20 March 2019, 1pm EST
Yes, I think Bianca Jagger fits this little one. She is exotically marked, stylish and vigorous. Bianca gained 3/4 oz from last evening to this morning and I am very pleased. Of course, all of the faucets are hers!
Bianca was born on Monday at 12:30pm, weighing 7.75 ounces. It was Kensington’s first C-section and first singleton puppy. Because of the potential problems one can encounter naturally whelping a singleton, I opted for the planned C-section and we did extensive blood work, progesterone testing and fetal heartrate monitoring to precisely time the procedure. Twenty one hundred dollars later . . .
We get by, with a little help from our friends. ;>)
The Puppywarmer incubator and oxygen concentrator worked very well in the recovery room at LVVS. Dear Annabel was a little sluggish in demonstrating interest in her puppy, but I attributed that to the aftershock of anaesthesia and pain meds. Bianca had a strong 17 minute nursing session from 2:32pm until 2:49pm. Annabel removed her IV catheter herself but had to ask for help, in order to have her pre-discharge temperature taken. Measuring in at 101.1 degrees F? A perfectly normal temperature allowing me to take her home, shortly after 3pm.
It was a most interesting experience sitting in a very large stainless steel dog cage for an hour with the two of them. But Bellie needed a little encouragement to nurse and my being in the cage with her seemed to do the trick. I know several people who would pay money for a photo of me locked in a cage with my dogs. Sorry to disappoint; my phone was in the car. ;>)
Annabel’s maternal instincts appear to have kicked in, now that we’re home, and she appears relaxed in her whelping pen with her puppy. This singleton puppy is going to require some strategy on my part to provide the physical obstacles she will need to develop good motor skills and not grow up like an only child. Stuffed animals are a sure bet for pen companions – but we have the added good fortune of litters on either side of her birth date with whom to alternate her playdates. I have done this once before with a singleton puppy from another breeder in early 2017. We folded that little male into two of my litters and it worked out quite nicely. I am very pleased with Bianca’s structure & vigor and am grateful for this learning experience. And I am equally grateful for the support given by the vets and vet techs at LVVS.
Once again, thank you to Dr. Cindy, Dr. Valerie, our friends and fans!
Dr. Valerie saw no signs of abnormalities in Annabel’s uterus. She noted that Bianca came out of the left horn and there was biological matter in the right horn as would be expected with a resorbed puppy. But she emphasized that ultrasound is NOT an exact science, unless interpreted by a radiologist – and even then? She remains skeptical as to its accuracy.
Fine by me. Going forward? I will have my girls gently palpated to confirm pregnancy and then, XRAYS pre-whelp to count skeletons.
I have opportunities for learning every day. ;>)
Ziva’s three puppies are black with white paws and white on their chests and tummies. They are ahead of schedule with their weight gain, as they share seven faucets and there are only three of them. I have this terrific spreadsheet I designed that tracks and compares each of the 21 litters I’ve bred to date with weight data, de-worming and weaning protocol. One of my favorite things about this spreadsheet is that it gives me a ‘head’s up’ about what’s coming down the pike. For instance, today is Day 14 of Ziva’s puppies’ lives. From using my spreadsheet? I have known that our first de-worming with Nemex II is scheduled for mother and puppies on Day 14. So, I have no excuse to be late! The bottle has been sitting on the kitchen counter and oral syringes are prepared for use this afternoon.
Our fourth set of coat color genetic tests for Billie has arrived and the AHT has received Leo’s 4way combo tests. There is only one genetic mutation Leo might carry that concerns me: RCD4 and that would have been inherited from his sire, Oskar. Fingers crossed for clear results on all four tests! If he carries RCD4, it only means that I can’t breed him to Piccolo. But every other girl is clear of that mutation and that makes each one of them fair game. Lucky guy. ;>)
14 March 2019
Welcome to Kensington Tibetan Terriers! We are pleased that you’ve found us.
We breed AKC registered pure bred Tibetan Terriers and all of our adult TTs in residence are AKC Champions, Grand or Bronze Champions. We do not offer Tibetan Terriers with blue eyes BECAUSE WE DON’T BREED THEM and blue eyes are NOT part of the breed standard. TTs should conform to the breed standard, be of fine temperament, sound body & genetics, with dark eyes, sexy black lips, black nose leathers and black eye rims.
