The Foundation Stock Service Community Round Table

We asked the following questions to people breeding and showing some wonderful rare breeds in The Foundation Stock Service (FSS), as well as some people who’s breeds have recently been recognized and the challenges they have faced.

  1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside of dogs”?  
  2. How is your breed faring in its quest for full recognition?
  3. Do you expect a surge in popularity once you’re in the regular show ring? Will this help or hurt your cause?
  4. Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around?
  5. Would you breed more litters if you were fully recognized by AKC?
  6. What activities do you do with your dogs?
  7. Do you show in other registries?
  8. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show?

Theresa Weber

I live in Sherwood Forest, California which is basically a small suburb nestled within a city. About 25 miles north of LA. My life is really dedicated to the dogs. I manage my clients Kuvasz and their breeding program as well as my own love of the Pumi breed. I am dedicated to breeding Pumi’s of soundness, structure and temperament.

I will be founding an annual charity mud run for dogs and their people. It is really just a fun day for animals of all shapes and sizes to just have fun with their owners for a great cause. I am starting a program to assist people to plan for their beloved pet’s care if they are no longer able to. This I think is much needed and as hard as it is to address it will help guide persons through the planning. I also am a flight nanny (escorting animals on their flights to their destination so they are never alone) Along with that I am an international pet transportation facilitator. So my life is really all about the animals.

AKC Full Recognition: Thoughts now that the Pumi is fully recognized by the AKC. The breed was official July 1, 2016. It was through much hard work and tireless hours, through many people’s dedication, to get this wonderful breed recognized. And we all need to work purposefully to preserve that hard work.

Some challenges that arise from full status: I feel that there is the temptation for many to breed their beloved Pumi because, in their eyes and heart, he/she is perfect. However, we have to be extremely careful to breed for purpose—soundness, structure, temperament and be very mindful of what ultimately the effects of each breeding decision will have for many years to come. Because we have such a small gene pool breeding decisions are profoundly important for the future of this breed.

Another challenge is the number of imports coming into the US and we need to be very selective in doing that. We need to be cognizant of which dogs can compliment those here in the US and are best for the preservation of the breed and the herding work it was originally bred for. A Pumi cannot be too small (slight) or too big or it would break down or get injured in the field and unable to sustain a long days work or agile enough to move out of harms way or stamina to drive/gather the flock/herd.

Educating the public is crucial. The Pumi is cute and whimsical in looks and those ears, how can you not smile! However, behind that cute expression is a very serious working dog with extremely high intelligence. They must have a job or they and their owner will be unhappy . Because of their intelligence they need a job. 

That job can be herding, conformation, agility, obedience, jogging, dock diving, lure coursing, dock diving, fly ball etc… so many activities (jobs) to do but they need that physical and mental stimulation.

To live with a Pumi is much like a potato chip. If you have one you will usually end up having more I say with a grin. I literally laugh every day! They are silly, smart, serious, loving, boisterous, snuggly, demanding, sweet dogs all wrapped up in a whimsical package. To be owned by a Pumi or two is a ride of a lifetime!

Denyse Adams

I live in Maine, near Bangor—so it takes a four hour drive to get to Boston! Outside of dogs, I enjoy photography, long walks, observing natures wonders and reading if I can find an hour in my busy day.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Currently a small group of us are in the very early stages of getting a parent club up and running. Our breed has only been in the FSS since May of 2018. The principle importer/breeder, Grace Harper passed in November 2018 and left a number of dogs that need to be registered in the FSS before we can begin breeding again. And we people to help preserving this wonderful breed.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I do not foresee a surge in popularity, as the ASTCD is a working dog that would rather be on a ranch tending livestock. However, they can accommodate themselves on your couch just as easily!

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Workers are needed in every club and every club has that issue of not enough hands to lighten the load.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Breeding more litters whether fully recognized or not, is not an issue. There is a small demand for working pups in the western states as opposed to the east coast.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? A bit of humor, oh my, I several. However, back in the 90s, I was showing a Rottweiler, tripped and fell flat on my chest, the dog kept on going and did a perfect stack in front of the Judge! I was too embarrassed to get up and people were calling for the EMTs thinking I was
out cold!

Cynthia Alby

I live in Central Georgia, and I am a college professor, poet, artist,and breeder of a critically endangered breed of sheep. Our Pyrenean Mastiffs serve as professional guardians for our sheep. Nothing gets by them.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? It has been slow going but we are making headway!

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I wouldn’t be surprised by a surge in popularity, but I think if we are cautious it will help our cause rather than hurting it. The leaders at Pyrenean Mastiffs USA have done an extraordinary job putting measures in place to ensure that a possible surge in popularity would be positive for the breed.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around? Could there ever be enough? We may never have enough, but the ones we have are curiously hard working. I don’t know how they do it all!

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by
AKC? Probably.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? My giant, hardworking and beautifully-behaved-at-home livestock guardian dog dragging me around like he’d never seen a leash before.

Vicki Anderson

I live in NE Ohio—Amish country—I’m a legal assistant for the Social Security Administration—soon to retire.

It appears we are well on our way to full recognition—the next chapter for our breed. It’s an exciting time.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I believe that with full recognition that, yes, there will be more interest, but I don’t want to see numbers exploding. Burgeoning numbers don’t necessarily mean that it’s a good thing for our breed, but then anyone involved in the dog world already knows that I had one of the first CO’s in the country back in 1991. They were indeed a rare breed then. Since then, the numbers have mushroomed, and often for the wrong reasons. With breed recognition, public education will be a must. We have enough good people in this breed to set a good, solid foundation for the future.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? We have an ever-growing number of people dedicated to the breed. I think we’ll do just fine.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I don’t breed. Instead, I’m all about working with my dogs,—a lot of public exposure. Over the years, I’ve had six certified therapy dogs (various breeds). My first Caucasian Shepherd, Lena Esquire, has the distinction of being the first of her breed to be certified as a therapy dog. We were certified by Delta Society (now Pet Partners). She was amazing with a rock solid temperament. I really miss that girl. My current CO, Asgard’s Meganoggin—Meg for short, I think might be my next candidate for certification. Both girls, BTW, are champions in other venues. I’ve handled for friends at an AKC FSS “Open Show” and hope to again soon.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Not a Caucasian story, but years ago I had a Border Collie, Pete, who I regularly worked on livestock. I was at a pretty big show in this area, and I was walking around with Pete. I stopped to talk with a friend of mine. Then I started feeling a slight pull on the lead. It soon became annoying and I looked down at Pete, who was in a typical Border Collie working crouch with his eyes intensely focusing on something. I followed his hard stare and saw the object(s) of his intention. In a ring, not to far away, white Standard Poodles were being gaited around the ring. To Pete, they were sheep that needed gathering. Every time I think about that moment, I thank god that I had a firm grip on his lead.

