History Of The Shih Tzu In Canada
by Patricia Dickson

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In 1974 the first Shih Tzu booster was held in Montreal at the United Kennel Club show in November.  The judge was Mrs Thelma Brown and the breed was won by Can/AM Ch Long's High Sacki Ah Chop Chop - handled by Joe Repice and owned by himself and L Garrett Lambert.

1975 was a great year for us as we were able to host our first Shih Tzu Specialty at the United Kennel Club show in Montreal.  It was a very well supported show with an entry of 37 dogs - 11 of whom were from the Carrimount strain.  Exhibitors came from the US and Canada and we had as our judge Mr Arnold Leadbitter, who gave Best in Specialty to AM Ch Marlboro's Ursus Teddy - bred and owned by Alvin Novick of New Haven, Connecticut and handled to this win by Garrett Lambert.

Wenrick’s Tina Tina

Also remarkable at this show was "Wenrick’s Tina Tina" who later went on to win seven all breed Best in Show awards. She was Best Puppy in Specialty and was from the first litter bred by Wendy & Richard Paquette of Sudbury, Ontario. We were so proud to finally have held our first specialty.

In 1976 in keeping with our feeling that the Shih Tzu specialty should be held in a different location each year, we held our show in conjunction with the "Sportsman’s Show".  We had another well attended show and Best in Specialty went to "Can. Ch. Carrimount Ah Chun Ki" handled by Garrett Lambert.

It was our intention to keep the show moving right across Canada at the time and when we instituted the organization, so we transferred the Presidency of the Club to Mr Richard Logie of Ottawa, Ontarion and the constitution was changed accordingly in 1977.

The fancy was acquitting itself well in the show ring and whelping box in the seventies and eighties and many dogs were exported to the U.S.A. In the early eighties I had an enquiry from a lady who was a missionary in Tibet. She was in Canada on leave from her mission and told me that there were no longer any Shih Tzu in Tibet and as they were holding dog shows there she would like to have a pair to take back with her to breed and show.  I thought that this was a marvelous idea but as we limit our litters to two per year, had nothing available. After contacting a friend who had a litter by - "Ch. Wyvern The Master Mariner", I was able to send this lady to see a puppy bred by Gloria 

Primeau who lived in Cornwall, Ontario and suggested that perhaps Marilyn Corbett of Toronto might also have something for sale. Everything went like clockwork and at the end of her vacation she returned to Tibet with an eight month male from Marilyn and a young female puppy from Gloria Primeau. The puppy later won a Best in show in that country.

In this time period there were some very good kennels emerging. Jane Francis was doing well with her long established "Rambutan" kennels which had been founded on English bloodlines out in Newfoundland. Irene Searle and Jan Forbes were breeding champions in New Brunswick. Irene under the "Cec Nich" name and Jan in the "Gregar" prefix. Flora McKenzie, with her largely European blood, was producing nice things in her "Kuri" kennel in Nova Scotia. Pat Miller’s "Woodsmoke" Kennel in P.E.I. and then New Brunswick has produced Best in Show winners. In Quebec of course there was "Carrimount" and also "Handsworth" kennel of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Lee.

This was the home of "Can. Am. Ch. Greenmoss Beau Geste", who was a Best in Show winner and champion producer. Also in the Montreal area, my husband and myself (Pat and Andrew Dickson) were endeavoring to do credit to the breed. We were fortunate to have started out with "Carrimount Ah Ting Ting" as our first Shih Tzu and thereafter added "Carrimount Ah Chip Chip" and "Carrimount Ah Tina Tina" and finally importing "Keytor Witch Hazel" from England who would later achieve "R.O.M." status producing 9 puppies, six of whom were champions and three of whom were group winners.


Can Ch Carrimount Ah Chun Ki

Carrimount Ah Ting Ting

In the Ottawa area Mr. and Mrs. Logie were frequently seen at shows with the offspring of their dogs and made many champions from them.

In Northern Ontario the Paquette's kennel "Wenrick" was becoming well known and is still producing champions and Best in Show winners. Also in northern Ontario are Patti & Mark Paquette of  "Sou Yen" reg’d. Sharon Cornett was breeding under the name "Shonaping" flag and producing consistent group winners. Diane Moncion of the "Paramount" kennels has produced several Best in Show winners and several champions. Last, but by no means least, Ron and Marnie Oystrick have produced several Best in Show winners and of course this is the home of "Samalee’s Reflections of Baron".

Southern Ontario has also acquitted itself well and numbers among its breeders Gerry Ikola who’s kennel name "Nanking" has been well known in the U.S. and Canada. Marg Brown’s "Shente" kennel is also very well recognized as was mentioned this is the home of the famous Brandy Alexander. An earlier breeder in that area was Mrs. Phyllis Houston who did a lot to help the breed under the kennel name "Felicia".

In the West Joyce Harris of the well known "Nancarrow" name was producing her fair share of champions as was Mary Ellen Baker whose "Karmicki" prefix is still prospering in the show ring.

In British Columbia Mrs. Janet Stewart, "Whinbrae", continues to do her fair share of winning and is quite an enthusiast in the breed.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I feel we have done well by this unique and wonderful breed of ours both in the show ring and in the whelping box and we can hold our heads up with pride knowing our dogs are as good as any.

In 1983 history repeated itself. A Canadian dog from our kennel was exported to England, almost fifty years had elapsed since the last Shih Tzu was sent there for breeding purposes, and I believe he was the first import into England in our breed in over twenty years. The dog’s name was "Wyvern On A Promise" and he was sent to the famous "Keytor" kennels of Mrs. E.M. and Miss S.E. Johnson in Leicester. He is the son of our "Carrimount Ah-Ting-Ting". Great things still run in this bloodline. The first son out of his first litter after coming out of quarantine was made up in seven shows and was Best in Show at the Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club show on the way to his championship. This dog also was Best of Breed at Crufts in 1986.

"Wyvern’s On A Promise" was held back in his show career as quarantine had a detrimental effect on him and after he came back into bloom he went out in the show ring and had won many reserve C.C.’s and won his first C.C. at the Scottish Shih Tzu Specialty, to the great joy of my husband who was there at the time. I also had the privilege of showing him at Crufts in February of 1988.

This history of the breed was composed of facts that I have been able to gather myself from all literature I have had at my disposal and feel that it is correct and includes most of the significant information and events that have occurred.

Patricia Dickson


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