Please know that we do not endorse any cross-bred designer dogs, especially those bred with one Tibetan Terrier parent. Veterinarians and groomers agree: Support rescue operations or buy a pure bred dog from a responsible breeder who uses all available and appropriate genetic testing on the parents of your future puppy. In the old days, we called them ‘mutts’. Now, apparently, if you can identify the sire and dam by breed, they are ‘designer dogs’. Each dog breed comes with breed-specific characteristics, biological predispositions and the potential for breed-specific genetic mutations. Crossing one with another takes you into a realm of vaguary. Know what you are getting and ask your veterinarian for their opinion, before you make your final decision to bring a new puppy into your life. Be smart! And if you REALLY want to know more about the possible genetic mutations in your doodle du jour? Visit the UC Davis web site. http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/dog.php
I like to keep my puppies for nine to ten weeks, unless a puppy shows unusually early emotional maturity and good size. In that case? Sometimes I might release a puppy at eight or nine weeks, especially to a forever home with solid experience in our breed and a full time home caregiver. And sometimes, I might keep a puppy for eleven weeks, if they seem sensitive. That extra week or two with the aunties really helps a puppy to blossom and mature.
The range of personalities among our four doggie mums is as varied as it is in a litter of puppies – with one overriding attribute: terrific temperaments.
We have CH Koko-loko, the debutante who preferred playing in the snow to keeping her babies’ butts clean. I must have washed each of those little fannies half a dozen times last September, during the course of their weaning. That was also her first litter and we lost two of her seven puppies. And her milk took a while to come in – so, it was more stressful than usual, for the first couple of weeks. Koko’s nickname is ‘Black Barbie’, as her coat is a shiny jet black and has beautiful swing. She is just gorgeous, with big dark eyes, terrific movement and a glossy black coat. We are hoping that all five of her puppies make it next month. Her due date is the fourth weekend in March.
We have GRCHB Billie Jean, our PERFECT mum and Westminster girl, whose attention turned to playing with Koko in the snow, once her puppies hit six weeks. That was great, as it REALLY helped me with the weaning. Billie said, that’s it! My kids are six weeks old and have teeth – Hey, Wendy B! Hope that you’re ready to take over! Now, Billie’s home with us, after her 2019 Westminster competition, the second of her career. Billie is a genetic tricolor with a silver back, beautiful dark eyes and a wriggle wrammus fanny.
Our third girl is CH Annabel, Billie’s sister and littermate. Annabel thought that ALL OF THE PUPPIES WERE HERS! She is our most responsible mum – always noting the latest puppy departure and checking with me to see whether things were ok. Annabel is black with a white head. She looks very much like Oliver, one of our retired Grand Champions. And Annabel’s expecting five or six puppies sometime during the third weekend of March.
Then, we have GRCH Ziva, a fourth brood bitch who is raising her litter NOW . . . she is the mum of Kensington’s GRCH Kensington’s Pic, Pic, Piccolo! Ziva is another genetic tricolor who is beautifully ‘square’ and has terrific carriage.
Life with all of these doggies has its challenges, I assure you. I need to be superbly organized, ready to spend money, carry inventory of treats, kibble, toys and supplies. And I depend upon my team of doggie au pairs who come from as close as three doors down to as far away as Windham, New York. Sometimes, witnessing puppies being born is too much for a doggie au pair and they leave me at full speed. ;>) Other times? They are fascinated and stick like glue, wanting to be a part of future whelpings and planning their schedule around such things. It takes a community and I am grateful to the friends and fans of Kensington who make this all possible.
Whether it is one dog or more, it takes personal commitment, responsibility, organization and money to raise a dog properly.
Funny story about life with a TT, nevermind a pack of them: Some months back, I returned home around 6 p.m. and promptly switched gears to unpacking my groceries and preparing doggie dinners, as appetites were running ‘high’ around here. Left the kitchen for 1 minute and came back to 2 lbs of fresh salmon fillet being dragged around the kitchen floor in two pieces. Half made it to Koko’s mouth on the dog bed in my office and the other half was on the kitchen floor next to the treadmill with Annabel running down the hall looking VERY GUILTY. At least they shared the salmon – and tore it in half! It’s clear that the dogs prefer fresh Atlantic salmon to their dry Royal Canin kibble. Who can blame them? Problem was, it was NOT meant for them. ;>)
Note: there’s an important lesson here: NEVER pull food out of a dog’s mouth, whether it’s your dog or one you don’t know. I teach a variety of commands and ‘DROP IT’ is the one I used on Koko to tell her to do exactly that. Once dropped? I said ‘GOOD DOG’ and took the salmon fillet to the sink. And then? She got a small piece of that salmon as a reward and wagged her tail. Dogs are animals and it’s important ESPECIALLY to train your human children to be mindful at all times. Don’t be stupid. Respect the fact that dogs have teeth! And even the most wonderfully well mannered doggie can have a primal moment. Always be respectful, careful and mindful.