Autumn Arsenault

I currently live in Bay City, Michigan. Outside of dogs I am an architecture student, but really if I’m not in class, I’m with the dogs.

I’d say the Kai is doing well for a rare breed. We have a lot of interest in people wanting to not only own, but also help preserve our breed. I don’t think it will take too long to get the breed fully recognized.

I do not expect a surge in popularity. Getting recognized and being allowed to show in the regular ring is only one step towards promoting and educating others on the breed. Getting recognized at this stage can only help. We love to have people working and competing with their dogs, and so the more exposure the better. It will make spectators go, “Hey! That dog was really good, what are they like?”

Right now we have a huge effort going on to help get the Kai Ken fully recognized. We have people across the USA all working towards this common goal. I am very thankful we have so much help, but there is always more work to be done.

Being recognized will not make me, personally, breed more litters. I have to do what’s best for the breed, and quantity over quality isn’t what will work. Right now our primary focus is health testing and eliminating health concerns as well as temperament. Each breeding is carefully decided in order to help the breed and benefit it. I don’t have a lot of free time and full recognition wouldn’t change that.

Funniest thing I’ve seen at a dog show, oh man. Second dog show, I decided that I was going to be the one to show my boy Oliver in group. He had been so good for my mother that I thought he would show well. Unfortunately, he was very happy that I was in the ring with him. He bounded around the ring, jumping up to my head the whole way. It was like a circus act! Then on the last jump he fell. Everyone made sounds clearly concerned about him, and I just looked at him with an embarrassed face. He hopped back up and continued. At least he had fun!

Lesa Barnett

I live in Cumming, Georgia Outside of dogs, I’m a retired special needs teacher and college professor. Our breed just got Misc status and began having opportunities for more shows—can’t wait to see what we can accomplish!

What activities I do with my dogs? I play fetch, pet therapy, fast cat, barn hunt and family events. We’re working on dock diving and agility.

Do I show in other registries? I’ve shown UKC in the past.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I would breed for quality (health, personality, structure) and hunting instinct for the betterment of the breed.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show was someone hid all my stuff and let me think someone stole it—that’s what friends do. Great laughs.

Sandra Britt

I live in the state of Michigan, I love to garden, walks and spend time with my grandkids.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? At this time not enough numbers.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Maybe as people see them in various sporting events and see the talent this breed has. I’m hoping it will help our cause, I’m one who prefers to move slow and steady.

Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around? I’m not sure as to workers as there’s not many into the breed—yet.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? My first time showing the German Spitz he “French kissed” the judge, and the judge said, “First time French kissed by a German.” (helped eased my nerves a bit.)

Dominic Chang

Our breed club is situated in the Inland Empire in Southern California. Many members of the club are entrepreneurs.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We are slowly progressing because in part due to the limited numbers of foundation stock that we are bringing stateside on our own. In Taiwan, pure bloodlines are extremely limited in numbers and prized by the Taiwanese and often not released. Thus, it takes a great deal of effort to obtain them and transport them to the US. In addition, any dogs we have we assess all aspects and determine pairings. Once these pairings are determined, we then closely monitor the quality of the very limited litters. The litters are then passed off to only qualified families that accept the parameters in which the club has set for future pairings.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? We do see and expect a surge in the future since the breed has already a loyal following from rescue groups that obtain mixes of the breed from Taiwan. Owners of these rescues often know and have already experienced their characteristic and temperament. This inevitably does lend very well to bringing more people to become interested in our breed. However, we do want to strictly control and monitor the quality of the breed and as a result will request participants of our litters to adhere to club breeding restrictions.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Our breed club understands the challenges the work involved. We do have volunteers that do assist us but we always welcome more people to join the cause.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? As a club for a rare breed like the Taiwan dog, we believe in limiting the numbers of litters and being able to elevate the quality of not just the puppies but also the families that spend their lives with those puppies even if we were to be recognized tomorrow by the AKC. Taiwan dogs are very devoted and we firmly believe that they are a lifetime commitment which requires the individual or family willing to make that commitment. These are principles of responsibility that we share with AKC.

Krista Childers

I am located just north of Houston, Texas. Outside of caring for my family, I run a small crafting business and raise western
hognose snakes.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We’ve had slow, but steady progress. The last few years has seen an uptick in showing, but has also brought a wave of people seeking to profit from our breed name by selling out of standard dogs, often marketing them as “aboriginal”. This is distressing, but I have confidence in my fellow breeders to promote the correct standard and provide healthy, mentally stable members of the breed.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I am sure that we will gain a bit of popularity, but the Caucasian Shepherd is very much a niche breed that is only suited for certain lifestyles, so I do not think it will hurt us.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Definitely! While there’s always room for more, we have several dedicated breeders and show owners working diligently towards our goals.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? It’s possible that I may if there are more opportunities for qualified show homes, but my primary focus will always be the health and wellbeing of the breed. Quality over quantity.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I showcased a young Saint Bernard who had the unfortunate habit of dropping to show his belly for pets when the judge approached. He did this randomly, so I never knew which day he would hold a stack and which day he would beg for attention. Always good for a laugh!

Chrystal Sherritt Cleary

My husband and I live in Vermont with currently two Kai Ken. Outside of dogs, I am a visual artist (though its not entirely outside of dogs, because my work is about animals—books, paintings, illustrations, logos for sports/schools/farms/breeders/events) and
a naturalist. I include my dogs with me in as much as I can and they are great partners in hiking, canoeing, nature fieldwork and tracking and hunting.

Our breed is in FSS, and we are working toward strengthening our club, the Kai Ken Society of America and working closely with AKC and our members to move into Miscellaneous. One of our priorities in AKC recognition is to ensure that the breed standard approved by AKC will be one that adheres to the standard of the country of origin, the Kai Ken Aigokai in Japan governs the breed there. We’ve been careful and thorough in crafting an authentic to KKA standard that also fits the AKC requirements for format and detail. The Kai Ken Society of America also has drafted health testing recommendations and a code of ethics, and producing education materials on breed history, standards, temperament and care.

What activities do we do with our dogs? We live rather rurally in the mountains of Vermont, so our activities are nature-based, easy to access and enjoyable for dogs and me alike! We hike and explore a lot, we hunt ruffed grouse in the fall. One of my dogs is licensed by the state DFW as a tracking dog and so we have sometimes tracked wounded deer for hunters so they could recover lost game. We have titled in temperament tests (CGC, CGCA , ATTS) and barn hunt. Played at lure coursing. We have done breed education meetups, and shown a little bit in AKC and in the NIPPO Classic (a show for the six Japanese breeds in which a judge is flown over from Japan) so we have a few CM points and NIPPO points, but we aren’t intense about traveling for shows and only show once or twice a year, mainly to meet up with friends and represent. My male is intact and fully OFA health tested, we accommodate breeders’ bitches form time to time. We are very active in the Kai Ken Society of America (currently I am serving as VP) which is working closely with AKC FSS to complete requirements for MISC.

