British Blueblood Gundogs

Our mission is to equip the sporting family with a healthy and confident British Labrador pup that is sure to become a beloved member of the family and a cherished companion in the field. Using proven genetics, we strive to raise puppies that are calm and quiet in the home yet bold and biddable (easy to train) in the field.

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The Blueblood Story

Founding Owner Grant Chappell

I went on my first duck hunt in high school and was instantly hooked. The comradery, scouting, strategy, and the sound of whistling wings combined to make duck hunting my primary hobby. In college, my girlfriend Ashley (now my wife and co-owner of Blueblood) gave me my first duck dog, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I named her Clara in homage to my favorite movie, Lonesome Dove.

Clara and I spent all summer training for the upcoming season. Her limitations were my fault as an inexperienced trainer, but the two of us had a blast. Hunting with Clara revolutionized duck hunting for me. What was once a hobby, became a passion and a way of life.

Clara matured me as a hunter. Gone were the days of getting upset about not shooting a limit. My joy now came from spending time in the blind with my dog, hoping to shoot a few birds so Clara could do what she was made to do.

“My dogs have given me immense joy and I hope to share that joy with every family that decides to buy a puppy from us.”

Grant during a training session
Grant during a training session
Grant Chappell

“My dogs have given me immense joy and I hope to share that joy with every family that decides to buy a puppy from us.”

I soon reached a point where one dog was not enough. My second dog was Bear, another Chessie. Recognizing the mistakes I made in Clara’s training, I decided to send Bear to a pro. I thought professional dog trainers knew a secret that I did not. It did not go well. Bear was a soft and sensitive dog that simply did not handle the force associated with an electronic collar. The force-based training eroded his confidence and diminished his desire to retrieve.

This left me dejected, thinking my dog was not good enough. After a few months of self-pity, I decided to retrain Bear using positive reinforcement methods. Much to my surprise, we were very successful! I began reading every book I could find on positive reinforcement, teaching myself and Bear at the same time. Positive training was a much more enjoyable experience for both of us.

As I pored through positive reinforcement literature, I stumbled upon British Labradors. An easy to train yet driven dog who could be calm and quiet in the house? Most of the retrievers I had been around before were one of two things. Calm and docile with no desire to retrieve or retrieve crazed dogs that bounced off every wall in the house.  A dog that could be a gentle companion in the home yet flip a switch in the field with all the retrieving drive one could ever ask for sounded too good to be true, but I had to see what all the fuss was about. After I bought my first British Lab, I understood. June was bold and driven, but soft and biddable in a way I had never seen in a dog.

I soon realized that British Labs were an incredible gift that would be a blessing to any active family, especially those who enjoyed hunting birds. The only problem was I found it incredibly difficult to find a reputable breeder, who cared as much about the dogs and the families the dogs were going to live with as they did their bottom line.

Many breeders simply slapped a “British” label on dogs that had not been in the UK for three or four generations, dogs whose genetics had not been proven in trials in quite some time. However, the breeders that did have quality dogs seemed to care little about their customers. So, I decided to take it upon myself to supply American sporting families with premium retrievers that will be loved by the entire family.  A few months later I imported Ivy and Rue from Ireland and our kennel has continued to grow ever since. I teach 7th graders during the day and Labradors on nights and weekends. My dogs have given me immense joy and I hope to share that joy with every family that decides to buy a puppy from us.

Our Training Approach

My training style is heavily influenced by Robert Milner and Vic Barlow. Both bring a wealth of experience to the table and present their methods in a way that makes sense to an ordinary dog owner. I also appreciate the Cornerstone Gundog Academy (CGA). This is an app-based/online program that is very useful for those who want to train their own dog. I have found positive-reinforcement-based training to be much more enjoyable for both dog and handler. I start young dogs with clicker and treat training. As the dogs mature, the treats are phased out and the retrieve becomes the reward.

I highly recommend training your own dog if you can. It’s a great experience and will strengthen the bond between you and your dog. If you plan to send your dog back to us for training, I recommend that you first complete the basic puppy training module from CGA. It will save you money in the long run.

Learn more about our Dogs.

Bred for the performance. Living for the adventure.

Blueblood British Gundogs
Powderly, TX 75473