15 January 2019, 7am.
(Applications are temporarily closed for near term puppies. If our litters are larger than expected, we will resume accepting applications in April 2019.)
Koko’s in season. Whoo hoo! Not the girl I expected to follow in Ziva’s shoes – but who am I to question Mother Nature? ;>) We have scheduled Koko’s first progesterone blood draw for next Monday, 21 January, down at Doc Truesdale’s in Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Ziva was bred last Monday and we are waiting to see what’s happening in her ‘hopper’, so to speak. We ‘nailed’ her progesterones on Days 7, 10 and 14. I am going to shoot for the same schedule with Koko. Next for Ziva will be her ultrasound at Dr. Rossi’s Animal Ultrasound Clinic in Salem, Massachusetts on 7 February to confirm the pregnancy (we hope!) and count heartbeats. THAT, will be an exciting day. The team of Drs. Rossi and Landy is the best in New England and I am fortunate to be able to use them. Rossi graduated from the first class of Tufts Veterinary School and has championed the use of ultrasound as a diagnostic tool, since the beginning of that technology. Even Doc Truesdale uses him and remembers Rossi driving around in his van with his portable ultrasound equipment.
As for Ziva’s breeding last Monday, Doc Truesdale and & I were both quite excited about our decision to do a dual sired breeding with Beckham and Yogi to Ziva. It is so much fun to have a repro vet who gets as excited about the science and the art of breeding, as I do. Bill and his wife are two of the owners of Banana Joe, the Affenpinscher who won Best in Show at Westminster 2013. Doc has bred numerous Boxer breed winners at Westminster under his Hi-Tech kennel name. While neither is my breed of choice, how can you NOT get excited about such gorgeous animals? Doc is an empathetic, very smart man who thinks as much out of the box, as inside the box. I just love working with him.
So, here we are in 2019 and thoughts of the recent holidays have long left my head. Even before New Year’s Eve, I was immersed in thoughts of this breeding – but all along? I thought we were going to do natural breedings between Yogi and Ziva.
Breedings usually involve lots of driving, if you own the bitch. I drove six hours on New Year’s Eve for our first progesterone blood draw on Lady Ziva at Broadview in Rochester, NH. Drove six hours on Thursday, 3 January, for the second progesterone. Drove another six hours (to Springfield, MA and back) on Sunday, 6 Jan, to deliver Questa and Piccolo to Rebecca Bradley, so that they could go back on the show circuit. Then, last Monday? I drove nine hours, as I needed Ziva’s final progesterone number and that led to a trip down to Doc Truesdale’s in Seekonk, MA where I store my frozen semen. Ziva’s progesterone number indicated that it was immediately time for a TCI. TCI is short for a trans cervical insemination, a procedure involving a high tech flexible tube with a camera that is inserted up the vaginal canal, through the cervix and into the uterus to deliver semen right to the ripening eggs. While it had not been my original intention, Ziva’s number offered us an opportunity for a dual sired breeding and we used frozen Beckham semen in the first TCI. Then, we used freshly collected semen from the Yogi-meister for a second TCI, approximately two hours later. Hopefully, we achieved fertilization . . . and now? We wait. And get ready for an instant repeat with Koko. ;>)
Some years back, I remember writing here that I think about potential breedings all of the time. It is true! I consider options every day. I think about who I might breed with whom and study the COIs, just in case a situation might arise where I might have needed to have already thought about the possibilities at hand. And yesterday? It all came to fruition. I knew that Beckham x Ziva would result in gorgeous healthy Tibetans (that’s why I imported him in 2016 from his Swedish breeder, Markus Gisslen) – and Yogi & Ziva have had two beautiful litters to date – so, I have additional proof in Piccolo, Paisley and Tessa, not to mention the other puppies in those two litters. And while I was hesitant to put all of my eggs in one basket – pun intended – we used Yogi’s freshly collected semen as a back up, in case Beckham’s swimmers did not thaw and perform as expected. Talk about ‘weird science’. Can you imagine? Beckham was collected, evaluated & frozen in November 2018 and we thawed his semen on January 7 for use in a breeding with Ziva. I cannot wait to see where this leads . . .
Last Monday was a very long day, but absolutely worth it! If we get lucky and our breedings took? We’ll prepare for whelping sometime during the first week of March. Once the puppies are born, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief. Then, sometime around 5-6 weeks of age, we will take cheek swabs (DNA samples) on Ziva’s puppies and use the DNA profiles we have on both sires to determine which puppy was sired by which dog. I love this stuff. Just like Doc Truesdale. ;>)
We’ve all recently come through ‘the holiday season’. And while sometimes stressful, it is also a time to be grateful, count our blessings and catch up with friends and family.
Here at Kensington, we are blessed with close friends who help & support me, and more food in the doggies’ dishes & in the pantry than we can eat. We are blessed with sincerity, curiosity and laughter in the house. I look back at 2018, grateful that we were able to have made a wonderful impact on 14 families with the puppies we bred and sent to their new forever homes. Photos and cards have been coming by mail and electronically from new and old Kensington friends. It is these peeps who inspire us to raise the bar and set the highest possible standards for ourselves and the puppies we breed and raise.
