Thursday, December 30, 2010

AKC Breeder Of Merit

I am excited to announce that today I was formally notified that I have been honored by the American Kennel Club as a Breeder Of Merit!  AKC notes that the Breeder of Merit Program honors breeder/exhibitors' dedication and hard work as they continue to produce dogs that are healthy, capable, and beautiful. 

To qualify for this honor, a breeder must meet the following requirements:

    * Has a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events. 
     * Earned at least 4 Conformation, Performance or Companion event titles on
       dogs they bred/co-bred.
     * Member of an AKC club.
     * Certifies that applicable health screens are performed on the sire and dam
       as recommended by the Parent Club.
     * Demonstrates a commitment to ensuring 100% of the puppies produced are
       AKC registered.

I am proud to have achieved this recognition!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Will There Be Puppies On The Way?

I am excited to announce my latest breeding!

Group Winning Champion Xeralane's Johnny Angel has been bred to my girl Violet - WoTeH'sin Booty-N-Charm.  You can follow the links for pictures and information on both dad and mom.  I'm hoping for February babies!  For more information, please email me at

Thank you to Earl Takahashi and Adrian Agard for helping me make this breeding a reality.  It's been in the planning stages for some time.

For now, fingers are crossed!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Not much going on here on this traditional holiday.  Except we are being nontraditional.  No turkey.  No gravy.  Shrimp cocktail was for lunch.  Salmon with broccoli for dinner shared with the mutts!  Chocolate dipped raspberries for desert.  Yum!  :)

I had wonderful news today!  More on THAT later!  :)

Here is hoping that you and yours have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday - traditional or not!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little Miss Perfect 10

Pictures as promised.  Almost 8 ounces this morning.  Now to just come up with a name . . .

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So There WAS A Puppy In There!

One single puppy.

Sally didn't think Holly was pregnant, but just to be sure she took Holly in for an x-ray last week.  And there it was - a single puppy.  I didn't post anything because I didn't want to jinx anything.  I've been telling Sally all week not to worry.  Things would go smoothly.

And so far - they have.

Born to CH WoTeH'sin Breakfast At Sniffanys (Holly) out of CH WoTeH'sin-S'Dandi Black Tie-N-Tails (Tuxedo - a singleton puppy himself!) one single baby girl - black and white - arrived tonight - of all nights - 10/10/10!  No C-Section required!  Thank you God!  And thank you Sally!  You are an amazing friend and mentor!

Momma, puppy and Sally are all doing well.  Pictures to follow.

Now to come up with an appropriate name!

We are truly blessed this wonderful October evening!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Call For Rescue

Today I got a call from Buffalo, NY of all places.  The lady told me about a Shih Tzu that needed to be rescued from the North Tonawanda, NY SPCA.  His name is Bandit and he is 9 years old.  If anyone is in the Buffalo, NY area and can find a place in their heart and home for this little guy - please either contact me or call the shelter directly.  I have put the word out as far and wide as I possibly can.  Being in AZ limits my abilities.

Where is this poor little guy's breeder?  This is the stuff that infuriates me. 

If you are breeding dogs for anything other than for yourself and improving the breed, you are breeding for the wrong reasons.  People that breed for an income stream, to fulfill a market - you are part of the problem.  You rank right up there with puppy mills in my opinion.  A couple of you visit this blog - you know who you are.  I'm not the bad guy just because I call you out on it either.  If you don't know - or care - about every puppy you've ever brought into this world - you are scum - in my humble opinion.  If you've let puppies or brood bitches die because you don't have the money for appropriate veterinary care, why are you breeding in the first place?  How can you look at yourself in the mirror? 

If you are in the Buffalo, NY area - there is a poor soul that needs you.  Please heed the call.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


When you only plan on one litter every year, maybe two, each breeding is of monumental importance to the future of your breeding program.  Usually if you breed this infrequently, you have only a few brood bitches on which you've chosen to build your line and move forward.  You have taken care to keep or purchase only the best in your opinion and every breeding happens for a reason.  You may on occasion breed a bitch back-to-back (and recent studies I've done with reproduction specialists say it's not a taboo practice).  I still hate to do it, but will do so when cleared by my vet AND the situation warrants.

But here are two things you can take to the bank - if the bitch isn't REALLY ready she won't take and everything happens for a reason.

