Kennels has been discriminately breeding for standards that
set them apart from most Labrador Retriever breeders. Our
goal is to offer a choice of stud dogs that will exceed the
hunting dog enthusiast's greatest expectations. For over 20
years, we have been researching and selectively combining
some of the best English (British) Field Trial bloodlines
with some outstanding producing American Field Trial bloodlines.
We find their respective strengths quite complimentary. However,
we have not hesitated to add some proven hunt test/hunting
dog bloodlines to achieve the best genetics found in the exceptional,
versatile Labrador Retriever. Raider is an excellent example
of our breeding philosophy.
below for a selection of dogs we have chosen to include
in our program and why.
English vs. the American Field Trial Labrador:
breeding philosophy, expectations, and training methods of the English
lab are quite different from the American lab because different traits
must be accentuated in order to compete successfully in the two respective
Field Trials. At an English Field Trial, many handlers, with their
dogs at heel, must remain in a line while over 100 pheasants are released
and shot. The dogs must mark (remember the fall) the downed birds,
but not retrieve until directed. If a dog wines, moves or has to be
spoken to, he/she is disqualified. The dogs must hold steady at heel
for an extended period of time while the birds are released and shot,
which can be over an hour. Then, one dog is released at a time. Temperament
is absolutely critical for the dog to succeed. If the bird is crippled,
the dog must track the bird to complete the retrieve. To be competitive,
the dogs are bred for calm temperament, stylish game finding and retrieving
ability, exceptional noses, intelligence, and a willingness to please.
In England, they do not use electric collars or force-fetch their
dogs. Instead, these traits are bred for by using care in selecting
their breeding stock. Also, by training their dogs through positive
reinforcement, the dogs learn to sit quietly, while relaxed and steady,
with no physical pressure from the handler under intense hunting situations.
In England they tend to breed for the classic Labrador conformation
The American Field Trial dog requires the same strengths as the English;
however, different traits must be accentuated in order to compete
successfully at an American Field Trial. At an American Field Trial,
only one dog at a time walks to the line at heel. Up to four birds,
one at a time, are thrown and shot before the dog is released to retrieve.
Many retrieves exceed 300 yards, some of which are long challenging
water retrieves. Much of the success of the dog depends on its marking
ability because he/she must take a straight line through quite challenging
terrain and water. In addition, the trial includes blind retrieves
that require precise handling to keep the dog in a straight line to
the hidden bird at distances of up to 400 yards. On a blind retrieve,
the dog must not break into a hunt. Because of the complexity and
difficulty of the trial, the dog must have great retrieving desire
and perseverance. To be competitive, the dogs are bred for marking
ability, athleticism, intelligence, retrieving desire and must be
superb water dogs. Because of the many challenges at great distances,
American Field Trial dogs are trained with an electric collar. The
dog must be extremely driven and highly trainable.
American Hunt Tests:
the American Field Trial program does include an amateur division
(AFC), it became increasing difficult for amateurs to compete effectively.
Generally, there are over 60 dogs competing in the Open and in the
Amateur divisions. Only first place through fourth place receive points
towards their titles in each respective division. In the late 1970's,
there were many hunters/trialers that wanted a test that more closely
resembled realistic hunting situations. This idea lead to the development
of the hunt tests.
One of these types of tests is the AKC Hunt Test. The AKC offers three
increasingly difficult levels, Junior (JH), Senior (SH) and Master
(MH), where you compete against a standard rather than competing for
a placement. The hunt tests put greater emphasis on steadiness and
honoring which are important in a good duck dog. The marks and blinds
were also decreased to realistic distances which should not exceed
100 yards. Also, dogs that "hunt" on marks are not usually
judged harshly, unless the dog leaves the area of the fall or hunts
for an excessive period of time. The hunt test programs are an excellent
way to get involved in the game, meet other gun dog enthusiasts, and
have fun training your dog year round.
Selection of Stud Dogs Lines Included in Our Breeding Program:
four Labradors listed below are all exceptional dogs and producers
of quality puppies. Their bloodlines are common to the majority of
our stud dogs' pedigrees.
Raider exemplifies the quality of dog Cashman Kennels produces when
selectively breeding dogs that throw traits desired by the avid hunter/trialer.
Raider is a relentless hunter that gives 110% no matter what the hunting
or training conditions. Due to his intense desire and perseverance,
he is a superior waterfowl and upland hunting dog. He was extensively
hunted prior to his formal training at age three, which often results
in a challenge for advanced hunt test training. However, due to his
unsurpassed training attitude, intelligence and natural abilities,
he quickly achieved notoriety within one year. He obtained his MHR
GMPR and MH titles, and before long, he was nationally recognized
and became a well-sought after stud dog throughout the US. Because
of his sound genetics, which are being passed down through generations,
his popularity is still increasing today. It can be deduced from his
performance and genetics, that by breeding some of the best of the
English lines (see background on Risky) to some of the best American
lines (see background on Full Choke), you can get the best all-round
gun dog from Cashman Kennels.
Risky is Raider's father and is 100% English. His lines are found
in many of our stud dogs, despite the fact that he had limited breedings.
Because of Risky's ability to reproduce his traits, including pointing,
in his offspring, most of his pups became exceptional all-around gun
dogs. Proven by the number of his offspring that excelled in competition,
his sound genetics have passed on from generation to generation. Their
accomplishments include numerous Master titles in AKC, NAHRA and APLA
tests. In addition, they have also excelled in upland competitions
including state and national pheasant events. In the annual US Open
Pheasant Championship, many of Risky's offspring earned the Championship
Full Choke was extremely well-known, especially in the Midwest as
a stud dog. Much of his notoriety is due to the fact that his desirable
traits, admired by the serious hunter, are being passed down from
generation to generation. Full Choke's father earned his American
Dual Champion (Duel CH) title. This title is only given to the dog
that obtains both its Field Champion (FC) and Show Champion (CH) titles.
This title has not been earned by any other lab in many years. Full
Choke, who was 100% American bred, had the bonus of being a pointing
Labrador which contributed to the demand for outstanding hunting pointing
Lean Mac produced more Field Champions than any other Labrador in
the history of American Field Trials. Lean Mac is a 2 x NAFC 2xCNAFC.
By 2004, his titled offspring included 6 National Field Champions
(NFC) and 52 Field Champions (FC). Consistent with our interest in
selecting top quality dogs, as well as his obvious ability to throw
his desirable traits, Lean Mac is a plus to our success in selectively
breeding for quality Labradors desired by gun dog enthusiasts.
History page of this website has helpful
additional information that explains how our breeding philosophy