What Is the ASTC

What Is The American Shih Tzu Club?
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.

Breed Standard
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 education and research into health problems in our breed, may be sent to:

ASTC Charitable Trust
C/O Patricia Thomas
16738 Calistoga Drive
Bonita Springs, FL 34135 (503) 803-1948

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.

Breed Rescue & Welfare
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
312 Moosehead Drive
Imperial, PA 15126
E-mail: mbaum3@live.com

For Shih Tzu Rescue Committee contacts, click here

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

ASTC Corresponding Secretary
5505 East Pioneer Fork Road
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
E-mail: melodyc@aatdetection.com
Phone: 801-558-8946

Publications, Breeder Referral, & Other Activities
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). For more information on Breeder Referral, click here.

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 appropriate headings on the Home Page.

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 ($1.10) 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. 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. To order the most recent copy of the Historical Record Book ($35.00) or the 2022 ASTC Bulletin ($10.00) Click Here

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

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