THE HISTORY OF KENNEL MJÆRUMHØGDA
(Translated from the
Grete Sofie and Eivind Mjærum 1967
When and where did you get your first golden retriever?
got our first dog in 1967 – a Samoyed, and later an apricot coloured
medium poodle, which was trained in obedience, working and tracking.
Among other things, our poodle became Ostfold county champion in
tracking, and was one of the first non-working dogs to pass a test in
a while we wanted a larger dog for work with obedience, and we decided
on a golden retriever. We contacted the Norwegian Kennel Club’s puppy
agency. It turned out that it was not easy to obtain a retriever puppy
straightaway. Kari Gulbrandsen, who was an agent at that time, told us
that two retriever bitch puppies had been ordered from England from an
exciting combination at Camrose Kennel, and since we were on the lookout
for a promising male dog, she would talk with the owner of the kennel,
Mrs. Joan Tudor. Kari Gulbrandsen was of the opinion that here in Norway
we needed to get hold of more good stock from England.
Camrose Voravey was born on 15th October 1971, and in January
1972 he was brought to Norway with three sisters. His parents were
Camrose Octavius and Camrose Westly Loretia
everyday name for him was ¨Dickie¨. After a while we began obedience
training with him, as far as Class 2. He took part on some of the first
tracking courses organized by the Norwegian Kennel Club. He was also
used quite a lot in actual hunting.
was free as regards HD and eyes. As far as we know, he was one of the
first retrievers in Norway to be eyes tested. This was in 1974 by Prof.
Strande at the Veterinary College and the last test was at the age of
ten. In fact an AD X-ray was also taken and declared free.
got to know Kari Gulbrandsen very well and she was most helpful. She
suggested that we should exhibit him. In fact “Dickie” represented a
new type of golden retriever in Norway. He was not a large dog – 57cm
– but had a fantastically beautiful head (still our ideal for a golden
retriever) with dark eyes. There was good angulations, though rather
straight in the knees. He moved with drive, though with rather narrow
hindquarters. His colour was light golden and he became Norwegian Show
Champion in 1974.
a while he became popular with ¨the ladies¨. A person, who had several
retrievers, was Margit Gitlestad, owner of Gitles Kennel. Five bitches
from her kennel were mated with him in 1973 and 1974, and we took a
puppy for mating from each litter. Four of these became Norwegian
champions, the most well known of these bitches being Norwegian Show
Champion Gitles Natascha and Tudina ll. “Dickie” also sired a
well-known son, Norwegian Show Champion Camillo, bred by Birgit and Olav
Dalaker with their English bitch, Cassata of Camrose.
also bought a bitch from England and one from Kari Gulbrandsen, NShCh.
Kargul Stareffie, which became mother of NShCh. Mjaerumhøgda’s
Veronica and NShCh. Mjaerumhhøgda’s Golden Look.
us a little about how you began breeding and how many litters there have
first golden retriever litter was on 22nd September 1975,
with two puppies. The mother was Gitles Josefa, the father IntNordCh
Sansue Sunlover. One of the puppies became NShCh Maerumhøgda’s
Enterprise, owned by Siv Ann Romstad.
this there have been a series of litters, and we shall mention other
is the aim of the work with breeding? Are you pleased so far with your
work with this?
the beginning we have concentrated on health, temperament and capacity
for work. As a dog for
breeding, exterior features should be of CK quality.
we have mentioned, we started breeding with our ¨Dickie¨ and the two
bitches we had bought. They were all free at hips and eyes from the
beginning, but there was polar cataract development later.
agreed from the start that only the best should be kept, and we started
to select. Our English bitch did not live up to expectations, so after
the first litter we found a good home for her. Gitles Josefa
unfortunately had only two puppies. The other four bitches became
mothers of a whole series of champions.
soon discovered that breeding is not so simple. NShCh Gitles Maritza was
mated with our new English male dog NShCh Likely Lad of Yeo. The first
litter were fine as regards hips and produced two champions. We tried
the same combination twice more, with a year interval and both litters
were born on 1st May. These litters suffered from hip
disorder and so there were no more litters with Maritza.
