Interview with Carla Johnson, Breeder of JOCAR Shih Tzu
I have been showing dogs for about 20 years and breeding for about 18 years. I work for a major hospital facility in St Louis, Missouri. I get to work from home and that is the best. I’m always around the dogs, so it’s easier to keep an eye on new puppies and mothers.
I have one son and I’m the grandmother of two beautiful girls. My family is everything to me; showing and breeding come second.
I love this breed and I love how each breeding is always to improve on the last one. The opportunity to go to big shows and learn from other breeders is great. I also love to help the new people coming into the breed because if we don’t, no one will want to stay.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Carla Johnson: I live in Highland, Illinois. I’ve been in dogs for 20 years; as a breeder for 18 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Carla Johnson: My kennel name is JOCAR Shih Tzu. I currently keep eight dogs.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
- My most influential sire has been GCH Jocar’s Future Investment (Phorbes).
- My most influential dam has been CH Jocar’s You Belong To Me (Patsy).
What are some of the unique challenges to breeding a Toy Breed?
Carla Johnson: Getting people interested in preserving the qualities of the breed is a challenge.
Do I have specific regimens for feeding, immunizations, health & wellness?
Carla Johnson: Feeding consistently on a schedule and providing yearly health checks with my vet.
Are there specific challenges inherent to traveling with a Toy Breed? Any tips you can share?
Carla Johnson: Toy Breeds are easier to travel with.
Is my breed suitable as a Performance competitor? Are there any advantages? Any disadvantages?
Carla Johnson: Yes, they can be a Performance competitor.
Is there reason to be optimistic about my breed’s future? Any words of caution?
Carla Johnson: I worry that I can’t reach enough backyard breeders to help educate them. The Shih Tzu is a wonderful companion. Their job is to sit on your lap. They are very special, so take your time when it comes to picking a stud dog or dam. We are here to improve the breed, not ruin it.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Carla Johnson: Yes I do.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Carla Johnson: OH BIS MBISS GCHS Jocar’s Add A Little Garnish (Parsley). She finished as the No. 1 Shih Tzu in the country for 2002.
How is showing a Toy Breed different than showing breeds from the other Groups?
Carla Johnson: I don’t have enough info on showing other breeds.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with one of my Toy Dogs?
Carla Johnson: At the Royal Canin National Championship, one of the biggest shows of the year, Parsley pulled out of her lead in the Breed ring. She just stood there, waiting for me to put it back on so that we could finish our down and back to the judge.
Are you looking for a Shih Tzu puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Shih Tzu dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Shih Tzu Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the playful Shih Tzu dog breed with articles and information in our Shih Tzu Dog Breed Magazine.
Shih Tzu Breed Magazine - Showsight