Mary Roslin Williams of Mansergh Gundogs

She bred Labs, she hunted over Labs, she competed with Labs and she taught about Labs. She had seven generations of champions, and 15 or so dogs who won field trial awards.

In the early days, she lived in Mansergh Parish, just south of the Lake District in England.

Mary Roslin Williams taught from practical experience and common sense.

Although she’s no longer with us, she left behind knowledge that she shared. Read a bit and then take a half hour to listen.


The start of the show/field divide

“I started this book by pointing out that at any one time there are about twenty top breeders who can and do stay at the top for many years, but when I come to the breeders who can show their dogs as Championship show-prize winners and also run them in Trials as Trial dogs, accepted as such by the Trial people and not called ‘Bl—y show dogs’ as is their wont, then I find it hard to name twenty kennels that can do this in the last forty years.

“Before the last War there were plenty of strains capable of doing this, indeed it was more or less the norm. The whole atmosphere of Labrador breeding was different, with such people as Lorna, Countess Howe seeing to it that the show Labrador remained a working dog. … The dogs were good-looking on proper Labrador lines, they were thoroughly experienced shooting dogs and cut out their own work with the minimum of help from their handlers, although always ready to take the hint when they were stuck. The good work on the day was put in by the dogs and not the handlers, and while Lady Howe was alive this happy state of affairs, when Trials were fun and you and your dogs welcome, remained until the sad day she died, when we immediately feared and experienced the Great Divide, into entirely show bloodlines and entirely Field Trial, poles apart.”

A water dog

“It’s a great sadness to me, that when they named the Labrador they didn’t call it the ‘Labrador Water Retriever’ … because we forget that the dog is a water dog.

“It’s job was water work. It’s job still is water work and we’ve adopted it and adapted it for different works. But in many countries that we sell our puppies to … they expect that dog to work in water. Very largely. And if you sell a dog to Canada it will be working in water in terrible frost. In cold water. Hours at a time. We ought to remember that, both when we breed and when we judge….

Defining type

“The next thing is the Labrador is a Labrador. Now here is a difficult thing because this is type and however much you have a standard, one thing it cannot describe is type. You’ve got to have type in your head. … Perhaps type varies a little from country to country. …

“My criterion for Labrador type is a very simple one. It must look like a Labrador. It mustn’t look like a Foxhound. It mustn’t look like a Pointer … It mustn’t look like a Golden Retriever. …


“You get unmanageability. It’s an outward bound dog. It’s horizon is 300 yards away. It’s hind legs make it gallop because they can’t help galloping. It’s head is held too high. It’s elbow is angulated for a high head carriage and you don’t want it in a Labrador. We used to get it. And besides that we’ve always got a very, very short coat.”


“The Foxhounds came in deliberately. … And what came with it? Arrogance… When he went to judgment, instead of looking at you like a Labrador should – they did that (turned head away) – with the proudest, most arrogant expression. Now that got into the breed very badly, so that we had championship show judges writing in their critique … correct arrogant expression…. It’s absolutely wrong.

“And the other terrible fault we got in there was that they were very fastidious. … They did not like opening their mouths in dirty water. I can’t blame them. I don’t like opening my mouth in dirty water. And I don’t intend to which is why I have a dog…”


“Now the next thing that happened was that somebody realized this and they quietly moved in a Flatcoat. Now that did a power of good. But we had a Flatcoat influence. One of the reasons why I hate a black eye in a Labrador was that was brought in. We brought in narrow heads, Flatcoat eyes. Flatcoat shaped eyes. And we had a lot of feathering….

“Labrador breeders are so sensible they can get these things out. It took some years and we left the good points in. We lost the arrogance. We lost the hardness and we got dogs that would retrieve nicely again…”


“Now the next thing that came in – and I don’t know where it came in – and I could never get Ronnie Hill to tell me, but what he knew was that the trial people introduced Greyhound. And they introduced Greyhound purely to get the speed.

“Now that influence is still with us. And if you look at the trial Labradors, you’ll see that a lot of them have very, very beautiful necks and shoulders. Marvelous necks. Way, way beyond our reach of neck. Really beautiful necks and shoulders. And they have the deep body, then the tell-tale arch over the loin. And that is the most difficult thing to breed out, to get the field trial arch out of the loin. And then they have long, thin tails and single coats. …

“So I’m warning you, if you use field trial lines you get the virtues, you get the faults, but worse still you get their diseases. And this is why I am so against any Labrador looking like anything – or particularly feeling like anything – when you’re judging that isn’t a Labrador. But as you get in other breeds and you will get in diseases …

“So therefore my first Labrador has been a water dog. My second Labrador, for heaven sake, let it be a Labrador and let it look like a Labrador. Let it behave like a Labrador and feel like a Labrador and work like a Labrador.”

Importance of a correct coat

“… I do wish that everybody … would remember that the Labrador is a cold, wet weather dog and that he’s a water dog. And that it should be able to go out duck flighting in January in bitter, bitter weather sitting at the bottom of a cut in the sand with water up to its belly or even up to its neck. The tide coming in or out and it has to sit there for while the duck flighting in. A it is cold and it is wet and the dog must be able to stand it.

“…Please remember that that is the job of a Labrador. And they should have a proper coat. And it should coat them all over. [Some dogs] are half coated. They have a hard, hard ripple like a table runner down their backs. Very, very hard hair and they have nothing else. … And that is not a Labrador coat. The Labrador coat should cover all over to the same depth and be dense, but they’re very, very difficult to find now…

Why correct structure is important

“… a Labrador’s job is not to hunt in front of you, flushing rabbits, flushing pheasants, however good.

“It is not to be a guide dog for the blind.

“It is not to be a dog for finding drugs or any of these useful things [like] finding … a dead body… That’s not it’s job.

“It’s very nice of it to do it… but it is not it’s job.

“It’s job is to sit or walk at heel until told to go. And it’s only told to go either at the end of the drive or when the bird comes down if you’re in … a duck blind … and you want it to go. …”

A level back

“And for that you need a dog bred on exactly classical lines. And a classical line is a level back, not a rake. A level back. Any retrieving dog that has to also mark should have a level back. …

The neck

“It should have a longer back to its neck than to it’s throatline. … It should have an 11″ back to its neck and a 4″ throatline, not an 11″ throatline and 4” back.

“If it was a horse it would be putting it’s ear in your mouth…

“It’s very dangerous for a Labrador to have that enormous exposed windpipe… And then when they pick their bird, it stands to reason that… the long line is on the top and the short line is underneath.

The shoulders and angulation

“Now the shoulders should be laid back and this is very important too.

“In a pointing setter, they have a laid back shoulder. Fair enough. But they don’t have the classical right angle at the point of the shoulder. They are over angulated… We want the right angle or thereabouts give or take a few degrees.

“If you have a laid back shoulder, a right angle there and a level back … the foreleg comes back under the girth. It’s not under their ear and neither is it straight under the point of the shoulder. It is back and the elbow is under the girth.

“So there you have the exact angulation that the dog can easily mark the bird when he’s walking because it’s easy for him to have his head up. He can get a scent within a reasonable distance… and then put his head down. And he can get his head down perfectly easily without having to put his elbow out… So therefore you’ve got a perfect mechanism there.

“And he must have that long line on the top of his neck to pick his bird. He then picks his bird – which takes a lot of strength – and gets it back onto the layback of his shoulders easily carrying it on the layback of his shoulders.

“So if you have the classical front, that is exactly right for a Labrador, a Golden, a Flatcoat, a Curly, a Ches, but it isn’t right for a Pointer and Setter. And it isn’t right for a Foxhound. They have their own fronts, slightly open.

An example of why it matters

“… if you have an over angulated shoulder with open angles, like a Pointer and Setter – I’m citing one of my own dogs now.

“I had a lovely dog name Tarmac … and a very good worker. But I can cite him because he was wrongly made.

“He had a marvelously erect shoulder. He then had a raked back. And the consequence was that he was over angulated behind so that he had too much stifle and too much hock – too long a hock – and it was too far behind him. And that is what happens when you get a raked back.

“Now that was the most rightful inconvenience to him when he was swimming because he swam like a Pointer. …

“He was all right once he got the bird in his mouth, but when he didn’t have a bird in his mouth the fact that he didn’t have a level back and that he had an over angulated hind legs…, he had difficulty in the water work. So I know from experience that is not a good thing. …

“At one time because we had a craze for very, very short backs – which … is not short coupled, the word ‘short-coupled’ means the loin. … they were absolutely cramming dogs so close together that they had no where to put their feet when they ran. .. They were crabbing and they had a very short line … from the point of the hip to the point of the buttock, they had no rumps whatsoever.

“And I am quite certain for work – particularly swimming – you must have a decent balanced length from the point of the hip to the point of the buttock. …


“Now if you’ve got your backline right, then you’re going to have your angulation just about right.

“And it’s well to remember – again – that a Labrador is not meant to stand with it’s legs out behind it like a Pointer or a Setter. They’re meant to stand more or less under the point of the buttock. “In other words the dog is standing slightly over his leg and he mustn’t stand sickle-hocked with his feet too far forward.

“And a very important point, … for a perfectly balanced dog … from the hock to the ground … should be at exact right angles to the ground – not stretched out back, nor sickle underneath. …

“If that dog drops it’s hock correctly, then it is standing absolutely correct on it’s feet and you’re less likely to have foot trouble.

“… If you’ve got your angulation right and your level back, you’ve got a balanced dog standing on it’s feet correctly with it’s weight very, very slightly on it’s hocks … and it should stand in a position … that it could jump in any direction immediately. It can either jump forward or backwards or to either side because it’s slightly on it’s hocks.

“Those, to me, are the salient points of a Labrador’s conformation. …

“And besides that, …it has to have a tender mouth and the ability to retrieve, the ability to mark and a thousand other things that you have in field trials and it’s like trying to get your football pools right. You’ll never do it, but we try.”

# # #

For a fun walk down memory lane, read some reminiscences from MRW’s daughter, Anne.

Would you like to learn even more? MRW wrote two books – and although they can be hard to find and expensive – they are worth the effort.

The Dual-Purpose Labrador

Advanced Labrador Breeding (aka Reaching for the Stars)

A costume contest for pets got me thinking about what Halloween costumes for dogs might be available. I also needed coordinating costumes as my dogs, Chip, Tory and Arwen, would all be participating.

And, rather than buying something ready-made, I wanted to make the costumes myself.

Come along with me to learn about my thought process, what supplies I bought, and how I made the costumes.

The 3 Musketeers started it all

All for one, one for all!

Designing the costumes was interesting because they had to be instantly recognizable, but my dogs also had to walk in them. After a quick Google image search, I decided on hats with feather plumes and the signature musketeer tunic. I also bought plastic swords for all of them, but could only convince one dog that they weren’t chew toys.

I started by measuring each dog from just below their collar to just above their front feet. Then I measured in back from just below their collar to the base of their tail. I also measured across their chests, from the outside of one leg to the outside of the other leg. And finally I measured across their chest and shoulders and back around to the front. This measurement, less across the chest, gave me the top of the cape measurement. (Just in case, I added 2 inches.)

Next was calculating the amount of fabric needed and making a list of supplies.

After cutting out and test fitting, I stitched together the tunic and cape at the top corners. Then I glued gold braid around the edges of the fabric. I saved painting the crosses for last so I didn’t risk smearing the paint.

Next I reshaped the hats using moist heat and lots of patience. I attached the white feathers with a couple spots of glue. And finally I added some thin elastic as chin straps to keep the hats on their heads.

Luckily Labs don’t mind playing silly games like dress up! They did spectacularly and even won the costume contest at the local Labrador club.

Three Musketeers Halloween costume


  • blue felt fabric
  • gold braid trim
  • gold fabric paint
  • 3 black cowboy hats
  • 3 fluffy white feathers
  • 3 plastic swords
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
3 Labs dress up as ghosts and carry their own Jack O Latern


  • 3 white flat sheets
  • 3 plastic jack-o-lanterns

Trick or treating ghosts

What could be more iconic than ghosts on Halloween? Except these ghosts had four legs!

That year was a test of their obedience skills. They had to sit with sheets over their heads and carry plastic jack-o-lantern buckets.

Buying three flat sheets and three jack-o-lanterns was the easy part.

Next came draping a sheet over each dog and determining the best place to cut holes. It took some trial and error – with each dog – to find the perfect place and sizes for the holes. I made sure to start with small holes and test fitted before making the holes bigger.

My dogs were all taught to fetch on command, but it took a bit to convince them that fetch also applied to the thin bucket handles. After all, they were used to retrieving birds or a bumper.

Then they had to learn that I wanted them to sit, with a sheet draped over them, AND hold the bucket. And they had to do it at the same time and for long enough to get pictures.

They did it and got plenty of treats!

Four-legged duck hunters

The next year had to be something simple because I didn’t have time to make elaborate costumes for Halloween. So I dug out some hunting clothes – ball caps, camo shirts, duck calls, whistles, etc.

After getting them all dressed, something just didn’t look right. Off I went to the nearest thrift store where I found three pairs of kid’s pants in tan and green.

Getting all three dogs to wear the hats, shirts, whistles and duck calls was easy. Putting pants on them took a bit more work. =D

When they were dressed and sitting attentively, I took the picture. And just then the shotgun fell over. No, it wasn’t loaded, but it got their attention. As they moved, hats fell off, pant cuffs were stepped on and general mayhem ensued.

Good thing that one photo turn out so well!

Labradors dress up as duck hunters of Halloween
Follow the yellow brick road! The tin man, scarecrow and cowardly lion costumes

Follow the yellow brick road

As Halloween drew nearer, I was trying to come up with a theme so each dog would have a unique costume but be recognizable as a trio. Pairs are easy, threesomes take more work!

The Tin Man costume

I found a box as long as my dog from chest to tail. Next I taped the flaps to the inside and flipped the box over. Then I cut a large hole with about half on the front and half on the top. The hole should be just big enough for the dog’s head to slip through.

I tried painting the box silver, but it didn’t look metallic enough. Instead, I covered it in aluminum foil. It looked better, but made a crinkly noise when moved. It took some patience and a few practice sessions before Tory felt comfortable wearing the box.

I used an old metal funnel for the hat. After drilling a couple holes near the top of the funnel, I added some thin elastic to go under his chin.

Good thing he had learned the Stand for Exam obedience exercise!

The Scarecrow costume

Arwen‘s Scarecrow costume took some sewing and several fittings to come close to fitting her. I started with a shirt pattern, but made the front narrower and the back wider.  In hindsight, using a plain green t-shirt would have been easier. For the collar, I stitched a piece of creamy white fabric into a circle and added elastic near the top.

For the hat, I glued black felt into a cone shape. The wide end needed to be about the width of the dog’s head. Next I cut a circle that was about 2″ wider than the base of the cone. I glued it to the cone and cut out the center portion. Thin black elastic kept the hat in place. I also glued short bits of raffia to the brim.

Just before taking the photo, I tucked some raffia into the sleeves.

The Cowardly Lion costume

What took the longest to make was Chip‘s lion mane. I took a measurement from about the middle of his forehead to the top of his shoulder blades. Then I cut a piece of stretchy fabric to that length and sewed it into a tube. One end was a snug fit around his head while the other end fit around his shoulders. During the final test fit, I marked around the top of each ear. After removing the tube, I cut holes for his ears.

For the mane, I wrapped yarn around three fingers and tied one end tightly before cutting the bundle loose. I used a whole skein of yarn making these bundles. Then starting at the narrow end of the tube, I sewed each bundle to the stretchy fabric. To finish, I tied the ribbon in a bow and stitched it in place between the ear openings.

I’m not sure if they were starting to enjoy Halloween dress up or if they were just resigned to my shenanigans.

Old west characters

In early October the next year I found myself wandering the Halloween aisle in the local store. I was trying to come up with another trio of costumes. Looking at this and that, I found a red bustier (corset) that was sized for a child. There were also cowboy hats and six guns nearby. Hmmm.

Arwen’s costume was pretty easy. Tie some red ribbon in a bow and attach to the wig. Check. Lace her up in the bustier. Check. Add a table prop to help her sit up and show off her costume. Check!

The black-wearing outlaw took a little more work. I added a thin piece of elastic to hold his hat in place. Then cut the black fabric, folded it into a triangle and tied it around his neck. Added his belt and holsters and he was ready.

The sheriff’s outfit took a little more work, but not too much. I added a thin piece of elastic to hold his hat in place. Then I cut and sewed the tan fabric into a tunic. The belt with holster held the tunic closed. Finishing touches were the red bandana and the sheriff’s badge.

