History Of The Shih Tzu In Canada
by Patricia Dickson

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The first documented record of the breed in this country was in the year 1935, when Mrs Patrick Morgan of Montreal is known to have imported a dog from England to join the two other Shih Tzu already in residence with her.

One of the dogs (Hooza) was known to have come from China and was described as fawn in color, a female, and the second was greyish in tone and is said to have come from Czechoslovakia. So it is apparent that there were members of the breed here previous to the English import. These dogs were obviously bred from, as it is from Mrs. Morganís "Chouette" kennel that "Tashi of Chouette" was exported to England.

"Tashi" was accompanied by two other Shih Tzu who we are sad to say died in quarantine. Tashi survived and went on to make a very good contribution to the breed in that she was the grand dam of three of the first English champions among these being the famous "Ta Chi of Taishan" the first English champion of record.

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Hooza   Ch Ta Chi of Taishan

This little bitch has been described as brown and white but she has also been described elsewhere as liver and white. She was born on the fifth of June 1945 and gained the title in September 1949. She was owned by Lady Brownrigg of the famous "Taishan" kennels who did so much to establish the breed in England.

Also in operation in the thirties was the "Kokonor" kennels of Miss Margaret Torrible but I have failed to uncover any details of her dogs despite several enquiries.

As with other countries in the early years there was quite a lot of confusion as to the name of these little dogs but it was finally decided, as elsewhere, that they should be recorded as "Shih Tzu".

Not much further information has come to light on the early days of the breed in our country, although I am sure there is more information that has not become available.

"Ah Sid of Lhakang" was imported into Canada along with a female companion in the fifties and "Ah Sid of Lhakang" was to become the first member of the breed registered with the Canadian Kennel Club, the date was 1952. Also in the fifties the first champion in the breed went on record in the person of "King Chan of Clarebrand". This dog was imported into Canada by Mrs J Kirsch of Montreal.

It is not evident that "Ah Sid of Lhakang" or his companion "Kotzu of Lhakang" were ever bred from, but it would seem that "King Chan of Clarebrand" did go on to produce since a dog from Mrs Kirschís kennel "Khazana Yul Chan", was top Shih Tzu in Canada in 1968. One would expect that with the incorporation of "Chan" in this dogís name it would likely be related to the first champion.

With the commencement of the Second World War, imports were suspended and thus there was a general slow down in all countries since most dog shows were put side for more pressing priorities. There was not much activity in the breed between the late thirties and late forties, but the Shih Tzu became more prominent in the sixties due to the early fanciers in the U.S. struggling to have the breed recognized.

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Miss Margaret Torrible

The dogs were exhibited initially in the Miscellaneous Class, but thanks to many dedicated Shih Tzu people it gained recognition in September 1969 and was admitted to the Toy Group. Considerable interest was generated from this occurrence and the result was that this wonderful breed of ours just went into orbit.

It is sad to note that in April of the same year Lady Brownrigg of "Taishan", who had done so much for this breed, died in England.

Lady Brownrigg of "Taishan"

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