The puppies from our next three litters are all reserved by applications with deposits, but we expect to have puppies in summer 2019 from a fourth breeding. Please reach out, if you would like to submit an application to be considered as a potential Kensington forever family. We also require visits to Stowe, Vermont, so that we can meet you and you can meet us!
After Koko, our next plan is to breed Oskar x Piper. Piper’s swabs were sent to the Animal Health Trust in England on New Year’s Eve and I know they’ve been received. We should have her genetic results this week – fingers crossed! Oskar carries one copy of a mutation for which we have a genetic test and so, I can only breed him to Piper if she’s clear of RCD4. Most of my animals are clear of everything for which we have a test – so, there are always other options. Yogi and Beckham are genetically clear of everything for which we test and could be alternative sires, if we find that Piper is carrying any mutation – but the hunch is that she is clear of everything, too. And these mutations are classic Mendelian mutations, where two copies of the mutation are required for the condition to present itself; one copy from each parent. Hence, the importance of genetic management in a breeding program!
14 January 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 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.
With our 2018 puppies grown and gone, our girls are back to play mode, as they no longer have motherly responsibilities. Piccolo is back out on the show circuit, still short that last Major win needed for her GR CH title. It was so much fun having her home in December that I let her sleep with me every night. My coquette! Hers, is yet another precocious personality who loves playing keep away and she is as sweet as can be. 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 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, during the course of their weaning. It 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 have 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 back out with Rebecca Bradley, preparing for 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 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 we have Ziva, a fourth brood bitch who was recently bred . . . she is the mum of Kensington’s lovely January and August 2017 litters. And we now have Piper, a half sister to Annabel and Billie. Piper is expected to come into season soon and hers will be our third litter of 2019. Piper is a gold brindle with white markings and I want to breed her to my red man, Oskar. But Piper’s not fully genetically tested yet and Oskar carries one genetic mutation – so, we MUST BE SURE that Piper is clear of RCD4 – nothing else matters, as Oskar’s clear of the other three and both have great hips. Her swabs went to England on New Year’s Eve . . . we know that they were received. Now, we hope for results in the next week or so!
Our 2018 puppies have all landed in their forever homes and each is transitioning very well. Questa finished his CH title and has Majors and 15 points toward his GR CH title. That boy is on fire! Both he and his mother GRCHB Kensington’s 1st Dance with Michael will be competing in February 2019 at Westminster.
Funny story about life with a TT, nevermind a pack of them: Recently, 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. Applications are still being accepted for Kensington’s Summer 2019 Tibetan Terrier puppies. At this time, we are waiting to see whether Ziva’s breedings took and planning to breed Koko next week. Soon, we expect to be breeding Piper and Annabel. 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 postponed working on my next blog post that will address the genetics behind coat colors and furnishings in our breed, as my focus has been on our recent litters of puppies. Soon, though, I want to address the confusion that exists in the descriptions of some of the coat colors in Tibetan Terriers. I have ordered my first set of genetic tests for furnishings and various coat color genetic alleles and will be testing Yogi, sire of Questa and Piccolo. Yogi’s sire was Whitaker, a red brindle with white markings and Yogi’s dam is now silver with white markings. Her show photos captured her black and white coat. That early coat color matured into silver and white, at the age of five. We began our breeding program with Izzie, a red brindle foundation bitch and are working toward breeding a new red brindle female to carry on in Izzie & Coppi’s pawprints. Red animals will produce more variety in our coat colors and it is important to me 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 (NCL, PLL, PRA3 and RCD4). And Questa is CBP (but will be genetically tested to confirm). 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 outcross will be to a male out of a Shadeacre breeding from Sweden. Koko (GRCH Kensington’s L.A. Noir, Aussi) will next be bred to Beckham, Shadeacre Fast Love at Kensington. This will be her second 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). (Koko is a first generation Kensington girl.) 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 Barnstorm and 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 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 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 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. ’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).
CH 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 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 another female puppy out of Ziva’s next breeding. Piccolo is lovely and very much like 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 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 outweigh coat pattern and color, as it should be.
We always try to have an older puppy in residence to help socialize our young puppies. For our next litters? We will have Piccolo, post Championship title – and while I don’t want to sacrifice her gorgeous long coat – if she doesn’t earn that Major soon? We will sacrifice the coat. 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. The gentle older puppy gets exposed to 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. For our March litters, we expect to have Piccolo home for the spring and summer.
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 Billie from the 2017 Westminster show (GCHB Ch Kensington’s 1st Dance with Michael), being handled by Karen Mammano. Billie will be back out at Westminster on 11 February 2019, for the second time. And for the first time? Her boy, Questa (GRCH Kensington’s Questa o Quella?) will be competing among the males in his Westminster debut. Billie is one of Kensington’s ‘Bred By’ AKC titled Champions. We’ve bred nine Champions in four generations of breeding, plus four 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?) is our ninth Champion and newest stud dog.
Sorry, everyone! I crashed my own home page and am still re-building it. (Good thing I had a copy.)