Suffice it to say that Sally believes Holly is not pregnant.  :(  We were very hopeful and all of the early signs were there.  But unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

If the bitch isn't ready - she won't take.

So what is the next move?  Hmmmm . . . interested readers will just have to wait and see.  But I can tell you this - I have a few possibilities that are VERY exciting.

Everything happens for a reason!

Stay tuned!  :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gimme a sign!

Week three since being bred and Holly has decided she won't eat her food without a little sumthin-sumthin on top - ground beef or chicken.

The picky eating phase of pregnancy maybe??

Stay tuned!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

My grooming 101

When people ask me how to keep a Shih Tzu in full coat, my answers are simple. Start with a well bred coat, brush daily and find products you like that enhance the coat texture and make your job easier.

I never lie about what I use and nothing I use is a secret. The fact of the matter is that anyone can keep a Shih Tzu in full coat - you just have to brush it. The products you use are a matter of personal preference. Put 10 Shih Tzu exhibitors in a room and I will bet you that you will get 10 different answers about what they use. Some of them will tell you the truth. :) What I have found though is that some products make life a lot easier than others. There are things to use for bathing, for staining, for damage repair, etc. Today I'm going to focus on bathing. Why? Because I just groomed out my two girls - Samantha and Sabrina - and they look FABULOUS. Too fabulous not to share.

The well-bred coat part of the formula is probably the most difficult part. I am lucky right now because I have some fabulous black & white coats to work with. They are strong, silky and forgiving. Staining is minimal and texture is to die for. These things make my job a LOT easier!

Here are my "secrets" that aren't really secrets. Ask anyone that knows me, they will tell you these are my tools of choice.

My favorite shampoo:

Best Shot Ultra Wash. Of course I follow with:

Best Shot Ultra Plenish Conditioner and:

Best Shot Ultra Vitalizing Mist.

And YES - all of these products have silicone in them! OH.MY.GOD. How can anyone use a silicone product?? It breaks coat! It dries coat!

Forget what you have read about silicone on Shih Tzu coat. Silicone today is engineered to be friendly to coat. This stuff ROCKS in my opinion. It leaves a finish that you just don't get with anything else. And believe me, in the past 12 years I have tried A LOT of product. I have used this stuff exclusively for the last 6 years. Judges lift up the coat on my dogs, feel it and several comment about the luxurious texture. The coats drop nicely from the body and the undercoat is extremely manageable. The coats stay cleaner, longer. The coats do not break. My dogs run the house, on tile, but their yard is crushed rock over hard packed AZ dirt. To say AZ is dusty is an understatement. And DRY. This climate is killer on everything. And this stuff is amazing.

I never strip the coats, I just do the same thing with each washing session. And I rinse COMPLETELY until the rinse water runs clear between both shampoo and conditioning.

After bathing I wrap the dog in a couple of towels and sit with them for a few minutes to soak up some of the water. Then I put them under the dryer. I use a tourmaline, ceramic, ionic blow dryer, 1800 watt on low heat and low speed. It is a model by Revlon which I bought at Wal-Mart. Yes it's for humans. I have a dryer holder I bought several years ago called a Hair Maid. That way both of my hands are free to work on the dog.

My brushes:

I call this my Mason Pierson knock off. I once spent the big bucks for a Mason Pierson brush. Loved it! LOST IT at a dog show. Or someone ripped it off. Whatever - it disappeared. So I sought out a knock off. You can buy this brush at Ulta. It is a pocket sized brush and costs about $17. I LOVE this brush. It works well on separating the spider webbing in undercoat without damaging it.

If I find some matting I will break it apart and work this brush thru it. If it is a stubborn mat, I will spray with the Ultra Vitalizing Mist and work it in then leave the mat to soak. I'll make my way back to the mat in question after a few minutes.

After I have worked thru any matting, I then go to:

My trusty Chris Christensen Fusion Brush. The handle is a dried ash and it is light as a feather. The bristles are brass plated with finished ends. This means two things - the brass plating eliminates static electricity. The finished ends are smooth and round. These two things eliminate coat breakage. I personally work with pocket sized brushes. I hate full size brushes in general. I find the smaller brush allows you to concentrate on getting a good blow out - nice and straight. And it forces you to get into all the nooks and crannies - to get out those mats that love to hide under arms and in back of ears.

