Rizzo surprised us on July 17th with a beautiful litter of 11 puppies!! 7 boys and 4 girls. Boy, have we been busy, busy, busy. These puppies are keeping us hopping, we are a little delirious and sleep deprived. But, we have found some amazing homes and are so excited to see how they do!
A friend of ours suggested the Oceans Eleven theme so we ended up with actors and character call names for this group.
We have Tess, Julia, Cate, Angie for the girls.
Pitt, Bernie, Clooney, Danny, Malloy, Linus, and Newton for the boys.
Stay tuned to meet our keeper puppies when we make our picks at 8 weeks old!
We are so excited to get ready for Puppies! We decided that it was time to add some youngsters to our program. We only breed when we are ready to grow and keep moving forward. So we decided to take this summer to have 2 litters of puppies. Rizzo and Nelli both came into heat 2 weeks apart so we are going to be crazy busy when these litters get here.
We did lots of research looking at pedigrees and dogs and health clearances to pick the perfect match for our girls.
Salty is a handsome boy from Illinois who will compliment Rizzo well. They have some common ancestry a few generations back so we are hoping for some very nice consistent puppies.
Marshall is a boy that is owned by our dear friends Paul and Jeleen Gutenberg from Union Hill labradors in Colorado. We have watched Marshall's career and watched this young boy mature very nicely. He and Nelli are very similar in type and structure and both love to show. We are hoping for some very athletic puppies with great temperaments that will enjoy the show ring.
Whenever we breed our goal is always to bring out the best traits in our girls and correct anything wrong that needs fixed. By this we mean things like adding a little more height, improving coat, improving the layback of shoulder. These are all things that can affect the structure of a dog. Our goal is always to breed to the Labrador Retriever standard as set by the Labrador Retriever Club.
All health testing is always completed on all our girls before we decide to breed them, and we always wait until they are fully grown after 2 years of age. We set the same expectations for the stud dogs we use. We want to give our puppies the best chances of living a long happy, healthy life. We can't control everything, but we do what we can to give them a great start!
Well, Bonnie did it again! After showing well at Potomac but not placing we flew home to participate 1 day in the Caldwell dog show. Bonnie took RWB to her half sister Rizzo who was looking beautiful. This last weekend in South Jordan Utah at the Beehive Cluster Bonnie really strutted her stuff. On Friday Bonnie was awarded WB and BOW by Sue Bounds from Australia for a 5 point major and to finish her CHampionship. She is now CH BlackRidge Something to Talk About CGC, TKN. She was moved up in the classes to the breed category and on Sunday she started her career working toward her Grand Champion title by taking BOS and another 5 point major over specials. She is just surprising us at every turn and we love this girl!
Nelli, not to be outdone by her cousin, took BOS for the 5 point major on Thursday to give her a total of 59 points towards her Bronze Grand Champion title. She won't obtain it this year as we will breed her on this upcoming heat cycle but she will have goals when her show season starts back up next year!
Bash is still looking for those final 2 majors to finish his championship, but we aren't in a hurry. He isn't even 2 yet, has only been showing for a year and has 10 points to his name. His time will come.
Bonnie and I had the opportunity to fly to Maryland to participate in the largest Labrador specialty in the world. It is known only as the Potomac. It is put on by the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac and they do an amazing job. No one can completely understand the scope of this dog show. It is literally the size of an all-breed dog show that continues for 5 days, has over 750 dogs, has 3 rings going from 8 am to 4 or 5 PM and all there are is some of the most beautiful Labradors to be found. It was fun, overwhelming, exhausting and amazing all rolled into one. Bonnie showed in the bred by class and showed so well. We were even on AKC TV (everyone was since they filmed the whole show). I met some amazing people, saw some beautiful dogs and just enjoyed the experience. I will say that flying a dog is stressful and allot of work. I only took one dog and I have the greatest respect for those that fly with two or three. Hopefully, over the next 1 or 2 years we will be able to take Les with us on the next trip.
