Meet Your Breeder: A Rare Breed Himself! 

breeder Kevin and his labradors

The life of a natural countryman and Labrador enthusiast

Meet Kevin, the man behind Tricymoedd Labradors…. Kevin is a true testament to the profound connection between man, Labradors, and the untouchable beauty of nature. 

But he’s also a man who’d really rather not write about himself….

So what you’ll read here is a result of a fascinating and eye-opening conversation with Kevin, which we’ve turned into a blog so you can get to know more about a man who’s dedicated his life not only to Labradors but to nature and the countryside. 

So, who is Kevin? 

With four decades of experience as a Labrador breeder, Kevin’s life isn’t quite what you might expect.  While he’s indeed a gamekeeper, his love for the countryside goes far beyond what meets the eye.

His every day is interwoven with the countryside and the remarkable creatures that inhabit it. But Kevin isn’t your typical outdoorsman…. 

He’s a man with an infectious passion for nature and his work with Labradors has shaped his life in extraordinary ways. Let’s explore a little more and reveal how beekeeping, photography, and silent contemplation are not just hobbies, but expressions of his profound empathy with the countryside.

Part human… Part Labrador!

As a kid, Kevin couldn’t get enough of swimming, being near water and of bird watching. At a young age he was a member of the Young Ornithologist club and spent hours upon hours just watching the birds….

Yes, you may be wondering whether he is in fact, part Labrador! And I couldn’t disagree. 

After talking to Kevin about all the things that make him happy and how he spends his days, my strongest conclusion was that he’s a human who embodies all the things we know and love about Labradors. 

His proudest achievement in life is his children – not too dissimilar there then to a Labrador who sees their family as the thing that matters most in the world. 

Being near the coast or cold water swimming is a hobby he’s had since childhood… no surprises there either, Labradors were born to be in the water! 

Another hobby of Kevin’s is wildlife photography but for him it’s less about the images and all about bearing witness to the incredible things that silently happen when humans aren’t around. 

Yep, much like a working Labrador, Kevin has the patience to sit quietly and still for hours on end until the moment comes to click the button and capture what he’s seen. 

Kevin told me, “I’ll be up at the crack of dawn, sitting for hours in the woods not speaking, not moving. That’s how you see things, how you learn about wildlife and animals. Most people can’t sit still for long enough to see these things.”

“One time, I had sat patiently waiting and then an otter appeared. I could actually hear the otter eating his breakfast. I was so close, I could hear it chewing. And I love being able to share that with people.”

How keen observation powers results

Kevin’s observational skills are something to be admired. And they assist him in both his breeding programmes and in conserving the environment around him. 

His job as a gamekeeper keeps him incredibly busy and the vast majority of his time is spent outdoors in nature (with his dogs by his side of course!). The estate Kevin manages spans more than 4,000 acres and is home to much wildlife and flora and fauna. 

Kevin actively spots opportunities to nurture the land and its many inhabitants throughout his daily surveys. He finds spots of land that are unfarmable and plants them with bee friendly seeds, he erects bird boxes for kestrels and other visiting birds, and the crops they plant provide huge benefits for other wildlife. 

Changing Gamekeeper Perception

Despite being a gamekeeper, Kevin’s relationship with the countryside is not defined by sport but by conservation. He has dedicated his life to preserving the natural world and nurturing the delicate balance between flora and fauna.

Contrary to what many outside of this world believe, many gamekeepers are responsible for establishing, maintaining and safeguarding huge expanses of our precious countryside. 

They strike a balance between what they take and what they give back – and the latter is incredibly important to Kevin. 

And where do dogs come into that? Well, it all kind of started when he met with a career’s advisor…. 

Falling in love with dogs 

Kevin grew up with dogs, mostly Spaniels in his early years. But at the age of around 14/15 years old he sat down with a career’s advisor at school and declared that he wanted to be a gamekeeper. 

The careers advisor may as well have rolled their eyes as they promptly handed him an application to work at a local factory. 

But with the determination and focus of a Labrador, Kevin was not dissuaded. 

Four years later, he was up in the Scottish Highlands learning how to be a gamekeeper. And when he started, he had to get himself a working dog. 

As Kevin said, “it just snowballed from there.”

40 years of breeding Labradors

As a working gamekeeper, Kevin needed dogs that could help him do his job and do it well. He began breeding Spaniels and Labradors and his passion for them as partners in life is clear. 

His complete love, admiration and passion for dogs is almost tangible as he speaks about their lives together. He spends more time with his dogs than most people and he knows all their unique traits and personalities inside out. 

When I ask him about his interest in breeding, it’s obvious how breeding his own lines became such a passion. 

His dogs have been bred to be highly trainable, loyal, fit, healthy and to have discipline. Through years of finetuning and carefully matching dogs, he can say with confidence that the dogs he breeds are exemplary working dogs. 

I ask how these dogs fare in pet homes, where people aren’t working them day in and day out. And it all became clear just how much Kevin’s observational skills play a part in every walk of his life…. 

“In any litter of dogs, you can never know exactly what the pups will be like. We use genetics, careful pairings and health testing to breed the very best dogs – but very rarely will an entire litter be right for working homes.

Some are calmer, not as fast, or more relaxed… part of that is down to the pairing of dogs and part of it is just life!“

Breeding Working Dogs Vs Dogs for Pet Homes

Kevin further explained, some of their litters are bred specifically to work. For example they had a litter from Gwennie, a super fast, working dog. She was paired with a very fast champion – those dogs were sold exclusively to working dog homes – they wouldn’t be suitable for a pet owner. 

However, when they bred from Tickle, a working lab who’s much calmer, more laid back and empathetic, they knew the dogs would make great assistance dogs. Her pups went off to be trained by Guide Dogs For the Blind – and they were perfectly suited to the role. 

What Kevin is truly wonderful at, is knowing his dogs and matching them well so they end up in happy homes where both the owners and the dog are happy. 

Training working dogs

Through working as a gamekeeper for decades, Kevin has developed an incredible ability to train his dogs. Genetics handle half of what’s needed for a great working dog, but training plays a vital part. 

Kevin says “You breed the dog to be a hunter, but you have to train them to have the impulse control to switch off and follow instructions.”

As a working keeper, Kevin’s dogs do it all. From flushing to retrieving to keeping the pheasants within the parameters of the land. His dogs have to have an impressive level of trainability, precision and lightning speed. 

And they also have to be insanely fit – during the season they’re out working 6/7 days a week. They’re driven to work, love being outdoors, and ultimately, love working alongside their human day in and day out. 

Kevin part trains dogs for people looking for the perfect companion or working partner – taking away some of the struggle for new dog owners. He loves training, is wildly good at it, and the upshot is, dogs land in their new homes with all the skills their owners crave. 

Wildlife photography & beekeeping

Kevin’s love for nature extends way beyond his professional life. He is an avid beekeeper, a skillful photographer, and a silent observer who happily sits quietly for hours learning about the natural world through watching. 

In a world where the role of gamekeepers can be often misunderstood, Kevin’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the harmony that can exist between humans, animals, and the wider environment. 

Kevin is without question, a rare breed himself. He’s dedicated his entire life to Labradors, nature, and restoring balance in the world wherever he can. 

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