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Obituary - Les Price
(1949 – 2009)


IT IS with a heavy heart that I write this obituary. Little did I know that after reading a eulogy at Les’ partner, Lynne Rock’s recent funeral, we would so soon be mourning the death of Les.

Les’s life was Lynne and he quite simply could not live without her. Her recent, sudden death from cancer had left him broken-hearted. No long goodbyes, no time to plan to take her away to Calgary for the rodeo they had always planned together. He was inconsolable. Lynne made his life, she was Rock by name and his Rock by nature.

Les had a big support group of friends and family around him constantly. Before he departed this world, he had left instructions for every dog with his kennel help and friend Carol Wilcox, making sure that every dog he owned would receive the allocated home he had chosen. Carol has been invaluable, carrying out his instructions to the letter, as well as her dedication and care of the dogs. Under such tragic circumstances, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Les was as controversial in life as he was in death. At one time, he was a partner in the famous ‘Jagen’ affix, with his ex-wife, now Pat Osbourne. Together they bred outstanding Rottweilers, culminating in many Champions worldwide: Jagen Blue Andante was the sire of my top producing foundation bitch, Ch Rottsan Regal Romance.

Les was an engineer. His descriptions of the dynamics of movement and structure were second to none. He judged worldwide and had the courage of his convictions and in foreign climes his reputation was legendary. He once declared: ‘No prizes in this class!’ This caused an uproar with exhibitors, but he was vindicated in his decision, when one of the exhibits turned out to be a cross-bred!

He wrote breed notes for Our Dogs which could rattle the cages of many and, terrier-like, he would not let go if a wrong needed to be put right. He was extremely sensitive, could often take things to heart and coupled with this he had a marvellous memory.

He was a skilful writer. His book on the Rottweiler is, without doubt, the best book on the breed to date. He had intended writing another book. He would scribe for many periodicals and his breed knowledge was second to none. He had time for everyone, helping seasoned exhibitors and novices alike. I was still learning from him and the encouragement he gave was always uplifting.

He met Lynne ten years ago and together they bred top winning Dobermanns, Mini Bull Terriers and Parson Jack Russell Terriers in her ‘Otherton’ kennel name. His passion for Terriers was immense and he was proud of the fact that he owned the one time Breed Record Holder in Parsons. I attended the first seminar on the breed given by Les, so inspirational was he, that I ended up buying a Parson dog!

His new love was racing Greyhounds where he had winning dogs and a new bitch, ‘Nila’, who won her first two races - I was fortunate to be there the first time she won. He had been arranging a special race in memory of Lynne.

Les never really enjoyed showing, although he trained many a ‘problematic’ show dog, one of which attained his title. He was a skilled dog trainer and behaviourist, training dogs to high levels in both Schutzhund and Working Trials; this was his passion. Les had been working on a Dutch Herder which both he and Lynne were very excited about. He had the time and patience to train the hardest of dogs - dogs like ‘Rocky’ the Rottweiler who was deemed by many as untrainable. Les, however, soon had him doing tricks including jumping through hoops! He was his demo dog and very impressive he was too.

Les loved his family: his two daughters and the latest addition to the family, his new grandson, meant the world to him. His family and friends are devastated by this tragic loss. Dogdom is the poorer for his passing. I hope that he will be remembered for the warm, caring, sensitive person he was. My sincere condolences to the family.

Goodbye my friend, confidant and mentor. My success in dogs would not have been possible without you. Miss you and Lynne always.

Liz Dunhill

It is with great sadness that I report the tragic death of Les Price; shortly after the sudden death of his partner Lynne Rock he simply found the loss of his soul mate too much to bear. All his family and friends will sadly miss him and our sincere condolences go to everyone concerned.

Les spent a lifetime in dogs and livestock showing ponies as well as dogs. He founded the Jagen kennel in 1972, served on the Committee of the MRC, National Working Breeds and was Chairman of SWRC. He was a championship Show Judge both here and abroad.

He had a gift for words, and also had published a book, Rottweilers An Owner’s Companion was also features editor of Rottweiler Quarterly, and breed correspondent for Our Dogs and Dog World. He was also instrumental in the production of the first issue of the black book The Rottweiler in Great Britain.

