A Chocolate Litter
By Sandy Herzon
BISS Am/Int CH Grandquest Family Ties & Chucklebrook Molly Brown
Holy cow, have you heard the news? I can hardly believe it myself and I should know everything thatís going on, but this seems like a mirage out in the desert.
Could it really be true? Is there really going to be a chocolate litter of puppies headed down the pike for Chambray Labradors? Have they also let the loonies out of Chattahoochee?
Well, relax and sit a spell (I have always loved that ďsit a spellĒ thing) and I will spin a yarn or two.
First things first, let me start by dispelling the myth that I donít like chocolates!
I DO LIKE CHOCOLATES!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes. I drool when I see a lovely chocolate, albeit that occasion does not present itself with any frequency whatís so ever. Put it this way, it has happened only 4 or 5 times since I have been into Labradors and thatís 35 years now.
Second thing you need to know if you donít already is that I play the odds and I want them to always be in my favor. So if you put the two things together, that will give you why I donít do chocolates as a breeder. It is extremely difficult to produce top-notch quality at the same ratio that is produced with the yellows and blacks.
So whatís changed to alter my way of thinking? Whatís changed to persuade me to abandoned the safe way of operating and buck the status quo? Well, to be truthful there is this side of me that is a little bit of a dare devil, avant-garde, innovator, the part of me that always said, ďLet me have the ball and Iíll run up their gutsĒ, keep in mind that when I played football, I was the littlest guy on the team and I was a halfback running into guys 100lbs and a foot bigger than me!
When I see something worth attaining, then I become game. Attaining gorgeous chocolate Labrador Retrievers is something worth working for and the time has arrived. Trust me on this!
Several years back one of my partners; Andy Gonzalez of Greenhead Labradors approached me about co-owning a puppy from a special litter of Diane Pilbinís Chucklebrook Labradors. One look at the pedigree and I was sold on the idea of bringing this chocolate bitch puppy and placing her in the Development Program for show.
So the deal was struck and the puppy, Chucklebrook Brown Molly to be exact, was to become a reality and we were on our way to finally have a chocolate to work with and hopefully breed in the future and have our own line of chocolates.
For those of us that have been into the breeding and showing end of the business, we all know how difficult it is to start with a puppy and go all the way to actually showing and finishing a dog and Molly was to become a victim of the odds to make it all the way. There are a myriad of things that present themselves along the arduous path of showing a dog and this gorgeous chocolate girl was to fall by the way side due to a very slow physical development process. Other dogs were given priority and Molly was put on the back burner over and over again. By the time that she was totally together, she was over 2 years old and the time had passed to get her show oriented. Although a super show specimen, her attitude for show was not the greatest and the decision was made to breed her and hopefully produce something for ourselves and to start early on with the training and conditioning on one of her puppies.
Now you might think that Molly was a failure since we didn't realize a show career with her, however in elated reality she was a smashing success, for before Molly there were a dozen or so other chocolates that had been brought in for the exact same purposes and none of those made it neither for show nor for breeding.
So, here we finally had something that we could actually work with to attempt to produce the next generation of quality for the Betterment of the Breed and it would take 2 years before we mutually decide on a male to breed her to that I could "bet" on, remember the odds thing from above.
The selection process for a stud dog on black and yellows is a difficult one because there are so many great looking and producing, world-class dogs out there. All made even easier due to the availability of fresh-chilled semen that arrives the next day by Federal Express to your front door from almost anywhere on the planet.
Great looking/producing chocolates stud dogs do not abound! Oh, I am sure that I will get some arguments here, but frankly folks the odds are greatly against those that wish to argue the point. I would venture to lay odds of 100 to 1; yes there are 100 black/yellow stud dogs to 1 chocolate stud dog of any consequence.
Okay, letís hear the arguments.
Fast-forward now to 2005 and multiple BISS Am/Int Ch Grandquest Family Ties, a super-gorgeous chocolate stud dog; winner of back-to-back specialties and Judges Award of Merit winner at Westminster for 2005 and we now have a chocolate litter in the works.
Ty and Molly were bred on Independence Day, July 4th at Grandquest Labradors in Lake City Fl. I could hear the fireworks from here, okay so the fireworks were exploding all over the place, but it makes for good copy anyways.
So, it is true a chocolate litter is due at Chambray Labradors around September 4th. Just for the record, the last chocolate litter at Chambray was way back in 1990, 15 years ago between Char-Dons Konaís Blend DíVal Lee and Kelleygreens Chambray Brown.
Stay tuned and watch the show ring in the spring of 2006 for chocolate Chambray/Greenhead puppies!
Caramela's Story Begins a great follow up story about one of the puppies from this litter
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