Tory and Chip were perfect in their roles as the outlaw and the sleepy sheriff. Arwen was not pleased though. I don’t think she liked having to wear a girly outfit with a wig AND sit up. She would have made a good outlaw, but for this year she was the dance hall gal.

Labs dress up in western costumes - an outlaw, a sheriff and a dance hall gal


  • red bustier
  • black wig
  • 8″ piece of red ribbon
  • a black cowboy hat
  • a brown cowboy hat
  • two sets of six-guns with belts and holsters
  • a sheriff’s badge
  • a red bandana
  • fabric pieces in black and tan
Harry, Ron and Hermoine as portrayed by three Labrador Retrievers


  • 3 white shirts
  • 3 men’s ties
  • red and yellow fabric paint
  • black witch’s hat
  • 2 pairs of reading glasses
  • white chalk
  • white paint
  • black fabric

You’re a wizard Harry

The next year I decided to show them that dressing up isn’t all that bad. So I joined them.

Another trio – Harry, Hermione and Ron – plus one – Professor McGonagall.

Starting with the ties, I turned them into Gryffindor ties with SEVERAL coats of the red and yellow paint. Notice how one turned out a bit wrinkly? That was Ron’s tie. His shirt didn’t tuck in well either. I also sewed the black fabric into robes for all four of us.

Got us all dressed with white shirts, plus the ties and robes.

Next was sweet talking Tory into wearing glasses and Arwen into wearing the wig again. The glasses didn’t show up well on a black dog, so I took the lenses out and painted the glasses white. Much better!

I added a lightning bolt on Tory’s forehead with white chalk and told them to say ‘cheese’! And, yes, they smiled! They also got to go to the Halloween party and schmooze everyone for tasty treats.

Tip: Start your shopping at local thrift stores. I bought all the shirts and ties for less than $10. The stores will usually also have lots of ready-made costumes for sale.

I’d just as soon kiss a wookiee

The next Halloween became an homage to the Star Wars movies, but which three characters should it be? Darth Vader, of course. And when you have bad, you need good.

Should it be Luke, Leia or Yoda? Costume-wise, Luke was boring and I didn’t want to try hanging cinnamon rolls on my dog’s head, so Yoda was it. And, of course, you need the iconic R2D2.

Next was figuring out which parts of the characters were needed for people to recognize the costumes: Yoda’s ears and light saber, Darth’s light saber, cape, chest plate and helmet (well, most of it because the mask wouldn’t fit) and R2D2’s shape and coloring.

Do you have any idea how long it takes to paint a bowl and fabric to look like R2D2? And that was just the start.

Darth’s helmet and Yoda’s ears both took several fittings, plenty of sewing and LOTS of interfacing to make them stiff enough to look right.

Then more sewing to make Yoda’s robe plus painting Darth’s chest plate and two light sabres.

Luckily last year’s Gryffindor robe worked great for Darth too.

It was worth it though because this was one of the most popular sets of costumes. They were dubbed R2-Dog2, Dog Vader and Yo Dawg.

Labradors in costume as R2D2, Darth Vader and Yoda


  • a white, plastic bowl
  • white fabric
  • acrylic paint in white,blue, green, red, silver and black
  • a cardboard box about the size of a ream of copy paper
  • fabric pieces in black, green and light tan
  • fusible interfacing
  • two cardboard cores from Christmas wrapping paper
Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Steve Martin as portrayed by Labrador Retrievers


  • silver acrylic paint
  • black fabric (I repurposed the Gryffindor robes)
  • white shirts (I repurposed the shirts too)
  • 3 black hats with broad brims
  • red satin fabric

All of us has an El Guapo to face

If you can’t tell, I choose characters that are usually a bit over the top to make interesting costumes. So it should be no surprise that Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Steve Martin made an appearance on the next Halloween as the Three Amigos!

With a lot of patience and some silver paint, the Gryffindor robes became sparkly jackets. The white shirts were reused. I also painted the hats. Then a bit of sewing turned the red fabric into ties and cumberbunds.

It’s amazing how detailed the real costumes were and I tried hard to replicate the look.

I think Arwen finally liked her costume.

Down the rabbit hole

Liking her costume was short-lived. The next year I put Arwen in a pink Cheshire cat costume and had her lay down on a bench. If looks could kill…

For the hat, I glued green construction paper into a tube shape with the top wider than the bottom. The bottom needed to be about the width of the dog’s head. I cut two circles – one for the brim and one for the top. The brim should be about 2-3 inches wider than the bottom of the tube. I cut the top piece a little big and cut off the excess after it was glued to the tube.

To finish the hat, I added some green ribbon around the base of the hat. I made a card with “10/6” written on it and tucked the card in the band. Thin black elastic under his chin kept the hat in place.

Adding a wig, jacket and green tie completed the Mad Hatter’s costume.

Making a White Rabbit costume required some creativity. I nixed the idea of painting my black Lab white and instead used features to hint at his identity. I made rabbit ears out of white and black construction paper with light gauge wire glued inside. The wire made the ears bendable and also attached the ears to a plastic headband. Next I repurposed a tie from the Three Amigos costume and added a matching jacket. The white rabbit’s large pocket watch was made by painting a whipped topping container lid.

There was a fourth player too, but it wasn’t me this year. In the story, there is a Dormouse who pops out of a teapot. I tried James the rat as a stand-in, but he never got his cue right.

Down the rabbit hole! Halloween costumes for dogs


  • Cheshire cat costume from a yard sale
  • 2 jackets repurposed from my closet
  • red tie remade from the Three Amigos costumes
  • white, black, and green construction paper for the hat and ears
  • acrylic paint in white, black, gold
  • black Sharpie-type pen
  • about 12 inches of 1 inch wide green ribbon for hat band
  • thin piece of elastic for the hat
  • a small piece of green fabric for the tie
  • wig
  • about 36 inches of light-gauge wire for rabbit ears
  • plastic headband for the ears
  • plastic lid from a whipped topping container
  • teapot
  • hot glue and glue gun
Labs can wear traditional costumes for kids

Kids costumes for dogs

By Halloween 2015 we were winding down. Chip was nearly 17 and slept a lot. Tory had been diagnosed with cancer. And I was heart sick. I felt I needed to do one more Halloween photo, but it would have to be simple.

Off to the store again where I found some ready-made costumes – a devil, a witch and a ninja turtle.

I lost Tory just a few days later and Chip in December.

Easy to make deer costume

Although 13 years old, Arwen was still willing so back to the store I went. For her first solo, she was a deer. A trophy deer.

I cut a big piece of cardboard into a shield shape with a hole in the middle just big enough for her head. Then I added some ‘wood grain’ with a Sharpie.

Next I cut the felt into some oval shapes with the brown felt pieces slightly larger. For a Labrador these pieces were about 8 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. I layered the tan inside the brown felt then rolled and glued one end to make an ear. I repeated the process to make the other ear.

Using some wire, I attached the ears and some twigs to the headband. To introduce her to the cardboard, I let her sniff it and then put it on her head. Note: the cardboard only went over her face. I made the hole small enough so the cardboard would not slip over her ears and down her neck.

With a little persuasion, Arwen sat with this contraption on her head while I took pictures.

Isn’t she cute?


Labrador in costume as a trophy deer head


  • large piece of sturdy cardboard
  • Sharpie pen
  •  brown and tan felt
  • girl’s plastic headband
  • light gauge wire
Labs can wear traditional costumes for kids


  • small party hats
  • thin black elastic
  • a friend willing to help

Simple costume for St Paddy’s day

After eleven years of Halloween costumes, it was a time of change. More dogs went to the Bridge, but eventually young dogs “volunteered” to carry on the tradition.

In the spring of 2018 I had a litter of puppies who were ready for their 7-week evaluations. A good friend came over, we evaluated puppies, took lots of pictures and decided to give costuming another try.

I already had a bag of small, sparkly green party favor hats. After poking small holes on each side of the hats, I threaded thin black elastic to help hold them on the puppies’ heads. Luckily the puppies had run off some energy, but weren’t quite ready for a nap. Perfect!

We put two puppies on a table as my friend stood to the side to hold them still. Checking the pictures afterward, we saw the background was just too busy. Bless her heart! She let me throw a white blanket over her head while she stood behind the puppies, keeping one hand on each puppy’s hip.

It took a little Photoshopping to blur the background and add a St. Patrick’s Day wish, but the final photo was worth the effort!

Which witch is which?

In 2019 I was finally ready to try Halloween costumes again. Tisket and Wynk were both obedience trained, so although skeptical, they were willing to sit as I fussed.

For the hats, I rolled some black construction paper into cones with glue to hold it. Then I cut a couple donut shapes for the brims and glued those to the base of the cones. After adding some black elastic to keep the hats in place, they were done. But they were kinda boring. Hmmm. Hot glue gun to the rescue! I added several stripes of glue to the cones and brim to give the hats a little sparkle.

The broomsticks were fairly easy, although a bit messy. I wound raffia into two bundles about 10 inches long and wrapped rubber bands near one end. After sticking the dowels into that end, I cut apart the other end and skrunched until it looked right. To hide the rubber bands, I wrapped some raffia over them and tacked it in place with hot glue.

To solve the problem of no hands to hold the broomsticks, I used more black elastic. I cut two pieces about 8 inches long for each dog. Then tied the ends in a knot that was tight enough to hold the broomstick, but not too tight. I slid them on each dog’s leg and slid the broomstick along the leg and under the elastic.

I hoped to take the photos in front of some small trees that had already lost their leaves, but it was too cold and windy. Back inside, I taped a gray sheet on the wall as a background and started taking pictures. But after checking, I decided the background just wasn’t right.

Photoshop to the rescue. I removed the background and made it transparent. Checking Pixabay I found a colorful sunset that looked great, added it with a bit of text and my signature. Done!

What do you think of my pretty witches?


  • black construction paper
  • thin black elastic
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • 2-1/2 inch dowels
  • raffia ribbon
Labs can wear traditional costumes for kids


  • two stretchy pullover shirts
  • yellow and orange tissue paper
  • a bag of big pipe cleaners
  • a bag of blow up balloons
  • lots of duct tape
  • several empty soda bottles
  • gray spray paint
  • about 6 inches of Velcro
  • two really cute tutus in sparkly red and purple

Fun space cadets costumes

I had an idea I wanted to try for Halloween, but it’s a good thing I started early.

First task was testing the concept. I blew up a round balloon and covered it with criss-crossing duct tape, leaving a large hole on one side. It took a LOT of tape. When I thought it had enough tape to hold it’s shape, I popped the balloon. Nope, it needed more tape.

But before adding more tape, I decided to test fit it. Splash was willing, but thought I was certifiable. I made a few modifications and continued adding tape. I also added pipe cleaner antennas. Then duplicated the process for Sketch’s helmet.

Next were the power packs. I had a few plastic soda bottles and painted them silver. While I was at it, I also painted both stretchy shirts. When the bottles were dry, I taped them together. I added Velcro to the bottles and backs of the shirts. Then I added some tissue paper to the ends of the bottles to simulate flames.

Now the test. Would they wear all this stuff AND sit still? Obedience training sure helps, but it was hilarious watching them step on the tutus.

Introducing Space Cadets Sketch and Splash from the Department of Intergalactic Security and Information ( ready for service.

By the way, their great grandmama Arwen would be proud!

Christmas party costumes

For Christmas 2020, Sketch, Splash and Wynk got their party on!

Starting with the easy outfit, I added a piece of black elastic to the Santa hat to hold it on. After test fitting, I also added a stitch to hold the pompom in the right place.

Next up was Sketch’s Christmas tree. I cut two pieces of the green felt into a Christmas tree shape. Using an old clothes hanger, I cut and shaped it into an upside down V shape. With the hanger ends sticking out of the bottom about an inch, I hot glued the hanger to the felt. I bent the ends and left them long for support at the back of the tree. Then I glued the front and back together and to the hanger. I added some small decorations. It did take a bit of tweaking to keep the tree from falling over.

Splash’s antlers were made similarly to the tree. I made the red nose from a circle of red felt stuffed with cotton balls. It weighed nothing, but Splash thought she should hold it in her mouth instead of balancing it on her nose. Tiny black elastic to the rescue.


  • Santa hat
  • green, tan and red felt
  • 2 plastic headbands
  • tiny Christmas decorations
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • thin black elastic
  • a couple of old wire hangers


  • 3 red, white and blue bandanas
  • 3 decorative headbands
  • fireworks sticker

Super simple costumes for July 4th

Costumes for Independence Day celebrations were a snap! Bandanas, decorated headbands and a small fireworks sticker for the wall was all it took.

Wynk, Sketch and Splash really got in the spirit this time!

Inexpensive skeleton for Halloween

This Halloween was supposed to be two canine skeletons. Alas, there was only time enough for one.

I tried white chalk, but it didn’t cover well enough on a black dog. Instead I used nearly a bottle of white acrylic paint. It took quite awhile to paint and Splash needed several breaks. She was carefully supervised so she didn’t spread the paint around the house.

Even a first year veterinary student would probably laugh at the bone placement, but I think she turned out cute. Especially when Splash thought she saw a “ghost” popping out from behind the couch.

Splash got to model her costume for another day, then needed a bath to look like herself again.

Tip: Try colored chalk or paint if your dog isn’t black.


  • white chalk or acrylic (washable) paint
  • dog skeleton image for reference


  • blue acrylic paint
  • skein of brown yarn
  • 2 small strings of craft beads
  • red bandana
  • pieces of fabric on sale
  • toy sword

Drink up me hearties, yo ho!

Halloween 2022 brought a new player to the lineup. This is 5-month old Boo, a chocolate Lab. I think he was born for the limelight!

To prepare, I looked through many images to help me decide what to get to capture the essence of Cap’n Jack Sparrow.

After loading up on supplies, the first task was cutting and gluing the fabric into a vest shape. It needed a color boost and a bit of blue craft paint worked just fine.

Next was cutting yarn into 24 inch pieces, folding them in half and gluing together into clumps. I also braided a couple pieces of yarn.

In the movies, Cap’n Jack often wears a dirty red bandana around his head. However the difference in anatomy between people and dogs presented a bit of a problem. To solve it, I first tied the bandana like it was on a person’s head. Next I glued all the yarn clumps, plus the braid and a string of beads to the inside of the bandana. I also added a string of beads to the top of the bandana.

It wound up looking like a fez, but at least the whole shebang didn’t need elastic to stay put. I should mention it got mouthed a bit, but I think that added to the authenticity.

Next we had some rehearsals.

Wear the hat and wig while sitting? Check.
Wear the blue vest and a white shirt while sitting? Check.
Wear all of it plus the sword while sitting? Check.
Added a smudge of mascara under his eyes and on his lip. AND WE ARE READY!

Boo did a great job as the dashing, yet goofy, Cap’n Jack.

My what big teeth you have!

Boo is back; this time with momma Wynk.

I started her costume by cutting a hole big enough for her head in the closed end of the pillow case. Then I folded the corners over and tacked them down to make the shoulders look more realistic. (Note: I realized later this wasn’t necessary as they were covered by the cape.)

Next I pulled the pillow case over her head and marked where I needed holes for her front legs. I started small when cutting the holes and gradually made them bigger. A tape measure might have helped, but this way seemed easier for me.

Then I cut two rectangles out of the black fabric – about 9 inches wide and 15 inches long. They needed to be long enough to cover from her shoulders to her waist. And wide enough to cover from the edge of her chest and around her side. I decided not to take it all the way around her back as that would be covered by the cape.

I also cut four pieces of black fabric about 1/2 inch by 12 inches to criss cross her chest. Black ribbon would also work.

Placing the black rectangles on the front of the pillow case, I left about 7 inches open in the middle. I attached the criss crosses in the middle and the black rectangles on the sides, using the glue gun.

Turning it inside out, I cut the black fabric where it overlapped the leg holes. Time to test fit!

Next up was making the red skirt. I cut the red fabric at 22 inches long and glued the selvages together. Then I turned over about an inch at the top and glued the edge to make a tube. After measuring around her waist, I cut some elastic about 2 inches shorter. I slid the elastic through the tube, pulled it snug and tied it in a knot.

For the cape, I cut the fabric about 40 inches long. After folding it in half, selvage to selvage, I laid it out on the table. I drew a shallow curve along the top edge using some chalk. Next I cut and glued together the cut edges.

For the ribbon, I cut the leftover fabric about 1.5 inches wide and selvage to selvage. I wrapped this around Wynk’s neck and tied a bow to hold the cape on.

Boo’s costume was much easier. First a quick trip to a thrift store for an old-fashioned nightgown and reading glasses. Then I cut about 8 inches off the bottom of the nightgown and slip-stitched the cut edge. I carefully pulled the thread to make a floppy night cap.