In their defense of the salmon snatching caper, three of the Kensington girls at home were pregnant. ;>)
WHAT KENSINGTON is ALL ABOUT:
Folks come to this web site for various reasons. You might have googled: Tibetan Terrier puppies. In 2018, we had three litters and each puppy had its own forever home, before the puppies were even born.
This web site is also the place you should come, if you’re wanting to stay on top of what’s currently on my mind. My next blog post will address the genetics behind coat colors and furnishings in our breed. I have begun studying & cross referencing genetic test results on my own Tibetan Terriers and recently got a microscope for individual hair study. I want to address the confusion that exists in the descriptions of some of the coat colors in Tibetan Terriers and am researching ‘global’ canine genetics literature for a better understanding of the topic. I have tested white & black Yogi, jet black Koko and have Ziva’s kit here on my desk. More genetic tests will soon be ordered for furnishings & various coat color genetic alleles for Piccolo, Oskar and Leo. We began our breeding program with Izzie, a red sable foundation bitch and are working toward breeding a new red sable female to carry on in Izzie & Coppi’s pawprints. Varied coat colors are important to me, so that we maintain diversity in coat color and pattern in the Tibetan Terriers we breed. Coat color and pattern are two different things. If you, too, are interested in the correct terminology when describing the phenotypes of color genetics, please visit this link: http://homepage.usask.ca/~schmutz/dogcolors.html
Some breeders believe that an interest in a specific coat color or pattern is the wrong reason to select a new puppy. If it is the ONLY reason, I agree. However, it has been my experience in this breed that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I have met TTs with attributes that would disqualify them in the Conformation ring and yet, their humans love them endlessly. And as a breeder, I’ve worked with people who’ve lost an animal to death and who do not want to be reminded by similar coat color & pattern in their new companion. We do our best to breed sires and dams for the ‘right’ reasons and coat color diversity is one of the ‘right’ reasons for us. Using these coat color genetic tests will be new for us but I find it to be an exciting area of exploration. I look forward to seeing what our 2019 breedings produce. How lucky am I to be able to immerse myself in my passion?
SHORT TERM GOALS:
Sincerely? My short term goal is always to please those families who are waiting for puppies out of our next litters and to exceed their (and my) expectations for health, brains, vigor and beauty. I did manage to achieve the goal of breeding a beautifully constructed sable male out of Oskar x Billie. This male puppy will stay intact for at least two years and is currently part of a terrific forever family in Newton, Massachusetts. Thought I was going to keep him here at Maple Street – but I chose to bring Questa home as our resident stud dog. Questa is out of Yogi x Billie. With Questa added to our home pack, it will make my life a lot easier, as our current stud dogs all live elsewhere and with other forever families. We have Kensington males living in the Catskills, two in the Boston area and one in southern Vermont. Yogi, Beckham and Questa have tested CLEAR of the four genetic mutations for which we have tests in our breed (NCL, PLL, PRA3 and RCD4). This is terrific for us and for other breeders interested in an outcross to a Kensington dog. Please reach out to me, if you have interest in using one of my stud dogs. Please also know that I make NO ASSUMPTIONS and submit cheek swabs on every animal in my breeding program to the AHT in England for full genetic testing. CBP is a temporary classification, as far as I am concerned, and that assumption is not enough to provide absolute clarity.
A LITTLE U.S. BREED HISTORY:
Part of what I enjoy about my breeding program is staying in touch with breeders who have influenced me over the years and getting to know breeders much more experienced than I, from whom I can learn and with whom, discuss new things. One of my favorite breeder friends is Tina Bayer, of Doe Run Belgian Sheepdogs. Tina sets the bar as high as it can be set and fully understands and has seen the aftermath of premature neutering in male dogs. She and Alice Smith were both instrumental in helping to land my first litter of TTs back in March 2009. Alice is a very old timer in Tibetan Terriers. She will be judging Sweepstakes at our 2019 BCTTC Specialty Show in Wrentham, Massachusetts on June 1, 2019. Last summer, I had the pleasure of catching up with Alice Smith, now of Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Alice’s kennel prefix is Prin-Su and that comes from the registered names of her foundation stud and brood bitch: Luneville Prince Kumana and Chubitang’s Susan. I say ‘her’, but I can’t leave Alice’s husband Bill out of Prin-Su’s history, as they worked together in the development of their Prin-Su Tibetan Terriers. Here’s a little bit of history behind Alice’s TTs and subsequently, mine.
