Tarnedge Arran (Scruff) being a Page-Dog.

Tarnedge Arran (Scruff) being a Page-Dog.

Can't we come too?

Can't we come too?

Skye and me winning our first ever Field Trial.

Skye and me winning our first ever Field Trial.

Josh having a cuddle...

Josh having a cuddle...

Welcome to Tarnedge Labradors. I have been training, working and breeding Labradors for nearly 40 years. I have been a Kennel Club Assured Breeder ever since the scheme first began in 2004 and I now have current, UKAS accredited approval. I am on the working committee of the Three Ridings Labrador Club and The Yorkshire Retriever Field Trial Society and I am a member of The Golden Retriever Club of Northumbria, the Northumberland and Durham Labrador Retriever Club, the Vale of York Working Gundog Club and countless others.

Here at Tarnedge we focus on breeding healthy, good-natured, athletic dogs which are suitable as working dogs, competition dogs, PAT dogs, or simply well-loved family friends. They do need to go to homes where they will have plenty of exercise, love and time spent on them though. They are not 'couch potatoes'!

The great news here at the kennels this year is that in our first year of trialling, Skye (Salemasky Black Tulip) and I won our first ever Field Trial - I was so proud of her. Whilst our homebred youngster, Tarnedge Frankel (Frankie), won his first Cold Game Walked-up Test.
Frankie had his hips and elbows xrayed recently and he has scored 0/0 hips and 0 elbows. Even better, his litter brother, Tarnedge Eclipse (belonging to Sharon Brown) and half-sister, Tarnedge Swan have also scored 0/0 hips and 0 elbows. Their dam is the very talented Tarnedge Dark Horse - another one with the much coveted 0/0 score - and her granddam, Tarnedge Strike Oil also had 0/0 hips. I am beginning to hope that there is a genuine link here and that nearly forty years of breeding from dogs with consistently low hip scores is finally beginning to pay off!

All our dogs and bitches are bred from Field Trial Champion and Winning stock and mostly go back to my foundation bitch who was by Field Trial Champion Pocklington Glen out of a bitch by Field Trial Champion Drakeshead Tinker. We are now testing all our dogs which we plan to breed from for PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy - which causes blindness); CNM (Centronuclear Myopathy - which causes muscle wastage and in the worst case scenario, for the dog to have to be put to sleep); EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse - which causes the dog to collapse after exercise) and SD2 (Skeletal Dysplasia 2 which causes dwarfism - the dog's legs simply stop growing). We also have our dogs X-rayed for Hip and Elbow dysplasia and we have their eyes tested every year. We only breed from dogs with low hip and elbow scores and with clear eye tests and we now have had six dogs with perfect (0/0) hip-scores.

Although, very sadly, not all the dogs pass every DNA test, at least we know what's what, and we are in a position to plan our future breeding programme with even more genetic information at our disposal. The conditions we are testing for are all caused by recessive genes - which means that for a pup to inherit these condition it must take one mutated gene from each parent.
For those of you who are interested, there are three results you can get from these DNA tests. AFFECTED, i.e. they will probably eventually develop the condition; CARRIER, i.e. they cannot possibly develop the condition but unless bred to a clear dog they may pass it on to their offspring; CLEAR, i.e. they cannot possibly develop the condition and they cannot breed a puppy that will develop it either. If a pup is bred from two parents who are DNA clear of a condition, then that pup is described as being "HEREDITARILY CLEAR". For more information log on to www.laboklin.co.uk.

With these tests available to us, it's possible to eradicate PRA, CNM, EIC and SD2 from Labradors completely! But realistically, of course, it's not going to happen because not every breeder is going to be prepared to spend the money and go to the trouble of doing it. However, puppy buyers can help tremendously by only buying pups from breeders who have had these tests done, or at the very least used a DNA clear stud dog on their bitch.
After all, nobody wants a blind dog; or a dog which collapses during a walk; or a Labrador with tiny little legs; or, potentially the worst of all, to have to put their young dog down because its muscles are no longer strong enough to keep it upright, do they?

We have 19 working Labs at present ranging from old Katie, who is eleven, down to this year's youngster: Tarnedge Flynn who is a black-carrying-chocolate dog pup by FT Champion Copperbirch Paddy of Leadburn out of a bitch by FTCh Waterford Harris of Featherfly. We have great hopes for this little chap that he might take over as our next chocolate-carrying stud dog - but he will have to pass his health tests and jump through a lot of hoops before that happens!

Tarnedge Chieftains's litter brother who is training to be a Search and Rescue dog in Austria, is coming back to see us again this summer and we are looking forward to seeing how he is coming on. He has completed his ruin training and avalanche training, and I understand that his hunting ability coupled with the excellent sense of smell which is a characteristic of this particular line of Labradors is standing him in very good stead.

Although it is no longer "news", I would still like to blow the trumpet for one of our "old pups"; Tarnedge Rough Diamond (Charlie) with owner Graham Reaney won his class at the 2011 Kennel Club Championships and is now a Working Trials Champion. This is an amazing achievement for both Graham and Charlie and we are thrilled to bits for them both. W.T.Ch.Tarnedge Rough Diamond is out of our own little Tarnedge Mudlark (Katie) and by Open Stake Winner Garronpoint Ross of Drakeshead. Whilst Charlie was busy making a name for himself, his mum, Katie, was out working with me - searching for ducks, geese and partridges on a shoot near Masham.