Oh how crazy the new show season started! We took the winter months off after Gator finished his championship in New Mexico in November. We decided to take a break for the holidays and enjoy family and make plans for the new year. Our 1st return to showing started in March with the Phoenix Arizona Heart of the Deseret show. 6 shows in 4 days. 3 of them were specialty shows. We had no idea that we would have such an amazing time. Our goal was to go down, see friends, enjoy the weather and hopefully have some nice placements. Our hope was that Nelli would beat some champions of record and finish her Grand Championship, and that Bash and Bonnie would place well and maybe pick up a major. Boy, were we wrong.
Bash won his bred by class most of the shows and took a Reserve Winners dog to the 5-point major at the Papago Labrador Retriever Club show,
Gator earned a Judge's Award of merit and also a Select Dog award to earn points toward his Grand Championship. So proud of my boys and how they showed. But the girls were the surprise dream team for us.
Bonnie took Winner's Bitch 2 days, went Best of Winners twice, was Best Bred by 4 out of 6 shows, and won a Group 4 Best Bred By sporting group award. She goes home only needing 1 point to finish her championship. She was very popular and the breeders and professional handlers that were there fell in love with her and were very complimentary.
Nelli on the other hand was the superstar. This little girl got in the ring and ROCKED IT! She took 3 Best Opposite Sex awards behind the #1 lab in the nation, 1 Judge's award of merit and on Sunday before we were getting ready to leave, she won The Best of Breed Award. She finished her Grand Championship in style and ended up with 4 major wins and now is halfway to her Bronze status Grand Championship. I could not be prouder of how my crew did. It was unbelievable. We have never had that good of a win weekend. We would have been happy with 1 or 2 of those major wins and called it a successful show weekend. But, to get all of those opportunities to show off our dogs was amazing. The people we met, the friends we were able to connect with and the club were just fantastic. Needless to say we will be back next year.
It has been a busy dog show year. We were able to accomplish so much. We have two new champions here at BlackRidge. Nelli obtained her Championship title at the Black Foot dog show in June and has almost finished her Grand Championship title as well. She needs to beat 2 more champions of record and then we will have our 1st Grand Champion. We are so excited about this accomplishment and we adore Nelli. Hoping to accomplish this when we start up our dog show season in March. Nelli will also try something new this summer and we hope to get a Nelli litter. Check our nursery page for updates.
Gator finally got his final major at the New Mexico Sporting Dog specialty by going Winners dog and Best of Winners for a 5-point major. He needs to finish one final clearance and then we will have him available at stud here at BlackRidge. I am so happy with this boy. I may go out of my comfort zone and try doing hunt tests with him. He has such a drive to retrieve. He also only needs 1 more jump to finish his dock diving title. We will also work on his Grand Champion title as well. So many goals and lots of time to hopefully do it all!
Bash had a stellar show season and by the age of 1 year old he only needs 2 majors to finish his championship. Those are the goals for Bash this next year.
Bonnie loves being a show dog and has 4 points towards her championship. She will be fun to get back in the ring this Spring. Hoping to do good things when we go to Arizona for 7 shows in 5 days. We love the Heart of the Desert Classic dog show in Phoenix. We get to show our dogs and see our friends. Win Win!
Finally, we are excited to announce 2 Litters this upcoming spring/summer. It will have been almost 2 years since our last litter so we are thrilled to have puppies once again. See our nursery page for official announcements! One litter will be all black and one will be black and yellow.
It has been an amazing spring for BlackRidge labradors. We are so close to finishing Nelli and Gator's AKC championship. We are making headway toward Bonnie and Bash's AKC championship. This is the first time we have put points on puppies that are only 9 months old. It's been alot of fun to show these puppies and watch them grow in the ring.
We just returned from the South Jordan Beehive cluster and had an unbelievable weekend. We placed everyday and our dogs did really well. Gator showed his heart out and received Winners Dog, Best of Winners, and a Group 2 and Group 1 Owner Handler Sporting Dog. He is almost half way to his Bronze Owner Handler award. So excited for this boy.
Nelli - Winners Bitch and Best Opposite Sex, Reserve Winners Bitch. She loves to show and does such an amazing job. 1 more major and she will be our first home bred AKC champion. So excited for this great. She makes me smile.
