17 October 2018, 5pm EST
It has been a very long day. I’ve been up since 4:30am. And that is after I was up at 1am for a night feeding of the two little ones. Every night . . . 10pm, 1am and 4:30am. It’s no surprise that I am completely sleep deprived, have no short term memory and am living with easel pads around the house upon which to write my notes, so that I can keep things straight and speak with clarity, when required.
Early on in my breeding program, I decided that I did not want to use superhuman efforts to ‘save a puppy’. When you invest days and weeks and then, a month goes by? When you drive four hours to buy ‘miracle nipples’ in Connecticut and turn around to drive home and they don’t help? When it is an uphill battle and it’s just not working? We say that we’ll know, when that time has come – but when you’re living it? You keep working and you keep hoping and at some point, you need to reach a position of clarity and it is not easy. We go through similar pain at end of life decisions with our beloved pets. It is never easy.
In the US, we have this thing called Pro Choice. It may be called other things, in other countries. I believe in Pro Choice, so that every person can have the right to make their own very personal decision about bringing a child into the world. With the advent of scientific progress, we can test for birth defects and use that information to make decisions. They may not be easy decisions – how could they be? But you can have information before the child is born and I think that is terrific. Information is a wonderful thing. When the going gets tough? I go into ‘analytical’ mode.
Dog breeders don’t get much information until after birth. And then, sometimes? It does not show that you have a problem for a week or two.
I have had two problems that I recognized shortly after birth. I have been working diligently and assessing daily. It has taken Lady Cheryl’s help and Lady Tracy’s help and my friend & fellow TT breeder Maureen Dwyer’s help & input and now? My friend and fellow TT breeder Lynne Fardell is here and she gave me her frank assessment and opinion last night. Yes, I have bred more TTs than any of these people – but I have to make a decision and I believe that decision will be to euthanize these two four and a half week old puppies. They are not thriving. They are not normal, given my previous experience breeding and raising 20 litters of Tibetan Terriers. And I can’t hand them off to anyone except to a research facility and I don’t know that I want to do that.
At the end of the day, they are not growing. I weighed them this morning and it was the sixth day of absolutely no weight gain in grams. I have to make a decision and I want to share what I’m doing with those who are interested in ‘all things Kensington’, because it helps me to ‘write it out’ and helps me to stay the course with the support of my peeps.
These two little puppies are perfectly formed and tiny – but one has an oddly pear shaped and very hard belly. My VT repro vet assessed them as preemies, when we had dew claws removed and told me to give them a week to ‘catch up’. My favorite repro vet in the world (Dr. Norris of Broadview Animal Hospital in Rochester, NH) examined them carefully and thoroughly last week on Tuesday and said, their hearts are beating well and sound healthy, temperature is on the low side of normal, perhaps a little constipated but not showing the lethargy associated with puppy constipation, too early to do blood work – so, we put them on Amoxycillin as a proactive measure, in case they developed infections due to compacted stool.
Then, I used the two drops of olive oil trick and within a couple of days, I could see evidence of bowel movements but never caught either one in the act and Joker’s belly remained hard and enlarged. The stools are a little curious and I’ve been bathing the puppies daily & gently blowing them dry in a towel with warm air – not hot – from my standing dryer, because none of the mummy dogs will clean them. (Now, THERE’s a sign from Mother Nature.) Their coats are thick and glossy – yet they’re not as ambulatory, even as three week old puppies, and they dodder around. You can clearly see that they are not normal, ESPECIALLY as I have three litters to whom to compare them.
My mission is to breed and raise beautifully constructed, healthy and wonderfully temperamented puppies for the most wonderful forever homes I can find. That mission has been the same, since my early days as a breeder. I breed my own show dogs and am proud that two other TT breeders have used my boys for their own litters. I have imported a dog from Sweden, in order to diversify the genetic heritage behind my brood bitches and I am committed to very high personal standards. What am I to do now? I think I have to do what’s staring me in the face and move forward, with my mission in mind and pain in my heart.
There are no happy words, today. I’m in tears, once again, and have the privilege of being able to ‘do the right thing’. My friend and fellow breeder ‘M’ has been a source of comfort, but I think I am more tender hearted than she. However, if I’d bred 100 litters, perhaps I’d not be as ‘tender hearted’ as I am. I’m only 20 litters into my breeding program and the ONLY OTHER TIME I’VE FELT LIKE THIS was when Billie lost four of her seven puppies at whelping and I thought I couldn’t take any more. But the next day? Georgie Girl landed ALL six of hers on the couch and in two hours. That restored my faith. But my faith is feeling a little shaky right now. And I am only talking about raising animals.
How tough must it be, when you have a child with birth defects?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
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
First of all, we say CONGRATULATIONS! to our CH RinChen’s Style Icon of Kensington and her four puppies. It was a fairly quick 3 1/2 hour daylight whelping and Yogi x Annabel gave us four dramatically marked Black & White puppies, 1 male and 3 females. We have hit our stride, developed a daily rhythm and are spending our days watching the puppies develop physiologically and beginning to show their personalities.
