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Hello Labrador Forums new friends. This is my first post here. Thank you to all who have put in so much time and effort to make these forums an amazing resource for less-informed individuals like myself! I am preparing to purchase a labrador retriever here in USA. I have found a breeder that works with mostly British lines but I can find almost nothing about the kennel online beyond their website. I’m hoping someone wiser than I here might take a gander at https://www.sundanceretrievers.com/planned-litters.html and let me know any red flags about purchasing a puppy from them. They have pedigrees listed for all their dams and sires. The prices are high but there seem to be few options here for labs from British lines.
Thanks!!
 

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Bit tied up at the mo, but I've had a quick look at the pedigrees and will post some thoughts later, probably be tomorrow morning, so there will probably be a little info when you get up tomorrow. ;)


John :)
 

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Hello again James,

Right, a few thoughts. Obviously I know nothing about the American dogs in these pedigrees, but you probably already have that info. One other comment before we start, our top working gundog event here in the UK is the International Gundog League Retriever Championship, a Field Trial which the dogs have to qualify to work in. I mention this because several of the dogs in these pedigrees have qualified, worked in, and in a few cases won the event.

In the very first pedigree I looked at one of the first things I noticed was a spelling mistake. Craighorn Garry should read Graighorn Garry. Craighorn is the affix of Tom Smith in Scotland. When he registered the litter somebody at the Kennel Club had a bit of finger trouble and registered part of the litter correctly as Craighorn, but two of the litter were incorrectly registered as Graighorn (Garry and Tweed) Garry was sold to Martin Incédi in Czech Republic where his was trialed very successfully. A litter brother of Garry’s was Craighorn Bracken who won the championship in 2001. To me one of the most emphatic wins in recent years. (Bracken is the grandsire of my own Amy.) Garry’s sire, Aughacasla Sam of Drakeshead was known for passing on good working genes. He is listed in these pedigrees as a carrier of GPRA, although he was never DNA tested, (he was around before the DNA test really got started) I personally believe Sam was actually genetically affected because I’ve never been able to find a single clear offspring. But that is relevant now. The DNA tests has allowed us to clear the lines.

Drakeshead is the affix of John and Sandra Halstead, both multiple winners of the ICL championship, with Rauchlin Pete winning in 1992.

Endacott is the affix of Anne Courtier, sadly now no longer breeding. Anne is a friend of mine, living only a few miles from me, and my Amy is the product of one of her stud dogs. Spindle was her all time favourite bitch, with Anne having the honour of qualifying for the championship to work alongside two of Spindle’s offspring. (I’m guessing that is probably the only time a dam and two of her pups have ever qualified for the same championship!) Andrew Latham owned Shelf and qualified him 4 times for the championship. Shelf’s son, Mediterian Blue was owned by Andrew’s brother David Latham and again qualified for the championship 4 times. Blue’s son, Delfleet Neon of Fenderwood was a twice winner of the championship, in 2010 and 2012 for David Latham. I’m so sad that Anne is no longer breeding, her dogs were real “game finders”

I cant not mention Baildonian Baron of Craighorn. Was 4th in the championship. A wonderful dog and the sire of my Anna. He was later sold to Mike Stewart of the Wildrose kennels in America where he was at stud until his death.

Willowyck is the affix of Alan Thornton and Tess Lawrence. Shinshail Apache was Alan’s favourite, and the sire of Dancing Brave, who I liked a lot. Dancing Brave was bred by Mary Rountree in Ireland, the wife of Alan Rountree. Henman was another dog I thought a lot off. A son of Henman was brought by a friend Willowyvk Ruff was bred and owned by Tess Lawrence and won the championship in 2007, but sadly died from cancer before he could defend his title

Leadburn is the affix of Billy Steel snr who has qualified several dogs for the championship.

Pocklea Remus won the championship for Dave Garbutt in 1991 and is so often found at the back of the pedigree of UK working Labradors.

Stan Tweedy is Tweedshot and Joe McClure is Silversnipe, both well known in UK trialing circles, as is Jayne Coley (Waterford.) Copperbirch is Keith Mathews in Ireland.

Oh dear,was going to stop there but just noticed Greenbriar Falkland!! Oh how I love that “Battles litter” There was Agincourt, Alamo, Bannockburn, Boyne, Cullodan, Falkland, Gettysburg, Glencoe, Hastings, Nazeby and Trafalgar. All famous battles! What a litter!

Now I really will stop, I could go on all day! Best wishes, John
 

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Well John...I’m speechless! Thank you for all that info. It would seem then that Sundance has some great lines and is a good option for my next lab.
 

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This is Anna, a Baildonian Baron of Craighorn daughter in her roll as an honorary Rainbow. The photo was for their calendar.


John :)
 

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Hello everyone. I’m new here and like MajorLab I am looking for breeders in USA who use British lines. Apologies for reviving an old thread but maybe people have some breeder suggestions. Cheers.
 

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Hello everyone. I’m new here and like MajorLab I am looking for breeders in USA who use British lines. Apologies for reviving an old thread but maybe people have some breeder suggestions. Cheers.
Working or show?
 