I follow with a teflon coated Greyhound comb and then use a small slicker to ease out any pin mats that remain.

I work thru the entire coat, starting with the head first. I stop when the headpiece is dry and I band it. I have a couple of combs I use - mostly the full sized Greyhound mentioned above, but on the face I use an orange rat tail comb I found at Sally Beauty Supply. It's called a "bone" comb. Someone tried to tell me it was made of real bone, but it isn't - it's just orange plastic. But its gentle around the face and I find the rat tail easy enough to use to separate the topknot sections and the facial furnishings. If I want to get fine detail around the face, I use my small 5" greyhound, also teflon coated, that has one side that has teeth almost as close as a flea comb. It works well to get around the eyes and making sure there is no "gunk" left around the delicate eye area. I use lubricating eye drops on a cheesecloth type towel to go around the eyes if they need detail cleaning. And follow with the small Greyhound comb.

For more detail work, I have another rat tail comb with a metal tail. I use this for parts down the back mostly and not around the face.

Once thru with the head, I start on the body. I work from the front show-side paw and work from the bottom up, move to the back paw the same way and then the side coat on the show-side. Then I work the tail area and back skirt. Then move from back non-show-side paw to front non-show-side paw. Finally the chest area. Then I go back thru the whole coat and spot dry whatever wasn't completely dry from the first go around.

My philosophy is that if you take the time to do a good blow out - you will spend less time ironing on show day. And on non show weeks, taking the time to do a good blow dry means less matting I believe.

Anyway - those are my wash day "secrets." Take them for what you feel they are worth, but don't say I don't share any of my trade secrets! ;)

Here are Samantha and Sabrina.

NOTE: I did not receive any gain, financial or otherwise, from endorsing any of the products mentioned above.

The things people search for

I'm not the most technically savvy individual, but I know enough to be dangerous. :) One of my most recent finds has been to see where all of you lovely people come from that visit my humble blog.

I know some of you find me through Facebook links. Welcome to all the new visitors!

My personal friends find me because that's what friends do! ;) Thanks for keeping me on your radar!

Some of you find me because you are part of the WoTeH'sin family. Thank you for stopping by!

Some of you find me because you want to keep track of me for one reason or another. You know who you are . . . and now, so do I! :D

And some of you find me through the wonders of search engines. And search you do. For things I would never imagine would point to my blog!

You see, one of the things that my newest technical finds actually shows are the links from which people visit! And if it's from a search engine, many times - most actually, it shows what the individual was searching for when they found me. And trust me when I tell you that this information has been incredibly entertaining recently. LOL

To the person in the southeast that wants to find out how to paint on eyestripes - I have three comments:

1) You should breed for eyestripes - not paint them in.

2) If you must paint them in - ask your MENTOR the various practiced enhancement methods and try them in the privacy of your own home to see what works best, if at all, for your dog. Don't search for it on Google. There is not one SKILLED exhibitor/handler out there that would actually post this on the internet for God's sake! Do you really think that someone would publicly post a practice that specifically is cause for ring dismissal??

3) After a most recent FB exchange regarding RESPONSIBLE breeders educating the puppy buying public, you're lucky I have some discretion! :) Do you tell your puppy buyers you paint on eyestripes? Just curious . . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Say hello to MyLee!

Some of you may remember that I flew out to Michigan to pick up a puppy earlier this year. I was ever so hopeful that this puppy would be a male that was exactly what I was seeking in a second male for my breeding program here. I had planned this breeding for YEARS and the pedigree - well - it is incredible. But you know what they say about the best laid plans and best intentions . . .

Before I went out to Michigan I had a call from a lovely lady who had lost her Shih Tzu a short while ago. She had actually found me by searching for the breeder who bred her last pup. My first champion girl, Booty, as it turns out was co-bred by the breeder of her treasured baby and Jean found me by searching the internet to locate Jamie. She was, in fact, doing her homework. She had found other breeders and other puppies, but she just didn't get the feeling they were the right breeder or puppies for her.

