My Story


SpiritRock Labrador Retrievers                 Life Love Loyalty                                  Jude Tankard

In the beginning, when I first decided that I wanted to Breed “quality” Labradors I didn’t realize just how high a standard I had set myself. Not only did I want to breed healthy puppies but also puppies that I loved the look of and most importantly that I loved having around. That is, Labs you can live with. I love the temperament of the Labrador, the Breed Standard says intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please.

Kindly nature with no trace of aggression or undue shyness. His disposition to man and dog is friendly, outgoing, intelligent.

I had grown up with many mixed breed dogs, right from my bassinet, and then finally was given the opportunity of being owned by a purebred Labrador Retriever when I was about 8 years old. This boy, Laddie made himself part of our family. He was always ready for any activity us kids were into. I grew up here in Tamworth and spent most afternoons and weekends at the Peel River that runs through our Regional Country City. So of course it came very natural to Laddie to follow me everywhere. No lead required, just a glance from me in his direction and off we would go. I still take my Labs to the river now and it is still the same, no lead just a glance and they seem to be able to read my body and mind as I never have to tell them it’s time to go and head for the truck, they just know. As for the retrieving instinct of a Labrador Retriever it is there from birth, the same as the ability to swim and their love of the water. We also went water skiing most weekends, and off course Laddie came. He travelled to the dam in the ski boat. My dad would be skiing on the dam and have instructed the boat driver to do a run along the bank of the dam where Laddie would be sitting waiting patiently for his cue. My dad was learning to go from 2 skis to 1 so would drop a ski in the pass by, whistle to the dog, and off Laddie would go to bring the water ski into the bank. He had the required soft mouth, never damaging the ski and it was quite a task to turn the ski towards the bank and bring it in.  Us kids were in the boat or swimming, the dog needed no supervision or prompting from us, he had more than one master, me and my dad and he served us both loyally. He also would meet us at our bus stop every afternoon from school. Didn’t need mum to send him, he just seemed to know when and we had no fences to stop him. The bus stop was about a km from our house and he would carry my school bag all the way home. Then run back and get my sisters’ too. So from then on I have always had to have a Lab in my life and much to my delight I now have more than one. My four children Emma, Hayley, Beth & Jacob have also known the pleasure of growing up with Labs. It is something very special to share your life with a Lab.

I did find it quite difficult when I set about to bring in a suitable female to establish my breeding program. After a few false starts of girls that did not quite fit I came across a lovely bitch available for sale. She was yellow and substancial, and of good size, with an amazing coat and the best tail, well bred by Trisha Hallmond (Blackhills Labradors) “Blackhills Up Hill N Down Dale”. She had extremely low Hip Scores of 1:1 and perfect elbows of 0:0, she was coming up to her 2nd birthday and to my surprise was born on my birth date. Only one hiccup and it seemed a huge one to me being a novice at all this, she was in New Zealand!! But I was determined to have her and with all my faith in tow I set about getting her shipped over. Sue Schrader (Northcape Labradors) who was Lucy’s owner in NZ was amazing, and set about doing all health clearance etc and was a constant support to me in those early days. Sue answered all my questions, and there were lots of them, many emails going back and forth.  Sue remained a steadfast reliable source of advice and I thank her again. I also had the pleasure of much help and guiedance from many quality Breeders who have offered me advice and support and I thank them also.

So it is from there that I have gone up hills and down dales in this journey, always accompanied by my beloved Labs. We are also enjoying the Show Ring, one of our activities together, but not my only motivation in my always striving to Breed excellent Labs, not just for myself but for my wonderful puppy buyers who so kindly offer their homes and their lives to my puppies.

Anyone can put two dogs together and end up with puppies but a Breeder, the type of Breeder I am striving to be will spend many hours in research of her Breed, taking notes, studying Pedigrees, training her eye to what really makes a Labrador. Making hard decisions in regards to health issues such as Hip and Elbow scores and DNA testing.  Selecting the right Stud dog for the right bitch and then driving hours to make it happen. 

Raising a litter of pups takes a lot of commitment to health and care and most importantly socialization of those pups so by the time they leave my care they are ready to simply fit into their new family. As a Breeder I also like to spend as much time as required preparing my new puppy owners for their role in the lives of my puppies. I intend to be a good custodian of my beloved Breed the Labrador Retriever while ever I have breath in me. So I thank you for taking the time to read my story and I hope you will contact me and we can talk about finding you your own wonderful companion. Jude

Update November 2017

Labradors we have Titled under our Prefix

CH. Spiritrock Love Locket

CH. Spiritrock Black Code

CH. Spiritrock Black Passion

CH. Spiritrock Rippling Gold

CH. Spiritrock Dream Doll

CH. Spiritrock Song Of Passion

CH. Spiritrock Porcelain Doll

CH. Spiritrock Dream Run

CH. Spiritrock Black Brandee

CH. Spiritrock Gift Of Posey

CH. Spiritrock Sweet Candy


Labradors we have Titled under other Prefixes that we own

CH. Labraddell The Monet (AI)

CH. Graebar Studys Morning Star (AI)

CH. Labraddell Perpetual Oak (AI)

CH. Cornerstone Many Miles To Blackboy (AI)

CH. Cornerstone Fire Dancing At Spiritrock (AI)

Contact Details

Jude Tankard
Tamworth, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]