As dusk was descending, I took Wynk and Boo out to the edge of the woods. I dressed Wynk first and fluffed up the cape and skirt. Boo’s costume was simple and quick. Snapped a few photos and done!

What costume(s) should we try next year? Use the contact form to let me know your ideas.

Note: Because these costumes probably wouldn’t be used again, I cut corners. I glued seams instead of stitching and left raw edges instead of hemming.


  • old, white pillowcase
  • black fabric remnant
  • 2 yards red fabric
  • 24 inches white lace, approximately 2 inches wide
  • thread
  • thrift store nightgown
  • eye glasses
  • glue gun and glue

This post was originally published on October 31, 2019. Edited and updated with new content on April 9, 2024.

“Shed of Arden’s qualities were of the highest: he epitomized an ideal.

…By those who are knowledgeable, he was considered to have embodied the greatest qualities a Retriever can possess in equal parts: looks, performance, and the priceless gift to transmit these from generation to generation.”

~ Helen Warwick, Lockerbie Labradors

Shed of Arden’s story

3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden is one of the best-known Labrador Retrievers in history, but what do we know about him and his family?

Shed was born March 26, 1939, and bred by William Averell Harriman who owned Arden kennels. Paul Bakewell III of Deer Creek Kennels bought Shed as a young dog.

There’s a story that his siblings were all named for fish and that he was supposed to be Shad of Arden. Due to a clerical error he became Shed instead.

Black Lab puppies, including Dual Champion Shed of Arden

The Arden ‘fish’ litter, including Shed, Bass, Marlin, Trout.



Show competition

Although Shed often competed in the show ring and field at the same time, he started his career in the show ring. At 14 months old he won Winners Dog and Best of Winners for a 5-point major at the Labrador Retriever Club’s specialty show in 1940. His older brother, CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden, won Best in Specialty at that show. A week later the brothers repeated their wins at another show with another major for Shed.

He finished his show championship 15 months later with two Best of Breed wins and a Group 4th.

Field Competition

Retriever field trials in America were still in their infancy when Shed was born. It was only nine years since his uncle, NFC Blind of Arden, won the first field trial.

Shed started his field career with a Derby second at 20 months, still owned by his breeder.

The next year he started earning points in field competition. By the fall of 1942, he had finished his field championship to become a dual champion. He also qualified for the National Retriever Championship.

National Championship 1942

As a 3-year-old, Shed won his first National Championship. He was handled by Lt. Bakewell who was on leave from the Navy Air Corps.

Madison, Wisconsin hosted the National on December 4-6, 1942. The weather was cold. “The Yahara River and adjoining marshes which ordinarily afforded everything desired for water tests were frozen solid…. This necessitated moving the water tests to the University of Wisconsin property along the shores of Lake Mendota. Heavy ice floes made it dangerous for dogs to get into the water. Several refused to enter, others only after repeated commands.” 1

Shed returning with a bird out of the Icy conditions on Lake Mendota.

Icy conditions on Lake Mendota. Photo courtesy American Kennel Gazette.

“The weather was bitter and difficult on the great gallery, but it was weather to be expected in the final week of the Wisconsin duck hunting season and no dog who could not meet these conditions could rightfully aspire to the national title.” 2

“To win, Shed had to show supreme ability to bound over frozen hummocks in quest of pheasants and to break sheets of ice in swimming after ducks. In fact, it is hard to imagine more trying conditions than those which the dogs, their handlers and the gallery faced during the three days of the stake. The thermometer was never far from zero, and frequently was below that mark….” 3

Eighteen dogs started, but only five finished, including two owned by Bakewell – Shed and FC Stilrovin Super Speed. The other finishers were FC Hiwood Mike, Patricia of Roedare, and Seaborne’s Black Prince.

Shed delivering a bird to his owner-handler, Lt. Paul Bakewell III.

Shed of Arden delivering a bird. Photo courtesy American Kennel Gazette.

“Throughout the meeting Shed did everything asked of him, and did it brilliantly. Probably the thing that most pleased the gallery was the way that willingness was demonstrated when, in the final water test, he never hesitated a minute in crashing his way out through brittle ice…”  4

National Championship 1943

Shed won the National Championship again the next year. He was handled by Clifford H. Wallace because Lt. Bakewell was on active duty.

Bourbon, Missouri hosted the stake on December 3-5, 1943. Twenty dogs started, of those 15 were Labs and five were Goldens. It took two extra series to determine the winner between two dogs – Shed and a Golden Retriever named FC Stilrovin Super Speed. Both dogs were owned by Lt. Bakewell.

Cotton Pershall trained Shed until until it was time to join the Army. At that point, Clifford Wallace took over and guided Shed through the grueling tests in Missouri.

Trophy presentation at the 1943 National Retriever Championship with Mrs Bakewell and Clifford H. Wallace who handled Shd

Mrs. Bakewell with Shed and handler C.H. Wallace. Presenting the trophy was M.B. Wallace Jr, trail chairman. Photo courtesy American Kennel Gazette.

Shed didn’t compete in the 1944 National. However, he did travel to Vancouver, British Columbia in October where he finished his Canadian Field Championship.

National Championship 1945

World War II ended in 1945 after Germany surrendered in May and Japan surrendered in September. That November Shed and Bakewell were back to compete in the National Championship. This time it was held at Shelter Island, Long Island, New York, which meant a daily ferry ride from Riverhead. The stake was held on November 30-December 2, 1945.

The first day brought blinding snow and sleet which limited the day to only one series. The second day was cold and windy with high tides and northerly winds. The judges ran land tests in the morning and water tests as the tide ebbed. Despite the conditions, only six dogs were dropped.

Although Shed was a finalist, the judges awarded the win to Black Magic of Audlon.

National Championship 1946

Shed was now seven-years-old, but he continued competing at trials around the country. At a trial in Oregon he had a 300-yard blind retrieve across the tip of a lake for a shackled duck planted several yards off the shore. He was one of only six dogs to complete the series.

In the fall of 1946, Shed reclaimed his crown and is the only three-time winner of the National Championship. It was held on December 6-8. The grounds were good at Crab Orchard Lake, Herrin, Illinois, as was the weather. This is a coal mining area, and the mines were on strike at the time of the National. “… the gallery was augmented by many hundred miners who came to see the event. Some estimated the gallery at 10,000. Traffic presented a bit of a problem.” 5

The 20 dogs entered in the 1946 National Championship Stake.all sitting as they wait for their handlers.

The 20 dogs entered in the 1946 National Championship Stake. Photo courtesy American Kennel Gazette.

Twenty dogs started the stake and eight finished.

In the final series, Shed faced off against three tough competitors. They were his kennel mate, Dual Champion Little Pierre of Deer Creek, plus FC Scoronine of Deer Creek, and a Golden retriever named Stilrovin Nitro Express.

“Scoronine led the field until the last day, then refused to plunge into the 45° water. Now it was Shed’s turn.

“In the toughest test, he had to find two dead ducks which had been planted among the rushes across a 150-foot-wide bay. Shed waited calmly at the water’s edge until he got the signal from Bakewell. Then he plunged bravely into chilly Crab Orchard Lake, but not with his old zip.

“… One-third of the way across, Shed’s black head turned at a whistle from Bakewell to get directions. He entered the cattails just six feet from where the mallard was hidden, sniffed for a second, found his bird. A few minutes later, Shed did it again, and won his third U.S. championship.” 6

Paul Bakewell receiving the championship trophy for Shed

Paul Bakewell received the championship trophy for Shed’s third national championship win.

National Championship 1947

Shed ran the National Championship one more time. The 1947 National was again held at Crab Orchard Lake, Herrin, Illinois. The weather was good with only occasional light rain. Twenty one dogs started, but only four dogs finished. These dogs completed the tenth – and the eleventh – and the twelfth series in an effort to determine the winner. The final series was completed in near darkness.

These dogs were:

FC Black Panther, owned by CW Carlson
FC Black Roland of Koshkonong, owned by Wesley Jung
FC Bracken’s Sweep, owned by DE Pomeroy
DUAL CH & 1942 , 1943, 1946 NATL CH Shed of Arden, owned by Paul Bakewell

Bracken’s Sweep, handled by TW “Cotton” Pershall, was crowned the winner.

Shed’s Family

CH Raffles of Earlsmoor Thatch of Whitmore CCW Eng DUAL CH Titus of Whitmore
Tee of Whitmore
Task of Whitmore CCW Toi of Whitmore FTW
Eng CH Teazle of Whitmore
FC Decoy of Arden Odds On FTW The Favorite FTW
Peggy of Shipton FTW Ronald of Candahar
Gehta of Sigeforda

Click for extended pedigree

His parents

Shed’s sire, Raffles, was Dr. Samuel Milbank’s first Labrador although dogs were always part of his life. His father, Dr. Milbank, Sr., bred Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and terriers.

A Scottish surgeon started the junior Dr. Milbank into Labradors when he found and shipped Raffles to him. According to Helen Warwick in The Complete Labrador Retriever, importing Raffles “started a collaboration of Dr. Milbank and W.A. Harriman that molded the fortunes of the Arden kennel, setting a precedent for quality that has never been equaled by any other Labrador Kennel in America.”

Sheds father, Raffles, winning in the show ring

Show champion Raffles of Earlsmoor

Decoy, Shed’s mother, was the second Lab to earn a field trial championship in America. Her full brother, Blind of Arden was the first to earn a field trial championship and also won the first US retriever field stake in 1938.

Sheds mother, Decoy of Arden

Field champion Decoy of Arden

Shed descends multiple times from well-known Labs such as English field trial champions Flapper and Peter of Faskally plus the first dual champion Banchory Bolo.

His siblings

Some of Shed’s full siblings included:

  • CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden
  • CH Earlsmoor Marlin of Arden
  • DUAL CH Gorse of Arden
  • DUAL CH Braes of Arden
  • CH Bass of Arden

Half siblings included:

  • FC Gun of Arden
    – Grandsire of 2xNFC Spirit Lake Duke and great-grandsire of DUAL CH CFC Ridgewood Playboy and CH Whygin Gentle Julia Of Avec
  • Marvadel Cinders
    – Dam of Can DUAL CH Coastal Charger of Deer Creek and NFC AFC Marvadel Black Gum

His titled offspring include:

Dual CH Grangemead Precocious

CNFC FC AFC Ardyn’s Ace of Merwalfin
FC AFC Bigstone Bandit
CFC Chanbar Jigaboo ***
CH Chukker of Bonniehurst
NFC AFC Creole Sister
FC Dacity Bill
CH Dauntless of Deer Creek
CH Deer Creek Black Ace
FC Firelei’s Hornet
FC CFC Jibodad Gypsy
CFC Nelson’s Black Prince
FC Pickpocket for Deer Creek
CH Snikeb’s Cookie
CH Trixie’s Black Cargo ***
CH Wardwyn Jackpot

Shed’s descendants at Justamere Ranch:

Chip descends multiple times from Shed. Those bloodlines include:

Dual and field champions –

NFC Dual CH CFC Bracken’s Sweep
Dual CH Grangemead Precocious

CFC Chuck of Bracken
FC Dacity Bill
FC Freehaven Muscles
FC Gilmore’s Peggy
FC Shoremeadow Tidewater
FC AFC Tar Baby of Hilly Hill

Dee also descends multiple times from Shed. Those bloodlines include:

Dual champions –

Dual CH AFC Alpine Cherokee Rocket
Dual CH Cherokee Buck
Dual CH Grangemead Precocious
Dual CH Ridgewood Playboy
Can Dual CH Coastal Charger of Deer Creek
Can Dual CH Dart of Netley Creek

Field champions –

FC AFC Air Express
FC Beautywood’s Carbon Copy
CNFC FC AFC Belle of Zenith
FC AFC Bigstone Bandit
NAFC FC Bracken’s High Flyer
FC AFC Canis Major’s River Bear
NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane
FC AFC Cougar’s Rocket
CFC Crevamoy Iron Duke
2xNAFC FC Dee’s Dandy Dude
FC Deer Creek’s Bewise
2xNFC CNFC AFC Del-Tone Colvin
NAFC FC Dude’s Double or Nothin’
FC Firelei’s Hornet
FC Freehaven Muscles
FC Gilmore’s Peggy
FC AFC Ginger’s Choc August
FC AFC CFC Grady’s Shady Ladee
NAFC FC CFC Guy’s Bitterroot Lucky
AFC Jilly Girl
FC AFC Les Coup De Grace TD
FC Luka of Casey’s Rocket
FC Martens Mister Nifty
FC AFC Mon Tour De Force
FC Mueller’s Stormy Canada
FC Nelgard’s Counter Point
CFC Nelson’s Black Prince
FC AFC Paha-Sapa Chief II
AFC Penny Girl
FC AFC Raider’s Piper Cub
FC AFC Rip’s Bingo
2xNAFC 3x CNFC FC River Oaks Corky
NAFC FC River Oaks Rascal
FC AFC River Oaks Way-Da-Go Rocky
FC Roy’s Rowdy
FC AFC Serrana Sootana of Genesee
FC AFC Shed’s Prince of Garfield
NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief
FC AFC Tar Baby of Holly Hill
2xCNFC AFC Tar Baby’s Little Sweet Stuff
FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead
FC AFC CFC Triple Echo
FC AFC Trumarc’s Raider
AFC Westwinds Shadow of Hope
2x NFC Whygin Cork’s Coot
CNFC FC AFC Yankee Clipper of Reo Raj
FC Zipper Dee Doo

Show champions –

CH Dauntless of Deer Creek
CH Rupert Dahomey
CH Whygin Poppitt
CH Woodcroft Daisy


During his career, Shed earned both US and Canadian Field Championships and a US show championship which qualified him as a DUAL champion. He also ran in five national field championships – winning three times and finishing as a finalist the other two times. At one point his owner turned down an offer to buy him for $10,000 (equivalent of about $150,000 today).

Sometimes the descriptions of field trials from years ago sound more like hunt tests. Don’t be fooled. The tests were real hunting scenarios. On the East Coast, birds were often thrown from a boat well out in the mouth of a bay. An outgoing tide could carry that bird out even farther. Trials were held even if the temperature was below zero, but jumping into frigid water and breaking ice was one of Shed’s specialties. A trial he won as a seven-year-old, included “a 300-yard blind retrieve across the eastern tip of the lake for a shackled duck that was planted several yards from the opposite shore.” 7

He was a good ‘un.

3xNational Field Champion, Canadian Field Champion, Dual Champion Shed of Arden

Whelped: March 26, 1939
Owner:  Lt. Paul Bakewell III, Deer Creek Kennel
Breeder:  W. Averill Harriman, Arden Kennel
Registration:  A-330767


CH – Show champion
FC – Field trial champion
NFC – National field trial champion
CCW – English Conformation Certificate winner (not a title)
FTW – English Field trial winner (not a title)
CFC – Canadian field champion


[1] The National Retriever Field Trial Club, 1941-1960, 62.

[2]  “Victory Well Earned”, New York Times December 12, 1942

[3]  “Dual Ch. Shed of Arden Wins Retriever Championship”, American Kennel Gazette, January 1943, 65.

[4]  Ibid

[5]  The National Retriever Field Club, 1941-1960, 79.

[6]  “Sport: An Old Dog’s Day”, Time magazine, December 23, 1946

[7] “Shed of Arden Wins Oregon Open All-Age”, American Kennel Gazette, June 1946, 92.

“…undoubtedly the one to whom most credit is due for the rise in the popularity of Labradors in the U.S.A.”

– Labrador Retriever Club Yearbook, 1931-1944

Imagine, if you will, the sprawling mansions, huge parties, and nouveau riche of The Great Gatsby era. The Great War had ended, Prohibition brought speakeasies and organized crime, and the stock market crashed. It is in such a setting we find Jay Carlisle and his Wingan Kennel.

Born in Brooklyn in 1868, Carlisle was a stockbroker and the Governor of the American Stock Exchange during the 1929 crash. His wife was Mary “May” Pinkerton Carlisle. (Yes, that Pinkerton family.)

They were avid collectors and built their estate – called “Rosemary” – in East Islip, Long Island, New York. According to Harry W. Havemeyer in Along the Great South Bay, the Carlisle estate “…was one of the showplaces of the East and was decorated with the very finest antique furnishings in the most tasteful way.”

Image courtesy East Islip Historical Society –

Image courtesy East Islip Historical Society –


Carlisle was a sportsman. He had horses that ran on the track and a stable of show horses. He rode to hounds and played polo. He fished and he hunted.

We pick up his story when Carlisle turned his attention to Labrador Retrievers.



Jay Carlisle liked a good-looking dog, but he wanted more. He wanted dogs that could win honors in the field and in the ring. Like many early breeders, he wanted a Dual Purpose dog.