We spoke for some time and I knew Jean and her hubby would make perfect parents for a little one of mine. We talked about possibilities and I hoped she would wait until my return from Michigan before she made any decisions about purchasing a puppy. You see, most people think it's a marathon to get a new baby in their home and heart. Most people don't stop and think about the ramifications of buying from someone other than a responsible breeder - they merely want to fill that void in their heart and/or home. So they buy from people that have puppies readily available whether or not the "breeder" is actually responsible. It's easy to say "well they seem okay" when you have that cute little face staring back at you.

Here's a newsflash -- ALL PUPPIES ARE CUTE -- even if they are poorly bred examples of ANY breed!

So I brought home my little guy, who I called Miles, and I watched him for several days. Sadly, I knew he would not grow into the dog I needed to move forward in my breeding program. Some people would say I just wanted the money and sold this puppy. But believe me when I tell you that this was NOT the case. I spoke to Jean and while skeptical about a male, she was thrilled we could work out an arrangement for her to get her new bundle of joy.

So Miles - who is now called MyLee - is living the spoiled good life in Kingman, AZ.

In a recent email, Jean writes:

"Just wanted to bring you up to date with Mylee. He is doing great. He is completely housebroken. He jumps on me and barks when he wants to go out. Is growing like a weed and is very healthy. He has had all his shots now.

We just came back from a trip to Calif. and he did really good. No accidents in the house while we were there. He ran and played and wore himself out everyday. We took his crate, so he had his bed every night. Our kids tried to talk us out of taking him home, but we told them we would have to stay too, so they let us bring him home. lol . . .

He is so active, we never know what he is going to do next. But we both really love him and he makes us laugh all the time. . . . He is so smart. He knows to come, sit, and stay already. As you can tell, we think he is the smartest dog ever born. lol . . .

Take care and thank you for MyLee.

Your friend,


Talk about a great feeling! Thank you Jean for giving my baby a great home! And keep those pictures coming!!
And Jamie - if you read this you have GOT to get in touch with me! I've had a few people call me asking about you and I really would like to get back in touch. I have so much to share with you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flagstaff Kennel Club

Samantha took WB and BOS both days this weekend at the Flagstaff Kennel Club shows for her first two points! She had a great time and I think she's figured out that everyone who meets her thinks that she is absolutely adorable!

Thank you judges Raymond Bay and Robert Widden for Sam's first two points!

Samantha is on her way!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What would YOU do?

Imagine - someone tells you that they want to learn and improve in an area of their life. They become your student.

Along the way, they tell you that they have raised the bar on their own expectations. As they have progressed, they tell you that they have set higher, more honorable goals. You feel you have made a difference and you ignore the skeptics out there that tell you that a leopard doesn't change its spots.

You eventually find out that this person lied to you. They looked you in the eye and LIED TO YOU. And not about just one thing - but a MULTITUDE of issues.

And then when all of their lies unravel - YOU become the bad guy.

What would YOU do?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shih Tzu Reporter - Spring '10 - Mr. Victor Joris

Paying It Forward

Nancy Manelski
WoTeH'sin Shih Tzu

Purpose. What's yours?

Anyone can breed dogs. Take a look through your newspaper or better yet, take a trip to the humane society or your local shelter. Point and click your way to It's eye opening really. If everyone that bred a litter of dogs stated their purpose, I think you would find that most wouldn't even touch upon betterment of the breed they took the time to propagate. And that is so sad.

About two years ago, I had an older dog for which I eventually wanted to find a forever home. We can't keep them all even if they are titled. And it pained me to place this dog because he was well on his way to a championship and he had already had a rocky road during his short life. He had some beautiful qualities. But for various reasons, I knew he didn't carry the necessary genetic make-up I needed to work with down the road. It seems cold, but those were the facts. So I was wrestling with the thought of spending more money showing him when I knew I would never breed him.

I had numerous conversations with a lady that got my name from a trusted source. She was looking for a dog to show. Actually, she wanted a bitch, but she found herself, or so she said, drawn to this dog. During our many conversations, this person told me she had no interest in breeding, she want to start showing dogs with her daughter as a hobby of sorts. A mother-daughter thing, if you will. Her mother showed a larger breed and it just seemed natural that she got involved similarly but with a breed she loved. All things sounded good. But as our conversations continued, I found myself trying to "sell" my dog to this lady. I found myself trying to convince her that he was the right dog for her to show. When I realized what I had reduced myself to, it was at that very moment that I picked up the phone and called her and told her that the dog was no longer for sale. He was staying here.

