The Many Faces Of Labrador Breeders
Article to follow after answering the email below
Hello Mr Herzon
I hope that you can clarify something that is very confusing for me. I have been searching for a Labrador puppy for over a year now. I have researched on the Internet dozens and dozens of websites and have contacted many of those breeders for more information. What confuses me the most is how many different types of breeders there are! Some list themselves as Show Breeders, some as Champion Breeders, others as Top Breeders, a few as non-commercial breeders, many as hobby breeders and many other titles that are too numerous to list in this email.
Could you tell me what type of breeder you are and what all those other titles mean?
Stephanie and all the others that have emailed in with very similar
questions, especially after the article
I too am as perplexed as you are and as are all the others that have emailed asking the same questions. Me being confused about something to do with Labradors is saying a lot; because I pride myself on all that is Labradors and the tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that I have accumulated in these last 40 years with the breed. There is no uniformity whatsoever to adequately label the status of anyone breeding dogs.
Since I too am a person with multiple personalities (not the afflicted kind, but more from a necessity of life situation and of course from my personal choice), I speak and waggishly write from personal experience. I present for your scrutiny those multiple personas that I assume on a daily/weekly basis!
* 9 Generations of bred-by champions!!!!!!
* 23 home-bred champions,
* an AKC BEST IN SHOW winner, one of only 2 Labradors born in Florida to win an AKC Best In Show!!
* several BEST IN SHOW Puppy winners,
* multiple Top 25 National rankings,
* multiple Eukanuba Qualifiers,
* more Purina Breeders Showcase winners than all the other breeders in Florida put together,
* several Westminster competitors,
* more Winners Dog and Winners Bitch winners in Florida than all the other breeders combined.
* in 2010 we have won the Winners Bitch award at 75% of the shows!!!!!
* More IABCA champions, now totaling 77 Int. Champions, with 17 IABCA BEST IN SHOW winners.
* More UKC champions than all the other Florida breeders combined
* 2 National TOP-10 UKC champions in 1 year.
* Do we need to go any further?
As you can attest from my braggadocio-like testimonial above, I too delve into the MPD game, however I back it all up with documented proof and results as detailed at the website.
So, I present the following trifling, yet informative rendition; of course those reading it must take it with the old time-honored grano salis!!
The Many Faces Of A Labrador Breeder
“The Three Faces Of Eve” a real life case study by Thigpen and Cleckly was adapted into a movie in 1957 and was a required reading book for Psychology 201 back in my old college days. The book was an actual case documentation of a woman who suffered from MPD (multiple personality disorder), she had three distinct and identifiable entities; now a day we call that affliction, schizophrenia.
Later in the mid 70’s another movie adaptation presented us with another woman named Sybil. She totally raised the ante on Eve by accumulating 16 distinctive personalities!
Schizophrenia became a household word as more and more cases were recognized and documented, so much so that it became very popular as a defense strategy in crime cases all over the country. Of course there were real instances of multiple personality disorder and there were also contrived cases for legal haggling.
So right about now you may be wondering what MPD has to do with the Labrador world? Plus, I’m sure that there are some that are reading this offering that are cringing, thinking about where I am going with this!
Ah, cringe and angst no longer because this article has to do with “multiple” people breeding Labradors in general and no one in particular, although inferences may be viably made to some notorious dabblers out there! So, the article deals with assumed names, aliases and identities that people accrue to pass off their imagined status and of course to sell their wares!
The advertising states “Champion Labrador Breeders” or “Show Labrador Breeder”, in fact there are a myriad of descriptive labels used by many breeding dogs that can be very misleading to say the least, most crafted purposely by puppy purveyors to entice the unsuspecting puppy buyers with their produce for sale. Because contrary to what anyone says, all those folk breeding dogs have to at one point or another become “commercial” in order to market their product! The only way to avoid being commercial is to freely give your puppies away and I haven’t seen or heard of any of those breeding Labradors doing any of that! You take money for your puppies; you are now in the ranks of the commercial entrepreneurs, there is just no way to circumvent this reality no matter how rose-colored the glasses are worn by the dream weavers.
Ok, now back to the old dusty trail, the meat and potatoes of this essay:
So, we now have people advertising themselves as “Show Breeders” others as “Champion Breeders”, and others as “Top Breeders” and as Sonny and Cher would swoon “And The Beat Goes On”………and on and on!!!
Since there are no certifications or qualifications for any of those identities assumed, anyone can advertise with anything they want to and not have to own up to any scrutiny at all. There is no “proof is in the pudding” with the vast majority of people breeding dogs, they can and do profess their acclaim when none is to be had and there is no price to pay for the flagrant deception. The buying public has no way to know what’s what and who’s who, taking the bait hook, line and sinker as if it were the only way to fish!
