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History

Guiding Eye Dog with her partner
Helen

My love for Labradors began when I was a teenager. I raised a Labrador named Helen as a 4-H project for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. What a wonderful and rewarding experience! My 4-H leader showed West Highland White Terriers. When she was gone to the dog shows, I would babysit her kids and dogs. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.

When my children were old enough to join 4-H, I purchased my first female Labrador, Designer Genes. Genie loved my son; she would have gone to the moon and back for him. Genie was the foundation for my breeding program and the reason it was named “Designer Labradors”. She was the best mother dog one could ever hope for.

Yellow Labrador with her Black Labrador puppies
Gene

Labrador Retriever with his little boy
Jackson and Ryan

Jackson, a Designer Genes and Ch Manora's Dustbuster son, helped make my breeding program a success.  He lived with Ryan.  Ryan has been around the dogs and puppies since he was born.  When Ryan was younger, he used to say Jackson was his brother.

Genie's granddaughter, Dazzle, began my show career. Dazzle and I earned a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title and then a Companion Dog (CD) obedience title. Dazzle produced some very successful dogs including Sparkle, Logan, and Tymer. Dazzle touched many lives.  She spent her retired years with Mamie and her husband working as a therapy dog for folks of all ages. She was often highlighted in their local newspaper.

Labrador Retriever Retriever featured in the newspaper
Newspaper clipping featuring Dazzle

Black Labrador Retriever after winning at a dog show
Sparkle

Can Ch Waggin' Tails July Sparkle (CGC), was a daughter of Dazzle and Can Ch Chablais Amichab Cargo. Sparkle had a wonderful show career. She earned her Canadian Championship very quickly and won Reserve Winners at the Pioneer Valley Labrador Retriever Specialty Show one year. Sparkle joined her mother and also retired with Mamie. Mamie will always be remembered with fondness for giving both Dazzle and Sparkle the best years of their lives.

Can Ch Waggin' Tails Mi Tyme (CD) and (CGC), earned his Canadian Championship undefeated. Tymer is pictured here taking a break at the Labrador Retriever National Specialty in 1996. In April of 1999, he sired an unusual puppy in one of his litters. Tattoo was a dwarf and was donated to Cornell and became a stud dog for a study that spanned a decade. This began an interesting adventure with Dr. Greg Acland at Cornell University and Sue Pearce-Kelling at Optigen (a genetic testing facility). A decade later, breeders can now take advantage of a simple blood test to rule out if a dog is a carrier to the dwarfism gene.  It was extremely interesting and very rewarding to have been a part of the study.  I am proud to have been able to contribute to the betterment of the breed I love so dearly.

Labrador Retriever laying down for his picture
Tymer

Labrador Retriever with his blue ribbon
My son, Jason - Professional Handler

Although I still love to show dogs, I do not show as often as I used to. Lucky for me, my youngest son is now a professional handler and he sometimes shows my dogs for me (Genie would be so proud)! I have to go to a show every now and then just to see him! Jason is pictured here with Can Ch Manora's Designer Goldmine (better known as Striker).

In the twenty years of raising Labradors, I have met many new friends and traveled to places I would not have visited otherwise. But, the journey has also lead to some heartaches.  My mentor, Nancy Scholz, warned me that raising dogs is not for the faint of heart. She was right. Without her considerable contributions through the years, Designer Labradors would not be what it is today.

 

I have met some great dogs, some wonderful people, and have made lifelong friends. I will continue to breed and raise Labradors with the same goal I have always strived for; that goal being every dog is sound, healthy, and of good temperament. I have dedicated the last twenty six years of my life towards the quality of my Labradors.

 

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Created and maintained by: Todd Bailey
email: SueBailey@gotsky.com
©2010 (Susan Bailey)
Last Updated: 02/24/2017
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