This Michelob's For
The Florida Labrador dog show scene of competitive* dogs is comprised of the following 4 groups:
The 4 Main Groups are:
1. Actual Show Labrador Breeders* that reside in Florida that may handle their own dogs or that may hire a professional to do the job.
2. Labrador Owners** that have bought dogs and either handle their own dogs or that hire a professional.
3. Professional Handlers that have dogs shipped to them or that travel down to Florida to show these dogs.
4. Out of state Labrador Breeders & Owners that travel down to Florida to exhibit or hire a professional to handle their dogs while down here.
Article continues: The 4 Groups from above are a very interesting menu of people with dogs of all levels of conformational quality…… plus a real grab bag of handling capabilities while in the show ring itself……. add those two variables into a small confined area which is the actual show ring……stir in a very constricted time frame which is the precious minutes allotted for each dog for the judges to do their jobs………..and then the real coup de grace, toss in gobs of unbridled personalities……………let all these ingredients stew for a while and you have a Cajun gumbo soup of cumbersome proportions!
* Actual Show Labrador Breeders are those people that have actually had a litter that they bred and are showing their get & produce or have built up a client base and place those puppies with people that become Labrador owners and either show or have those dogs shown for them. NOTE: If you don’t know what a get or produce is, then you don’t qualify for the designation of Actual Show Labrador Breeder.
** Labrador Owners
are those people that have bought their dogs from Actual Show
Labrador Breeders and either show or have those dogs shown by
others. NOTE: There are those that go beyond the scope of just being
Labrador owners and amass a bevy of dogs from other breeders; these are
referred to as Labrador Collectors.
If the agenda at hand was just about breeding the best dogs and then showing up at the appropriate venue for the dogs to be evaluated by judges just on their own merits as compared to the blue print for the breed, the breed standard………………………then the flavor of the day would be plain old chicken noodle soup, without the noodles and no sign of the chicken!
For this timely essay-article I will be mainly addressing Group #1 from the first paragraph up above. This is the group that can control more of the numbers of entries at a dog show then all of the rest may be able to do. The exception to this would be Group #3 at the Florida January Circuit where northern handlers travel down to our state each with dozens of Labradors from some of the top Labrador breeders from up north.
So, for all intent and purposes most of the following will be directed at those established Labrador breeders PLUS to the constant whiners we hear from all the time. Now back to Group #1, each of which has:
· Stood the test of time by enduring year after year………..
· Produced one generation after another of competitive, show quality dogs……
· Raised and trained those dogs that they kept…………….
· Entered them at the dog shows to compete for the elusive winners points………………
· Stand behind their product long enough to have some finish their AKC titles that adds to their status as a champion breeder!
Besides our dogs, that first group is small in numbers, enough to count on the fingers of one hand……..5 to be precise, so that would constitute a very small fraternity………….better yet let’s make it a sorority since the 5 that I am thinking about are all women.
You know who you are; no need for me to put your names in print or to call attention to you that might be perceived by the “mal-ware” few as fodder for their food processors. Of course we also know who those chronic/whiner complainers are and there is no need to give them any type of accreditation either. I doubt seriously that any of the 5 reputable, established Florida Labradors breeders would feel they have the need to cast dispersion my way as a way of building themselves up.
So this Michelob’s (my Labrador Owners won’t allow me to offer “This Bud’s for you”****) is for all those that are breeding nice conformational dogs, each taking the time and energy to train them and enter shows on a regular basis and are competitive with an excellent product. Job well done and I am the first to recognize when you bring out a worthy specimen to add to the elite dogs that can and will win points on any given day at the Florida dog shows!
04/01/2010 ****A group of our owners have created the Bud Man Trophy between them for fun. Whichever of their dogs does the most winning gets to take the Bud Man trophy home until the next set of shows.
Now, there are other breeders in Florida that may be up and coming that are producing their own litters and supplying the pet puppy market, however we really don’t see much impact at the dog shows from their produce. There are also those that have been doing this for a long time and really have nothing to show for their efforts, those may show up but they just add numbers to the total entry!
As I hope all of you are doing, my program with Labradors is to produce the very best in conformation using the top producing dogs available, in many cases the same sires that most of you are using. All of the dogs used in the breeding program pass all the rigorous clearances that I hope all of you are also using with your breeding dogs.
