YAKEE

About Us

 

THE STORY OF THE YAKEES.

 

            Most of the exhibitors in the breed today only know Bert Easdon as the slightly unkempt young man from Scotland who turns up at the shows with a vehicle full of Pekes all groomed to perfection, usually winning well, always good natured, taking his wins and his losses with the same cheeky charm. You often hear people say “I don’t know where he gets them from!” as though he had just plucked them from the shelves of the Glasgow hotel which until recently he ran with partner Philip Martin.

            Not many know how Bert started in dogs over 35 years ago getting a paper round to save up for his first puppy, a Boston Terrier. His family were not particularly “doggy” so if he wanted a dog he had to pay for it himself and look after it himself, which he did.

            With beginner’s luck when he mated his first Boston she had eight pups, one of which he kept but then found that she was not going to be big enough so, starting the same way as he has done throughout his breeding career, he bought in a male from the best breeding he could afford and mated her to his original bitch and lo and behold produced another litter of 8. By now he had registered his prefix, Yakee. This was not his first choice – he wanted “Yankee” which would have been so appropriate for Bostons – but couldn’t have that so he just omitted one letter! His first Champion was a bitch that he had bought at 8 weeks old, proving that even then he had “an eye” and he campaigned her all over the country, even winning a CC at Southern Counties which in the 1970s was some trek from Glasgow. But then, as now, Bert has never been put off by long journeys.

            When Bert met Philip and they moved from a flat to a house, more breeds joined the family, firstly a King Charles who although shown lightly never really made the grade but lived to be 14. Then the choice was between a Shih Tzu and a Pekingese and a Shih Tzu pup came to join them. As with all the early dogs Bert bought in, they were shown before being mated and in her second litter came the first Yakee Shih Tzu champion. When she in turn was mated to a Champion, she produced the dog that for many years held the CC record in Shih Tzus.

            Bert and Philip then bought a boarding kennel and decided to go into Pekes, so the Bostons and Shih Tzus took a back seat although even today he still has them and produces winners in his litters usually for other people. So forward-thinking is he, he recently imported a Champion Boston bitch in whelp from the USA who is now winning well

            The first Pekes were bought from Pauline Bull of Changte fame but as they turned out to miniatures they were never bred from. He then bought a bitch locally, Mulvern Amy at Yakee who was sired by Singlewell Jason who later went to America where he was titled. He was owned by Simone Campbell who gave Bert a lot of advice on grooming and presentation, and Joyce Mann.

            Amy won her Junior Warrant and was mated to a dog Bert had bought from Vandy Williams and Adele Summers, Limited Edition at Toydom, who was a half brother to Terry Nethercott’s great sire, Ch. Jay Trump of Sunsalve.  Vandy and Adele swapped hints and advice with Bert but he always made up his own mind in the end. This mating produced the first Yakee Pekingese champion, Ch Yakee Patent Pending, who won her Junior Warrant at 7 months, the Silver Medal for Top Puppy and the CC at Crufts in 1985. Her first mating was to Ch. Laparata Regal Star but nothing was kept. Her second to Ch. Shiarita Cassidy produced Yakee The Charmer, (who won 4 reserve CCs,) Waltzing Matilda and Modern Millie.

            One of the most significant buys in those early days and one which was to prove one of the lynch pins of the Yakee Pekes was surely Marbryn Solo Girl at Yakee, a daughter of Toydom Trump Card and a double granddaughter of Ch. Shiarita Cassidy. She was shown once under Joyce Mann but did not like the show ring, yet as a brood she really proved her worth. In her first litter when mated to her grandsire, Cassidy, were two pups, a dog and a bitch who were both made up very young, in fact the bitch, Ch Yakee Gentlemen Prefer, won 3 CCs before she was 12 months old, a “Babychamp” as they were called in those days.  Unfortunately she died before she was 2 years old so she was never mated. Her brother was Ch Yakee For Your Eyes Only who went onto win 22 CCs, 7 Toy Groups  B.I.S. at Birmingham National, numerous Best in Shows at Club shows and most memorably Reserve Best in Show at Crufts in 1989.

