A History of Chortens Kennels
Our lives were enhanced by living with Lhasa Apsos from 1978 until 2002 when the last of them passed away. Over the years we bred a relatively small number of litters but were able to breed healthy dogs which mostly lived well into their teens, in one case, until they were 18.
In 1978 there were no TMs in the UK but once it was again possible to find TMs in the UK, our efforts became concentrated on finding one which which would form the foundation of Chortens move into breeding the large cousin of our Apsos.
Delviento Tham-Che, Kaya to us, bred by Bruce and Kathy Birks was the bitch we finally settled on. We needed more than a bitch though and after a long and frustrating search, we found our ideal stud dog in Althan de la Tour Chandos
- Major. Major was one of four dogs imported into the UK from Marie-Madeleine Kerherve in France and had intially lived in the north-east of England. He eventually came to live with us in 1988 and later in that year he and Kaya were mated. This mating produced just two puppies but what puppies they turned out to be. Chortens Cobi Lingka was the first to be born and Chortens Ben Sharbaz came along some sixteen hours later
To our great dismay and sadness Major died the following year but his wonderful temperament and typical TM looks were passed onto his offspring and can still be found in other descendents of his.
By contrast Lingka went on to live with us until 2003 when she died at 14 years 3 months. Ben had died the previous year at his home in France. Lingka was one of the top winning bitches of all time in the UK. She was Best in Show at the TMC of GB's first Open Show and many times Best of Breed at the National Working Breeds Championship Show also winning Best Bitch at Crufts and numerous other Best Bitch and Best of Breed awards during her long show career. We are proud to have lived with such a wonderful TM and ambassador for the breed.
Ben too, did rather well. Whilst still living with us, he won many Best of Breed and Best Dog awards, including Best of Breed at Crufts under Anne Wynyard in 1992. In that same year we decided that Ben would be better able to continue his show career in Europe and we found an excellent home for him with Evelyne Collombet and her family in France. Under her guidance, Ben went on to become a French, then International and then finally World Champion under judge Christofer Habig. The only British bred dog ever to have done that. Ben was used at stud in France and his offspring can be found in many countries in Europe, very often also being highly placed at shows.
Before Ben departed for France, he sired just one litter here. June Thew used him on her beautiful grey bitch Conrikyi Katrin and from that litter we had Bernamast Ting Jampa – Jampa - who also lived to a respectable old age and like his father and aunt enjoyed great successes in the show ring, with a number of Best of Breeds and Best Dogs to his name including Reserve Best Dog at Crufts and Best in Show at the TMC Open Show.
Lingka was also mated only once. Only one puppy went to a show home but under the skillful handling of Lynn Turner, she followed in her mother's footsteps and won many top awards including Best Bitch at Crufts and Best in Show at the TMC Open Show.
10th December 2004, after what some took to be a reduction in our interest in TMs, saw us increase our TM family by one, for on that day we took charge of a young bitch from Sabrina Novarra, owner of the famous and well respected Shang-Hai's kennels in the US. Shaydo was born on 24th January 2004 and came to the UK under the Pet Passport Scheme. Anyone who has already imported a dog under these new regulations, will know that the whole exercise takes a long time and in addition, we had to wait for the right litter to be planned and the right puppy born. We have not been inactive at all. We are very grateful to Sabrina for entrusting us with one of her puppies. We now have four TMs living with us. Nyima, born in 1999 and bred by Karen Giles, Shaydo, bred by Sabrina Novarra, Sam and Koko, her son and daughter by Yogi, are keeping up our tradition of living with Tibetan Mastiffs
Our involvement with a Tibetan breed started in 1978 when the first of our Lhasa Apsos came to live with us. We had both had a long term interest in Tibet and everything Tibetan and in that year a long cherished dream to breed dogs which would be recognisable to a Tibetan and also to be able to survive a Tibetan winter, began to become a reality. This aim remained with us after our main breed became the Tibetan Mastiff.
Eric, Peter & Lynn Turner
Chippa, Ben, Lingka, Jampa, Thea
Huge thanks to Marta Kowalska in Poland for this beautiful drawing of Lingka.
Jampa and Apso 'Chica' snoozing!