Although the Shih Tzu club of Scotland is one of the younger clubs in the breed, after the Shih Tzu Club and the Manchu Shih Tzu Society in terms of age, the breed has had a long association with Scotland. Gen. Sir Douglas and Lady Mona Brownrigg who were the founders of the club in the UK, lived in Perth when they first returned to this country from China. When we think of all the people who have owned, bred or exhibited the breed over the years, we realise how long the association goes back. Miss Reoch with her Valiant kennels, essentially a Cairn Terrier breeder, but she did have a Shih Tzu.
The Hon. Mrs Bruce, who lived in Morayshire, although she didn’t show very often, had a long friendship with the breed and was president of the Shih Tzu Club. The Telfor-Smollet family of Loch Lomond, Mrs Margaret Ross from Falkirk, Miss Clephane, Mrs Knox, Mrs Duncan, Mr Allan Roger and Mrs Mollie Sharpe – all names that will be known to many in this breed and other breeds.
It wasn’t really till the early seventies that the breed really took off at a pace in Scotland. It was the new generation to start the long trek south, reference to Jim Peat with his Kareths, then Mr Bert Easdon and Mr Philip Martin with their Yakees followed closely in the mid seventies by Tom and Frieda Harvie with their Lharings, although Frieda had owned the breed as a young girl and her father exhibited her dogs in the fifties and sixties.
This trend has continued and we now have many successful kennels, such as the Jardhus of Mr & Mrs Grugan, the Tatsannas bred by Mr & Mrs Anderson, the Marbolyns of Mr & Mrs Craig, the Thaisu kennel belonging to Mr & Mrs R Cooke, the Harrima kennel of Miss E L Gibbons, Miss A O’Donnell of the Chiaru affix and Mrs M Percival with the Permac affix. There are several keen and dedicated breeders who are following the lead of these successful breeders.
In the late 1979/1980 period, a group of these enthusiasts got together and formed the Shih Tzu Club of Scotland to promote and protect the breeds’ interest in Scotland with the help of the Scottish Kennel Club, the Shih Tzu Club and the Manchu Shih Tzu Society. The Club got off the ground very quickly with the added bonus of £100 from the Shih Tzu Club.
The policy of the club from the beginning was to protect and guard the breed from abuse and deter, where possible, over-breeding and the officials and committee keep a diligent eye on advertisements for puppies etc. Consequently the club have facilitated when required, a rescue service, currently managed by Bert Easdon and Philip Martin. Committee members have always been most careful about the use of stud dogs and where bitches are sold, all hopefully going someway to avoid misuse and exploitation of our lovely breed.
We also have a definite policy of promoting new names for our championship and open shows. Mrs Erna Jungafeldt, from Sweden was our first Championship Show judge, and Mrs Eija Varlander of Finland judged our Championship show in 2005 with many other first time appointments and all rounder contributing towards a successful completion of judging over the years.
It is interesting to note that there have been 29 Scottish bred champions since the formation of the club in 1981, and many more Scottish bred dogs just failing to achieve the third CC. Many of the Scottish dogs have come from what is considered the true type and have been carefully bred from Lhakang, Greenmoss, Santosha, Bellakerne and Keytor lines. It is note worthy to inform that the current breed record holder Champion Jardhu The Republican is Scottish Bred by Jim and Vicki Grugan.
It is a sad reality that the club has lost some of its founder members over the last 25 years and I would like to pay tribute to their contribution in maintaining the club at a high ethical standard. Bill Turnbull, Margaret Young, Tom Harvie, Jim Peat – our first chairman, and our first patron – Gay Widdrington, who supported the club in so many ways.
In the meantime the club is in a healthy state of transition having a mixture of experience and youth on its committee, who have completed two successful seminars, the latest being a breed seminar presided over by Susan Crossley and Andrew Brace attended by a mixture of Scottish exhibitors that aspire to award CC’s in our breed. The club have found a new venue subject to exhibitor’s feedback. It seems that the club has been going through a process of constant change over the past few years.
However the consensus informs that individuals and the club have grown and it is helped that we can go from strength to strength. We could not survive as a club without the help of so many people on both sides of the border, giving entries, donating specials, raffle prizes, food and auction articles.
With support we look forward with confidence to the next 25 years.