Moving to the working group will be a long while to come for us, so it is difficult to imagine the effects it will have. I imagine the Kai Ken will remain vastly less popular than the Shiba Inu and Akita, but may appeal to owners with experience in those breeds or other hunting spitz and northern type dogs as a less-barky, loyal, athletic but sensitive and attractive outdoorsy companion.

Moving the club and breed along IS hard work, I agree. Part of what makes it hard is that because people love the breed very much they absorb many aspects of the process very personally—“this breed is MY special interest, and I’m nervous about what you or others are going to do to it.” A balance in perspective needs to be arrived at as initial excitement settles and the people who want to work on all the administrative breed AKC tasks work on them to get things set up and completed to have a true functioning club with a good relationship to AKC.

I will breed more litters only as health and diversity allow. I don’t believe that anyone currently breeding Kai Ken is in it to respond to market demands, and so I don’t think that myself or any of the others will be influenced heavily by AKC recognition to breed more litters. Full AKC recognition will provide owners more opportunity to show and gather together, that I think is the greater influence of AKC recognition. Being just in FSS means few and far between opportunities for our families to show in AKC, so many go to the more convenient UKC shows which in addition to being more numerous, have greater competition and the opportunity to win
a championship.

The funniest thing that has happened to us at an AKC event was when I took my young female Kai, Juno, lure coursing. As a real hunting dog that chases hare and flushes grouse for me in the Vermont woods, I knew her athleticism and prey drive were both high and her instinctive chase and pounce were uninhibited by too much caution or over-thinking. I figured AKC CAT trials would be a snap. Not so! After a rousing start at the tally ho. Juno lost the bag running directly into the low morning sun, then picked it up again after a corner. She pursued it hard to catch up, and her instinct made room for her senses to take over. “Rabbits don’t crinkle and flap like that—that’s just a plastic bag! Pfft. Bags aren’t what I ever chase.” She slowed down as the bag whipped through the center of the bow tie shaped course where the event photographer was stationed, and she trotted over to greet the photographer instead! No lure coursing legs for Juno! I still laugh watching the video my friend took of her run as she is heard saying softly “Oh, Juno—noooooooo….”

Debbie Dales

My husband, Art, and I live in Deroche, British Columbia, Canada. We are both retired now and primarily show and breed Pugs but are now showing and Appenzellers too. Because CKC does not recognize Appenzellers at this time, we have started showing at AKC Open Show events.

As you may know, Appenzellers are still only in the AKC Foundation Stock Services Registry (FSS). It will likely be some time before they can be moved up to the Misc. classification because there is simply not enough of them at this time in North America that are show prospect dogs. Most owners prefer to have them on farms or for hiking companions. We have a way to go yet to get the numbers up enough to have them moved up to the Misc. group and then to the Herding group. Definitely a work in progress.

I believe there will be a lot more interest in Appenzellers once they are exhibited more regularly in the show ring as they are a very attractive breed. Not unlike a lot of other breeds, Appenzellers are not for everyone and every lifestyle. They are primarily a cattle dog and require a lot of exercise. They can also be very vocal which is not ideal for city or suburban living. There are a lot of mixed feelings about recognition because, as a small group, we adhere to the AMDCA (Appenzell Mountain Dog Club of America) Code of Ethics for breeding. We do not breed an Appenzeller until it is old enough and has passed its certified hip and elbow x-rays We also do not breed them if they have even the slightest Patella issue. We do feel that if/when a surge in popularity happens, that our Code of Ethics for breeding may not be adhered to in the same manner allowing health and conformation issues to increase within
the breed.

There are a handful of breeders and Appenzeller fanciers that are dedicated to having our breed recognized. It definitely is a work in progress getting more breeder/handlers on board exhibiting Appenzellers. Because I reside in Canada, I would like to also have Appenzellers recognized with CKC (Canadian Kennel Club). When I got my first Appenzeller five years ago, there were so few AKC Open shows that I did not know they even existed. AKC FSS has done a lot to increase the number of Open shows so rare breeds can participate and we can show our dogs under judges to ensure they are meeting the breed standard. It is better now that we do not have to travel so extensively so far and wide to show our rare breed dogs. I am hoping this effort by AKC FSS will help increase the numbers of Appenzellers being shown throughout North America.

I am breeding so the Appenzeller breed numbers will increase enough that they can be fully recognized at some point. The more Appenzellers there are, the more will be exhibited in the show ring. Although I am breeding for the purposes of recognition, my first priority is the health and welfare of my breed. So my answer to the question ‘would I breed more’ is that I will continue to breed responsibly for the sake of the breed. I will and do give priority to show prospect homes so they can help in our effort
towards recognition.

I would have to say the funniest thing I have experienced at dog shows is the reaction, or no reaction, from handlers when their dogs do something out of the ordinary or are not performing the way they are expected to in the show ring. Most of the time handlers notice unexpected behaviors right away and can correct the behavior before it gets out of hand but there are times when this is not
the case. I have seen a Great Dane totally unexpectedly and suddenly put his front paws on a judges shoulders and lick his face when completing her down and back…the judge handled it eloquently but the handler had the most stunned look on his face…a priceless moment. I have seen a Pug pee on a handlers leg and proceed to do a beautiful self stack in front of the judge…the handler did not react, I think, because the judge was looking at the dog stacking and did not notice the Pug had peed. One of my own funniest moments I have had is was when my Appenzeller completed his down and back and then proceeded to sit on the judges foot and did not want to move. I still not sure if the spectators were laughing at my dog doing this or laughing at the stunned look I had on my face.

CJ Hammond

I live in Oregon, just south of Portland. I work with dogs professionally, and in my spare time, I like to hike, camp and travel with my personal dogs.

Kishu are slowly plucking through the tasks required to reach full recognition. I don’t expect the breed to achieve full recognition anytime soon, however—we need that time to focus on importing dogs and growing the breed in the USA.

Recreationally, we hike, camp, and road trip. We try our hand at any and every sport we can: lure coursing, barn hunt, weight pull, bite sport and conformation.

Do I show in other registries? I show with UKC and show in NIPPO-style conformation shows.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, the issue with Kishu Ken is not full recognition, but not having enough qualified homes interested in the breed.

I’m not sure what the funniest thing we’ve experienced at a dog show is. When comfortable, the Kishu are natural clowns, though, and like to enjoy themselves. I’ve had to interrupt my dogs from slow-wrestling and scent-rolling before ring times—but dogs will be dogs.

