Ragus and Marjorie Bunting
By Lesley Crawley
The kennel name was chosen by my mother, Marjorie Bunting. It is sugar spelt backwards, ‘Little Sugars’ being the words
her sister June used when speaking to all small creatures. Rags, the most influential stud dog in Norwich during the
development of the breed, and us, also make up the name. Consequently it seemed appropriate and the prefix is
pronounced Raggus instead of the phonetically correct, Ray-gus.
My grandmother, Grace Marks, joined my mother as a partner in the early days. After her death I joined as a partner. I
believe I was about 13 at the time.
The kennel has bred and/or owned more than 110 champions, most of which I have handled. Another 20 champions I
have handled for my husband, so altogether in 4 breeds (Norfolk, Norwich, Australian and Borders) there have been at
least 130 champions handled by myself or my mother. Ragus is only the second kennel in the UK to have owned and/or
bred over 100 champions.
My best champion ever is CH Ragus Rings True who, in 2008, took the British dog scene by storm, winning 8 consecutive
terrier groups, 12 all told, and 3 BIS all breeds so far. He has taken virtually all the show records possible for a Norwich,
ending last year as Top Terrier and 3rd Top Dog all breeds. He was also the top British, owned and bred Terrier at Crufts
2009. Most of his wins have been awarded by dyed in the wool Terrier judges which is surely a great compliment.
My other top dogs were CH Ragus The Devil’s Own from whom Rings True has taken many records and CH Ragus Truly
Unruly, Rings True’s dam, the first and only bitch to win more than one group in the UK. She and her son (Rings True) are
the first parent and offspring to win BIS at the National Terrier, our top terrier show. So far she is the dam of 6 UK
champions from only 3 litters and has been the top Norwich Brood every year since her first litter, including Top Terrier
Brood in 2006. She is the most successful all around Norwich bitch ever.
In Norfolks, Ragus still holds the top Stud Dog record for 17 champion offspring with CH Ragus Whipcord, the first black
and tan champion, and Top Brood with 7 champion offspring for CH Ragus Brown Sugar. These records have been held
since the 1980’s.
One of the best Norfolks we have bred is CH Ragus Bewitched who founded 5 generations of champion bitches, a
Norfolk UK kennel record. The sixth generation down the Bewitched line was CH Ragus Boy Blue .
As quoted by Marjorie Bunting, “An upright shoulder "has always been a prevalent fault in the breed, but one which
we had avoided for a long time, mainly because of line breeding to Sir Bear who excelled in shoulders." And “First find
the faults and virtues of your bitch. "Next study her pedigree, noting the good dogs and bitches in the first two or three
generations. Now make a list of stud dogs who are related to her in the way I mentioned above, using only the good
ones as common ancestors. Now compare the faults and virtues of these dogs to your bitch, taking particular care that
the dog you choose does not have her faults. If you end up with several dogs I would advice new breeders to go for the
dog who has already proved he can sire quality stock." And further, “More important than her look is her pedigree, with
line breeding to the best in the breed, is a great help as you have something to build on and don't have to start from
scratch. The other essential is knowledge of the breed. You need to know its prevalent faults and virtues, as well as
details of [all] individuals behind your foundation bitch.”