After breeding, raising, showing, and racing horses, he developed a good eye and liked Labrador Retrievers.

However, in the early 1930s, the Lab was still new to America and field trials were just getting started. Carlisle vowed to make the breed as popular in America as it was in Britain.

Although you could say he jumped in with both feet, he actually took the time to study bloodlines. He knew the qualities he wanted in a dog – an acceptable show record and qualified in the field.

Peg was offered for sale for $1700. Today’s equivalent is about $30,000.

After researching, he imported nine of the finest Labs to start his kennel. The best of these was English Champion Drinkstone Peg of Wingan. She was born in 1927 and bred by Dr GH Monro-Home of Scotland.

Of the other eight Labs, three came directly from the Right Honorable Lorna, Countess Howe.

Eng Am CH Drinkstone Peg of Wingan

Peg was sensational in the show ring and earned nine Challenge Certificates which are similar to ‘winning the points’ in America. Three certificates were enough for a championship, but she kept on winning. She also won her show championship in America.

In England there is a ‘show championship’ and a ‘full championship’. A full championship requires the dog to prove it can work in the field as well as win in the show ring. Peg earned her working certificate at the International Gun Dog League retriever trails in 1930 and became a full champion.

“The fact that Drinkstone Peg had carried off 172 prizes at the 68 shows where she was exhibited during her five years in the ring did not weigh as heavily with Mr. Carlisle as her potentialities as a brood matron. Knowing the true principals of breeding, he realized that if his Wingan Kennels was to succeed, it must start off with the right sort of stock. For that reason, he not only purchased Drinkstone Peg, but had her mated to England’s greatest sire and greatest Labrador in the ring today, Dual Ch. Bramshaw Bob, owned by the Countess Howe.” 1

Bramshaw Bob was a top show dog and twice won Best in Show at Crufts 2 handled by Lorna, Countess Howe. Two months later Peg whelped seven puppies at Carlisle’s Wingan kennels.

After her maternal duties, she went back into the show ring and continued winning even as an older bitch. One of her big wins was Reserve at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1934.

Eng Am CH Drinkstone Peg of Wingan
– BLF, dob 4/18/1927
Toi of Whitmore FTW Tyg of Whitmore
Bute of Trentham
Eng CH Pride of Somersby Brayton Siddy
Juno of Somersby FTW

CH Drinkstone Pons

Another dog Carlisle imported was Drinkstone Pons. He was Peg’s son by English Champion Banchory Danilo. He was also bred by Dr Monro-Home.

“Starting his show career as a puppy in March, 1932, Pons carried off, in one year and a half of showing, a total of 111 prize ribbons, consisting of 66 firsts, 30 seconds and 15 thirds.” 3 He often won best Labrador, best retriever and/or best gun dog.

Pons won Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club show – twice – and in 1934 also won second in the group competition. And he won Best in Specialty Show at the annual Labrador Retriever Club Inc. show in 1934.

In 1934 he started running and placing in field trials. He won the Open novice stake the the Brookhaven Game Protective Association trial with kennel mates Night Light and Ben taking second and third. A New York Times reporter said “The placed dogs showed the influence of the highest breeding, combined with thorough training. All the Wingan representatives exhibited intelligence in their hunting, with a minimum of direction from their handler.” 4

CH Drinkstone Pons of Wingan
– BLM, dob 5/11/1931
Eng Ch Banchory Danilo FTW Eng Dual Ch Banchory Bolo
Munden Scarcity
Eng Am Ch Drinkstone Peg of Wingan Toi of Whitmore FTW
Eng Ch Pride of Somersby

Drinkstone Mars

“Drinkstone Mars of Wingan is another outstanding one. He also has rolled up a splendid record on the bench, and in addition took his certificate of merit under such exacting judges as the Countess Howe, Hon. Mrs. Hill Wood, and Capt. C. Herseltine.” 5

He was a littermate of Pons, and they often won the brace class together. He won the points at the Labrador Retriever Club Inc. annual specialty show in 1934. He also won in field trials.

Drinkstone Mars of Wingan
– BLM, dob 5/11/1931
Eng Ch Banchory Danilo FTW Eng Dual Ch Banchory Bolo
Munden Scarcity
Eng Am Ch Drinkstone Peg of Wingan Toi of Whitmore FTW
Eng Ch Pride of Somersby

CH Liddly Bulfinch of Wingan

Another import was Liddly Bullfinch of Wingan, bred by H.A. Richardson. He won about 50 firsts at championship shows and certificates of merit at field trials. He won the points at the Labrador Retriever Club Inc. annual specialty show in 1935. Bulfinch finished his championship with a 4-point win at the Long Island Kennel Club show in May 1936.

“This dog is another true black and is well set up in every way… Incidentally, both Bullfinch (sic) and Pons were winners at the 1933 Kennel Club Show.” 6

CH Liddly Bulfinch of Wingan
– BLM, dob 2/7/1932
Eng CH Tar of Hamyax Toi of Whitmore FTW
Sunshine of Fasham
Delyn of Liphook Eng CH Banchory Danilo FTW
Ridgeland Black Diamond

FC Banchory Night Light & CH Banchory Jetsam

Banchory Night Light and Banchory Jetsam were littermates sired by Blackworth Midnight. They were bred by Miss L. Croad of England.

In 1935 Field and Stream Magazine began offering a challenge trophy to the dog that earned the greatest number of points. Only competition in Open All Age Stakes counted.

“Outstanding among the retrievers was the Labrador Banchory Night Light, owned during the year by the late Jay Carlisle of the Wingan Kennels of East Islip, L.I., and now the property of his handler, David Elliott…

“… The contest among the retrievers was much closer than among the springers. Banchory Night Light gained a total of 12 points, as compared with the 10 points compiled by the same owner’s Banchory Varnish of Wingan and 8 points each for Glenairlie Rover and Champion Blind of Arden.” 7

Night Light was a Field Champion and major pointed in dog shows. Jetsam was a Show Champion which included winning the points at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1934.

Night Light’s daughter, Tops of Bigstone, produced several quality dogs including Dual CH AFC Matchmaker for Deer Creek, FC AFC Ladies Day at Deer Creek, and Kingdale’s Ink Spot ***. 8

It’s interesting that Night Light carried the chocolate gene while his sister, Jetsam, carried the yellow gene.

FC Banchory Night Light of Wingan

CH Banchory Jetsam

FC Banchory Night Light of Wingan
CH Banchory Jetsam
– BLF, dob 1/1/1932
Blackworth Midnight Eng CH Wilworth Rip
Brookstone Jet CCW
Dinah of Wongalee Eng CH Beningbrough Tangle FTW
Wendy of Wongalee

Banchory Dapper

Banchory Dapper was a half brother of Night Light and Jetsam, all sired by Blackworth Midnight. He was nice enough to win a 5-point major at the Labrador Retriever Club Inc. specialty show in 1934.


Banchory Dapper
– BLM , dob March 1932
Blackworth Midnight Eng CH Wilworth Rip
Brookstone Jet CCW
Banchory Student Eng CH Banchory Danilo
Eng CH Pride of Somersby

Orchardton Doris of Wingan

Orchardton Doris was bred by S.H. Carruthers and worked as a field dog in Scotland.

After coming to America she was described as “a high class bitch with beautiful style, great pace and very keen… She and her handler, Dave Elliot, gave a beautiful exhibition of giving and taking direction to an unmarked fall by hand and whistle, without undue disturbance of ground on either side. She has an invariably excellent pick-up, carry and delivery.” 9

“In triumphing in the amateur stake, Orchardton Doris of Wingan, … showed to superb advantage. She was a brilliant performer in the field at all times, marking the fall of the birds well and retrieving in a speedy and expert manner.” 10

Doris also had several wins in the show ring.

She was the mother of Pons Junior of Wingan and Wingan’s Daily Double and the grandmother of FC Timber Town Clansman.

Orchardton Doris of Wingan FTW
– BLF, dob 12/31/1930
Eng Ch Ingleston Ben Duke of Kirkmahoe FTW
Ingleston Nancy FTW
Orchardton Dawn Eng CH Brocklehirst Donner
Hardies Choice

Eng Sh CH Am CH Banchory Trump of Wingan

The ninth dog, Banchory Trump, stayed in England until he finished his show championship. After coming here, he finished his American show championship with Best of Breed wins at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and at the Labrador Retriever Club Inc. specialty.

Trump finished his show championship within a year and started winning numerous Bests of Breed awards. He also placed in the group several times.

His Best of Breed winning streak included the following shows:

  • Greenwich Kennel Club, 6/1/1935
  • Morris & Essex, 5/23/1936
  • The Labrador Retriever Club Inc, 6/27/1936 – Best In Specialty Show
  • Ox Ridge Hunt Club, 8/15/1936
  • Morris & Essex, 5/29/1937
  • The Labrador Retriever Club Inc, 6/18/1937 – Best In Specialty Show
  • Westminster Kennel Club, 2/10-12/1938
  • International Kennel Club, 4/2-3/1938
  • Nebraska Kennel Club, 4/6-7/1938
  • Minneapolis Kennel Club, 4/9-10/1938
  • Mankato Kennel Club, 4/14/1938
  • St Paul Kennel Club, 4/16-17/1938
  • St Joseph Kennel Club, 4/23-24/1938
  • Leavenworth Kennel Club, 4/27-28/1938 – Best Of Breed and Group 3rd
  • Kansas City Kennel Club, 4/30-5/1/1938
  • Terre Haute Chapter Izaak Walton League, 5/22/1938
  • Des Moines Kennel Club, 11/12-13/1938 – Best Of Breed and Group 4th

He also excelled as a brood bitch sire. Bred to CH Bancstone Lorna of Wingan he produced Huron’s Lady, the mother of Dual CH Grangemead Precocious. Bred to a daughter of Eng FTCh Banchory Varnish of Wingan he produced Peggy of Pheasant Lawn, the mother of FC Pickpocket for Deer Creek and Bancstone Dinah, grandmother of NFC AFC Massie’s Sassy Boots.

Eng Sh CH Am CH Banchory Trump of Wingan
– BLM, dob 8/21/1931
Blenheim Scamp FTW Balwearie
Blenheim Lady
Lady Daphne Saffrons Bob CCW

Drinkstone Peg’s British litter

Below are Peg’s puppies by Eng Dual Ch Bramshaw Bob.

Litter bred in England, born in America
– dob 8/7/1933
Eng Dual Ch Bramshaw Bob Eng Ch Ingleston Ben
Eng FTW Bramshaw Brimble
Eng Am Ch Drinkstone Peg Eng FTW Toi of Whitmore
Eng Ch Pride of Somersby

CH Bancstone Ben of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle

Ben placed in field trials and also did very well in shows finishing his championship with multiple five-point majors.


Bancstone Blair of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle

Although he wasn’t shown much he almost always won his class and even won Best of Breed.


CH Bancstone Bob of Wingan

Owned by J.W. Redmond

Bob also finished his show championship with three five-point majors – including at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1937.


Bancstone Doctor of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle

Although Doctor was also shown, he didn’t finish his championship.


CH Bancstone Countess of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle

Countess was another show winner including Reserve Winners Bitch at both the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and the Labrador Retriever Club Inc specialty show in 1935. She finished her championship title with two 5-point and two 4-point major wins.


CH Bancstone Lorna of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle, later by James R McManus

Another Wingan-bred show dog that also finished her championship with three 5-point majors. And she won Best in Specialty Show at the Labrador Retriever Club specialty show in 1935.

Bancstone Peggy of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle, later by C.H. Mackay

Although she was halfway to her show championship, it appears she never finished her title.

Other Labs

Carlisle had many dogs – some he bought and some he bred. Here are a few of his better known Labs.

Eng FTCh FC Banchory Varnish of Wingan

Owned by J.F. Carlisle, later by Mrs. Kathleen B. Starr (Timber Town)

In April 1937 Varnish won the Open all-age stake at the Long Island Retriever Field Trial Club. He was described as “consistent in his work throughout a long day … in which champions and top field-trial dogs fell by the wayside.” He “did all that was asked of him in his work on land, quartering, taking direction, showing intelligence in his questing and exhibiting nose for his game.” 11

He won the Open stake at the Brookhaven Game Protective Association trial in the fall of 1937. He is said to have “handled very kindly, hunted cleverly, and constantly improved his position. In the second series, his first bird was easy; but the second was dropped across the road in back of motor cars and gallery. The dog worked out the problem, however, and retrieved the bird in grand shape. In the third series, his speed and precision could not possibly escape the notice of the judges while his marking was exceptional.” 12

“There was a cheer from the gallery when the fourth-place winner was announced as that old-time favorite F.T. Champion Banchory Varnish of Wingan, owned by Mrs. Kathleen B. Starr of Islip and handled by Elliot.” 13

Varnish was also pointed in the show ring.

Eng FTCh FC Banchory Varnish of Wingan
– BLM, dob May 1933
Eng Dual Ch Banchory Painter Eng Ch. Peter the Painter
Glenhead Bess
Hawkesworth Glimmer Banchory Tealer
Bramshaw Gloss

Pons Junior of Wingan

Pons Junior won the Brookhaven amateur trial handled by Mrs. Kathleen B. Starr (Timber Town kennels). He was described as making “two grand retrieves in the water test, going out on a surveyor’s line to both ducks.” The stake was judged by Colonel the Lord Vivian, D.S.O., of Britain, and David Wagstaff of Tuxedo Park, NY. 14

He also did well in the show ring including winning Reserve Winners Dog at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1937.

A year later, Timber Town Clansman, a two-year-old son of Pons Junior won the Women’s Field Trial Club non-winners stake. “He did everything correctly, marking, taking direction, swimming fast and straight to his quarry and making faultless deliveries to his handler.” 15

Rear, left to right: Pons Junior, Ebony of Barrington, Banchory Night Light, CH Drinkstone Pons. Front: Whitecairn Wendy, Banchory Varnish, CH Bancstone Ben.

Pons Junior of Wingan
– BLM, dob 4/30/1934
Drinkstone Pons of Wingan Eng FTCh Banchory Danilo
Drinkstone Peggy
Eng FTW Orchardton Doris of Wingan Eng Ch Ingleston Ben
Eng FTW Orchardton Dawn

Okanagan Sandy

Sandy was bred in Canada and was special enough to earn a place at Wingan Kennels. One of the field trials he ran was under particularly difficult conditions.

“Six dogs were called back for the final elimination with the sea pounding on the outer bars, whitecaps making in the inlet and snow squalls driving inland. Dog after dog was sent into the icy water. Suddenly the black clouds closed down and the whole world was shut out by a driving snowstorm….

“Under Elliot’s excellent handling, Sandy gave a first-class exhibition on the first time down in the morning. He was uncertain on his marking, but he took direction beautifully.

“Going out wide to come upwind to locate his bird. He came in speedily to deliver to the approval of those privileged to see the work. His second series work confirmed everything that had been recorded in his favor.

“Sandy’s water work was little short of perfection, he taking to the water with a huge splash, after having marked his two falls, neither of which was too difficult. He never hesitated when the order was given to enter for the second retrieve.” 16

Okanagan Sandy – BLM, dob 4/5/1934
– bred by R. Leckie Ewing, Canada
Beaver of Bryn Banchory Jock
Munden Stigma
Gay’s Vesta Eng Nat’l FTCh Beningbrough Tanco
Eng FTCh Vidi of Adderley

Okanagan Tanco

Tanco was another import from Canada. In Nov 1936, he won the Derby stake at the Labrador Retriever Club trial in Peapack, NJ. As the winner, he brought home the directors’ trophy and $25. Although that doesn’t sound like much it’s the equivalent of over $500 today.

Okanagan Tanco
– BLM, dob 6/17/1935
Okanagan Rusty Beaver of Bryn
Okanagan Gyp
Gay’s Vesta Eng Nat’l FTCh Beningbrough Tanco
Eng FTCh Vidi of Adderley

Orchardton Duce of Wingan

Owned by Jay Carlisle, later by Mrs Eleanor F. Remick

Duce won the Labrador Retriever Club’s Derby stake at 14 months old. Colonel the Lord Vivian, D.S.O., of Cornwall, England judged together with Dr. Samuel Milbank and Francis Squires. The trial was held at Shinnecock Hills in Nov 1937.

