That's A Wrap
The First Half of the Florida Dog Show Season
Is Now History


By Sandy Herzon


The following is a wrap-up of the last 6 months of the Florida dog show scene and how it applies to
Chambray Labradors and the Labrador Owners Community.


The Website:

Ok folks, the first half of the 2010 Florida Dog Show season is now history and into the record books at the AKC, IABCA and UKC and any other abbreviated dog registry as well as with Chambray Labradors. There were lots and lots of records set by our dogs and these will no doubt be recorded and displayed with lots and lots of pride by yours truly all over the website at the appropriate places.

I am giddy with pride about all of our dogs and all of our loyal owners, this is a community thing and each and everyone of you should be congratulated and stand proud for all the wins, awards, accolades and accomplishments and for all the acknowledgements that I have received!

So come by and visit frequently to see and read all about it. Of course since most of what occurs behind the scenes at Chambray is a one man show, it will take some time to take care of all the editing and adding at the website.

All those that are part of Chambray’s Labradors Owners Community will now need to go over all of your dog’s pages and other areas of interest at the website and check out all the pertinent information that is included about each of your dogs. Since we are in what is called “down time” from the shows in Florida, I will make some time to edit the website for each of your dogs.

In case you haven’t noticed there have been some changes already made throughout the website and much more to come. I already have had major input from our visitors, hundreds of tidbits and also ideas for major reconstruction. I will take anything and everything that comes in into account and consider it for the website, so thank you very much for all the advice and feedback…...keep it coming!





Future Dog Shows:

In the next week or so, we will have out the Florida Fall/Winter Dog Show Schedule for all our handling clients. In keeping with the accord set up with some of the dog clubs in Central Florida, the schedule will not be published to the Website. In the last 13 years we had published the schedule of all the shows that the Chambray dogs would be showing at in order to increase the entries and hopefully create the needed majors for dogs to finish their championships.

According to some of the clubs, it was having the exact opposite effect. Some of the Labradors owners in those areas where not entering their dogs knowing that they would be competing against the Chambray dogs.

So, watch for an email in the next week or so with all the dog shows that we will be traveling to in the Fall and Winter of 2010!


If any of the handlers or other breeders from that area or any other area are interested in knowing which shows we will be going to, please email me personally and I will be more than glad to share that information with you.




Dog Training Classes:

The nightly training classes will commence as follows.

  • Thursday Night Training Class

1.      Puppy Primer and Socialization at 7PM to 7:30 PM for all puppies under 4 months of age

2.      Conformation/Show Training/Show Handler’s Training from 7:30 PM to 9PM


  • Tuesday Night Training Class

1.      CGC Training & Testing 7:30 PM to 8PM for all those who did not finish the previous session.

2.      8 PM to 9 PM  An 8-Week Basic Obedience Class for dogs older than 6 months of age.




The West Palm Beach Weekend:


“Thank you so much, I will be sure to share that with my ownersJ

If I said that a minimum of 50 times throughout the weekend, I am sure that I have forgotten a dozen or so! The acknowledgements, congratulations and “thank you’s” came from every conceivable source imaginable at one of these dog shows.


The following are some of the emails, phone calls and also in person testimonials and acknowledgement that I have received during and after this past weekend’s shows in West Palm Beach. I have to share all the following with all those that make Chambray Labradors and the Labrador Owners Community the success that it has become in 20 years!


It takes each and everyone of you to make it work, so you all need to share in with the congratulations, the "thank you’s", that pats on the back, the tips of the hat and the overall general acknowledgement that comes from all those that have the sense to see the difference that we have collectively made at the dogs shows with our presence.


So, I share with all of you that are part of Chambray’s Labrador Retriever Owners Community all of the following:




Again a big Thank You for this weekend for you and your team, especially Jessie. We had a great time with the entire Chambray family at ringside.

 Remember our new slogan for Eko: Always bet on black.

 See you Tuesday at 7:30




Thank you for inviting us to the show, we all had a great time and can’t wait for our puppy to be old enough to join in with the fun at shows.



Way to go Herzon, another huge feather in your cap and to all the owners of your Labradors. It was amazing to see it all going so strong after so many years.