Luneville Prince Kumana is a grandson of Luneville Prince Khan. Luneville Prince Khan is a male TT out of a breeding between Dr. Greig’s Lamleh line and Luneville Lady Penelope. This is one place where the two lines have been bred together and why we see both Lamleh and Luneville behind many of our US Tibetan Terriers. Even the dog who showed up on the British dock, Trojan Kynos, is in Alice Smith’s foundation pedigree.
And because Alice’s foundation stud is behind Izzie (my foundation bitch), Luneville Prince Khan shows up ten generations behind two of our three 2018 breedings. He has much of Lamleh breeding behind him, but my breeding program is considerably diluted with Luneville, in the nine generations behind what I’m doing now. (Have I lost you, yet?) ;>) Lamleh was Dr. Greig’s kennel prefix and after she passed away, some people worked hard to breed within that Lamleh line, while others developed breeding programs with different criteria in mind. The topic of Lamleh vs. Luneville is often spirited. From where I sit? There’s been so much intertwining of the two blood lines that I stay focused on structure, movement, adherence to the breed standard and genetic management.
Meanwhile, the phone call to Alice happened because my friend and fellow TT breeder Maureen Dwyer asked me to puppy sit her six week old litter last summer, as she had to go to New York. Maureen left me her copies of the Jane Reif TT books to keep me entertained, but I’d already read them. However, with books like these, you get something out of them every time you revisit their pages and so, I speed read several chapters and came upon a photo of Alice with one of her very early Prin-Su Tibetan Terriers. I realized I’d not spoken with Alice in six months or so. What better reason to ring her up? It was terrific to catch up with Alice but I am sad to report that her last Prin-Su TT passed in December 2017 and she is now sharing her home with Bill and two cats. No more TTs in her home – but her family has several of the Prin-Su TTs and Alice remains immersed in the breed, especially as her son lives with his family in the house behind Alice and Bill’s.
HOW WE USE SCIENCE and PEDIGREES:
We use progesterone testing to time each of our breedings and to help get a sense of potential whelping dates. However, I believe it is ideal to have a stud dog in residence, as their noses outperform Mr. Science, every time.
We have some beautiful females in residence now. They are neither Lamleh nor Luneville girls – they are very much Kensington girls. Since I pay closest attention to the first four generations behind my current animals, at this point I am line breeding my own TTs and outcrossing every four or five years. Our next anticipated outcross will be to a male out of a Shadeacre breeding from Sweden. Ziva (GRCH Kensington’s L.A. Noir, Aussi) was bred to Beckham, Shadeacre Fast Love at Kensington as part of a dual sired TCI breeding. This will be Ziva’s third litter. She produced some structurally gorgeous puppies out of Kensington’s Sweet Baby James: genetic tricolors and Black & White puppies. However, she has no recent Atisha nor Regalia behind her and the time is right for a second outcross to my original Shalimar/Polygor bloodlines. Beckham is a gorgeous mover and beautifully put together; his sweet disposition and the Alilah & Waterley bloodlines behind him make him a fine candidate for an experiment!
Before I incorporate any new blood lines into my breeding stock, I will study what my next outcross produces and then, repeat the breeding to get a larger data sample of puppies to study. If I can study ten or more puppies, see consistency & like what’s been produced? I will then use that male with my 4th generation Kensington girl (Piccolo). And only if I get something terrific, will I keep a 5th generation Kensington puppy for the AKC show ring and my breeding program. I am in no hurry and am dedicated to maintaining the breed standard, while producing fine structure, sweet temperament, properly managed genetics and predictable consistency in our Kensington puppies.
