About Us

     Paradocs Labradors is the name of the Labrador kennel established in 1994 by Dr. John Helmers and Dr. Karen Helmers.  We are both graduates of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and we own a small animal clinic in Greencastle, Indiana. 
     Both of us grew up surrounded by dogs, but our love affair with Labradors started with the adoption of two rescue Labs, "Tara" and "Little", while we were still in veterinary school.  As a senior veterinary student, John did a theriogenology externship with Dr. Fran Smith of Danick Labradors, in Burnsville, Minnesota.  John fell in love with a black bitch named Ruby of Cinnaman Creek JH CD and ended up bringing her home with him.  Ruby was a field type Lab, very willing to please and with the lovely Labrador temperament.  We bred Ruby three times and kept one yellow bitch puppy, Melissa of Ruby Ridge CD, WC, CGD, TT.  We did everything with Melissa, we showed in conformation and obedience.  We did field tests, temperament tests, canine good citizenship tests and took her with us to visit schools and nursing homes.

Our first AKC Labrador, Ruby, with her daughter, Melissa.
     We soon realized that we were interested in being competitive in conformation as well as the other areas.  We learned that first of all, we would have to have a good looking dog, then we could work on teaching that dog retrieving, obedience, etc.  We contacted several good breeders and purchased several good show prospects.  Unfortunately, we also learned a lot about the genetic problems present in our breed and these first few dogs were neutered and placed in loving pet homes.  This was a difficult but vital lesson for us on our quest for competitive show dogs.

Carol Heidi with three of her lovely black girls.

Carol Heidi with three of her lovely black girls.

     In 1997, we attended our first Labrador specialty and noticed a woman who was showing a lovely group of gorgeous black bitches.  This woman was Carol Heidl, of Tabatha Labradors.  Several months later, we called Carol and introduced outselves and asked to be put on her waiting list for a show prospect.  At that time, she had two litter sisters she was thinking of letting go, and we were in the right place at the right time and ended up with both of the girls.  With the help of professional handler, Chris Grisell, both became specialty winning champions and the foundation of our kennel:  BISS CH Tabatha's Tassel and BISS CH Tabatha's Frazzle.
     Today, our kennel is almost entirely made up of Tabatha Labradors.    A few years ago, we imported a bitch from Colombia, BISS CH Vishnu Whoopi Goldberg del Cypres, a very similar type of bitch!  Whoopi has continued the tradition by becoming a multiple specialty winning champion!  We are now on our sixth and seventh generation of specialty winners.   We are just as proud of the dogs we have bred that have become leader dogs for the blind and service dogs with Paws with a Cause and Indiana Canine Assistance Network.   One of our boys, Jax, is one of the first dogs to become a grief counselor at a funeral home! 

     In 2006,  Karen began judging Labrador sweepstakes.  She has judged all over the country since then and enjoys the opportunities to learn that judging brings.  Karen had the great honor of judging the Mexican National Specialty in 2009. In 2013, Karen was asked to judge bitch sweepstakes at the biggest Labrador specialty in the USA, the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac Specialty.  In 2015, Karen became a licensed AKC judge of Labradors and has judged all over the USA and internationally.  Our life with Labradors and dog people has led to travel and judging opportunities in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Pakistan, England, Denmark, Germany and Finland.
     No breeder can become successful without a great mentor or two.  We are privileged to call three top breeders our mentors:  Carol Heidl, of Tabatha Labradors, who has been a friend and mentor since 1997;  Chris Grisell of Nani's Weimaraners, who started out as our handler and, along with her husband, Ted, has become a dear friend as well as an important mentor; and Doug Johnson, Jeane Haverick, and Jamie Hubbard of Clussexx Kennels who have all taught us so much about everything to do with dogs and showing!!!

     Paradocs Labradors is located in west central Indiana, on a 120 acre farm with a pond put in just for the dogs.  Much of our farm is managed for wildlife and timber stand improvement.  We have four children and one grandson...built in puppy socializers!  We are members of the Labrador Retriever Club, the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac, and the Williana Clumber Spaniel Club.