum or any other gab-fest Internet chat room. I have way too much physical involvement with Labradors throughout the day, plus this website and this Blogging Off section keeps me occupied 24/7!

Back to the cow-hock hot topic. Since I haven't checked out what's going on over there at the dodge-em car, poor excuse for a forum, I will just answer this one email with "one man's thoughts"........................this mans!

Cow-hocks are cow-hocks no matter how you describe them or disguise them! They are "serious faults" according to the breed standard and no matter how many judges overlook them or "put up dogs" with them................they are still serious faults! In fact, in my book they should be a disqualification! If a "perfect to a T" dog that is 1/4 inch below what the standards calls for can be disqualified, then a dog with a serious structural fault should also be banished from the ring! If a "tooth fairy" judge can fault a dog with 1 missing tooth and yet put up a dog that is seriously cow-hocked, then that judged should be tarred and feathered! As Barretta used to say '"You can take that to the bank"!

 

*An email came in lamenting the passing of the breeder where they purchased the dog from! Nothing will change for that dog! The dog can be trained, exhibited and even bred as long as it was placed in Open Registration. Some breeders own the right to the kennel name, so using the kennel name on a litter from the dog will need to be approved by the breeder's estate. In my 43 years with Labradors, I have seen/heard the passing of many Labrador breeders. In 99% of the cases, the kennel ends when the breeder is no longer around. There have been some of the greatest names in Labradors that have gone to the promised land in these last 4 decades and with them went those famous kennel names. For those breeders that were responsible for the top producing dogs of the breed, their kennel names go on through the pedigrees of those dogs. There have been some that bred dogs but had very little impact on the breed since their dogs were not used much by other breeders, these will certainly fade away in several years as new people get involved with the breed and have no connections to those that are no longer around.

 

*Answer to "What makes a breeder a Top Breeder and or the Top Breeder?" In order to qualify anything, there has to be parameters that define a status. For breeders, there are certain accomplishments that can be used to establish them as being Tops, Average or Mediocre or what ever else can be used as a status designation.

  • The breeder that has bred the most champions in a lifetime for a given area.

  • The breeder that has bred the most champions in the last 10 years.

  • The breeder that has bred the most champions in 1 year.

  • The breeder that has bred the most Best In Show winners.

  • The breeder that has consistently bred dogs in the Top Rankings for the breed.

  • the breeder that wins the most Winners Dog and Winners Bitch shows in 1 year

Now, the opposite of the above are those breeders that claim to be a Top Breeder and yet have none of the  credentials listed above and yet they make the claim. So it is up to those seeking a Top Breeder to actually look a bit deeper than the claims before they invest in dogs from those claiming!

Some of those making those outrageous claims, may very well be:

  • Top Breeder of Backyard Dogs

  • Top Breeder of Cow-Hocked Dogs

  • Top Breeder of Ill-Bred Dogs

  • Top Breeder of Too Many Dogs

Get the drift?

 

 

02/12/2013 Really?

Come on folks, some of yous (My Cousin Vinnie) need to know when I am jesting and when I am besting! Case in point, I was jesting about the whole howling bit and the BC and that tongue in cheek little thread (I wasn't jesting about Rachel though).

Serious stuff: "Where do I stand on missing teeth?" Well personally, I live with it myself (flippant), but with the dogs it is a little touchier subject (serious)!

The breed standard calls for Full dentition is preferred. Missing molars or pre-molars are serious faults. Well once again the written standard leaves us with yet another serious quandary! 

"Full dentition is preferred " suggest that there is a choice........then "Missing molars or pre-molars are serious faults" negates that choice and castigates one with a serious fault.

Since I am a stickler for following the breed standard, what I feel is right or wrong doesn't hold much water here. There are no perfect dogs and at times we must weigh what is more important when determining what is less or what is more. My criteria for the following conjecture is based on how any fault can affect the credo of "form follows function" and whether a fault will deter the dog from being able to do its intended function.

If we were to lay out of possible faults that any dog can possess and do that in a from less to worse order, missing teeth would not tip the scales as much as "cow-hocks" or "short upper arms-short legs" or "wrong coats" or "overdone, huge dogs" or "terrier fronts that impede swimming" or a laundry list of items that we deal with when breeding Labradors. So, I take the lesser of 2 evils when considering which faults are more of a detriment than others. Missing teeth is not high on my list.

 

02/10/2013 This Bud's For You!

For those that have complaining that the most recent blogs have been too technical and too serious, I went through 3 years worth of emails in a special folder labeled TCBT (This Can't Be True). So this Bud's for all those looking for light hearted, ridiculous to the bone material!

* "My dog howls at the moon, what does this mean?"

Moon howling has been around since cavemen times. It was first recorded 1 Million BC ago, as depicted in that Rachel Welch movie when she first appeared on the screen...................I remember well myself screeching and howling, not so much at the moon but more at "Rocky"!

More seriously, all kinds of animals have been documented with howling at the moon. Coyotes in the southwest, now in the southeast have done it, wolves in the north have done it, werewolves in London have done it and Bella Legosi was probably the most famous at it, so don't be so alarmed when Fido indulges in expressing his vocal cords, it is alot better than expressing his anal glands!

* "I don't get it, why do dog owners insist on showing dogs? It is demeaning doing that with their the dogs!"

It would be even more demeaning for those owners to go to a dog show, go in the ring and run around without having a dog there..................so the answer is that the owner feels less demeaned with a dog then without a dog at the dog shows!

* I have a problem with people "collecting" their dogs instead of letting them go at it naturally!"

I disagree whole heartedly here because if you let your dogs out somewhere you must go out and collect them back. Some dogs won't know how to get back naturally, so they must be collected.

* " My dog humps his towel, isn't that abnormal behavior?"

You should report him to the authorities because I am sure there are laws against towel molestation.

*"When I throw a ball, my dog doesn't bring it back, doesn't he know that he is a Labrador Retriever?"

Dogs have to be taught things for them to get it! That's where training comes in. He doesn't "know" he is Labrador Retriever unless you let him know that! So before you throw another ball, tell him that he is a Labrador Retriever.

*"My female got pregnant and had a bunch of mixed breed puppies even though we have a purebreed male Labrador, how did that happen?"

Do you have a driver's license? If you do, what state do you live in? That way I can steer clear of that state! Do you remember that bit about the birds and the bees? Well, in your dog's case, there was another dog................a stray boy dog and they got connected buttski to buttski and lo and behold, abracadabra, open sesame 60 days later you and your dog are the proud owners of a litter of puppies that will need loving homes!

* "I just started showing my dog and at the first show a judge handed me a 2nd place ribbon when I had the only dog in my class, can they do that?"

Actually the judge was being nice to you and to the rest of the people showing their dogs that day. He could have excused your dog for lack of merit and your dog would have not counted for the total of dogs present that day.....oooopppppssssss there I go again being too technical and too serious!

 

 

02/10/2013 "Is there any advantage to putting a dog up from showing?"

In our show dog management program we take many things into account when deciding what's best for each dog. So, yes, there are advantages to putting a dog up if it isn't ready to show. Instead of showing, that dog may need lots more training and conditioning to get it ready to be competitive. Putting a dog up may become a 2-edged sword because there will be younger or newer dogs coming up that will be as competitive as the dogs currently showing. In Florida it was customary to show dogs until they were 3 and 4 years old before they finished their championship, that's all changed as a result of our successful breeding, training/conditioning and handling programs. Our dogs are now winning points as puppies and there were 5 dogs that recently championed out before they were 2 years old. That means that those dogs took away points from the older dogs showing, increasing the time by over a year more for those dogs to be able to finish, if they do indeed.

 

02/10/2013 "Where's the beef?"

There is no genetic difference between Labradors in Florida to those from up north! The "physical" difference is more a temporary adaptation to environment than it is anything done differently by breeders. Dogs in colder climates will grow more layers of fat to insolate themselves better in the colder weather. With these extra layers of fat comes a thicker coat, thus the dogs appear to be more substantial in bone and heavier coated than the dogs that have very little cold weather to deal with, especially further down south in South Florida where I live.

Several years back Andy Gonzalez from Greenhead Labradors received a 9 month old female from a Lab breeder from the frozen tundra of northern Canada. The dog looked like a different breed of dog with bone galore and coat never ever seen down here in Florida. 3 months later I saw the dog again and there is no way that I could recognize her unless Andy could point her out to me from among several other chocolate females romping around together. She had blown all that thick coat and had lost most of the extra layers of fat to adapt to the hot weather in South Florida.

 

02/10/2013 Bigger is not better!

* "I own a Labrador Retriever that everyone that sees him says he is the most impressive Labrador they have ever seen! I would like to offer him to you and to other breeders for stud service. He is AKC registered and he is pure yellow (not crossed with the other colors such as chocolate or black). He weighs 125lbs and is much bigger than most of the run of the mill Labs that I see around town. I have many people that want his kids, so I will want the picks of each litter that he breeds to."

If I had a dollar for every email or phone call offering a "great looking" dog as a stud, I would probably have a $1000 dollars extra to spend. The email from the lady above actually was 4 paragraphs long detailing the virtues of her "very big" dog.

There is so much to breeding that it would take a tome to adequately impart the information needed to understand the proper answer to the question about using a dog for stud service. But a reply has to be short and sweet or otherwise the inquirer will press delete!

So, sweet as can be.......................!

  • Conformation: In order for a dog to be used to perpetuate their breed, it has to adhere to the breed standard. It has to be a good example of the breed and maybe even beyond. This is the reason that breeders exhibit their dogs so that knowledgeable judges can determine which dogs are the best representatives of the breed.

  • Clearances: Once it has been determined that a dog is indeed a great representative of the breed, it needs to pass a battery of genetic and health clearances to qualify as a perpetuator of the breed. There are half a dozen DNA test now available that can determine if the dogs are affected (carrying 2 affected genes), carriers (carrying 1 affected gene) or totally clear for that anomaly or disease. Besides blood tests, there are radiographs performed on several joints and ultrasound and Doppler performed on organs that will detect certain conditions that could be a problem at the least and lethal at worst.

  • Pedigrees: Delving deeper into animal husbandry, the research and study of pedigrees is instrumental in producing succeeding generations of superior quality. There are many alternatives to consider with the use of a dog's ancestry to produce those traits that are revered in each breed.

Right off the bat, a Labrador Retriever that is the biggest anyone has ever seen, no matter how much attention it receives by the lay public.......is not representative of the breed standard. In fact, there may be a provision in the standard that may apply to this particular dog. There is a size limitation disqualification for Labrador Retriever males of not being any taller at the whithers than 25 inches. There is also a guideline about the dog's weight, so that a dog that is 125lbs may be over 40lbs too heavy. There are other conformation agendas that may preclude this dog from being used to perpetuate the breed. However, just the fact that the dog is way too tall and way too big would be enough to not be considered for breeding. So with this particular person, my recommendation was to just enjoy the dog and not be too concerned about producing more dogs that are not representative of the breed. Of course I know too well how this will be received by the owner of the dog.

 

02/08/2013 Build your breeding lines on the maternal side of the pedigree!

* "You have stated before that it is the females that bring in more than 50% to a breeding and in your last blog you attribute the greatness to the stud dogs, which is it?"

Most of the great legends of the breed that published their ideas and expertise in books about Labrador Retrievers more or less believed in building their kennels using strong maternal lines to perpetuate consistency in their produce. I too have been an advocate of building a breeding line using females bred to top stud dogs, keeping the best females from each breeding and using them for the next generation of puppies. By establishing a strong maternal line, the produce will reflect those great qualities of the maternal side of the pedigree to the tune of about 65 to 70%.

Using this formula for success, you bring in traits from stud dogs that your bitch lines need, but your heart and soul is produced by your girls. Of course, the stud dog must possess and pass on those desired traits in the first place.

So, I firmly believe that my females give me at least 70% of what I am looking for in the next generation and the stud dog I select will shore up any weaknesses in my lines without changing my main look.

* "I kept 2 males from a recent litter, how do I know which will be the better producer? Each one has something the other doesn't."

You would probably fair much better buying one of those scratch off tickets and winning a hot dog than to have a great producer from 2 puppies you kept from a litter! The fact that neither dog is what you want should tell you that something is missing in each dog! There are probably 100 top stud dogs in the country right now that are available and can be used in many breeding programs. You would have to keep 10,000 puppies to get to the level that these stud dogs are at. So, it is wise and best to use those 100 dogs that have already made it, then to try and achieve any success with one of those other 10,000 dogs.

* "Throughout your website you boast that it takes top breeding, top training, top conditioning, and top handling to be as successful as you are. So, without all those things put together, does that mean that you really are not breeding the best dogs since it takes all the other things to be successful?"

I love the word "convoluted"! This is one of those times that a "little knowledge is a dangerous thing", so wrap up convoluted and a little knowledge and you have the contestants on the Judge Judy show!

Duh, if you are going to compete anywhere, you need to come prepared. You need to create edges in every aspect of your game. You need to be the best over and over again under every possible condition there is.

First you breed the very best, then you take those dogs and train them to perform at their very best, condition them to look their very best, go in the ring and handle them your very best and if you have done your very best to be the best that can be in your area of competition, then you should be as successful as Chambray is and has been for the last 15 years!

02/08/2013 Stud dogs do not perform miracles!

* "I just bred my best female (photo & pedigree attached) to "Ch Sam The Sham And The Pharoahs" (made up name), what do you think I should expect from this breeding?"

* From my own experiences with breeding Labradors (43 years worth), with over 20 of my own champion males and scores and scores of other dogs that I knew which had finished, less than 4% end up being good producers! That's about 1 in 25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So out of 100 that looked pretty, 96 produced diddly squat and only 4 perpetuated their admirable qualities to the succeeding generation.

Those percentages are nothing to write home about! I would hate being a betting man (which thankfully I am not) and having to wager my hard earned money on those odds. But guess what, every time that someone breeds to champion stud dogs, that's the odds they are looking at................................unless that dog has proven itself with great get!

Just being a champion guarantees absolutely zilch! Just in our area alone there are dozens of dogs that have been campaigned out of the classes at more shows than can be remembered, finally finished and never to be heard from ever again.....................including some of my own champions.

In the breeding vernacular the word "prepotent" is used for a male of any species that stamps his traits at a higher percentage and to a large sector of the females it is bred to. A great stud dog is one that passes those "wanted" genes to several generations beyond himself!

In Labrador Retrievers there have been a dozen or so such dogs in the last 30 years (we could go further back, but most in the breed today only have connections to those dogs 3 or 4 generations deep from their dogs).

One of the greatest "prepotent" Labradors ever was Receiver Of Cranspire which will be found in almost every champion stud dog today, probably 4 to 10 generations back, so he would have diminishing effect in the minds of those dabblers with less than 15 years into the breed. So, for those of us that are still around and going strong since the 1980's, we can still relate to the enormous effect that this prepotent dog has had on the breed

So great was this dog's genes that his looks and attributes could be seen in litters 4 or more generations beyond him. If a line breeding was done with a male and a female that went back to "Receiver", then "his" traits were brought back just as if though he was the stud dog used.

The Chambray lines go back to Receiver 7 to 8 generations ago and his traits are still the predominant look of our lines. Through successive/alternating out-crossing and linebreeding, I have been able to maintain those characteristics that made Receiver the go to dog from 1984 to even today with the most influential Labrador breeders in the country. 

So, to answer that burning question of what will that particular dog bring to your breeding.......let's hope he is that 1 in 25 champion dog that is prepotent with his admirable genes.

02/07/2013 Hope loves company.

* "Hope is eternal".................so many emails have come recently concurring with the "right way" to go with the breed.................I even got one from a breeder that has traditionally bred the shorter type of dogs. If that isn't encouraging, then I don't know what is.

 

02/07/2013 Everything is beautiful!

"Everything is beautiful in it's own way. Like a starry summer night. On a snow covered winter's day."


 * I emerged from the cold, sterile, walled-in environment....................a place where people go when their systems no longer follow the normal modes..................out into the most beautiful sunny day................where the sky was the bluest I have seen in many a year...................where the leading-edge to a cold front breeze smacked my face leaving me with a "thanks I needed that!"

The attendant kindly warned me not to get up too suddenly from the wheelchair she had just wheeled me out into the midwinter, breezy, cool for Miami day. I had wanted to just walk out on my own power, but hospital policy calls for the attendant to do her job and and push me out to the curb, where it is then ok to go about the country.  

For those that have been following my recovery from near cardiac failure just 6 months ago, this most recent heart procedure is another huge hurdle in the road to full health. The old ticker is now thumping away the way it is supposed to and barring any encounters with worldly meteorites, I should be ok to resume my physical ways of yore!

Thank you all that have sent prayers, thoughts, vibes, karma, kudos and warm feelings my way............it worked!

"And everybody's beautiful in an own way."
 

02/02/2013 Repetition!

* "Reading through your past blogs, there are a lot of subjects that you keep repeating, why is that?"

Those are the subjects that come up the most....on a daily basis in dozens....scores of emails! Same old, same old!
There seems to be this "I want instant answers to my questions and I want them now!" attitude, probably brought about by the ease of the search engines. Not many want to do the research and read up in depth. They just want the "icing" on the cake without slicing deeper......just answer the question in 5 words or less, anymore than that most will surf on to another site or click delete on a reply. All the subjects covered in the blog section, have been covered in extreme depth in countless articles found at the Reference Library section.

02/02/2013 "Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel. It's a new dawn. It's a new day."

* As the characters around ringside come and go through the months and years, so does the ambience! The dynamics of a group are determined by the players and their inter/extra relationships. Clouds are lifted when those with clear agendas become the main participants.

Changing the subject:

* "What is 2nd on your "fix it" list, besides rears?" I had to really think about this one for a while and sort out what in the long run affects the breed the most.

At first thought, fat, out of condition dogs being traipsed around the ring really gets my ire in a tiff, however, this is a temporary condition for that individual dog and really has no long lasting effect when breeding.

The more I pondered the question and reached deep for an answer, I came to the realization that what I have always held as my main peeve (cow-hocks in the breed), will take a 2nd or even a 3rd place to a couple of other "alterations" brought about by breeders.

So, instead of one thing that needs fixing, there are two areas that have altered the look of the Labrador, thus changed the function as well.

#1 has to be the short, squatty dogs. This fad or trend has totally changed the breed to look like something else. George Bragaw once told me that "if a dog you see reminds you of another breed, then it no longer is a good representative of the original breed". With the majority of short dogs, it is the upper arm that has been adulterated the most. So not only does the outline of the dog appear to be out of kilter, the function of the dog will suffer proportionately when swimming and when gaiting. Fortunate for me I won't have to see these as much because at the all-breed dog shows there are not many dogs that show up that fit that description.

Just to put this condition in perspective with the breed standard and not to make it a whim of mine..........the blue print for the breed calls for the following dimensions...........distance from ground to mid-elbow equals distance from mid-elbow to top of withers.............no way, no how on those short, squatty dogs.

#2 the over-coated dogs rank 2nd in the changing of the look of the dog. Here it is mostly the look that changes, where as function is only moderately sacrificed. There are various types of wrong coats being perpetuated across the country. The standard calls for "short, dense and course to the feel". see the following

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.

  • Not long, thick and bushy

  • Not curled up and wirery

  • Not open-coated and blown dried backwards

Dogs with incorrect coats "look" like another breed! I have seen some that resembled the Flat Coat Retriever with long straight hair, there are others that remind me more of a Golden Retriever with long, soft, and very bushy not al; what a Lab should have. I saw one the other day that looked like a giant Schipperke with straight open coat that had been blown dried backwards.

Although cow-hocks still raise my hackles the most, there are a couple of "atrocities" being perpetuated on the breed that rank higher because of the long range effect they will have, maybe forever........hopefully not!

 

 

 

02/01/2013 Information please?

* All of the information that is relayed to hundreds if not over a thousand visitors a day comes from my experiences with Labradors, so the burning question from many of "where do you get your information" is now laid to rest. So, no there are no books that I can recommend, no videos and no other website for that matter! If you want more info, then visit regularly and ask.

* Subject matter covered here at the blog is usually in response to an email or to conversations at dog shows or to the rare phone call that I have time to answer. Sometimes the responses published here are timely and at our times I save possible material and answer that later. This blog is now freeing me from having to answer individually the scores of emails that come in daily. Most of the questions that come in are repetitions in nature, so one answer here at the blog takes care of dozens of people with the same query.

*No I have no hidden agenda anymore towards anyone in particular. (read in between the lines in that first sentence). Our programs are 100% positive and all geared for the betterment of the breed. Unfortunately, the very nature of competition........................plus our overwhelming success at the dog shows brings about some animosity and envy from those that do not fair so well. I have stated this before, but it keeps coming up, we are not against any breeder or exhibitor, we are totally for those dogs that are part of our management program. We give those dogs and their owners our entire expertise in all matters that concern Labradors. Each of the Herzons goes all out for each of the dogs that we handle in the ring. It is what every handler should do and if they don't then they should hang it up. Lately the atmosphere at the Florida Labrador ring seems to be somewhat more laid back and
not as uptight as had been for quite some time. "Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel. It's a new dawn. It's a new day!"