Mirjam Hofman

I live in Linden, Alberta, Canada. My husband and I are chicken farmers. We produce baby chicks for the broiler farmers in the province of Alberta.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Appenzellers are still a very rare breed with only a small handful of dedicated owners and breeders.

I believe when Appenzeller are fully recognized more families will consider this beautiful dog breed as they are an amazing versatile breed for active families.

Showing will not hurt the breed as long as the breeders and owners and exhibitors are active and understand their behavior and the breed needs. Lots of training and exercise.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? There are only a handful dedicated owners and breeders in North America right now. Most people have never heard of, or have seen an Appenzeller before.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Absolutely. I am very interested in showing my older Appenzeller. And my future puppy as well.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I have not been in the show ring with my Appenzellers because until more recently we did not have AKC Open shows available to us within a reasonable distance.

Ann Kim

I live in the San Diego area of California. I moved over to a 565 MW power plant a couple years ago, and one of my tasks is balancing the chemistry of 1.5 million gallons of recycled water for cooling tower use. The power plant crew introduced me to the flavorful world of American BBQ and so on my non-dog event weekends, I like to experiment on the pellet grill smoker with different meats, rubs, sauces, and techniques. The dogs don’t seem to mind my merging classic tastes with non-traditional technology.

The Jindo is far from full recognition with under 30 AKC-FSS dogs, but that is actually not a bad situation to be in at this time. There is a significant amount of education and counter-education about the Jindo that needs to be shared among dog fanciers and pet owners first.

I expect that there will be a handful of dog fanciers that will be interested in responsibly building up the AKC Jindo population, but I also expect that a surge of popularity will be seen among the unregistered or foreign rescue dogs that are erroneously represented as Jindos.

It is difficult for me to predict if the education platform that AKC full recognition offers will be able to outpace the misconceptions set up by dogs that are not representative of a quality Jindo.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around? There are only a few of us, but more than numbers, we need a variety of skills to ease the burden. For instance, this natural introvert finds that going in front of the camera to promote the breed is far more difficult than translating pedigrees, importing dogs. or starting up a library of frozen semen.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? If the puppy homes are there, I would probably breed
more combinations.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? At Silver Bay Kennel Club’s inaugural AKC Open Show, most of our Jindos experienced their first indoor ring. The ring was a spacious ring completely covered with a beautiful blue carpet. The Jindos, including the very experienced one, decided that the center duct tape holding the carpet pieces together was suspicious and should not be touched. They all jumped over it during their down and back. A fellow competitor who saw and laughed with us later gifted us with duct-taped flooring for raising the next Jindo litter.

Russ Kubyn

I have lived my entire life (a long time) in the Greater Cleveland area. I am a lawyer with my own practice, which once took up the biggest part of my day. Nowadays spare time is filled with training classes throughout the week, and workshops and shows on weekends! I own horses and do ride occasionally as well!

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? My wife, Stacey, is mostly involved in this aspect of our dogs as she is uses social media and keeps up with the day-to-day Club activities. (We are members of the Caucasian Shepherd Club of America, Inc.—CSCA) I hear things are progressing. And to do my part toward getting the Breed fully AKC, I am showing our dogs in the AKC FSS division of “Open Shows”, winning my first “Best In Open Show” last June!

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Up to now, the most common question I get is “Wow, what kind of dog is that?” I assume once the breed gets more recognition, it can’t help but get more popular. As with everything there’s good and bad that comes with it. For example, as with ice cream. Who can say something bad about it or use it it to get in trouble. You’d think it wouldn’t be possible, but it happens, even with that.

Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around? I don’t know if anybody will work “harder” than me, but I’ll bet that we’ll get a lot of people who can come close! And that’ll be fine.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Again, that’s Stacey’s area. But, I don’t think so. We don’t pump them out for numbers, we do it because we care about producing quality dogs.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? When we first started in dogs we bought a show quality young adult Rottweiler. As a total novice, I tried my hand at taking her into a German style show. After gaiting her around the ring, the judge pointed at me! I raised my hands, yelped and put on a show myself. Puzzled why my group of people were just staring at their feet. I quickly found out that being picked “first” means that you’re picked last!

Stacey Kubyn

I live in Chardon, Ohio. I established Esquire Caucasians since 1990—the first US kennel for the Caucasian Shepherd Dog. I’m an attorney, close with family, and enjoy time with many friends in the US and around the world. But I feel that I live and breathe my dogs and the Caucasian Shepherd Dog breed (FCI #328) so never quite feel “outside of dogs”!

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Great, now that Jackie Michalik with her keen business sense, superb organizational skills, ethics and love for the breed is leading our Breed Club: The Caucasian Shepherd Club of America, Inc. (CSCA) dedicated to one breed as described by the well established worldwide FCI#328 Caucasian Shepherd Dog Breed Standard! The Club is comprised of 100+ members from coast to coast and growing. The Club provides owner support and education, publishes a newsletter, runs an informative public chat group on Facebook: “Ethically AKC!: Caucasian Shepherd Club of America, Inc.”, and is affiliated with 501(c)3 Breed Rescue, working hard to ensure every Caucasian Shepherd in the US has a home. These broad measures, experience, and excellent quality dogs in the US are building a strong breed foundation for full AKC recognition.

I anticipate a surge in popularity balanced by Breed Education opportunities. Attracting mainstream dog fanciers interested in the magnificent FCI#328 Caucasian Shepherd Dog breed (versus a mishmash of variant off standard types) will only help our cause of breed dogs as good as anywhere in the world!

Do I believe there are enough workers to get my breed recognized? Yes, our Club Members will carry through to full
AKC recognition.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, I’ll stick to carefully bred one to two litters per year, most years, with some breaks in between. I hope, however, to continue helping conscientious newcomers establish their own serious show/breeding programs incorporating dogs from my line.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Recently watching my husband, Russ, win an AKC “Open Show” despite a slight wardrobe failure!

Nancy Liebes

Mioritics are just getting started here in the US. Although there have been a few people who have produced a few litters in recent years, we are nowhere near being organized. We’re working on starting a club and I have put together a small group of longtime AKC breeders of similar breeds who are interested in getting the breed off to a healthy start here.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? We don’t know what to expect. This is a very attractive breed and wonderful to know and live with. But they are large dogs who have a strong protective nature and can be hard to handle when they decide someone needs to go away. They also are absolutely devoted to the family which is quite endearing. Because of this when the guarding instinct clicks in it can be surprising and hard to manage. This is why I would like the original organizers and owners of the breed here to be experienced dog people. I have heard of litters in this country that were placed and returned because of how difficult they can be.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Not yet. Nor are we in much of a hurry. The statement “this isn’t a breed for everyone” is quite true and we need to be careful in promoting them as a new breed.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No. There might be more of a market but considering we have yet to breed our first litter we still have much to learn.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? We haven’t shown yet. We are looking forward to our first Open Show experience but any time we take one to a show people are attracted to them like bees to honey. They are very pretty to look at, impressive in size, sweet to meet, and can be a lot to live with.