I found myself doing something someone with my purpose should never do. A sales pitch.

Eventually, this dog finished his American and International titles and he now resides in Phoenix in the home of one of my professional colleagues. He has a loving home with his new daddy and he has a brother too - another Shih Tzu with whom he plays his days away. He is happy, he is healthy, he is loved - and he is neutered.

This was a dog that was deserving of a championship title for many reasons, but in my house he was not a dog that needed to be bred. My purpose is not to breed because I can, my purpose is to breed only the best that I am able and move forward. My purpose is to give back. And this dog didn't fit into this plan.

So many people forget that even though a dog is titled, maybe that dog still isn't worthy of producing further generations in your house. So, if you won't use a particular dog to breed, is it really necessary to place that dog somewhere else with the potential to procreate? I guess that depends on who you are and who the buyer is, but again I urge you to take a trip to your local shelter before you sell something with breeding rights, especially to someone you really don't know. And how well do you really know someone with whom you've only shared a few telephone conversations and email exchanges? I can tell you that sometimes you may think you know someone because you have shared a relationship for years, but really, when it gets down to it, you don't know them at all. And do you want someone to have full access to everything you've work so hard for sitting in their living room waiting for the next lady in waiting if the price is right?

The lady that I caught myself pitching to, the one that just wanted to show for fun and not breed anything? She's got a full-blown website now with multiple brood bitches and puppy nurseries. This person is eager to share with anyone that will listen the horrors of showing dogs. Yet she promotes the multiple champions in her pedigrees. She concentrates on producing the "Imperial" Shih Tzu and offers the exotic colors of latte, mocha and chocolate. I think I fully understand her purpose.

What is your purpose?

I am pleased to present AKC Judge #5542 - Victor Joris:

- What was your first breed owned? Shown? Bred? Licensed?

The first purebred dog I bought was a fawn colored Chihuahua. It was a present for my two nieces. He lived to the ripe old age of 16. I can never remember when growing up there was not some breed of dog in the house or yard. We had at different times Am Staffs, Smooth Fox Terriers, Chihuahuas, Rat Terriers, a Beagle and years later, of course, the Shih Tzu. Currently a very smart little Rat Terrier is the house dog. I spent many years brushing coats and it was time for a polyester breed.

- Why did you originally decide to breed and/or judge Shih Tzu?

It was difficult for me to have a dog for many years as I traveled a great deal and felt it was not fair to own one. Later when traveling was not so necessary, I was lucky enough to accidentally meet the Shih Tzu at a garden party on Long Island in 1970. It was love at first sight.

I have always been fascinated by the Orient and all things Chinese from the time I saw the movie "The Daughter of Fu Man Chu", when I was about 10 years old. I devoured all of Pearl Buck's novels and any books in the library I could get my hands on concerning China. Fortunately later I was able to acquire 2 books by Princess Der Ling, Lady in Waiting to the old Dowager Empress and several more written by different authors who had spent time in close contact and with first hand knowledge of the Imperial Court in China. The fact that the Shih Tzu had Chinese heritage was a very big plus but I had already made up my mind that the breed was for me regardless of its origin.

I bought my first Shih Tzu from Reverend and Mrs. Easton of the famed
Chumulari Kennel. He was a double grandson of BIS American Canadian CH Chumulari Ying Ying ROM, the first Shih Tzu to go BIS in the US. Ying accomplished that on the first day Shih Tzu were allowed to compete for points at AKC shows, September 1, 1969. My puppy's pedigree contained all the foundation dogs and bitches of the Chumulari line. He was one of a litter of seven and actually I think it was more that we selected each other because I knew nothing about the breed, although I knew he was a special little dog (not something I would recommend now). He was bought as a pet but time proved that to be wrong. He finished his championship quickly and became a multiple BIS dog, also acquiring a Register of Merit. His registered name was CH Chumulari Chin Te Jih, translated from Chinese, Golden Sun. He was the first Shih Tzu to go BIS at Eastern in Boston defeating 2,500 dogs.