02/01/2013 Competition brings out the best conformation at the dog shows

* Answering another recent emails. Yes, it is getting more and more expensive to show dogs. Entries fees have gone up as have handler charges..............not to mention the cost of traveling and food. In a way, this has caused some of those dogs that just don't have it, to drop out along the way. This by-product has made the competition at dog shows reach a new high with the conformation quality of the dogs also rising. In Florida the bar has been raised 5 years in a row by the success that our management program has been experiencing.

When I approach a weekend of dog shows, I no longer consider that outside dogs the competition for any of our dogs, actually it has come to pass that the dogs in the management program have become their own competition for the wins at most shows.

 

02/01/2013 "What one thing do you attribute to your successes at the dog shows?"

Just received this one and I had to think deeply before replying, in fact I advised them to check the Blogging Off page for an answer because it would take me while to come up with the sought out answer that would also benefit others with the same query.

Wow, there is so much involved in putting together the most successful breeding/training/conditioning & handling program of its kind. But if I had to put my finger on just one item, it would be my ability to project into the future the potential of a puppy at the crucial 7 week period. This ability is the "make it or break it" of any breeding program.

I know I have covered this many times in this Bogging Off section and also in numerous articles I have penned and published. The difference between the top puppy and those that come behind can be the making of a champion or the spinning of wheels for an inordinate amount of time with a dog. At 7 weeks, most puppies look the same to 99% of those looking at them........to me it is as clear as clear can be and I have made very few mistakes all these years.

The tremendous advantage I have over all other breeders and litter evaluators is that I get to keep up with the majority of puppies in each litter Most of the puppies I place participate in one form or another in our vast offerings which allows me to gauge how they develop and how they end up as adults. That then becomes the "proof is in the pudding" Kodak moment! I have had whole litters stay within the boundaries of our management program and I have watched them grow up in the same exact order of conformational quality that I projected for each one of them at 7 weeks old. That is a huge advantage over those that evaluate a litter and never see how their selections turn out.

I recently had a call from one our Chambray owners that has an interest in a litter outside of our management program. They wanted to know what I thought of the breeding since one of the dogs involved was bred by Chambray.

My reply was "The litter as a whole should be outstanding. There has to be 1 puppy that sparkles beyond expectations and then there must be one or two more that will have potential."

Now, in all honesty each and every pairing made looks world class on paper. If all the stars, moons and whatever else is floating out there in the universe lines up the right way, then there is likely to be some awesome puppies in each litter. It doesn't always work out that way. I have had several litters where nothing stood out no matter how great the parents seemed to be. In fact there were 2 litters where no evaluations were made because everything looked sub par..........all placed as pets and years later I got to see most and I am glad that I didn't just take the "pick of the litter" and place it as show quality!!!!

There was a recent litter of 8 puppies where we stopped evaluating at 2 puppies and all the rest were ear-marked as pet quality, so much so that the person that just contacted me about this outside litter was advised that there was nothing in that litter that I would place with her.

Just looking at the 7 most recent champions from Chambray that just finished within the last year:

  • BIS BBE Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter #1 puppy out of a litter of 7 (champion at 14 months)

  • BBE Ch Chambrays First N Counter #2 puppy just a split hair behind the above. (champion at 18 months)

  • Bronze Gr Ch WinQuest Chambrays Reaching For The Stars # 1 puppy by far in that litter (champion at 17 months)

  • Gr Ch Chambrays Summer Breeze #1 puppy

  • Ch Chambrays Rum Tum Tugger #1 puppy by far

  • Ch Chambrays Handsome Island Boy Louie #1

  • Ch Chambrays Diamond Destiny #1

This list can go at length with great champions such as Hogan, Charm, Cher, Cadbury, Scarlet, Bailey, Dakota and the other state record 35 home-bred champions. Also the ability to evaluate outside dogs and bring them into the management program has produced champion such as:

  • Ch Carmays Ruff Around the Edges (Hogan's sire)

  • Am/Can Ch Ge\randquest Chambray Slapshot

  • Ch Dan Jacs Steppin Our At Carmay

  • Ch Kai Dens Chambray Conquest

  • Ch Chelons Emma Ducka

  • Ch Surry's Obscured By Cloud

  • and most recently Ch Summithill's Joshua's Battle At Jericho

So, in wrapping up with this blog, the critical eye is the catalyst for all the next steps that are needed for success. It is the difference between constant winning success or once in a while "hit the jackpot" as there are some that do.

 

02/01/2013 Mentors, mentors, everywhere......the first as bad as the last!

This was the lament of a recent email from a very disillusioned owner. In fact, owner of 4 Labs she had purchased from different breeder/mentors. Seems that she had gone through 5 mentors and none had taken her to the promised land. Each trashed the mentors before, each let her down along the way, all ended up on bad terms with each other.

After some back and forth emails, I discerned that the fault laid more in the owner than the supposed mentors. She had connected up with breeders that had little or no credentials.......out of the 5 mentors she had gone through, 3 had never finished a single dog at the AKC level and only one had finished a champion that they had bought from Chambray!

The moral of the story: If you follow someone that falls off cliffs......you too will be left a cliff hanger! A person is successful for many reasons, in the Labrador world knowledge reigns supreme! There are very few "lucky" stories in our breed. Because of the tough competition and the great numbers of dogs competing at the dog shows, it becomes very difficult to being successful. In other breeds, dogs are championed in a couple of months regardless of their quality. In some breeds, 4 dogs is a major pointed show and one breeder can bring all 4 of those dogs and win majors for most of them by rotating them around to benefit the "chosen" dog for the day to win.

02/01/2013 The landscape has changed in Florida......quote the raven!

In year's past it would take 2 to 3 years of showing to champion a dog. On the average most good dogs were 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years old, maybe even 4 when they finally received their show title. That's all changed with Chambray's Total Show Dog Management Program. In the Florida area our programs have raised the bar for all other show breeders.

There are now 2 different observable success curves at the Florida dog shows, the Chambray-managed dogs versus all the other handler's, breeder's and exhibitor's dogs success chart.

The Chambray dogs are winning points at a much younger age which of course takes the wins away from the competition's older dogs. Just in the period between March of 2012 and January 2013, our breeding & management programs have finished an unprecedented 4 new champions all under the age of 2 years old in less than a year's time!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus, in that same time span our programs have finished a grand total of 8 new champions! In addition, there were another 14 dogs that were born between 2010 and 2012 that were racking up the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch awards.

Those astonishing winning numbers from our breeding & management programs has totally changed the amount of time that those dogs outside of our control now need to champion out. It now will take those outside dogs 3 times longer, 3 times as many shows and then we are seeing many of those that have been showing for several years just dropping out altogether because time was running out on them.

Of course the above has created a lot of unhappy campers (breeders, exhibitors and even some handlers) that have not been able to rise to the occasion. The writing had been on the wall for over 12 years of what was being accomplished, but most refused to accept what was transpiring right in front of them.

The Chambray presence and influence has grown outside of Florida:

  • It was very apparent at the national level with the 2011 and the recent 2012 Eukanuba National Championships where Chambray led the Honor Roll Qualifiers with 5 dogs in 2011 and upped the ante to 7 qualifiers in 2012.

  • For 2012 Chambray led the country's Labrador breeders with 6 new champion.

  • Dominating the wins at the 2013 Winter Circuit where northern dogs traditionally came down and trumped the local competitors.

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

 

 

01/31/2013 No Eminent Solutions on the Horizon!

* I hate to state this................but there are no solutions to the inconsistencies of the Labrador Retriever.......and the worst part is that it will get worse! The differences are growing exponentially with each new generation of dog produced by the thousands that dabble in breeding! The variables are compounded and the results are getting to where more and more people ask "What kind of dog is that?, because "Labradors" look so different depending on who the breeder or mass producer or puppy mill that bred them!

Even the purportedly stalwarts of the breed, show-minded folk can not decide what's what! Honestly, there appears to be half a dozen different looking dogs that are considered Labradors. If the show breeders themselves have so many versions of the breed, imagine what general Joe Public is breeding!

Educating those searching for a Labrador puppy has gotten more difficult as the years go by. There are many that request the "America Labrador".............there is no such thing! Others email on wanting the "big headed English Labrador.............once again no such thing! Funny thing that in England they don't have the "English Labrador", over there the terminology is much simpler than here in the states. A dog there is either a "Well-bred Labrador Retriever" or an "Ill-bred Labrador Retriever".

All these differences................I used to think about it all the time and tried to come up with some type of solution to the problem.........................now I realize that a run away train is just that and there ain't no stopping that locomotion..........................same thing goes for the plight of our breed!

Many will end up with the "Ill-bred" variety, and the few that research and become informed with the breed will hopefully obtain one of the "Well-bred" type!

01/31/2013 Let it be known!

* Yes, I am a mentor and yes I consider myself to be one of the top authorities of the breed! I wasn't born that way and it didn't come easy. In fact it took almost 15 years of serious trial and error, mostly error before I got anything right. For the younger whippersnappers out there, keep in mind that from 1970 to 1985 telephones were the rotary type and professional answering services were the only way to get messages. Computers were the size of minivans and most of the real useful ones resided in think tanks across the country.........."Al Gore" had not invented the Internet yet (lol) and any information on the breed was from books that were 25 to 40 years old!

There were greats of the breed, but linking up with any of them was near impossible! Getting one of them to take you under their wing was like winning the lottery! When they spoke, it was like EF Hutton had just piped in, everyone listened! Pearls of wisdom emanated with every word spoken by them. I had the great fortune to have spoken on many occasions with George Bragaw of Shookstown Labradors..................monumental legend extraordinaire in more ways than one! This giant of a man loved the breed inside out and spent most of his free time with every aspect of the breed. There were others who penned columns in magazines, while others held impromptu breed standard sessions at specialties, all-breed dog shows and other canine oriented gatherings. Unfortunately time has a way of passing and along with that time all those great legends of the breed are now long gone.

That brings us to the present where those of us that were wet behind the ears and other places not needed to be mentioned here, have now become the elder statesmen and women as ambassadors to the breed just as did the Bragaws before us. I have derived so much from my involvement with the breed, in fact during a time of great illness, it is what kept me going physically and economically to be able to get back on my feet as a man and provider for my family.

Today, my whole essence is to perpetuate the awesome qualities of the breed through our Labrador Total Show Dog Management Program, based on my 43 years with the breed, includes mentorship to any that have the betterment of the breed as their mission.

 

01/31/2013 Knowing what strengths and weaknesses are. How to cook up a pot of savory knowledge!

* This ability comes with experience. You won't "get it" from reading the standard alone, you won't get it by listening to any purportedly "authority" on the breed. You won't even be able to get much from watching the judging at dog shows. It comes from first hand involvement with the breed over a period of time accumulating knowledge from every source there is. It comes from being able to grab on to useful facts and to be able to get rid of biases and incorrect fads and tendencies.

  • The Breed Standard provides a written blue print for how the dogs must look like, but it is only in writing so way too much is left to the imaginative, interpretive abilities of the reader. There is no way that anyone can build a Labrador Retriever or any other breed for that matter from just reading and understanding the breed standards for those breeds. Unless you have actually seen the dog or have photos to appreciate the actual look of the dog, just reading about it will not conjure an image what so ever. This is why I have been a proponent of using photos and illustration as part of each breed standard in addition to the written portion for each breed.

  • There are way, way too many people that claim expertise within a particular breed. There are those that just get into the breed that begin to spout forth their newly acquired knowledge to anyone that stands still long enough in one place. Of course their newly acquired knowledge could be as wrong as a day is long! There are even those long time into breeding and even into showing that are as clueless now as they were when they first got into the fray of the sport! So, of what good can any of these "experts" be to anyone wanting to learn?

  • Learning by watching what judges put up. Talking about steering the ship up the Coulee Dam.....not the way to go at all. There is just too much water to swallow with the variables of judging. This topic could be a blog a mile long, but because of rules and regulations, Homey will stop short and just leave it at this........do not base your knowledge on what judges put up or award points to until you acquire the basic knowledge of what is correct and proper for the breed.

  • Trial and error.................unfortunately becomes the best mode of learning! Unfortunate because the errors made lead to mistakes that actually produce living things that others eventually end up with. What is important here is to study up, read, talk, ask questions, attend shows, surf to different Labrador breeder's website and probably the best bet if you can find one is to latch on to a successful breeder as a mentor!

  • Mentorship............the absolute best way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By researching and acquiring as much knowledge of the breed as possible, a realization will emerge sooner or later and that reality will be that there are a few truly gifted individuals that have put it all together and are the most successful with their breeding programs in any given area. Filtering out all the purported "know it alls" and realizing who the real deal is will take time as there are pseudo mentors at every nook and cranny all around you just waiting to blurt out their opinions on every subject imaginable...............the wrong place to learn! Success is the key to finding that mentor that will aid in limiting the amount of mistakes made in the beginning of the journey to becoming a knowledgeable breeder. So, the field ahead for anyone new is to navigate through a gauntlet of land mines (pseudo mentors).

How do you know who a mentor is? First look into credentials................are they successful at what they do? Anyone can breed dogs........it doesn't take much, other than a male and a female in heat.....let them run loose in a backyard and watch nature take it place..................60 days later watch nature once again provide for the perpetuation of the breed by spewing forth a litter of newborns.

Anyone can pay for entries at a dog show and arrive with dogs in tow...............proceed to romp around the ring with Pooch pulling the way and then claim to be show breeders! There are even those that have been into the fracas of breeding and exhibiting for umpteen years and have very little to show for their long exerted toil.

The best mentor is the most successful one. They are the ones that somehow have figure it out like a fine chef cooks up their favorite recipe, they arrive at expertise probably through globs of trial and error; adding a humongous dose of reading the standard; filtering out large amounts of useless gab; sprinkling in gleaned info from attending many shows and watching a consistent menu of judging; listening intently to that successful mentor and filing away what they do and say.

Take all the above and stir it all up and let simmer for several years until it becomes a tasteful pot of acquired know-how, then proceed to perpetuate in like fashion.

The recipe to knowing weaknesses and strengths!

 

01/30/2013 Homey eats crow

* Talking about others having foot in mouth disease (see the next blog).............yours truly was one of those lamenters recently about the value of the judge's selections......................then in the end she awards Best Of Breed to one of our champions..........instantly she is a great judge!

 

01/30/2013 Shhhhhhhhh............it may end up at his blog!

I understand that this blog has a life of its own.........so much so that there are many that are watching what they say at the dog shows in fear of reading about it on Mondays after the weekend shows!

Well, that's a huge "Positive" (see my positive/neutral/negative blog somewhere below). Since most of those have nothing really important to say, now they have valid reason not to say anything at all! The Blogging Off section proves once again to have tremendous value besides educating, bringing to light the good, the bad and the ugly and now from what I now hear it is eliminating the dreaded "foot in mouth" disease!

 

01/30/2013 More laments!

"I don't care if his dogs win, I will keep breeding my dogs the way I like them!" Of course she was referring to me and our top champions and winning class dogs.

Here again we have someone complaining because her dogs don't even place when there are more than 4 in the same class. In several years of showing, I have never seen any of the dogs win their class unless it was the only dog there. Yet, she lets it be known that she will continue to plod on with what she is perpetuating regardless that the judges that are licensed to preside over the breed do not appreciate their value or merit.

 

01/30/2013 Different Strokes For Different Folks!

"I'll never show under that judge again" came the lament from the seemingly tired exhibitor, hanging in there long-time Lab breeder.

Well, if I had her dogs, I would never show to any judge that values movement! Getting from point A to point B seems like a real big deal with most of the dogs she has traditionally brought to the show arena. Read the following:

Above all a Labrador Retriever must be well balanced, enabling it to move in the show ring or work in the field with little or no effort. The typical Labrador possesses style and quality without over refinement, and substance without lumber or cloddiness.

Moving with little or no effort.........without lumber or cloddiness! This is straight out of the breed standard.

That particular judge breeds English Field Cockers and boy can they move...............probably the best moving EFCs in the country, so when he judges other breeds, movement is what catches his eye, then if the dog adheres to the breed standard........that will be his choice.

Fat, out of condition dogs that are huffing and puffing with one go around in the ring are not what the breed standard calls for. So, yes, it would be a great idea not to enter these dogs under those judges that value what the breed is supposed to be.

Of course most that are the usual "no win" types need to have something to whine about. Remember winners never whine and whiners seldom win! Instead of seeing what the problem is, they look to make out some type of nefarious goings on as to why they don't do well in the very competitive world of dog shows.

01/30/2013 Ok, now we are cooking with Spam!

I have been receiving an unusual amount of email concerning "fault breeding" and how to either improve or eliminate those faults from a breeding program. That is a huge step in the right direction........admitting that there is a problem!

Knowing what you are working with now opens up the possibility of doing something about it. There are no guarantees that the problem will be solved immediately or even ever, but if nothing is done about it in the first place, then nothing will come of it at all!

I use a "strength" test when evaluating any aspect of a dog for breeding and even for showing (2 totally different avenues). When I look at a dog's anatomy, say the rear, I categorize it in either of 3 degrees. It is either a Positive, a Neutral or a Negative. Of course any dog with more than 3 areas that are negatives shouldn't be bred or shown. That's way too much baggage to address, unless you have a 3 to 4 generation improvement program in mind.

So when considering a breeding I use those "strengths" to shore up any weaknesses (Negatives and even Neutrals) in the hopes that a good percentage of the progeny inherits the strengths over the weaknesses. In my book this is called Improvement Breeding.................improving upon those areas that are lacking.

Since genetics follows a mode of inheritance, it is wise to remember that weaknesses will be carried in the recessive form and not be obvious to the eye. So, puppies born from a parent with a weakness may be carrying that weakness in the recessive and could pass it on at a 50% to its offspring. Which means that care has to be taken in the next generation of breeding and not to breed to dogs that are known to carry that same weakness.

Some faults are relatively easy to improve upon in one generation, others are like carrying nitro glycerin around in your back pocket! They can blow up on you at any given point in time in your breeding program. My main peeve in Labradors...........gee by now you must know.................is cow-hocked dogs! Interesting enough, it is one of those that can be addressed in 2 generations of breeding.

The main Chambray line of dogs, now 9 generations strong is known for their perfect rears........probably the best in the country, which makes them the absolute best moving dogs in the Labrador ring anywhere in the country. These are not idle boasts or back patting mumble jumble, the proof is in the pudding with our domination of champions and wins throughout the states we travel to. However the greatest accolades come from the judges that see our dogs and compare them to those across the country where they have been judging in.

Throughout the years our Improvement Breeding Program has brought in outside lines , each known for those traits that are considered valuable to a breeding program. Some of those dogs are into their 4th or 5th generation within our Breeding Management Program, it is there that we can compare how superior our main Chambray lines is in the rears department. Of course those other lines may have certain aspects that may be stronger than the main line and that is why they are part of our Big Picture when it comes to Improvement Breeding.

Hey, keep the feedback and inquiries coming.

 

 

01/29/2013 "Since your dogs and some of the other Florida Labs did so well at this year's Winter Circuit, does that mean that the northern dogs did not have the quality as in year's past?"

* Not at all and to intimate that is just rebel rousing! The professional handlers that descend down to sunny Florida in January contract up dogs that need majors to finish from top breeders from various states in the North East. Many of those dogs were dominating the wins in their area. Breeders and owners of those dogs are not going to spend a sizable amount of money sending them down here if they were not their best dogs. So, to answer that burning question (like in it smelled like a hot potato to me), the quality of the northern dogs were as good as any year's worth that made the long trek to our sunshine state!

And as Ralph Renick would sign off each night after his news show "Good night and may the good news be yours".

01/29/2013 One for the books!

* "If over a period of time the majority of dogs showing would display a certain feature, wouldn't that mean that the breed's form was evolving because of its function?.....thus form follows function! In the case of Labradors now displaying more of the inward hocks."

Whoa Nelly! This is really convoluted logic! First of all let's call a spade a spade...........inward hocks are COW HOCKS! Let's not window dress them. No matter how many you see.........they are all wrong for the breed! Secondly, all those dogs that you see being cow-hocked haven't evolved because they are doing any function at all, they are that way because those breeding them don't know any better!

Since I am on a roll here, let's also mention some of the other "not in the standard" and certainly not evolving because of function faults and fads!

  • Short-legged individuals, mainly those with short upper arms! What, those have evolved because they are doing retriever work closer to the ground, like picking up acorns? I don't think so!

  • Overdone chest and shoulders.........what the ducks have evolved heavier and the dogs need to look like Arnold?

  • Long, thick bushy coats..................Is global cooling coming and the dogs are evolving luxurious coats in anticipation to the coming of the next ice age?

  • Fat out of condition dogs.............yep, you guessed it..............they are evolving right along with humans to be couch potatoes!

 

01/29/2013 Breed Points & how the AKC comes up with the Point Schedule for each breed.

* "I was wondering why the AKC Point Schedule is higher for Labrador Retrievers than for other breeds?  I thought maybe it is because there are so many Labs shown but was not sure if that was logical".