Orchardton Duce of Wingan
– BLM – dob approx Sep 1936
Eng Ch Orchardton Donald Eng Ch Ingleston Ben
Orchardton Dawn
Mona Of Ammurrness Eng FTCh Tag of Clava
Queen of the May

Whitecarin Wendy of Wingan

Owned by Jay Carlisle

Wendy won the Open stake at the Brookhaven Game Protective Association field trail in 1935. The weather was described as “almost ideal, the thermometer hovering around the freezing mark, and the wind was just strong enough to make it a sporting proposition for guns and dogs.” 17

Whitecarin Wendy of Wingan
– BLF, dob approx 1933
Ranger of Kentford Gift of Halleaths
Kirkbean Gyp
Lochar Kate FTW Eng Dual Ch Banchory Bolo
Murrayfield Bet

Wingan’s Daily Double

Another Wingan dog deserving of mention is Daily Double. Bred by Carlisle and sold to Howes Burton, an amateur, who handled her himself. She won at the Long Island Retriever Field Trial Club in 1939 and placed second in what was called “fast company” just a week before. The winner in that trial was Earlsmoor Moor of Arden.

However what makes her special is the combination of pedigree and offspring. She was a half-sister to Blind and Decoy of Arden on her father’s side. And a half-sister to Pons Junior on her mother’s side.

When bred to Eng FTCh Glenairlie Rover, she produced Mint of Barrington who in turn sired NFC AFC Marvadel Black Gum “Blackie”.

Blackie was High Point Derby dog in 1946. He won his first Open stake at 16 months of age and finished his field championship the next year. He qualified for eight consecutive National Opens (1946-1953) and won in 1949. He was awarded the Blind of Arden trophy for the best finish of an American-bred dog in the Open stake. And he was admitted to the Hall of Fame in 1995. Blackie was owned and handled by Paul Bakewell III who also owned and handled Dual CH Shed of Arden.


Wingan’s Daily Double
– BLF, dob 7/9/1936
Odds On FTW The Favorite FTW
Orchardton Doris of Wingan FTW Eng CH Ingleston Ben
Orchardton Dawn FTW


Instead of a heated kennel building with attached runs, Jay Carlisle built condos for his Labs. He felt it would be hard for the dogs to go from a heated kennel to retrieving in icy water.

Each condo was 6×11 feet, made out of redwood and set on 4x4s to avoid rot. The walls were made with clapboards, building paper, and sheathing.

Inside were two rooms – a 5×6 foot vestibule that became a shaded porch in summer and a 6×6 foot sleeping compartment with a hallway to avoid drafts. They even had lights, windows and a hinged roof for cleaning.

The condos were set in 20×30 foot concrete runs with trees for shade. Puppies had a similar set up in a larger grass run.

Nearby was the feed house where they stored supplies and prepared meals for the dogs. Puppies were fed five meals a day – cereal with milk in the morning, cooked beef, raw beef, milk and biscuit and a big-dog meal.

Adult dogs got cooked meat twice a week with commercial food, cod liver oil and yeast. Occasionally they got salmon or raw beef.

Other breeds and their accommodations

In addition to Labs, Carlisle also imported and raised Pointers, Dachshunds and Miniature Bullterriers.

Although he had several Pointers, there were two that stood out. One was a white male named Nepken Carolina Bill who ran in field trials. Bill was considered one of the canniest of the field trial dogs because he knew just where to hunt.

The other Pointer was a show bitch named Pennine Prima Donna of Wingan. She won the points, best of breed and almost always placed in the group when she was shown. She also won Best in Show at Crufts in 1935.

The Bullterriers – all three of them – had a shaded run of about 1/4 acre covered with pine trees. Their condos had portholes for light and ventilation.

The Dachshundes were imported from England and Germany. Their kennel was a 63-foot-long building painted a cheery yellow and green. The front of the building had a huge bay window overlooking boxwood and cedar plants.

Inside, the kennel office was filled with flowering plants, a broad window seat and an antique secretary with a leather-bound book of dog records. Paintings of dogs and shooting scenes adorned the walls and shelves were packed with books about dogs.

Also in the building was a room with a sink and tub and another room to store feed and medications.

A 14×14 foot room in the nearby stable was outfitted as an isolation ward. However it was only used for bitches in season.


While Jay Carlisle was looking for the best Labs, he was also looking for someone to manage his kennel and train the dogs. For that he looked to Scotland where scores of men learned the business as kennel men and game raisers.

With the help of Countess Howe and many others, Carlisle found the right man. In 1934 he brought David D. Elliot to Long Island from Scotland.

A few months later at the Brookhaven Game Protective Association trial they swept all three places in the open novice stake. Drinkstone Pons of Wingan won $50 for first place. That’s over $1000 in today’s currency. Second place and $30 to Banchory Night Light of Wingan. Third place and $20 to Bancstone Ben of Wingan.

Carlisle did indeed find the right man to run his kennel.

David D. Elliot

Elliot grew up near Edinburgh, Scotland, where he learned about sheepdog trials from his grandfather. Watching how the sheepdogs responded to signals gave him the idea to teach signals to Labs. A form of these signals is still used today to guide dogs on blind retrieves.

Lady Howe, Dr. Monro-Holm and David Black (breeder of Peter of Faskally) recommended Elliot as a kennelman for Carlisle. Elliot agreed to come for five years, but instead, he stayed for a lifetime.

In addition to training dogs, he also trained people. They included Dorothy Howe (Rupert), Joan Redmond (later Joan Reed, Chidley) and Kathleen Starr (later Mrs Fredricks, Timber Town). The ladies were sometimes called “Elliot’s Harem.” Cotton Pershall was another person who learned how to handle dogs at Wingan.

Carlisle was pleased with Elliot’s training and thanked him for introducing him to field trialing. The competition made him happy despite the recent death of his wife.

If you’d like to see Elliot and two of his retrievers – Eng FTCh FC Banchory Varnish of Wingan and FC Timber Town Clansman – check out the “Sky Game” video, filmed in 1939.


Jay Carlisle registered Wingan as his kennel name in 1933.

He ran ads in a variety of magazines – from the AKC Gazette to Vanity Fair.

He served as President of the Labrador Retriever Club from 1935-1938. During that time he established the Amateur stake and donated a perpetual trophy so the stake would continue.

The Long Island Retriever Trial Association was formed by leading fanciers, including Carlisle, Anthony Bliss, Franklin Lord, Gould Remick, Henry Root Stern, and Leonard Buck. The club’s purpose was to encourage “the breeding, training, and use of retrievers, and … for holding of all-breed retriever trials.” 18

Carlisle published a book in 1936 written by David D. Elliot about Labs and training them. It included training advice and many photos of Wingan Labradors.

“The efforts and absorbing interest of J. F. Carlisle, his participation in trials and at shows, and his generous offering of dogs at stud to new breeders gave the breed a tremendous push forward in this period. He helped to form a nucleus of good material to build upon, together with the superb group of imports… All this gave the breed the right start, and it was not long before history repeated itself, so that the Labrador was on its way to overtaking all the other Retriever varieties in the New World, as it had in the Old.” 19


Jay Carlisle died in 1937, just eight months after his wife.

He was so respected, that 28 prominent men volunteered to act as pallbearers. A special train transported guests from Penn Station in New York City to Carlisle’s home in East Islip, Long Island.

He was so loved by the retriever community they postponed a field trial so contestants could attend his funeral. However the postponement meant the trial had to be limited in order to finish in one day. This was the start of Limited All-Age stakes.

The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. set up a Jay Carlisle Memorial Trial. It was held from 1938 to 1941 near his home on Long Island. Mrs. Hill-Wood, Morgan Belmont and Robert Morgan judged the first Memorial Trail.

The contents of his home went to auction in 1938 and his beautiful mansion was demolished in 1940.

But what of his dogs, you ask? Most of the dogs were given to the young Scotsman, David D. Elliot. He also received the specially-modified green and yellow dog wagon and the right to rent the Wingan kennel at a reduced rate.

Although it seems like a sad ending, the dogs did continue competing with Elliot. Many people recognized Carlisle’s contribution to early Labs and field trials in America.

David Elliot (right) with Banchory Night Light winning the Field & Stream Challenge Cup for Outstanding Retriever of 1937.



Few people recognize the Wingan name today or they confuse it with Helen Ginnel’s Whygin kennel. But Jay Carlisle’s efforts – importing quality dogs, making his stud dogs available to many people, and promoting Labs in the field and in the show ring – helped make the breed as popular in America as it was in England.

I’m proud to have several dogs that trace back to the Wingan Labradors.

— Chip and his descendants trace to –

* NFC Banchory Night Light of Wingan (grandsire of Dual CH Matchmaker for Deer Creek)
* Am Eng CH Banchory Trump of Wingan (grandsire of Dual CH Grangemead Precocious and FC Pickpocket for Deer Creek)
* CH Bancstone Lorna of Wingan (granddam of Dual CH Grangemead Precocious)
* Penney of Wingan (dam of NFC AFC Massie’s Sassy Boots)

— Dee and her descendants trace to –

* CH Banchory Jetsam
* NFC Banchory Night Light of Wingan (grandsire of Dual CH Matchmaker for Deer Creek)
* Am Eng CH Banchory Trump of Wingan (grandsire of Dual CH Grangemead Precocious and FC Pickpocket for Deer Creek)
* Eng FTCh FC Banchory Varnish of Wingan
* CH Bancstone Lorna of Wingan (granddam of Dual CH Grangemead Precocious)
* CH Bancstone Ben of Wingan
* Bancstone Blair of Wingan (grandsire of NFC NAFC CFC Major VI, 1993 Hall of Fame)
* CH Bancstone Peggy of Wingan
* Eng Am CH Drinkstone Peg (dam of the Bancstone litter by Eng Dual CH Bramshaw Bob)
* Orchardton Doris of Wingan (dam of Pons Junior Of Wingan and Wingan’s Daily Double)
* Pons Junior of Wingan (sire of FC Timber Town Clansman and great grandsire of NFC Dual CH CFC Bracken’s Sweep)
* Wingan’s Daily Double (granddam of NFC AFC Marvadel Black Gum)


[1] Arthur Frederick Jones, “True Labradors and Traditions Live at Wingan,” American Kennel Gazette, February 1934

[2] Crufts is the largest dog show in the world with over 23,000 dogs competing recently. It was first held in 1891 and has been held annually (except for the war years) in the United Kingdom.

[3] Jones, “True Labradors and Traditions”

[4] Henry R. Ilsley, “Carlisle’s Entries Take All Three Places in Open Novice Retriever Stake,” New York Times, December 29, 1934

[5] Jones, “True Labradors and Traditions”

[6] Jones, “True Labradors and Traditions”

[7] Henry R. Ilsley, “Award of 1937 Among Field Trial Retrievers Won by Banchory Night Light,” New York Times, January 16, 1938

[8] Some dogs have either QAA or *** listed after their names. This means Qualified All-Age. It’s not a title, but rather a way to show that the dog has done well in the minor field trial stakes and is eligible to run in major stakes.

[9] Helen Warwick, “The Complete Labrador Retriever” (New York: Howell Book House, 1965), 137

[10] Emanuel Strauss, “Hollister’s Jet and Carlisle’s Doris of Wingan Lead Retrievers,” New York TImes, November 14, 1935

[11] Staff correspondent, “Carlisle’s Labrador Beats 22 Dogs in Long Island Retriever Clubs Trial,” New York Times, April 18, 1937

[12] Ned Corey, “Banchory Varnish of Wingan First in Brookhaven All-Age,” American Kennel Gazette, December 1, 1937, 94

[13] Henry R. Ilsley, “Earlsmoor Moor of Arden Takes Long Island Retriever Laurels,” New York Times, October 19, 1942

[14] Staff correspondent, “Brookhaven Field Trials Are Marked by Splendid Work and Keen Competition,” New York Times, October 31, 1937

[15] Henry R. Ilsley, “Labrador Handled by Mrs. Starr Is Stake Winner at Huntington,” New York Times, October 11, 1938

[16] Henry R. Ilsley, “Retriever Laurels Annexed by Carlisle’s Dog at Trials Held in Snowstorm,” New York Times, November 29, 1936

[17] ] A.F.J., “Whitecairn Wendy of Wingan Wins Brookhaven’s Open Stake,” American Kennel Gazette, January 1, 1936, 168

[18] Anthony A. Bliss, Chesapeakes column, November 1, 1934, 41

[19] Warwick, “The Complete Labrador Retriever,” 126


BLF / BLM – black Labradror female or black Labradror male
CCW – Challenge Certificate winner (show win, but not a title)
CH – show championship
FTW – field trial winner (not a title)
QAA or *** – the dog has proved himself in the Qualifying stake and could enter the limited Open or Amateur stakes

Banchory Bolo was the first-ever Dual Champion Labrador Retriever.

His is an interesting story. Not just rags to riches, but riches to rags and back to riches. Pull up a chair and learn about the dog who still has an influence on Labradors over one hundred years after his birth.


Bolo was two years old when Mrs. Quintin Dick (later Lorna, Countess Howe) entered his life. She had owned his sire, Scandal of Glynn, who was “a charming and beloved companion and a great game-finder.”

When Scandal died, she wanted to find a dog to replace him. Unfortunately, none of the other dogs she owned could fill the gap his passing caused.

Her husband, Quintin Dick, suggested a son by Scandal. However, during the First World War breeding was restricted and Scandal had only sired one litter. In it, there were 13 puppies of which 12 were females.

The only male – originally named Caerhowell Bully – had been given away by his breeder. When Lorna(1) found him, he was given to her with the advice that if she didn’t want to keep him to have him put to sleep. They told her the dog was “hopeless” and had “an evil temper.”

When she picked him up at the train station, she realized what she’d been told was true. The dog was unkempt, had sores on his ears and he growled at her through the heavy muzzle he wore. Although he had a wonderful pedigree, she debated: Should she keep him or put him to sleep as she’d been advised?

Dual Champion Banchory Bolo

Banchory Bolo

Lorna and Bolo

She must have had a kind heart as she took him home with her. After taking off the muzzle and chain, she turned him loose in a spacious room, but he was distrustful and surly. He wouldn’t come to anyone and it took quite a while to catch him.

Something must have happened to him in his earlier life. Heavy-handed trainer? Malicious kennel help?

He avoided people. When turned out for exercise, he was hard to catch. How could he be trained when he was so distrustful of people? What could soothe the savage beast?

It turns out it wasn’t music, but Lorna’s gentle care. When he became seriously ill, she nursed him back to health. During that time, he realized she was someone he could trust. As he recovered he became devoted to her and was always at her side.


When he started in training, Lorna found he had “a natural love of retrieving, an excellent nose, and a perfect mouth.” However, he also had two failings: he loved chasing rabbits and was terrified of cracking whips. One day when a stable boy happened to crack a whip near him, the fear took over and Bolo blindly sought escape. A tall, spiked gate didn’t stop him from running.

He returned early the next morning, covered in blood. “He had two very deep wounds on his chest, a tear three inches long in his groin and his hind leg and hock torn so badly that the bone was visible.” Because a veterinarian was too far away, Lorna stitched his wounds as he lay still for her.

Her doctoring and subsequent training was well done as the next fall he won a field trial prize. Then he quickly won two field trials and became a field champion. Two years later he also finished his show championship and became the first Dual Champion Labrador.

Lorna said, “He had quite the best nose I have ever seen in a dog and with apparently the greatest ease he would collect runner after runner after several other dogs had failed. I have never had a dog with such great natural ability or one so anxious to please me in every possible way.”

Mrs. Quintin Duck and her Labrador, FT Ch Banchory Bolo

Lorna, Countess Howe and Banchory Bolo


The genes from several great dogs came together in Banchory Bolo. We have Lord Malmesbury, the Dukes of Buccleuch, and Lord Knutsford (Munden kennels) to thank for their breeding insight and the dogs they produced.

Banchory Bolo’s pedigree:

Scandal of Glynn English FTCh Peter of Faskally Waterdale Gamester
Birkhill Juliet
English FTW Shelagh of Glynn English FTW Scamp of Glynn
Shelagh of Danesbury
Caerhowell Nettle Foxley Kennett Hirsch’s Ranger
Bendysh Bess
Baker’s Nora unknown
Extended pedigree

His family

Looking backward in time, Bolo’s sire, Scandal of Glynn, was a son of English FTCh Peter of Faskally. Peter won the International Gundog League’s Championship Stake for retrievers in 1911, but it was his partnership with his handler, Archie Butter, that set him apart from the other retrievers.

Butter realized that if a dog could be guided by his handler, the quicker he would be able to find and retrieve game. To do this, he adapted the methods used by shepherds when handling their dogs using whistles and hand signals. We still use a form of this method today.

Peter of Faskally’s pedigree is filled with dogs from the Munden and Buccleuch kennels. Munden Sixty (born 1897) appears three times in Peter’s pedigree and once more in Scandal of Glynn’s maternal line.

Buccleuch Avon

Sixty’s paternal grandfather, Buccleuch Avon (born 1885), was a gift from the third Earl of Malmesbury to the sixth Duke of Buccleuch.