Shortly before Reverend Easton died I visited with him and Peggy in New Paltz. He presented me with all his books, research and photographs used in his and Joan Searly's book "This is the Shih Tzu". He also granted me, with AKC approval, the right to co-own the Chumulari prefix with Mrs. Easton, registered with the AKC in 1965. Mrs. Easton is well and lives in New Paltz, NY with 4 Shih Tzu. We keep in touch often.

- Give us a brief synopsis of your dogs/kennel and show "career".

I never showed my own dogs, they were shown throughout their careers by Mrs. Jane Forsyth. When Mrs. Forsyth retired, Dee Shepherd showed my Shih Tzu.

I met Mrs. Forsyth at Progressive dog Club at the old McAlpin Hotel where the Progressive Dog Show was held. Why I entered, I do not know. I knew absolutely nothing about showing a dog, but I was convinced I had a special little dog. I was ready to leave when I asked Mrs. Forsyth if she would show Sunshine. She took him and won a 4 point major at his first show. I think there were about 20 entries. The point schedule was much different at that time. From then on I took him to every show and groomed him for the ring. My dogs were never kenneled.

My first dog show was Westminster. I lived in New York City at the time and directly across town from Madison Square Garden. You could say it was a local show for me and certainly an eye opener. I have since attended 37 Westminister shows and was entered in three. Two of "Sunshine's" puppies finished there, a bitch and dog, and his grand daughter went reserve another time. The dog, Li Ning, finished the last time they allowed class entries in 1987.

I bred very few litters and almost only on bitches with Chumulari in their pedigrees. I did use "Sunshine" on several 'beautiful bitches' that were outcrosses. I have currently frozen sperm of "Sunshine" stored in Pennsylvania. It has been there for over 25 years.

My dogs lived to be quite old reaching 16,17 and 18 years. I never placed them in homes but kept them until the end. "Sunshine" and one of his daughters, CH Miss M. Monroe both lived to be almost 18 years old.

When I retired, I stopped breeding and showing except for a bitch, CH Chumulari Answered Prayers, that I had bred, who was a group winner from the classes. I then decided to apply to judge.

- Why did you decide to pursue judging?

I am interested in all breeds but am approved to judge the Toy group and 7 Non sporting breeds and BIS. I am fascinated with the history and background of all the breeds I judge including those I am not approved for.

- When judging, what is the "must have" quality you look for in a Shih Tzu?

We all know there are no perfect dogs. Each judge has their own opinion as to which fault they consider the least or the worst and the ones they can live with. Like all judges, I have my own opinions.

I prefer a Shih Tzu who is not at the extreme of either end of the standard. I want a level top line, a must for me, a good broad mouth and certainly one with a beautiful round head. I do not like white of eye showing and do not want a long giraffe neck or a square dog or one raced around the ring at break neck speed. It isn't a race. To me it's a red flag - the handler is attempting to hide incorrect movement or a fault. I like the dogs shown on a loose lead at a normal gait.

- Tell us your definition of breed type in a Shih Tzu.

Type is the most important thing I look for when breeding or judging. The word type is a very difficult word. Most people when asked about type will interpret it, rather than define it. You can ask 6 people to define type and get 7 answers. Type is what distinguishes one breed from another. It's great, when judging or breeding, if you have a Shih Tzu with superior type who also has correct conformation and temperament.

- If you could address someone just coming into the sport of dogs, specifically conformation and Shih Tzu, what advice would you give a novice?

My advice to any newcomer would be to study the breed at shows, watch the competition, ask questions and learn much as they can about the breed.

Do not buy the first dog that comes along. You would not buy a car if you could not drive so don't buy a dog you know nothing about. Keeping a Shih Tzu in show coat is a monumental task even for a seasoned breeder and almost impossible for a newcomer. Most likely as a novice, a breeder will not sell you a show quality bitch. They will keep those themselves. Later if you prove to be a dedicated owner and have proved yourself within the breed you may be able to acquire a first class bitch from a breeder eager for you to show and finish a bitch of their breeding.

The conformation ring is a very tough place for a newcomer or a long time exhibitor and regardless of the quality of your dog you will not always win. If the same dog won all the time there would be no need for shows.

- In the US, the Shih Tzu is currently in the Toy group, in Canada, Non-Sporting. There is a movement by AKC to possibly move the Shih Tzu into the Non-Sporting group in US competition. Where do you feel the Shih Tzu is a better fit and why?