The AKC has a formula where they only want to see 18% of the shows in any region being majors for a breed of dog. So, if a lot more dogs of a breed show this year in any region and there are more than 18% of shows with majors for that breed, then the point schedule will rise for that breed in that region the following year and vise versa.

01/29/2013 A history lesson that many today have no knowledge or appreciation of.

"Also, I have read a few times in your writing where you mention the AKC standard for Labradors was changed at one point by the Lab parent club - was it in the 90's?  What did they change?"

 

At the end of the 80's The AKC empowered each parent breed club to (in our case the Labrador Retriever Club)
re-write and simplify each breed standard to reflect any changes made in the last 100 years.

Unfortunately, the LRC was run by field trial enthusiast that have no use for the show dogs. They changed the long standing Labrador breed standard to reflect the type of dogs they had. It changed dramatically from the World-wide Labrador Retriever breed standard..............including Britain, the origin country's breed standard.

There were some of us that led a revolt and it grew to be nationwide. I took the lead and bought a full page ad in the Labrador Quarterly to express our displeasure with what was going on. The AKC didn't think it would amount to much and did not do anything to me............................big mistake as what I did took off like a wild fire and soon thousands protested. 6 months later 50 of the top show breeders in the country followed my lead and bought
full pages in the LQ and went public for the first time. To court we went.

We accumulated more than 1200 postcards signed by those who were opposed to those changes. I was in charge of collecting those post cards that came in from each and every state and even from abroad. Today, 20+ years later I still possess those post cards with their sigantures and they represent some of the legends of the breed! As the commercial states "Priceless"!

Well after 7 years in Federal Court our law suit against the AKC and LRC was more or less dismissed after several dozens continuances and our money ran out.

So today we have a Heinz 57 Varieties breed mainly because of the floodgates for differences that was put into full affect then and that brings us to today where each region of the country has their own version of the breed, where depending who is judging at any given time, there will be a total different look in the ring. Can anyone one say "mess"?

 

 

01/29/2013 Here is an email I received today

* "I prefer the look of the dog you describe as being cow-hocked. My dog is like that and she runs and jumps and has won points at the dog shows. So just because you don't like them that way doesn't mean that you are right" from Bee's Knees

Well Ms. Knees you can keep on liking your dog and other dogs that look that way and then breed that dog to a male that looks that way and produce a whole litter of puppies that will all look that way. You would be in good company with your produce as evident by the percentages seen in the ring that look that way. In fact I suggest that we come up with a special name for this new breed you are perpetuating, let's call them the Lookthatway Retrievers because by going outside of the official dictums of the Labrador Retriever breed standard you are indeed creating a new breed of dog!

This aversion to cow-hocked dogs isn't a whim of mine, it is a major peeve based in the blueprint for the breed.

No one has the liberty to change anything on any breed and still think that they are entitled to do so and flagrantly flaunt it and boast about it. And yes, showing dogs with major faults is flaunting it.

 

 

01/29/2013 Responses to the blog below on weak rears

* I am not sure why some of the judges put up dogs with these obvious structural faults especially when it is covered specifically in the breed standard. However in all honesty, I don't blame the judging as much as I do the breeders that look past these inconsistencies and and accept these obvious faults and worse......perpetuate them by breeding one generation after another with them.

It should be noted that at times in development, young dogs may display some degree of inward turned hocks, close quartered thighs and east/west placement of their feet. There are some dogs that have insecurity issues that will automatically set up to what may appear to the untrained eye as being cow-hocked. If the dog is allowed to just stand naturally without putting pressure or without hand staciing

 

01/29/2013 More discussion this past weekend on cow-hocks and weak rears.

* It seems that there are many exhibitors and worse yet, breeders that don't comprehend what cow-hocks are! My guess is that they have seen so many dogs that are cow-hocked that it has become the norm and is accepted because "all the other dogs are like that"! I had that statement made to me this last weekend at the dog show.

Well, it doesn't matter who is breeding dogs that are cow-hocked, it isn't right according to our breed standard, in fact it is specifically covered in the breed standard as the following:

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 rear, the hind legs are straight and parallel. 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. The stifle is strong and there is no slippage of the patellae while in motion or when standing. The hock joints are strong, well let down and do not slip or hyper-extend while in motion or when standing. Angulation of both stifle and hock joint is such as to achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. When standing the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Over angulation produces a sloping topline not typical of the breed. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.

Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted.

That's the exact wording as "lifted" from the AKC's Labrador Retriever Breed Standard
(see
http://www.akc.org/breeds/labrador_retriever/index.cfm )

Where in that passage does it state that "So & So Breeder" can breed cow-hock dogs? It is a serious structural defect and is to be faulted! Now, if a judge puts up dogs that have obvious defects, then the rest of their judging comes into question! Plain and simple, those dogs that are structurally cow-hocked have a serous defect be it a class dog or a champion dog!

Now for those that do not know what cow-hocks are: stand behind the dog and look at its rear legs. Do the hocks turn into each other (wrong) or are they parallel to each other (right)? Do the feet point straight forward toward the front of the dog (right) and is the same distance from foot to foot exactly the same distance between hock to hock which is correct or is the distance much closer together at the hocks than between the feet, which is a defect?

The perception of the rear should be a wide open U and not a fiddle shaped figure.

Now there is another fault seen quite a bit in the rears.........close-quartered, weak rears caused by the rears legs coming too close at the thighs. So, if the dog places the rear feet too close together, the total stability of the dog is compromised and the dog has a weak rear both in standing and in movement. Looking at the rear assembly from behind it should not appear to be a V shape.

Dogs that are cow-hocked put undue stress on the hock joint which leads to joint fatigue when running and ultimately causes early onset arthritis.

 

01/28/2013 No, I am not advocating the "purchasing of champion's title"!

* Sometimes I wonder how some people get from point A to point B! Re-read that part of the blog. To make it clear for those in a fog............................if every dog that goes to dog shows becomes a champion, what is the sense in showing it so many times? Why not just put a price on the title and be done with the competition!

I stated the above in response to people thinking that it is "good sportsmanship" pulling dogs so that others can win! Seems to me that action would "cheapen" the value of a champion's title! If a dog can not beat those better dogs, then it doesn't deserve to be a champion.

* To illustrate my statement of some people being in a fog.............speaking to a small group of people this weekend at the dog show, I made the following statement in jest "Try turning the pooper bags inside out once you have used them and you can use them again!". A couple of hours later someone came back to ask me if they wouldn't get dog doo doo on their hands the 2nd time they used the bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What?????????????????? I wonder if they actually tried it!!!!!!!!!

* Here is another "no brainer" I heard this weekend......................."If the northern handlers don't win enough of the points at the Winter Circuit, then they won't return next year!"

So, what do you propose, that we lose on purpose just to have them come down the following year and then we lose on purpose again??????????? That some how sounds like foggy thinking to me! I enter my dogs to win regardless of who the competition is. For years I have been stating to all that follow Mitch Miller's bouncing ball......."Bring your best dogs, because I will bring my best dogs and then may the best dog win!"

Another one that someone needs to explain to me "Winning is not all there is"................What???????????????I don't enter any dogs to lose! I don't know of any normal brained person that goes to dog shows to lose! I just don't get that statement at all!!!!!!!!!!!! In dog showing it's never how you play the game, it's whether you win or not! Your dog doesn't win, then it loses and you gain absolutely nothing from your time, energy and money..........no matter how much you smile and say please and thank you! Now there is nothing wrong with being civil and courteous, but in the end, it's all about winning no matter how much the losers lament and say that it is not all about winning!

 

01/28/2013 Ok, back home from the grueling Florida Winter Circuit & Companion Shows

* There was always a rap about the Chambray dogs not doing well at the January Winter Circuit! Well, that's because we normally had skipped these shows since our Lab's coats were not full enough to compete with the truck load of northern dogs being brought down by the top handlers in the NE and parts colder than we could ever conjure down here.

Over the years through nutritional supplementation and selective breeding with lines that could hold more coat in our inclement hot weather, our dogs have become more and more competitive with the furry creatures transported down here from the semi-frozen tundra of NY, NJ, VA, MA, ME, PE, CT, and other places where snowbirds live. So much so that at this year's congregation comprising 17 shows in the month of January, our dogs dominated the wins over that span of time see The Latest Dog Shows News

 

2012 Top honors for Kika! Highest ranked Florida Labrador!
#1 Female USA Labrador & More

* For 2012 Kika was the Top Ranked Florida Labrador Retriever! She accumulated a total of 1583 All-Breed points
 see
http://www.labradorretrieverlist.com/showstats.aspx

*She is also the #1 Labrador female in the USA!

*She was the only female for 2012 in the USA to win a Best In Show

* She was the most decorated Labrador for the 2012 Eukanuba National Championships.

You go girl!

 

01/23/2013 Form Follows Function! Or does it?

* Again clear as a sunny day................a breed's form will take place according to its function. Breeds that excel at running great speeds will evolve their form to express that quality to the maximum! Breeds that do their work close to the ground or even having to borrow into the ground will have developed a form to suit their function..... most of these breeds will have very short legs! The Labrador Retriever was developed to swim, thus their form followed that function. Simple as a dimple on a dapple! Everything described in the official world breed standard for Labrador Retrievers describes such a dog. The American Labrador Retriever Breed Standard prior to the changes made by a cast of characters in the early 1990's also described more of a swimming breed as they were originally developed a couple of hundred years ago. When the AKC accepted the changes made by the parent club for the breed, the dog's form was altered somewhat from the world breed standard to describe a somewhat larger version than what had been ascribed previously. However, the altered standard still depicts a breed whose main function is working in water, plus adaptable enough to work in the field as well.

Now we come to multiple forks in the road with the Labrador Retriever breed.

*All-Breed Show Breeders - the top winning breeders in this category are producing a moderate type dog that can function both in the water and in the field. Of course there are variables from this very large group with some producing dogs with very little substance, slight of bone, small in size, large in size. As a whole the more successful show breeders are producing and athletic type dog that can still function in the water and field according to its form. Chambray Labradors has continuously bred this type of dogs, moderate, athletic whose form looks great in the show ring and whose function can be used in many activities, including what they were developed for as water and field retrievers.

See photos below: Click on photo to enlarge. As I was wrapping up this part of the blog, one of our owners Rosie Feely (Hogan's owner) emailed me these 2 photos of her other dog Hanna, Hogan's daughter.
The versatile Labrador Retriever!

GCh Chambrays WinQuest Summer Breeze CGC NJP NFP

Double-click to add photos

The 2 above, as a show Grand Champion & multiple Rally titles
Now involved in Lure Coursing!

Double-click to add photos

 

 

*Specialty Show Breeders -

  • #1 There are many versions of form being perpetuated by those that partake in specialty-only competition. Throughout the country there are those that are breeding a moderate to heavier type of dog, with more bone and more coat than what is seen at the All-Breed dog shows. Some of these dogs do well also at the All-Breed dog shows according to which judge has the honors that day. Breeder/Judges that are hired by All-Breed Clubs will be partial to this type of dog over the ones being bred by the breeders that constantly frequent the All-Breed dog shows. There are many All-Breed Dog Show breeders that will not show under breeder/judges for this reason.

  • #2 In some sectors of the country a short, squatty form has been developed by certain breeders through selective breeding for those traits. Because of the exaggeration of body type it is debatable that many of these dogs can function as water retrievers. Because of the shorten legs, mainly very short upper arms it is also questionable if they can do any type of rigorous field work. They may look impressive in the show ring, but form does not appear to follow function with many in this large subset.

  • #3 there is another sizable subset of specialty breeders producing an overdone version of the breed. Many all-breed judges describe this type of dog as being preponderance in form, thus questionable in function as a water retriever used to working off gun boats.

*Backyard breeders, hobby breeders, mass producers and puppy mills.

  • It is estimated that the vast majority of Labradors produced in this country come from this humongous group of breeders. Unfortunately, there is no rhyme nor reason with the breeding of the dogs by 99% within this group. There are many that don't even know a breed standard exists and those that have looked at the breed standard don't adhere to the guidelines set up for the breed. Since neither form nor function matter much from this group, the produce is close to being a reasonable facsimile, but in the final analyzes, not the real deal!

 

 

 

01/23/2013 Answer to "Why there is politics in dogs?"

* Wherever there are humans involved there will be politics. Plain and simple, it is the way of our species! Human nature at its best/worst. We are all big boys and big girls and to think that in the words of the late Rodney King, "Can we all get along", is just not within the framework of our mentality! Envy and jealousy run rampant in every endeavor, especially when someone is successful beyond the reaches of the masses. So it comes with the territory and I deal with it as it arises. The thing I won't do is to stoop down to anyone's level that partakes in these childish antics.

01/23/2013 Answer to "Why is winning so important to you?"

* Well, duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who in their right mind competes to lose?????????? The day that I accept losing is the day that I move on to something else to dwell on! I pride myself and take great pride in our successes with Labrador Retrievers. It has been a 43-year long labor of love and passion for me and I have been blessed to have had Labradors in that long span of my life. I will continue to breed the best, train and condition to make them look even better, then provide our expertise in the show ring to put it all together for the best possible presentation of each and every dog that is in our management program. If all that produces a winning combination, then job well done!

01/23/2013 Answer to "Why you take on other dogs not from Chambray?"

* It's not about Chambray, it's about Labrador Retrievers!!!!!!!!!! As plain as the sun has risen for billions of years!!!! It's about the credo, for the Betterment of the Breed! It's about doing what's right for the breed, regardless of what kennel or breeder adorns the front part of the dog's name!!!!! It's about bringing the very best to the show arena and it's about winning with them to show how much better they are than the competition at that venue!!!!!

 *Explanation of the term BETTERMENT OF THE BREED: The Labrador Retriever is as good as a breed gets! You can't make something better when it is as good as it is! However, you can do as much for the betterment of the breed, in fact you owe to yourself to do just that. As breeders, we are the custodians of the breed and to do any less is to bring the breed down! So, I will for always use that terminology........for the Betterment of the Breed!

01/23/2013 Answer to "Why I write these blogs?"

* Because hundreds upon hundreds visit this page each and every day! A large percentage of those either email in, call on the phone or express their gratitude in person for me taking the time to share my knowledge about the breed on all matters concerning Labrador Retrievers! As long as there is one single person tuned in that derives some benefit from my 43 years with the breed..................as long as I am capable of expressing all of my expertise either in writing or vocally..........as Picard, the commander of the Enterprise used to state, I will "make it so"! 

01/23/2013 Answer to "How does your program work?"

* That question is answered in countless articles and briefs I have written and published to the website. Way too many for me to even remember and by now there may be some publications that are repetitive, but heck they will make interesting reading! There isn't enough time in one sitting to answer that question here in the Blogging Off section, so the best advise is to put on a pot of coffee to brew, pull up a chair, sit back and sip up and "peruse" (as a recently departed used to say) through the Reference Library section and read up on all of my offerings! There are some writings that are dead-on educational, others are an attempt at humor, others are psychological manipulations of situations that arise, others are pure, simple and shameless braggadocio, while some are sales oriented at best....outright propaganda at worst! Have fun reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 

 

01/22/2013 More on building of majors.

The concept is simple enough, encourage some type of cooperation from breeders, exhibitors and handlers to make a concerted effort to bring dogs to a given venue to assure that there are enough entries to make it a major pointed show. The hang ups are many for this happening;

  • The biggest bump in the road for many would be the judge's panel for those shows. Since only 1 dog can take Winners and only 1 bitch can take Winners Bitch, if those judges were in the immediate area months or years back, people assume that they will give the wins to the same dogs or the same handlers.

  • Hang up #2 is the venue itself. People assume that certain cities or dog clubs are more prone to hire judges that favor certain handlers. People wrongly assume that certain places are "owned" by certain breeders or handlers.

  • Hang up #3 is the distances that need to be traveled and the accommodations available in those places.

  • Hang up #4 is the dates. There may be other shows on the same dates that offer a better slate of judges for some.

For the Chambray management program it is much easier to bring extra dogs to those shows closer to Miami where the dog's owners can travel to and bring the dogs to us to handle. We can travel with up to 10 Labradors in our Sprinter and we rely on about 8 to 10 more dogs meeting us at ringside. Since not all the dogs are the same sex, we must depend on other handlers and exhibitors to bring the remaining dogs to create a major.

 

Why we bring "so many dogs"!

*Why we bring "so many dogs"! Simple lesson in economics for those that are hobby breeder/exhibitors! This is not a fun, weekend hobby for us! We are professional dog trainers and professional dog handlers and we treat the whole process as a business enterprise. Our clients expect the best possible service for their investment and we go the whole 9 yards to ensure just that.

First of all each and every breeding we put together is solely for the purpose of producing the very best in show quality. We have the extreme luxury of selecting the 8 or 10 females to be bred each year from over 100 females that are part of our cooperative Dog Management Program. Compare this to all the other breeders that only have a 2 or 3 or a handful of females to consider for breeding.

Together with each female's owner, we consider every possible top producing sire in the country in addition to our own dogs that are part of the Stud Dog Management Program.

Once those puppies are born we then use our vast marketing network to procure possible show owners for the top potential show prospects from each litter that will perpetuate the show experience for that next generation of superior quality dogs

Each and every show prospect puppy comes with our unique Training & Conditioning Management Program where each dog and their owner are developed according to all the criteria that is pertinent for the individual situation.

The the whole package comes together at the dog shows with the best handing team working in Florida and throughout the southern states.

All of the above statements and claims are backed up by iron clad results that defy the long established norms for Labradors.

So, we breed better dogs, we train and condition them to perform at their absolute best and then he handle them like no others! That's why we can bring more dogs than any other breeder or handler. That's why we win 2 to 3 times more than all the other breeders put together can muster!

On one hand you have amateur, fun, hobby breeders and on the other hand you have the most successful professional entity competing in the same ring................................who are you going to put your money on?

Like I stated at the begin of this thread.....................simple economics!

 

*"There are other breeders offering "show puppies", how do yours compare?" Ok re-read the preceding answer to that email. Ask those breeders what they offer in comparison to what you have just read? Is there a comparison? Does anyone offer one iota of what Chambray Labradors Total Show Dog Management Program offers? What guarantees do the other breeders offer? What type of support comes with one of their puppies, is it anything like Chambray's Lifetime Support System using our 43 years of experience in all aspects of Labradors? What expertise do these breeders have in training and conditioning? Do they offer it for FREE for LIFE? When it comes time to show the dog, "who are you going to call?" Will they offer you the show and ring strategies for success? Can they match the winningest breeder/handler ever?

Do you join up with a backyard, amateur, for fun hobby breeder or do you go to the source for success? Will you be part of the onlookers or part of those celebrating every weekend? Hey, the choice is yours, load yourself with as much information as all those other breeders can offer and then compare to what the real deal offers.

Now here is the catch....................out of those 8 or 10 litters produced from those 100+ females to choose from, there are only 75 to 80 puppies born each year. From those numbers there will be about half that grade out to be show quality. We receive well over 1500 emails a year searching for that "special" puppy.

We are looking for die-hard, sure fire show homes for those stellar puppies...........do you fit the bill? How do you compare to those others that want the best? Remember we don't "sell" puppies.....................instead, we "place" puppies! We place puppies with carefully chosen new owners that will become part of the next generation of winners at the dog shows

01/21/2013 The building of majors in Florida for those that have emailed in.

I think that the next major pointed show in Florida may be the Vero Beach shows on April 27/28. I plan on entering a host of young dogs that have not been out on a regular basis along with some of our top dogs needing majors! The number may be around 12 males, which would mean that 7 outside dogs from other exhibitors would make the major.

After the Vero shows, the Tampa shows on June 15/16 followed by the Orlando shows on June 22/23 have the best chances of becoming majors. The new point system comes out mid May and hopefully the numbers will come down for both males and females. I plan on entering around 10 males for each of these weekends.

01/21/2013 Some more education for those emailing asking.

*** Terminology ~

  • Specials - a dog that finishes their AKC champion's title and is shown in Best Of Breed for National Ranking, Westminster and Eukanuba Qualifiers, and also for their Grand Championship. We are now showing Jericho and Destiny for their Grand Championship.

  • Grand Champion - After a dog attains their AKC Champion's title, they can continue to compete and accumulate 25 more Gr Ch's Points. They must also Win Over Competition (other champions) 3 times, plus 3 of the wins must be Major Pointed according to the Point Schedule for that region (see www.akc.org Point Schedule). Chambray has a Florida record 6 Grand Champions. see Grand Champion Rankings

  • Bronze Grand Champion - after achieving the highly coveted Grand Champion's title, the dog continues to show as Grand Ch and now needs 75 more points (total of 100) to attain the Bronze Grand Champion's title.

  • Silver Grand Champion - After the dog wins 100 more grand Champion points, the AKC will award that dog the Silver Grand Champion title. We are now showing Kika and Jake towards their Silver Grand Championship. Chambray holds the record with 3 Bronze Grand Champions from Florida.