I have personally witnessed people brand-spanking new into the breed that have never, ever bred a single litter and they glowingly represent themselves as bonafide “Show Labrador breeders”!!!!! That’s like taking fish with a gaffe instead of using the old fishing method mentioned previously.
The operative word here is “breeder” and shouldn’t a “breeder” have “bred” at least 1 litter to proclaim themselves as such? How can someone announce to the world that they are a “breeder” and yet never having bred a litter? That’s as incongruent as a square peg in a round hole, which is what some of these folk seem to be!
If a person bills themselves as a “champion Labrador breeder” shouldn’t the requirement to pass themselves off as such be that they have bred at least 1 champion of their own breeding?
Shouldn’t a person advertising themselves as a “Top Show Breeder” have at least won some points on dogs they bred themselves? Merely showing up at a dog show with a dog and then traipsing around the ring with the dog in tow does not make a person a Top Show Breeder.
Oh, the multiple personality deception is endless and mind boggling to say the least! There are way too numerous cast of characters to detail here in this short and quip-filled harangue.
So, in that light (of course tongue-in-cheek), I offer the following jocular guideline for those into the world of breeding Labradors.
I now offer the following list of A.K.A.’s
Let’s give these colorful titles some meaning with a job description:
Anyways, so here goes…………….A Coattail Champion Labrador Retriever is one that buys a dog from another breeder and that dog becomes an AKC champion! So now the person is an owner of an AKC champion and they decide to breed that dog. Technically, they are breeding a dog that is a champion of their doing (as in they paid to make the dog a champion, show entries, traveling costs and of course professional handlers)……………but they really had nothing to do to breed that dog, so we will tag them with this new descriptive of being a Coattail Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder since they are riding on the coattails of the original breeder that they bought the dog from. In the dog breeding world it is the consensus of all that the breeder of the dogs is who gets credit as breeder of record of a champion. The owner is recognized as the “owner of a champion”.
So, what’s in a name or an in identity assumed by any person now has meaningful accreditation. In order for someone to assume an identity, they must pass muster! (By the way, it is officially “pass muster” and not “pass the mustard”)
All these folk using all these assumed aliases, pseudo names, identities, personas, and whatnot now need to own up and get on the band wagon of A.K.A’s (Also Known As).
Since I know the many faces of “breeders” out there and as Borat would say “NOT!”
Like in “not” any of them reading this mild mannered maelstrom would really adhere to any regulations set forth in order to create any uniformity or semblance of order for the puppy buying public. But hey, I laid the gauntlet down and it is up to those to rise to the occasion or to keep playing the “multiple names deception” deceiving the puppy buying public with the aliases, false identities, made-up accreditations, non-existent certifications, acquired statuses and multiple personality disorders.
Of course, with Chambray Labradors and all those fine folk that comprise the Labrador Retrievers Owners Community……………………….no multiple Faces Of Eves here!!!!!
We are what we say and we have the old time honored ‘proof is in the flan” to back up all our credentials, accreditations, awards, certifications and status as Top Champion Labrador Breeder.
If you enjoy these diatribes, then check the following out.
As Howard Cosell did, I tell it like it is!
This Michelob’s For You!
Keep The Best & Sell The Rest
Stephanie Holtz here. Thank you for emailing me the article before you published it to your site. I enjoyed it tremendously and I felt really honored that you would take the time to explain my confusion and to clarify the state of affairs for me and I guess for others as well.
You have outdone yourself with his article. You are indeed a man of many, many hats and I have to say that you wear them well.
Your "This Michelob's For You" is a communication masterpiece, the sequel "Keep The Best and Sell The Rest" was an expose extraordinaire into the inner workings of what breeders do, but this satirical and as you say "pun in cheek" essay is hilarious, informative as always and once again eye-opening to those that are not part of the machinery.
You are a credit to the community and a gift to the breed.
Thank you to all that have emailed, called or talked to me in person about all 3 of the articles and about all the other offerings at the website. Without your interest and feedback there would be no need for me to share any information with anyone. As you can see from the latest article, I am extremely busy with my family, my own dogs and then all of those owners and dogs that comprise the Labrador Owners Community. By the way, the Labrador Owners Community now numbers close to 100 very dedicated owners, mostly in Florida and others throughout the country! So for me to take the time (I really don't know from where) sit at a computer and put my thoughts down on paper (actually a screen), says a lot about my commitment to the breed and of course to all those that have joined our community of Labrador lovers.
Keep the feedback coming, ask questions and it will give me the fuel to think, sit and peck away at the keyboard!!!!