How I came to get a Labrador

Together with my sister Susy, I already used to attend regular training sessions at the utility dog society in Dübendorf as a 14-year-old: with our neighbour’s poodle! Two years later Susy and I bought an Airedale Terrier bitch, Gasta vom Krebsbachtal, from our pocket money; unfortunately she was run over at the age of 19 months. After that Susy was allowed to buy her first Giant Schnauzer, Torro vom Leuengrund - and I remained without my own dog … till one day I overheard that a 4-month-old yellow Labrador Retriever dog was looking for a home.

Thus Dirk von Stieg came to live with us on 4th October 1975. He was to be my great teacher over the following nearly 15 years.

Joan HayesIn 1979, while I was studying at the University of Nottingham (England), I met Joan Hayes and her Staindrop Labradors. To me this opened up a completely new world: the world of the “Working Labrador”, the so-called Field Trial Labrador. Dogs from lines that had been bred for working ability for generations; dogs that live to please and to work.

That afternoon changed my life, for I knew that it was those lines I would want to own and train in the future.

A number of years passed before I fulfilled my dream, when I bought my first Field Trial Line Labrador, Haretor Wischnu, in 1985.