Thank you for your entries and those of your owners. We appreciate you all coming out and making our show a success.

TCKC member & officer


You and your family should be commended by the Florida dog clubs for your patronage and support with all the dogs and people that you bring to the shows.

Ring Steward.


It is always such a pleasure to have your family handle dogs in my ring when I am judging down here.

LC AKC Judge (not judging at this show)


Congratulations on a wonderful weekend in so many ways.  All the Herzons worked their collective tushies off!  You all deserve a huge round of applause.  I couldn’t believe the crowd at ringside!  Bill and I had several hometown supporters, from agility buddies to neighbors, come out to root for Hogan and Hanna (By the way, we live in Boynton Beach, not Wellington).  Even my next door neighbor saw me today and commented how impressed he was to see all of Hogan’s offspring – and off-offspring – competing. Being “Ring Mother” was stressful but I was glad to help out.  My only regret was not getting a chance to sit back and do my ringside analysis which I thoroughly enjoy.  

Great new article on the website.  It summed up the feeling of the weekend though I think you really had to experience it to fully appreciate it.  Thanks again for all you and Johanna, Jessie, and Ryan put in to making it a memorable weekend.



Thank you for bringing me your dogs; it was a pleasure to watch your family in my ring.

AKC Judge (that judged at the show and didn’t know who the Herzon family was until the photo session with the winning dogs)


I am so glad that I bought my puppy from you and not somebody else (actual name used). The friendly nature of your group makes such a difference. Everyone at ringside is so nice and sharing, not so with the other person (actual name used).



I should pay you and your kids a commission for all the business you all bring us.

D. a vendor


We had a great time meeting and talking with so many of your owners. I know that I am prejudice since I own one of your dogs, but Chambray has the most beautiful dogs!



What a class act you all put on with your dogs at these shows. It was a thrill watching class after class with all of your family in the ring working so professionally and without a hitch you all handled more than half the Labradors competing!



I don’t know how you do it, but keep it up man! You got the people talking and that’s a good thing, because when they no longer talk about you then you are history!

Retiring dog handler


Amazing, amazing, amazing, I would not believe it if I had not been there both days to see you and your family handle class after class of dogs and give each and everyone of those dogs the absolute best handling from anyone at that show! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!



We are proud to be included in your circle of dog owners. We met so many wonderful people that also own a Chambray dog. We had a great time at the show.



Thank you so much for including us in the dogs that you showed this weekend. We could not ask for anymore as our girl looked so beautiful with Ryan handling her.



Greetings from Thailand! Congratulations on the weekend wins!



Great fun at WPB.  Congrats to all the Chambray winners!!



The Chambray family should be proud of what was accomplished this past weekend, I know that you are. We are proud of Cher and Sunny and their performance and know that great things are to come. Sunny’s win put a lump in my throat because I know that it was big for him at this point. Nice article!!!!!   Are you sleeping in one of the dog houses you have on the porch?

You have to be kidding! What a show you all put on down here! Nothing like this in the Midwest. I was glad that I saw your invitation on the front page of your website and came to watch. Tried to catch you, but man you are non stop action with your dogs and with your super loyal owners. I got to talk to dozens of them and they sing the blues about you and your program. Congratulations on all you and your very talented family do down here with the breed!

Wahoo for Chambray and the Herzons. Congratulations to all the dogs and the owners. I couldn’t be there in person but I was there in spirit and in heart.

What a difference you guys make with your breed! What you do does not exist in any other breed or ring! What a loyal following you all have and how impressive it is to watch you all at the Labrador ring.

My next breed will be a Labrador, not just any Labrador, but a Chambray Labrador. Put me on your waiting list.

I have to tell you that you all put on one class act. I mentioned to you that there was a particular person talking trash about you and your dogs and you said to let it be because talk is cheap but actions are solid gold. You are totally right! No one wants to even stand by that person and listen to the non-stop garbage she rambles on with.