Tudina ll had her first litter with GBCH NShCh. Glenavis Barman. There
were five puppies but only three survived. We kept a male dog and a
bitch. The male dog became NShCh Mjaerumhøgda’s Magic Man, which
sired several champions, including Mjaerumhøgda’s Veronica and Golden
Look, the latter becoming BIS at the Norsk Kennel Club’s show in
Stavanger in 1984. She was owned by Anna Nerell in Sweden . Mjaerumhøgda’s
Veronica was for a year the bitch with most awards.
year after we tried the same combination again, producing nine puppies
of which four became champions. Our own bitch NShCh Mjaerumhøgda’s
Xspelia was mated with NShCh NV-79 Deremar Donald, producing N Sh.Ch.
SV-89 Mjaerumhøgda’s Limelight, owned by Torill and Sverre Sand.
Tudina became mother of nine champions and a champion in obedience.
Sh.Ch.Gitles Natascha had her 3rd litter with SFSh Ch.
Noravon Cornelius. This combination gave Int. Nord ShCh. Mjaerumhøgda’s
Classic Sound and NShCh.Mjaerumhøgda’s Crusader.
was in England for two years where he took 1 CC, and sired two well-
known breeding dogs – GB Ch. Standfast Augustus and Multi Ch.
Standfast Angus in Holland .
1979 we got a new puppy from England , which became NShCh Nord. V-81
Noravon Lucius. He was a lovely dog and became the golden retriever
with most awards several years in a row, and also several BIS. Lucius
also became 2nd BIS at the Nordic Winner Show in 1981.
also proved to be an excellent breeding dog, siring 31 champions in
different countries. His best known son here in Norway is NShCh N S L,
Ch. NV-88-89 Chribas Crackerjack, owned by Tore and Berit Bondal, and
which in turn sired many champions.
a while epilepsy appeared in several litters from Lucius. This was a
completely unknown problem in the race in Norway. After some research,
it appeared that this was not entirely a new problem in Sweden . It had
appeared in three different lines from England. We made this information
known and asked breeders not to mate puppies from Lucius with these
lines, but unfortunately this was not followed up. We ourselves decided
not to linebreed from him, and in this way we avoided the problem. Of
course we thought it was a pity that we couldn’t linebreed with such a
good breeding dog with so many fine qualities, for example as regards
splendid temperament and hips.
years ago we had a major problem with hips. Those dogs we had kept
ourselves were HD free, but there were too many siblings with strong HD.
We decided to continue with the line, but found out that it would take
many generations to get good hips again. The conclusion was that we cut
out seven dogs – a male dog and six bitches – three generations. It
was a tough decision, for we had almost no breeding material left, only
two adult and two young dogs as regards bitches. Later one of the young
bitches was cut out, as she was third generation giving very small
litters. Gradually, however, we have managed to move on and today
we’re glad that we tackled the problem because now we have had very
good hip results.
far as the eyes are concerned, we consider that the problems have been
small, although we have had one case of PRA and some cases of polar
cataract. None of these dogs has had polar cataract as early as one year
old, but this has developed later. The dogs we have used for breeding
have all become Norwegian champions.
dog we have bred has been perfect, but although perfection will never be
achieved, one is always striving towards this aim. This is after all
what keeps breeders going!
are proud that we have bred dogs that have meant a lot for their owners
and the development of the race in their home countries. We can mention
the following examples:
Bur Ch Mjaerumhøgda’s Koyn Flying Surprise in Canada
SF N Sh Ch. Mjaerumhøgda’s Your Choice in Finland
Nord Sh Ch. Mljaerumhøgda’s Classic Sound in Sweden
Sh.Ch. SV-89 Mjaerumhøgda’s Limelight in Norway
Sh.Ch. Mjaerumhøgda’s Crusader in Norway and England
Are there any particular exterior or mental features that are
given priority in your breeding?
try not to forget that the golden retriever is a hunting dog and must
have the right build for doing the best work. Therefore we believe that
a dog with good angulations, not heavily built and with sound movement
will be a dog that has stamina and consequently the best working dog.
characteristics are also important. We would like our dogs to be
spirited, contact-seeking and with a stable temperament. We fear that
dogs that are too soft can easily become too submissive. On the other
hand , dogs that are too strong minded can easily become too
are your views about linebreeding contra outcross?
is no easy answer to this. We have used both linebreeding and outcross.