Audrey Lyke

I live in Delaware, in a suburban neighborhood that backs up to a county park where we get out with the dogs on a daily basis. Outside of my dog hobbies, I am a full time analyst with the power company. My husband is a retired engineer and is able to be home during the day.

AKC admitted the Appenzeller Sennenhunde to Companion Events and Performance Events starting in 2008. Happily, there are an increasing number of all-breed shows where the host clubs provide for Foundation Stock Service entries. That trend is much appreciated by fanciers, even though we do not have many
Appenzellers competing.

As more people become familiar with this breed, there are bound to be many who will be attracted by these dogs’ beauty, medium size and short double coat. They need to assess whether the energy level, socialization needs and working dog intensity are a good fit. At the same time, I would love to see more owners competing in the ring as well as in obedience, agility and other events. All these venues are fantastic for showcasing the breed, developing the owner-dog working relationship, and learning from judges and more
experienced handlers.

The Appenzeller is still rare in North America, and to date we have not had the critical mass to develop regional clubs. We have a lot of work to do prior to AKC recognition.

I used to show my Appenzellers at American Rare Breed Association events, when there were not opportunities to show them with AKC. I also showed my first male in UKC. I did not show Brandy, now 11 years old, in conformation but she competed in agility. Our funniest experience was probably when a kind judge set up a fast straight-away series of jumps to finish out a course sequence. As it happened the vendor hot dog and grilled burgers spot was just past the ring exit. Brandy sailed over the jumps, out the ring gate, and started making for the lunch stand. Clearly she felt that was the place to be. That’s the Appenzeller, always thinking strategy. Thank you for your interest in this amazing breed!


I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I own and operate JEM Industries, a WBENC certified commercial asphalt maintenance company and Asgard Raw Dog & Cat Food. We are one of only a select few USDA certified raw dog food manufacturers and distributors on the east coast.

As President of Caucasian Shepherd Club of America, Inc., I am finding progress is slow, but steady. We see this as a benefit. This allows for proper organization, education and participation for a proper breed club and to follow a single breed standard. We are experiencing an unfortunate misunderstanding and misrepresentation within our breed and we are relying on the AKC to keep new and future owners and breeders on the same path under the FCI #328 standard.

Although our breed is growing rapidly in popularity, we are not finding the direction we would like in the show ring and registered dogs. We are seeing a surge in unregistered dogs being sold and mentored as breeding stock. This is detrimental to any breed and recognition with the AKC will provide our club with a checks and measures guideline to eliminate future occurrences. We are confident that our breed club will unify more like-minded owners and educate them on the proper breed standard and excite interest in AKC events, especially the show ring. I look forward to recognition to confirm there is only one breed standard under FCI #328.

Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around? Yes! Our club is comprised of foundation owners that were landmark and instrumental in the growth of the breed. Our members have achieved all the “firsts” in many events and titles for our breed. This commitment still carries strong today and we are able to educate new owners of the importance on titling and health testing future breeding stock.

I would not breed more, however I would be proud to offer AKC registration to new owners to reinforce proper breed standard under FCI #328. There is a commitment all future breeders of any breed must follow—health testing, temperament testing, titling and most importantly—upholding the breed standard and producing
quality dogs.

Mandy Middleton

I live in Georgetown, Ohio. I am a groomer and when not showing or grooming I try to hunt and fish.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Not sure they will get there. I can’t get any of the breed clubs involved.

I don’t see a huge surge in popularity as with other breeds. There are many dogs in the breed, however the breeders are not interested in AKC.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? I have not been able to get a formal club together. I have created the site of and Facebook group Mountain Cur club of America.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, I am a small breeder and already have a waiting list for my pups.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? My older Mountain Cur looking at himself in a mirror with his dumbbell at an obedience trial.

Candace Mogavero

I live in Delaware, other than working as Director of Loss Prevention for a supermarket chain (I am now retired) and my family I “do dogs”. I have trained, bred and shown dogs for the last 50 years.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Yes, I do expect a surge on popularity when we finally achieve full AKC recognition.

Hopefully we will be able to have educated our breeders enough to not have some of the problems other breeds have experienced. There is always a certain amount of problems with an explosion of a breed after it becomes fully recognized by the AKC.

Are there enough workers to go around? There are never enough workers to go around. Hard as you may try there are many people who feel someone else should do the work.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No as I do not breed much and usually if I do breed it is because I have a waiting list for puppies.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? A whole ring of exhibitors including myself slipping and falling on a ring of wet grass.

Jamie Morris

I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, near the base of Mount Rainier, in Washington. As for what I do “outside of dogs” that rules out just about everything as I live and breath dogs, but I am a special needs school bus driver to help pay for my dog passion.

My Foundation Stock Services (FSS) breed is the Drever. It is very much in its infancy on this quest for full recognition. I started this process in 2015. We have a very long road ahead of us but last year we had our first US born AKC FSS registered litter. We started this quest with only a handful of Drevers known to be in the US. Where as many breeds start off in FSS with an already established population, here in the states, we did not. This is a huge hurdle. We have accepted the responsibility to follow through with this quest while still being true advocates for the breed. Our goals include full recognition without having the breed ending up in rescue situations. Responsible education of potential homes is a priority. We owe the breed, and those in Scandinavia that have entrusted the breed to us, to protect it. We will not breed litters just so we can increase our numbers to rush through the recognition process. So, we have our first litter registered, the second on the way. We have our first dog with a Certificate of Merit (actually he has three CMs). We have Drevers participating in Conformation, Scent Work, Coursing (CAT & Fast CATs), Barn Hunt, Hunt Performance Tests and starting training in Agility and Tracking. We have Drevers in five states around the country. So, the quest has a good foundation and through hard work and perseverance we hope to move forward towards full recognition before the rules change again.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Most definitely! In my adventures around the country, educating the public about the breed, the common comments I hear are all variations of, “I LOVE these guys! Let me know when you go full recognition because I can’t wait to get one and _________ (insert show, trial, compete, etc) with it!” If AKC is about registrations…it seems that holding breeds back that are very well established in their country of origin (under an AKC recognized registry) is detrimental to their (AKC’s) goals.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? YES! It IS hard work and expensive to get recognition! Enough workers?? Are there EVER enough worker bees? I think that in just about every aspect of our lives…you always have the hard working few that do the work so that the rest can enjoy the benefits. But, in all seriousness…right now? Not really. However, that is changing. As we move forward and get more people involved and enough time goes by…we are getting people that we can rely on, with the same preservation goals, to help with the workload.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? To a point, yes. However, that said, these puppies still need to go to good responsible homes…regardless of if they are fully recognized or FSS. That is a lot of responsibility, time, money, etc. And as responsible breeders…we only breed when we are ready to keep a puppy. Drevers live a long life and we owe it to our current dogs to be able to provide them with the best life possible. They aren’t kennel dogs…they are part of our family. So, the difference is that maybe we only keep one puppy instead of two or three if the homes are there.

