Interview with Wendy Anderson, Breeder of Winterholme Shih Tzu
I have been involved in purebred dogs since the early 1990s. I have been breeding Shih Tzu since 2002 and since that time have had champions in several countries around the world. My dogs have been the top Shih Tzu in Canada, the US, Brazil, Poland, and the number one all breeds in South Africa, winning multiple Bests in Show and Bests in Specialty Show. My dog “Jax” was the all-breed number one Shih Tzu in the US in 2017 and was the Westminster Best of Breed winner in 2018. I am also a judge, licensed with the Canadian Kennel Club, and have enjoyed judging around the world.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Wendy Anderson: I live in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, and have been in dog since the early 1990s. I’ve been breeding since 2002.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Wendy Anderson: My kennel name is Winterholme. I’m a small home-based breeder and usually have 4-5 dogs at a time.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
- My foundation bitch, Can. Ch. Wenrick’s Molly N’Winterholme (Am. Can. Ch. Ultra’s Conflict of Interest x Wenrick’s Traced by Xeralane) had her Canadian and American ROMs in three litters and was the Canadian Top Brood bitch in 2005.
- Can. Ch. Winterholme Kiss N Call Me Kate (Ch Symarun’s Groovy Kind of Love x Ch Winterholme’s Lanakila Kiana) produced three Best in Show kids, two from the same litter, one of which was Winners Bitch at the 2019 National Specialty under breeder-judge Luke Ehricht, and the other was Top Utility Dog in Poland.
I have currently three prominent sires:
- MBIS MBISS Am. Can. GCh. Winterholme Any Way U Want It (Jax) who was the number one Shih Tzu in 2017 (all-breed) and the 2018 Westminster Best of Breed winner. He has produced three Best in Show kids in three different counties and the Canadian National Specialty Best of Breed winner.
- Am. Can. Ch. Winterholme Give a Little Love ROM (Stuart) won an AOM at the 2018 Westminster dog show, the same year Jax won the breed. To date, he has produced over 14 American champions.
- Can. Ch. Winterholme’s Forever Rockin (Evan) has produced many champions, with two Best in Show kids from the same litter.
What are some of the unique challenges to breeding a Toy Breed?
Wendy Anderson: Shih Tzu as a whole tend to be very good dams. In my experience, most will free-whelp and are very attentive to their young. They are a laid-back breed and are quite willing to stay with their puppies long past the weaning age.
Do I have specific regimens for feeding, immunizations, health & wellness?
Wendy Anderson: I’m very strict with what I feed. I only feed Fromm dog food and raw fruits and vegetables as treats. No commercial treats. I follow the puppy vaccination series and the one-year booster, but stop after that unless I am travelling out of the country with a dog.
Are there specific challenges inherent to traveling with a Toy Breed? Any tips I can share?
Wendy Anderson: We are very fortunate as Toy breeders as we have the opportunity to bring our dogs in-cabin rather than as cargo, and this is much less stressful for the dog and for us. Shih Tzu have an added restriction as they are one of the banned brachycephalic breeds, so we only have the option of in-cabin travel.
As for tips, I usually carry everything I need for the dog just in case luggage gets lost. For young dogs, it helps to get them used to being in a carrier before you actually require it.
Is my breed suitable as a Performance competitor? Are there any advantages? Any disadvantages?
Wendy Anderson: Shih Tzu are excellent in the Performance events. Many Shih Tzu are quite titled!
Is there reason to be optimistic about my breed’s future? Any words of caution?
Wendy Anderson: I feel we have an active group of preservation breeders in Shih Tzu who have many, many years dedicated to the breed. The American Shih Tzu Club is a progressive club with several Regional Specialties and the National Specialty, which are well attended.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Wendy Anderson: Yes, I believe those breeders have the breed in good hands.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
- MBIS MBISS Winterholme Hollywood Award (Emmy) was my first American Best in Show winner. She was also AOM at Westminster in 2006.
- BIS BISS World Winner Am. Can. Ch. Winterholme American Girl (Mia) won the Canadian National from the classes and then went on to win the breed at the World Dog Show in Denmark in 2010.
- MBIS MBISS Am. Can. GCh. Winterholme Any Way U Want it (Jax) was the Number One Shih Tzu in 2017 (all-breed) and the 2018 Westminster Best of Breed.
- Am. Can. Ch. Winterholme Give a Little Love (Stuart) was AOM at the 2018 Westminster show.
- BIS BISS Winterholme Just T’Way U Are (Bridget) was a National Specialty and Best in Show winner the same weekend.
How is showing a Toy Breed different than showing breeds from the other Groups?
Wendy Anderson: I think every breed has its challenges, but when they have that “it” factor they cannot be denied.
I think every breed has its challenges, but when they have that “it” factor they cannot be denied.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with one of my Toy Dogs?
Wendy Anderson: I had a young puppy at a National Specialty who was fascinated with the whole experience. We were in the 6-9 Puppy Class and he was standing like a statue, watching each puppy ahead of him go up and down the diagonal. He was riveted on them. I let my guard down, getting such a charge out of him, and all of a sudden, he decided it was all far too tempting and made a leap to join the current puppy in action. The lead whipped out of my hand! If not for the very fast reflexes of the competitor next to me, it would have been quite embarrassing! Shih Tzu puppies are never dull!!!
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
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