            As a sire he produced many champions not just for the home kennel but for others the few times he was used, but more of that later.  This mating was repeated and from this came Ch Yakee Dames Desire of Shiarita who was campaigned by Liz Stannard and although not used at stud often, also produced champions. Liz and Bert became good friends, a friendship that has carried on through the years and both have great respect for each other’s ideas on the breed and how it should continue. Many of the contemporary Yakee's have a distinct Shiarita “look”.  

            Ch For Your Eyes Only (James – as in Bond!) was mated to the first champion, Patent Pending, and produced Ch Yakee Slightly Saucy who won her first CC at 7 months old. She was sold to the owner of Samsung in Korea for “an offer nobody could refuse”. The next champion was Ch Yakee The Hoi Polloi (who won her first CC and BIS at the Pekingese Club under Jack Mitchell when still a puppy), bred from Sunsalve Inspiration of Yakee – a Jay Trump daughter out of a daughter of Ch Pixie of Wei Sing Prai. Inspiration, in her next litter when mated to Yakee The Charmer, produced Ch Yakee The Charm School Deb. The Charmer was also the sire of the next Champion,  Ch  Yakee Your Place or Mine, out of a daughter of Limited Edition, who was Top Pekingese Puppy in 1989, the third year on the run that the Yakees had won this award, she won her first CC at 7 months … so many of the Yakees won CCs as pups it would be difficult to list them. Ch Yakee All Eyes On Me won her first two CCs while still a minor puppy! Bert has surely had more Puppy Stakes Finalists than any kennel of any breed including Ch Crazy For You, (Top Pup 94), Grand Finale, Sweet Caroline, Dangerous Liaison, Swing of the Kilt, an outright winner, My Love,  One of the Boys and You Do Something for Me. A number of those have gone on to be Junior Stakes Finalists, including Liaison, Finale, Caroline, and the outright winner  Leaving Me Breathless.

            The Charmer’s sister Waltzing Matilda was mated to For Your Eyes Only and produced Ch Yakee Angel Eyes who in 1991 won a group and a reserve group proving that it was not always the males that take top honours, and a Dutch champion for the Oosterhofs.

            The next champion male was sired by Ch For Your Eyes Only out of Ch Charm School Deb, which more than doubled up on the Cassidy line, and Bert’s eye for pedigrees was proved right when the result of this union, Ch Yakee Got Wot It Takes, was twice B.O.B. at Crufts in ‘92 and ‘95 and reserve in the group in 1992. This mating was repeated and produced Ch Yakee All Eyes On Me.

            Bert never campaigned his bitches to multiple CCs as he felt it was important that they were not just show girls but broods as well, but when Ch The Hoi Polloi was mated to Ch For Your Eyes Only and produced Ch Yakee Good Vibrations there was no stopping her, and she went onto win 14 CCs including one at Crufts in 1993 and a reserve group. But she in turn came out of the ring and moved into the whelping box to produce another generation of champion bitches in Ch Yakee Sweet Caroline sired by an outcross, Ch Shihgo Idle Mischief.

            Ch Brentoy Jacinta at Yakee joined the Yakees after having a litter for her breeders the Charltons, and Bert soon had her in the ring in top condition to win her title, doing the double with Ch For Your Eyes Only on the day she won her 2nd CC. Bert has often won both CCs at shows, something that seldom happened in this breed since the days of the Changtes and the Kyratowns.

            An example of Bert not always keeping the best for himself is Ch Yakee Bogart of Findhorn, a son of Yakee the Contessa (a Cassidy-Solo Girl daughter) and Ch Pemyn Some Guy, who was made up by the Mathieson and Forsythe partnership.