The funniest thing I’ve experienced at a dog show? Oh, wow! That is a tough one! With Drevers, I do not have as many years to pull from as I do with my other breed. But, my first Drever is very much a dignified show dog. He is very clean, proper and disgusted by things like dogs peeing on doorways, etc while we are at dog shows. We were in the Best in Show ring and the dog in front of him proceeded to pee in the ring. (This was on a hard polished floor, so easy to clean.) My dog was so disgusted that he would not step on the area where the dog had pee’d even after it was cleaned up. And this went on for the entire eight shows! It got to the point where everyone waited for him to see if he would jump the spot or go around it. To this day he looks at that dogs as if he is disgusted with his behavior. Not necessarily a hugely funny moment…but gives me a good chuckle whenever I think about it.

Stacey Pestel

I live in Columbus, Ohio and work for an electronics supplier as an international customer support rep.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? For my breed, Kai Ken, it is going slow but we are not really trying to rush for full recognition. One step at a time. Once we reach Misc, then we will look toward full recognition.

I do expect a surge in popularity once we fit the regular show ring and I am not looking forward to it. We need careful preservation to prevent so many of the health issues that appear in other breeds once they become popular. The Shiba is an example of that.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? We are a small group right now, but we are slowly encouraging more to get involved in the breed. Again, we are not in a rush.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? My breeding practices would not change. I am breeding to preserve the breed true to its form in Japan. I have a long waitlist for puppies and all homes are very closely screened to make sure the correct puppy is getting matches with the correct family. Every litter is raised in our bedroom and we only have one litter at a time so we can focus our attention on raising those puppies with a
strong foundation.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? This actually happened at a UKC show. It was the very first time I took my male into the ring to be shown. I had no idea how he was going to react because I had gotten him as an adult. As the judge approached him for the exam, he plopped down on the floor and rolled over so the judge could give him a belly rub.

Tain Rose

My name is Tain Rose. We have a couple different breed clubs for Kai Ken in the US, and I am with the Kai Ken Club of America ( I live in Graham, Washington. Right outside
of Seattle.

Currently I have the only Kai Ken with a CM. She has won three Best in Shows (December 2018 in Ridgefield, Washington, February 2019 in Del Mar, California, and March 2019 in Seattle, Washington) and was the first Kai Ken to get a BIS and a RN rally title. I am now showing her daughter who this past weekend won Best in Show at the Washington Cluster last weekend (July 6-8 2019). She also won reserve best in show at IABCA’s Evergreen Sieger in June! She is the first Kai Ken with international titles with the IABCA. In March we attended a show hosted by the Shiba Club where they flew in a judge from Japan with the NIPPO registry and we were awarded a rating of excellence and invited to the NIPPO grand nationals in Japan.

I just started showing in December 2018, where we got our first best in show with my five year old bitch. It has been so much fun traveling to shows and getting different judges opinions and meeting new breeds and people. These dogs are so versatile and motivated to work with their owners, just a dream to own. Definitely team players and wanting to be involved and engaged but having wonderful off switches if you’re needing a lazy day. They’re quite subtle in presence and not ever extreme in their reactions, usually someone in the middle and remaining quite neutral until you’re excited about something. That is when the fun really begins!

Our breed has a long way to go to get fully recognized. We lack motivated individuals that want to title and sport with their dogs. Most of the breed is owned by pet owners, which are no doubt important, but we’re in desperate need of passionate dog owners who are excited to get involved and spread information about
our breed.

What activities I do with my dogs? I’ve tried a variety of sports with my Kai Ken, currently having titles with the AKC in rally, lure coursing, conformation, and trick dog. One of our favorite activities though is hiking off leash.

We also are getting involved in dock diving, have tried barn hunt and agility. We herd with our Kai Ken (but cannot trial as they’re not a herding breed) and raise litters on ducks. They are hunting dogs so your mileage may vary.

Do I show in other registries? We have tried showing in UKC and IABCA, but I am very fond of my FSS/MISC friends so AKC is my favorite registry.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Probably not. The issue currently is many Kai Ken are being placed in pet homes on spay and neuter contracts, so our breeding population is very small. For me to breed more litters I’d want more health tested and titled dogs available to breed to as we lack studs. Especially ones who are accomplished.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? My Kai Ken has won best in show at three shows, and every single time she humped me at some point in the ring! We kept losing in breed to another Kai Ken and my friends kept saying I needed to gait faster… But I knew if I did that she’d hump me! They said I absolutely had to if I wanted to win breed…. Sure enough I gaited faster, got humped, they got it on video and there was a future puppy home watching! But we got best in breed, first in FSS, and Best in Show! Plus everyone watching had a good time.

Nichole Royer

I live in Southern California, in the high desert about an hour outside of Los Angeles. Professionally I am a park director and work for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. In my private life outside of the Jindos—well I also own and breed working Alaskan Malamutes, run them in harness, hike and weight pull with them, do a little obedience (is there really life outside
of dogs?).

We are in an interesting situation with Jindos. The individual who originally spearheaded AKC recognition was acting on their own and is no longer involved in the breed. Right now we only have two individuals in the US who are breeding registered Jindos, and a handful of wonderful owners learning about all the fun things they can do with their dogs. This means we do not yet have a large enough base of involved breeders or a big enough population of registered dogs in the US to realistically have a short term goal of full recognition. And that is okay. Instead of focusing on a big push towards recognition, we are realistic about the current situation and utilizing this time to import quality dogs, build a broad gene pool in the US, educate the public and those in the dog fancy about the breed (hopefully attracting new owners and breeders in the process), and use the wonderful lower stress and very friendly open shows to introduce novice owners to the fun of showing. There will be a time and a place to push for full recognition—we aren’t there yet.