Funny story about life with a TT, nevermind a pack of them: I returned home around 6 p.m. recently and promptly switched gears to preparing everyone’s dinner, 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 my treadmill with Annabel running down the hall looking VERY GUILTY. It’s clear that the dogs prefer fresh Atlantic salmon to their dry Royal Canin kibble. Who can blame them? Problem was, neither piece was meant for them. ;>)
And 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. This year, we had three litters and each puppy has its own forever home, already. Applications are being accepted for next year’s Kensington Tibetan Terrier puppies. At this time, I am planning to breed Beckham x Ziva in November. I believe that these puppies will be available to their forever families in later March/April. I am also planning to breed Koko and Annabel again in 2019 and those puppies will be available early summer 2019. You are welcome to request an application, where you will learn more about our selection process and what I require of my forever families.
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. I’ve been working on my next blog post that will address the genetics behind coat colors and furnishings in our breed. I’ve realized that the confusion over whether a reddish coat is called a red brindle or a sable needs to be addressed and so, have ventured into a study of this topic. We began our breeding program with Izzie, a red brindle foundation bitch and are working toward breeding a new red brindle stud dog to replace Oskar and a new red brood bitch to carry on in Izzie & Coppi’s pawprints. Red animals will produce more variety in our coat colors and that is important to maintain the breed standard of variety in coat color. Canine genetic tests are available for both furnishings and genotypes on all seven identified color loci. 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 next 2018 and 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 to please those families who are waiting for puppies out of our current litters and to exceed their (and my) expectations for health, vigor and beauty. I did manage to breed a beautifully constructed sable male and he is going to a terrific forever home. Thought I was going to keep Rocky – but the timing makes better sense to keep a Beckham x Ziva puppy and I have my fingers crossed for a sable. With a terrific sable boy and Questa added to our pack of stud dogs, it will alleviate many of the fly bys I do, as our current stud dogs all live with other forever families and elsewhere. We have Kensington males living in the Catskills, in the Boston area and southern Vermont. Once Questa earns his AKC CH title, he will go to live with his human mum in Essex Junction, VT. That will make him the closest Kensington stud – but too young to use for at least another 16 months. Questa is ‘Clear by Parentage’ of the four genetic mutations for which we have tests (NCL, PLL, PRA3 and RCD4). This is terrific for us and for any other breeder 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.
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. Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of catching up with Alice Smith of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Alice is an old timer in the breed and she was present at the whelping of my first litter in 2009. Her 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, 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.
We use progesterone testing to time each of our breedings. 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 outcross will be to a male out of a Shadeacre breeding from Sweden. Ziva (GRCH Kensington’s L.A. Noir, Aussi) will next be bred in November to Beckham, Shadeacre Fast Love at Kensington. This will be her third litter. She has produced some structurally gorgeous offspring to date, including genetic tricolors and Black & White puppies.
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 girls. 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). He was a son of Atisha’s Blazing Black Adder. Outcrossing to Michael brought Barnstorm and Atisha 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 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 and very dark eyes, a beautiful natural stack and movement, strong chest and high tailset to die for. He may well be Kensington’s first true showstopper, as his markings are flashy and his rear extension is a little more dramatic than what we’ve been producing to date. We will see what the judges think! I don’t care terribly about coat color, except for my breeding program, as the breed SHOULD be available in a wide array of coat colors and patterns, although black eye patches are quite routine and something for which the breed is known.
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. Currently, we have one fly by scheduled to arrive at Logan Airport’s Hilton Hotel on Friday, 30 November to deliver THREE puppies to their new humans who are flying in from other parts of the country. Each of these families has visited us at least once up in Stowe and SKYPEd with us, too.
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 the kitchen every morning. 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 Weimeraner 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. Our 2018 forever families submitted applications with deposits during the last ten months and have been patiently waiting, ever since. 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. ’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 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 CH Kensington’s Pic, Pic, Piccolo (born August 24, 2017), who is out on the AKC Conformation circuit working toward her GRCH title in limited showing with her handler, Rebecca Bradley. Piccolo earned her first 4 point Major in Springfield, MA at the ripe old age of 7 1/2 months. She debuted in the ring on February 24, 2018 and her participation in that AKC show helped to make the 3 point Major that earned Koko her AKC Championship title. Then, my little ‘mudder’ (thanks, Margie) earned her second 4 point Major in Brooklyn, CT on 12 May. She has since earned her AKC CH title in Conformation and is now competing in the Best of Breed competition.
CH 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. Besides her beautiful structure, 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. Questa demonstrates this, too, and he is a pleasure to work with, BECAUSE of this behavior.
RESPONSIBLE BREEDING PRACTICES:
We are considering keeping a male puppy out of Oskar x Billie’s current litter and also, out of our November outcross of Beckham x Ziva. Billie and Ziva are the mothers of Questa and Piccolo. 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 and is easy 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 fifth stud dog and the ‘old man’ in the quintet. 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 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 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 and food drive in newly born puppies. Any day of the week, these qualities outweight coat pattern and color, as it should be.
We always try to have an older puppy in residence to help socialize our young puppies. This last litter? We had Koko, post Championship title. 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. For our September litters, we expect to have Piccolo home next month.
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’. 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 Billie from the 2017 Westminster show (GCHB Ch Kensington’s 1st Dance with Michael), being handled by, Karen Mammano. Billie is one of Kensington’s ‘Bred By’ AKC titled Champions. We’ve bred eight Champions in three generations of breeding, plus three Grands 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?) may soon be 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.” Earlier 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. It 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 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.
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 four or five girls in residence at a time. And I’m extremely fortunate to my four AKC registered stud dogs living with other forever homes within easy driving distance.
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 hairy friends would be grateful. Please consider reaching out through the web and submitting an application to our national rescue organization.