Quintessential Quarters jacqui with flatcoated retriever puppy

About the breeder - Jacqui Smith

My husband Andy bought me my first flatcoat, Kesi as a softener for moving me from my home in Surrey to Scotland in 2006 on his Army posting. Previously, we had always had Labrador Retrievers (a typical Army Officer's choice!) but I wanted something different this time. Once we had moved to Edinburgh, and on a walk with Khali, our Labrador Retriever, I met a group of ladies with their Flatcoated Retrievers and they told me where to look for my new Flat coated Retriever puppy. I did my research and contacted Shirley De-Robbio in Ayrshire who had a litter due. Kesi came from an excellent line of Spera flatcoats known for their working and show ability.

I have always been passionate about dogs, love training and working them, occasionally showing them, but mostly just having fun with them and they play a huge part in my life! Together with my husband Andy we own and run Quintessential Quarters, a Boarding Kennels, Cattery & Grooming Salon in Staffordshire. I have worked as a Veterinary Nurse, and have owned and handled dogs from a young girl. My first ever dog was a rescue and I learned so much from her. Now, after delivering and rearing 62 puppies I am proud to say I have produced flat-coats that are attractive, physically sound, have excellent working abilities and represent the breed at its best. Out of the six litters I have bred so far I am also delighted to say that I have not lost one puppy in the very vulnerable first weeks, and we have had no still born babies either so it is quite a record to uphold....long may it last. Each and every one of them went to a carefully selected new home and they are all beautiful dogs. Some of them are used for their working ability, some are successful in the show-ring, some are enjoying obedience work and agility, and some are just wonderful family pets, all are loved and have forever homes. Quite a number of Montegrino flatcoats are regularly qualified for Crufts. I am a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, a member of the Scottish Flatcoated Retriever Club and the Scottish Kennel Club, and now we are living in England I have also joined the Flatcoated Retriever Society and the North of England Flatcoated Retriever Association.

Our daughter, Rachael is a Vet and has inherited my love for animals, particularly dogs, specifically Flatcoats, and she has adopted Spencer, a handsome male who has been used at Stud with two of my bitches Kesi and Millie, resulting in two very fine litters.

Why Montegrino?
The reason for my Kennel Club name is because it is the place in Italy where we bought our holiday home and the word means Green Mountain in Italian. It is also the theme of my logo hence the flatcoat pictured in front of the green mountains. The name is registered with the Kennel Club of Great Britain. All of my Montegrino family regularly keep in touch with me and I am always here to provide them with support whenever they want it.

Where do the Montegrino puppy names come from?
My daughter, Rachael came up with the idea that I should name the first litter with names beginning with M from MONTEGRINO, the second letter with names beginning with O and so on, gradually working my way through the whole of our Kennel Club Breeder's name MONTEGRINO. To start with I tried thinking of the names with family help, a good dictionary and a glass of wine. All sorts of weird and wonderful names were invented. In recent litters, I have found that asking all of my Facebook friends for suggestions is amazing as there are tons of ideas and everyone likes to participate! Once we had a shortlist we made sure that the Kennel Club approved and that the whole name is no longer than 24 letters.

The names beginning with O were really hard to think of but the T's were easy. The trouble with the whole idea is that there are two N's and two O's in MONTEGRINO so if I live long enough to ever breed that many litters, we may need to be very imaginative!!

Some of the first litter's kennel names were Mystic Meg, Modest Maiden, Military Man, in the second litter amongst others were Odd One Out, One and Only, Out of Office. The N's we had our very own Naughty Nick, Ninth Ninja, Noble Nelson and for the T's most recently, Tom Thumb, Thistle Tea, Toasted Teacake and Tartan Trews.

The E litter from 2014 included my very own Expensive Extra because she is, plus Ever so Elegant, Early Eclipse, Edge of Eternity to name just a few. A special thanks must go to Janice Turner for helping me with name suggestions for this litter.

STOP PRESS - EXCITING NEWS!!! Skye and Hugo's puppies arrived safely on the 13th January 2016 - all 9 of them, and 7 of those are boys!! This is the long-awaited G litter whose names will include Great Gatsby, Glamour Girl, Goody Gumdrops and Greta Garbo. Thanks to all who helped with name suggestions.

Photo by Linda Russell:
Our wonderful girls from left to right Skye, Millie, Sorrel and Kesi
taken just three weeks before we said goodbye to our beautiful Kesi and Millie.
Forever in my heart - Run free my beautiful friends - see you at the Bridge