  • Pull, Holdout or Withdrawal - the act of not showing an entered dog for various reasons. Hopefully those reasons are legitimate and not nefarious. Legit reasons would include sickness & lameness. Nefarious & moronic reasons, the breaking of majors! ARRRGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Supported Entries and Building of Majors ~ BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!! The exact opposite of moronic!!!!!!!!!!!! Cooperation between exhibitors, breeders and handlers to bring entries to a show to create major pointed shows. Right now Chambray has 9 dogs that need majors to champion out. Unless there is a possibility that a venue may build up to a major, then there is no reason to enter these dogs. At times, these dogs sitting back at home takes away the competitive edge and it may take twice as long to champion these dogs out.

More "Terminology" to come on a regular basis.

 

* Dispensing of Rumors - Retired professional handler and now AKC Judge, Joe Nap always would say to anyone that would listen............"The minute they stop talking about you, then you ain't nothing!"

It seems that with all the success, achievements, titles, records and consecutive winning weekend after weekend spanning years now, comes some negative notoriety from the whining section. It seems that every word I speak and or write is taken and like the old parlor "telephone game" where a message is passed on from individual to individual and by the time it reaches the last person playing, it no longer resembles the original message whispered into the first person's ear!

Well, last weekend there were 2 rumors that needed to be cut off at the pass.

  • #1 I didn't call for a boycott of any future weekends show. I just prefer not to enter my dogs at 2 up and coming shows. That is a personal choice and by no means calls for anyone to act alike. Not that any outsider would do anything I say to begin with.

  • #2 All dogs needing majors via a BOS and BOB will be shown in the ring. The rumor was that we show dogs that don't need to win points! If a dog is pointed out and there is no way to achieve a major from the breed ring, then that dog will be "pulled".

The latest rumor this weekend that needs to be quashed:

  • There is no "black balling" of any dog with any judge or other person!

Now, anyone is entitled to their opinions. In fact the person whose dog was the object of this rumor has been heard telling dozens of people how fat and out of shape and bowed-legged our special's dog Kika is. There were many instances where she and her BFF would sit close enough to some of our new owners and trash the Chambray dogs loud enough for the new owners to hear! There is case after case that I have documented of this premeditated, perverted, OCD-type behavior by this individual and her mentor and those people involved would provide the proof if needed.

So quit your whining even if the rumor were true because payback is a beach!

Remember the 11th Commandment, What goes around comes around! So pass that rumor on maybe more people will watch what they say even if it is done on purpose!

 

01/20/2013 Back home from the 3 days of the Winter Circuit in Ocala Fl.

I have received a lot of emails that favor the "history" education, so every once in a while I will be throwing in history tid-bits. *** 3 stars will designate historic matters

* Totally exhausted!!!!! Way too much excitement for 1 weekend of shows. Hey, I'm not complaining, in 3 days we achieved what other breeders do not in several years of showing! The making of a Bronze Grand Champion and finishing 2 new champions just in the first month of 2013

***Bronze Grand Champion #3 for Chambray ~ So, officially his name is now AKC Bronze Grand Ch WinQuest Chambray Reaching For The Stars! But to all those that know him, he is still "Jake". WinQuest is a kennel that Chambray formed with one of our partners who joined our Total Show Dog Management Program with a couple of females he had purchased from other show kennels. That association/partnership now spans 13 years and 4 distinct generations of dogs produced together. Jake is owned by long time Chambray owners Lisa and Alan Criado, now with their 2nd generation Chambray dog***

***New Ch Summithills Joshua's Battle Of Jericho has been in our training, conditioning and handling program since a puppy and he finishes his AKC championship exactly 1 year after winning his first points at the exact same location! He is a welcomed addition to Chambray's Total Show Dog Management Program and will be an integral part of our breeding program for years to come. He is owned by Carol and Chip Wilkening.***

***New Champion & Chambray's 35th Home-Bred Champion Ch Chambrays Guardian Destiny is a 9th generation product going back to the original foundation bitch Beavercreeks Crystal Chambray. She is a by product of our long standing partnership with WinQuest and a first generation partnership with Guardian Labradors, another co-founded kennel association/partnership for the Betterment of the Breed. She is owned by 1st time Chambray owners Pat Norman and Russ Blosse of NY/FL. Eventually Destiny will be co-bred with her owners to produce Chambray's 10th generation of superb quality produce.

 

 

01/17/2013 Headed out to the 2nd week of the Winter Circuit in Ocala Fl.

* Same scenario for Major Pointed wins as last weekend. There are enough dogs to barely make a 3-point major. So, if there are some that are absent, then going over the 6 male champions for Best Of Opposite Sex will create a major pointed win for a male. Same situation for the females, if the numbers drop below 23, then going over the special's females will be a major, of course taking Best Of Breed makes all the champions "intersex", so all of them count towards the needed major points.

Sooooooooooooooooo, if anyone is playing the game with different rules, that will be their bad! Those dogs in our management program that are pointed out will stay in the hunt for the elusive major pointed wins even if it takes winning a Best Of Opposite or a Best Of Breed!

Ok, let's make an analogy that will be easy to follow. Say, you wanted to pick up a game of baseball. There are rules that govern that game, but lets say that some Namby Pamby thinks that bats are too dangerous because they can be used to bash someone's head in, thus they decide that the game now should be played without using bats! So when they go up to the plate, they don't use a bat. The pitcher launches the ball towards the plate and Namby swings an imaginary bat at the speeding ball that just crossed the plate. What in tarnations are the chances that Ms. Pamby will ever hit a ball?

* So, Ocala here we come..................................play ball!

 

 

01/16/2013 Let me explain a little further this thing about "stepping down", "dumping" or "pulling dogs" out of competition to make it easy for other dogs to win!

* Not every dog is worthy of a championship title. So, making it easier for a dog to finish cheapens the title of those that deserve it!

* If each and every dog in the ring will eventually be a champion, then what's the purpose of them competing????
If the game is for all dogs to finish sooner or later, why not make it sooner and save all the aggravation, time and money of showing! Let's just pony up a moderate fee of say, $5000 to the AKC and they will mail you an official AKC Champion's Certificate.

* Most dogs take way more than $5000 to finish in entry fees, handling fees, then add travel, hotels, food and you may wrap your champion's title for 2 to 5 times as much. Heck, there is a dog in Florida that finished last year that was handled by more than 20 different handlers at more than 300 shows over a period of 7+ years. That must have set back the owner to a minimum of $45,000! Let's even go a step further, there was a another dog that was shown even to more shows and NEVER finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* Wake up and smell the coffee....................this isn't taking turns...............now your dog wins, now my dog wins...................it's about the best dog wins!

* There will be no pulling of dogs if it is possible for a major to be achieved by going Best Of Opposite or Best Of Breed from the Labrador ring! 

* If anyone in my management program thinks that their dog isn't good enough to beat the other dogs in the ring, including the champions, then that dog is not good enough for us to handle! Simple as a dimple on a dapple.

* Now, if for some reason I have "insider" information and feel that a dog may not be in the running.........for say, lack of coat, not feeling chipper or any other reason that I feel that a BOS or a BOB is not obtainable, then I will stand down on an individual basis! Other than that, it is business as usual!

* I don't get what is so difficult to understand about the preceding. If you can't read English, then your bad because I am not versed in other languages!

01/16/2013 A little education never hurts!

* Several years ago there were only 1 or 2 champions being "specialed" in any given area. The purpose of that was to get the dogs nationally ranked for the Westminster or the Eukanuba National Championships or for the pure joy of having a Top Ranked dog!

* Since only the Best Of Breed winner received any points, not too many other champions were specialed to compete against dogs with deep purses!

* The norm was for a dog to finish and then it was put up for a while or in the majority of cases, never to be seen again........happily siring one litter after another!

* Then the AKC implements the Grand Champion's title! Wham, bam, thank you ma'm and everything changes! Now every dog that finishes the regular champion's title is kept out in the ring in the hope of achieving several levels of Grand Champion titles!

* Not only does the Best Of Breed dog/bitch receive grand champion points, so does the Best Of Opposite AND the AKC creates 2 more slots for dogs to receive points, the Select Male and Select Female champions.

* Now, there are half a dozen of more champions being "specialed" not for national rankings, but for umpteen levels of Grand Champion titles!

* Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo, the system that was in play years ago, has been radically modified, there are way more dogs in the Best Of Breed competition that can be added to create a major by winning a Best Of Opposite Sex or a Best Of Breed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

01/16/2013 Ok, I see the trend now! Whatever is the "flavor topic of the day" at some of the Lab Forums will eventually make its way to my Chambray email.

* Yes, yes I firmly believe that the current trend of building "oversized inflatables" will subside and the pendulum will swing back to athletic moderate dogs in our breed.

* Whatever the newest craze, I will continue to breed according to the world-accepted breed standard.

* Have you ever had an "overdone" meal? Well, yuk! Same thing applies to Labradors!

  • It could be overdone shoulders! Yuk!

  • It could be overdone coat! Yuk, yuk!

  • It could be overdone size! Yuuuuk!

  • It could be overdone heads! Yikes!

There is nothing more beautiful to watch than a moderate dog move "effortless" around the ring! Barely breathing breath taking!

The opposite would be one of those overdone walruses lumbering, laboring and lapping up air to barely make it around the ring! Barely alive, breathing as fast and as deep as the fat around the neck and shoulders allows!

So, we have breeders building these overdone dogs that can barely move on land........imagine them in water trying to keep their heads above it? Then let's add gobs of extra coat that will soak up as much water as the dog weighs and you have now created a smorgasbord that will spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r! Can you imagine one of those dogs jumping out of a gun boat? If it doesn't capsize the boat, the dog will assuredly sink to the bottom of the lake!

Recently had a breeder argue the point above, "none of my dogs have ever sunk in water!" was her statement to me.

My question to her "When was the last time they were in water deep enough to swim in"

Answer "There are no safe lakes to take dogs around where I live"

In other words, the dogs have never sunk because they never have had the opportunity!

 

01/16/2013 Questioning a judge's placement! The old "throwing caution to the wind" bodes well here!

* Throwing caution to the wind! I have always wanted to use that phase in one of my offerings.

Here's how I broached the delicate matter!

After the judge was finished judging and the different breed winners had taken their photos, I entered the ring and approached the judge and stated "The Labrador breed standard calls for the coat on a Labrador to be short, straight, very dense and giving a hard feeling to the hand, yet your Winners Dog and Winners Bitch had a totally open coat that was blown backwards." (both dogs handled by the same "named" handler, not a usual Labrador handler)

The judge paused for a moment and came back with "Each of my placements had other qualities that stood out from the other exhibits".

"Thank you for your time, that's good to know for my future entries" as I turned and walked out of the ring.

Now, I don't advise anyone to go into a ring and question a judge's placement as the AKC has rules for that sort of thing, however for those few of us that are as well versed on the Labrador breed standard as I am, we owe it to the breed to further educate those judges that may not be as versed as they should be.

So, throwing caution to the wind can take many shapes and forms and it can also blow in different directions according to atmospheric conditions!

 

01/15/2013  First things first! Dispensing with RUMORS! So, listen up big girls because I am only going to waste my time explaining it this one time! So to put these 3 rumors to rest, here is the low down.

Rumor #1

* Yes, we are showing several dogs that need only majors to finish! In fact the Chambray Total Show Dog Management Program now has 11 dogs/bitches that are pointed out and need majors to finish. All of them will be out showing throughout this coming year.

* Yes, we will show these dogs each and every time there is a possibility of achieving a major from the breed ring!

* That means that if taking the major via a Best Of Opposite or a Best Of Breed, then you will see those dogs in the ring!

If anyone's dog is affected by this, then "ce'st la vie". Because if that dog can only win by other dogs being pulled. then that dog doesn't deserve the cheap points! If all dogs now showing were to finish, then it would be less expensive to just pay the AKC for a dog's championship and you would save thousands of $$$$$$$$ in entries, handling, traveling and the sort!

Let's explain that again: NOT ALL DOGS ARE WORTHY OF BEING A CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If that were the case, then everyone could just pay for the title and certificate and never set foot in a ring!!!!!!!!

So, as I explained it at ringside to a few that asked, those that can't live with the above should find another game to play where even losers get a trophy!

Rumor #2

* Yes, there was a concerted effort to build a major by bringing extra dogs to the 3rd weekend in Ocala! One of the northern handler/breeder contacted me several days before entries closed and asked if there was any way I could gather up enough dogs to make those 4 days of shows a major. If, so, then she would enter at least 7 males for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows (she couldn't stay for the Sunday show). I then emailed all of those people on my Florida handlers/exhibitors/breeders address list and advised all of them of the possibility of "building a major" for at least the first 3 days.

*No, I didn't pick those judges and it really wasn't my idea to "load up the entries" for those shows.

* It seemed like an excellent opportunity to have some majors for the dogs that need them in my management program.

* No, the notification list is not private! Anyone can request to be added for future advisories!

So, for the conspiracy theorists, cook up another cockamamie crock!

 

Rumor #3

* NO! We are not boycotting the Ft Lauderdale Dog Shows on March 16th and 17th. We won't be there because the Herzons have a wedding to attend in beautiful Costa Rica. That doesn't mean that some of the Chambray owners will not be there on their own.

AND, there is no judge or venue that we would ever call for a boycott!!!! Now, there may be a judge or two that we will not grace with our presence................but that's private and kept to ourselves and to my clients. All others are free to fly all over the country!

 

Ok, now that the rumors have been addressed and dispatched, now for some really good news!

* The Florida dogs were exceptional at the first 5 days of shows in Ocala at the traditional Florida Winter Circuit!!!! With dogs coming down from some of the top northern breeders, not only did the Florida Labradors hold their own, collectively they won more Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and Best Of Breeds than the northern kennel dogs. The dogs in our management program accounted for 2 Winners Dog, 1 Winners Bitch, 2 Best Of Opposite Sex and 2 Selects. Congratulations to all

* The quality of all the dogs in competition was superb, with exceptional class after class, both Florida owned dogs and those dogs traveling down with some of the top professionals in the business.

 

 

01/09/2013  Ok, now I know what's going on!

* Seems that there are several of the chit chat forums with threads about majors and also trollers lurking about gleaning information from breeders that are advertising puppies for sale! Whenever there is a "hot' topic a those insane asylums, there will be spilling over to the Chambray website, thus the increase in emails!

 

01/09/2013  Major Pointed Show by Winning BOS or BOB

* I'm not sure this wasn't a troller, but I have gone over this too many times for those around me not to know that this is one of my major pet peeves (cow-hocks are #1).

YES! You show your dog if there is a possibility of crossing over for a major-pointed win by taking Best Of Opposite and/or Best Of Breed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Forget about this so-called "handler courtesy to professionals" with "specials. I will state my opinion once again, "It is moronic not to show your dog if it will be a major by going BOS or BOB"!

Just in the past 3 months we were at 3 consecutive weekends where a class dog took Best Of Breed and crossed over making it a major-pointed win!!!!! There was one weekend where a class bitch went BOB over our special's bitch and our special's male and both days picked up majors................although we would have rather won those BOB, we were 100% behind the decision of the handler to keep the bitch showing when it wasn't a major from the classes.

 

 

01/09/2013  Trollers Need Not Apply!

* For those with nothing better to do than to troll about the Internet's forums posing loaded questions to get a rise from the unsuspecting, you will not get any personal answers to any of your emails with me! I have a great nose and I can smell a skunk a mile a way. Because I have made a commitment to answer all my emails, this is the only time there will be answers to troller's emails.

  • Great breeders can have multiple litters a year.

  • Great breeders can have great stud dogs that produce great puppies.

  • Great breeders can use their dogs to actually do the work they are intended to do.

  • Great breeders can have kennels or have their dogs live in their homes.

  • Females can have several litters as long as they are healthy and can whelp and nurse.

  • Puppies can be raised anywhere as long as they have shelter, clean floors and of course lots of food & water.

  • Breeders can sell their puppies for whatever the area market can handle.

  • Stud dog can be used as often as they can produce viable semen.

  • Showing dogs is a great activity for owners, their families and their dogs.

  • Obedience training and competition is a great activity for dogs and owners

  • Agility, Rally and any other fun activities with dogs are all great.

Now, if you are a troller, scurry off and dig a hole to hibernate for a long, long time!

 

01/09/2013  Just because a dog is a champion doesn't mean that it is perfect.

* Take the following: Topline--The back is strong and the topline is level from the withers to the croup when standing or moving.  That's taken directly from the AKC's Labrador Retriever Breed Standard page, however the illustration of a dog they use on that page shows a dog severely inclined from withers to croup, not level from withers to croup as it should be! So even those in charge can't get it right! Knowing the written blue print for the breed is very important when selecting breeding stock to produce the next generation for the betterment of the breed.

* I had some great conversations with 2 foreign FCI judges this past weekend at the Deland dog shows. One was an English breeder/judge and the other from South Africa. Both are dismayed at the variables in the Labrador ring in this country. Their comments echo much of what I have been harping on for years. "Short, squatty or totally overdone" were some of the observations from both. "Cow-hocks seem to be prevalent" was a direct quote from one, "rangy and long-legged" was a descriptive used by the other. "Totally different types from different sections of the country" was a consensus from both.

One thing they both concurred on................."Kika"..................both would have judged her Best Of Breed from the lineup at those 2 shows........which is exactly what the two judges that were in the ring doing their job did.

 

01/09/2013  Ditto: Not All Breeders Are Created Equal!

* Enough already, I know it is not "politically correct" to state that we are not created equal, re-read my earlier blog! It says "breeders". I refuse to accept that those puppy millers, those mass producers, those backyard breeders are in any way equal to what I am as a breeder. So I stand 1,000,000% behind this statement, as breeders we are not created equal!

* Since we are on the subject, I am not too sure that we as humans are really created equal any longer, as creation now has new twists and crannies, with all the different ways to be "created"! That's just one man's opinion.

* By the way, I don't think the bible, any bible refers to dogs.

 

01/09/2013  Different Strokes For Different Folks

* I understand that there were those at the recent show that don't like the way I produce top quality puppies! That are a bit miffed (well, really a lot miffed) that I enlist and mentor hundreds of owners on how to do the right thing with their dogs as far as raising, training, conditioning, showing and breeding for the selected few!

Me thinks, that these chronic complainers are more discombobulated about not being able to be competitive and can no longer champion dogs like they used to. This is not an opinion, this is based on hard core facts........some now can't even win a point!

There are those that are cringing because of my blogs bringing agendas that are normally kept hush-hush and out of the puppy buying public's eye. Well, guess what, I am totally about disclosure for the betterment of the breed and I will keep on trucking as I am very proud of our collective accomplishments with the breed, not only in producing the winningest Labradors in town,, state, region, country..............but also having the highest percentage of satisfied owners.

 

01/08/2013  Not All Breeders Are Created Equal!

* Forget that mamby-pamby, liberal leaning, mumble jumble "we are all created equal" stuff! That doesn't apply to breeders! Oh, you may want to argue the point with me........................but forget it because I won't give you the time of day and I state this with a big smile on my face!

No breeder is created equal and I can prove it! If it were so, then all of them would be equally successful.......and the stark reality is that it isn't so! In every area of the country, there is usually one at the top of the heap and all the rest lag way behind. Some don't even register a "bleep" on the radar!

So when I state the following:

  • Breeding the best

  • Training at its best

  • Conditioning for the best

  • Handling where it doesn't get any better.

There is no arguing those points! It is what it is and there is no two ways about it. If you show up at the dog shows and your dogs are not in the same league as those that are part of those points, then your dogs will be those that continuously walk out of the ring holding thin air.

It boggles my mind when some one emails me and tells me that they don't believe that judges should consider the handling of the dogs or the condition of the dog or the training of the dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?????????????????

Maybe when judging cows and pigs, the judges look in paddocks and in cages were the bovine or porcine are contained, but at dog shows you need to show up with your canine prepared with the following 4 points

  • Breeding the best

  • Training at its best

  • Conditioning for the best

  • Handling where it doesn't get any better.

Or you will be the among those that lag way behind or worse yet, don't make the radar bleep!

 

 

01/08/2013  I know that obtaining show quality from breeders is next to impossible.

* Yes, I realize how difficult it is to obtain top show quality dogs from the top breeders. Here are tips to enhance your chances of succeeding in getting what you want.

Be persistent with your contacts.................... let them know that you have the betterment of the breed in mind...................promise them your first born......................give them an arm and a leg......................swap your better half..................bend over backwards.................jump through hoops set on fire...................or contact me!

 

01/08/2013  Answers to recent emails.

* Ok, for those questioning how to improve breed! Ok, without getting too deep, here is the gist! Your female lines are the ones responsible for about 70% of your quality produced. So, not matter which dogs they are bred to if your females are substandard or mediocre, then what they will produce will be slightly above substandard or marginally above mediocre!

* Those puppies will make great pets, if they have the correct temperament and the parents have had passing clearances!

* You will get hit by lightning first, before any of the produce from conformational inferior dams produce a great show dog!

* I don't know about you guys, but I would hate both of the above scenarios...............getting hit by lightning and not producing great dogs!

* Ok, for those bleeding hearts out there, don't get rid of your mediocre dogs, just DON"T BREED them! Or breed them and get hit by lightning!