Thank you for inviting us to be part of your Labrador Owners Community. We had the opportunity to speak with many of the Chambray owners at the show and without exception they all speak very highly of you and your family. Seeing is believing and being part of such a wonderful group of people is something that is not available with anyone else we spoke with when inquiring about a Labrador puppy. Please keep up the great work you do for your Labradors and their owners. We anxiously await our soon to be Chambray puppy.


The difference is night and day with what you provide with your dogs and what other breeders are doing. In fact your entire approach is so refreshing and positive as compared to the other breeders out there with their negative sales tactics. My wife and I were not too sure about this show thing, but after seeing the many Chambray owners and speaking with many of them at ringside we are totally sold on getting involved in the many activities that you provide with your puppies and dogs. Please consider us for a placement of one of your prized puppies.

I was so excited to see my puppy in the ring that I could bear to watch, so I missed the whole thing. When is the next show?

Hogan has to be the most impressive Labrador I have ever seen. I don’t know what that judge was looking at when she overlooked him and gave Best Labrador to the dog on Saturday! Didn’t she know that he was the father of the female that won and also of all those other puppies and dogs in the ring? Anyways, thank you for inviting us to the show and we will be attending class with our new baby next week.

Ok, I have calmed down now, I think, and I want to really thank you for everything you have done with Viper.  And Sandy, thanks for constantly reassuring me about the shows :) It was such a high!  However, she is still just the Goober at home.  Anyway, THANKS!!

Editors Note: There were dozens and dozens more that expressed almost word for word some of these emails, phone calls and in person testimonials, so I just concise them into a generic form and didn’t attribute them to one person. I know that most of you will figure out who some of the above belong to.


It seems that in my roundup for the article of cities where our owners came from with our dogs for the WPB shows, I omitted, overlooked and some cases mistook where some of our dogs resided. So here is a revised “all points” addition/correction to the article. Of course, thank you to all those that emailed in with the location corrections (talk about OCD affected folks and their dogsJ!).

To the south we had the following cities represented, some cities were represented by numerous owners and dogs:

Miami Lakes/Hialeah

Bal Harbor



Oakland Park


Ft Lauderdale

Coral Springs

Delray Beach

Boca Raton

Lake Worth

Boynton Beach

West Palm Beach


To the west we had:



To the north and northwest:

Ponte Verde Beach

Tarpon Springs


Vero Beach



Ok, are the whiners happy now? lol!!!!!!!!



Why Back Up Handlers and How Handling Payback Works:


As was evident this past weekend at WPB, the Herzons handled and won with way more dogs than they could all go back into the ring with at the end of each gender of dog. So, days and weeks before these shows, after the roster was filled for the show, priorities were set in case of “all” the eventualities! Each and every scenario is considered and a back up plan is in place to cover every situation that can and will arise.


Although the Herzons “covered” every dog from the classes, at times all 4 Herzons were in the ring with a different dog, there came a time when there were 7 class winners that needed to go back into the ring to compete for Winners Bitch!


Well, it is very simple to deduce that 4 handlers can not handle 7 dogs that need handling and this is where strategy and priorities come into play and also were the “backup handlers” are called into action. Each of those handlers were procured well in advance so that there would be a seamless transition going back into the ring for Winners Bitch.


Each dog is given a priority level and those priorities are gone over with each owner. There are many, many considerations for who handles a dog and who goes back into Winners with which dog. In some case dogs that have been showing for a while and are close to finishing their championship are given handling priority over new dogs and puppies without wins and points. At times the priorities are changed at a seconds notice according to the “flow” in the ring.


In one case we have an odd/even system for 2 of our girls, Hanna who I handle out of the Bred By Exhibitor Class receives handling priority over Stella on an odd numbered day if both win their class, so I go back into Winners with Hanna; on even numbered days if the same occurs, then I stay on Stella who I handle from the Open Yellow. Each owner is apprised of the situation so that everyone is on the same page.


The situation with the backup handlers brought about some pertinent questions. Some of our owners, new and established have asked how we take care of those handlers that we enlisted to be at ringside just in case more than 4 of our dogs won and have to go back into the Winners Class.


Well, simple as a dimple on a dapple! We owe them something in return. For some, we give them $50 to “back us up”, for others they want us to back them up with their handling assignments!


