Sugar : The Gift Of Fertility

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Can Ch Bedette Sugar Brandy 3rd, a rough, was our foundation bitch. She came from Quebec but she had an international pedigree. Her pedigree was a typical "chop suey" mess with dogs from dozens of different lines but there were a couple of significant males behind her. One was her grandfather, Ch Kobi Von Steinerhof, who was a Swiss Seiger before coming to Canada. Kobi was owned by the Charlinore Kennels of Charles Cawker, near Trenton, Ontario. He was a big smooth who won Best Of Winners at a SBCA National, the first Canadian-owned dog to do so.

 

Another was Ch Castor Von Leberberg, a famous smooth Swiss dog of the 1960s. Both of these males made an impression on us. They were big, masculine and noble in expression.

The first time we bred Sugar we did what nearly all Canadian breeders of that time did: breed to Ch Ambassadeur. Ambassadeur was owned by the Lunnson kennel south of Montreal and was the top show dog of all breeds in Canada in the early 70s. Ambassadeur was a gorgeous rough boy with lots of substance and good movement. We got the surprise of our life when Sugar delivered 16 rough puppies! Thank God we were young and could go weeks without getting any real sleep. Sugar was a terrific mom and she learned to manage her gang smartly. Somehow we survived, found homes for them, and ended up with five Canadian champions out of that litter.

We took one of the male champions, Boris, down to the United States on a holiday trip to visit American kennels. We quickly realized that the American dogs were all wrong because they didn't have Boris' red droopy eyes, his ticking on the legs, his curly coat, and the adorable black freckles all over his face. When he lost at the shows to those dogs we knew right away that those American judges were all political.

And then we read the Standard. Something was clearly wrong. Could it be that our first dogs didn't match the Standard? Ouch.

For Sugar's next breeding, we drove down to the Mardonof kennels, North Attleboro MA to use a young smooth stud there, Am Ch Echo's Citation Von Bonus. At the time we had no idea that Citation had been bred by Carrol and Wally Thom of the Echo kennels of California and even less did we understand that his father, in turn, was from the famous Sanctuary Woods kennels of Bea Knight, Oregon. We just liked the dog. This time, Sugar had another sixteen pups! 

This time, however, a lot of the pups looked different. There were a bunch of shorthairs and most of them looked just like Citation. Gone was all the ticking and in its place were deep black masks on pure white backgrounds. At the time we didn't really understand why this was so but we did have the good sense to keep the smooth pups that looked most like their sire. Ch Benbaron's Lord Munster became our first dog to go Best of Breed at a Canadian specialty and his sister, Ch Benbaron's Sugar Taffy, was our first dog to win a major at the New England specialty. This was at a time when it was not unusual to have an entry of fifty or more class bitches. There were six champions in that litter.

Sugar went on to have two more litters of 17 and 14! She passed her astounding fertility on to her daughters and grand-daughters. Since then we have had bitches in each decade produce outstanding large litters. Fertility and strong maternal instincts are a breeder's best friends. Sugar gave us those great gifts. She was the queen of our kennel for eleven years and we owe her so much.