I have had Labradors since 1995. As a child, I had the unique opportunity of spending summers in El Salvador with my father and the rest of the year in the U.S. with my mother. We bred and showed our Labs in El Salvador. We had three chocolates and I took them with me everywhere. We went to obedience classes, dog shows and I even took them to the barn when I went horseback riding.
I moved to Texas for college and was a member of the Texas A&M Equestrian team. Gig ‘em Aggies! My time as a competitive horseback rider helped me develop a good understanding of balance, structure and movement, which I now apply in my activities with dogs. Correct structure is extremely important. Animals being used for performance competition, considered for a breeding program or even an active pet, need to be structurally sound to reduce the risk of injuries.
In 2009 it was time for me to get my own dog, so I spent countless hours researching chocolate Labrador breeders. One of the top chocolate stud dogs at the time was a dog named Dauber and I was set on finding one of his puppies. Chambray Labradors had just bred Codi to Dauber, so I crossed my fingers and waited. Codi only had two female puppies and I am forever grateful to Sandy Herzon for entrusting us with one of the girls. My husband suggested we named our new puppy Chambray’s Aggie Pride, or “Aggie”, to remind me of my dear alma mater. It was a perfect name for our girl!
As Aggie grew older, I learned the ins and outs of dog showing, breeding, whelping and puppy rearing. I believe in the credo, “for the betterment of the breed”, so I established my own breeding program to breed quality Labs. I wanted to use the word “Pride” in my kennel name, and decided that “TruPride” captures the spirit of our breeding program. We “pride” ourselves in producing quality Labradors with good health, conformation and temperaments! – Erica Owen