Chambray Labradors Triple Threat






The Triple Threat Part 2 07/30/2011


The Triple Threat Part 2


From the responses to the first article of this topic, it sure does seem that a nerve was nicked or at least the interest level was somewhat aroused enough to receive near to 100 emails in the first 7 days since publishing it to the website!


The vast majority that took the time to read the article and then to respond wanting to know how they too could achieve the Triple Threat of (1) conformation, (2) training and then (3) performance in the ring.


There were also a few that wrote in to dispute or to argue against the premise of conditioning and handling to win at the dog shows. “It should be totally about the dogs!” wrote one irked person. Then further stated “The judge shouldn’t be blinded by who the handler is or by flashy handling!”


I will dispense with these do nothing folk with a very brief flick of the hand by referring them to the blueprint for the breed, the Labrador Retriever Breed Standard (found at ). Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat. That last sentence was “lifted” right from the AKC’s site. The following run-on sentence was also snatched from the same source and will suffice to those that believe in bringing fat, out of condition dogs into the breed ring and then whine and complain when their dogs don’t even place in the ribbons!


The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment.


How many of the dogs that were showing recently at the West Palm Beach dog shows could “hunt game for long hours” or were “well-muscled and without excess fat”?


Far too many dogs are seen waddling around the ring, gasping for air at the first go around, gassing out by the 2nd  time the judge has them do an up and back and then the owners/breeders complain that their dogs weren’t even looked at!


Even great handling would have an uphill tussle to get these out of shape dogs looked at by the judge. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they win points on occasion since judging can be as variable as the dogs that walk in the ring as well!


I have little time for those that argue that “it should be this way or that way”. It is what it is and the judges take into account everything in their choices for the elusive winner’s points.


Having dispatched those that would argue against a category 5 hurricane, I will now concern myself with those that do see the light and are game enough to ask, “How can I achieve the three levels of competitiveness, the Triple Threat at the dog shows?”


Let’s start with the most important of the three elements, show conformation! A dog either has it or it doesn’t have it. At this point, I myself would opt out from a dog that does not meet my high standards for the breed. In other words, I wouldn’t go any further with a dog that was average or ordinary.


Some folk may not have the luxury of choosing between several dogs, so let’s keep those people on the interest wagon by stating that even an average looking dog can be trained and conditioned to perform at a higher level giving it a fighting chance against better conformational dogs! That last statement goes against my breeder’s grain for the betterment of the breed, but it bolsters the premise of training and conditioning to achieve better results.

We witness this occurrence at each of the shows we go to as there are several conformationally inferior dogs that have been trained and conditioned to perform and then are presented by top-notch handlers and the dogs do place and win on occasion! Of course, these dogs have little value in a breeding program even if they do win and actually finish their AKC title because they will continue to produce the same faults with their offspring.


So, it would be paramount for those people wanting to be successful at competing at the dog shows to start out with the highest conformation possible as the first step in achieving the Triple Threat. Acquiring the best puppies or dogs from successful show breeders would go a very long ways in the ultimate pursuit of being successful in the show dog venues.


Merely selecting the “pick of a litter” puppy from a non-successful breeder will undoubtedly perpetuate the same success rate (or lack of success) for that person as the breeder had at dog shows. So it is essential to start out with dogs from breeders that are at the top of the game for any one area. If their dogs are winning at a consistent rate, then it follows that the dogs they will place may have similar chances at ending up as winners.


Since most breeders “keep the best and sell the rest”, this may also come into play at the dog shows if that breeder also shows their dogs in the same area. Obtaining a puppy that is already relegated as being a “second” from the litter will ultimately pit it against its own littermates that were kept by the breeder as their show picks! This is a very prevalent and unhealthy situation that recurs over and over again, the dogs kept by the breeder always win out over those “seconds” sold to owners.


So it is imperative to obtain the very best possible conformation puppy to start out with to be successful later at the dog shows. Avoid purchasing a puppy for show from a show breeder in the area that “keeps the best and sells the rest”, because that’s exactly who your dog will be competing against.


Once that huge hurdle of purchasing top-notch show quality has been overcome, then proper training and conditioning becomes essential to create the Winning Edge or part 2 of the Triple Threat.


Training and conditioning go hand in hand to build up stamina and endurance, plus the repetition of ring routines creates the count-on performance needed by the handler while in the show ring.


At Chambray Labradors breeding for the absolute best is our 1st goal. Having accomplished that with a good percentage of puppies from each litter, we then begin the arduous process of finding people that appreciate what it takes to breed at that heighten level. By offering our unparallel breeder/owner’s programs, including FREE LIFETIME TRAINING & CONDITIONING, prospective new owners can choose to join the largest Labrador Owners Community of its kind. So, two elements are already in place with the addition of a Chambray Labrador puppy:

·        Top-notch Show Conformation

·        Training & Conditioning


The 3rd element, the best handling is provided in the highly competitive environment at the dog shows. Putting all three of those areas together creates the Triple Threat at the dog shows.


The Triple Threat creates the Winning Edge, quite an unbeatable combination as evident by Chambray’s unprecedented 41 dog show weekends of winning!


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