Millville woman opens Shih Tzu
March 30, 2009 | MILLVILLE -- After four years of studying
and preparation, Rael Thompson is ready to start her
own small Shih Tzu breeding program with the goal of
producing healthy, high quality, beautiful dogs.
Thompson said in a phone interview that she has loved
and owned the breed for 12 years now and has enjoyed
their sweet disposition and non-shedding long coats.
Belonging to a breeders group she has learned a lot
about breeding from them as they help each other out,
Thompson plans to own up to six Shih Tzus for breeding
purposes, two of them being male, though right now she
only owns two females and one male that are American
Kennel Club registered that she plans on breeding.
"I want to be known for having good quality dogs,"
Thompson said, and has gone to makes sure that she does
just that as she has bought and flown in two of her
dogs from breeders in Alabama and South Carolina to
ensure good quality breeding lines.
One of the problems with that, Thompspn said, was
that she didn't get to interact with the puppies before
she bought them and had to trust the breeders word,
but she said she has not been disappointed with the
dogs as they have been great with her family and other
dogs with the exception of one. She said that she
bought one female and had to find another home for the
animal as she would fight with one of her other dogs.
"I had one dog that hated one of my other dogs, it
was sad," Thompson said.
Shih Tzus aren't the only breed of dog Thompson that
are a part of her family and owns a couple other pet
dogs as well, which was one of the dogs that the female
Shih Tzu didn't like.
As far as breeding her dogs go, Thompson said she
will never do anything to get the dogs to go into season
earlier than they naturaly would and finds such practices
unethical and plans to breed her dogs when she thinks
they are ready to.
Thompson said determining when she thinks they will
be ready to be bred will be based on each individual
dog's personality, but that on average Shih Tzu is physically
able to be bred when they are two years old.
Finding good homes for the puppies is one of her top
priorities when she goes to sell them and even has it
in her contract when she sells one that the new owner
has to contact her if they want to sell the dog at a
later date or give it to someone else to make sure that
it goes to someone who will appreciate it.
Thompson said it depends when the puppies are ready
to go to new homes and can very from 8-12 weeks in age,
but said "I won't let a puppy go before it's two pounds".
The puppies Thompson will be selling will be under
what is called limited registration, meaning according
to the AKC Web site that "the dog is registered but
no litters produced by that dog are eligible for registration".
Thompson said that for advertising when she has puppies
she will use the Internet, possibly newspaper ads, and
word of mouth.
"I really hope at one point to be at word of mouth,"
Thompson said and explained that it would mean that
as a breeder her buyers will more likely be more appreciative
of the dogs and truly want them.
Shih Tzus are high in popularity and are ranked as
number 10 in desirablity according the AKC's registration
statistics on their Web site.The Shih Tzus that Thompson
has have harder to find coat colors and due to their
high quality lines and beauty the puppies will range
in price from $800 to $2,000.
The Shih Tzus that Thompson has right now are still
too young to be bred and has yet to have a litter from
the ones she currently has, though that doesn't mean
she hasn't had puppies before.
Thompson said one of the hardest parts of being a
breeder, besides finding good homes, is for her family
is having to sell them as it is so easy to get attached
to and love the puppies.
For more information on Thompson's breeding program
go to Enchanted Mountain Shih Tzu.
For more information on the breed, go to http://www.akc.org.