I think the breed should remain in the Toy Group, but would caution many breeders that some of the dogs I have seen recently are much too large weighing closer to 17-18 pounds with to much leg. I do no consider those Toys. I prefer a smaller or middle sized Shih Tzu with good body and substance rather than a big coarse one and definitely NEVER ONE OF THOSE SO CALLED CHINESE IMPERIAL DOGS, which I consider sub-standard Shih Tzu.

- What is your feeling of the grooming techniques of today in comparison to those practiced when the Shih Tzu was first acknowledged by the AKC?

Long, flowing coats are beautiful but they have nothing to do with the conformation of the dog. It just means that someone is an excellent groomer. I do not like the muzzle shaved, it destroys the soft Oriental look the breed should have nor do I like painted eye stripes or an overblown topknot that never moves. If you want dark eye stripes breed for them. A judge could excuse you for changing the appearance of the dog by artificial means.

I think groomers have carried the art of grooming to extremes. They have created a cosmetic caricature of a beautiful, active, lively little dog with painted eye stripes, ironed coats and top knots that defy gravity all held together with mousse and spray. A clean dog, well brushed with a simple topknot is how the breed should be shown in my opinion.

- Where do you feel breeders need to concentrate and improve?

It is vitally important that the SHIH TZU HEAD NOT BE LOST. If the head is lost there is no way to retrieve it and whether you or anyone else agrees, the Shih Tzu is a "Head Breed". Of the 18 faults listed in the current AKC standard, 12 apply to the head. I think most of us who fell in love with the breed did so because of the incredible beauty of their gentle and trusting faces. Do everything possible to maintain the beautiful round head, which is the foremost breed characteristic of the Shih Tzu.

These comments are solely my own from studying the history of the breed and observations at countless shows over the last thirty-eight years. They may or may not differ from other breeders and judges. Like other judges and breeders who are still around, we were privileged to see and compete with many of the original imports and pillars of the breed.

Victor Joris

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Common Philosophy

This was posted by a new friend I've connected with on Facebook. Kristina Estlund is a Terrier breeder from California and she also writes for "Showsight" magazine. One of my recent puppy buyers is a mutual friend. My thanks to Christi Johnstone (Jack's mom) who "introduced" us and to Kristina for allowing me to re-post this:

Great Rules To Buying from a Breeder

From a Pit Bull Breeder Site:

If you must buy from a breeder, here's some things to watch out for. If the Pit Bull breeder you are looking at does not have at least 9 out of the following 10 criteria firmly in place, run away as fast as you can.

*Are "Into" Dogs. In other words they actually do something with their dogs. They don't have them tied up or has house pets.

*Their dogs are show dogs, sport dogs, etc... and they have titles to prove it. Pups' pedigrees are filled with dogs who have obtained show titles/working certificates; never breeds dogs without "papers"

*Supports Pit Bull rescue. What? They actually care about the breed? Yes. If they don't support rescue directly or the idea of rescue. They need to really look at why they are breeding.

*Knowledgeable about every aspect of breed, including health issues/defects; they research genetics and health issues when choosing their breedings.

*Offer continued help with their dogs. If you have a question, you should be able to pick up the phone or sign online (email) and get an answer. For a very, very, very long time after you get your pup.

*Have a list of reputable references. If they can't provide you with at least 5 or 10 references, leave.

*Breedings are planned 1 to 2 years in advance and they rarely breed. Rare meaning like once every year or three.

*Only breeds proven, stable, mature dogs. Not puppies or young dogs under the age of two.

*Does all genetic testing and does not breed dogs that have not been completely tested and shown free of common defects.

*They want to meet you and your family. Not just once, but they want to get to know you.

So you see, I'm not the only one out there that believes in this philosophy. Do your homework before you buy a puppy!

Fired up

In the matter of just minutes my heart broke today. Then I got angry.

Sundays, in fact weekends in general here, are very laid back. I value the time I get with my dogs and as such, I don't plan much for weekends. I know - I'm boring!

So after a leisurely morning waking up and loving on the kids, I took off in search of my favorite treat - an iced coffee - large - lots of ice - brought home to be flavored with my secret recipe of sugar free items to make it nice and tasty. I know I could brew it myself, but it's just not the same. But I digress . . .

