End of the line
Published 2:00 pm Sunday, October 6, 2013
Bob Mallory knows a thing or two about dogs. The longtime champion dog trainer and breeder has bred white labs for the past 17 years, and has competed with world-class dock jumping dogs for the past 10 years. Yet Mallory plans to shut down his breeding business, Mallory’s Family Labs, after he sells his latest litter of puppies, seven in all.
“We’ve had tremendous luck finding good homes for these puppies,” Mallory said.
Mallory has sold hundreds of pups to homes over the years, and has seen them become therapy dogs and prized pets.
Email newsletter signup
Yet he expanded his passion for dogs in 2003, when he noticed his daughter’s white lab, Sir Jackson, looked like he could be good at a dog show.
“I said ‘Hey, I’d like to take him to a competition,’” Mallory said.
Mallory and Sir Jackson went to a competition in Northfield, where Sir Jackson competed against what Mallory said was seven or eight of the best dogs in the U.S.
“We finished dead last,” he said with a laugh.
Still, Mallory said he saw potential for Sir Jackson, and decided to seriously train him for dock jumping competitions.
Sir Jackson has been to the ESPN Great Outdoor Games, the Super Retrievers Crown Championships, the Dock Dogs World Championships, and the DockDog National Championships for five straight years. He also garnered the title of Minnesota-Wisconsin State Champion in 2007.
Last year, Sir Jackson was honored with the Tucker Award, in recognition of his world-class talent over his career. At one point, Sir Jackson consistently placed fourth at world competitions, losing out by a matter of inches to other dogs. The dog also held the state record for distance jumping, at 26.5 feet.
“He was practically unbeatable,” Mallory said.
Sir Jackson slowed down by 2009, but his daughter Savanna Jane did well at competitions herself, posting a record height jump at 7 feet 4 inches.
“She became a Midwest Regional Championship Iron Dog, which is the best out of three competitions on a point system,” Mallory said.
These days, Mallory is training Billy Jack, a three-year-old white lab with a lot of potential. Mallory said Billy Jack was second in the nation in amateur rankings and has qualified for several championships, but is still a little young to live up to his potential.
He believes 2014 may be the year Billy Jack will do well.
“He’s showing some good potential, but the championship caliber dogs are so very good now,” Mallory said.
While Mallory isn’t giving up dog competition yet, he is looking forward to saying goodbye to his breeding business.
All of his dogs are purebred and come with lineages.
“Everybody’s got to slow down some time, right?” he said.
Contact Mallory at 507-433-1578 for more information about the white lab puppies.