Our first outcross was to RinChen’s Blazing Black Icon (Michael) and that happened in October 2013. Michael’s sire was Atisha’s Blazing Black Adder. Outcrossing to Michael brought Atisha bloodlines into offspring out of that one breeding to my Coppi (CH Kensington’s Copper Goddess). Those bloodlines are now mixed in behind Billie, Annabel, Yogi, Questa and Piccolo – but not behind Ziva, Koko or Oskar. These latter three Kensington Tibetans are still original Shalimar/Polygor bloodlines (with some Prin-Su behind them). I am distinctly aware of the importance of keeping the Atisha/Regalia heritage behind only some of my dogs, as I am still learning and testing what they produce. You could say that these breedings are more ‘experimental’ than my ‘traditional’ Shalimar/Polygor/non Atisha/non Regalia TTs. Questa has Atisha behind him on both sides, very dark eyes, a beautiful natural stack and movement, strong chest, terrific spirit and high tailset. He has just earned his Grand Championship title and may well be Kensington’s first true showstopper. The judges seem to like him, as do other breeders, handlers and TT fanciers. But the most important things to me are that he is balanced, beautiful and happy. We breed happy dogs!
IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN A KENSINGTON TT?
Please know that even though I’m quite happy flying around the world chasing dogs, when it comes to my puppies? I will never allow any of my young puppies to fly unaccompanied to their new forever homes. I see no reason to subject an impressionable, sensitive and clean slate to such an experience. Rather (and since there are more direct flights into Logan Airport than there are into Burlington, VT), we are happy to meet our peeps in Boston, if you are flying in from far away. I can always be available to fly, too, with some advance planning and have personally delivered puppies to California and Colorado.
Driving from Stowe, VT to Boston, MA is part of the car training we normally do with every litter. And driving to Logan to meet peeps at the Logan Hilton can always be combined with a social visit to our Boston area friends, which is important for my mental health – or combined with a play date in Hamilton, Massachusetts with our good friends Carroll, Bobby, Sage and Ava de Bordeaux. We were happy to meet two of our 2018 forever families at the Logan Hilton on November 30 for the puppies to zip home faster than a seven hour car ride would have been. If you live far away from us, please reach out to ask about how we ensure a happy plane ride for our puppies.
Visits to my home in Stowe, Vermont and applications are required, if you decide that you want to be considered for a Kensington Tibetan Terrier. We can SKYPE, if you’re outside of the country or traveling from points very far away. You are welcome to reach out and request that an application be sent to you by return email. The answers to our questions will help me best pair potential puppies with their future home lifestyles, as I study the puppies very carefully in every litter.
Every breeder does things a little differently and I am certainly different. We are extremely food and research oriented and feed Royal Canin kibbles, puppy mousse and vegetable, salmon and AGA dried meat treats to our resident and boarding Kensington TTs. My Tibetans live in a wing of my house with a second full kitchen, the living room, office, whelping room & bathroom and get daily walks, big play in the outdoor fenced in areas and twice daily group sit treats in my kitchen. I am committed to collaboration with other breeders whose breeding programs I admire and respect. I sincerely believe that we can help each other be the best we can be by sharing ideas, experience and friendship. There are four other TT breeders, one Sheltie and one Belgian Sheepdog breeder with whom I converse regularly. Whether it is to discuss ultrasound results, placement of retiring adults, potential breedings or to talk each other through puppy evaluation challenges? I believe that sharing experiences is the way to make it a better world, both in professional and in personal life.
Please know that it is my preference to breed and raise TT puppies for families already ‘in the breed’ and that we don’t normally place puppies in homes that haven’t ever raised a dog. I’ve been frustrated, as I can’t breed as many puppies as my peeps seek. But it keeps me humble, knowing that Mother Nature has the upper hand. I am reminded every day to keep my focus and remain objective with my thoughts and decision making. I spend a lot of time thinking and considering various plans for the next 12 to 24 months. That way, when things change, I am often already mentally prepared. And while that might sound like the distant future? I am told that in the Japanese culture, five year personal plans are the norm. The joy my puppies bring into their new forever families is what empowers me to hang tough through the challenging times.
SOME KENSINGTON HISTORY:
Since 1992 I’ve been ‘in the breed’, when my first two Tibetan Terrier puppies from Nina Wagner (of Shalimar) came into my life. ’27’ years later? We are a small breeding program located in Stowe, Vermont; USA. Here, the air is clean and the mountains are beautiful. In 2006, the foundation pair (stud and brood bitch) of my breeding program was also chosen from Shalimar lines. James and Izzie were finished by Mark and Pam Desrosiers to their Championship titles in 2007. I bred those Champions in January 2009 and raised my first litter in March 2009. Now, four generations of breeding later? I share my home with five female TTs. We have Ziva, my AKC Grand Champion female; Billie, my AKC Bronze Grand Champion and her sister Annabel (CH RinChen’s Style Icon of Kensington); CH Kensington’s Nouvelle Mlle. Koko and GRCH Kensington’s Pic, Pic, Piccolo (born August 24, 2017).
