History Of The Shih Tzu In Canada
by Patricia Dickson

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There were many other kennels producing top winning dogs in the seventies.  In 1970 the top dog in the breed was Can/AM Ch Choo Lang of Telota - owned by Federico and Guzzi of the USA.  This dog was an English import who became the first dog of our breed to win the Show of Shows when he captured the prize on November 20th, 1971.

In 1971 - Can/AM Ch Golden Royalist of Elfann was top dog in the breed and was handled by his owner and importer - Mrs J Stewart of the well-known "Whinbrae" prefix in British Columbia.

1972 was the year when Marilyn Corbett of the "Kaduna" kennels piloted Can/AM Ch Mar Del's Kins Kanishka to top honors.  He was owned by Bonnie Selfon of Maryland.

1973 and 1974 belonged to Can/Bda Ch Carrimount Ah-Ting-Ting as previously mentioned.

Can/Am Ch Winemakers Pla Boi came to Canada to be shown by his owner Faye Wine and in 1975 and 1976 topped all Shih Tzu here. In his second year he was co-owned by Carol McLister of "Ah So Luv Lee" kennels in Ontario.

1977, 1978 and 1979 consecutively the top Shih Tzu was Can/Am Ch Kadunna’s Sewzi Q Lan Sing, owned and handled by Marily Corbett. 1980 was the year that another bitch, "Ch. Santini’s Kaduna Phat Choy A", romped home in first place. Owned and handled once again - by Marily Corbett who loved to put bitches in the spotlight.

1981 and 1982 the top awards went to a lovely gold and white male, "Can/Am Ch Samalee's Reflections of Baron. He was bred and owned by Ron and Marnie Oystrick and was handled to his wins by Linda Kocman.

1983 to 1986 - Can/Am Ch Shente’s Brandy Alexander [ROM], took the top position. This dog has been very prominent in the breed and at the present time has 21 champion children, three of whom are Best in Show winners. He is the winner of many specialties in Canada and in 1988 he won the American National Specialty at nine years of age. He was bred and co-owned by Margaret Brown of Ontario and handled to all his wins by Luke Ehrlicht.

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Can/Am Ch Kadunna’s Sewzi Q Lan Sing

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Can/Am Ch Samalee's Reflections of Baron

Although it is not as yet confirmed in Dogs in Canada, I believe the top dog in 1987 is a grandson of Brandy, "Can/Am Ch Shente’s Christian Dior, owned and handled as above.

Since the forming of the Shih Tzu Club in 1973 we have certainly made great progress in the breed. The Canadian Shih Tzu Club was formed out of a concern to protect this very special little dog that we were fortunate enough to own.

There was a movement in the U.S. to have them moved from the Non-Sporting group in Canada to the Toy Group so as to conform with our neighbours south of the border. Since it specifically states in our standard that the Shih Tzu is not a toy dog we felt we didn’t want to go along with this and felt that as a body we would have a better voice in the matter than as individuals.

The constitution of the club was drawn up in June 1973 on the 6th day of the month. We were fortunate to have among our ranks as a founding member the Honorable Mr. Justice A. Alex Cattanach who drafted this document for us.

The founding members were as follows:
Mr & Mrs Jeffrey J Carrique
(Founding President)
Mr Justice & Mrs A Alex Cattanach
Mr & Mrs Keith Johnstone
Mr & Mrs Andrew Dickson

As with all specialty clubs official recognition by the Canadian Kennel club did not come about until 1979-80.

With the forming of the club more breeders became known to us and we were delighted to have amongst our first members people such as 

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Can/Am Ch Shente’s Brandy Alexander

Jane Francis "Rambutan"; Joyce Harris, "Nancarrow"; Dr. Alvin Novick, "Marlboro"; Mrs. Janet Stewart, "Whinbrae"; Marilyn Szalay, "Zalay"; Carol McLister, "Ah So Luv Lee"; and Mrs. Betty Sommerfield who had long been a fancier of the breed.

This was a very exciting time for us when the Shih Tzu was really coming into "bloom" in Canada. We were lucky at that time to have an entry of six dogs at a show but it was a time when a less cosmetic approach was taken with regard to grooming. Our dogs were always bathed, groomed and trimmed, etc., but not to such extremes as we see today. There was always time to welcome newcomers to the breed and to visit with each other. Going to shows was great fun and we always looked forward to the escapades of the dogs. Many of the experienced people used to go up to the Shih Tzu ring to watch the high jinx that went on.

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