Bash - he is my hidden gem. He has really taken to showing and already has 5 points! We have never put points on puppies as young as 9 months. But, He is doing fantastic and looks great! At the South Jordan Show he was Winners dog and Best of Winners twice. He and Gator traded back and forth each day. The judges were very complimentary about our dogs.
Bonnie Ann - she is trying to keep up with her brother. She has 3 points! She has lost some weight since the early dog shows as a 6 month old puppy and is maturing nicely. At the South Jordan cluster she was Winners Bitch, Best of Opposite and Reserve Winners Bitch. She is so much fun and is really starting to figure the show ring out. She was a little tired by day 4 but she kept doing what I asked from her.
So proud of my dogs and excited to see what the summer holds for them. Now to just find those majors!
The new year has started off with a bang! We have gotten Bonnie and Bash in the show ring starting with 7 shows in 5 days in sunny Arizona. We had a really good time as our puppies learned the ropes and took home some nice class placements. The highlight of that cluster of shows was winning 5 raffle baskets that we had to figure out how to get back home with 2 adults, 4 dogs and a loaded SUV but we did it!.
Show 2 was this last weekend in California. Bonnie and Bash and grandpa Zuko outdid all my expectations. Bonnie and Bash are both carrying a little extra winter weight so they didn't do as well as they could have done but I am still so proud of them. Bash placed 3rd in his class and Bonnie took home 3 class placements in the 3 days we were there. Grandpa Zuko was my surprise though. Zuko has never been fond of showing even though I drug him around the ring for 4 years. He is very patient with me but never really happy to be in the ring. His 4 AKC points were hard earned. But, I put him in Veteran sweeps and regular Veteran class and he had a ball! He wagged his tail, moved well and was happy when people clapped for him! He won Best Veteran in Sweeps on Sunday and looked great doing it! So proud of this boy and I love him so much.
Next show we will be going to is Caldwell and we hope to give Gator and Nelli a chance to pick up a couple of those last 4 and 5 points they need to finish their AKC championship. We will keep everyone posted!
Once again it's that time of year. So excited for this show year to start. We have set some high goals this year. the 1st is to finish the AKC champion title for Gator and Nelli. Nelli needs 4 points and Gator needs 5.
Goal 2: introduce Bash and Bonnie to the show ring. Their 1st show is coming up in Phoenix, Arizona. We are so excited to do 6 shows in 4 days. Its going to be crazy but fun. We have been working hard with Bash and Bonnie to get them ready to be rockstars in the ring. Hopefully, they don't forget everything we have taught them lol.
Goal 3: 1 dog show every month. We are trying to expand how many dog shows we go to a year. Usually it is 5 to 6. Our goal this year is 8 to 10. Only way we can put titles on our dogs is to get them out there and in the ring.
Goal 4: Introduce Nelli and Gator to Dock Diving. Be brave enough to try rally with Poppin and scent work with Rizzo. We really enjoy the performance aspect of dog sports and the dogs seem to love it too.
Goal 5: Puppies! We are hoping to breed Rizzo late summer early fall. We have the stud dog picked up and have high hopes for beautiful puppies. We will also plan a litter with Nelli only after she has finished her championship. We aren't in a huge hurry to have her take on motherhood when she has so much fun in the show ring. She has one more clearance to go which are her hips/elbows.
The last two years have been interesting to show dogs. 2020 had very few opportunities for dog shows and so we spent the time working on our house and dog areas. The one show we did attend here in our hometown of Filer, ID Nelli took a 4 pt major to get her 1st points @ 14 months. Gator joined us in the ring starting in Caldwell in March and the spring and fall were just one adventure after another. we took the summer off to raise 2 litters of puppies. But, now that puppies are in their new homes we can focus on the dog show. Gator has obtained 10 of his needed 15 points toward his AKC championship and Nelli has 11 points toward hers. It is now a race to see which one will finish 1st. Les and I always agreed that we would finish our 1st champion completely handled by us and not sending our dogs out with a professional handler. We want that honor and opportunity to be the reason our hard work paid off. Hopefully we will find a couple shows this winter if the weather cooperates that we can continue to add points and work toward that goal of having our 1st official homegrown AKC Champion.