Avon was sired by Malmesbury Tramp (born 1878) and out of Malmesbury Juno (born 1878). Another male, Buccleuch Ned (born 1882), was also a gift. These dogs were bred to bitches that descended from dogs imported originally by the fifth Duke of Buccleuch.

Another great in Peter of Faskally’s pedigree is Munden Single (born 1899). She was sired by Munden Sixty and descended from Munden, Buccleuch, and Malmesbury dogs. She’s best known for being the first Labrador to win a Challenge Certificate and the first Labrador to run in a field trial.

More Munden, Buccleuch, and Malmesbury

Less is known about Scandal of Glynn’s maternal side. His maternal grandfather, Scamp of Glynn FTW, traces to Buccleuch Ned, the other male gifted by Lord Malmesbury. And his maternal grandmother, Shelagh of Danesbury, is mostly from Munden dogs that trace back to the Buccleuch and Malmesbury kennels.

Even less is known about Banchory Bolo’s mother, Caerhowell Nettle, although her father traces back to Peter of Faskally as well.


With all the good genes passed down from his ancestors, it’s not surprising that he also produced well. He sired both show champions and field trial champions.

Bolo’s show offspring

In 1921, he was bred to Brocklehirst Nell (owned by Mrs. Dinwoodie) and sired English Ch Banchory Bluff, English FTCh Nith of Halleaths, and Brocklehirst Daisy FTW. Bluff was the maternal grandsire of English FTCh Balmuto Hewildo. Bluff was owned by Lorna.

Also in 1921, he was bred to Murrayfield Bett (owned by Mr. Dinwoodie) and sired English Ch Brocklehirst Donner. This dog was also owned by Lorna.

Yet another litter in 1921, produced English Ch Beningbrough Tangle. He finished his show championship, including winning the CC at Crufts in 1930 and he also won a field trial. So close to being another Dual Champion! He was bred by The Earl of Chesterfield and owned by Lorna. His mother was Thyme, a daughter of English Ch Ilderton Ben.

In 1922, Bolo was bred to a granddaughter of English Ch Ilderton Ben. Her name was Malta of Lunn and was owned by the Earl of Clarendon. In this litter was a female named English Ch Banchory Kelpie, owned by Lorna.

Breeding dogs all but stopped during World War I. This sent the Munden kennel to the edge of extinction. However Lorna “gave Lord Knutsford a puppy on the condition that he should eventually breed her with Dual Champion Banchory Bolo.”

He registered this puppy as Munden Scarcity. Her sire was English Ch Banchory Lucky and her dam was Banchory Betty. In Scarcity’s litter by Bolo, she produced both English Ch Banchory Danilo FTW and English Ch Munden Solo FTW. Lord Knutsford also kept Singer, a bitch, and another bitch was given to His Majesty the King.

Banchory Danilo

One of Bolo’s best sons

Danilo won 33 Challenge Certificates in the show ring and won the best exhibit in the Kennel Club Show in 1925. He went on to also win two field trial honors in 1924, handled by Lorna. Danilo sired English Ch Drinkstone Pons of Wingan (sire of American Ch Echo of Arden), English Ch Drinkstone Dan, and Haylers Danilo (sire of English Ch Poppleton Black Lancer).

When Danilo’s grandson, Hiwood Risk, was bred to Peggy of Shipton we see some of the Arden dogs, including American National Field Champion Tar of Arden and her offspring – American FC Firelei of Deer Creek, American NFC Black Magic of Audlon, American Dual Ch CFC Little Pierre of Deer Creek.

Danilo’s brother, Munden Solo, also did well at shows. At Crufts in 1927, he competed in ten classes, won six, and placed in three more. The judge wrote of him, ‘If there had been a little more of him in size, I think he would have been very near perfection.’

Bolo sired another English show champion, Banchory Bolo’s Trust, in 1926. His mother was Beaulieu Nance (daughter of English DUAL Ch Banchory Sunspeck).

English DUAL Ch Bramshaw Bob, double-bred on Bolo, won Best in Show at Crufts twice – 1932 and 1933. Lorna bought him from Sir George Thursby and when she took him to Crufts in 1932, Bob won all the classes he was entered in and won Best in Show on the second day.

Lorna said, “Cruft’s Show was, and still is, a great meeting place for gamekeepers. I shall never forget the overwhelming reception they gave Bob when the award was announced; it was so kind of them. They were pleased that a working gundog should receive this much-coveted award.”

Bolo’s field offspring

Bolo was bred to Kirkmahoe Dinah FTW in 1921. This litter included English National FTCh Kirkmahoe Rover, Banchory Corbie FTW, and Choice Of Kirkmahoe FTW.

Banchory Corbie won one Challenge Certificate (show points) and won the 1923 International Gundog League (IGL) Nomination Stake. Then he “broke his shoulder by galloping into a guard post” thus ending his show and field trial career. Lorna described him, “Corbie was in character and temperament all that a Labrador should be. He was highly intelligent, very faithful, a wonderful watch-dog and guard, yet very gentle with children. He had the great game-finding ability which goes with good nose and the brains to use it.”

Banchory Bolo and his son, Banchory Corbie

Another Bolo son was born in 1923, Banchory Roger FTW. He was linebred on English National Ch Peter of Faskally and on Munden Sentry.

Another male, English FTCh Balmuto Hewildo, was also double-bred on Bolo. Instead of winning in the show ring, he won the IGL Retriever Championship in 1936. This is comparable to the National Retriever Championship in the US.

In short, Bolo was a great producer.


Author C. Mackay Sanderson wrote, “Bolo’s coming may be said to have breathed a spirit of new life into the breed, the prestige enjoyed by this dog as a competitive and stud force giving lasting impetus to Labrador fortunes and subsequently his name runs like a golden thread through all the vital streams of progress.”

“The Field wrote of Bolo: ‘If ever evidence were needed of the character of a great dog, and of his influence on the generations following him, it was to be found at the Retriever Championship Trial held at Idsworth last week [December 1932]. Out of fourteen dogs that won prizes, eight were descended from Banchory Bolo.'”

But Bolo also had another legacy – he tended to throw white hairs on the feet. These ‘Bolo marks’ or ‘Bolo pads’ are still sometimes seen on the bottom of the front feet and/or the back of the front pasterns.

Bolo died in July 1927. It was ten years before Lorna was able to give her heart to another dog.

English Dual Champion Banchory Bolo

Whelped: December 29, 1915
Died:  July 10, 1927
Owner:  Lorna, Countess Howe (AKA Mrs. Quintin Dick)
Breeder:  Sir John S Harmood-Banner
Original name:  Caerhowell Bully
Registration:  KC SB 218AA

1. Although she became Lorna, Countess Howe because of her second marriage, she was known as Mrs Quintin Dick during Bolo’s lifetime. However for the sake of ease, I’ve used her first name here as it’s how she’s known by Lab enthusiasts worldwide.


Ch – Show champion
CC – Challenge Certificate (show points)
FCh – Field trial champion
NFCh – National field trial champion
FTW – Field trial winner (not a title)
CFC – Canadian field champion
IGL – International Gundog League

Dickendall Peacekeeper was nicknamed “Chuck” after Chuck Norris, the actor and martial arts expert. Like Chuck (the person), Chuck (the Lab) was sweet and mild-mannered until it was time to go to work – then watch out!

He finished his Junior Hunter title with style and was working on his Senior Hunter title when his handler fell ill and wasn’t able to finish his title.

Instead, Chuck went globe trotting and spent over a year in Finland where he was popular with the ladies. He is now retired.

Chuck was bred and owned by Dickendall Labrador Retrievers.

Below is a photo of Chuck’s father, Morgan. He was imported from Europe where he often won in dog shows.

According to Morgan’s owner, “He has 3 CC’s and 2 CACIB’s from Holland, 2 CC’s and 1 CACIB from Finland, 1 CC and 1 CACIB from Sweden and 1 CC from Italy, and several BOBs. He gained the NLV CW’99 title, when winning the dutch Bennekom Club Show out of 800 labradors. He is also Nordic Winner ’99.”

Chuck’s clearances and pedigree:

Hips  OFA LR-145035 Good
Elbows  LR-EL23955
Eyes  CERF: LR-40971

Dutch CH Trendmakers Tycoon
Swedish Danish Nordic CH Trendmakers Mugwump Beechcroft’s Royal Standard
Guideline’s Manuscript
Trendmakers Traffic Jam Smart Fellow’s Order From New York
Blondella Balanced Shades
Dickendall Davaron Peaceful CH Dickendall Arnold CH Dickendall Ruffy SH
Dickendall’s A-Ha
Pucketts Ping Pong Follytower Man O’War
Dickendall H Of Criner Hills

Extended Pedigree

His legacy

We had one of Chuck’s very talented daughters, SHR Justamere Jazz Singer CD JH RE CGC WC CC, or Jazzy for short. Jazzy loved retrieving and snuggling on the couch. She gave us another generation of talented Labradors.

Bringing your new puppy home is such an exciting time, but are you ready? Puppies need care and a lot of attention. It’s up to you to provide a safe environment. Check your house and buy your supplies before you bring your puppy home.

Here’s a checklist to help you get started!


Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a day or so after you’re scheduled to pick up your puppy.

Identify an emergency veterinarian as not all vets are available at night or on weekends.

If needed, find a reputable day care, puppy class and/or trainer.

Determine where the puppy will sleep, preferably in a crate to start.

Determine who will be primarily responsible for feeding and caring for the puppy. As the puppy starts to learn commands, be sure everyone uses the same command to not confuse the puppy.


Safety first! Get down at your puppy’s level and search for everything that could be potentially dangerous and for anything you don’t want chewed. Also be aware of anything your puppy could jump or climb on to reach higher.

Check every room in your house plus the yard, garage and any other buildings your puppy might be able to access.

In the house:

Check behind any furniture where your puppy could hide and block it off. Block access to under beds.

Protect electrical cords, TV and computer cables and electrical outlets. It’s very common for puppies to chew on wires, but it can be deadly. Don’t forget about remote controls.

Keep shoes and clothing picked up or behind closed closet doors.

Place all medication and supplements inside a cupboard well out of reach of your puppy’s best efforts. Those bottles might be “child proof”, but they won’t last long against puppy teeth.

Store all cleaning supplies in a cabinet secured with a cable or in a high cabinet that the puppy can’t climb. Don’t forget to put bars of soap, bottles of shampoo, makeup, razors, cotton balls, tissues, aftershave, perfume, etc out of reach.

Secure all trash containers with a puppy-proof lid or inside a cabinet.

Store decorations, candles, plug-in scented sprays out of reach or in a secured cabinet.

Store office supplies such as rubber bands, staples and paperclips in drawers or a secure cupboard.

Keep cigarettes, cigars and loose tobacco out of reach of puppies.

Check for toxic plants inside – and outside – of the house. Move them safely out of the puppy’s reach. Check for plants are poisonous for dogs.

If you have cats or other pets, move the litter box where the puppy can’t get to it.

Don’t forget to check every closet or cubbyhole.

If there is an area that just can’t be puppy proofed, use a quality baby gate and/or an exercise pen to keep him out.

Be vigilant about keeping everything put away, out of puppy’s reach.

Garage and yard:

Check for holes in or under your fencing and anything your puppy could climb in, on or under.

If you have a deck, place a barrier so the puppy can’t fall off or down the stairs.

Move all paint, pesticides, rodent poisons, cleaners, chemicals, bug spray, fertilizers, etc out of puppy’s reach – at least five feet off the floor – or in a secured cabinet.

Store tools and power equipment out of puppy’s reach.

Do the same with antifreeze, fuel and other car fluids. These may taste sweet to a puppy, but they are deadly.

If any trash cans don’t have a secure lid, place the can in a secure cupboard or out of puppy’s reach.

Check for plants that could be potentially toxic to your puppy using the link above. These items are also toxic:

  • pit fruits such as apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and avocados
  • garlic, onion and chives
  • grapes and currants
  • chili peppers
  • lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit
  • potatoes and tomatoes
  • rhubarb
  • tobacco
  • coffee grounds and tea bags

Move or place a puppy-proof barrier around any toxic plants.

Check everything a second time a day or so before you welcome your puppy home.


Now that you’ve found potential trouble spots, here are some products that might help.


For some reason, puppies are attracted to power cords. They’re small enough to fit in their mouths, easy to chew and potentially deadly.

Clear Electrical Wire Protector (Total 30 Feet)

Wire Loom Tubing To Protect Wires from Pets

Outlet Covers 38-Pack White Child Proof Electrical Plug Covers

Electrical Outlet Cover Box Childproof Large Plug Cover (Transparent)

Dual Fit Outlet Plug Cover White 2 Count

Securing cabinets and other areas:

Child Safety Strap Locks (10 Pack) White/Gray

Under Bed Couch Blocker for Pets 8 Pack 4.7″ High 126″ Long

Mom’s Choice Award – Metal Baby Gate, 29-48″ Extra Wide Pressure Mounted

Banister Guard Child Safety Net – 15ft x 3ft tall (white)

Outdoor Deck Rail Safety Net – 16ft x 38″ tall (black)


Now that your house is safe, what do you need for puppy?


Pet Thermometer Waterproof Fast and Accurate Measurements

Disposable Probe Covers for Thermometer, 50 Count

Pet Infrared Ear Thermometer for Dogs and Cats, Rechargeable ℃/℉

Collars and leashes:

If you must add tags to your puppy’s collar, tape them flat to the collar. Dangling tags can be caught in heat/AC vents, openings in crates and many other narrow openings. When that happens dogs will often fight against it and may twist to the point of strangulation.

Also, if you have more than one dog and they like to play – especially if they grab each other by the neck – remove the collars. Too many dogs have died of strangulation when they caught their lower jaw in another dog’s collar. Both will struggle and twist. And it happens fast. I had it happen. Both dogs wore quick-release collars, but one twist and one dog was choking while the other dog fought to get free. Had I not been 15 feet away when it happened, at least one dog would probably have died. My dogs no longer wear collars except when competing, however they are all microchipped.

Unless you have a short nose dog like a Pug or a dog with a slender head like a Greyhound, avoid using a harness. Harnesses can be hard to fit and a poorly-fitted harness can cause chafing or allow the dog to slip out. It should also be taken off when the dog doesn’t need to be on leash.

Reflective Multi-Colored Stripe Adjustable Dog Collar, Violet and River Blue, Medium, Neck 14.5″-20″

Avoid retractable leashes – “flexi-leads” – especially for puppies. More accidents seem to happen with these leashes. Even a small dog running toward an attraction can hit the end of the cord and snap the clasp or collar. When that happens the cord will quickly retract and possibly hit you or bystanders causing “broken teeth, due to the collar or metal clasp breaking and swinging back into your face.” Grabbing the cord or having it wrap around a hand or leg can lead to deep cuts and even amputation.

Reflective Multi-Colored Stripe Dog Leash with Soft & Comfortable Handle, 5 ft x 3/4″, Violet & River Blue

This is a better option than a flexi-lead. It adjusts to 3 lengths: 4, 5 and 7-1/2 feet. Clip it around your chest, waist or shoulder to free your hands. It’s available in a variety of colors.

Adjustable Dog Training Leash | Secure & Non-Slip Rubberized Nylon Grip Hands Free Dog Leash (Black)


I have some of these bowls. They’re almost indestructible, dishwasher safe and don’t move around like regular stainless steel bowls.

Deep Stainless Steel Anti-Slip Dog Bowls, Set of 2, Each Holds Up to 6 Cups

Another option if you have a fast eater is this slow feeder bowl. There are several design, color and size choices.

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl, Slow Feeder Dog Bowl, Medium/Mini, Orange


Reasonably priced washable dog beds, sized to fit in crates. Medium for puppies and smaller Labs 30x20x3″. Large for an adult Lab 36x24x3″. Extra Large for a big, adult male Lab 48x24x3″.

Waterproof Dog Bed, Reversible, Removable Washable Cover & Waterproof Inner Lining – Medium

Probably best to wait on introducing a quality dog bed until your puppy is house-trained and past the teething stage. Otherwise these are outstanding dog beds.

Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Cat and Dog Bed in Shag Fur Taupe, Extra Large 45×45 – big enough for adult dog


This is my go-to brush for Labs. It’s great for removing dirt and dead hair and the dogs love the attention.

Zoom Groom Dog Brush, Groom and Massage While Removing Loose Hair and Dead Skin – Blue

If your dog grows a thicker coat than the Zoom Groom can get through, this rake can go deeper to remove dead hair. Just use it gently.