I provide lengthy, iron-clad warrantees/guarantees for temperament, health and genetics as I know most of you provide your puppy clients as well.
I provide a support system for each new puppy owner as I surmise each of you does as well because new owners need all the help they can get when starting out with puppies. Plus I remain totally available to all of my established owners as well.
As a professional dog trainer, I provide free training with each of the puppies placed. I firmly believe in training dogs and want to see that every one of my puppies receives that advantage as well. I make my training classes available to all who purchase a puppy from us and also provide private one-on-one training.
I provide mentorship for all those that wish to get involved in training for obedience or for the show ring or for Therapy work, leading on to Service work, as well as basics for field work and tracking too. I also insist that each owner take the CGC Training and Testing, both of which I provide at no charge to all our owners and their dogs.
I also provide mentorship for all those that want to learn about breeding and raising Labrador Retrievers. This is in the hope that none make the countless mistakes that I made for years without anyone willing to help a novice way back then.
I have encouraged other fancier breeders, from novices, to intermediates and even long established breeders to join in with our Labrador Owners Community where we all can share our cumulative experiences and also our extensive pedigrees and varied gene pool to produce better with each generation.
This endeavor has grown tremendously in the years since I put it into play. It has not been easy to accomplish as there are always pitfalls that crop up here and there. There are people that have come on board and stayed with us and have contributed greatly to the undertaking and we credit our successes to the many that have been and to those that are now a part of this community effort.
Today we count a 98% satisfaction rate out of the 200 or so that have joined our programs since 1993. Of course there is always that 2% that will not work out for whatever reasons and we see and hear those on occasions. Unfortunately, some of them become very bitter and vocal, while the other happy and positive 98% are encouraging, remaining cool and collected and not venting out against these wayward individuals, which of course is my way of dealing with them as well.
More on the naysayers: In all honesty I have no time to dwell on negatives with as many positives that we have going in all sectors of life with Labradors. So to the naysayers I say “nay and go play elsewhere if they can’t compete at the dog shows!”
No matter what the grapevine and heresy harpers have to say, what we do with our Labrador program is not intended to be “against” anyone, in fact none of what we plan as far as breeding, training and even showing has to do with any of the other Florida Labrador breeders…………………nothing, other than we will all be in the same ring exhibiting our dogs to one judge that will point to one dog as the Winners Dog and to one bitch that will walk away with the Winners Bitch ribbon!!!!!!!
04/01/2010: The "mal-ware few", "heresy harpers" and other befitting names are those anonymous posters at the Labrador forum that persist in griping/trashing about anything and everything Chambray. In dozens and dozens of emails I have been asked continuously as to who these blokes are. Since they don't ever use their own names and since none have ever had the gumption to address me on a one on one, we will continue to refer to them with all the dignity that the applied monikers instills. Now in reality, I know who they are, but I will give no credence to their existence as they don't amount to much in the big picture of the Labrador world.
Our agenda at the dog shows is to bring the very best in conformation, have them trained to perform to the best of their ability and provide them the best handling and presentation in the show ring possible. Since the name of the game is to win points*, we feel that this combination will give each of our dogs the best chance of success at the dog shows.
*I have yet to encounter one exhibitor that pays for the entries, takes the time to attend a dog show, maybe pays a handler to present the dog and that does it all to lose! In other words, everyone involved in showing dogs does it to have their dog win! Plain and simple, all this talk about being "fair" and "playing nice" stops at the end of each exhibitors nose, as the real reason people enter their dogs is to win and the owners of our dogs are no different! None of them want to lose, now what is different is that most of the Chambray owners socialize with each and to those folk outside the program, it looks like they are having a lot of fun doing it!
Having succeeded with all of the above, we firmly believe that the best dog for the day will catch the judge’s eye and come out with points towards their AKC champion’s title. That is 100% our agenda at the dog shows.
We don’t see any one other breeder, exhibitor or handler as the competition………we just see the task hand and that is our only agenda. All this other drama created by wayward souls is totally a negative situation and not in our playbook!
We breed for the best, we train and conditions for the best and then we all go to the dog shows and handle all of our client’s dogs to the best of our ability.
