first documented record of the breed in this country was
in the year 1935, when Mrs Patrick Morgan of Montreal is
known to have imported a dog from England to join the two
other Shih Tzu already in residence with her.
One of the dogs (Hooza)
was known to have come from China and was described as fawn in color,
a female, and the second was greyish in tone and is said to have come
from Czechoslovakia. So it is apparent that there were members of the
breed here previous to the English import. These dogs were obviously
bred from, as it is from Mrs. Morganís "Chouette" kennel
that "Tashi of Chouette" was exported to England.
"Tashi" was accompanied
by two other Shih Tzu who we are sad to say died in quarantine. Tashi
survived and went on to make a very good contribution to the breed in
that she was the grand dam of three of the first English champions
among these being the famous "Ta Chi of
Taishan" the first English champion of record.
Ch Ta Chi of
This little bitch has been described as brown and white but she
has also been described elsewhere as liver and white. She was born on
the fifth of June 1945 and gained the title in September 1949. She was
owned by Lady Brownrigg of the famous "Taishan" kennels who
did so much to establish the breed in England.
Also in operation in the thirties was the
"Kokonor" kennels of Miss Margaret
Torrible but I have failed to uncover any details of her dogs
despite several enquiries.
As with other countries in the early years there was quite a
lot of confusion as to the name of these little dogs but it was
finally decided, as elsewhere, that they should be recorded as
Not much further information has come to light on
days of the breed in our country, although I am sure there is more
information that has not become available.
"Ah Sid of Lhakang" was imported into Canada along
with a female companion in the fifties and "Ah Sid of
Lhakang" was to become the first member of the breed registered
with the Canadian Kennel Club, the date was 1952. Also in the fifties
the first champion in the breed went on record in the person of
"King Chan of Clarebrand". This dog was imported into Canada
by Mrs J Kirsch of Montreal.
It is not evident that "Ah Sid of Lhakang" or his
companion "Kotzu of Lhakang" were ever bred from, but it
would seem that "King Chan of Clarebrand" did go on to
produce since a dog from Mrs Kirschís kennel "Khazana Yul
Chan", was top Shih Tzu in Canada in 1968. One would expect that
with the incorporation of "Chan" in this dogís name it
would likely be related to the first champion.
With the commencement of the
Second World War, imports were suspended and thus there was a general
slow down in all countries since most dog shows were put side for more
pressing priorities. There was not much activity in the breed between
the late thirties and late forties, but the Shih Tzu became more
prominent in the sixties due to the early fanciers in the U.S.
struggling to have the breed recognized.
The dogs were exhibited
initially in the Miscellaneous Class, but thanks to many dedicated
Shih Tzu people it gained recognition in September 1969 and was
admitted to the Toy Group. Considerable interest was generated from
this occurrence and the result was that this wonderful breed of ours
just went into orbit.
It is sad to note that in April of the same year
Lady Brownrigg of "Taishan", who had done so much for
this breed, died in England.
Lady Brownrigg of
Continued on page
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