GRCH Kensington’s Pic, Pic, Piccolo! is a 4th generation Kensington pistol with attitude, substance and a very sweet engaging disposition. As I strive to keep only those animals ‘better than my best bred to date’, it becomes harder to make my pick, as the puppies become more and more consistent. Besides Piccolo’s beautiful structure, what caught my eye about this particular puppy was her keen visual attention. She fixes on her human and looks for direction, a PERFECT attribute for competition, whether in Conformation or Agility. Questa demonstrates this, too, and he is a pleasure to work with, BECAUSE of this behavior.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDING PRACTICES:
Ziva’s current litter is out of a dual sired breeding. I had hoped for more puppies, so that I might keep one. Instead? We got three puppies and that is too small of a data sample for a truly objective evaluation. Plus, I already have Piccolo (Yogi x Ziva) out of her last litter in 2017. Pic is lovely and very much like Ziva, her mother: sweet, square, profuse coat and a very pretty mover. One of our former handlers Mark Desrosiers loved Ziva and called her ‘very typey’. Ziva had her annual CERF eye exam in March 2018 and passed with flying colors. “Beautiful retinas and optic nerves!”, to quote Dr. Sarah Hoy at PEAK. Annual eye exams are required of all breeding stock, as part of a responsible breeding program. And we have three genetic tests for eye abnormalities in our breed that are done on every potential participant in our Kensington breeding program (PLL, PRA3 and RCD4), whether the animal is ‘Clear by Parentage’ or not. We assume nothing and test everyone. The AHT four way combo test out of Great Britain costs less than $100, is easy to do and gives unequivocal genetic test results.
All four of our stud dogs have DNA profiles on record with the AKC (as do two of the mums) and Beckham, Questa and Yogi are all clear of everything genetically problematic for which we have tests in our breed (NCL/CCL, PLL, PRA3 and RCD4). Sometimes things go as planned and other times? We remain flexible and try to think clearly.
Oskar is our fourth stud dog and the ‘old man’ in the quartet. He is a red brindle boy who has been in my breeding program since 2010. Oskar has been active annually and has sired litters for Shalimar, Kensington and Maureen Dwyer’s Yonpo Tibetan Terriers. He is grandfather to Ziva & Billie and is our only guaranteed boy to produce red brindle puppies. In April 2018 and January 2019, he was collected, evaluated and his semen was frozen for future use. Oskar’s collections have been consistently terrific, with 800+/- million sperm collected, very high motility and low abnormalities every time. Oskar gets collected by Dr. William Truesdale down in Seekonk, MA at the Central Avenue Animal Hospital. Doc’s a breeder/vet and I’ve had the privilege of working with him since 2010. His Boxers and Affenpinschers have both won the breed at Westminster several times. In fact, his Affenpinscher Banana Joe won BIS at Westminster in 2013. Doc and his wife owned Banana Joe at the time – I think they still do. Not my preferred breeds – but that doesn’t matter. ;>) Oskar’s collections were terrific and we now have eight breedings’ worth of sperm frozen and stored for the future.
While I firmly believe that I want only the strongest puppies to survive in a litter, sometimes a puppy needs a little extra help and supplemental feeding can give the nutrition necessary to maintain metabolic function and the additional energy necessary for growth. Sometimes the puppies work so hard to get on the nipple that they burn more energy than they’re able to take in from the mother’s milk. And sometimes, the smallest puppy gets muscled out of the way in a larger litter. So, it’s my and our job to watch like hawks, weigh several times each day and advocate for any puppy who might need extra time on the teet. Supplemental feeding helps to compensate and delivers the extra calories for a little guy to thrive. We do use tube feeding (and the Miracle Nipple), when necessary, but use no other extreme methods and prefer to give a puppy back to Mother Nature if he or she isn’t thriving within 48 hours. Otherwise, how could I stand behind the health of that puppy 110%? I look for gusto, vigor and food drive in newly born puppies. Any day of the week, these qualities outweigh coat pattern and color. And this is as it should be.
We always try to have an older puppy in residence to help socialize our young puppies. For our March-born litters? We will have Piccolo, post Grand Championship title. Piccolo is extremely gentle and all about play. Her time spent with our spring puppies will be especially valuable for the puppies who are reserved for homes with a dog already in residence. And the gentle older puppy (Piccolo) gets exposed to young puppies, in anticipation of her being bred in the future – and the younger puppies get used to a variety of dogs. Additionally, our young puppies get solo socialization in the kitchen and once they are old enough? Part of our routine includes scampering from the kitchen down to the AGA room with the adult dogs.