Plain and simple again, it is all about our dogs, their owners and the things we love to do with as far as raising, training and showing. We don’t see any of the other Florida Labrador breeders as the enemy or this “us against them” thing that constantly is being resurrected by a few blowhards at the chit-chat forums!!!
Our main priority is to breed for show quality, which is probably what most of the better breeders do……. now what is different is that we place our best, top-notch puppies with people that want the best and want to show, rather than us keeping those outstanding puppies ourselves.
We then provide the mentorship for each of those puppies with a support system, training, and conditioning and if those puppies continue to exhibit show potential, we then provide our services as dog handlers for them at the dog shows. We would rather not keep any puppy ourselves, but rather place them and then help with developing them with our management services.
By employing this broad spectrum program, we end up with many more show prospects than most of the other Florida Labrador breeders and therefore at times we may have 30% or more of the dogs entered at any given dog show in Florida. When we are in our own backyard of South Florida, we may have as many as 75% of the entries.
Once again, these numbers at the dog shows are a direct result of our expanding program to introduce new people to the dog show arena and to the mentorship program that supports novice, intermediate and established breeders with our 40 years of expertise in breeding, raising, training and exhibiting Labrador Retrievers.
Each year we have seen the program grow by leaps and bounds as more people join the various programs we offer that are Labrador-related. Just this past year 2 more established Labrador kennels joined our efforts plus 3 new Labrador kennel names emerged from some of our existing owners!
In the months and year to come, these newer names will surface at the dog shows to join those others that have partnered with us with co-owned and co-bred dogs in the past such as Bushnell, WinQuest, Greenhead, Van Dalen, Sombra, and Divinity Labradors. New names means new people that will add flavor to the Lab ring, names such as Guardian, Lure, Shoals, Lafitte, Shady Banks, Bayside and Glades Labradors will adorn some of the prospective new show puppies’ names for 2010 and 2011.
These growing numbers of people, exhibitors and breeders will continue to add to the Labrador Retriever entries at the Florida area dog shows, something that is totally welcomed by every other breed of dog at the dog shows. So much so that many all-breed dog clubs offer local breed clubs the opportunity to add “supported entries” for their shows to augment the total numbers of entries for those breeds.
Across the country in many breed rings exhibitors, breeders and handlers join in to build numbers to add up to majors and even help each other to exhibit the extra dogs entered.
Only in Florida do you see people whining and complaining because our program encourages new and existing owners to enter their dogs at the dog shows! Totally opposite to what occurs elsewhere in the country with Labradors and all other breeds!
My contention throughout the years has been for exhibitors, breeders and handlers to bring out the best and let the best dog win! Now more than ever this is exactly what is happening at the Florida dog shows! The purpose of showing dogs is to have the best win; this creates an atmosphere of top quality dogs vying for the elusive winners dog and winners bitch designation.
By bringing out the best, only the best dogs will win on a consistent basis and the best dogs will accumulate the required points and majors to earn their AKC champion’s title. This way we can be assured that the judges have a wide selection of dogs to adjudicate from and make their decisions based on a large entry of dogs, giving the winning dog much more validity and prestige.
Our programs and services are growing on a daily basis, with more people joining in and taking advantage of our various offerings. After 20 years of one night a week of conformation training classes, we have had to add another night of training classes to accommodate the tremendous increase in breeders, exhibitors and owners interested in showing, not just Labradors but other breeds as well.
On a private basis, I have had to double the number of daily working appointments and even take on clients at night and on my free Saturdays and Sundays as that private training sector has more than doubled in the last 2 years.
Soon my daughter, Jessie will also be working on a daily basis with her own show training & handling clientele which will undoubtedly increase the numbers at the dog shows, although she also handles many other breeds besides Labradors.
The number of owners that have decided to venture into the breeding & raising of Labradors has also increased tremendously in the last couple of years as well. Most will rely on our mentorship programs that we make available as a service, a few will work independently but in conjunction with the Partners Program.
All of these activities will also add more numbers of Labradors that will be showing in Florida in the near future. This should be viewed as a “win win” situation for all those involved in breeding top quality conformation dogs as it will provide a great opportunity to bring the best dogs out to compete and once again to let the best dogs win, because this is about the dogs and not about any one individual as the wayward souls make it out to be!
