ABOUT WEST MAGIC

We are located in Pine, Colorado approximately 30 miles Southwest of Denver. All of our dogs are pets and are part of our family. All of our dogs have very sweet temperaments. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. We discovered the breed through a local breeder and have developed a love and respect for this rare and beautiful breed. Although this may not be the breed for everyone we have learned much by observation. As an artist I rely a great deal on my observations and it has been my experience that one must follow their own heart and eye when looking for a breeder and puppy. We do not breed as a source of income which makes our motive quite simple. We are breeding because we love the breed and our goal is to produce the most gentle, and authentic TM we can. While I believe that showing is political and anyone can "buy a championship", I believe the dogs we strive to produce are capable of winning in the showring on their own merit and not that of a handler!. The following is merely my opinion and I encourage anyone looking into this breed to gather information from many sources before forming opinions or making decisions.

TO SHOW OR NOT TO SHOW?

By attending shows and talking to breeders, I have observed that many dogs earn their championships before turning the age of one. I like to consider that some dogs do not like to show or some owners are unable to show due to the cost involved with showing. Because this breed does not fully mature until the ages between three and five, it is my opinion that many dogs may be discounted at an early age, yet grow into very substantial dogs once fully matured. Because of these factors I am of the opinion that "champions* may not be the only thing to consider when searching for a dog. If you are planning on showing you may want to look into the UKC. No professional handlers are allowed to show someone else's dog, making it in my opinion, a fairer venue. After all, isn't it supposed to be about the dog, not the handler? How do you get a championship? After spending time at shows and showing I am of the opinion that any dog can become a champion for a "price". When I was new to showing everybody told me in order to be credible you need to show. Why don't most people show their own dogs? It has also been my observation that if you have a good dog, the others will almost always hire a handler for their dog. I saw dogs that won that I would never consider. Some of the best dogs I have seen are not "champions". If you are new to showing be cautious of the well seasoned "show people" as you may just be a gullible "point" or "major" to them. Of course, if you enjoy showing your own dog for "fun" and don't mind losing, I say "go for it". Please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to share my experiences with you.

!CREATING THEIR "OWN" MAJORS - CHAMPIONS WITHOUT COMPETITION

How many dogs has a "champion" actually beaten? Some breeders will bring enough of their own dogs to make a major at a show where they are the only entries. They will bring their pet quality dogs in order to insure a "major" for the dog they want to win. Did the breeder show their own dogs or did they hire a handler? Most of the time the big time handlers will win. If a breeder is lucky they might be able to win without one, in my opinion, based on watching some of the dogs who have won over handled dogs. Another reason to research the dogs "you like" and not rely on a "championship status".

Since showing is so political in many people's opinion I have accepted the "championships can be bought" mindset and that is why I choose my dogs based first on temperaments, and then the "type" of Tibetan Mastiff I want to produce. I recommend that you choose the dogs you like and never base it on "championships", which in my opinion, is nothing more than a "label". I would rather put that money and time into my dogs. Just recently, a breeder out here called "Taboo" entered her dog and a bitch, both champions, and she gave my Bear the greatest compliment anyone could give by having here handler go to the judges table while Bear was in the ring and say her bitch was absent. The handler handed the number in while holding the bitch in his other hand. Taboo, also did not bring her male after entering him. What a wonderful compliment to Bear to have someone not want to compete against him!!!

CHOOSING A BREEDER CAN BE FRUSTRATING! MY ADVICE IS TO NEVER RELY SOLELY ON WEBSITES! TALK TO THE BREEDER PERSONALLY AND DON'T LISTEN TO "RUMORS."

I recommend carefully researching both the sire and dam for structure, temperament, and to be comfortable with your breeder"s requirements and restrictions. Ask to see any test results to be sure your puppy will be more likely not to have hip or elbow problems. Research the breeder you are interested in personally and not on "hear say". I have read articles on other websites that offer advice similar to the following: "Avoid breeders who make it their mission to criticize and bash other breeders' dogs and programs. It is not constructive to listen to a breeder bad-mouth others. I personally think they bear part of the blame for creating homeless TMs by preventing beautiful, healthy, puppies from finding good homes and then blaming the breeder they have "bashed". Reputable and dedicated breeders should be more concerned with the welfare of their own dogs." I think this is great advice! After co-owning a dog bred by a well known long time breeder and based on my personal experiences, I don't recommend picking a breeder just because they have been in the breed for many years. Sometimes this is a license to do things that would be very "hypocritical" or getting too comfortable riding on your reputation :) I live in a state where the competition is extremely competitive. Many dogs go back to the well known and well respected Kesang Camp kennel. Many of the breeders in my state wanted this line and did not go directly to Kesang Camp. I feel very honored and fortunate to have gotten dogs directly from Kesang Camp and to have this breeder's support and help! I highly recommend Kesang Camp.