* I resent my dogs being called elitist, no my dogs are not elitist..................................I am when it comes to the betterment of the breed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* For all the pooh-pooers and whiners..................stop making excuses as to why our Total Show Dog Management Program is so successful...................I've spelled it out a thousand times for all to read and understand..............it's no secret, it's not done with smoke and mirrors, no rubbing of elbows, no wining and dining...................it's plain old fashioned hard work................elbow grease, doing what it takes.....call it what you may, we get the job done with:

  • Breeding the best

  • Training at its best

  • Conditioning for the best

  • Handling where it doesn't get any better.

 

01/07/2013  Catching Up Is Hard To Do!

* It is great to be away to a weekend of dog shows.........................but the next day back is the pits!!!!!!!!OMG, so much to do and catch up on!

* I am waiting to go in the ring at the Deland dog shows with one of our special's dog, Grand Ch WinQuest Chambray "Jake" when a dabbler/hobby breeder approaches me to tell me that she has a litter out of "Zeus", Kika's sire. I ask her what she expects to get out of the breeding. She tells me "A couple of Kikas!"

I bite my tongue (not one of my fortes) and I ask her what her bitch line is. She rattles of a couple of inconsequential dog's names, more pet dogs than show dogs. I tell her that:

  • Kika's dam is the producer of 2 champions (including Kika, Florida's only ever Best In Show female Labrador),

  • Kika's grandmother the producer of 4 champions (including grand champions, bronze grand champions & 2 nationally ranked & 3 Eukanuba qualifiers)

  • and that Kika's great grandmother is also the producer of 4 champions, including 2 that were national ranked one a Eukanuba qualifier and one of them a Best Puppy In Show Champion!

That's 10 champions in 3 successive generations and now we have Kika!

Her answer to me "Well if you know of anyone that wants top show quality, send them to me!"

I bit my tongue one more time and head into the Best Of Breed competition with my boy Jake!
By the way, Kika took back-to-back Best Of Breeds at those two shows with my wife Johanna handling her.

* The above is an example of "wishing & a hoping" breeding. I know this breeder reads my blogs and I hope that she understands that breeding mediocre dogs with no appreciable conformational pedigree will just perpetuate the mediocrity even if they are bred to top producing stud dogs.

* Ok, so I have identified a situation that is very prevalent at the dog show level. If someone has the betterment of the breed in mind, then they will "trade up" to better breeding stock. Take all their run of the mill, mediocre dogs, place them in pet homes and invest in some of the top lines in the country. Have those top breeders as mentors as to which stud dogs to take those dams to. This is breeding with a purpose in mind and not just producing one "wishing and a hoping litter" after another.

 

* I had another person come ask me if one of the blogs was about her?

My answer "Well, are you guilty as charged?"

Her answer, "It sounded like something I went through with a puppy owner!"

My reply "Now aren't you glad I don't name names!"

 

 

 

01/04/2013  Evaluating Potential New Owners.................the Next Crucial Step

* Before the evaluation of any litter takes place at Chambray, I will have already "evaluated" 5 times as many people for the top puppies in the litter!!!!!!! By the time the litter evaluation takes place, I will have 3 potential new owners for every show puppy in the litter. I then have 2 weeks to narrow it down to 1 person per show puppy available!

Here is the criteria for selecting the new owners to be for our top show puppies:

  • Those that are already into showing

  • Those that have shown before

  • Those that have been to shows and have an interest.

  • Those that have read through my website and will leave their options open to learning about showing

 

01/04/2013  Guarantees Mean Absolutely Nothing If They Are Not Backed Up!

* My breeder doesn't want me to show my dog because she says it is not up to her standards for show, but she insists that it is show quality and refuses to honor her show guarantee!

* The show breeder I bought my dog from says that no one can guarantee show quality!

* I have a show quality dog from a top show breeder and it is missing 5 teeth. The breeder refuses to even talk to me about it because she says it is not a disqualification and therefore the dog can be shown.

* Shouldn't a dog that was bought as a show dog be guaranteed for hip dysplasia. The breeder says that the dog can still be shown if it is not operated on.

* I have had a professional handler on my dog for almost 2 years now and she hasn't won a single points, several RWB at small shows, but no points. The handler says that she is not competitive and doesn't think she can finish, the breeder insists that I keep showing her. By now I have spent more on showing her than what I bought her for.

* The breeder that I am dealing with, guarantees that she is placing the top pick puppy from her most recent litter with me, but she won't let me select the puppy I want and she is keeping a puppy for herself (the one that I like). Is that fair?

* My dog's breeder always keeps puppies from each litter, including the litter that I got my dog from. She has already finished 2 of my dog's littermates, but my dog has yet to win any points and she blames me for not training the dog correctly. I think that she kept the best dogs, so she won't back up her show guarantee.

Ok, so what does all of the above mean? A guarantee is only as good as the person behind the guarantee!

By the way all of the above emails stated their breeder's name, but of course you know my policy, no names! However, I guarantee that those that wrote in complaining will be more than glad to name names for years to come!

 

 

01/03/2013   The Value of the Evaluation, I stand by it being the most important agenda in being successful at the dog shows!

* If a breeder can not choose the right puppy from a litter, then they will go no where fast! It makes no difference how much training, conditioning or handling takes place after the evaluation........if the evaluation goes wrong, then the best puppy goes out the window never to be seen at a dog show.

* Only a couple of puppies really shine in any given litter, by the time you get down to the 3rd, 4th or 5th puppy in that litter, the luster is just not the same!

* Just like handling is an art that very few can master...............training also, only a gifted few know what they are doing.......................so is evaluating for success!

 

01/03/2013   Evaluations of litters.

* This is the single most important agenda in being successful at dog shows!!!!!!!!!!

* Any Peeping Tom, Tricky Dick or Hairy Harry can evaluate a litter! SO WHAT??????????? What do they know? What track record do they have in picking the best and then seeing them through to being champions or chumpions?

* I guarantee that most of the breeders that I know end up with the chumpions from their evaluations! I used to do evaluations for a certain breeder and she would invariably keep the "other" puppy instead of the one I had chosen. I can honestly say that she admitted to me on a dozen occasions how wrong she had been and that she wished she had kept the one I selected for her.

* Evaluations are the hit or miss, the make it or break it, the either you have it or you don't of being a consistent winner at the dog shows! What's in your wallet?

 

 

01/03/2013   Puppy answers.

* 99% of the litters are born at my owner's home where the dam lives. Each of my owners follows a special protocol for raising the litter. The litter is then brought to me at 6 weeks of age to finish out to 8 weeks of age. I evaluate the litter for show and for temperament, then I place each puppy with people that have been pre-approved from the Reservation Waiting list.

* I never know how many pet vs. show puppies there will be in any given litter. I will know that at 7 weeks when the critical evaluation takes place. So, when people contact me, I can't guarantee a puppy until there is a puppy to fit the bill.

01/03/2013   Answers To Most Common Emails Coming In!

* There are reasons for not disclosing names in this Blogging Off section.

  • First and foremost, I don't want to embarrass anyone. That is not the intent of me spending my time and energy posting here. People embarrass themselves when they speak and act, so I will leave that part to each and everyone that continuously sticks their foot in their mouth and let the rest of the peanut gallery decipher who they are!

  • 2nd, I am not up for retaliation. I have way too many people that depend on my programs to be spending any time defending myself from the afflicted.

* Yes, I know that this isn't the usual blogger's type blog! That's why I call it the Blogging Off section. If you know anything about me, you must have already figured out why I named it such!

* No, no one else may post here! This isn't a democracy, I dictate and the masses come to hear (actually read) what I have to say (write). If the masses wanted to hear what anyone else had to say, they would go to that person's website and read over there what's what!

* Yes, just like the hundreds that are part of Chambray's Total Show Dog Management Program, our competitors (and some detractors) come here every day and catch up on what's on my mind. Remember "electronic footprints" are left behind each and every time you visit a website!

* No, I don't spend an iota of time planning out negative campaigns against anyone. There isn't enough time in one of my days to deal with all those that depend on our various programs to spend on those that are not part of the programs. Here is an example of one of my days:

New Years Day January 1st 2013:

  • 7:30 AM - just woke up from going to bed 2 hours earlier (celebrating the New Year). Dogs need walking and puppies need feeding and runs need cleaning.

  • 8:30 AM - stud dog arrives with owner to be collected for an AI. Female was dropped off the 12/31 at 3 PM (before her owners go off the New York, Times Square to celebrate the New Year). AI completed by 9 AM.

  • 9:30 AM - took half hour nap while sitting in front of computer answering emails. Dogs barking with an owner at gait dropping off their dog after a 3 hour drive from their city. Dog needs serious work to get ready for Deland dog shows on 01/05! Spend an hour re-assuring owners that it is worth it and that their dog won't suffer too much while staying with us. lol

  • 10:30 - Feed puppies with the 1st treatment of Panacur (3-day treatment for intestinal parasites and other protozoan) I firmly believe in prevention way before intervention!

  • 11:30 AM -  1 hour appointment with another owner to go over their 2 dogs plans for 2013 and beyond. Male will continue to show until finished. Female may be bred this year.

  • 1:30 PM - the 1 hour appointment turns into 2 hours - Dogs need walking again, including the dog that was dropped off earlier being introduced as part of a pack (the beginning of training for her). She is as wild as a banshee, not knowing how to relate to a "pack walk".

  • 2:30 PM - Finished the 1 hour pack walk and the new dog now has figured out what her role as part of that pack with me as the leader of the pack. (hey, wasn't that the name of a song back in the 1960's?) Each dog is then placed back into their respective run or pen.

  •  3:00 PM - puppies need feeding again and their large run needs cleaning again. 6 week old puppies eat 4 times a day from 7 AM to 7 PM and potty ever 3 hours.

  • 4:00 PM appointment is 15 minutes early. 5 month old puppy starts showing later this month and the owners are getting anxious, so they are now scheduling weekly private training sessions.

  • 5:00 PM - fixing and mixing food and supplements for the resident Chambray dogs and also the "guest" that are here for training. Finished feeding and watering by 6:00 PM.

  • 6:30 PM - feed puppies last time, wait about 45 minutes before putting them up in the Puppy Runs after spending most of the day in the large Puppy Play Yard. Clean up large Puppy Play Yard where they will be taken out at 11 PM to do their last duty before being placed in their runs to sleep.

  • 7:30 PM - Throughout the day, I have checked emails and answered the most important. I also check the phone's caller ID in case those with litters due have called me. So, now I have 2 hours to answer emails and any emergency phone messages. I state at various places at the website that I don't have the time to answer phone calls unless they are an emergency. I do answer all emails.

  • 9:30 to midnight - walk dogs, walk puppies and work on website and other related business such as dog show deadline entries, setting up the next days itinerary.

* All dogs in our Handling Management Program are given individualized training and conditioning regimens according to need. The goal is to make each as competitive as possible to maximize each of their owner's investment. Those owners not willing to do what it takes are not included in future plans. Each dog in this program is given a 3-month schedule. After 3 months we evaluate where each is and make decisions for the next 3 months. Now compare this with the majority of the competitor's dogs that are on a hit or miss regimen (or lack of one)

To accept any less would betray our credo "for the betterment of the breed".

  • Success is founded on well laid plans,

  • success is dependent on the execution of those well laid plans,

  • success is accomplished when you are the best at what you do.

 

01/02/2013   Back to business as usual!

* Ok, here we go.......training starts tonight as the night classes kick back in with the Wednesday Night class at 7 PM tonight.

* Deadlines of entries have been met for the 2nd weekend of shows in Ocala and hopefully we will have majors for those shows giving some of our top dogs the chance to win that those major points needed for finishing their AKC champion's title.

* I hope to see some new dogs in the Lab ring, as there were a bunch of youngsters being socialized by their breeders and owners back towards the end of 2012 and some of those should be ready for these weekends of shows coming up.

 

01/01/2013   Happy New 2013 Year!!!!!!!

* Well, here it is the beginning of a brand spanking new year,

  • #43 for me with Labrador Retrievers,

  • 25 years in the dog show arena,

  • 23 years since the first bred-by litter,

  • 20 years since the very first Chambray-bred champion

 

12/31/21012   I am happy to have put a smile on many, a grimace on some and a little bit learning on others!!!!!!!

* Thank you all for another great year. Being alive and kicking is great indeed with several incidents that I had in the last year or so.

* Johanna asked me yesterday if I felt that 2012 was a good year for me. My answer " I am here with you at the Cheesecake Factory having dinner and that makes it a good year!"

* Yes, sometimes my Latin passion rises and combine that with my total love for anything Labrador Retriever, well kind of 2 volatile characteristics, but hey, put to good use, here we are!

* Thank you to all that read the recent article on the 2012 Eukanuba and that responded with kind words and understanding! I think that the higher ups at the AKC know exactly what I was talking about. Except for the bobble heads that kiss rears and say "yes" to everything, the vast majority of handlers and exhibitors there have agreed wholeheartedly with the views expressed in my short piece. In order to forge forward, the expose is not on the front page and accessible from the Reference Library page.

 

12/30/21012   Another Day, Another Dollar................................Spent!!!!!!!

* With the apocalyptic, doomsday, end of the world fiscal cliff almost upon us, we all need to rise up and kick some major butt out of the dim wits that are in office! I don't care if they are democrats, republicans, narwhales or sea urchins...................get your shitsky together and stop putting all of us through so much stress! Next election, let's get rid of the morons that are not doing the job we elected them to do.

 

* As a dog trainer of 37 years and with well over 20,000 dogs under my belt, I used to say that dogs reflected their owner's personality and temperament to the tune of about 70%........................well that percentage has also changed! Some dogs act 100% just like their owners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • If the owner is the whiney type, you can bet your bottom dollar that the dog will eventually be a whiner!

  • If the owner is the insecure type, within months of a puppy living with that type, all confidence goes out the window!

  • Place a puppy in a hyper environment and sure enough watch the puppy come back 4 months later scaling walls and bouncing off trees!

  • Watch what happens with a puppy placed with a scatter-brained individual...........yep, you get a scatter-brained dog!!!!!!!

  • A macho-type owner will somehow create an aggressive, macho type dog!

There are even bi-polar dogs now a days! Yep, bi-polar people make bi-polar dogs! Darndest (made up word) thing I ever did see............dog would come half the time I called it and the other half would head for the hills!

* Talking about bi-polar, recently I was receiving emails from a Jane Doe (not real name) and I would answer her each and every time, however I came to realize that she was a bit off her rocker as there were some emails that were repetitious and some contradictory........come to find out, there were actually 2 different people with the exact same name and even their email addresses were similar enough, one used hotmail an the other yahoo.

* Recently I had a client over with her dog for evaluation for training and the lady would spell certain things out because she said the dog understood everything she would say and that she didn't want the dog's feelings hurt!
She even wrote things on a memo pad because she thought that the dog could also figure out what she was spelling out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say that I didn't take the training job on, I need another lunatic like I need a haircut!

* Lady called me to ask how she could get her dog not to pee on her bed!
Answer: LOCK THE DANGED BEDROOM DOOR!

* Dog would beg and whine when everyone was at the dinner table.
Answer: For God's sake, move to another house and don't give the dog the new address!

* How can she stop dog from pulling her down the street everyday?
Answer: Only walk the dog every other day!

* How to see when dog would stand in front of TV.
Answer: Move the TV.

 

 

12/29/21012   More.................

* No, I won't name names! No need to aggrandize their miniscule efforts. Yes, there are several detractors that were at some time operating within Chambray's one-of-a-kind programs. They just didn't fit in and the working agreement was dissolved. Absolutely no loss on my part. We have so much positive going on that to lose time on negatives is detrimental and an utter waste of time.

* Yes, there are several breeders in the state that have nothing nice to say about our most successful efforts for the betterment of the breed. If you consistently get beat, over and over again, year in and year out, it is human nature to dislike that entity that completely thwarts your plans to win. So, I understand their discontent about our presence at the Florida and surrounding state's dog shows. There are some that haven't been able to champion a dog out of their breeding program in 10 years or more******!!!!! Now that's major frustration. There are others that generally had a champion every so often and in the past 3 years or so, nothing, so they too are relegated to the snickering that most non-winners resort to.

******in that same 10 year span of time, Chambray has finished 22 bred-by champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!So, figure it out, breeders that have been at it for 20 to 30 years and in the last 10 years have not been able to finish 1 single dog and your competitor finishes 22..........what do you think they think?..................Worse, what do you think they say?????

* I don't think that there is a clear cut #2 Labrador breeder in Florida. Looking at their produce in the last 5 years, I think that all those way behind Chambray's accomplishments can all be clumped together as a pack producing at about the same level. The newer types have latched on to better breeding stock from well-known kennels and the ones that have been around for some time have not forged ahead with any frequency to give them any appreciable distance from that pack.

* Besides that clumped pack in the 2nd spot..................behind those there are still some "lesser-type" breeders spinning their wheels with hit or miss, wishing & a hoping breeding programs and a few as usual clueless types. None of the preceding is new, as in every area these are more or less the dynamics of each breed ring. You have the leader of the pack, you have a throng clustered somewhere behind, you have some lagging and you have those bringing up the rear.

12/29/2012   More Answers to Emails

* Yes, there are a number of dogs that we handle at the dog shows that have different kennel names than Chambray. There are several kennel names, such as WinQuest, Guardian, Shady Banks, Scuba, and others that I help found and that I manage the entire breeding & placement of those puppies and then follow up with the training, conditioning and handling of those dogs with their new owners. There are also a couple right now on the show roster that I brought into the handling program, not so much for the money aspect of showing but more because of the value those dogs may have to the breeding program. Keep in mind that we can fill the show handling roster with just the dogs that are purely from Chambray, so taking a dog on for handling from an outside source will mean that a paying Chambray owner is left behind.

* Each owner that is part of the breeding program is mentored at length about their choices for breeding, be it a female or one of the stud dogs owned by those owners. When it comes time to consider a stud dog for a female, the owners are given a guideline as to what we want to introduce into the breeding. The female's assets are considered and so are any negatives she may have. We then search for males that can augment the positives and then offset any negatives the female may have. I normally offer my owners at least 5 males that I have predetermined will bring in the desired qualities to the breeding. They then have the choice from that lineup of dogs to choose from. Keep in mind that I am the one that will be offering those puppies produced to the next set of new owners, so that I have to stand 100% behind them with Chambray's iron-clad show guarantees.

* Each show owner is given the choice about which shows to enter their dogs for. I advice them of possible majors and also trends that certain judges may have. They are then free to choose which shows to enter. No one is forced to show their dogs, there are no contracts forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to! I know that there are breeders here in Florida that have those types of contracts with the dogs they sell. I also know of many of those owners that are very unhappy being forced into something they are not happy about. That won't happen with my program. Once a person becomes unhappy, disillusioned, disruptive or in any way not a happy camper, then we part ways. Of course human nature being what it is, most of those that have gone that way, end up bitter even when they are on their own. But, I just don't have the time nor energy to address those negative types once they are no longer part of our very successful programs.

* Yes, every business has a "satisfaction index". The better the product and the service, the higher the satisfaction ratings it has. Of course those businesses or products or services that traditionally are poor will have a lower satisfaction index. At Chambray Labradors, over the last 20 years we have consistently been upwards of 97% satisfaction. There is no way in the world to do better, even if you gave the product and service away for free, there are always those that will complain and bellyache no matter what. So, yes, there have been those that did not work well within the parameters set up for success. Those were then advised to seek alternatives beyond the programs that we offer for the betterment of the breed. Those then become the very vocal disenfranchised 3%. Those are the ones that can be found at dogs shows lurking about in the background hawking their displeasure to anyone that will give them the time of day. Fortunately most of the cast of characters at the dog shows know who these denizens are and give them no credibility.

* Credit is given where credit is due! Each and every success that our Total Show Dog Management Program achieves is shared with those that have been part of that particular journey. Example: BIS Bronze Gr Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter (Kika), the most decorated 2012 Eukanuba Qualifier and only 1 of 2 Best In Show winners in the entire country for 2012!

  • She is a 7th generation Chambray product, going back to our foundation bitch in 1988, Beavercreeks Crystal Chambray. We still give credit to that kennel way back in 1988 for having placed Crystal with us.

  • We also give credit to Crystal's daughter Ch Chambrays Indian Summer, co-owned and co-bred with the McGown family for 1 litter.

  • We give credit to Summer's daughter, Chambrays Summer Rebel Amber owned by the Senra family for co-breeding a litter that produced Ch Chambrays Chisholm Chancey with a breeding to Ch Grandquest Chambray Slapshot owned by Camille and Joe Gonzalez, the first of our Chambray owners going back to 1990.

  • We give credit to Chancey's owner Martha Chisholm for being part of Chambray for many years and co-breeding Chancey's Immaculate Conception litter (inside joke) that produced 3 exceptional champions, BPIS Ch Chambrays Chance N Counter (Connie), Ch Chambrays Mad About Madeline and Ch Chambrays Twist Of fate.