It’s all about the dogs, let the best dogs win!
PS: Feedback encouraged...........remember that if you read this article your IP address is logged by our tracking service, so we would like to hear from you.
Editors Note: Posted to the website at 6PM Friday March 26, 2010...........................in a 24 hour period by 6PM Saturday this page had been viewed by 965 different IP addresses! Plus we have had numerous emails as feedback, more of course is encouraged as interest is the fuel for writing and publishing thoughts and ideas. Dialog is essential as a form of sharing information. I will update this page as testimonials and constructive criticism is received and updated.
03/26 - Well put, one of your most informative pieces to date. As a long time Chambray owner and practicing attorney, it is about time that you addressed this matter and set the record straight for others to comprehend. Kudos to you and all of your owners! Harvey Rubin with Mo from the Class of 1995
Hey Harv great to hear from you, I hope Mo is doing well at 15 years of age, thanks for offering your legal advise!
03/26 - Great, informative article, your website is a daily must, keep up the great work with your Labs. Your dedication shows as success in the ring, can't wait for my new show puppy to add to my 11-year Chambray Lab. Babs King and "Casey"
A real blast from the past! Send photos of Casey.
03/26 - You are really getting BAD!
** Labrador Owners are those people that have bought their dogs from Actual Show Labrador Breeders and either show or have those dogs shown by others. NOTE: There are those that go beyond the scope of just being Labrador owners and amass a bevy of dogs from other breeders; these are referred to as Labrador Collectors.
Hey Andrea you know me, never a dull moment, got to make it exciting and entertaining..........float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!
03/26 - Interesting article but you should name names! You should expose these cowards that constantly try and ruin your good name and all the great you do for the breed. MC
Nah, I won't dignify their existence, a loser is always a loser and their quest is a lost cause! The program that is in place is almost on cruise control and eventually will run on without my assistance in the near future. It is up to all these losers to get used to it or just drop out all together.
03/26 - Hi Sandy I would love to know the other 5 breeders that you feel are producing competitive Labradors in Florida? Val
Simple as a dimple on a dapple! Having withstood the test of time 3 have a good track record showing in the last years and come from the Orlando/Tampa area, while 2 of them not showing as much lately, but still produce competitive dogs over the years.
03/26 - Ok!!! Now I get it! Great explanation of your programs. Now I see why all the animosities, "they" either don't get it or they just can't compete and have resorted to silliness and then there are some with serious hang-ups!!! Lauren Stiles
Exactly, no words needed!
03/26 - Where do I sign up for your programs?
Too numerous to list individually or to publish in their entirety!
03/27 - Hi Sandy, Read and re-read this article several times. It is clear as day and to the point. Anyone with any sense should now be able to "get it"! Something you should have done before. Sam Keller
To be honest Sam, everything that I discuss in the article is already covered on the website, granted there are 100's of informative pages at the website that may be way too much for some to follow along with. There is no secret about what we do, it is all there in medium print for all to read. Keep in mind that there are many levels of intelligence out there and what may seem simple for some may look like trigonometry to others, plus there are also those that have issues and agendas and anonymity at those Internet forums gives them imagined power, especially since they don't have to accept responsibility for their words or actions since no one knows who they are.
03/27 - This may be long: I have been an impartial sideliner for a couple of years reading and listening to many as I wanted to form my own opinions. I have a Labrador that I obtained from a famous Texas breeder, however it did not turn out very show competitive, so I have gone to the shows to see where my next dog would come from that maybe I can show myself.
At the dog shows I have attended I stand off and look and see what is transpiring there. The thing that strikes me the oddest is that there doesn't seem to be any real observable drama at the dog shows. Sure there are groups of people that seem to hangout with each other and there are also those that seem to be loners. Crates are all lined up alongside each other, people talk holding their dogs to each other, people exhibit their dogs, dogs win, dogs lose, a dog wins Winners dog, a female wins Winners Bitch, at the end there is a Best Of Breed winner. Soon after that, people begin to pack up their crates and belongings and leave! All seems normal.
