Waiting for Ziva’s progesterone results . . .
21 April 2018
(Please note: we have NO available puppies until 2019.)
Welcome to Kensington Tibetan Terriers! We are pleased that you’ve found us.
We breed AKC registered pure bred Tibetan Terriers and most of our TTs are AKC Champions or Grand Champions – except for our beautiful Billie, our first Bronze GRCH. ;>)
Folks come to this web site for different reasons. You might have googled: Tibetan Terrier puppies. This year, we are planning two more litters and deposits are now closed for Kensington’s 2018 puppies. This is also the place you should come, if you’re wanting to stay on top of what’s happening at Kensington.
Ziva has come into season. Finally! Her progesterone level was 3.4ng/ml this past Tuesday and that means pre-ovulation. and it’s just going to be me, Ziva and She sure is proceeding at a snail’s pace and we had another blood draw yesterday. We want to catch her ovulation and then, breed her only once and at the ‘ideal’ time, if possible. The goal is to identify her ovulation date and then, count forward to when her eggs will have ripened. We did an AI, this past Thursday and I cannot bear to do another double round trip to Putney, VT tomorrow. Think I’m just going to go for a natural and trust that our boy’s mature enough, not to bounce around too much. Oy. More, later.
Ovulation happens around 5ng/ml (IDEXX) and I have been working toward this breeding for two years. Beckham is a gorgeous mover and Ziva is what they call ‘typey’. Not a Lamleh girl – and very much a Kensington girl; this will be a total outcross to bloodlines I have loved, since 2011.
Seven years ago, I learned of a Breed Standard seminar to be held in Great Britain. And so, I made arrangements: hopped on a plane – then, a train – and had the most wonderful experience learning from several very fine breeders with DECADES of history in the breed. There were 26 Tibetans on tables and I ran my hands over more than half of them. It was a terrific learning experience. And best of all? A two hour car ride back to London with new friends sharing tales of Fabulous Willy and other personal stories and tidbits. It was then that I learned of the Alilah and Waterley kennels and the beautiful TTs bred by these folks. I was impressed. And it’s funny in retrospect; I think my eyes recognized more than my brain. Sometimes, the impact hits considerably after the initial impression.
Please know that even though I’m quite happy flying around the world, 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 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.
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. Additionally, we hold two play dates annually in Spring and fall in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. And 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 treats to our resident and boarding Kensington TTs. Through collaboration, friendship and the sharing of ideas, I believe that we can help each other be the best we can be and raise the most wonderful pure bred puppies in our respective breeds. There are four other TT breeders and one Belgian Sheepdog breeder with whom I converse regularly. Whether it is to discuss ultrasound results, grooming tricks or talk each other through whelping challenges? I believe that sharing experiences is the way to make it a better world, both in professional and in personal life.
I am so pleased with our forever families for this second litter of 2018. Each has visited us up in Stowe at least once and all families are thoroughly familiar with the breed. 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. These families submitted applications with deposits during the last few months and have been patiently waiting, ever since. I’ve been frustrated, as Ziva came into season later than anticipated. 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 decisionmaking. I think and plan out for 12 to 18 months. That way, when things change, I am often prepared with alternative ideas in mind.
I’ve been ‘in the breed’ since 1992, when my first two Tibetan Terrier puppies from Nina Wagner (of Shalimar) came into my life. 25 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 our breeding program were 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 four female TTs and one male puppy. We have Ziva, my AKC Grand Champion female; Billie, my AKC Bronze Grand Champion and her puppy, Questa; CH Koko-loko (our 15 month old young adult) and Piccolo (my eight month old puppy), who is out on the AKC Conformation circuit in limited showing to learn the ropes with her handler, Rebecca Bradley. Piccolo earned her first 4 point Major in Springfield, MA. She debuted in the ring on February 24 and her participation in that AKC show helped to make the 3 point Major that earned Koko her AKC Championship title. Piccolo was also in the ring in Syracuse, New York on March 30, where under Judge Susan Carr, she earned her second point. At that show, Piccolo was entered specifically because I wanted Mrs. Carr to put her hands on this latest puppy of mine for evaluation. Pic’s next show experience will be later in April at the Mid-Atlantic shows in Delaware.
Kensington’s Pic, Pic, Piccolo! is a 4th generation Kensington pistol with attitude, substance and a very sweet engaging disposition. Watch out world, here she comes! 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. What caught my eye about Piccolo was her keen visual attention. She fixes on her human and looks for direction, a PERFECT attribute for competition, whether in Conformation or Agility.