  • We give great credit to Connie's owner, then 12 year old Jessie Herzon for training and handling Connie to 2 Best Puppy In Shows and her AKC champion's title and for co-breeding Connie and producing 4 champions that she helped either finish or put points on. Connie was bred to BIS Ch Chambrays Out Of The Ruff, owned by Chambray owners Rosie and Bill Feeley

  • We give credit to Val Till, owner of one of Connie's daughters, Chambrays Eloquent N Counter (Ellie). Val has been part of Chambrays for over 2 decades and co-bred Ellie's first litter that produced Kika.

  • Now we work with Kika's owners, Olga and Juan Marrero for the betterment of the breed, together taking Kika where no other Chambray dog has ever been to before.

So, here we are 24 years removed from the female placed with us by Dr's Carol and Francis Rabalais of Beavercreek Labradors, 7 generations later and almost a dozen main contributors to the successes we are still enjoying in 2013-to-be and we give credit to all those on that super journey of time and success.

All of the above are part of the 97% Positive Satisfaction Index.

 

 

 

 

12/28/2012   This & That

* "I hope my dogs wins some points" the email stated. There was a photo of the dog included. This is a perfect case of what I refer to as "Wishing & A Hoping". There are dogs that have been showing in Florida for the last year that are 10 times better show dogs and yet none of those dogs have even been close to winning! The pedigree of the dog did not have a single show kennel in 4 generations! Wishing & A Hoping plus your entry fee will allow you to walk into the ring with the dog!

* Another email.............."My breeder just sent me the pick of the litter, what are my chances of finishing the dog?" The "breeder" is a puppy producer here in Florida and I know that in the 7 or 8 years they have been around, not a single dog they have bred has ever won a single point. They use the same sire for every litter produced and every one of those puppies that I have seen carries the same faults that the sire exhibits! Extreme short upper arm, high rear and straight rear legs with no angulation. The pick of any litter is worthless if the dogs it came from are nowhere nears to being correct conformation dogs!

* "I know my dog has faults, but I plan on breeding him to several females that do not have those faults." Why in the world would anyone breed a female to a male with obvious faults? Where is the logic behind breeding for faults? There is a reason that known breeders spend thousands upon thousands of dollars campaigning as near perfect champion males............... so that other breeders can take their females to those as perfect as can be males!

* "We have an 8-month old puppy from Highend Labradors (made up name), would you consider him for your handling program?" My answer: The puppy would have to be extraordinary and the pedigree one that I could use in our breeding program for the betterment of the breed. For Chambray Labradors Total Dog Management Program it is not just about handling dogs for money, it is about the big picture of showing dogs that will be part of the breeding program. Keep in mind that we have a set show roster in place that has already filtered out 4 or 5 dogs for each dog showing. Bringing in another handling assignment would mean leaving one already on the roster out. There are many professional handlers that would take your puppy on as a handling assignment without regards to the value it may or may not have to breeding.

 

12/28/2012   Some New Year's Thoughts

*Always think before you speak, sometimes saying nothing is worth more than saying something worthless!

*There is no fixing the world, so just make the best of what you have.

 

New-To-Be 2013 Statistics!

Now 1 in 6 ~ years back I would tell my owners that for every dog approved to be showing, there were 3 others that I discouraged for various reasons, that has changed as the bar has been set higher and higher and our Total Dog Management Program has been producing better and better. So now for every dog that is included in our show roster, there are 5 that are turned away from the show venue. Many of these "turned away" dogs would have been top seeded just 5 years ago!

Now 80% ~ back in 1990 we were lucky if 1 puppy in 10 was show quality (10%), now in 2013-To-Be that number has risen to 80%!!!!!! Recently, in some litters every puppy born has received the "show quality" designation.

Now 1 in 20 ~ just 5 years ago, 1 in 10 outside dogs that came for an evaluation received 2 thumbs up for showing, those odds have risen to 1 in 20 for a dog getting the favorable nod of the head. Of course that doesn't mean that their owners will heed the advise. Somewhere down the line they end up hiring some other handler and the dog will be traipsed at many shows before they give up on it. Not one single dog that I have turned down in the last 10 years has ever won 1 single point at the dog shows.

2 in 2000 ~ number of times a Labrador Retriever won a Best In Show in 2012 {one of those was BIS Ch Chambrays Celestial N Counter). So, you are 50 times more likely to get a hemorrhoid than your Labrador Retriever winning a Best In Show!

1 in 25 ~ number of dogs that start showing that actually will become champion

1 in 5 ~ number of Chambray dogs that start to show that will actually become champion

Which odds would your prefer?

 

 

12/25/2012 Season's Greetings To All

 

Some of your answers to the Top 10 Doozies!

 

"Is chewing rocks good for dog's teeth?"...........

Yes, your vet will be able to send all his kids to college with your vet bills!

They will probably match the rocks in your head!

 

"My female dog lifts her leg to pee, does that mean she can't have sex?"...............

Only if she doesn't have a headache.

 

"My dog barks and runs away, what will home invaders think?"..................

They will be too busy laughing their _sses off to think anything.

You should be glad he runs away, at least you will have your dog left after the burglars take everything else.

 

"My dog hates the milkman, but my wife says he is ok, what do you make of it?"..........................

If you have kids, I would have them DNA'd!

Obviously, the wife "sees" more in the milkman than your dog does.

The milkman is delivering the milk!

Sounds like your wife is getting some and the dog isn't!

 

"Can dogs see red like bulls can?".......................

Ask the next bull you see!

There's dog shit and there's bullshit, this sounds like the latter!

 

"My dog runs away all the time, do you think he is trying to tell me something?"................

Try feeding the dog once in a while!

Maybe, if you didn't beat the wife and kick the dog, they both may hang around.

There's probably a better trailer down the road it can live under!

 

"When I shoot a gun, my dogs runs under the bed!".................

What do all the other people in the house do when you shoot your gun?

For God's sake moron, stop shooting your dam gun!

 

"How can I get my dog to look like one of those show dogs of yours?".....................

Why in the world would you want a regular dog to look like one of those gay show dogs?

 

" I have a $500 dollar budget to buy a Lab, how much of a show dog will it buy me?".......................

Wait until you have the full amount and stop buying parts of dogs!

 

" When I spank my dog, it growls at me, what should I do?".........................

Trade places with the dog once in a while, you both might like it!

Video tape yourself spanking the dog and put it on You Tube, you may get your very own reality TV show and be a super star like Honey Boo Boo!

I hope the dog turns you in for dog abuse!

 

Now aren't you all glad that I am the one that answers all of your questions!

For those that celebrate Christmas.....................Merry Christmas!

 

 

12/23/2012 Christmas Eve's Eve

* For all those that have written in concerned with my state of mind after I issued several missives and diatribes, I assure you all that I am well and back on the teeter totter, razor's edge of a fence!

* Andy Gonzalez brought me one of those leaf blowers as a Christmas present and I just spent an hour blowing the shit out of the front yard!

* I opened the front door of the house and a 15 inch Basalisk (giant stripped lizard that runs on their hind legs) bolts into the house where Jessie and Johanna were wrapping gifts!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahhahah, the funniest thing I have ever heard or seen ensued. Of course I won't be getting nothin for a long time and the dog house looks like a mighty fine place to sleep at for a couple of nights!

* I look out to the street where a medium sized dog is chasing a very small scared dog yelping for his life as he ran away, then a few moments later I see the same medium sized dog running the other way with 2 very large dogs chasing him! My how things can change in a matter of minutes!

* The same lady that emailed me recently about "why I have to write about everything", just emailed me again asking why I don't write about things that I haven't written about before!

* The worse thing than stepping in dog shit, is stepping in it twice!

* Ryan, home from college tells us he has learned to cook and will prepare yesterday's meal for us. No more than 5 minutes pass than I hear yelling "where's the fire extinguisher?" The stove was on fire!!!!!! Seems he didn't read in the cookbook that you don't put plastic plates on hot burners!!!!

* Funny how burn't food just doesn't taste as good as it should!

* It takes 1 minute to burn something, but it takes a couple of hours to get the smoke out of the house!

* Even dogs hate the taste of burn't chicken and melted plastic!

* Now we worry about him going back to school!

 

 

 

12/22/2012 Weird stuff

* If you smell doo doo everywhere you walk, look under your shoes!

* Someone wrote in "What do you do if a coyote runs after you while walking your dog?"........ lost for words........yes Sandy Herzon has had occasions to be left speechless.................I replied "The same thing I would if a lion runs after you!" What would any of you have replied?

* Every day the dog from across the way comes and poops in our drive way out in front of the gate. Every day I see him I yell and throw a rock his way (remember we live out in the country and there are thousands of acres all around us where the moron dog can poop AND I don't really throw the rock to hit him because those of you that know me well know that I can knock the shitsky out of any object at 50 yards away), well today, the day after the world ended, several feral cats that roam our front yard heard me yell at the dog and all of a sudden they sprang out of the bushes next to the gate and chased the dog down the street. I bet he doesn't come back again!

* At one of the Orlando shows this past weekend, I was in the ring with Jake and had him stacked and poised leaning forward, nicely stretched out, looking really great when from ringside, sitting close by where I was standing a lady asked me, "Do you train him to do that?" Here again, what would any of you have answered?

* At the Eukanuba we weren't allowed crates ringside, so we had to go back and forth to the holding compound where our crates and grooming stuff was to go get dogs. I was bringing Kika to the ring for Johanna to go in with her and some bystanders stopped me to tell me that they have a Labrador that looks exactly just like her back at home!

* Top 10 Doozies of the Year!

  1. "Is chewing rocks good for dog's teeth?"...........

  2. "My female dog lifts her leg to pee, does that mean she can't have sex?"...............

  3. "My dog barks and runs away, what will home invaders think?"..................

  4. "My dog hates the milkman, but my wife says he is ok, what do you make of it?"..........................

  5. "Can dogs see red like bulls can?".......................

  6. "My dog runs away all the time, do you think he is trying to tell me something?"................

  7. "When I shoot a gun, my dogs runs under the bed!".................

  8. "How can I get my dog to look like one of those show dogs of yours?".....................

  9. " I have $500 dollar budget to buy a Lab, how much of a show dog will it buy me?".......................

  10. " When I spank my dog, it growls at me, what should I do?".........................

Since I let people know that it may take a while to get answers to their questions, I need all of your help with the preceding 10 Doozies, what would your answer be? Bear in mind the "state of mind" that these folk may have or be in! Remember you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!

 

 

12/22/2012 Ok now, let's get this party started!

* Hey, this hiatus stuff is totally overrated! I guess I am not the hiatus-type kind of guy! So, I'm back with a vengeance........no more time off for me!

* It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game! Yeah, go ask any of the NFL coaches that got fired this year for not winning! I will keep taking my chances and PLAY TO WIN!

* I can't wait for the "Playing Nice" awards to come out, gee maybe I will get the "Nice Player of the Year". I will have to remember to say "Thank you" to all those whose dogs didn't win and didn't bother to come congratulate me for yet another winning weekend!

* Winners Never Whine and Whiners Never Win!

* By the way, I wasn't whining about the Eukanuba, I was just telling it like it is!

* The results at any given dog show is the result of one person's opinion for what it is worth!

* The yearlong accumulation for a dog in competition is a more accurate measure of the dog's value

* Passing thoughts" At a recent dog show, I overheard a couple of my man owners BS talking about a "Tonya Harding knee cap" type action needed to beat a certain dog in the ring (Kika)..................standing next to them, intently listening was a professional dog handler wearing a knee brace!

* An oxymoron situation: This lady emails me to ask "Why do you have to write about everything?"

I answer, "Why do you have to come to my website blogs and read everything I write?"

To which she replies "I don't want to miss anything you have to say!"

* Judge Judy has it right.....the world is full of morons!

* Here are examples of the above:

"You all should only go to half the shows in Florida, which would allow the other people showing to win their fair share of the time"

"It's not playing fair to have 2 champions showing at the same time"

"They shouldn't allow you professionals to compete against amateurs"

"Because you guys win all the time, those who don't win are dropping out"

*To which I have to say, "Breed better dogs, train & condition those dogs better, either hire a professional or learn how to handle and then come out to play with the big boys and girls"...................plus "stop your whining and use that negative energy to get the lead out!"

12/22/2012 Where Are We?

* I woke up this morning to the usual sounds of dogs barking! Since the world was supposed to end last night, I am not sure whether it did end and we are on the "other side" and it's the same there or whether we are still over on this side and it's the same business as usual here!

* Since the world did not end predicted by those thousands and thousands of hieroglyphic stones, I have a very plausible explanation for what went wrong/right! The main chief, head little Mayan guy in charge of astrophysics was dyslexic and when in the act of juxtapositioning the very heavy stone blocks depicting 5000+ years of occurrences........................whoop, he inadvertently got a few of the stones in the wrong place!

So for the faithful doomsayers, you will have another chance to party all night long as soon as someone figures out which stones need to be re-arranged and the next end of the world date will be awaited for!

 

 

12/21/2012 The Mayans Had It Right! They predicted that today would come and by golly, here it is!

* Right before the world ends, I have one last offering: My Take On The 2012 Eukanuba

If no one stands up and speaks out....................then no one will be heard!

It only takes one small pebble tossed into still waters to create ripples.

 

 

 

12/20/2012 All Is Quiet On The Dog Front.

* It's that time of the year to spread some cheer! Go out and spend some quality time with your dog and with your family, not necessarily in that order. All other matters can be put on hold. Be thankful for the things you have.

Unless something pressing or of urgent importance emerges, I will be out of radar range until December 26th.

Have a cheerful Holiday and the most prosperous New Year ever!

 

 

12/19/2012 Yes, Dog Showing Can Be Fun!

* The answer to that question is YES! However it is also relative as heck and as illusive as a butterfly in a gale! Hey, I just made that last one up......an illusive butterfly in a gale!

Yes, let's all go out and have fun showing our dogs! Whoop-de-do and as the little pig squeals out....weeeeeeee!

Now let's get real and let's see how many are still having fun right after their dogs don't win!!!!!!!!!! So all those having fun sort of lose their appetite immediately after the judge points his arthritic, crooked finger at someone else's dog, who by the way will probably be blond and will still be having fun!

So, yes I am very, very serious about what I do with the breeding, training, conditioning, showing and managing all those dogs...........................the fun comes in when we win all the time with many of those dogs.

* Why in the world would anyone listen to people that are not successful???????????????????

"So & So says this and that!" or "SmartyPants disagrees with that you say!"....................my question to you is "how successful is So & So......................what has SmartyPants accomplished in the last 10 years??????

So essentially we have a bunch of blind mice leading a bunch wayward sheep into a sly cat and hungry wolf world!

 

12/19/2012 The Tale/Tail of the Tape. Answers to the most posed question, "Why is your program so successful vs. the others"

* The old, time honored idiom "comparing apples to oranges" presents a juggernaut of a problem for anyone trying to figure out what the parameters will be to solve the riddle. Actually, there is no satisfactory way to scrutinize 2 objects that are so vastly different & similar other than to describe each and allow others to make a decision as to what best suits them between the two. Yes, in the case of apples vs. oranges, both are fruit, both are beneficial as staple foods.........there can be hundreds of items that each can be, yet they are as different as they are similar. The old proverbial merry-go-round

* Comparing Chambray's Total Dog Management Program vs. those that also compete at dog shows presents us with a very similar quandary as the apples vs. oranges coffee table discussion. Once again, the best approach to answering this monkey brain debate is to qualify each.

Let's start with the OTHERS.

  • Some are only breeders

  • Some are only exhibitors

  • Some are only professional handlers

  • Some are totally clueless

  • Some are wasting their time

  • Some will never, ever amount to "nothing"

Let's delve a little deeper into the above categories. The "Some are only breeders" group encompasses a lot of real estate. There are so many types of breeders that there isn't enough time nor space here to fully describe the vast difference in this group. Let's trim the fat and let's use a recent dog show to illustrate some of the folk that are part of this group. In the lineup of dogs for this particular show were dogs bred/managed by Chambray that are part of the Total Dog Management Program, so we will sidestep those for the time being.

  • There were dogs entered that were bred by a couple of the long established, more competitive Lab breeders in the state. Very good quality dogs from this small group.

  • There were dogs from several well-known and competitive breeders from outside the state. Very good quality from this group also

  • There were dogs entered from about half a dozen or more upstart Florida breeders, a mixed bag ranging in poor quality dogs to good quality dogs.

Ok, so that covers the depth or lack of depth of quality of the dogs & breeders of those dogs.

Let's consider the condition the dogs were in. 80% of that lineup were totally out of condition! Overweight, pudgy...........not in "working condition" as the standard calls for. So, 20% came to compete in excellent, working condition!

Now, let's go over the handling of those dogs. The majority had professional handlers on them. Knowing these handlers and what they charge, each dog was paying well over $100 per day (handling fees and all the extra charges added to the bill). Professional handlers are a must in order to compete in the Labrador ring in Florida because the main competition is our Total Dog Management Program, however professional handlers can give each of those dogs only the time of day in that short period of time they are in the ring with the dog. They handle 20 to 30 dogs throughout the day and their energy and loyalty is critically divided amongst all those handling assignments. Of course there were rank amateur owner/exhibitors doing the best they can, however their best just doesn't measure up to the level of expertise they are up against with the pros and with Chambray.

Game Plan: This is an essential element to put the whole kit and caboodle together. Merely dragging a dog from home and traipsing it about a dog show does not qualify as a game plan for success. There has to be some goals, a mission and or strategy for any type of competition. A master plan has to be drawn up where a dog starts out at point A and is led to point B with the expectation of success. Floundering around with a dog in tow does not make a show dog!  

Collating the above information a picture emerges of good quality/poor quality, some good condition/more out of condition, pro handling/poor handling...................now let's consider the other side of the apples vs. oranges quandary.

Chambray's Total Dog Management Program:

  • The Best in breeding

  • The Best in training & conditioning

  • The Best in handling

  • The Best laid plan for each dog

So now we have the parameters of how to compare the apples and the oranges....................them vs. Chambray's Total Dog Management Program..........................let's look at the results for that dog show weekend.

Out of the 2 Best Of Breeds...... Chambray 2 ..................Them 0

Out of the 2 Winners Dog....   Chambray 1.................Them 1

Out of the 2 Winners Bitch..   Chambray 2...............Them 0

83% Chambray  17% Them

So, what about the rest of the 2012 year at 32 weekends of dog shows.....................in 5 states?

  • 30 Best Of Breeds...................

  • 59 Winners Dog/Winners Bitch.............

  • Wins at every weekend of dog shows!!!!!!!!!

  • USA record 7 Honor Roll qualifiers to the 2012 Eukanuba National Championships

  • Florida record 6 new champions for 2012

  • 3 new Grand Champions

  • 1 Bronze Gr Champions

  • and the biggest cherry atop the icing on the cake a BEST IN SHOW, only one of two Labradors to win a Best In Show in the entire country for 2012!!!!!

So, the answer to the burning question "Why is your program so successful vs. the others" can be answered with another time honored fruit question "How do you like them apples?"

 

12/18/2012 More this and that!

* Thank you to all the "congratulations" and "job well done" that I have received from hundreds across the country and beyond! The online videos of our dogs at Eukanuba at the following URL
http://www.dogchannel.com/akc-eukanuba-videos/labrador-retriever-best-of-breed-video.aspx
has made Kika & Gavi international stars! Yes, the cameras gave my kids, Jessie & Ryan and the 2 girls super extra camera time!

* The quality of champion dogs was outstanding at the Eukanuba and with 55 specials showing, the Eukanuba should be considered more of a "specialty" than just a regular all-breed show.

* Other than the Chambray dogs competing there, I had personal favorites including Ch Salty Dog Of Tampa Bay, Ch Sunnydaze Running Across The Miles, Ch Gateways Nothin But Trouble, Ch Briarwood's Eye On The Prize.

* "What does it take to be part of your successful show dog program?" This query comes in many different forms but the main train of thought is that people now recognize a winning program and they want to partake in the bounty.

First & Foremost: Obviously it takes great bred dogs! Not just any Tom, Dick or Harry type dog will do..........ONLY THE BEST will do! I am 100% adamant in the preceding. Either the dog comes from our superior breeding program or it comes from one of the select top breeders in the country! So, right from the get go, we load up the deck in our favor with the best dogs!

Second & Very Important: My guidelines and protocols must be followed implicitly! Any deviations or inconsistencies are a total waste of my time and the journey will be short lived! There is only one leader of the pack in these parts and that's me. There are other breeders, trainers/conditioners & handlers...................go try find someone as successful as we are.

Third & Ranking Right Up There with the 1st & 2nd agendas: Training & Conditioning are a must. If I determine that the dog needs swimming, then swimming it must have, if I recommend, roadwork, bicycling or treadmill, then those suggestion have to be put into play. If the dog needs the Chambray Boot Camp, then off to camp it will go. If I recommend Poochie being away from Mommie, then pack its bags and away it goes!

Forth: Handling at the dog shows! Once the dog is at the dog show, it comes totally, 100% under my management program! I am without a doubt the deciding factor bar none with all the decisions made at the dog shows.