Then it all starts off at that Labrador forum with someone instigating and sure enough each and every time there is a chorus of irrational posters or maybe it is just one or two using anonymous names. It is really perverted and it really does give us Florida people a bad name. None of what occurs at that forum has anything to do with what occurs at the shows! Nothing!
I finally made up my own mind about what is real, of what is perceived and of what is irrational. I will be one of those that soon will be doing my thing with a Chambray puppy. I will take advantage of all the training that comes with my puppy and hopefully will show it myself. If I find that I can not do justice to her, then I will assuredly hire one of the Herzons to work their charm in the ring with her. Marci Cane
Thanks Marci for your testimonial and endorsement. I know you were an observer for many years after trying with Nemo and not having any success with him. I know that you inquired about many of the other Florida breeders and had several puppies under consideration and I am very glad that you decided to purchase your puppy from Chambray. It is our understanding that you would like to start out as an independent and use our services as you see fit and that is 100% perfect with us! We let each and every person interested in one of our puppies know that their involvement with our program is totally up to them, they can participate lock stock and barrel or they can do their own thing! We would like for all to be happy and successful with one of our Labs, because we feel that when any Chambray-bred dog wins, we all win!
03/28 - BRAVO!!!! It's about time you took a stand, enough with being Mr. Nice Guy and turning the other cheek. Way to lay some wood to these nincompoops! Tom Slater with Chambrays Mico
Thanks Tom, I'd rather think that I educated those with inquiring minds who want to know what's what. To be honest with you I really don't think there is a cure for what ails those with envy, jealousy, prejudices, agendas and ill will, then there are those that are not very bright and no matter how much you cast a light, they just can't see with the limitations they were dealt. As long as the forum's operator allows them the liberty to trash who she chooses, then there is a green light there for these sorts to continue their senselessness.
03/29 - Here in the mid-west there are few shows with majors as many don't enter their dogs, how does not then the other breeders in your area not take advantage of all the entries you bring. It would make sense to me to take my dogs to see if they can win. I like it when there are many dogs to look at. Let me know a good show to go to so maybe I can drive over there with my 2 dogs. Elliot Homer
Hi Elliot The Orlando Dog Shows on June 25, 26 and 27 traditionally has been a major here in Florida. There are several breeders that drive down from Ga., NC., SC. and other states north and also west of Fl. Come on down and look me up as we could sit a spell and chat up a storm about our Labs!
03/29 - The information you provided is exceptional, however the real "coup de grace" as you put it would have been letting your readers know who the other breeders that you feel are producing competitive dogs and also to indicate who goes on the forum and trash talks. Jill S.
The point of the essay/article was not to really name names, or expose anyone for their misdeeds or even to bring attention to the established breeders, it was more as an educational presentation for those that have been reading and listening to all the gibberish for years, giving them the opportunity to hear for the first time what our programs are all about. I say first time, because the forum operator is very one-sided and has not allowed opposing views, only those of the slightly demented. Unfortunately, those that have her blessing to spew venom at the chit-chat room could read the article a hundreds times and still not be able to fathom any of the concepts that are all positives for the breed and for their owners.
03/30 - After searching months on the net and going to shows to see and talk with breeders, I read your article about the dog shows and got more useful information in 5 minutes it took to read it than in the last year of asking questions and sending emails to many of breeders. Also, you answered all of my questions in the email that I send you and you were the 1st to consider me for a show puppy. I won't be able to take the training classes that you offer your Florida owners since I live in Kansas but it is ok. Layla Macy
Mentorship should be a priority with all the established breeders so that we can help beginners avoid all the mistakes each of us made when we first got started. I personally can write a book of horror stories with all the mistakes I made when I got started with Labradors back in 1970!!!!!! Talk about OMG!!!! I derive as much pleasure in helping start a "newbie" out on the right foot as I do when one of our dog wins a Best Of Breed!
Herzon one fell swoop and off with the turreting heads, definitely your
piece de resistance! Once again proving that the pen is mightier than
the sword or daggers in this case. Bravo, encore!
Mac, the intention was not to smite the heathens, but to educate those on the fence, however if "2 birds were served by one feeder" (I hate that "2 birds getting killed with one stone" thing), then we have definitely gone green and saved the planet from further damage!