The Many Faces Of Labrador Breeders

05/31/2010

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 Holtz
Athens Ga.

 

 Hi Stephanie and all the others that have emailed in with very similar questions, especially after the article
This Michelob’s For You!
” and the subsequent addition of “Keep The Best & Sell The Rest”, I have now written another offering entitled “The Many Faces Of A Labrador Breeder” which will address this issue.

 

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!

 

  • Mr. Mom: For instance at 5:45 each morning I am Mr. Mom; waking my son Ryan up for school, making sure he eats something and then taking him to the bus stop down the street and staying with him there until he is off for school.
  • Pooper Scooper: From 6:45 Am to 11 AM I am a pooper scooper, clean up person, feed puppy person and general maintenance worker with whatever needs doing here at our home/farm and with our Labrador Retrievers.
  • Dog Trainer: 11 AM to 4 PM each week day I change hats and turn into a dog trainer, taking dogs and their owners for 1-hour private training sessions. Those that are part Chambray’s Labrador Owners Community come for private training for free for the lifetime of the dog, while all others pay $50 an hour for the same sessions.
  • Dog Feeder: 5 PM to 6 PM each day is dog feeding time.
  • People Trainer/Handling Instructor: On Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7 PM to 9 PM I conduct Puppy Primer Training, CGC Training & Testing, Conformation Training and Handler’s Training.
  • More Dog Trainer: Monday, Wednesday & Fridays from 6 PM to 8 PM more private training sessions set up for both our partners/associates and also for the paying clientele.
  • Business Owner/Support Network Administrator/Webmaster/Email Respondent: Every night from 9 PM to about 1 AM, I tend to our many business entities such as LabWell Products Inc., Professional Canine Services Inc., Chambray Dog Training Inc. and Chambray Labradors Inc. Filling out paper work, writing articles, Webmaster for the www.chambraylabradors.com and www.labradorwell.com websites. Answering hundreds of emails sent in each day and on and on and on.
  • Professional Dog Handler: On most weekends we travel to dog shows throughout Florida where we handle between 15 and 20 dogs, mostly Labradors but also half a dozen other breeds. If not at a dog show for the weekend, then I assume the roles of all the characters played during the weekdays!
  • Top Champion Labrador Show Breeder: with documented results below.

            * 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
May 25th 2010
by Sandy “Many Hats” Herzon

 

“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

 

  1. Labrador Retrievers Owners
  2. Champion Labrador Retriever Owners
  3. Labrador Retriever Breeders
  4. Show Labrador Retriever Breeders
  5. Coattail Champion Labrador Retriever Breeders
  6. Champion Labrador Retriever Breeders
  7. Established Champion Labrador Retriever Breeders
  8. Top Champion Labrador Retriever Breeders

 

Let’s give these colorful titles some meaning with a job description:

 

  • Labrador Retriever Owners: Those folk that buy a Labrador Retriever will hence forth be known as Labrador Retriever Owners. This is simple enough and shouldn’t take too much grey matter in deciphering if a person belongs in this category. You buy a dog and you own a dog thus you are a dog owner!

 

 

  • Champion Labrador Retriever Owners: Well, this shouldn’t need a PHD degree to figure out either! You buy a dog, you show a dog and the dog finishes its championship and then you become an official Champion Labrador Retriever Owner! You bought the dog, thus you are its owner, you bore the expenses for the dog to champion, thus you are a Champion Labrador Retriever Owner!

 

 

  • Labrador Retriever Breeder: A person that owns a Labrador Retriever and decides that they want to delve into the world of animal husbandry and actually breeds that dog and has a litter of puppies is now a Labrador Retriever Breeder. Plain and simple, they owned or leased the dog and they bred the dog and had a litter and now they rise to the next level of being an actual breeder. Of course there is no glaring, neon sign descriptive added here because they have simply bred a litter and nothing else!

