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Елена Шестак, владелица питомника La casa de Maria со своими лабрадорами

Welcome dear visitor. My name is Elena Shestak, I'm UKU-certified breeder-cynologist  and my labrador retriever's kennel is in Odessa, Ukraine. Kennel named "La casa de Maria" that in Spanish means "House of Maria"in honor of our first labrador Mary. She opens us a door to the world of these amazing dogs, dog shows and everything that's difficult to express into words but every labrador lover feels inside and the rest are so far. Fortunately it's easy to fix by  just having a labrador next to you.

They never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation. ” Jerome K. Jerome

A few words about the breed. The name "labrador retriever" somewhat incorrect. Breed originates from the island of Newfoundland and not Labrador. Historians believe that the British fishermen brought the ancestors of modern Labrador to Newfoundland in the late 15th century and used for the tray tackle and fish. These early fishing dog had to be very athletic and hardy because fishermen used to do their business for many hours in the cold waters of the Atlantic. Furthermore it seems that early Labradors were also used in hunting, however, whether hunting skills developed in those dogs which were brought to Newfoundland or they acquired them after the dog came to North America is unknown. After its development in the New World, labrador was brought back to England in the 18th century, where they were intensively used in hunting. Labrador Retriever was officially recognized by The Kennel Club in 1903. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1917.

Today, labrador retriever, one of the most well-known breeds and mostly due of such qualities as friendliness, intelligence and obedience. Because of this, labradors are often used as hunting dogs, companion dogs (eg guide dogs for the blind), rescue dogs on land and at sea, and as special service dogs to search for drugs and explosives. I hope I don't offend the feelings of adherents of the other breeds, but I find it hard to imagine a dog which is more kind to people, and especially to the children. Furthermore labradors are extremely energetic and especially at a young age may become an inexhaustible impetus for mobility of their owners suffering from physical inactivity. Despite the fact that labradors can do many things, they are not suitable for such as protection - for this they are too friendly. Like all the other dogs they can bark at the intruder or suspicious noise, but this is the limit of their protective qualities. You are also unlikely to find a labrador harnessed to a dog sled or guarding a flock of sheep, it's not because they can not do this, they just will not, and the breed wasn't designed for that.

The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's” Polish Proverb

Main objective of our kennel we consider breeding labradors simultaneously successful in the show ring and the field trials. It's not a secret that today not all labradors are able to hunt. In fact, hunting and show dogs differ not only in this capacity, but also physically and temperamentally. The main characteristic of a hunting labrador is functionality and it's above all. Its exterior is secondary.

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. Author Unknown

Hunting labradors can not even always fully conform to the breed standard. Labradors which were bred for hunting, often have the following characteristics: longer legs relative to the body size, a lean athletic build, narrower skull than the show labrador's, strongly expressed desire to hunt and retrieve, high energy level. Temperament of hunting labrador is an extremely important quality. It should with a great desire to work with a hunter either alone or in the company of other dogs. What can we say about the show Labradors? Primarily they should be as close to the breed standard. Thus show-labrador breeders consider physical correctness above the hunting qualities, while the right temperament is also important as in hunting labradors. Typical show-labrador has the following characteristics compared with hunting one: shorter legs, more heavy bone, broader head, less interest to retrieving and hunting, less capacity to tolerate physical stress on hunting, more calm and laid-back character. Each prospective labrador owner chooses for what purpose he takes puppy, but we as breeders are of the view, that the stud dogs must have at least minimum working certificate, and at the same time necessarily participate in show during the such time as they are used for breeding to confirm their quality

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