Interview with Barbara Brem, Breeder of Palaquin Shih Tzu
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Barbara Brem: I live in Belleville, Illinois. I have been in dogs for 42 years; as a breeder for 39 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Barbara Brem: My kennel name is PALAQUIN. I currently have Hans Solo, Amora, Mia, Lyla, Lanie, and my new show hopeful, Summer, so that make six Shih Tzu. I find loving homes for my retired girls so I can give more attention to the one I have at home!
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Barbara Brem: Ch. Heartlands Promise of Love, aka “Katie,” represents five generations of champions. Sire is Wenrick’s Caught you Looking, aka “Looker.” This is from my early breeding. Now I would have to say, GCh. Palaquins Love Letter, aka “Amora.” Also, I had many great mentors along my journey: Greg Larson, Wendy Paquette, Kristie Miller, Carla Johnson, and Janis Oehlschlager.
What are some of the unique challenges to breeding a Toy Breed?
Barbara Brem: You have to be there when the puppies are born! Always a nervous time for me, as I tend to worry too much. Keeping them warm and having the proper whelping box!
Do I have specific regimens for feeding, immunizations, health & wellness?
Barbara Brem: I have my puppies checked by a vet at nine weeks old, if all is going well. That is when they get their first puppy 5-way shot and a full examination, then every 3 weeks till three vaccines are given. I like to start my puppies on a moistened Purina Toy breed puppy food because of its tiny size kibble. I like to leave some dry down for them at around 3 weeks of age, and have had some success with them just going for it. But, of course, it never stays in the whelping box too long because Mom eats it. Puppies get plenty of socialization, as my son and grandchildren interact with them from an early age.
Are there specific challenges inherent to traveling with a Toy Breed? Any tips you can share?
Barbara Brem: Traveling with a Toy breed, talking about a Shih Tzu, is to make sure they stay cool and have plenty of ventilation. I do not feed right before I leave for a show, as the travel can make some car sick. I carry water, paper towels, and plastic bags in case of an accident.
Is my breed suitable as a Performance competitor? Are there any advantages? Any disadvantages?
Barbara Brem: The Shih Tzu loves to perform, but not always at your command. I have heard of many wonderful and smart Tzu that compete in all different forms of athletic events like Agility, FastCAT, Obedience and such. I do not have the patience it takes for this.
Is there reason to be optimistic about my breed’s future? Any words of caution?
Barbara Brem: I am very optimistic on the Shih Tzu future. Several newcomers to the breed are trying to do the right thing in their breeding programs, learning from the established breeders. But I am also seeing subpar Tzu in the ring getting first place ribbons. This is sad because it just encourages poor quality.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Barbara Brem: There are still a number of dedicated breeders who truly care for the wellbeing of the Shih Tzu. I think the breed will still be the breed we have all come to love years down the road.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Barbara Brem: I would have to give that first honor to Bronze Grand Champion Palaquin’s Lotus Blossom, aka “Blossom.” Then to my newest show girl, Ch. Palaquins Lovers Lane. She finished at the age of seven months.
How is showing a Toy Breed different than showing breeds from the other Groups?
Barbara Brem: For me, getting down on my knees is not happening! So, I train mine to free-bait at an early age so that I don’t have to.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with one of my Toy Dogs?
Barbara Brem: The most amusing, I guess, was losing my bow on the down and back and also watching my Tzu stalk the other dogs in the next ring. I had to let my friend, Sharon, show her because of that. She just thought she was “all that” and a piece of cake too!
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 an 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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