            Ch Yakee Crazy for You was born in 1994, Ch Good Vibrations having been outcrossed to Ch Tirakau Jason’s Legacy. Bert has always believed in the occasional outcross to ensure that his pedigrees do not become too close. The same year the Offilers had used For Your Eyes Only on a daughter of Ch Nowai Harvey Moon and Bert took back a dog puppy, Ch Stsanja Grand Finale at Yakee – James’ last son. He titled in double quick time, taking a Group when he won his second CC at just 8 ½ months old, and pulled off a double with Crazy for You when she went on to win the group. Grand Finale also took Reserve in the group at Crufts and had won BIS at Midland Counties all breeds show under Hans Lehtinen when he was just 13 months old. He was Pekingese of the Year in 1996.

            The Hoi Polloi daughter, Yakee Come and Get Me, was mated to Ch Grand Finale and produced Ch Yakee The Young Eagle Calls. She then had a litter to Yakee Lasting Impression, Crazy For You’s brother, and this produced Ch Yakee The Swing O’ The Kilt.

            2000 was a remarkable year for Yakee that really began at the Bristol, Bath & West of England club show when Andrew Brace judged. The CC &BIS was won by Yakee A Dangerous Liaison – Danny – with BIS going to Ch Yakee Illusions of Grandeur. Danny’s dam was by Ch The Young Eagle Calls out of a Charmer daughter, and his sire the outcross Ch Tenling Golden Arrow of Pekehuis who carried some interesting American lines. He won his first BIS at an all breeds Championship show when just 10 months old and ended up Top Pekingese that year. Illusions was Top Bitch that year, Caroline’s daughter by Ch Stsanja Step by Step.  Ch Yakee Not During 2000 the kennel finished four Champions and did four doubles … quite a year!

            2001 was even better as Danny became Top Dog all breeds, an amazing feat for a Peke, along the way winning 8 BIS All Breeds!

            Ch Yakee Not Another Barbie was litter sister to Illusions – few breeders have two Champion bitches in one litter!

            Crazy For You’s brother, Lasting Impression, although not titled himself, proved a key stud dog. He had sired a bitch called Yakee All That Glitters who, when mated to Ch The Young Eagle Calls, produced Ch Yakee Walking on Sunshine. He was also used on Yakee Jezebel, a daughter of Grand Finale and a Hoi Polloi daughter, and this resulted in Ch Yakee Leaving Me Breathless. Having won the Petplan Junior Stakes finals, and sitting on 2 CCs, he was leased to the USA where he won over 100 All Breed Best In Shows and was top Pekingese for two years before he came home to win his third CC at Crufts

            A repeat of the mating that produced Danny resulted in Ch Yakee Sheer Indulgence whilst similar bloodlines were further introduced when Ch Pekehuis Pure Gold of Tenling was used on Breathless’ sister to produce Ch Yakee Forget Me Not, still considered by many to be one of the best Yakee bitches ever.

            A Grand Finale daughter Musical Girl mated to Danny produced Ch Yakee If Only, a dog who was sparingly shown in the UK but titled very quickly, only to leave for the USA where he rose to Number One All Breeds in 2005. He also became the America’s Top Winning Toy Dog and Pekingese of all time by winning 128 All Breed Best In Shows before he returned home to his breeders.

            Having returned home, Breathless was used on Yakee Sparkling Diamond, who combined Good Vibrations and Charm School Deb, and this produced Ch Yakee Juliette. A Danny daughter, Yakee Nancy, out of a Grand Finale daughter, was mated to Ch Jonsville Rumour Has It, continuing the occasional outcross policy, to breed Ch Yakee’s Little Blond Number.

            Previously Shantallah Night Fever had produced Danny and Indulgence and when mated to Oakmere Eighteencarat of Pekehuis she later produced Ch Yakee Coalition Forces, another Crufts BOB winner.

            Forces himself was then used on Ch Juliette to produce Ch Yakee Easy on the Eye who won his first  CC & BIS at a club show when just a puppy.

