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The History of Kresland Kennels

The roots of Kresland Kennels started in 1969 when we raised a guide dog puppy for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in England. Ulay had such intelligence, spirit, and unconditional love that we were confident that this was the breed we wanted to have and work with. In 1972, we moved back to the States and started with a yellow female puppy named Shandy of Kresland. Our kennel name “Kresland” is derived from the first initials of my first husband, Robert, and my three children: Karen, Erik, and Scott.

Early Litters

We spent the early years building up a group of breeding dogs of the quality we wanted. Several dogs came from Lorraine Robbenhaar of Killingworth. We bred Shandy to CH. Killingworth’s Thunderson, WC, which resulted in some very fine foundation females. We also bought several puppies from Killingworth: CH. Killingworth Kresland Risky (our Group One-winning chocolate stud dog) and a yellow female, CH. Killingworth Kresland Cameo, who produced CH. Kresland’s Trixie Troll and CH. Kresland’s Midnight Coachman (our first home-bred Champion stud dog).

Shandy’s first litter-—all yellows—-found homes with loving families both local and as far away as Texas. The Kresland breeding program had begun! In the thirty-odd years since, we have placed innumerable dogs all over the country (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico) and overseas.

Service Dogs

We visited England in 1975, spending time with Derek Freeman of the Guide Dog Association, who put us in touch with Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY. That connection started a long and rewarding association with the organization. We donated many puppies from Coach’s line as well as Coach’s stud services and many other puppies. Most have graduated as guides and some have remained in the Guiding Eyes breeding program.

The National Institute for the Deaf is located near us, so we have placed several Kresland dogs as aid dogs for the hearing impaired. In 1983, legislation was passed allowing pets in health care facilities. As a result, we started a program of training dogs for nursing homes and long term health care hospitals and many Kresland dogs now live in such facilities as pet therapy dogs and companion dogs for the residents. We also have dogs with the police department working as narcotics search dogs.

New Bloodlines in the 1990s

In recent years, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting England again and have befriended many wonderful breeders. From Louise Wilson-Jones we have a lovely yellow female whose heritage goes back to the classic Diant bloodlines. With help from Maureen and Tony Floyd of Trenow Kennels, we received our CH. Dolwen Ocean Belle of Trenow from Arwyn and Sian Ellis in Wales. After placing at our National Lab show in 1990, this female was bred to AM.CAN.CH. Beechcroft’s Danish Skydiver. She has given us several beautiful black females to work in with our lines.

Looking back over the years, it seems that Kresland has been more of a service kennel than a show kennel, although we truly love the shows and the beauty of the breed. Our major satisfaction has always come from all the dogs that have touched their owners’ lives, making those lives more mobile, confident, and pleasurable, whether by leading the blind, helping the hearing-impaired, giving pleasure and company to the old or confined, or working with the police as narcotics dogs. Some families have now owned Kresland dogs as pets for three (human!) generations. It has been our great pleasure to own and share so many wonderful Labradors—-truly a superior breed.

 

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