Intervista a Erica Jayes titolare dell’allevamento
- What are the main characteristics of Sandylands dogs?
Generally they have a sweet head and a tender look, a well leveled backbone, a firm tail, a good general balance and simply love life.
How can we distinguish them from other Labradors?
They are recognizable by their broad head and distinctive gender. They are usually very expansive and have an adorable temperament that leads them to welcome everyone and everything with great enthusiasm - sometimes perhaps even a little excessive! It is not only the owners who recognize them but very often it can happen that a stranger says: "This must be a Sandylands!".
- She breeds and has been a Labrador judge for many years now. How is a modern Labrador different than a Labrador from 30 or 40 years ago?
I Labrador moderni tendono ad essere più massicci, avere le zampe più corte ed essere più pesanti di quello che erano un tempo.
In your opinion, has the breed improved over the years?
Actually I don't think there is as much quality as years ago, I don't even think there is a fairly wide range of male stallions or good breeders, especially regarding the black breed.
- What is the type of Labrador you prefer? What is your idea of a perfect Labrador? What are your ideal Labradors from the past and which ones are today?
I like that a dog has a masculine appearance and that the female has a feminine appearance, with a proportionate head and a general balance, with a well-leveled backbone, a firm and tail that has a linear gait.
A perfect Labrador?
One whose characteristics are very close to the standard ones of the breed and which has all the main characteristics of Labrador in terms of head, hair, tail and a linear movement.
An ideal Labrador?
This question has been asked to me many times. I have seen many fabulous Labradors and, since it is difficult to be able to talk about everyone given the large number, I want to at least list them: Ch Cookridge Tango, Ch Ballyduff Marketeer, ShCh Sandylands Mercy, Eng & Am Ch Sandylands Tanna, Ch Sandylands Truth, ShCh Croftspa Hazelnut of Foxrush, Ch Sandylands Geannie, ShCh Beltarn Diuma Of Newinn, ShCh Rocheby Polkadot, and ShCh Bradking Hugo. To date: ShChTapeatom Ginantonic At Sandylands, Ch Warringah Bungle Bungle, ShCh Silver Suede Over Rocheby, and ShCh Sandylands Pressed For Time. All these dogs have given me the incredible enthusiasm that only an exceptional dog can give.
- What problems, if any, of his early Labradors has he managed to improve in later generations and what features do he think he has lost?
I'd like to answer this question in a slightly different way. As for the problems: if there have been problems in a specimen, this has never been used to reproduce. If, on the other hand, you refer to slight defects, these have been resolved using a male who had excellent characteristics in the given area. Years ago, when there was a pigment problem, we turned to the Garshangen cattery, as they are excellent in terms of pigmentation.
- What do you consider to be the most serious flaw for a Labrador? Which one is the most difficult to correct?
Without a doubt, any type of aggressive behavior, too straight shoulders, an incorrect tail structure (high or low), clear eyes and any characteristics go too far from the standards.
Which of these are the most difficult to correct?
Un cattivo temperamento è ereditario ed in questo caso sarebbe meglio non riprodurre. Il cattivo temperamento non è un problema soltanto per l’allevatore perché molti cuccioli finiscono con famiglie ed in queste situazioni il temperamento è molto importante. Una postura scorretta (mi riferisco alle spalle) è altrettanto difficile da correggere, così come gli occhi chiari.
- As a judge, do you pay close attention to the presentation of a dog?
It is certainly a kind of beauty contest, and I expect the dogs to be clean, the nails in order, the tuft at the bottom of the tail cut and that the dog is generally in good condition.
Do you believe that the training of a dog can influence the way he behaves during the competition?
Definitely. A good trainer can make a mediocre dog look better than he actually is. Likewise, a poor trainer will not be able to make the best of any type of dog.
- Based on what the male chooses for a specific female: his pedigree, his gender or what else? What type of coupling do you prefer between linebreeding and outcrossing?
I am looking for a male who can compensate for the female's shortcomings. He must also be a known breeder, of the right type, temperament and, of course, the pedigree must be suitable.
What type of coupling do you prefer between linebreeding and outcrossing?
We prefer linebreeding because it is the one used to preserve a certain characteristic. There have been occasions when we have used outcrossing for a specific reason but we have always returned to linebreeding in subsequent generations so we can keep the type. We never use outcrossing twice in a row.
- At what age do you choose the best copy of the litter? Do you think it is really possible to determine if a puppy has "competition potential" at an age, for example, of 8 weeks?
As soon as the puppies are able to stand we begin to evaluate them by putting them on the table. We do this once a week because it allows us to evaluate the puppy and how he is growing. In the same way the puppy gets used to being picked up. When they reach the eighth week we are generally able to evaluate their structure and the fact whether or not they are suitable to participate in competitions.
- What do you think is the most important aspect for a puppy's growth?
In this respect we differentiate ourselves from other people. We begin to give ground to the 14 months old puppies and continue with a natural diet for the rest of their lives. We do not "limit" the puppies, leaving them free to develop and strengthen as it comes to them more naturally. As Mr. Broadley always said, "The responsibility of a dog that is successful in competitions is 50% of the breed and 50% of the breeding".
- What is your advice for novice breeders?
Listen and learn - even the most experienced breeders do it, don't be afraid to seek advice from more experienced breeders, since most of them will be happy to help you. Don't leave a competition until you're done presenting - sit back and watch the judges, never be fake-blind and always acknowledge your dogs 'mistakes and always look for the positive side of others' dogs. You don't always agree with others, but remember, as I was taught, your opinion may not be the correct one.