Ergonomic Undercoat Pets Rake, Dog Dematting Brush

For young puppies you can use fingernail clippers to just cut the sharp hook off the end of each nail. Remember to do this every couple of weeks. Be careful of cutting too deep and making the nail bleed. As your puppy matures, switch to a dog nail clipper.

Dog Nail Clippers Safety Guard and Nail File

For some dogs who have learned to fear nail trimming, here is a smooth and quiet clipper.

Dog Nail Trimmer for Anxiety Sensitive Dog, Quiet Sharpest Smoothest Dog Nail Clippers

4 Pack Dog Toothbrush for Dog Teeth Cleaning Dog Finger Toothbrush

The cleanest teeth I’ve ever seen belonged to dogs fed a raw meat and bones diet. This is likely due to the chewing involved, but also because of the enzymes in the meat. Another option is brushing their teeth with an enzymatic toothpaste.

Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs and Cats (Poultry)

Burt’s Bees for Puppies Natural Tearless 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner


Don’t skip crate training! It makes house training easier and will help in an emergency, such as a fire, tornado or flooding especially if you have to transport your dog or place him in a boarding kennel.

For a puppy, set up a wire crate with the divider panel positioned so he can stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch. Don’t make it any bigger because he will likely potty in one end and sleep in the other. Gradually move the divider to give the puppy more space as he grows.

To help with crate training, place the crate close enough so the puppy can see you, but not in a busy area. Watch for when he’s starting to tire and place him in the crate so there’s less resistance. Add a puppy blanket and a toy in the crate with him.

Double Door Dog Crate, Includes 2 Doors, Leak-Proof Pan, Floor Protecting Feet and Divider Panel – 36″

You can get a plastic airline-type crate instead, but they don’t generally have a divider. Instead you will have to block off part of a bigger crate or buy a few crates in different sizes. There are generally used ones for sale on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, just be sure to clean a used crate well.

For people who cannot take their new puppy out to potty every 2-3 hours, you can set up an area with access to the outside or to a litter box or doggy lawn. Surround the area with an exercise pen and clip it to a crate to help keep it from moving around. Or use a baby gate to partition a room.

This is an excellent exercise pen for occasional use such as while traveling or attending competitions. However it’s probably not suitable for a puppy without supervision as it can be tipped over. It folds to about 24 x 30 x 3″

Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen / Pet Playpen, 24″W x 30″H

After a bit of training, this pen could be used for a puppy left alone for awhile. It is made of heavier construction with additional features:

  • automatic gravity lock design ensures you can open and close the door smoothly and reduce the chance of your dog unlocking it
  • Muffler Tube installed on the rings can minimize any noise caused by the rattling of the rods or panels
  • Anti-slip silicone pads installed on the stakes and the bottom of the panels provide friction to reduce the possibility of the pen being pushed down and can prevent the stakes from scratching your floors

HomePlus Playpen Designed for Indoor Use 32″H 8 panels

Here’s a waterproof tarp for under an exercise pen – indoors or outdoors.

Heavy Duty Poly Tarp – 8′ x 10′ – 10 Mil Thick Waterproof

Puppies seem to like these grass mats more than pee pads, however they require cleaning while the pee pads can be thrown away.

Grass Mat with Tray, Complete Potty System for Indoor/Outdoor Puppy Training, Reusable Pet Litter Box 23×19″

Puppy Pad Holder Tray – Silicone, 24 x 24″

Super Absorbent Pee Pads for Dogs, Leak-Proof

Clean up:

Time-tested style of pooper scooper. Metal. Requires two hands – one to hold the tray and one to use the scraper or rake.

Pooper Scooper, Extra Large with Long Handle, Metal Poop Tray and Rake Set

Newer style with one-handed operation and spring-loaded clam shell pickup. Handle folds in half.

Pet Pooper Scooper for Dogs and Cats with Long Handle

Zero Odor – Pet Odor Eliminator – Permanently Eliminate Air & Surface Odors

Go Here Attractant Indoor and Outdoor Dog Training Spray

Amazon Basics Unscented Standard Dog Poop Bags with Dispenser and Leash Clip, 13 x 9 Inches, Black – 20 Rolls (300 Bags)


First off, here are several treats and toys to avoid:

  • Rope toys can be dangerous – if they’re too small, the dog might swallow it whole, ropes labeled as indestructible or cotton-blend likely contain indigestible nylon and/or polyester and, unlike other things puppies might swallow, long strands of rope can get tangled in your dog’s stomach or intestines.
  • Toys small enough to get stuck in their throat are a choking hazard.
  • Rawhide treats are not digestible and, if your dog swallows a large piece whole it could cause choking or an obstruction. Also they are often coated with toxic chemicals.
  • Cooked bones are usually very hard and brittle. They can cause a broken tooth, cuts or obstructions in the dog’s mouth, throat and digestive system, and round bones can get stuck around the lower jaw.
  • Although some people swear by Greenies, they do pose a risk of intestinal blockage and possible death despite the claim of being “highly digestible.” Instead you might try a single-ingredient chew such as pig, cow or lamb ears, duck or chicken feet, beef trachea or tendon or bullysticks. Because of their natural origins, you may want to give them as outdoor treats.
  • Avoid tennis balls as the fuzz will wear down teeth, they can get stuck in your dog’s throat and strong chewers may swallow the fuzz and/or parts of a split ball which can lead to an obstruction. It’s better to give your dog a ball specifically designed for dogs and big enough to prevent a choking hazard.

Here are a few treats and chews we like:

N-Bone Puppy Teething Rings Chicken Flavor Dog Treat, 6 count bag, 7.2-oz

SPOFLY Puppy Teething Chew Toys, Freezable Puppy Teething Toy, 1 Teething Ring 1 Teething Bone Freezable Dog Chew Toys Set (Blue)

KONG – Puppy Toy Natural Teething Rubber – Fun to Chew, Chase and Fetch – for Medium Puppies – Pink

Best Pet Supplies Crinkle Dog Toy for Small, Medium, and Large Breeds, Cute No Stuffing Duck with Soft Squeaker

Multipet Plush Dog Toy, Lambchop, 10″, White/Tan, Small

iHeartDogs Heartbeat Puppy Toy – Comfort Cuddler Pillow – Dog Anxiety Toy

HOUNDGAMES Puppy Toy Mat with Teething Chew Toys (20” x 20”) Ropes, Squeaker, Plush Foam Bed, Durable

BoniVet Bully Stick Holder for Dogs, Chew Holder, Prevent Choking Safety Device


Several years ago, factories in China added wheat gluten adulterated with melamine to pet food and treats as a cheap way to boost the protein percent. Many animals died after eating these foods. Since then other products from China, including milk, ice cream and canned coffee drinks, have tested positive for melamine. It’s probably best to avoid any food products made in China.

For other things to avoid, check out People Foods Dogs Shouldn’t Eat.

We feed Dynamite Super Premium dog food.

From their website at
“A superior kibble free of the common allergens corn and wheat is made with fresh, hand-trimmed USDA chicken. It also contains chicken cartilage that is rich in natural glucosamine. On top of that our Super Premium contains prebiotics and probiotics to aid digestion.

“Made with minimal processing to help preserve the natural goodness of the ingredients, our small-batch recipe is not baked. Instead, we use state-of-the-art technology that utilizes a low-temperature, high-moisture extrusion. This method assures all starch is cooked and minimal damage occurs to the proteins.”

We also give DynaPro:
“Canine health depends on a thriving population of beneficial gut microbes. Factors such as stress, diet changes, chemical wormers, vaccinations, and antibiotics will cause a dog’s gut to become an unfriendly environment and will force microbes to go dormant. Dyna Pro is designed to create the ideal conditions for good microbes to come out of dormancy, multiply, and thrive so your dog gets optimal utilization of food and supplements, resulting in a vibrant animal!”

An alternative food is Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy Food.


Kasa Indoor Pan/Tilt Smart Security Camera, 1080p HD Dog Camera 2.4GHz with Night Vision, Motion Detection for Baby and Pet Monitor, Cloud & SD Card Storage, Works with Alexa & Google Home (EC70)

Petcube Cam Indoor Wi-Fi Pet and Security Camera with Phone App, Pet Monitor with 2-Way Audio and Video, Night Vision, 1080p HD Video and Smart Alerts for Ultimate Home Security


Take a towel or a small blanket to wrap puppy in for the drive home. Also a roll of paper towels, a plastic bag and a spray cleaner for any accidents on the way.

Take puppy’s new collar and leash. Buy them before going to pick up your puppy. You shouldn’t be taking him into any stores or to any parks or other public places until he has at least his second set of vaccines. Check with the breeder for correct size.

Put out a fresh bowl of water. Feed your puppy three times a day for the first couple of months. Pick up the food bowl after 15 minutes, whether he’s finished eating or not. Allowing your puppy to nibble any time of day will start a bad habit. One cup of food at each meal should be about the right amount for a Labrador or similar size dog. Check with your breeder if you have questions.

Keep the toilet lid closed if you use any cleaners.

Don’t use a flea collar, sprays or any other pesticides except on your veterinarian’s advice and preferably not until your puppy is at least four months old.

Don’t have other dogs over to meet your puppy until his vaccinations are completed.

Lastly, be sure to have your veterinarian’s phone number posted by the phone!

Named for her birthplace in Georgia, Chicka made a name for herself running in field trials.



Her intense retrieving drive was apparent while she was still with her littermates. Her owner said, “She would whirl, twirl and do somersaults” to retrieve anything thrown.

At 4 months she won a Puppy Stake against dogs more than twice her age after swimming across a large pond full of sticks and lily pads.



At a bit over two years old, she won the first of three Double Headers (winning both the Open and Amateur stakes at the same field trial). In all, she qualified six times for the National Open and seven times for the National Amateur and was a finalist four times.

In 2004, she won the National Amateur with her owner, Lynne, handling. Lynne described the fifth series, “There were 4 marks, 2 of which were flyers and 2 dead bird-retired marks – the longest of which was about 200 yards. The flyers were visually close to each other and a high number of dogs had to be handled. It was a beautiful series set in a hay bale field with interesting terrain but the hay bales did confuse the dogs. We had all kinds of weather…from hot to cold and rain to sun, plus difficult winds. Additionally, it was a ‘mixed bag’ of birds, which is the most difficult form of retrieval in terms of game. The dogs become keyed into the scent of the first bird retrieved and then have to re-focus on very different scent for subsequent birds of different species. It really was a make or break series.”

What makes Chicka’s career even more impressive is the injuries she overcame. She had two ruptured lumbar spinal discs removed and a total replacement of her right hip. She spent more time in rehab than in training in the 2-1/2 years before her National win.

She was also featured in a magazine for disabled sports men and women.



2xNAFC 2xCNAFC FC CFC Ebonstar Lean Mac CNFC CNAFC Waldorf’s High Tech CFC Rascal’s Super Spud
Itch’s Flying Tiger
Ebonaceae Princess WCX QAA Trieven El Conquistador
Skookum’s Sky Raider
Lazer’s Razor Sharp MH FC AFC Donnybrooks Rocky Road FC AFC Connies Little Thunder
Raintree Farms Mint Julep
Snakes Midnight Lazer MH Spider Man II
Snake’s Whistling Wind

Extended pedigree

Sired by Lean Mac and out out of Lazer’s Razor Sharp MH, Chicka descends several times from NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief (Hall Of Fame) and his relatives FC AFC Air Express HOF, FC AFC Ithin’ To Go, FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead HOF, CNFC FC Wanapum Darts Garbo, Super Powder QAA and Shamrock Acres Super Duster.

Her pedigree also includes such greats as NAFC FC Ray’s Rascal HOF, NFC AFC San Joaquin Honcho, FC AFC CFC CAFC Gahonk’s Pow-Wow, FC AFC Snake Eyes-Double or Nothin’ HOF, NAFC FC Guy’s Bitterroot Lucky, 2xNFC Whygin Cork’s Coot HOF and NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane.

Plus there are several show champions, English imports and dual champions, including 3xNFC CFC Dual Ch Shed of Arden HOF.

Although she’s the best known dog in her litter, there are other active dogs. Her brother, Law Abiding Ezra, earned his FC and AFC plus an Obedience Trial Championship (OTCH). Ezra also sired a daughter who earned her OTCH plus UDX2 and MH. Other siblings have field championship and/or hunt test titles. Then you could spend hours looking through the list of half-siblings sired by Maxx.

NAFC FC Chickamauga Choo Choo

Whelped:  May 21, 1996
Died:  Dec 5, 2008
Owners:  Lynne and Mac DuBose, Hillsborough, NC
Breeders:  Vincent and Phyllis Garner
Registration:  SN36231305

34 Derby points
QAA before 2 years old
3x Double Header winner
64.5 Open points
120 Amateur points
National Amateur Field Champion
2012 Retriever Hall of Fame

CH – Show Championship
FC – Field Championship
AFC – Amateur Field Championship
NFC – National Field Champion
NAFC – National Amateur Field Champion
CFC – Canadian Field Championship
CAFC – Canadian Amateur Field Championship
CNFC – Canadian National Field Champion
QAA – Qualified All-Age
MH – Master Hunter
OTCH – Obedience Trial Championship
UDX – Utility Dog Excellent obedience title
HOF – Hall of Fame

This is a story about two Lab puppies that were very special dogs.

The best place to start is at the beginning…

I heard about a daughter of River Oaks Way-Da-Go Rocky that was for sale. She was field-bred, but looked like a classic Lab with a broad head, good angles and plenty of bone.

It was a no-brainer. I had to bring her home.

Dee was wonderful in the house – clean, quiet and she fit right in. In the field, she was dynamite. She was focused, fast and so easy to run.

She was the first dog I ran in hunt tests – started in four tests and titled in four tests. In hind sight I should have run her in the next level as well.

But then she came in season and I bred her to my very talented chocolate boy, Chip.

I was hoping for a chocolate female puppy.

The birth of two Lab puppies and their siblings…

The first four puppies came out every 30 minutes like they were on a timer – boy – boy – boy – boy.

Then we waited. And waited. An hour went by. Two hours. Three hours.

It was so long since the last puppy and there were no more signs of contractions. I thought Dee must have finished whelping so I started putting away all the whelping supplies.

I was so sad not to get my chocolate girl.

A happy surprise…

Then FOUR HOURS after the last puppy was born, she had another puppy.

A boy. Jeez Louise!

Shortly after that she had two more puppies – a black girl and a chocolate girl!

Meeting my heart dog…

The story doesn’t end there though. I was so happy to get the chocolate girl I’d wished for, but there was another puppy. Every time I cleaned the whelping pen or interacted with the puppies the black girl paid attention to me. She had fabulous eye contact!

The more I got to know her, the more I fell in love.

She was Arwen. My heart dog.

The story doesn’t end there however…

The first born boy became my husband’s favorite. I think he liked him for the white star on his chest.

He promised he would train him and take him to work with him. It didn’t happen so I put the puppy up for sale. I got several good offers for him, but I couldn’t do it. I’d fallen in love with him too.

He was Tory. Another heart dog.

The two Lab puppies grew up…

Tory grew to be a big, impressive male with a deep bark. Often he would sit in the car watching as I went in a store. When he saw me come out, he would woof. Just once and just loud enough for me to hear.

He earned four Rally titles in 29 straight runs with a perfect score and several placements. He enjoyed competing.

Tory also competed in hunt tests – both AKC and HRC. He was on the verge of completing his Hunting Retriever Championship title when he collapsed. I rushed him to the veterinarian who said his heart was failing. She gave him a few weeks to live.

He made it nearly six more months and didn’t show any signs of a heart problem. To be safe, he didn’t run in any more field events and lived a happy, but quiet, life.

Arwen was smaller than her brother, but she was the alpha. Tory was the enforcer and kept the other dogs in line. One day he thought Arwen did something wrong and he trotted over to set her straight. She just turned and gave him “the look.” It was comical to see the big dog do a reining horse slide stop and then tip-toe away.

She was multi-talented and competed successfully in several venues – hunt tests (AKC and UKC), obedience, Rally and Barn Hunt. In addition to titles, she also earned special awards. At the Labrador Retriever Club national specialty, she received the Dog For All Reasons award. She was the third dog to earn the LRC’s Versatile Producer of Merit award. Arwen also received awards such as a Multi-Purpose Retriever and a Retriever Achiever.

However her most important roles were as my shadow, my sidekick, my confidant, and my friend.

Not an ending…

These two Lab puppies and their dad, Chip, were my Musketeers, my constant companions and my teachers. Anything I asked, they tried.

Someday there will be a joyful reunion at the Rainbow Bridge.

Two Lab puppies:
HR UH Justamere Aviator CD SH RAE CGC CC

HRCH Justamere Chocolate Chip CD TDX SH RAE CGC

Knight’s Tail Dehlia JH

What makes a great dog? Is it genetics? Is it the way he’s raised? Is it due to training? Is it due to handling? Or is it all of the above? NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief would probably say all of the above.