            Another Pekingese of the Year was produced when a Grand Finale daughter was taken to Ch Livanda Micklee Ginola and Ch Yakee Playing Footsie was another Yakee to also complete his American title.

            The Shantallah kennel has always used the best available Yakee stud dogs and Bert has often taken back puppies from resulting litters. The Danny daughter, Shantallah A Taste of Honey at Yakee, was out of a Mission Impossible daughter, and when she was mated to Ch Joleth’s Midnight Rover to Pekehuis, she produced Ch Yakee Lady Catherine.

            Contemporaries of her were Ch Yakee Follow This and her litter brother  Ch Yakee A Sight for Sore Eyes – Breathless’ sister mated to Ch Ginola, and Ch Yakee Of Noble Birth – Juliette’s daughter by Danny.

            Another recently titled male at Yakee is Ch Yakee And Don’t Forget It – sired by Ch Livanda Santana out of Ch Forget Me Not whilst the latest Pup of the Year qualifier was the exciting Yakee You Do Something For Me sired by And Don't Forget It out of Juliette.

            There have now been several generations of Champion Yakee dogs and bitches in direct line, however Bert Easdon does not necessarily line-breed as much as he did in the early days when he felt he needed to fix type. Having done so, he now believes he can go out and use the best studs available – if he likes both dog and pedigree – and then breed the results back to his established lines.

            Bert insists that bitches must be big enough to breed naturally and if they have to have caesarians he then finds them good pet homes. There must be many people around Glasgow who unbeknown to them have a famous champion in front of their fireplace! He attributes the fact that the few caesarians he has is due to plenty of exercise and lots of walking as all the kennel including the show dogs run loose most of the day … no living in crates to save fringes! All of the show dogs are regularly lead walked most days and especially in the evening if they have spent a long time in their crates travelling home from a show in England. Good body condition and muscle are very important, perhaps more so than lots of coat as the best looking dog in the world is no good unless it can walk.

            Although Philip is not often seen at shows Bert is the first to acknowledge that he could not do the travelling to shows and being away from home so much without Philip supervising everything back home. Anyone who has sampled the first class hospitality that Bert and Philip extended  at the Dunkeld Hotel, and more recently at Middlegill House where the Yakees now have 60 acres, will know that Philip is the softie, cutting up sausage titbits for the pups’ breakfast and having the oldie champion girls sleep on his bed.

            Being such a clever breeder, it is no surprise that Bert has enjoyed success with a few other breeds and has bred winning Lhasa Apsos, King Charles, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs, as well as the three breeds mentioned.

            Bert is mainly known as an exhibitor but does award CCs in Boston Terriers, which he judged at Crufts in 1988, Shih Tzu's and numerous Toy breeds.

            He has judged in America, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Finland but probably turns down more invitations than he accepts as he is keener to exhibit than to hand out prizes.

            The Yakee prefix has been on 39 Pekingese Champions in Britain only two of which have not been homebred. There have been another 7 Yakee champions in other breeds, but Bert is not a record keeper and has no idea how many CCs the kennel has won.            

          In May 2008 the kennel created another record when the third  owner/bred Pekingese in one litter won her UK Championship, Ch Yakee Certifiably joining her littermates, Ch Yakee Follow This and Ch Yakee A Sight for Sore Eyes in the upper house.

            His adage is that it is the next ticket that is the important one not the last, never being one to rest on his laurels. His success in the ring is the result of a lot of hard work. Keeping a large kennel, even with help, still requires a lot of hands on, and he does all his own whelping as it is just “too important to trust to anyone else” and of course the journeys to shows must be never ending, especially late at night, on your own and occasionally having not had such a good day. It does help when you have had a good win but even then most shows are a minimum of 500 miles round trip from Moffat.

            As Bert is still a moderately young man as far as Peke exhibitors go we shall probably see his cheeky face for many more years to come, which has to be a good thing for the breed. Indeed if and when the Yakees retire, the Pekingese world will be a much poorer place.