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What Our Labradors Could Tell You About Us!

Stu and Diana Mead sitting with black Labrador Retrievers in Meadow with flowers
Reacher and Rigby with us in springtime Texas
Stu Mead Club Mead Labradors standing in field with Black Labrador Retriever
Stu and Dottie

Training labs is a part of life for me.

I got interested in Labradors a lifetime ago and it’s been a passion ever since. I bought our first dog in 1983 shortly after getting married. When I was a kid, my father made me put on the chest waders and go get the birds. I remember many times being in the middle of a pond with water up to the top, holding my arms up high and hoping I didn’t step in a hole. The duck always seemed just a bit further away. I swore I would get a dog some day. I did and when she went in there and retrieved my first bird out of the water, I just about cried. I was so proud of her (Spud). And she just seemed to know her purpose in life. Looking back, I knew practically nothing about training Labs but she just made my day. I knew I would always have a dog. Tragically, we lost her in a house fire a few years later.

I used to have a life outside dogs. I’m an electrician and a business owner. I haven’t worked in the trade though for 25 years or so because our boarding kennel has enveloped us. Club Mead Pet Resort Ltd. has been in business since 1993. Our daughter runs the day to day activities there now and we all help her out with our unique job duties.

A few years ago, we started spending time in Texas during the winter months so we could keep training dogs as it was somewhat too cold at home. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with some key players in the field trial game. (Danny Farmer and Judy Aycock) They added a ton of valuable knowledge to what I knew about retriever training. I was exposed to the best training techniques available today. It’s absolutely amazing how easy and difficult it is at the same time to train a retriever. Anyone can go through the motions, but I learned over time that it’s the subtleties and gut feelings that make real trainers stand out. It takes years to understand this.

As far as breeding dogs, I have also been fortunate in that I’ve always been able to breed what I thought were the best dogs, not just the titled dogs that might sell better. I breed the type of dogs that I want to own and train. If the titles come along with it, great. However, the fact is, most dogs don’t compete in the field trial game and never get those titles. That’s why I have always looked at the dogs themselves, their work ethic, physical ability, attitude, and trainability. Don’t get me wrong, I feel we have contributed to the field trial game a lot. We have produced many Champions including National Champions in both Canada and the USA. That’s always been possible because we stayed true to our vision and bred dogs we thought were capable. Because of our single focus on the breed type, our puppies can do anything you want them to. Except for guarding, they suck at that. First kid walking by, first open car door, off to party…… anyway, I digress. Thanks for reading.

Stu Mead

I am all about sharing my love of Labradors.

My passion for animals was evident at a very young age. I remember doing agility courses in my backyard with my little poodle and pieces of lawn furniture long before it was even a sport. I married Stu in 1982 and after a few years working in the banks stayed home to have our 2 children. We opened the doors of Club Mead Pet Resort in 1992 which allowed me to continue to be there for our kids as they grew up. I have always had an innate ability for making people and dogs comfortable which has served me well in our kennel. Our daughter, Megan inherited this same propensity and she now takes care of the day to day operations. Our first dog was a Labrador Retriever, named Sammy who was the perfect pet and hunting dog. I soon discovered the versatility of the breed as I competed in many dog sports and I was hooked. Some 100 litters and 500 lab puppies later I am still a believer. I love working with our young dogs and seeing them progress daily. Nothing brings me more joy than to connect with a dog and see the effort they give for you, ribbons are just a bonus. I hope to be able to share this special breed and match puppies with their new owners for many years to come.

Diana Mead

Diana Mead with Club Mead Labrador Retrievers sitting on floor cuddling black labrador
Diana and Quizzie