14 April, 2023
A passion for pups
A MOTHER and daughter duo has taken the showing world by storm, with their pure-bred Labradors earning several awards in the past few years.
Malanda Lab’s Michelle Ginn and her daughter Emily have been working with Labradors since 2014, when Michelle bought home the family’s very first puppy.
The whole family fell in love with the baby pup, but soon tragedy struck and they lost it to a paralysis tick.
“I went got a little yellow bitch and we lost her in about a week due to a paralysis tick so the whole family was just absolutely devastated,” Michelle said.
“We simply couldn’t get over her loss and I said to my mum ‘I think we are going to have to find another dog because we cannot get over this loss’ and when we started looking around, there was none up here.”
Michelle and her family searched the entire region and still were unable to find the perfect pure-bred lab so they began looking online.
She became intrigued by the work done by breeders throughout her research and knew it was something she wanted to get involved in.
“I started to think ‘hang on this is something I am really interested in’ be-cause I grew up on a farm with every animal you could possibly think of,” she said.
“I used to race home from school to the chook pen and hatch my duckling and my cows would have bubba cows, calves, so I’m a real farm girl.”
Michelle’s interest in breeding dogs grew and that’s when she decided it was time to start her breeding business – Malanda Labs.
Being strongly against backyard unethical breeding, Michelle poured hours of research into her business to ensure everything was perfect.
In 2014, she bought her first boy pup and two bitch pups at the same time and she started.
She admittedly made a few mistakes along the way, but she was quick to learn from them, joining groups such as Dogs Queensland and the Cairns City Kennel Club for guidance.
Michelle also consulted Queensland Lab Club president Wilhelm Chang, who became a great mentor and friend to Michelle and Emily as they stepped up into the lab world.
Emily soon followed in her mother’s footsteps helping breed and raise the pups and in 2020, she began showing them.
“She is right into the breeding, and we started showing in November of 2020,” Michelle said.
“She just shines in the ring, and we’ve titled five dogs now, so they’ve all got their Australian championship points and this year we are hoping to do a few more.”
Some of the top dogs Emily and Michelle have titled are Rumpy, a golden male, in the Cairns City Kennel Club’s “Gundog of the Year” category, Karma who won Baby Puppy in Show, and Justice who won best puppy of breed at the Brisbane EKKA.
Emily has fallen deeply in love with dog handling, taking on the role of teaching the dogs how to behave and stand appropriately for showing.
With the guidance of her mother, Wilhelm and the clubs she is a member of, she hopes to make it big in the breeding and showing world.
“I like working with the dogs and I think it’s a good challenge because every dog is different whether it be their temperament or the way they stack (the way a dog stands in show),” she said.
“I exercise the dogs every day because they are also judged on their muscles and I run them around the front yard.”
The Ginn’s hope to expand on their breeding business, with Emily determined to convince her mother to look into Dobermans next.