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About us

Johanna with her very first Shih Tzu (Fi Se Ch Suki-Yaki's Dainty V.I.P.) "Vippi" in dog show

In early 80's Johanna Kinnari, a young woman about 20 years old, was at the agility field with her german shepherd. Agility was a new dog sport which had just arrived to Sweden, and because Johanna had already tried (and succeeded in) everything else with her schäfer, she wanted to see what this new thing was all about.

She had always hated all the little "yap yap" dogs, who were not only stupid but also irritating, so you can imagine how she was more than amazed when she saw their agility teacher's dog for the first time - a little Shih Tzu in full lenght coat! "What the..!?" she tought "Do those have BRAINS?"

And so it happened that she had to get more information about this unusual, smart little breed. And that is how she met her mentor, Annika Malmhäll (kennel Suki-Yaki's, Sweden), and how she started the long road to become first a Shih Tzu fancier and later also a breeder.

Johanna and Jo-Kin's Hot Red Chili "Hotti"

When Johanna got interested in this lovely breed she had an advice to study as much as she could the breed history. And that is what she truly did. She was also a sort of an apprentice in many Shih Tzu kennels in Sweden, helping with everything; grooming, feeding, cleaning, whelping. After a long period of being "a kennel girl" (and much of begging and promising) she got her very first Shih Tzu. FI SE Ch Suki-Yaki's Dainty V.I.P. "Vippi" was a golden-white bitch co-owned with the breeder, her friend Annika. Johanna started showing Vippi in showrings and got nice results. After Vippi had had her first puppies at the breeder, Johanna applied for her own kennel name Jo-Kin's in 1987.

The very same year Johanna also gave birth to me, Jennika. We lived at that time in Sweden, but moved soon after my birth to Finland, where also the first litter was born in 1988 after Suki-Yaki's Dainty V.I.P. and Suki-Yaki's Guest Of Honour. Annika remained as her mentor and became also my godmother.

FI Ch Suki-Yaki's Remote Control "Pluto"

I grew up in the middle of a kennel among all the Shih Tzus, and a few other pets too. I learned how to walk by taking support on a Shih Tzus back, my favourite playmate was a Shih Tzu called "Muru" (Ch Suki-Yaki's Just An Illusion) and at the age of 3 I got my "own" Shih Tzu called "Essi" (Ch Jo-Kin's Especial Chosen). Johanna had some very nice results with her breeding and was also an active member in the Finnish Shih Tzu Club.

FI Ch Jo-Kin's Especial Chosen "Essi" My first "own" Shih Tzu

When I went to school we lived at a farm house (but we did not have livestock) and in my life there were also horses, bunnies, chickens, lambs, cows, birds and cats. When we moved to the city, I was about 9 years old. The breeding and showing had slowed down a bit from the early days and we had some rough times - economy was very low in Finland and no-one wanted to buy puppies. It was considered lucky if one had a job.

At that time my little brothers came to the world, in 1996 and 1998. After that Johanna slowly stopped breeding and showing. We also had much death in our lives at the time, and that made my mother very sad and unwilling to continue her hobby.

Me and Jo-Kin's Beeb-Apa-Loola "Viivi"

As a child I had competed few times in child and dog competition, but that was all. I did not groom dogs or show them when I was a teenager. And when mom stopped breeding, all the "doggy business" was soon forgotten.

However, in 2005 when we had only one Shih Tzu, a male called "Borje" (Suki-Yaki's Yield to Temptation), at home, kennel Red-Deego asked if they could use our male for breeding. After some thinking Johanna agreed and "Borje" sired one litter. From that litter I got my first own (really my own) Shih Tzu called "Dippi" (FI EE LT Ch Red-Deego Rebel Romance).

The start was rocky. I did not know how to groom the coat. We went for walks in the forest, and to swim to the nearby lake, and then to the forest again... Can you imagine that mess? I frustrated and cut Dippi's coat off when she was a junior. We only went to one puppy show with her, where Dippi was BOB puppy. Nothing more. And my mom showed her, not me.

It was really my mom's idea of whelping Dippi, but I got excited about it. She chose the sire with me and she took care of the birth and puppies mostly. But I was there. Maybe just experiencing, but also learning and getting "the feel of it".

BOB-puppy Jo-Kin's Jolly Rebel - BOS-puppy Jo-Kin's Jolly Rajah

That was our first litter and it did set a little flame of interest in me. But the turning point was when after some months we went to the Speciality Show (2007) with our puppies. Oh, I was so excited! I had practised handling and grooming, and we had invited our puppy owners to the show. And then, when I was shaking in my pants there in the ring, my girl, our bred puppy, with me showing(!) was BOB puppy! That might not seem much, but also the BOS, and the second and third best males were our bred puppies. And they definitely were not the only puppies in that show! Also the judge was a legend, a swedish judge and breeder Mr Paul Stanton. That was just amazing for a young girl like me.And mom was happy and proud too.

Me and my "Dippi"

After that I was so on fire! I wanted to start breeding for real and wanted to learn everything. And I definitely wanted to show again!

That was in 2007. It as a new beginning - a new start. Totally new building of pedigrees.

Now we have a good direction; we have my hunger and passion, and my mother's knowlige and experience.
And you know, Together we make perfect! ;)