What is the breeders motive? Is it about control, or monetary gains through web site sales, promotions. and contests or because they truly respect and love the breed? Some breeders are quick to judge others and it seems as if they want everyone to "do as they say, not as they do". I think this is hypocritical. I believe that things can get nasty when money and competition are involved. Some breeders will defame others for advertising anywhere except the website that they are making a business of and are being dishonest about their own motives. They will bash other breeders on any social media, especially during the puppy season. Is it to protect their own puppy sales? It is almost as if they want to be the "gatekeeper" of the breed. Why do they want to know of and have control of every TM sold? With so much competition in the breed it might be hard to get an honest recommendation. Some web sites are good for pedigree data but don't rely on them for referrals - you don't know if you are getting a biased "opinion". Are you comfortable spending $1500.00 or more and being told you must spay or neuter your pet? I keep asking myself what the motive is, health or control? Why? Is spaying or neutering good for the dog? There are differing opinions on this subject. Could spaying or neutering change their personality and make there coat difficult to manage? These are questions you need to ask. Don't tolerate being talked down to - go to someone else! If they make you feel stupid - it's probably intentional:) When someone makes an accusation or starts a rumor about another breeder's dogs, RUN THE OTHER WAY! It's probably jealousy. I would be wary of some breeders that dominate the web and claims to be the information authority TMs. Be diligent in doing your own research. Contrary to what the "TM Gods and N _ Z _ S" think, you are not stupid! I would be wary of those who "know too much" :). This will be your companion for the next 10 to 15 years so don't let anyone make that decision for you.

When they can't find a valid reason to criticize someone, it seems they resort to testing. If you do one test, they come up with another and pretty soon it's just about who can "out test" and "out spend" the next guy! How many times are you going to submit the poor dog to radiation and poke them with needles? They say it is all about healthy dogs but now I am really starting to wonder. I am so happy to be a human and not have to be scrutinized by some of these "TM Gods / N _ z_s" standards. Try to imagine if every human with any genetic problem was immediately sterilized. These are beautiful, loving dogs regardless if they should wind up with a fault - but even humans with unforeseen illnesses have made great contributions to mankind :) Nobody is perfect - same with dogs! We all get old or sick and die - same with dogs! No human can guarantee a perfect dog, it just isn't possible, and those that say they can are simply not being honest. You have to ask yourself if a guarantee no one can make is worth giving up your rights to the dog? As I mentioned earlier, these are only my opinions based on my experiences.

Nobody can guarantee what puppy will grow up to be - it just isn't possible. I think it is very dishonest to claim to be able to do so. Some breeders "think" their dogs are beautiful and worthy of great merit just because they bought them a championship. Trust your eyes, not what others "think".

TIBETAN MASTIFF CLUBS

For many years the Tibetan Mastiff was and still is considered a "rare breed", however, since it's acceptance to the AKC it has gotten more exposure. There is a club called "ATMA" which as I understand it, writes the "standards" described by the AKC. In order to join the club, you must know two current members that are willing to sponsor you before being reviewed and "accepted", or, subscribe to their "Gazette" for two years and then go through the "vetting" process. If I have misunderstood the membership requirements and you can help me clarify it please e-mail me @ tibetan_mastiff_colorado. This has raised a debate as to what the breed standard should be and left some very fine breeders feeling as if they are being excluded. I am of the opinion that there are many fine breeders who have been breeding these dogs for over 25 years and it seems that membership in this club has become exclusionary for many because of the aforementioned requirements. For instance, based on my understanding of membership requirements it it would be near impossible for me to join as I do not know two members in "good standing". It has been my experience that they are a very protective and guarded group that seem to be very suspicious of newcomers for reasons that I don't know. As I said earlier, "I recommend carefully researching both the sire and dam for structure, and temperament and to be comfortable with your breeder"s requirements and restrictions. Ask to see any test results to be sure your puppy will be more likely not to have hip or elbow problems. Research the breeder you are interested in personally and not on "hear say". I personally have found that there are "groups" of breeders who will only recommend those in their in their "cliques". In my opinion, it's all about the money, status, control, and the need to judge others. Again, I must reiterate - find the dogs that you like, if they have good hips, elbows and thyroids, don't listen to what others say. Make your own decision. I have learned a lot from those that others may not like :).

Finally, they have started a new club called the Tibetan Mastiff Preservation Club which is turning out to be the same as the old club. Problem is that all the breeders are so worried about competition, nobody can get along. As i have consistently maintained, you will only get the truth from the breeder directly so never rely on anybody else's word or opinions. You will never get an objective answer. Trust me! It's rather ridiculous that people in the breed just can't get along, Sad but true.

SUMMARY

Finally, there seems to be two camps of Tibetan Mastiff breeders, one that have chosen to "downsize" the breed through the new standards, and those that prefer the large "historically correct" representation. This is where you will have to decide what your preference is.

Listen to your heart and no one else:)