In 1999, I bought a Labrador Retriever for my husband as a gift. I knew nothing about Labradors, having been a "German Shepherd person" most of my life. Bradley was a well bred boy with a kind, gentle temperament and that signature passion for life that Labradors are well known for. Bradley convinced me of what many already know - there is no other breed but a Labrador.
It was only much later that I became more seriously involved in the breed and decided to try my hand at exhibiting and possibly breeding. Bradley is an old English word meaning "broad wood" and "Lethan" is a gaelic word meaning "broad" and so Lethanwood Labradors was born.
After much research and lots of patience, I acquired Lola from Renier Jansen van Vuuren in 2013 as our foundation girl. She is a gorgeous black beauty with lots of energy and drive. She has taken me on a whirlwind journey and we have had lots of fun together. She became a breed Champion shortly after her second Birthday and achieved her KUSA Canine Good Citizen (Gold) award shortly thereafter. My clever girl didn't stop there. Proving her work ethic, she excelled on an intense training programme in conservation scent detection with well known trainer and behaviourist, Shannon McKay. Lola learnt how to find bird and bat carcasses for environmental impact assessment purposes on South Africa's wind farms and she loved it!
In late 2013, along came a BIG yellow baby boy from Betty Howard in the Western Cape. Riley has never quite forgotten his laid back, Western Cape roots and has a kind, gentle temperament. He loves nothing more than to cuddle with his humans, chill on the sofa, run in the park and cool off in the pool. A handsome boy, Riley has done us very proud, becoming a breed Champion in late 2016, with a Group win, a number of Gundog Group placings and a Best In Show Specialty award to his credit.
In early 2016, a whirlwind descended on our home when Mia, bred by Jane Pott, joined Lethanwood. She is beautiful, she is smart and she is a ball of mischevious energy. She has done very well in the show ring with numerous awards to her credit and more recently, four Best of Breed awards, a number of Reserve Best of Breed placings and a Gundog Group first and second. In June 2018, Mia became a South African breed champion, having amassed 15 Challenge Certificates along the way. At the Labrador Retriever Kennel Club annual awards, Mia won Reserve Victrix Ludorum for 2018 at the tender age of 3. We are incredibly proud of her and believe the best is still to come. She has all the makings of a dual-purpose Labrador and she has earned her Tracking Trials level 1 qualification!
In early 2017, Lola whelped her first litter of puppies, sired by the handsome Ch Tapeatom Flight Of Fancy at Craignair and they have exceeded our wildest expectations. All have gone to fantastic homes except for baby Amelie who joined our team. We have high hopes for this lovely girl who looks so much like her Mum. Her sister, Roxie, is blazing her own trail in the Western Cape and you can follow her progress on the 'Bred Here' page. In October 2019, Lola whelped her second and final litter and we have kept Raven from this litter.
Our intention is to remain a small kennel so that we are able to provide each of our dogs and their puppies with the attention they need to develop into well-rounded adults and fulfill their potential. Our dogs and puppies are all brought up inside the house as members of the family.
Our breeding philosophy is to focus in equal parts on temperament, conformation and health, as well as to preserve the versatility and working ability that the breed is famous for. Our dogs and the sires we choose for our girls are fully health tested and a lot of thought goes into selecting compatible breeding combinations. We only intend breeding when we want to keep a puppy for ourselves and puppies are therefore occasionally available to pre-approved homes.
We invite you to explore our website and feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to know more or perhaps reserve a puppy.
Photo of Lola: Emma O'Brien http://emmaobrien.com/