After Labradors were through for the day and our owners were elsewhere as well, the Herzons stayed around to take care of their “debts”.

  • Jessie handled and won a Winners Dog with a Pointer as payback for that handler backing us up at a recent show were we needed help for the Chambray dogs.
  • Yours truly backed up on a Great Dane and also a Schnauzer……..taking some major abuse from the Schnauzer while in the ring……..he decided that he wanted to breed to me and went ahead and humped my leg while the judge did her examination. He wasn’t finished humiliating me, he proceeded to jump on me while we gaited around the ring. The judge found it to be so amusing that she awarded us the Best Of Breed over a ranked champion. Needless to say the other handler went into a tizzy!

Some of the owners also asked if they should compensate someone that we procure as a backup. You may give them a “tip” if you feel that they did a good job with your dog, but feel totally comfortable that the Herzons have the situation well under hand with the pay back!





Addressing The Negatives:


Addressing negatives or negative people is not the part that I am really good at nor do I really want to spend too much time with.

However I understand from some that it would be like the old Ostrich sticking its head in the sand so as to not have to see or hear about it! This is what one of the owners actually said to me! Since there were 3 people that addressed the situation to me this weekend, I feel that I need to also put this one under wraps as part of the happenings for the first half of the 2010 Florida dog show scene.


The West Palm Beach dog shows this past weekend was a perfect example of the 98% J  Satisfaction Guaranteed slogan that I so proudly boast about. A 98% satisfaction rate is unheard of in the service and goods business!


As a trainee for the Sears’ Management Program back in the late 60’s and early 70’s we were taught about Sears’ golden rule, Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back!” We also learned that any percentage in the 90’s was at the top of the charts! So, a salesman with a 90% satisfaction rating was a “golden boy” within the program!


I have kept documentation throughout the years for all of our Labrador-related programs, from raising, training and handling and the figures all add up to a 98% satisfaction rate! For those CPA’s and other number crunchers, that means that out of every 100 persons dealing with any of our programs, there are 98 that are satisfied clients. Of course if 98 are satisfied that must mean that 2 are somehow inconvenienced to say the least!


Between Saturday and Sunday there were over 100 people somehow connected to Chambray Labradors in attendance at the show!

  • The total entry for each show was 51 Labradors of which 33 were owned by people that are part of Chambray’s Labrador Owners Community. Many of those dogs had the entire family there, so we figure that there were more than 60 people there with Chambray dogs that they owned and were showing.


  • There were at least another 40 people that came by to support and cheer us on, from brand spanking new owners to people that went back with us to the late 80’s (2 different, a 1988 and a 1989 owner), there were a half dozen or so owners from the 90’s and twice as many from 2000 to 2010.


Let’s just round that number down to 100 people (although there were well over 125 in the 2 days of shows). I know without a single doubt that 98 of those people were super satisfied Chambray clients, which would bring us to the 2 unsatisfied folk.


So, that would be the negative………………2, count them TWO, DOS, II…..1 + 1 = 2

It doesn’t matter how you dice it, it keeps coming up the same TWO!!!!!! Do we need to address those 2………………………I don’t think so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know how they are, you know who they are, everyone around ringside knows who they are, everyone at the dogs shows knows who they are, the club people know who they are, the handlers know who they are, the AKC rep. knows who they are.

The 2 of them say the exact same thing at each and every dog show they go to, they say the same thing over and over again to each person they speak to. No one wants to hear it from them anymore, everyone stays clear of them like the plague.

Does anyone pay any attention to these two lonely and out of tune characters?

I THINK NOT! In fact the exact opposite is occurring with their constant negative and continued malice-laced mumblings, they and their lost cause have ZERO credibility as people and as Labrador enthusiast!



Alright then, the head is out of the sand! I just did my duty and covered all the bases, because as I always say, I only deal in the positive, looking ahead to what’s next for our owners, their dogs and what’s good for Chambray Labradors and the Labrador Retriever Owners Community!



So that’s a wrap for now folks!!! However, when itchy fingers and idle minds converge, you know that there will be more to come!


For now have a safe and enjoyable rest of summer and thank you all for being the greatest 98% of people that exist on the planet!!!!!!




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