A good rule is – if you know the dogs well in the line of breeding and
there are more positive than negative things to say as regards
temperament, health and exterior, then choose linebreeding. If too
little is known about advantages and disadvantages in the line, then it
is better to take an outcross. The same thing applies if one wishes to
correct a fault in the line. However, it is always important to mate the
same type of dogs in order to maintain the type one has.
do you look for when you yourselves choose a puppy?
a puppy is not always so easy. We are now in the fortunate situation of
being able to keep two puppies from the same litter, so that we don’t
need to make a choice when the puppies are eight weeks old. One can see
a good deal when the puppy is six weeks old, but not always enough.
Puppies grow and change the whole time and they all have their
advantages and faults. Once in a while there is a clear winner. In such
a case there is no problem, but one doesn’t often have this situation
and then it’s simply a matter of gut feeling. We try to keep the
puppies that have good angulations and movement.
you name a dog that has appealed to you especially, and why?
have had many fine representatives of the race in Norway . Some of them
that we think have distinguished themselves in recent years are:
ShCh NV-90 Shanlimore Baronet
ShCh. N S L Ch.NV-89-91 Chribas Crackerjack
ShCh. Beeangee Jazz Man
ShCh. Waterloo’s Another Yatzy
ShCh. Lux Ch.Waterloo’s Rock Around The Clock
are all dogs with lovely movement and charm in the ring. They have
carried their age well and have had great influence as breeding dogs in
do you think about the future of the golden retriever? Is there anything
that should be given extra attention? What are your views about the
status of defects in the race?
think that our race has a promising future, as we have so many competent
breeders in Norway. There may be a feeling that too few breeders place
enough importance on the golden retriever as a working dog, but if our
dogs are bred up to standard and have good mental health, there should
be no problem as regards this. Some breeders could perhaps pay more
attention to the dog’s movement. We think that the golden retriever
has lost something in this respect during the last few years.
golden retriever is a healthy race, and the dogs usually become 12 –13
years old. We don’t consider HD to be a big problem with the race. It
sometimes occurs but few dogs become disabled in this respect. The eyes
have caused few problems here in Norway. As regards elbows, it’s
difficult to say anything about this area. We ourselves have X-rayed our
breeding dogs for the last eight years without finding significant
you had any experience with dogs in partnership?
only use partnership to a small degree, as we don’t place eight weeks
old puppies in partnership. We like to follow-up the development
of our puppies, as we think we learn a lot from this. In this way, we
know what we should concentrate on or not.
do you make your customers active with their puppies?
strongly recommend our customers to go on a puppy course and later a
training course. We ask them to make contact with the nearest branch of
the Norwegian Kennel Club or a local dog club. We think it is important
that our customers are made active with their dogs and hope that through
the branch of the Nor. Kennel Club they can get interested in other
activities such as tracking and hunting. We ourselves give social
training and show training all the year round –once a week. This is
also a possibility for our customers.
is your position as regards the debate about hunting awards for show
champions and vice versa?
fully support the English system. We think this will be of benefit for
all sides. In this way it would be possible to take care of everyone’s
interests, and there would be peace in the golden retriever world once
and for all.
you hunt with your dogs?
have taken part on several hunting courses both in Norway and Sweden,
and in the beginning we practised a little hunting. Eivind still do a
little duck hunting with some of our goldens. Elg hunting is the big
thing today, but we have several good golden retrievers here at home.
One day we had five different hedgehogs retrieved and delivered
perfectly by three different golden retrievers in the course of an hour!
None of the golden retrievers has ever harmed a hedgehog. More seriously,
we have bred one N Hunting Champion, and one that only lacked the
practical test to be double champion. Some golden of ours has been
trained and used for tracking of hurt wild
animals, after hunting or traffic damage.
us about the name of your kennel.
‘s quite simple. The name of the kennel is a combination of our
surname and the name of the place where we live - MJAERUMHØGDA. .