15 May 2017
I think about my future breedings every day. I think about the attributes I’ve come to take for granted – like beautiful mouths and bites. No reverse scissor bites in my animals. Ever. I think about what’s the most important thing besides good genetics, great temperament and an athletic body? Great head, profuse coat, lovely gait, beautiful tail set, nice neck.
We’ve lived with Tibetan Terriers, since 1992. My husband and I bought our first two puppy littermates from Nina Wagner of Shalimar Kennel. During the next ten years, I became impassioned with the breed and decided that I wanted to develop a breeding program of my own. In 2006, I acquired my foundation pair of TTs from Shalimar and Mark & Pam Desrosiers finished James and Izzie in 2007. Nina Wagner continued as my primary mentor, until last year, when she passed away in October. Her wisdom, guidance and humor have been inspirational. We talked regularly and laughed often. Now? I am developing friendships with Claire Coppola of RinChen and Markus Gisslen of Shadeacre in Sweden, two fine breeders, from whom I have acquired new bloodlines. And I’ve been enjoying getting to know Lynne Fardell of Sunsi, as she’s recently moved to Vermont and has some fine animals out of David Murray’s Players breeding program in California.
James and Izzie were my foundation pair of Tibetan Terriers and had their first Kensington litter in March 2009. That first litter had eight black & white puppies – four boy pups and four little girl pups. That is the ONLY time that Mother Nature has given me an ‘even Steven’ ratio of girl and boy pups. Of the eight, seven of the pups went to forever homes from New Jersey to Maine and we kept our pick boy puppy, Oliver Twist. Oliver hit the show circuit in January 2010 and became an AKC Champion in eight days, at nine months of age. There were other potential show dogs in the 2009 litter but their forever families are all raising their Kensington TTs as happy pets. Beau is one of those puppies, an extraordinary athlete with spirit and personality. Here he is, showing off one of his tricks, jumping through the hula hoop. He was also very good at digging up perennials, as a puppy. Our latest ‘hula girl’ is Aza. She learned the trick in under fifteen minutes. All it took was a treat on the other side of the hoop. And her humans told me that she’d mastered the piano, too! They’ve taught her a trick, where she plays the lower keys, while her forever mom plays the higher keys. It is a lot of fun, when you get a food-driven TT, as they perform for reward and are easier to train than those who don’t care about food.
In April 2010, Izzie whelped our second litter (Izzie x Oskar) and we had five red brindle puppies – four girl pups and one little boy. We kept Coppi, our pick bitch puppy, and she joined James, Izzie and Oliver in the pack. The other four puppies from our 2010 litter live with their forever families from Ohio to Massachusetts. Look at the two puppies, on the gingham tablecloth. You can really see the difference in the width of their chests. The puppy on the right has noticeably broader shoulders and a bigger chest. This is Coppi at eight weeks, now retired and living on the beach in Marblehead. I look for strong bone, good proportions, brains and personality, when I’m trying to determine my ‘pick’. And sometimes, it is easier to evaluate the puppies in pairs. It helps make things jump out at you. Easier to compare than to study in isolation.
Izzie had her third and final litter in 2011. I bred her to James a second time and she produced some really wonderful black & white puppies. Out of this litter came Rocket, my first Puppy Group 1 winner! Rocket lives with Izzie, Henry and their forever family up here in Vermont. And Emmett James came out of Izzie’s last litter, too, who also lives in Vermont and now has a little sister in Sophie, out of Gigi x Whit, August 2015.
It’s great having kids around who love to play with the puppies and dogs, as it helps to socialize the young pups, in preparation for life in their forever homes with children. Henry, Lily and Daisy have helped me since 2009 and continue to help me with each of my Vermont whelped litters.
2012 was the last year we had only one Kensington litter. Beginning in 2013, we started breeding two litters a year. In order to give each puppy in every litter and each adult in the pack the love, care and attention they deserve, we need to keep our pack size small. When you visit, you will probably meet three or four adults – and there’s always a good chance that we’ll have some younger Kensington Tibetans in residence, as we are also happy to board any of the animals we’ve bred. It gives me a chance to further evaluate the animals and I love seeing them again.
In 2015, we bred two of our girls in early June and the puppies arrived during the first week of August. We were in Vermont for the births and headed south to Princeton, Massachusetts, once the puppies began weaning off of their mothers. The puppies from both of these litters were beautiful with great heads and strong chests.
Our 2016 litters left for their forever homes last summer, except for the lovely Miss Lily Rose. I held her back for study, as she struck me as a beautiful animal with a sweet submissive temperament with humans but a spitfire with her peers. She has since moved in with a wonderful human mom in Maryland and is splitting her time between the mainland and the beach. All of the other Gigi and Billie puppies live in CT, MA, PA and VT. Our 2017 puppies will be available in August and October.
If you’re interested in bringing a Tibetan Terrier into your life, I urge you to visit as many breeders as you can. Remember, that breeder will be an invaluable resource and guide to you, as the years go by. Trust me, you’ll have lots of questions! And I think you should want to see firsthand how your puppy has been raised. And you might also like to speak with other families who’ve brought a puppy from that breeder into their homes.
Tibetan Terriers are smart and sensitive. They traditionally live long lives. We sell our puppies with spay/neuter contracts, pay for the first 8/9 week vet exam & first round of puppy shots. We also require the right of first refusal, should you ever need to re-home your Kensington Tibetan Terrier. It is that important to us to know that all of the TTs we breed will have an opportunity for a wonderful forever life with the best forever families we can find and we are HAPPY to be the back up plan, if one is needed. Should your circumstances change, know that we remain happy to help with the longterm care and home life of your Kensington Tibetan Terrier and that we will love each of them madly and forever.