We are looking to keep a female from this next litter out of Ziva, Billie’s half sister. Mark Desrosiers loved Ziva and called her ‘Very typey’. Ziva had her annual CERF eye exam last month and passed with flying colors. “Beautiful retinas and optic nerves”, to quote Dr. Sarah Hoy at PEAK. Annual eye exams are required, as part of a responsible breeding program. And we have three genetic tests for eye abormalities in our breed that are done on every potential participant in our breeding program.
With a dual sired breeding, I will also need to do DNA testing to determine parentage. Regardless of what size, coat color and patterns might suggest in the young puppies, the only truly accurate way to tell which puppy came from which sire is by DNA testing through cheek swabbing. All five of our stud dogs have DNA profiles on record with the AKC (as do two of the mums) and Beckham, Charlie, Questa and Yogi are all clear of everything genetically problematic in our breed (NCL/CCL, PLL, PRA3 and RCD4), so we are prepared and the best we can do is to focus on this weekend’s breeding.
Oskar is our fifth stud dog and the ‘old man’ in the quintet. He is a red brindle 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 and Billie and is our only guaranteed boy to produce red brindle puppies. Earlier this week he was collected, evaluated and his semen was frozen for future use. Oskar’s collections have been consistently terrific, with close to 800 million sperm collected, very high motility and low abnormalities every time. Oskar was 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 sample was terrific and we now have four 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 tube 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. 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. Tube 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%? And with our 1st litter of 2018? There was absolutely no indication of anything other than health and vigor, for which I am always grateful.
We always try to have an older puppy in residence to help socialize our young puppies. This time? We had Koko. She loved playing chase outside in the snow and was forever trying to lick the babies through the pen walls, when they were inside. This interaction is especially valuable for the puppies who are reserved for homes with a dog already in residence. The older puppy learns to be gentle and the younger puppies get used to a variety of dogs. Additionally, our young puppies get socialization in the kitchen and once they are old enough, scamper from the kitchen to the AGA room with the adult dogs.
While Piccolo’s out on the circuit, I will continue my research into degenerative myelopathy and dwarfism. We are participating in a study to determine baseline rates in Tibetan Terriers of a genetic condition known as Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. This study is focusing on older dogs of 8 years or more and our foundation bitch and older stud dogs are being tested. While there is no study of which I am aware for dwarfism, I remain fascinated with the history of this condition, too, and its presence in the canine gene pool’s having contributed to the development of several breeds, from pugs to the Welsh Corgi. I handled my first dwarf last month and have learned there are several conditions that can result in miniature size or ‘dwarfism’. It is terrific to have been exposed to the real thing. We have dwarfism in Tibetan Terriers and the genetic mutation is present throughout the canine community. It is yet another reason that you should always seek a breeder who does the suggested genetic testing for the breed in which you are interested and why cross bred designer dogs might have double the inherent genetic risks from both breeds, and not just what we work with in pure bred dogs. It takes courage and intellectual objectivity to be an honest breeder, willing to share one’s experiences. I applaud the breeder who offered me the opportunity to handle my first dwarf. Everything to date has been hearsay and now? I have actually seen and handled a TT whose blood test results have indicated that he is, indeed, a dwarf.
On April 7th, we traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts for our Bay Colony TT Club supported entry with the Troy Kennel Club. There were 31 Tibetan Terriers entered. Thirty one! This event was held in memory of my mentor, Nina Wagner of Shalimar Tibetan Terriers. Nina bred TTs for 40 years, Tibetans of great temperament, fine structure and managed genetics. We celebrated her memory with friends, Shalimar TTs and her family.
I know that this all sounds like big fun and that life with a Tibetan Terrier puppy is a bowl of cherries. However, please be clear:
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 two or three 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’.
MORE BILLIE HISTORY:
Billie Jean performed beautifully at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York, last February 2017. It was our first Westminster show and an incredible ride. To be shown in a field of such terrific animals was a privilege and something I’ll never forget.
Billie didn’t ‘ribbon’, last year – but it is still very exciting to me to have bred an animal who went that far in limited showing. On top of Westminster, Billie earned her Bronze AKC medal in 2017. That takes 100 Grand Championship points, after the AKC Grand Championship title has been earned. She is our only GRCHB medalist, to date.
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. Ziva, our middle adult bitch, has become our resident ‘Ms. Manners’. Her most valuable role in the pack appears to be to ensure that all puppies learn to approach other dogs with caution! Having watched Oliver before her, I think that she actually has fun growling ferociously at the young puppies. ;>) The behavior seems to come on sometime between weeks six and seven. Then, by the time the puppies are twelve or thirteen weeks? If she’s anything like Oliver? She will have dropped that ‘mean old lady’ disguise and, instead? She’ll invite group play and a good romp, especially with the male puppies. Here is a very funny video of Oliver with puppies from last year and you can actually see the puppies’ confidence developing, as you watch.
