The Secret to Saint Lazar's Toy Manchester Breeding Success
Montage by Gene Caron
Indy and Berry shown at ages 3 months - Two of the most pleasant pups we have ever produced
For over twenty years now, Saint Lazar has been the #1 Toy Manchester Kennel in the world. No one has produced more AKC Champions, won more Stud Dog and Brood Bitch awards, or has more dogs in the Hall of Fame. In fact Saint Lazar was getting so many dogs in the Hall of Fame, that the rules were changed to try to slow us down. Our "testimonial page" speaks eloquently of the quality of our dogs, the majority of which go to pet homes around the world.
How has Saint Lazar accomplished this? Well I am now ready to divulge this to the fancy since old age is catching up with us, and there really is no reason to be secretive any longer. Even if we were going to be around competing a couple more decades, there isn't anyone who could catch us anyway. Well, perhaps one, but to be honest, I don't think that what I am about to divulge is really accepted there.
Quite a number of years ago, we purchased a booklet from Dog World magazine, entitled "Planned Breeding" by Lloyd C. Brackett, and we implemented the breeding principles espoused therein by Mr. Brackett. (It is interesting to do a Google search on Planned Breeding by Lloyd C. Brackett, and see just how many ultra successful kennels use his formulas) Mr. Brackett was one the founding fathers of German Shepherd Dogs in the USA in the very early 1900's. He was virtually unbeatable in his time, producing over 90 champions in 12 years, and he accomplished this by "planning" his breedings. Mr. Brackett had accumulated a first rate knowledge of genetics, as it was understood in his time, and he took that knowledge and developed a "strain" of German Shepherds that anyone would recognize as being his. Simply put, he did this by "line breeding" and "in-breeding". This is what Saint Lazar has done for many years, and is the reason for our consistency in all of the attributes that make the "correct" Toy Manchester Terrier.
The reason I can divulge this without fear of "being beat", is that every other Manchester kennel in the U.S., and many around the world, have a "hodgepodge" gene pool (See addendum below 8-2-06). I don't know of one that has the quality "line breed" genetics that Saint Lazar enjoys. If you want to see the "correct" definition of line breeding, and/or you want to know something about it, go to this site http://www.nylana.org/RRACI/brackett.htm for a text version of "Planned Breeding". This is not for the "faint hearted" but for only those who are truly interested in the improvement of their breed. Some of those currently showing Manchesters will need someone to explain it to them, Mr. Brackett uses a lot of "big" words. I also challenge you to do a "Google" search on "Lloyd C. Brackett planned breeding" and just see how many successful breeders utilize Mr. Brackett's princples.
Here are other reasons I am not worried about being "beat" at my own game, and I quote Mr. Brackett as follows;
In the dog game those who criticize the system of line breeding far outnumber its proponents. This is true for several reasons. There is a continual influx of beginners in breeding dogs, people who have never before mated one animal to another, or made any study of the subject. In their ignorance they believe that mating two dogs with "pedigrees", especially if both are winners, or better yet, "Champions", is all there is to it. Then, there are a multitude of breeders who refuse to take the time to make any study of genetics, who want only to breed dogs to sell and make money, and these have no interest in breed improvement through years of planned effort. Again, we have the many hit-or-miss breeders who hope for the good luck which sometimes strikes novices who by sheer accident come up with a real "topper" or two. In listing the opponents of closed-up breeding, one should not fail to mention owners of stud dogs, hungry for stud fees.
Fortunately there are in almost all breeds of dogs a very few fanciers intent upon consistently producing dogs superior to the average of the breed. Many of these know that the quickest and most certain way to do this is by line breeding.
The above very succinctly sums us the current Toy Manchester "fancy". We always have "beginners", and the "instant experts", i.e. those who have shown a couple of dogs, maybe bred a litter or two (using dogs purchased from someone else, and not planned a la Brackett), and who now hold forth as the end all, be all, to all things Manchester. I currently know a number who fall in this category. However, most fall in the area of going only by pedigree, or show wins, wanting to breed to the "winner" rather than to the gene pool that produced him or her. I certainly haven't come across anyone else in Manchesters who has made any study of genetics. I admit it's hard, and it takes a real commitment, but boy does it pay off in the production of wonderful TM's. We have some "quality" friends in Manchesterdom, and of course you know that this doesn't apply to you,
We remember the #1 breeder in her day, Ellie Puleo, taking us under her wing many years ago, and we are always willing to help anyone in their breeding program, write or call us, we guarantee a friendly, courteous response.
A very special thanks to those "on the other side of the pond" who contacted us less than 24 hours after this page was posted. Wanda and I really look forward to working together with you to see how we can mutually improve this wonderful breed GOD has entrusted to us.
5/19/06 - Slowly, but ever so slowly, an intelligent, astute, breeder or two is beginning to communicate with us and share their thinking about "planning" their breedings. It is so nice to see someone else think deeply about, and plan how to improve their gene pool, as well as endeavor to improve TMT's as a whole. No names for now, but you know how much we appreciate your devotion.
8/2/06 - It is now no secret that Zandi Spicer of Spiceisle Kennel fame, Spokane, WA, has been carefully "planning" her breedings for some time. Even a cursory look at her dogs, and her winning show record, will show the consistency that she has already achieved. We know for a fact that Zandi has a plan going out several generations laying out how she is going to continue to produce even more consistent and top winning dogs. We count it a privilege to be able to work with Zandi, plus it's great fun to see the nifty creatures GOD gives us as a result of using the "gray matter" he gave us.
6/11/07 - We continue to add Stud Dog of the Year & Brood Bitch of the Year awards and numerous Awards of Merit. But I can still count on the fingers of one hand those that acknowledge "planned breeding" as the only method of breeding that produces "consistency". A friend recently said that I am naive to think that anyone would "give Saint Lazar the satisfaction" of publicly stating that they use planned breeding. Gracious, my mind simply doesn't work that way. It never bothered us a bit to give Mr. Brackett credit for teaching us, anymore than it does to give credit to all those fine teachers we had in our youth that taught us the 3 "R's", which are so essential to making your way in society.