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Looking at the Wildrose stud dogs, they tend to buy a dog after it has become a Field Trials Champion. They brought Tom Smith’s Baildonian Baron of Craighorn shortly after he sired my Anna. Of their dogs I’ve got to say I like “Moss” On the dog side, Dipplelodge Raven, owned by Graham Roberts, bred by Barbara Kuen out of her Sian. I remember Sian well, she was a young dog when my Anna was a puppy so I saw a lot of her. Raven’s sire, Endacott Soames or Riversway, owned by Graham Roberts and bred by Anne Courtier. The Waterford dogs were bred by Jane Coley, and again go back through Anne Courtier’s Endacott lines. Anne once said to me, “I don’t want a dog I have to fight to get it to do what I want!” Her dogs are good game finders, maybe not as flashy as some trials dogs, but they quietly get the job done. Anne, following the death of her husband Mike, has now sadly retired from both trialing and breeding. (Anne owned the sire of my Amy.) Willowwyck Ruff. Owned by Tess Lawrence, got a wonderful cheer when he won the International Gundog League Retriever Championship! On the bitch side, Astraglen is the affix of Nigel Carville. Levenghyl Peacock was bred by Peter Bates and owned by Jamie Bettinson. Peacock was by Strad Benis who was by Tasco Dancing Brave of Willowyck. Dancing Brave was bred by Alan and Mary Rountree in Ireland and owned by Alan Thornton.
 

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Bruce is also nice. Much the same dogs behind him but also Baildonian Baron of Craighorn, who as I said, was the sire of my Anna. This was my Anna, taking a line.

26384
 

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Looking at the Wildrose stud dogs, they tend to buy a dog after it has become a Field Trials Champion. They brought Tom Smith’s Baildonian Baron of Craighorn shortly after he sired my Anna. Of their dogs I’ve got to say I like “Moss” On the dog side, Dipplelodge Raven, owned by Graham Roberts, bred by Barbara Kuen out of her Sian. I remember Sian well, she was a young dog when my Anna was a puppy so I saw a lot of her. Raven’s sire, Endacott Soames or Riversway, owned by Graham Roberts and bred by Anne Courtier. The Waterford dogs were bred by Jane Coley, and again go back through Anne Courtier’s Endacott lines. Anne once said to me, “I don’t want a dog I have to fight to get it to do what I want!” Her dogs are good game finders, maybe not as flashy as some trials dogs, but they quietly get the job done. Anne, following the death of her husband Mike, has now sadly retired from both trialing and breeding. (Anne owned the sire of my Amy.) Willowwyck Ruff. Owned by Tess Lawrence, got a wonderful cheer when he won the International Gundog League Retriever Championship! On the bitch side, Astraglen is the affix of Nigel Carville. Levenghyl Peacock was bred by Peter Bates and owned by Jamie Bettinson. Peacock was by Strad Benis who was by Tasco Dancing Brave of Willowyck. Dancing Brave was bred by Alan and Mary Rountree in Ireland and owned by Alan Thornton.
Thank you for taking the time to reply with so much information. Are there concerns with getting a puppy from a breeder with 60-80 litters/year versus a small operation with fewer than 5 per year? It is hard to imagine the larger operation being able to be very hands on with so many puppies. I ask as this dog is primarily to be a family companion. Anna and you are lucky to have one another.
 

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Remember, I'm several thousand miles away. I know nothing about their breeding setup, only the dogs they are using.

There is no doubt they are commercial breeders, but then you can look at it as, they are very experienced breeders, should know what they are doing, where the average pet breeder, probably breeding their first litter does not know enough to know that they are having a problem! A good breeder will know the dogs in a pedigree, and certainly those with years of experience will have a good idea of what does not nicely go to what. Being a large setup they can afford to pay kennel maids to look after the dogs, and possible somebody to plan the litters. How good their litter manager of course I have no way of knowing. The UK, being a lot smaller country, is so much easier to keep track of dogs and breeders, as you can see by the fact that I know many of the dogs in the two pedigrees I have spoken about. In fact I know their pedigrees back to around 1870, 30 years before the breed was accepted by the UK KC in 1903. Generally, when I want a puppy I will take the opportunity to see both sire and dam before making up my mind to put my name on one. Trouble is, I'm old, and so are most of my friends. Many dead or retired. I'm on my last ever dog, meaning that at my age I would be unlikely to outlive a puppy. Sadly that comes to all of us in time. 😢
 

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Thank you for taking the time to reply with so much information. Are there concerns with getting a puppy from a breeder with 60-80 litters/year versus a small operation with fewer than 5 per year? It is hard to imagine the larger operation being able to be very hands on with so many puppies. I ask as this dog is primarily to be a family companion. Anna and you are lucky to have one another.
I think you need to actually see their set up before you can make your mind up. For me, I prefer a smaller hobby breeder, I don't see much of a difference between a commercial breeder or a puppy farmer (mill), in terms of how many dogs they are breeding, there may be a difference in how they keep their dogs, but the main aim is to breed for an income.
 

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but the main aim is to breed for an income.
There is nothing wrong with breeding for an income per-sec, it's all about how responsible the breeder is. If you look through the big UK kennels over the last 100 years almost all have been volume producers living on the income. (I wont quote names on here, but you know them Joanne. In the early days, many were either lords or military officers, with plenty of money so no need to work, but that no longer holds true. OK, the Duke of Wellington employs Brian Winman as his dog man, and the Duke of Buccleuch Dave Lisset. HM The Queen has her dog man or men, Bill Meldrum with Ian Cristy as his assistant in the old days, not sure who it is now that John Stubbs has retired. but most dont have that kind of money. Many big shows were mid week so if you want to make a dog up you had to be available. As to trials, they are literally all mid week, 2 or 3 day so accommodation has to be paid for. Many Field Trials dogs have sired over 1000 puppies, add to that litters from bitches and the income is no small figure. There was no way I could have ever made up an FT Ch, I was too busy holding down a full time job. I only played around the fringe of competition. I also only pick up on one shoot, held on Saturdays, because before I retired that was the only day I had free.
 
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