MORE KENSINGTON SHOW NEWS:
For those of you more interested in the show scene than puppies, here is another photo of Billie (GCHB Ch Kensington’s 1st Dance with Michael) with her Westminster handler, Karen Mammano. Billie is one of Kensington’s 2nd generation of AKC titled Champions. We’ve bred seven Champions in three generations of breeding, plus three Grands and one Bronze. 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!) will be our eighth bred-by Champion and Koko (Kensington’s Nouvelle Mlle. Koko) may soon be our fourth Grand Champion.
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.” If I get my mojo, I just may hit the 4-6 month Puppy Class with Tahoe, come July in Tunbridge, VT at our Green Mountain Dog Club show this summer.
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 two beautiful AKC Grand Championship Kensington-bred females: our regal Ziva and the lovely Billie Jean. They are each 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 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. Our breeding stock is clear of NCL and PLL and has been since 2010.
It is also important to me to repeat breedings, so as to fully understand what the genetic combinations of sire and dam produce. I am in no hurry and am working toward consistency in my breeding program. So, of course, I must clearly understand the variety that a genetic combination will produce, before breeding for a new member of my home pack and breeding program. Living with more than four dogs becomes stressful for me and so, I like to keep my home pack size small. I couldn’t do what I do, the way that I do it, with more than three or four dogs in residence at a time. And I’m extremely fortunate to have four of my AKC registered stud dogs living with other forever homes within easy driving distance.
Last May, I attended the National Conference of the TTCA (Tibetan Terrier Club of America), out in Clymer, NY. Four month old Koko came with me; our first road trip! There were two educational programs on Tuesday that I did NOT want to miss AND the Top 20 Invitational Dinner (of which our GRCHB Billie would have been a part, except that she had puppies in the hopper). I picked up Billie’s beautiful Top 20 ribbon with the most gorgeous rosette on top. Here it is, on display in the corner of the living room in Stowe.
I am grateful for the privilege of being able to focus on my passion for my dogs, now that I’ve reached my ‘golden years’. This is my life and also made possible by my doggie au pairs. The TTs are my companions and I try very hard to give them what they need and want, without sacrificing myself.
We sincerely believe that a Kensington Tibetan will be one of the healthiest and best socialized TTs you’ll find available to you here in the States. The care and special attention we pay to nutrition, socialization and cleanliness set us apart from many other breeders. We like to keep our puppies until sometime between their ninth and tenth weeks of life, as the last week or two spent with the older animals truly helps them develop good manners. We live in the heart of the Green Mountains and enjoy terrific terrain and winter views. In the warmer months, we do water training. Regardless of season, our puppies will have had solo experience in a variety of crates and different rooms of the house, before they leave. We also do car training, in an effort to develop secure, confident and inquisitive animals who love going for rides. Our forever families will happily reference us and we welcome your inquiries.
PUPPIES will next be AVAILABLE in 2019:
While we strive to breed puppies for the most wonderful pet homes we can find, we also remain interested in hearing from people interested in participating peripherally in my breeding program. If you have thoughts about such things, please share your thoughts and personal histories, when you return your application.
The KENSINGTON Community:
Enjoy your visit to our site. We welcome hearing from new friends and look forward to the opportunity to answer any questions you might have about the breed or our Tibetan Terriers. Those answers are often published as blog entries under the ‘NEWS’ tab on the far right up above. You may sign up to receive future postings under the NEWS tab, at the top of that page. If you’re interested in one of our puppies, please DO sign up, as that is where I will post the updates on breedings, whelpings and other things we learn or experience. There is an application you’ll need to fill out that I can email to you, before we can take your interest in a Kensington Tibetan Terrier forward. Remember, they are NOT terriers and we raise them lovingly in my Vermont home, as though they were our children.
There is also an active community of Kensington fans and forever families on Facebook. You are welcome to search for us there, too. FB is a great place to seek out other forever families with Kensington puppies. Doggies love play dates, especially with other Tibetans!
In the meantime, my name is Wendyll Behrend and you may ring me on my cell, should you have questions and a situation you’d like to address now. Sometimes I have older puppies or dogs available, but sometimes, not. Try me at: 781.254.9941 If I don’t have a puppy for you and you’d like a referral to another breeder; just call and maybe we can find a new companion for you. I have successfully helped to re-home adults from other breeders, whose breeding programs and honesty I respect.
Thank you very much for your interest in my Tibetan Terriers.
Camille Manfredonia is our national club rescue coordinator. If you can open your heart and help our TTCA rescue and placement efforts? These little furry friends would be grateful. Please consider reaching out through the web and submitting an application to our national rescue organization.