What Is the ASTC

The American Shih Tzu Club, Inc. (ASTC) was formed in 1963 by a small group of individuals who shared a common interest in, love for, and commitment to the Shih Tzu breed. Since then, the ASTC has continued to grow in membership, in local Shih Tzu club affiliates, and in liaisons with other Shih Tzu organizations throughout the world. The ASTC is a member club of the American Kennel Club. In its efforts to preserve, support, and promote the welfare and quality of our breed, the ASTC and its many members participate in an ever-growing variety of activities designed to further these goals. The following is a brief explanation of some of the most important work undertaken by the ASTC.

The ASTC is the official guardian of the Shih Tzu breed standard, which describes the ideal specimen of the breed and is used by both dog show judges and breeders to determine the quality of an individual Shih Tzu. Any changes in this standard must be approved by the general membership of the ASTC. The ASTC believes that any Shih Tzu which is not a good representative of the breed according to the standard should not be bred and that the sole goal of breeding should be to improve breed quality. The current breed standard was approved May 9, 1989. As the future of our wonderful breed depends upon responsible breeding practices, the ASTC strongly encourages its members and the general public to conduct health screening and testing of all breeding stock. The ASTC has conducted health surveys and funded health research, most notably efforts to locate a genetic marker for renal dysplasia, a develop-mental defect of the kidneys found in our breed. Tax-deductible contributions to the ASTC Charitable Trust, which supports research into health problems in our breed, may be sent to:

ASTC Trust Managing Director
Sally Vilas
16083 Channel Street
San Lorenzo, CA 94580
E-mail: vilenzo@earthlink.net

The ASTC conducts a national specialty show each year, where members and friends of our breed can meet, attend various educational programs, and see Shih Tzu from all over the country. Auctions & Raffles held there raise funds for ASTC educational & health research activities. The location of the national specialty show varies from year to year. Most local club affiliates hold their own specialty shows, which the ASTC supports.

One of the primary concerns of the ASTC is the welfare of all Shih Tzu. We have endeavored to meet the challenge of homeless and/or abused Shih Tzu by forming a national welfare and rescue committee, with a network of ASTC members across the country willing to provide identification of and assistance to Shih Tzu in trouble. The ASTC also strongly encourages the spay/neuter of all pet quality Shih Tzu to avoid contributing to pet overpopulation. Donations to the ASTC Rescue Fund can be sent to:

ASTC Treasurer
22 Joe Jones Road
Gilmanton, NH 03237
e-mail: debwheeler407@gmail.com

For more information about Shih Tzu rescue, contact:
ASTC Rescue and Welfare
E-mail: toydogrsq@aol.com or
Calling (408) 266-1221 (expect phone calls to be returned collect.)

If you need additional information, please contact your local Shih Tzu club, an ASTC member in your area, or:

5252 Shafter Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618

ASTC members conduct judges and breeders seminars throughout the country, most commonly in conjunction with national and local Shih Tzu specialty shows. The club also publishes a variety of educational pamphlets, books, and videos (see listings elsewhere on this site). The ASTC magazine, the ASTC Bulletin, is published quarterly. The magazine is available free to members and by subscription to nonmembers. For more information, contact:

ASTC Bulletin Editor
Sally Vilas
16083 Channel Street
San Lorenzo, CA 94580
Phone: 510-276-5521
E-mail: vilenzo@earthlink.net

Circulation Manager
ASTC Bulletin
5252 Shafter Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618
E-mail @: hanashihtzu@yahoo.com

The ASTC also provides educational material for Shih Tzu owners and prospective owners that can be downloaded from this web site; it can be found under the headings Shih Tzu Information and Care and Welfare.

Educational pamphlets, and if you wish the name of an ASTC member in your area who can provide you with more information on our breed are also available by sending a stamped (74 cents) self-addressed business envelope to:

5252 Shafter Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618

Club members also volunteer to educate the public about our breed at dog fairs and other events. To educate new Shih Tzu owners, the ASTC publishes a 16-page booklet, Your Shih Tzu: Care and Training, providing information on the basic care and training of our breed. For serious students of the breed, the club publishes a series of Historical Record Books containing pedigrees and photos of Shih Tzu champions and records of top producers and specialty winners. Historical Record Book volumes 4-13 (1982-2001) are still available. The Official Book of the Shih Tzu, for both new Shih Tzu owners and serious breed fanciers, which includes the 64-page Illustrated Guide to the Breed Standard, is also available through the ASTC; profits from the sale of this book go to Shih Tzu health research. Information on how to purchase any of these publications is on this web site, or contact:

5104 Stratford Chase Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
E-mail @: janet5104@aol.com

The Illustrated Guide to the Shih Tzu Standard is available to judges and prospective judges in addition, who can also arrange ASTC-sanctioned judges education seminars to:

Chairman of the ASTC Judges Education Committee
2407 10 Avenue E
Seattle, WA 98102
E-mail: kt1185@gmail.com

IRS Form 990 reports for the American Shih Tzu Club and the American Shih Tzu Club Charitable Trust are available online at: www.guidestar.org

In the search block type either:
American Shih Tzu Club
American Shih Tzu Club Charitable Tr for the American Shih Tzu Club Charitable Trust