All of the above will lead to the most successful game plan ever put together for Labrador Retrievers. Any dissention, deviations or divisiveness will lead to the termination of the plan for that dog. No ands. ifs or buts (butts also) about it.

As Walter Cronkite would sign off each night after the CBS Evening News......"And That's The Way it Is"

 

12/18/2012 Ok, Ok, Ok............................I will add my 2 cents worth at least once a day!

* Seems that this Blogging Off section has become addictive to "tons" of people! So, I will make sure that each of you's gets your daily fix!

* Yes, I was very disappointed with the Eukanuba thing this year. Having run of the mill, dogs that will never be champions there as part of the goings on takes away the specialness of the event!

* It wasn't only me, but many of the other well-known breeders felt the same way and some speculated not returning next year.

* Although I am a bit miffed about the whole thing, Johanna is already planning for the 2013 Eukanuba! Here it is, only 2 months since the qualifying period started for 2013 and Chambray has or will have 4 dogs at the top of the list in the country that will have qualified for the 2013 event.

  • Hogan with his Best In Show Veteran Honor Roll

  • Kika with 3 Honor Rolls already, Bred By Exhibitor, Bronze Grand Champion, 2013 Top 25 (she's #2 right now), plus she is well on her way to a 4th Honor Roll with the Silver Grand Champion in sight within a couple of months of showing at the rate she is winning BOB, BOS and Selects.

  • Jake with a Bronze Grand Champion Honor Roll with his next few shows and a possible 2013 Top 25 as well.

  • Gavi with her Bred By Exhibitor Honor Roll.

There may be a couple more to add to the above list before the October 2013 deadline rolls around!

* This year Chambray finished an astounding 6 new champions!!!!! Yet, here we are poised to finish 8 more dogs in 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WHAT????????????????????

Here is a run down of those dogs and their point count to date:

  • Chambrays Emmie 21 pts/1 major

  • Summithills Jercicho 16 pts/1 major

  • Chambrays Destiny 14 pts/1 major

  • Shady Banks Chambray Ti 11 pts /1 major

  • Chambrays Aslan 9 points

  • Chambrays Walter 10 points

  • Chambrays Eko 9 points

  • Chambrays Moe 9 points

That's not even thinking about some of the 2011 youngsters & the new 2012 puppies coming on strong as puppies and later in the year as youngsters!!!!!!

CAUSE & EFFECT at its best!!!!!!!

  • BREED for the Best

  • TRAIN for the best results

  • CONDITION those dogs to their best

  • HANDLING at its best

All the above leads to SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

12/16/2012 Finally Home!!!!!! From The  Orlando & the Eukanuba

* Boy is that a grueling 6 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really thinking hard about skipping next year's ordeal! Way, way too much work, expensive as heck proposition, can't take as many dogs (so less money made) and the "magic" is gone! (short article to come)

* Kika and Gavi kicked bootie with BOS's & Select's Grand Champion points and Chambrays The Count De Monet came home with a Winners Dog for 2 points! Can't complain about that!

 

Ok, here's the deal for the next 21 days or so. I will be dedicating some real hard time into our class dogs that will be on the front lines come January 2013. There won't be any night classes to give Johanna and Jessie some much needed "getting ready" for the holidays time! However, I will be taking private one-on-one sessions with any and all the dogs that will be showing in the New Year. It is up to each of those owners whose dogs have been selected to be the ones to take Chambray Labradors into our 43rd year and keep us in the lone position of Florida leader of the pack for umpteen years in a row!

I will make the time, if each owner takes the time to come out and work with their dog to complete the Winner's Edge Cycle of training/conditioning to add to the great breeding and the eventual superb handling!

 

The Blogging Off section will be added to as needed.

 

12/11/2012 Re-Cap before heading to Orlando & the Eukanuba National Championships

* Over 100 people came to visit us at the Miami dog shows this past weekend. At one point in time we had more people around the Labrador ring then there were people in the entire building!!!!! Now that's what I call a following!

* There was someone there looking for a Lab puppy and they asked me what made me different than the other Labrador breeders. I said "Look around you" and then I advised him to go talk to the groupie from the "dark side"! It didn't take long for him to get away from all that negativity and go talk to several of our owners! He later emailed me to ask "What's the matter with that crazy lady?"

* Someone asked me how they can keep their dog from losing, my reply "Don't show it anymore!"

* "You get out of it what you put into it".....................This came from one of our competitor handlers talking about one of her own handling clients complaining about her dog not winning! "You have to have a great dog to win all the time and he's not great" She added while we were in the ring competing against each other.

* The difference with all the dogs that are in our Total Show Dog Management Program is that we feel 100% that each and every dog that we are showing has the potential and ability to win on any given day! So, we put in the best dogs and we get back the best results at the dogs shows..............You get what you put into it! I could have not said it any better!

* If any of our owner's and client's dogs were not worthy to be in the ring..........................it wouldn't be there with one of us handling it!

* An outsider owner was overheard complaining" You just can't win against all these great dogs Chambray brings to these shows!" So next year we are going to only take our worst dogs so that those with lesser quality can win once in a while.

* You really didn't believe that last paragraph above, did you?

* Another breeder was upset because once again she brought her best puppy of the year and it just wasn't good enough........so she didn't come back to the next day's show.

* Only one dog can win its class........it doesn't make the others in the class "losers"...............they just didn't win that day..........................Didn't Dorothy say "there's always tomorrow!"

* There is an inherited problem when outsiders compare what they have and what Chambray Labradors has put together in terms of explaining the overwhelming success of our dogs. That problem is that most outside the program don't get it.........................they don't get the total dog program in place that is directly responsible for the winning weekend in and weekend out...................every weekend of the year, year after year!

The competitors blame everything under the sun and even the moon!

  1. "They have the judges in their pockets"

  2. "The judges are the family's friends"

  3. "They select the judges they want"

  4. "They pressure the clubs to select the judges they want"

  5. "They bring too many dogs"

  6. "They bring great dogs"

  7. "They don't play fair"

  8. "They arrange for certain dogs to win"

  9. "They handle too many dogs"

  10. "They don't leave anything for others to win"

  11. "They have chased away the other good breeders"

  12. "They have chased away the northern breeders"

Well, here is the secret.........................and it has nothing to do with any of the above!

  • We breed better dogs!

  • We train and condition those dogs to their individual best!

  • We provide top-notch, individualized handling for each of those dogs!

So, now armed with the secret, do you think that the competitors will do something about it. I bet that next year at this time the complaints will be identical to the numbered list up above.

* Ok, so there are exceptions to the rule..............................there were a couple or three of our dogs that were not exactly the models of well-behaved, well-trained show dogs! Dogs will be dogs and each has its day!!!!!!!!! However, the difference with all 3 of those dogs is that I will bet the house and barn on them making it to the top! The difference will be the time and energy that each owner will now put in and I will match their efforts to get those dogs to be the very best they can be the next time we all see each other at a dog shows! GUARANTEED!

That's what Chambray Labrador's Total Show Dog Management Program is all about! No secret!

 

12/10/2012 The DAY After!

* This weekend's results at the Miami Dog Show in our own back yard..............Resounding exclamation point!

* ONE MORE TIME FOR THOSE MODELS NOT EQUIPPED WITH HEADLIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!

* Any and all dogs under our Total Show Dog Management Program WILL be shown if there is a possibility that a major can be had from the breed ring competition! We had 2 males that could have taken Best Of Breed and that would have crossed them over for a major! In fact, all they needed was a Best Of Opposite over the champion males.

* With that being said, none of our specials dogs will be dumped or held back in anyway to accommodate one of our class dogs to cross over them for a major or any win!!!!!!! If a dog is going to win BOS or BOB, it has to do it under its own merits!

* Our specials dogs have top priority over all the class dogs, however we do not hold the class dogs from competition if what they need is a Best Of Breed or a Best Of Opposite Sex crossover.

* We only offer explanations to those in our management program. Those owners with dogs from other breeders handled by other professional handlers are offered no explanations on how we do things. If they want to join in with the most successful breeding/training/handing program, there is a price to pay! We reserve the right to include and EXCLUDE anyone.

* Or, they can come here and read these blogs to get an education for free......................which the vast majority do according to all the ISP addresses that I accumulate.

* If any of our owners has questions, then they can come to me where I will lecture them!

* Yes, there will always be grumbling, it is an inherited trait whereever more than 1 human being congregates!

* For those relatively new to the area dog show dynamics, keep in mind that there are a few that have been banished from our management program and only have venom to spew, which is precisely why they received their walking papers in the first place!

* In order for a dog to finish, it needs to beat the better dogs out there! So, I really don't feel bad if any dog "just needs 1 more win to finish". When it wins, it was the better dog that day, when it doesn't win then there is always tomorrow!

* You can only make 2 owners happy per show, the owners of the Winners Dog and the owners of the Winners Bitch, all the rest will not be happy campers for a few hours!

* There is great camaraderie right until we head into the ring for competition, then its every owner for themselves!

* The "winning effect" only last until the same dog doesn't win the next day!

* The best advice I can give anyone around ringside is to "listen with ears closed"!

* Was it me or did anyone else see a black cloud hovering around ringside both Saturday and Sunday?

* But fret not because I hung a "reverse voodoo doll" above the #3 ring sign. The idiot MBF guy came by and almost knocked it off by trying to straighten the pole!

*See that's what Chambray's Total Show Dog Management Program does, it covers all the possibilities!

* I am only concerned with things I can do something about...............someone's opinion is an incurable disease!

* You know what they say about opinions and cloacae apertures..... Everybody's got one and everyone thinks everyone else's stinks." Just case you missed both movies that had that famous line (of course I substituted cloacae aperture for what my wife calls me all the time)

* Has anyone noticed that the Winners Dog and the dog that didn't win are just as happy before they went into the ring as they are when they walk out of the ring as winner and loser?

* In dog showing no one keeps a running record of how many times a dog loses! Each day it returns to ringside it starts out with a brand new slate and can turn around and be the big winner for the day!

* It's a good thing that people that didn't win the day before don't come back the next day as angry as they left the day before!

* For some people winning isn't everything, it is all there is!


 

 

12/09/2012 Before I Leave For The Sunday Miami Dog Show

* The competition has a great advantage over most of our new owners.................the competition has been reading my articles and my blogs for years and knows much of what I try to teach all the new owners!!!!

* Listen intently to what others say.....................then let me know what that is and I will let you know what if any is of any value to you!

* Someone will ask "What's wrong with your dog?"....................so that you will get all worried!

* Someone will say "Your dog should have won yesterday!"..........................when they didn't even see your dog in the ring!

* Someone will say "This judge doesn't like yellows!"..........................knowing full well your dog is yellow and they have never, ever seen that judge before.

* Get the picture?

* Love your dog regardless of what color ribbon it gets! Dogs don't have a color value, so a blue ribbon tastes just as good as a white ribbon!

* Remember, the judge doesn't have to give your dog any ribbons, even if your dog is the only one in the ring!!!!!!!

 

12/08/2012 ~ Observations From Inside The Ring

* Ok, I know I said I wasn't going to Blog Off on show days............but hey, this weekend's shows are right down the road from home and my computer is here begging me to blurt out something........besides I receive dozens of questions about the shows anyways so here goes!

* Looking from inside the ring while handling a dog, I see a lot of "deer in the headlights" looks from around ringside.

* Most people showing dogs just don't get the permutations involved in the making up of a major pointed show. After 25 years of showing dogs, I am now resigned to that fact.

* No matter how time goes by and how water has flushed down the commode (I am tired of that water under the bridge saying), people with negative attitudes just keeping plugging along, the only difference they just look grumpier!

* This weekend's show in Miami marks our 26th year of showing there. We get to see some real old faces dating back to 1986...................reminds Ma and Pa Herzon how old we have also gotten in those same by-gone years!

* The level of quality in dogs at the Labrador ring in those 26 years has risen 10 fold! The handling of those dogs has also risen to become 3 times as competitive!

* We showed for 4 years straight from 1986 to 199o in Miami without ever winning a single point! We finally broke through and won a Winners Bitch with a dog we owned in 1991 with Chelon's Emma Ducka.

 

12/07/2012 ~ At Odds With Themselves!

* I love it when a breeder advertises they are a non-kennel breeder! Yet, they have a kennel building where some of their dogs are housed, they have pens and crates where dogs are contained...................so what constitutes a kennel breeder and a not-kennel breeder? Besides USDA regulations prohibit dogs from roaming about free, so housing and penning is a must if more than a certain number of dogs are being kept.

* Another pearl of wisdom dispensed by a few is about being a non-commercial breeder. Once money is exchanged for a product, that makes it a commercial transaction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unless a breeder is giving their puppies away, they are a commercial entity! Just ask the IRS!

* Those claiming "limited showing"............going to almost every dog show is NOT limited showing! When you appear in the background of dozens of photos snapped at ringside, it is proof positive that there was no "limits" to your showing! Maybe a better descriptive would be "limited winning kennel" or "nills as the hills winning kennel".

* "A couple of litters a year" would be exactly 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not a 6 or 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!When you show up at shows and there are 4 or 5 dogs from different litters born the same year it blows "a couple of litters a year" totally out of the water!

* "I don't ever talk bad about others, but that So and So breeder has the worst dogs in the planet!" EVER means EVER, like in it doesn't EVER happen. I just love it when they cross themselves up like that.

 

more Herzonisms!

* At dog shows beware the "friendly stranger", they have no candy to give and may very well be after your own.

* Enjoy yourself if your dog wins because those whose dogs just lost will not be in a party mood!

* Beware those that speak in hushed tones, they may be speaking about you and don't want you to hear!

* Not everyone at the shows has an agenda, there are tons of clueless people as well.

Ok, now with all that being said and done, let's all go out there and have some fun!!!!!!!!

 

12/07/2012 ~ Been There.........Done That! Time for more Herzonisms!

* There's great camaraderie between dog owners.........there is also great rivalries when those same dogs they own compete for the wins!

* Take what you hear around ringside with a grain of salt and a dash of pepper! Emotions run high and people "miss-speak" at times when tongues should be clenched and not flapping!

* There is only 1 true expert when it comes to Labradors! You are very fortunate to know him!

* Of course taking the preceding at heart and mind: No one else has anything of value that will help you in any way!

* Competition brings out the evil in a "few"...the problem is you don't know the difference between the "many" and the "few"!

* Bad guys don't think of themselves as bad guys!

* Dogs don't know when they win or lose...............it's the owners that go hysterical with either and both!

* My owners think I am nuts when I say it doesn't matter if your dog wins or not, it's how they perform!

* Those same owners would rather have a total moronic performance in the ring by their dog followed by the awarding of a blue ribbon than the awarding of a 2nd place with a great performance!

* Throwing caution to the wind!

* I have always wanted to use that last line in one of my writings, so now I am in writer's blithe!

* Here is one last gem before I get wrapped up in preparations for this weekend's show right here in Miami. Listen to all the chatter and believe NOT one word of it, save them all for a rainy day, put them all in an email and send it to me to make heads or tail of them! I will create some great reading matter from the hubris that goes around!

 

12/07/2012 ~ Creating Edges For Your Dog To Win More Than Not!

* Once again Pooch didn't win his class and you as the owner can't figure out why the greatest dog in the world can't beat out a regular looking mutt of a dog! Of course that other dog is also owned by another owner that thinks that he too owns the greatest looking dog in the world and he just beat a regular looking mutt of a dog, your Pooch! My, my how we go around and around and where we stop, no one knows!

* So, are there things that can be done to give Poochie an advantage when he goes up against that other regular looking mutt of a dog? Of course there are, that's why there are dog trainers & dog training classes......... dog handlers of every size, shape, sex and sassiness.......... different tasting treats............. different colored leashes................lucky charms for luck and voodoo dolls for casting evil spells.....................you name it and us humans have come up with a way and means to be at the front of the line!

* At Chambray Labradors with our Total Show Dog Management Program we are only concerned with those matters that do really matter. Although fancy, expensive brightly colored leashes make the owners feel special......talismans, rabbit's foot, lucky charms, omens and Iggy dolls all add mystic....we believe in good old fashion hard work to get us across the finish line a greater percentage of the time.

  • We firmly believe in our long established breeding program now entertaining the debut of our 9th generation of superb and record setting champion dogs.

  • Our exclusive training and conditioning methods that brings about the desired results much sooner than the established times and ages accustomed by others.

  • Combined with our dog show handling and management and of course our long-established presence in the show dog world.

With these 3 prior mentioned "edges" in place Poochie is much more likely to be a winner and the owner less likely to be a whiner! Of course the rabbit's foot, the lucky charm are all great ideas to wart off the other owner's pin cushion voodoo doll effect!

 

 

 

12/06/2012 ~ Re-Hashing A Classic...................Handling Priorities!

* Oh boy here we go again! Handlers take on multiple handling assignments...................that's how they make a living. If they only handled 1 dog per day, the handling fee would be over $500, as it is in specialties where they may only handle 1 or 2 dogs. There are instances as at Westminster and at the Eukanuba National Championships where handling fees may reach $1500 per day per dog.

So, a handler may handle 3 different male dogs in 3 different classes. There is a possibility that each of those dogs may win a first place from each of those different classes. The handler can only go back in with 1 dog for Winners Dog competition so, strategies are put into place for that eventuality. The handler creates a "priority" for the 3 dogs, one of them receives top priority based on a myriad of conditions and that dog will be the one that the "primary handler" will go back on into Winners Dog. The other dogs that he/she won with in the classes will need a "backup handler" to go back into Winners Dog competition. Each handler acts as his dogs manager and he/she decide what the priorities are before hand or even at the spur of the moment, but a real good handler will have those situations covered so that there is someone "covering" each of his handling assignments.

At the most recent dog show, we went into the competition knowing that we could end up with 7 dogs that each won their classes and that we would need 7 handlers to go back into Winners Dog competition. Weeks before, we hired other seasoned handlers to work for us a the dog shows in case of that eventuality. Sure enough we ended up with 5 winners that needed to go back into Winners Dog Competition. There were 3 Herzons and 2 backup handlers, so the situation was totally covered.

What needed to be put into play was handling priorities for each of the 5 dogs. Jessie had won with 2 of the dogs and she went back in with the one with the most points and needing to cross over to BOB. I also had won with 2 of the dogs and I went back in with the Bred By dog that also had the most points of my assignments. Johanna had won with the 12 to 18 dog, but she went back in with Jessie's 2nd dog that had more priority having more points. So that left 2 dogs for our backups to handle. Each of those handlers was covered in-depth on our handling strategies and it all went seamlessly.

Contrary to critic's loose lips, no dog is dumped for another, each dog gets specialized handler attention. No total stranger is pulled from Timbuktu.

What is very interesting to see and hear now a days is that one of our most vocal critics in the past, now brings an array of her own dogs, something that she used to slam us about doing. She would also criticize the fact that backup handlers were used on dogs where the primary handler had won several classes with. Well, wouldn't you know it that she now faces the exact same situation when several of her dogs win multiple classes and she has to scurry about to find total strangers to back up those dogs. In fact, one of her dog owners was not happy about one of those "total strangers" going back in with their dog.

The more things change the more they stay the same!

This is the reason none of the dogs personally owned by the Herzons ever competes against our owner's dogs! Conflict of interest will drive away even the most loyal owner.

 

*"Why didn't my dog win?" is another classic that I get over and over again! Well, the quickest and simplest answer is "Because another dog won!". Your dog didn't win because another dog won, simple enough, well maybe and maybe not!

Of course we know that answer will not suffice for someone looking for in-depth reasons why Pooch did not win the points or even his class. In reality, there is no one real answer that will fully explain why one dog wins and why another dogs doesn't. There are multitudes of reasons, but the first and foremost reason is the individual judge's decision! That is why the results from one day to the next with different judges could be totally catawampus!

Through our Total Show Dog Management Program, we only bring the very best in conformation, we take those dogs and give them our specialized training and conditioning methods and then we take extreme pride in the actual handling of the dogs at the shows. Then we leave it up to the judges to decide which is the dog they like best!

That's the dog that will win!

 

12/06/2012 ~ The flip side

* Yes, there are scores and scores of great Labrador breeders! Those breeding very moderate, sporty dogs that can look great, move great and can do some work without huffing and puffing while making their way around an air-conditioned building.

* No names because there is no way I can mention all those whose dogs I admire and I wouldn't want to leave anyone out. However, if I have used their dogs in my breeding program for stud service, then I approve lock, stock and barrel of them as top flight breeders.

* Yes, most of the dogs in the Eukanuba Top 25 deserve to be there. I hope most make it to the December 15th Big Bash! This year the Eukanuba National Championships are open to all dogs, however they still maintained the "by invitation" as well creating special designations as "Honor Roll Invitees". Aside from one of our dogs being a Top 25 Invitee, there were 6 others that received the special invitation to compete.

* There are no short cuts to breeding great dogs. It doesn't happen overnight either! All of the top breeders have been at it no less than 15 years, with some into their 30th year or more.