So as I'm driving thru the neighborhood, I see a sight that just broke my heart. There he was, a man sitting in front of his house with a pen full of puppies for sale.

Now I know that it's a free country and all of that. And it is unfortunate that people have come to a point in time when they seek any means they can to make money. Including breeding their pets. But the sign of the times doesn't make this any easier to look at.

Most people think that dogs are a commodity. I suppose the over abundance of animals out there available make it seem as such. But believe me when I tell you that pets - beloved animals we live with - should not be seen as a commodity. This is the reason there are shelters and euthanasia and the need for rescue. It's a catch 22 that just isn't improving and it is the force behind our government getting involved in an area of our lives in which it should not. It's not just puppy mills that are the cause of this problem. It's the backyard breeder that is the root cause.

Yes, it's a free country - and that's why on my way back home as I drove by - I stopped. And I begged the people looking at those puppies to seek out a responsible breeder from whom to get their next beloved family member.

All puppies are cute. Poorly bred or well bred - they are all adorable. The difference is that well bred dogs ARE NOT A COMMODITY. They are planned well in advance, they are carefully raised and they are NOT put out on the front stoop with a for sale sign in front of them. They have breeders that breed for the right reasons. Those puppies don't end up in shelters because their breeders take the time to find out about the people that adopt them. Responsible breeders are there to answer questions, or even in an extreme case, to rehome those puppies that become adults if and when the need ever arises. Responsible breeders only breed for themselves and betterment of their breed. They don't breed to fulfill a market or make a few bucks on the side. Responsible breeders have jobs and lifestyles they can afford without the need to sell a few puppies to make some extra money.

And that guy on the corner? He won't be around for you or your dog in the future. He'll take your money and try to pay his next bill with it. You just got what you paid for.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Well, I would post a picture, but my computer crashed and my files are out of reach at the moment. And that free backup service I was using - yeah, about that. Thank you Qwest for your outstanding service, as usual.

I've contacted a company to recover what they can from my old hard drive and in the mean time bought a new computer. Sigh. I'll also be researching alternate back-up methods to prevent this from happening again in the future.

The good thing is that I just bought one mean machine! Can you imagine a 1TB hard drive??? Good Lord! Plus 8MB RAM and loads of other goodies. It's fast. Hopefully it will serve me 9 years like the last computer did!

So Happy Easter wishes to everyone - despite our computer problems!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Puppy update

We have boys! Three beautiful boys. Sadly we lost two puppies but I am forever grateful to Sally for doing everything possible to make this delivery the best for my dear Holly. It is always sad to lose young babies - it is the one thing as dog breeders that hurts almost as much as losing one of your older dogs to disease or age. Sally once told me that if it ever stops hurting to lose a newborn, it's time to get out of dog breeding - and she's right. It's like a piece of your heart goes with that baby to the bridge - but you know you'll get it back when you pass on to your afterlife and you are reunited with your babies. It still doesn't make it any easier.

So boys! Lovely, perfectly marked boys! Three of them from which I can choose. This boy is an important element to my breeding program because of his pedigree. And I can't believe I have three perfect babies from which I can pick! I am blessed! I can not wait to see them, and I am planning my trip to Michigan to do just that! I simply can not wait to see them move - it should be beautiful!

There they are up above - no names yet - still thinking about that. So for now, just enjoy the picture of CH Rush x CH Holly baby boys!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Puppy News!

Hopefully I don't jinx this but while I lay here recovering from yet another cold, I have news of the pitter-patter of little paws on the horizon! Today Sally called me to tell me that Holly - CH WoTeH'sin Breakfast At Sniffanys - had a pre-delivery xray and there are five babies in there!

Holly has been living in Michigan for some time now with Sally and the S'Dandi crew. The last time she was bred, sadly it didn't take - I think that secretly Holly just loves Sally's home cookin' and decided she wanted to stay even LONGER so she didn't have any babies. But this time around Sally timed the breedings perfectly and we are keeping our fingers and toes crossed for a smooth delivery!

Holly is Magic's full litter sister and he sends his best to his sis! Oh and he says, I have a champion kid already that is a Best Puppy In Specialty Show winner - let's see what ya got!

Holly is shown above finishing her championship with Sally in Traverse City, MI