Born in 1962, Soupy was given to August “Augie” Belmont IV by his breeder because a previous dog from the breeder had turned out unsound. The Belmonts raised Soupy on Long Island until he was six months old.

Training Greatness

At that time, Soupy was old enough to begin serious training, so Augie flew him to Rex Carr in California. Carr is called “the father of modern retriever training.”

To be trained by a legend would definitely help a dog achieve greatness.

Handling Expertise

Rex Carr often trained the owners to handle their own dogs – a task that’s probably more difficult than training the dogs. It must have worked though as Augie and his wife, Louise, handled Soupy to many field trial wins. Starting with five Derby wins by 19 months, Soupy won 40 Derby points, 112 Amateur points and 242 Open points. He also won the 1967 and 1968 National Amateur Retriever championship plus the 1968 National Retriever championship.

Soupy had a good trainer and good handlers.

Superb Genetics

What about genetics? His parents were both grandchildren of DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious. Precocious was sired by 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden out of Huron’s Lady – a mixture of show, field and dual champions.

Add in two crosses each to:

  • Am Eng FC Hiwood Mike
  • DUAL CH CFC Little Pierre of Deer Creek
  • NFC AFC Marvadel Black Gum
  • Can DUAL CH Coastal Charger of Deer Creek

Plus NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane and NFC Tar of Arden.

Plus more Dual Champions – DUAL CH Cherokee Buck and DUAL CH NFC CFC Bracken’s Sweep.

Plus a line that includes dogs from the Sandylands show kennel through FC The Spider of Kingswere.

FC AFC Paha-Sapa Chief II FC Freehaven Muscles DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious
Grangemead Sharon
Treasure State Bewise *** FC The Spider of Kingswere
FC Deer Creek’s Bewise
Ironwood Cherokee Chica DUAL CH Cherokee Buck DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious
Grangemead Sharon
Glen-Water Fantom NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane
Little Peggy Black Gum

Click to see his 5-generation pedigree.


Soupy was bred to a variety of bitches, some with field breeding, but also to some with show breeding. Between his pedigree and his offspring, I’d say he also had good genetics.

Some of his offspring include:

* DUAL CH Shamrock Acres Super Drive
Sire of Am Mex CH Gunfield’s Super Charger CD WC who did much to improve chocolates

* DUAL CH Royal Oaks Jill of Burgundy 2005 Hall of Fame

* NFC NAFC 2xCNFC Wanapum Darts Dandy 1992 Hall of Fame

* FC AFC Air Express
Sire of many field champions, including FC AFC Itchin’ To Go, CNFC FC Overland Express, FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead, FC AFC CFC CAFC Wanapum Super Sioux, NAFC FC Winsom Cargo and DUAL CH AFC Trumarc’s Triple Threat

* FC AFC Candlewood’s Nellie B Good
Granddam of FC AFC Wilderness Harley To Go 2003 Hall of Fame and FC AFC Candlewoods M D Houston 1996 Hall of Fame

* NFC FC AFC Euroclydon (pronounced u-roc-li-don)
1993 Hall of Fame and dam of NFC FC AFC Orion’s Sky 1994 Hall of Fame

* FC Candlewood’s Super Deal
Grandsire of 3xNFC FC AFC Candlewood’s Tanks A Lot

* Super Powder QAA
Sire of NFC AFC FTCH Risky Business Ruby 1993 Hall of Fame and FC AFC Volwood’s Ruff And Reddy 2000 Hall of Fame plus grandsire of FC AFC Code Blue 2000 Hall of Fame and FC AFC CNFC CAFC Chena River No Surprise 2004 Hall of Fame

* Shamrock Acres Juego de Azar
Granddam of FC AFC River Oaks Way-Da-Go Rocky who was the sire of our Knight’s Tail Dehlia.

* Shamrock Acres Super Sioux
Dam of FC AFC Raider’s Piper Cub

* Sirion’s Super Snooper
Dam of CFC Rascal’s Super Spud who sired CNFC CNAFC Waldorf’s High Tech who sired 2xNAFC 2xCNAFC FC CFC Ebonstar Lean Mac

* Paha Sapa Greta
Dam of FC AFC Ironwood Tarnation 1995 Hall of Fame

* Cup A Soup
Dam of NFC AFC CFC CAFC Yankee Independence

* FC Shamrock Acres Super Value 1998 Hall of Fame

* Shamrock Acres Duck Soup
Dam of FC AFC CFC CAFC Candlewoods Mad Mouse 1994 Hall of Fame

* FC Wanapum Sheba
Dam of NAFC FC Kannonball Kate 1992 Hall of Fame

And several more titled offspring.

Is Soupy in our pedigrees? Yes, many times.

  • Chip and all of his descendants trace to him through DUAL CH Shamrock Acres Super Drive (12 times!) and CH Gunfields Super Charger CD, DUAL CH Trumarc’s Triple Threat, FC AFC Air Express, FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead, FC AFC Candlewood’s Nellie Be Good, CH K’s Jetta of Someday, AFC Shamrock Acres Whiskey Jake
  • Dee and her descendants trace to him through FC AFC Canis Major’s River Bear
  • Cat and her descendants trace to him through 2xNAFC 2xCNAFC FC CFC Ebonstar Lean Mac, CNFC CNAFC FC AFC The Marathon Man, FC AFC CFC CAFC Candlewoods Mad Mouse (twice) and NFC FC AFC Westwind Supernova Chief

By the way, if you follow horse racing you’ll recognize the family name. Although Augie also owned race horses, he was not as active as his grandfather, August Belmont II, or great grandfather, August Belmont, who founded Belmont Park and for whom the Triple Crown race was named.

Out of curiosity, I looked into the pedigree of 2xNAFC 2xCNAFC FC CFC Ebonstar Lean Mac who was probably the most influential field Labrador Retriever in recent history.

Why was he so influential?

He earned a Field Championship (FC) and an Amateur Field Championship (AFC) in BOTH the US and Canada.

He also won the National Amateur Field Championship (NAFC) twice and he won the Canadian National Amateur Field Championship (CNAFC) twice. (Learn more about title abbreviations here.)

And he produced many dogs who earned hunt test titles, field championships and won more national championships.

But today we’re going to look at some of his ancestors. So who does he descend from?

Here’s his 3-generation pedigree:

CNFC CNAFC Waldorf’s High Tech CFC Rascal’s Super Spud NAFC FC Ray’s Rascal
Sirion’s Super Snooper
Itch’s Flying Tiger FC AFC Itchin’ To Go
Thor’s Tiger Lillie
Ebonaceae Princess WCX QAA Trieven El Conquistador FC AFC CFC Trieven Thunderhead
Trieven High Speed
Skookum’s Sky Raider CFC CAFC Virdon’s Tuktoyaktuk
Wilkie’s Cinderella Liberty

It’s when you go back further that you find ancestors some people might find surprising –

3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden (19)
DUAL CH Matchmaker for Deer Creek (4) – and his sire and grandsire:
DUAL CH CFC Little Pierre of Deer Creek (15)
Am Eng CH Banchory Trump of Wingan (4)
DUAL CH Cherokee Buck (6) – and his sire:
DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious (12)
Can DUAL CH Coastal Charger of Deer Creek (16) (another son of Little Pierre)
NFC DUAL CH CFC Bracken Sweep (8)
CH Whygin Poppitt (3)
Can DUAL CH Dart of Netley Creek (3)
FTCH CAN DUAL CH Treveilyr Swift (1)
Eng Can CH Sandylands Jilly (1)
DUAL CH CFC Ridgewood Playboy (1)
DUAL CH AFC Hello Joe of Rocheltree (1)
CNFC CAN DUAL CH AFC Stormy Of Spirit Lake Gal (1)
ENG DUAL CH Staindrop Saighdear (1)
CAN DUAL CH CAFC Netley Creek’s Black Drake (1)

(The numbers following the names are the number of times that dog shows up in his 10 generation pedigree.)

Maxx is very well known in the field trial and hunt test communities, but many people don’t realize how many SHOW DOGS are in his pedigree.

To be fair, many of these dogs lived during a time when Labs competed in both field trials and dog shows and could earn championships in both. There hasn’t been a DUAL CHAMPION Labrador since the 1980s though.

There are also numerous FC, AFC, NFC and NAFC dogs, such as NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief, NAFC FC CFC Guy’s Bitterroot Lucky, NFC AFC Massie’s Sassy Boots, Eng IGL CH FTCH Glenhead Zuider, NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane, NAFC FC Ray’s Rascal, NFC AFC Marvadel Black Gum.

I had two of Maxx’s granddaughters, including Clubmead’s Dark Crystal,  and many of my current dogs descend from her. While her pedigree has several American and Canadian FC and AFCs, plus a healthy dose of National Field Champions, if you follow her maternal line you’ll find some show dogs in her pedigree too. One top dog – AM CAN CH Shamrock Acres Light Brigade – shows up three times. By the way, CH Whygin Poppitt, who shows up in Maxx’s pedigree, is also the grandsire of Light Brigade.

It wasn’t that long ago Labradors came from one gene pool. There weren’t “American” Labs or “English” Labs, they were all just Labrador Retrievers.

Does that make you stop and think about recent breeding choices?


The first documented field trial was held in England in 1899 and consisted mostly of Flat-Coated and Curly Coated retrievers.

Four years later Munden Single became the first Labrador to win a Challenge Certificate (like ‘winning the points’ in an AKC dog show).

Then the following year she became the first Labrador to run in a field trial.

Dual purpose Labradors have been around for a long time!

“It is improbable that Labradors will be as popular as the Flat-coated Retrievers; they are essentially a working breed and do not lend themselves to popularity. However, if one can take the numbers registered at the Kennel Club as some sort of a guide, the breed is becoming more widely known and appreciated, but it is hoped that they will never be kept for the purpose of showing only.”

The Labrador Retriever – A complete Anthology of the Dog
Quoting Maurice Portal, circa 1912
Courtesy: Google Books

Eng FTW Munden Single, born 1899


A few years later, three Labradors ran in another field trail against a field of mostly Flat-Coated retrievers. All three Labs were related.

Munden Single had three Buccleuch grandparents and the fourth descended from Buccleuch dogs.

Flapper’s pedigree included Buccleuch Avon, Buccleuch Ned, Malmesbury’s Tramp, Malmesbury’s Juno – dogs that also appear in Munden Single’s pedigree.

The third Lab was Dungavel Juno, a granddaughter of Munden Sentry who was a full brother to Munden Single.

Note: Flapper is also shown laying down at the top of the page.

More on this early field trial:

“The next item of importance that took place in 1907, was the 2nd All-Aged Stake held by the [English] Kennel Club on November 26th & 27th.

“In a field of 20 runners there were fifteen Flat Coats, three Labradors, and two others.

“The Labradors were Mr. Portal’s Flapper, The Duchess of Hamilton’s Dungavel Juno, and Holland-Hibbert’s Munden Single.

“So foul was the weather on the morning of the first day that a vote was taken of handlers and guns whether to continue after lunch – a situation known to many hardened field triallers. Fortunately, they voted to continue, which gave an historic result.

“Flapper was first, Juno was second and M. Single gained the fourth prize. The Labrador had arrived on the field trial scene with a vengeance.

“Flapper, who became a FT Champion, was handled by Maurice Portal, a man who, as Vice Chairman, was to play a major role in the direction of the Labrador Club in its formative years.

“This was the first time a Labrador had won a major stake. Flapper was 5 years old when he won this trial and was to continue to win further honours. He was to become a powerful stud force siring many litters.

“It was Flapper more than any dog to date, whose brilliant accomplishments made an enormous impression on the shooting public. More than any other dog he convinced the public of the superiority of the Labrador over the previously ubiquitous Flat Coats.”

Field Trials – Past Achievements (Part I to 1914) – George Jenken on

Eng FTCH Peter of Faskally, born 1908


In 1911, FTCH Peter of Faskally won the International Gundog League’s Championship Stake for retrievers. His handler, Archibold Butter, adapted whistle and hand signals from working sheepdogs to guide Peter to unseen birds. This was the beginning of ‘handling’ that we see today in field trials and hunt tests.

Peter descended multiple times from the Buccleuch and Malmesbury dogs. He also had a good dose of Munden dogs in his pedigree. His paternal grandfather, Sherfield Spratt, was a full brother of Munden Single. And Sherfield Spratt was bred to Waterdale Twinkle, his niece by Munden Sentry. Peter’s maternal great grandmother was Munden Single.

Many great dogs descend from Peter through FTCH Patron of Faskally, FTCH Peter of Whitmore and Dual CH Banchory Bolo.


It’s interesting to note that Labradors weren’t accepted for registration with the American Kennel Club until 1917. And even ten years later, there were only 23 new registrations.

In the early years in America, field trials were the sport of wealthy families and they were a closed group. Sometimes trials were held on Mondays so few working people could attend.

Often the dogs were trained by British experts who had been enticed to America to manage the kennels. And because the kennel men who trained Arden Labs were so good, there was a rule change in 1936.

The new Amateur Open class required the owner, Averell Harriman, to handle his own dogs or admit defeat. Although he had never been to a trail nor had he ever handled his own dogs, he had to try.

The first two of his dogs didn’t do well, but Blind of Arden became one of three finalists. He was the last to run after the other dogs failed to find the bird. Harriman sent Blind well downwind of where he thought the bird had landed for the best chance of scenting it. But Blind continued past the spot and Harriman watched helplessly because he couldn’t whistle him back.

Good thing! The bird was probably a runner, but Blind followed his trail and brought him back.

He won the field trail and even graced the cover of Life magazine.

FC Blind of Arden - 1936 National Field Champion

It’s interesting to note the depth of quality that came from Harriman’s Arden kennel.

His breeding program started with importing Peggy of Shipton and breeding her to another import FC Odds On. They produced Blind and his sister, Decoy of Arden who became the first AKC field champions.

Decoy was bred to CH Raffles of Earlsmoor and produced the top show dog CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden.

A repeat breeding produced 3x NFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden.


And, yes, these dogs do appear in the pedigrees of Justamere Ranch Labs.

In Dee‘s pedigree, Munden Single shows up at least twice through NAFC FC River Oaks Rascal.

Many others show up several times, including:

  • FTCH Flapper, Dungavel Juno and FTCH Peter of Faskally through Eng DUAL CH Banchory Painter and his grandson, FC Eng FTCH Hiwood Mike
  • FTCH Peter of Faskally through Eng CH Banchory Danilo and Eng CH Jerry of Sandylands
  • NFC Blind of Arden through FC AFC Trumarc’s Raider and 2xNAFC 3xCNFC FC River Oaks Corky
  • Peggy of Shipton through NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane, DUAL CH CFC Little Pierre of Deer Creek, 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden, NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief, DUAL CH CFC Ridgewood Playboy, Can DUAL CH Coastal Charger of Deer Creek
  • FC Decoy of Arden through 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden and CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden
  • Eng CH Raffles of Earlsmoor through his son, 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden
  • CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden through 2xNAFC 3xCNFC FC River Oaks Corky
  • 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden through FC Martens Mister Nifty and all of the dogs listed under his ancestors Raffles, Decoy of Arden and Peggy of Shipton

So all of Arwen’s and Cotti’s descendants trace back to these dogs.

In Chip‘s pedigree, FTCH Flapper, Dungavel Juno and FTCH Peter of Faskally show up through FC Eng FTCH Hiwood Mike.

Many others show up several times, including:

  • NFC Blind of Arden through FC AFC Trumarc’s Raider and 2xNAFC 3xCNFC FC River Oaks Corky.
  • Peggy of Shipton through NFC AFC CFC Cork of Oakwood Lane, DUAL CH CFC Little Pierre of Deer Creek, 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden, NFC 2xNAFC Super Chief, DUAL CH CFC Ridgewood Playboy, Can DUAL CH Coastal Charger of Deer Creek.
  • FC Decoy of Arden through 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden and CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden.
  • Eng CH Raffles of Earlsmoor through his son 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden.
  • CH Earlsmoor Moor of Arden through 2xNAFC 3xCNFC FC River Oaks Corky.
  • 3xNFC CFC DUAL CH Shed of Arden through 2xCNFC FC AFC Tar Baby’s Little Sweet Stuff, NAFC FC Ray’s Rascal, DUAL CH Grangemead Precocious, NAFC-FC River Oaks Corky and all of the dogs listed under his ancestors Eng CH Raffles of Earlsmoor, FC Decoy of Arden and Peggy of Shipton.

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Dual Purpose Labrador Retrievers

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