 

12/05/2012 ~ Rambling On Some More

* The main proponent of "not playing fair by bring many dogs out to shows" is one of the ones that seldom if ever wins! Even when they shuffle off out of state to small entry shows, the results are the same for them....zilch!

* You can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear is very apropos to the breeding of dogs for conformation competition. "You can't make a champ out of chump"!

* Some dogs win in spite of poor conditioning, imagine how better they would do if they were put through a well-planned training and conditioning program. There are some dogs that seldom win that can also use the aforementioned.

* People can "wish and hope" all they want, but if they don't have the right equipment, the results will be unfavorable.

* Listening to too many people will lead to mayhem at best and dastardly results at worst. Find one person that is successful at what they do and follow their guidance. Of what value is it to listen to someone that has nothing to show for all their opinions!

* Everybody has an opinion, before following their "wisdom", check to see how successful they have been.

* In every region there is one breeder that leads the pack in their breed ring. What is interesting is to see is when a breeder travels outside their region or state and consistently dominates the wins there.

* Of course, that makes for unhappy locals!

More..........

* There are many that are entrusted with great quality..............most end up squandering that opportunity.

* Looking at a breeder's 3 generations of production is ample time to tell which direction that breeder is going in.

* A breeder can't claim a line to be "theirs" until they have bred 3 generations.........then and only then can they claim anything..................let's hope that by the 3rd generation of production there is something worth claiming........90% of the time it won't be!!!!!!!!!

* In order for there to be an improvement, the progeny must be as good or better as the sire and dam used. Take a long look at the offspring, compare it to the sire/dam and answer the burning question....................is it as good?

* Well, that same question has to be answered 3 succeeding generation with a favorable answer!

* Even after 3 successful generations produced, a breeder can not rest on their laurels! The minute that a generation falters, the word out will be "they're washed up"!

* At Chambray Labradors we are now on our 9th generation!!!!!! Each generation raising the bar higher, setting records that seem insurmountable for the next generation and yet, year after year the ante is raised.

 

12/05/2012 ~ Recurring Thought

* No, it is not in the best interest to "allow" those with inferior dogs to win!!!!!!!!! Someone puhleeze explain this way of thinking to me. I just don't get it when someone emails me to say "it's not fair you taking your best dogs to the dog shows and winning all the time".

Isn't that what this is all about? Breeding for the best and then taking those dogs to the dog shows to compete against the supposedly best dogs from the other breeders and letting the best dogs win? This isn't grade school where each kid gets his day, where the losers of any contest get a trophy just the same! This is the big leagues where each exhibitor pays to enter their dog to be judged by certified and licensed individuals who are sworn to go over each dog and to select the very best!

Of what service is it to withhold the best dogs so that lesser dogs can win? I just don't get that mentality. The results at the dogs shows is what makes a breeder good or not so good. The best rise to the top and the ones without vision and know-how either trudge along weekend in and weekend out with nary a win to show for or just drop out altogether.

It's tough enough for Chambray to be leaving our top show dogs behind that have already pointed out and only need majors, however our up and coming youngsters picked up where our seasoned top dogs left off and kept the winning ways going for the last 6 months of the year.

This is proof positive of a successful breeding program, each succeeding generation comes out to the dog shows and raises the bar yet another notch.

Our policy has been and will continue to be "No dog will be left behind to aid a mediocre dog to win".

 

12/05/2012 ~ This & That

* The act of breeding dogs takes many shapes and forms!

  • There are those that breed purely for the $$$$$$$$$ money making venture. There are thousands of these which includes puppy mills, backyard breeders and even people that breed for show.

  • There are those that breed for the "fun" of having a litter for the kids to see and raise. Unfortunately the kids are only involved a few days and then the work become boring and then they are back to their video games, leaving Ma and Pa Kettle to take care of a bunch of messy puppies.

  • There are those that breed because they don't know any better. There are way too many of these and most of the time the dogs end up with all kinds of problems.

  • Then there are those that truly care for the betterment of the breed. These are the ones that puppy buyers need to find.

12/04/2012 ~ Random Thoughts & Agendas

* Amateur VS Professional.............................We are professionals in every thing we do involving Labrador Retrievers.

  • Professional Canine Services Inc. ~ is our Total Show Dog Management entity. We take dogs on for showing and put in our expertise in training and conditioning and then we manage the dog at the dog shows with individualized handling strategies for success.

  • LabWell Products Inc. ~ is our nutritional enterprise. We supply thousands across the country with 3 products that have been in use for over 20 years at Chambray Labradors.

  • Chambray Dog Training Inc. ~ is involved in the training for conformation, CGC and for obedience of all types of dogs.

  • Chambray Labradors Inc. is the entity that perpetuates the next generation for the betterment of the breed.

At the dog shows there are professional dog handlers that make a living handling dogs and we more than meet those folk eye to eye with our handling prowess. However, we provide the very unique Total Dog Show Management which creates a huge advantage over those dogs being handled by the pros.

In the Labrador ring there are those that breed dogs or that own dogs and they do their own handling. It is admirable for them to do that, however the overwhelming advantage goes to those that are "experts" and the rate of success is very evident towards those with the superior know-how.

 

Phone VS. Email

* Our total involvement with Labrador Retrievers is a daunting operation to say the least.

  • There are scores and scores of our owners involved in every aspect of dog ownership that are in constant contact with us. There are those involved at the dog shows and we manage every aspect of that endeavor for them and their dogs. There are those involved in breeding to perpetuate the next generation of superb quality Labrador Retrievers and we are there for those every step of the way as well. There are those brand new puppy owners that really don't know yet which direction they will be going in the future, but they need all the nurturing along the way to get where ever they are headed to.

  • There are other breeds of dogs that we manage as well and consult with us at our training classes, through email and at the dog shows.

  • We are also very involved in nutrition with our LabWell Products label, where thousands across the country use our 3 flagship products.

This leads us to the following: It is impossible for us to reach everyone that phones in throughout the day! The 50 to 60 calls that come in daily largely go unanswered because there is no one person manning the phones. Even the 20+ voice messages sometimes don't get picked up for days because there isn't the hours available to do so and then to try and answer those phone messages becomes an impossible mission.

We appreciate your business whether it be puppy inquiries, health issues, handling & training questions, nutritional questions.....whatever the case.....................please use email to communicate with us. We answer all emails within a day as we work late into the night when most folks won't take in-coming phone calls.

 

Puppies!

* There are only 70 to 80 puppies produced yearly from the 100+ dogs in our vast Owner's Management Program....there are well over 1000 request for those same 70 to 80 puppies! We do our very best to correspond with each and every person that emails us. Throughout the website there are dozens and dozens of pages chock-full of information, however we still answer each email that comes in. For those searching for a puppy and wanting it that same day, that very seldom happens at Chambray unless someone is fortunate to contact us the day someone else changes their mind about taking possession of a puppy. The average wait on the Reservation List is 6 weeks.

 

Pets VS. Show Quality Puppies

* We breed exclusively for show puppies! Not every puppy born in a litter will grade out as being show quality, those that don't not make the grade are placed with the AKC's Limited Registration as Pet Quality. There is no way of telling, until the puppies are at least 7 weeks old which are show and which are pets. That's why I can't commit to anyone with a deposit if there indeed will be a puppy waiting for them at the end of the 8 weeks when they are ready to go to their new homes.

 

Breeding, Training, Conditioning & Handling Recipe for Success

* Success is not easy to come by in any competitive venue! No Olympic athlete wins a gold medal without years of training, practice and conditioning! The same goes for showing dogs. I don't care how much this point is argued by those who don't get it.................bottom line what they ultimately don't get is the wins!

 

Answers to your questions.

* Over the years I have fielded thousands and thousands of questions from all over the world. I can collate 80% of those into 10 identical queries......so the same questions keep coming in with the same frequency. In order to save precious time, I have instituted this Blogging Off section where I now answer all questions for all to read. So, with some time on your hands scroll down through the last 3 months of blogs and more than likely every question that may come up in a year's time has been covered here

 

 

 

12/03/2012 ~ It's Called "Cause & Effect"!

* From Wikipedia: the philosophical concept of causality, in which an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event.

In other words something is put into action and the subsequent actions that follow are impacted by that initial action.

Example: There is a perfectly still body of water and a pebble is cast upon it to skip on the surface, where ever the pebble glances upon the water, ripples will ensue and radiate outwards from the impacted area.

In Florida more than 20 years ago, Chambray put into effect our Total Management Program for Labrador Retrievers. The following is the CAUSE!

  • Breeding the very best

  • Placing the very best dogs with people that will work within the parameters set up for success

  • Providing a training environment for all those dogs placed

  • Ensuring that those dogs are conditioned correctly by those owners

  • Following all the above with our exclusive handling management program at the Florida dog shows

  • Repeating each of the above steps with each of the succeeding generations of puppies produced.

The following is the EFFECT!

  • Producing the absolute best from the large pool of exceptional dogs owned by hundreds of satisfied owners

  • Winning at an unprecedented and record setting rate year, after year.

It is simple and easy to follow and understand. There is nothing "secret" or "lucky" or "nefarious", there are no "tricks", "no elbow rubbing with anyone" "no knowing anyone"................just plain hard work, dedication, steadfastness and rock solid determination to make the plan as successful as it is obvious today!

Those involved with Chambray work hard each and every day to achieve a higher level of excellence with their dogs. Each of our dog owners knows that they have been given an opportunity and it is theirs to nurture and to fully appreciate and then to eventually pass it forward to the next generation of dogs and new owners.

Cause & Effect at its best!

 

12/03/2012 ~ We're back! Answers to emails.

* No, we have not "run off" anyone from showing in Florida or elsewhere! That is a choice that each exhibitor makes! They either can compete with the quality that is here in Florida or they can go out of state where there are not that many dogs entered. There are several breeders that have opted not to compete in Florida because of the Chambray presence. They can't win here against our dogs, so they pack up and go out of state. Looking at the results at www.infodog.com and www.onofrio.com their "lack of luck" seems to follow them.

* Yes, 20 to 25 years ago Labrador breeders from up north used to routinely ship their dogs down here to cleanup the wins! From other emails I have received from our owners from up north, now a days the word up there is "Don't mess with Texas" oooopppssss I meant "Don't mess with Florida".

* One Florida lamebrain recently lamented to me that "It's a shame that we don't get to see those real nice dogs from up north coming down to compete here", to that I say, "Hey, ship them down and see if they can win against the real nice dog we have in Florida now!"

* Another cockamamie email about each breeder only bring out 1 dog to compete!!!!!!!!!Yea, right!

If a breeder has only 1 nice dog to bring out to compete, does that mean that the other breeders only can bring 1 of their dogs to compete? NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chambray has 2 dozen dogs that can be very competitive right now in the Labrador ring and there are a half dozen more that are being primed with training and conditioning and that will make their presence known in due time.

No wonder our state is the laughing stock of the rest of the nation with our election fiascoes! It's the same morons that vote that also email in with these totally absurd ways of thinking!

* Here is the recipe again for those that are a bit torpid: (repeated from previous blog)

#1 Breeding the best

#2 Training at its best

#3 Conditioning for the best

#4 Handling as good as it gets

#5 Luck.....the catalyst for the above 4

#6 Dog/Ring Management...taking the above 5 to another level....the Winners Circle!

* NO! We don't decide which of our dogs will win on any given day! That's totally up to the judges. We give each dog the best we can in handling strategy! We may switch handlers to implement a new "trick of the trade" for that dog. Sometimes a dog works better one day for one of us and then the next day will work better with another of our handlers. All of the 4 Herzons have won multiple times in the last month alone! It's not about the handlers, it's about the dogs!

* Yes, there is a master game plan drawn up days in advance for each show. Dogs are assigned handlers according to a multitude of different conditions and scenarios. Even with a master roster, nothing is cast in stone as decisions are made right at ring entry and handling changes are made according to the flow of the individual show.

* Yes, there are priorities set up for the dogs needing majors, the top pointed dogs, the dogs that all of a sudden get "hot" and a certain handler will go back into the winners ring with that dog if they have won classes with another dog. We have 99% of the eventualities covered way in advance and each dog will be "covered" if they have to go back into the ring for winners.

* No dogs are "dumped". We do not take on dogs as extras! Any dog that is "invited" to a dog show and is under the auspices of the Chambray Management Program is a dog that we believe in 100%. If we didn't believe in that dog, then it would not be managed and handled by any of the Herzons.

* From time to time dogs will come out to compete and then be put up for further development, conditioning and or training. These appearances help us determine what is needed to make those dogs more competitive. Sadly, there are instances where we feel a dog may not be as competitive as we would like and those are then advised to be put up.

* Yes, the stakes are getting tougher and tougher, the ante has been raised with each new generation of Chambray dogs and it has become harder and harder for the older dogs even the Chambray older dogs to beat the up and coming youngsters. In the past, the natural progression was for dogs to finish at 4 or 5 years old, now a days our dogs are finishing before they are 2 years old. In essence these younger dogs are taking away the wins from the older dogs.

 

 

12/03/2012 ~ We're back! Answers to emails.

* Yes, X-Rays are the best that we have when dealing with hip dysplasia, but it is not the perfect system. It is not a fool-proof method as 2 dogs that are clear for the disease can produce puppies that will not pass certification. Also, dogs that have not passed with certain conditions can be put on a high anti-oxidant regime and a significant number of those dogs will receive passing certificates when re-submitted at a later time! In the test runs that I have been involved with, out of 19 dogs that did not pass because of subluxation and were put on my special anti-oxidant regimen, upon re-doing and re-submitting, a staggering 18 received a passing grade the 2nd time around!!!!!

*Yes!!!!! I will share with any owner of a Labrador the special anti-oxidant nutritional supplementation & exercise regimen. email me the particulars.

* To Ted: You are very observant in seeing the difference in training, conditioning and handling of certain groups of dogs in the Labrador ring.

  • Those dogs that we train at our training classes and on a private basis.

  • That the owners follow our guidelines for nutrition and conditioning

  • That we provide our handling and management program

Those dogs have a decided edge even over the other Chambray-bred dogs that do not have the opportunity to take advantage of the aforementioned 3 points because of distances to be traveled. But even those dogs have a huge edge over the majority of dogs from other breeders and owners!

* Judges come from all over the country and each area club contracts a panel of judges for their shows several years in advance. So the judges that were there this weekend in Davie Fl were contracted a couple of years ago.

* No, we have nothing to do with the judges that clubs hire. We don't speak to the clubs and demand certain judges and even if a club asked us for advice for selecting judges, we would thank them and tell them to bring on whatever is available!

* We are only members of the Greater Miami Dog Club and have absolutely nothing to do with any of the judges that they have hired for the last 3 years! In fact, we have only attended 1 meeting this last year. We served the GMDC for over 15 years in every capacity, but have distanced ourselves because of our extreme involvement with our large number of Labrador owners and other breeds that attend our training classes and because of all the dog show that we travel to. Any complaints or problems need to be addressed by the show chairperson preferably at the dog show coming up this weekend.

* The Labrador ring in Florida is the only breed that does not work together to build majors! I watched dozens of breeds showing this weekend where owners, exhibitors and handlers worked together to increase the entries and create a major. In fact, in the Chessie ring, all the dogs belonged to 1 person and it was a major and the BOB winner took a Group I!

 

12/01/2012 ~ No New Blogs On Show Weekends

* In order to provide our dogs and their owners at the dogs shows 100% of our attention, there will be no time to publish to this section on weekends. Please check back on Mondays for answers to your emails.

11/30/2012 ~ There are other battles to wage, but I will opt out of the following:

* Silver Labradors! I made mention of silvers a few days ago and I received several "flaming" emails! I will not give credibility at all to this nonsense, so this will be the only mention of it at my website.

* Miniature Labradors! AAARRRGGGGGGGGG! End of subject!

Ok so now for some battles that I will wage!!!!

* All-Breed Labradors likened to Shopping Mall beauty pageants and Specialty Labradors likened to the Miss American contest!............................Where do these morons dwell at? My counter analogy is All-Breed Labradors at LA Fitness while many of the Specialty Labradors are at Porkers All You Can Eat Buffet!

* Short, Straight, Dense and Coarse to the Feel vs.Wholly Mammoth. If you have to comb the hair straight, if you have to cut, trim and thin to make it short, if you have to add bodifier and hair spray to make it coarse, if you have to use a warm wet towel to get the curls to relax, if you have to blow against the grain then the coat is WRONG! Plain and simple, not what the standard for the breed calls for.

*Now, with the preceding, judges take heed and preserve the breed...........do not award wins to these WRONG COATED dogs!

* No, my job is not to "out" bad breeders or bad judges or whatever. My job is to breed to the very best, to take those very best puppies and place them where I can help further their great traits with the very best in training, the very best in conditioning, the very best in handling and then take them to the next level by breeding them to the very best to produce the very best again.

* The reason for this Blogging Off section is because of all the questions sent in daily about the breed and other pertinent matters concerning Labrador Retrievers and to bring awareness to those areas of our breed that need to be addressed to bring about the overall betterment of the breed.

 

 

11/30/2012 ~ The Betterment of the Breed

* Our credo, for the Betterment of the Breed doesn't stop at Chambray dogs, it applies to all Labrador Retrievers and their owners!!!!!! Yes, I will include dogs from other kennels and breeders into our Master Plan of training, conditioning and showing and to eventually breed that dog to produce the next generation of superior quality show dogs. Of course the dogs must exemplify the breed standard to the highest degree and the owner must totally understand how our program works to be able to have a working association for the desired effects of the betterment of the breed.

* There are dozens of owners, exhibitors and even breeders that have joined us with Labradors from other kennels that have shared in our collective successes.

* While some owners co-breed with us under the Chambray Labrador registered kennel name, there are others that use their own kennel names for breeding and still several that have forged a kennel with us such as WinQuest Labradors and N Counter Labradors

 

11/30/2012 ~ The feedback keeps rolling in!

* The best place to "see" who the real Florida Show Labrador breeders are is at the shows in the different cities in Florida. www.infodog.com has a section that lists all the up and coming shows in the state. They also have a section that posts the results for the shows that they administer. Www.onofrio.com is the other superintendent that runs shows in Florida and they also posts the results for their shows.

* If someone claims that their dogs are winning at "all the dog shows they go to", then go to one of the above websites and verify their claims. I can positively tell you that they haven't championed a dog in a long, long time, maybe as long as 10 years ago and that none of their dogs have won a single point at all the dogs shows in Florida that I have been to and I have been to all the weekends of dog shows except one thus far this year.

* To Ray D: Contact the AKC and have them demand the breeder to supply you the AKC papers. Your dog is now 6 months old and you should have received the papers a long time ago. You should have also received a health record or a state health certificate at the time of sale. Not knowing who the sire is, is totally not acceptable and the breeder should have had each puppy DNA tested to determine paternity before selling the puppies. This has happened before at this "kennel".

* To Debbie R: A puppy with a serious overbite will not "get better", no matter what the breeder claims! If you paid show price for it, return it or demand a partial refund. If the breeder did not have a vet exam the puppy before delivering it to you, then she broke the law and the USDA will investigate. This breeder should have known that the problem existed as a 1/2 inch overbite doesn't occur over a 2 week period.

* To Mercy G: No reputable breeder will allow a puppy not "feeling good" to leave their premises. Supplying you with medicines to treat the sickness is total irresponsibility and also against the law. Check with Animal Services in your county as they have a huge record on this breeder.

* To Nestor S: A growling , snapping Labrador is not indicative of the breed no matter how much the breeder tells you they are protecting their babies! Get your deposit back and steer clear of that breeder. In fact, check the Better Business Bureau in your area as I know there are dozens of complaints against her over the years.

* To Terri T: Look at the pedigree you emailed me...............there are no recognizable kennel names going back 4 generations! A champion in the 5th generation of that pedigree is totally meaningless! For the so-called "breeder" to claim "champion lines" is fraud! I checked their website and all the photos of dogs they have posted are run of the mill, poorly bred dogs that do not exemplify the breed in any manner. Having AKC papers and a pedigree a yard long is worthless if you are thinking about showing and breeding!

* To Sue C: Although the photos you emailed me show a very cute puppy and you will probably have tons of fun with it, it doesn't have the background to be a successful show dog in Florida. I have seen the dogs that the breeder has brought herself to the dog shows and those were supposedly the picks of her litters and none of them have ever won a single point at any dog show in Florida. Your puppy is lacking in type, bone and the head and face are too long and narrow and knowing the sire, it will probably have very short upper arms.

To Kenneth H: I would love to see your chocolate boy from Canada! He looks absolutely stunning! I know his breeder well and he has been Canada's most successful Labrador breeder in the last decade. I also know the breeding is as good as it gets! I would be seriously interested in working with you and your boy and give him our entire dog show management program.

 

11/28/2012 ~ More Answers to Positive Emails that have come in lately!

* No, I don't see those that I have mentored and that have somehow improved their lot as being my competition! If it brings about the betterment of the breed, then I am as happy as a lark! As a breeder, I don't see any other breeder as being my competition...........................now, as a handler in the ring even my family members that are handling other Chambray dogs are indeed my competition......in fact, I see them as my greatest competitors!!!!!!