 

 

  • Show Labrador Retriever Breeder…………here the person has ascended to the next level and actually is showing a dog that they actually bred! Hopefully this bred-by-them dog has the correct conformation according to the breed standard and is good enough to be shown at a dog show and along the way will win some points, merely showing a dog will not do, it must win at least once. Anyone can show a dog, any dog but that doesn’t make the dog a show dog!   SPECIAL NOTE:  There are other lesser accepted dog registries that offer conformation events for dogs to be shown at, such as the UKC, IABCA and other smaller time operations, I will stand fast with the designation only if shown/won at an AKC show. Otherwise a sub heading should be used such as Minor League-Show Labrador Retriever Breeder!

 

 

  • Coattail Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder: Ok, so this next entry should raise the hackles of many! Hello………………..that’s the intent and purpose of this little “pun in cheek” essay (I just love to mangle old time jingles.)

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”.

 

  • Provisional Champion Labrador Breeder: Ah, the plot thickens and we trek to where no man or woman has gone before, so more hackle raising! Before a breeder is given full status as “Champion Breeder” they are put on a provisional status until they have bred and championed a 2nd generation champion of their own breedings. The reasoning here is as clear as a bright day in May.
  1. Anyone can BUY a top show prospect dog from a Top Champion Labrador Breeder and then they can spend beaucoup bucks and have a professional on the dog and finish it.
  2. Anyone can breed that dog that came from a Top Champion Breeder and luck out enough to produce some quality and then take that produce and have it shown and eventually that dog will achieve its championship. The goal in show breeding is to produce as good or better than the dogs used. If the dog produced is not as good as the dog that was bought, then the breeding program has gone backwards.
  3. The litmus test for a Provisional Champion Breeder comes in the Next Generation produced, thus the 2nd generation that can be attributed to that breeder is the make it or break it criteria. If that 2nd generation produced is not as good as the first generation produced, which was not as good as the original dog that was purchased then the person stays at the Provisional Champion Breeder until results warrant the higher status. There must be a marked improvement from one generation to the next for the person to ascent to the lofty status of Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder!

 

  • Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder: Now we are “cooking with grease” or is the politically correct phrase “cooking with polyunsaturated fats”? In order for this designation to hold any water, we must attach some significance to it. You must produce at least 3 generations of champions while improving upon the original dog purchased. That is, each generation produced has to show significant improvement over the preceding champion generation! This would be the proving grounds for a breeder to proclaim their expertise with the breed. To actually take a top show prospect from another breeder and make some type of an improvement on the original dog purchased and then once again create some type of improvement on the 3rd generation produced…………….well, then we would have to come to a consensus and graduate that Provisional Champion Breeder into the realm of an “official” Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder!

 

  • Established Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder: Climbing up the ladder with accreditation will be the person that has bred 4 to 5 generations of successive champions. This would prove without a doubt that this person has achieved a higher level of expertise to be able to breed several generations of quality. Thus, it is not the number of champions produced that makes it here, but rather the number of generations producing champion after champion. Anyone can luck out with an “owned champion” and produce several offspring champions from that original dog, but that would only mean that the breeder of the original dog was worth his salts. In order for any designation to be significant, there must be criteria met and in order to achieve the status of Established Labrador Retriever Breeder a person must account for at least 4 generations of successive champions produced.

 

  • Top Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder: Those at the summit are those who have persevered, standing the test of time with one generation after another of observable quality and improvement as validated with wins and with awards and of course with champions. These individuals then would dwell at the top of the charts in prestige and status and have proven themselves as gifted individuals that have had the expertise, forethought, crucial eye and longevity to have bred 5 champion generations or more. These folk are in a class by themselves in most regions of the country. Very few can actually lay claim to such success, thus the heighten proclamation of Top Champion Labrador Retriever Breeder!  One of the reasons that very few of these breeders exist in one given area is that they usually dominate the wins at dog shows in their area, thus finishing more dogs than the rest of the competitors, in essence keeping the other breeders from achieving any great level of success that would aid them in reaching higher levels of acclaim.

 

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!
A timely discussion about the Florida dog shows,
the people that enter and show their dogs there
and Cajun gumbo soup!

 

Keep The Best & Sell The Rest
Informative article in response to the numerous
questions and feedback that arose from the
This Michelob's For You article

 

Home Page
click above to go back to
Home Page

 

    Hello Mr Herzon

 

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.

 

 

 

Mr. Herzon

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.

Delores Reisen

 

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!!!!