I first met Les when I joined the MRC in 1978 when he and his wife Pat were both on the committee. Both were founder members of the club, Pat Cup Steward and Les was responsible for the training classes. At that time - together with his two daughters Nicky and Shelley - he lived in Bewdley. Their Jagen Kennel at that time were known as the Top Breeders in the West Midlands. Under the Jagen affix they won major awards in the show ring and also in obedience, and produced twenty dogs, which became champions in nine different countries - a record that still stands to day. The Jagen influence will remain for many years to come.

Les was the first Championship Show judge to have qualified a dog in the Schutzhund Working Test. He was also the first British breed specialist to judge the breed at the Stockholm International Dog Show, the premier Scandinavian Dog Show.

They next moved to Great Whitley just outside Stourport upon Severn where they ran a successful boarding kennels.

It was in 1987 when we moved from Quinton to Cannock Chase that they had my dogs for three weeks while we moved and got kennels built before the dogs came to their present home. His marriage break up with Pat resulted in the selling of the kennels and they each went their separate ways.

The last few years with his partner Lynne Rock (Otherton Dobermann) he lived in Stafford where he ran his successful Dog School. His latest passion, in his own words, was racing Greyhounds he adored them. At the time of his death he owned 12 Greyhounds that had won many trophies.

Jane Heath
Midland Counties Rottweiler Club

The funeral is to be held on March 2 at 12 noon and will take place at Stafford Crematorium, Tixall Road, Stafford, ST18 0XZ. Tel 01785 242594. Family flowers only, donations to Rottweiler Welfare and Greyhound Rescue. Please respect Les and his family’s wishes for no flowers at the Crematorium.

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I "met" Les Price via email when he contacted my publisher regarding a book I'd written about Staffordshire Spaniels (like me, Les collected Staffordshire figurines). 
 
Although we never met in person, we corresponded at least once or twice weekly and occasionally spoke on the telephone over a period of many years. When his calls and emails stopped I knew that something was terribly wrong. Living far from one another and not having mutual friends, this website was my only source of information, and I'm grateful for it. 
 
Les was a sensitive man with great dignity. He was profoundly caring and compassionate. Over the years, we shared our joys and griefs, as well as the details of our everyday lives. He told me about his dogs, his work, his family and friends, and he often sent me poems that he loved along with writings of his own. I remember his worry when his first grandchild was born and his great joy when his daughter held held her baby for the first time. I remember his happiness when Jack won his first race, how much he valued his Greyhouds (and all his dogs) for their individual personalities as much as for their performance. I remember how much Les loved the swallows of Staffordshire. I remember his search for an old friend, Dave Shuck. People were important to Les too -- he cared deeply. 
 
When one of my beloved Yorkshire Terriers died last summer, Les was an incredible source of comfort and wisdom. He understood death as part of life's continuum. I knew that Les was devasted by Lynne's sudden and unexpected passing and was deeply honored when he asked me to write a poem for her memorial service. 
 
Les's passing is a shock and profoundly-felt grief for me. I will miss his intelligence and wit, his warmth, honesty, and integrity, and his love for "all creatures great and small." I will deeply miss the special sharing of a long-time, long-distance friendship. I will always honor his memory.
 
I have many saved corresondences that might be of comfort to his family and friends and know that Les would want me to share these (privately) with those who loved him. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who knew Les. I can be reached via email at adelekenny@verizon.net.  
 
Les was a good man, an exemplary friend. May his noble soul rest in peace.
 
Adele Kenny (New Jersey, USA)

We met Les only 3 years ago when we were at our wits end with our rescue Fox Terrier, Patch.  Despite attending numerous training sessions elsewhere it was Les who was able to teach us the techniques that have made the difference. My husband and I have on uncountable occasions thanked Les for giving Patch the life he deserves.  We only discovered this sad news after recommending him to yet another person today.  It is with great, great sadness we have heard this news - we shall remember him for his warm affection, patience and for changing both ours and Patch's lives.

Emily Clowes

To say i'm shocked by this news is an understatement Over 24 years i have had Dobermanns via Lynn and my last dog from Lynn and Les - The Greatest Tribute i can pay them is to say that my present dog of 15 months will most likley be my last - how can such trust in a breeder be replicated, a great kennels a great partnership and a lovely couple.
 
My deepest respects to the family
 
Adrian and Sylvia Richards & our boy Baxter!  

Adrian Richards

Les and I renewed our friendship recently having not met for over thirty years. He hadn't changed much, either in looks or nature and though he gave voice both to his grief and to his despair he also spoke of his deep love for his family. I shall remember him with humour and with a warm affection. I am glad he looked me up again before he left and sad that he left so soon.

Dave Shuck




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