I don’t honestly think full recognition is going to change things much. Jindos are an independent and intelligent hardcore hunting and guard dog that can be challenging to own and very much aren’t for everyone. They also are one of the most common “rare breeds” in the US. People have been bringing Jindos into the US from Korea for many years and breeding them. There is very little importance placed on registered dogs and the show ring by most people in the US interested in owning a purebred Jindo as a companion. Jindos also show up in shelters on a regular basis. My first Jindo and involvement in the breed came from stumbling across one over 20 years ago at a shelter and adopting her. There also is the mistaken belief that rescue dogs imported from Korea are all Jindos, and the largest group of individuals interested in owning a Jindo seem to currently gravitate towards that means of acquiring a dog. The only increase in popularly I suspect we will see is from individuals within the dog fancy who are interested in the breed but who aren’t interested in owning one until they can show them in regular shows—in large part because open shows are so few and far between and these are folks who prioritize being able to show on a regular basis. A completely understandable position, much as it is frustrating for us because these are the kind of people the breed needs now.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Absolutely not! We welcome anyone interested in the breed and encourage their involvement.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Probably not. Placing pups is a struggle, and I don’t expect that to change with full recognition. We have never actually had someone involved in AKC registered dogs come to us interested in a pup. We will place a few more pups in show rather than companion homes if the breed is fully recognized, however I doubt there will be a large enough increase for us to breed more litters. Also, litters require so much time, money, physical and emotional input—I doubt I could realistically breed more often than I already do.

What activities I do with my dogs? I hunt the Jindos (they control the small vermin on my property), lure course them, hike with them, do a bit of showing, and now and then run them with my sled dog team. We also have been doing breed education events for many years.

Do I show in other registries? Absolutely! the breed has full status with UKC and we do quite a bit of showing in that venue as well as occasionally showing at IABCA and ARBA shows.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Well, once while lure coursing one of my Jindos came off the lure to stick her nose down a gopher hole and then obsess about that hole and refuse to so much as look at the lure.

We also once had an indoor show ring with mats. The mats had been taped across one end of the ring and every single Jindo refused to cross the tape without jumping over it. The breed is notoriously finicky about their footing and feet, and every single one of our dogs took a flying leap every time they had to cross that tape.

Carey Segebart

I live in Gilbert, Iowa. My life pretty well revolves around my dogs. My dogs and I train and compete in agility, obedience, herding, tracking, conformation and dock diving. If we’re not training or competing, we like to go hiking and take naps.

Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are doing well in the process of moving towards full recognition. We were officially approved by FCI last fall, the number of dogs in the country has met the criteria to move into Miscellaneous, and we have multiple dogs active in various AKC venues. We have 11 dogs that have earned a Certificate of Merit and three Master Agility Champions (with several more in striking distance). We also have multiple dogs with titles in obedience, rally, herding, dock diving, barn hunt, scent work, flyball and lure coursing. Additionally, we have been working the past year on combining two breed clubs to create the official parent club, and all is going well so far.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Conformation and structure are vital to maintaining the soundness of our breed. Full recognition will bring them more attention and dog enthusiasts will become more familiar with our breed, but beyond showing in the conformation ring, the DSF is best known for being well-suited for a multitude of performance events, which they are already active in as a result of being part of AKC’s FSS program. Many DSF owners are interested in showing in the breed ring, but it is often not the primary purpose for getting into the breed. Yet many competitors understand that the need for correct structure and type, which is judged in the breed ring, is essential for performance needs.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? We have several people working very hard, but we can always utilize the help of additional breed enthusiasts.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? The demand for DSFs is often greater than the supply already. With full recognition and greater exposure, I would anticipate demand continuing to go up. However we are more concerned with the quality of our breeding program as opposed to the quantity that we put out.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Senior Showmanship (as opposed to Junior Showmanship) done as a fundraiser for a Junior’s program. Highly renowned exhibitors were more than willing to participate and it quickly turned into quite the show, including costumes and roll playing.

Robbie & Mark Sternlicht

We live in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Robbie is retired and outside of dogs, loves to garden, especially tending to her large rose garden. Mark is an attorney, and his main hobby, outside of dogs, is teaching aikido, a Japanese martial art in which he has earned a fourth degree black belt.

Although the first Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka came to the country over 20 years ago, the breed was admitted to the FSS program in 2015. As a result of many rumors and myths, the breed is often misunderstood and, as with many breeds new to the FSS program, the road to full recognition is a bit bumpy, with some wanting to rush to full recognition. We see our time in the FSS program as a time to build a strong foundation of quality dogs, get them out where they can be seen by judges and the public, and build a strong club. Doing this right takes time.

Most breeds that gain full recognition have a surge in popularity. The hope is the public and the fancy will continue to be interested in the breed.

Getting a breed recognized is hard work and takes commitment to responsible breeding, showing and participating in companion sports. As with any breed moving along the road to full recognition, it would be great to have as many owners as possible making commitments like these.

Part of breeding responsibly is finding show-quality dogs to breed. Full recognition of the breed could mean more choices of good quality dogs.

The funniest thing we have experienced at a show happened when our bitch Alenka was in heat, and our young Russian-born dog Slava, who had not developed much impulse control, kept looking back at her as they went around the ring. The judge suggested having Slava follow Alenka to see if he would gait better. Big fail! Slava stood up on his hind legs, waved his front paws, and screamed. We all had a good laugh.

Cheryl Stoffan

I own two CzechoslovakianVlcaks and I am registered Kennel under the CzechoslovakianVlcak Chuck Club of America
as Bleuhills.

I live in Shelton Connecticut. What do I do outside dogs? Nothing. I do work but I love to hike with my dogs, go for car rides and just have fun and forget about things. One of my dogs has appeared in Glamour magazine in Central Park.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? It is a slow process but I believe we are moving in the right direction.

I do expect a surge in popularity. I also expect this will help and hurt our breed. I say this because we like to have the increase numbers but with this also comes with scrupulous breeders and backyard breeders. At least within our club we all are recognized and we abide by the AKC breeding standards.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? We are getting there but it is a lot of work. I would like to see more done in the Northeast personally.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I would probably do one more litter and that is it. Because I am very particular to what home my puppies would go to.

Kathleen Thomasson

I live in Durant, Oklahoma and I have had Caucasian Shepherd Dogs since 1999. I am a monitor for Special Needs on a school bus and also do Janitorial work for the Durant School Dist.

I think this breed is doing okay in its venture into becoming recognized by AKC.

I socialize my dogs a lot, as it is a Flock Guardian Breed and so they need it. We go to different stores, visit downtown and are in parades. Along with anything else I can think of. In the past have gotten TT’s on my dogs, CGC, Basic Obedience and Intermediate, have been in parades, gone to hospitals to visit with children who have cancer, visited nursing homes and have been in a program when in Idaho, where Big Dogs Visit young men in Jail.

Do I show in other registries? Yes, I do show with other organizations. Throughout the years have shown with AKC, by special invitation, UKC, had the number one of this breed in 2009 with them, IACBA, ARBA, and ICKC.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, I would not breed more litters if this breed was fully recognized, as I do not breed very often. Though it would make it easier to register and sell them.

The funniest thing to happen to me at a dog show is: I had one person ask me why I was showing a bear at a dog show?

Brian Turner

I live in northern Nevada in the foothills of the Carson Mountain Range, about 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe. Outside of dogs, I’m a career project manager and executive. I have a number of outdoor hobbies.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? I see the process as a long road, but with our breed’s ancient roots and phenomenal appeal to the right owners, we aren’t going anywhere.

