I've been Breeding Shih Tzu's since 1975. I wanted my dogs to have the best care
I could give them, so I went to school to become a Veterinary Technician.
This Guide is for anyone who needs assistance like new breeders that want to
sharpen skills necessary to become a better breeder and for any of you that just
discovered your pet is pregnant and you want guidance. This guide on the web
consists of over 35 years of breeding experience. Many of the older breeders
know a lot of this information, but the new breeders need a hand. When I first
started breeding, I had so many questions and not nearly enough support. I
remember this feeling, I want to help new breeders so they can start out with.
CONFIDENCE, GOOD INFORMATION, and SUPPORT.
In 1975, I was in a crippling motorcycle accident. For more than a year I lived
on my couch in a partial body cast. When all was said and done, I only lost one
leg. My parents, who worried about my sanity, decided I needed a dog to occupy
my time. What made them decide on a Shih Tzu I'll never know, but one afternoon
they surprised me with Kimmie Sue. The puppy was purchased from Jane Seng,
President of The Detroit Shih Tzu Club and the recognized guru of the modern
Imperial line. Jane and I would develop a deep friendship that has lasted over
Kimmie Sue indeed brought me great happiness and company. As time went on though
she seemed to prefer my Father's company. No couch potato she, Kimmie Sue needed
the extra exercise and play that he could give her. At this point I realized
that what I needed was a dog that chose me, not vise-versa.
The decision was made that I breed Kimmie Sue and keep whichever puppy chose me!
With my Mother's help I got into a wheelchair and took Kimmie Sue back to Jane
Seng to be bred.
I knew then that I would always want a lot of animals around me -- animals that
I could love and care for and in return be loved and entertained.
Kimmie Sue had four pups and it was a wonderful and moving experience to see it
happen. I felt privileged to be there. I personally wanted to keep a darling
little female I named Gunsmoke, but a pesky little male named Horse had other
ideas! Horse continuously broke free from his confines to be with me. I suppose
I need not tell you who did not get sold. Horse, who passed away a few years
ago, was the most devoted and loving dog I ever called mine.
That's how it all began - one little puppy to "cheer me up". I have
bred several different breeds of dogs and cats, English Bulldogs, Beagles,
Standard Poodles, Himalayan and Persian cats just to name a few, but my true
love has always been the Shih Tzu.
PS if you want to know why I breed this picture of a puppy may help me express how I feel about puppies. I feel I was born to do what I do.
I can't imagine doing anything else. I love my life and my dogs. I also believe I know the meaning to life.
To me the meaning of life is to make a difference.
Some reasons not to become a breeder
I feel a need to share with you some of the downside to breeding. Not because I
think you shouldn't, but because I want you to think twice before making what
could be a very bad decision. If, after you read this, you are still insistent
on breeding, I will do my best to help you become an informed and conscientious
ONLY BREED IN AN ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE THE LINE Please do not confuse this, Improving a line doesnt always mean following the crowd. Its ok to be different. If all breeders viewed improvements in the same ways than we would not have all the breeds of dogs in the world today
You should not expect to receive much in the way of help or information from
fellow breeders as they typically won't support "back yard breeding".
Oftentimes the resultant puppies are sold below the current rate. True breeders
work very hard; expending a lot of money, time and knowledge in developing their
lines and it is not fair to all concerned that they be "undercut".
Make certain you will be able to find loving homes for the puppies. veterinarian
and shelters are already overcrowded with unwanted animals. Indiscriminate
breeding is one of the major concerns of professionals; vets and breeders alike.
Please be conscientious!
MOST BREEDERS DO NOT SURVIVE 5 YEARS -- WHY?
1) When puppies are due you will suddenly find yourself house/kennel-bound. That
may mean missing work, parties, weddings, eating out, anything that takes you
away from the soon-to-be mother. As a breeder, it is your responsibility to be
available to assist, reassure and if necessary, take over for your bitch. Any
number of things can go wrong during a delivery, much like a human delivery,
only multiplied. Just so you will have some idea from where I speak, consider
the following. A large puppy could get stuck and result in the death of the
mother from shear exhaustion (she won't give up). Another scenario could be
that, not being able to pass the pup, the mother panics and drags her half born
baby until it dies. Then there is always the chance that the mother will not
bite open the sac in time and the poor thing smothers to death, or worse yet,
2) The majority of breeders eventually wind up divorced, or at least have
separate sleeping quarters. Just like human babies, puppies have no concept of
time and are born all hours of the night and day. As you will be up watching and
listening to her howl, dig, grunt, cry and whimper you will need a room of your
own. Unless your mate is also your partner in the business, he may grow to
resent the time you cannot be with him.
WRONG REASONS TO BREED
1) "I want my children to experience the joy of birth." What will you
say to them when you have to put down a pup with cleft palate that is not operable or will not close on its own, or one that is
born with its stomach outside his belly (expect to see this eventually). What
will you do with a deformed puppy? Some puppies get colic and scream constantly
for days. Will you hold them, rub them, and do whatever you can to relieve their
pain? Occasionally a bitch's milk dries up and you will have to tube-feed the
puppy -- not a fun job! Children have their whole lives for experiences, let
them grow up first!
2) "I want some extra money". Forget it!! Once you take into account
the cost of vet visits, shots and worm medications, high protein food for the
mother, stud service, advertising, high utility bills (pups have to be kept
warm), a pen for pups during weaning (do I really need to go on?) you may be
lucky enough to go out to dinner and a movie!
3) "Puppies are soooooo cute". Yes they are! I have seen hundreds of
cute puppies at pounds and shelters. Once again, I must caution you to stop and
think before you do something rash.
So much for my soapbox lecture. If the above hasn't deterred you and you seek
assistance or information just give me a call.
And Please remember someday a new breeder may seek your help.
Don't turn your back on them, by doing so your contributing to back Yard breeding.
Help anyone that needs your help.
Because breeding is not about money or a the status symbol of ribbions and trophys, its about Life, Its about our dogs..
'How do you know so much about everything?' was asked
of a very wise and intelligent man; and the answer was 'By never being afraid or
ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant'
John Abbott (1821-1893) - Canadian prime minister