Know that we require that our future forever homes have previous dog training experience, regardless of breed. Tibetan Terriers are not the breed to ‘cut your teeth on’. They are a sensitive, intelligent, intuitive and athletic breed, with powers of discernment that can be challenging, if you have minimal prior dog training experience. I often describe TT puppies as ‘six year olds, in the making’. If you’ve raised any children? You’ll know exactly what I mean. As importantly? I only raise three or four litters in a year and so, I am committed to finding the most appropriate forever homes for them. My preference is to breed puppies for families who are already ‘in the breed’. Part of the reason I enjoy this so much is to breed and raise TTs for humans who have lost a dearly loved TT and to provide them with new joy and happiness.
Our forever families usually have to wait some months for a Kensington Tibetan Terrier, as we are a small breeding program. Our normal protocol includes progesterone testing to time the breedings, ultrasounds and XRAYs to confirm pregnancy and count skeletons, front and rear dew claw removal, thorough ‘Day Two’ and 8/9 week vet wellness exams; first course of DHPP shots; pre and post whelping deworming with Panacure; a ten day course of Albon for coccidia; wormings with Nemex II at 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and (sometimes) 10 weeks; car training, crate training and lots of interaction with a variety of humans and older Tibetan Terriers. All adults and older puppies are on Interceptor and so, the possibility of heartworm in ANY of our animals, pups or adults, has been eliminated.
KENSINGTON SHOW NEWS:
For those of you more interested in the show scene than puppies, here is a photo of Questa with me and his gold rosette from the 2019 Westminster show (CH Kensington’s Questa o Quella?). Gordon photoshopped this for me, the day of his win. Questa will stay out on the circuit in limited showing with Rebecca Bradley. Using a professional handler is expensive and the budget is tight. Generally speaking? The monies from puppy revenues less breeding/vet/daily care expenses get put back into the breeding program’s show expenses. We have been running at a loss, since the beginning – but this year? I am really, really hoping to break even.
We’ve bred nine Champions in four generations of breeding, plus four Grands (Oliver, Ziva, Billie and Piccolo) and one Bronze (our Billie). Additionally, we’ve earned another four Champion titles on our Shalimar foundation pair (Izzie and James), Oskar and Georgie Girl. Piccolo (Kensington’s Pic, Pic, Piccolo!) is our eighth bred-by Champion and Questa (Kensington’s Questa o Quella?) is our ninth Champion and newest stud dog.
People have been encouraging me to show my own Bred-Bys in the ring, but I have never felt comfortable in the ring. I was out four times with Coppi and we DID earn one point. I’ll never forget one particular judge. He said, “You have a beautiful bitch. However, you need some work.” In July 2018, I tried again with Questa in the 4-6 month Puppy Class in Tunbridge, VT. Rebecca Bradley was my coach and Questa was very naughty in the ring. I hope to try again with a Beckham x Ziva puppy at Tunbridge 2019. However, it truly is my preference to focus on the science, socialization and animal husbandry of my breeding program, while entrusting my bred-bys to Rebecca and Cathy to show them in the ring and earn their titles.
I didn’t grow up ‘in dogs’. I grew up with European parents and spoke three languages, by the time I was eight. However, we have turned my basement into a show ring with three walls of mirrors and I practice with the new puppies. I hadn’t realized that my basement offered so much value! Rebecca Bradley will continue handling my Tibetans professionally and I will introduce the young dogs to being handled on the table and led out, back and around our mirrored basement ring. Becky was Mark Desrosiers’ right hand gal and has proven herself to be a fine handler, in her own right. I am very happy to have Becky handling my bred bys and I will continue practicing at home, to get the puppies ready for her professional hands.
I am committed to AKC Championship titles as an important part of validating an animal for my (or any) breeding program. The American Kennel Club is the governing body over canines, if you will, and their stamp of approval is an important one to me. I believe that every responsible breeder should put their animals out for scrutiny and evaluation by AKC Non Sporting Group judges, without cherry picking the judges – and, yes, I know that provisional judges don’t necessarily award the ‘right’ or ‘best’ dog in the ring. Judging is subjective – that’s just the way it goes. Win some? Lose some. I am extremely proud to be breeding three beautiful AKC Grand Championship Kensington-bred females: our regal Ziva, the lovely Billie Jean and young Piccolo. They are all terrific examples of the breed, with temperaments that are sweet, predictable and engaging.