On the home front, last summer's Thirn Charity Gundog Test and Scurry which takes place on our training ground and was in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance, went incredibly well. We took nearly eleven hundred pounds.
I was delighted to see one or two of our puppy owners having a go. I would love to see many more of you next year!!! Even if you don't get as far as competing, you can have a chat, get a cup of tea and a cake and buy a few raffle tickets.
More recently, our Christmas fun day raised 250 for the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team who recently rescued a friend's small Cocker Spaniel from a very narrow, forty feet deep sink hole up on one of the moors. Very brave folk.

Next, since winter is upon us, I'd like to take the opportunity to remind you all about the dangers of flooded or frozen streams and rivers. There are any number of people who will tell you not to go into a flooded river or onto ice to rescue a dog, but the really important thing to remember is PREVENTION. Don't take your dog near rivers in flood or near frozen ponds, canals or rivers. And if you do have to walk them in these dangerous areas, do keep them on a lead.
One of my own dogs - old Kizzie - decided to try to cross a flooded drainage ditch whilst out on a moor a few years back. Not a particularly dangerous thing you would think - no overhanging branches or roots and only six feet wide at the most - but unbeknownst to me, there was a heap of tangled undergrowth beneath the foaming water, and Kizzie got pulled into and under it. Knowing the water could only be four feet deep at the most, I jumped in to pull her out and very nearly got dragged under myself. The power of the water swept my feet out from underneath me and left me floundering with my arms wrapped round a four inch diameter pole that spanned the ditch. Fortunately, I was able to reach down into the water with one hand and haul Kizzy out and then to drag myself along the pole to where I could clamber out afterwards. I was soaked through from head to toe and more than a little shaken though. I'll show these ditches a lot more respect in future.

On another death wish a couple of years ago, I was faced with watching somebody else's dog drown whilst trapped in a frozen river. The dog had been off the lead and had attempted to run across the ice to the other side. Unfortunately there are often patches of thinner ice in the centre of a river where the current is strongest, and this weaker ice cracked beneath the dog's weight leaving it trapped in the freezing water right in the middle of the river. The poor animal managed to break a path through some of this thinner ice but was unable to clamber onto the thicker, harder ice that stretched from the bank outwards for some ten to fifteen feet. As exhaustion and cold got the better of it, the dog stopped even trying to climb out, and just paddled pathetically backwards and forwards down its little channel of broken ice. Fortunately, my daughter, Abigail and I had all our dogs on leads and we were able to use the half a dozen or so leads, looped together, to make a long rope so that I could crawl out across the ice with the rope attached to me and haul the dog out.
Don't try this at home!
The moral to both these tales is keep your dog on a lead wherever there is danger! Dogs have no concept of this type of danger and rely on us to think for them.

Fortunately, so far this year we haven't have the snow that we have had in recent years with the dogs struggling through snowdrifts in temperatures of minus fifteen! It's incredible just how honest and dependable my dogs always are for me; fighting their way through snow-covered woodland and pulling injured birds out of the fast-flowing river.
It all looks very beautiful of course; a real "winter wonderland", but spending all day swimming in bitterly cold water and wading through snowdrifts on the moor edges eventually gets beyond a joke. And the trouble with Labradors is they're so loyal they would work until they drop, so it's important to know when to call it a day and to get them back to the pick-up for high-energy snacks and a warm blanket.

Before too long however, we will be looking forward to the grouse season and the long, hot days on the moor and I would like to take this opportunity to remind dog owners about the importance of not walking dogs on scalding hot pavements and roads - try it yourself in bare feet - and that over-heated dogs need more than just a drink - they need to be able to immerse themselves in water. When we are working on the moors in August, the weather can be really hot so we make a point of knowing where there are dubs of water - often the remains of old bell-pits from the mining days - and of getting the dogs into that water at very regular intervals. Failing that, we use wet towels to help bring their temperature down.

Anyway, enough of all that, for those of you who haven't been to the kennels to meet them, a little about the dogs.

Tarnedge Labradors are genuine working dogs. Up until recently, I have had no spare time for competing myself, but I have always used dogs with a good record in field trials for stud work. We live in a very beautiful part of the Yorkshire dales and have 17 acres of grassland for the dogs to run free in. The dogs work three or four days a week all through the season, from August up on the grouse moors to February down in the woods on local estates. They are in great demand from the local gamekeepers because of their wonderful attitude and ability. They are honest and reliable and have excellent temperaments. We expect them to work like troopers one day and then curl up with the children for a cuddle the next! They not only make good working retrievers, but also excellent companions, but they do need plenty of exercise and stimulation. Some of our puppies have gone on to do very well in obedience competitions, working trials and working tests. Some have simply become well-loved members of the family. If you click on "dogs" you can read about and see photos and pedigrees of some of our dogs.

We are very proud of our dogs and we only sell puppies to homes where we feel they will be happy. They need a garden to play in and somebody with the time and commitment to bring them up as confident, well-balanced and well-behaved dogs whether they are workers or companions.
We do like to talk through all the pros and cons of dog ownership with any prospective new owners, to ensure that the pups do go to suitable homes. We then give a full back up, advising and helping in any way we can through the following weeks to make sure that the pups settle in well and that all goes smoothly. Obviously, all puppies take full written instructions on their feeding and general care when they leave us.

Although all our dogs are good with children, we do not recommend mixing small children with small puppies. Puppies bite and scratch and small children drop puppies on their heads. Better to wait until the children are a little older!!

Mrs Eden Parish
Lizard House Farm
Nr Ripon
North Yorkshire
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01677 460014

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