As you navigate your way among the Tibetan Terrier breeders out there, note the dates on which the sire and dam have last competed. If only the foundation animals competed and that was twenty years ago? That just doesn’t cut it, in my book.
Wins like ‘Best of Breed’, ‘Best of Winners’ or ‘Best of Opposite Sex’ are commonplace, as an animal earns its points and Majors on the way toward the Championship title. They are what you win, in order to earn points toward the title. Cute photos of puppies shouldn’t be the only thing on a breeder’s web site. You should look to see a blend of science, AKC experience, passion and financial stability on the breeder’s web site. And if you can’t find a breeder? Go to the akc.org web site and study the Breeder Referral list for your and surrounding states.
WHY WE REQUIRE VISITS:
Tibetan Terriers are brave, athletic, sweet, precocious and engaging. Here at Kensington, we breed for brains, as well as beauty. Temperament is number one – health is of utmost importance, as is conformation to the breed standard – and we work hard and smart to help our bred-bys develop into emotionally secure, inquisitive and respectful Tibetan Terriers. We do not use any overhead stimulation, as our experience has been that this leads to jumping and hind leg postures. Jumping is a hard habit to break and skeletons & joints take two full years to develop – so, upright postures are not something that I encourage in young puppies. I do not let my puppies tackle stairs, until they are at least six months of age. It’s not the ‘up’ that is the potential problem. It is the ‘down’ and the potential tumble that can injure ligaments, tendons or juvenile skeletons.
Tibetans are athletic, can be willful and might not be the breed for you, which is why I don’t offer any of my animals to first time doggie homes. They can be too much for a first time dog owner, because they are a very intelligent breed and can sometimes be a little too smart. Tibetans excel in situations where they’ve been taught their boundaries and have humans in residence who enjoy their precocious eccentricities. Management through distraction is necessary with younger puppies and positive corrections are mandatory. Negative corrections can totally undermine a Tibetan’s mindset. And teething can sometimes be challenging, as they are a sensitive breed and the constant ache can affect their behavior.
If, however, you have experience with dogs and you’re interested in one of our puppies, please know that we require at least one visit to Stowe from every serious potential forever family, in order for you to meet the pack and for us to meet you. We feel it creates tremendous value and we want to know that we’ve found the most terrific forever homes for our kids. If you live too far away to make the trip? Perhaps we can refer you to a breeder closer to you with a breeding program we respect and also admire. Or, perhaps we can SKYPE. One step at a time. Our breedings are limited and carefully thought through, every time.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR:
If you’re thinking about bringing a Tibetan Terrier into your own home life, you are welcome to call with any questions you might have. Please know that we receive many more inquiries than we have available puppies. With this in mind, we now prefer to place our puppies in forever homes who have prior experience living with a Tibetan Terrier OR who have lived with a beloved dog through the elder years and experienced the heartbreak of losing a dog to death. We do not offer our puppies to families seeking a ‘first dog’.
WHAT WE OFFER:
Here at Kensington, our commitment is to breeding friendly, smart, healthy Tibetan Terriers of handsome conformation & balanced movement within the breed standard, with friendly disposition & enthusiastic spirit. We use progesterone testing to time our breedings, genetic testing to manage our blood lines and breed our own AKC Champions selectively, always keeping the 14” – 17” breed standard in mind. While our personal preference is for smaller TTs, every litter offers a range of sizes and it really doesn’t matter too much, as adult weights tend to range between 20 and 30 pounds. A Tibetan Terrier of this size is easily managed, whether raised in an apartment with daily walks or in a house with a fenced yard.
It is our commitment to protect the breed standard, using modern science and the best subjective analysis possible. We genetically test the animals in our breeding program for Neuronal Ceroid Lipofucinosis (NCL/CCL), PLL, Canine Renal Dysplasia (although this Canadian genetic test has been challenged as flawed and is not a breed-specific test) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy RCD3 and PRA4. The lack of these genetic mutations can be described as ‘Clear by Parentage’ in progeny where both sire and dam tested ‘normal’ and ‘clear’ of the mutant gene. ‘Clear by Parentage’ is a terrific thing – but I do not rely on the assumption and I DO test every animal with the 4 way combo AHT English genetic test, before bringing them into my breeding program.
Sorry, everyone! I crashed my own home page and am still re-building it. (Good thing I had a copy.)