I definitely expect a surge in popularity with more exposure. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a stunner. Even with other giants in the ring, our dogs stand out. At exhibitions and shows we are inundated with questions and made the subject of countless photos. I see this is a big help towards recognition. The US has some very well-bred, magnificent dogs to show. Getting judges, spectators, and potential new breeders familiar with the dogs will no doubt build enthusiasm, support, and participation—all of these creating momentum towards recognition.

Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around? I think we’ll get there.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I’d expect so. Along with the far greater exposure of being in the “big ring”, it’s safer to invest in breeding stock once a standard
is implemented.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I was working my first Caucasian in an obedience ring. We were doing the honoring exercise for his CDX. As I was led out of the arena, I heard spectators laughing. As soon as the door closed behind me it re-opened and I was returned to the ring to applause and laughter to pick up my dog.

He had, apparently, at up from his down-stay almost immediately, his head following me as I left. As soon as the door closed behind me, he stood up, pranced across the ring to a ring attendant sitting where I’d left the ring, laid down at his feet, and woofed towards the door I’d been taken through. He sat there with his tail wagging until I got back to retrieve him.

Karina Wahlman

I live on five acres in a very small town in Northern California in the Sierra foothills. Besides having a job at a local bank, I teach horsemanship lessons.

At this time I am the only one in my breed consistently showing, in either conformation or performance events. Because there are so few of these dogs we most likely will not be able to be fully recognized by AKC. The breed is recognized and able to be registered by FCI and UKC.

While my Transylvanian Hounds are very popular at shows, the breed is not for everyone, seeing as an active lifestyle of the owner(s) and room to exercise is needed for a mentally and physically
healthy dog.

Would I breed more litters because of AKC? No. The breed has very limited pure and distinct bloodlines, so that needs to be kept in mind when breeding. Just having more is not better.

The funniest thing? I was showing my dogs up in Washington state and my male won breed, and then the FSS group. The nylons I was wearing were given to me by a friend, but they were a “Queen size” as she was considerably larger than me. But I didn’t give that a thought when I put them on in the morning. As I was going through the classes I noticed they were getting looser and looser, but still, it didn’t really register or alarm me. Until. I was in the BIS class. It was me and my dog against the Miscellaneous winner. “Take your dogs around, please.” Hmmm, these nylons are slipping, dang, they’re at my hips. “Take your dog up and back.Fine, thank you. And around.” Oh no! They’ve slipped down to my thighs! If she makes me run the dog any more, they’ll be….(all these thoughts were the dialog in my head while I’m trying to focus on presenting my dog as best as possible. This was the Best In Show class, after-all.) Bending, stooping and even standing had caused gravity to take its natural course with them. Then she said the worst thing she could have said, “Let’s take the dogs around again together.” No! So I kind of hobbled/ran, which caused my dog to stop gaiting and start trot/hopping, looking at me as he was growing more concerned at each step thinking I was in some kind of trouble. I was—the nylons had slipped down to my knees and were threatening to make their existence fully known to the spectators lined around the ring. Needless to say, we didn’t win BIS.

Jimmy Warren

My wife and I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado and we currently have four Drentsche Patrijshonds or Drents. Two of my dogs are trained hunters and they are all good campers and couch companions. Drents are a joy to own and transition from the home to the field very well. They are exactly what you want in a
sporting dog.

I believe the breed is making progress, but it is quite slow with a limited number of breeders available in North America. We are one of six approved breeders in North America recognized by our parent club. Our current breed club has the exact number, but I would say we have somewhere around 120-130 registered dogs in North America. I would say the breed has a way to go!

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Yes, getting out to AKC and other organizational events promote the breed. I’m currently a member of NAVHDA and have most of my dogs participating in training and events. My only male scored a perfect Natural Ability test at ten months and several judges were very impressed with his overall appearance and ability. I plan to enroll and participate in some AKC hunting contests this upcoming fall. We will see how things go.

It is very hard work to get a breed recognized! I work full time and only have a finite amount of time to train my Drents and it can be tough. We are two years removed from our first litter as breeders and plan on another soon. Just getting out to shows and training events is sometimes not enough to get recognized, we need more workers and more Drent owners. I’m curious as to how may Drent owners we have in various States?

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, it would probably help foster more interest in the breed once we become fully recognized by AKC but planning and having a litter is hard work. I’m a Drent breeder for the benefit of the breed, I’m not in it for the numbers. Our club is small, we need to be careful to maintain a low coefficient of inbreeding, so the club maintains a vetting process on breeding.

A funny thing happened during my boy “Jackson’s” NA test. I was a first-time dog handler for the event and very nervous, but he performed flawless during all four phases of the test. Once he was pointing a bird and the judges and I could not find the bird, it was between his legs and he was rock solid on his point. A judge instructed me to flush the bird and when I did this it didn’t fly off it just ran with Jackson in hot pursuit only to suddenly stop and once that happened Jackson applied the brakes only to perform a complete summersault and resume his point. All three judges were laughing at this point and it settle both dog and handler down for the remainder of the test!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with a great pruebreed dog! Drents are wonderful to own and make great companions. If you are in the Colorado Springs area and want to see some Drents please give us a call at Hollys Spring Drents, Colorado Springs CO, 80924, 719-502-9544,

Paula Webber

I live on Vancouver Island with two Appenzeller Sennenhundes. I have had Appenzellers for close to 20 years. I travel to show them in Conformation, compete in Rally Obedience, Obedience and Scent work trials. They also love agility, herding, tracking and tricks. I competed regularly in obedience, agility, flyball and Schutzhund with my first Appenzeller and loved their work ethic. I didn’t venture into the world of Conformation until I acquired my Havana Brown male 4.5 years ago. The Appenzeller is a versatile, highly intelligent breed that can do pretty much anything. They are also a very robust breed with very few health issues.

Currently, there are very few Appenzellers being shown in Conformation in the US and none in Canada as they are not recognized by the CKC. Personally, I have spent the last four years showing my Appenzellers in AKC Open shows, UKC and IABCA. For the first two years, not one judge I’ve met had ever even seen an Appenzeller before in the show ring so it’s been my mission to get our breed seen by as many judges and venues as possible. There are likely 300 Appenzellers in Canada and the US, however, not many owners show or trial with their dogs. There are only a handful of owners showing in Conformation therefore it will take a long time for full recognition with AKC.

I do not expect a surge in popularity will happen. Our breed is a very demanding one and we as a breed club, encourage only very experienced dog owners to take on an Appenzeller. They are not a breed for everyone. As much as we can, we take advantage of judges education opportunities and “meet the breeds” to educate people about the Appenzeller. This is not a “short-haired Bernese Mountain Dog” by any means as many people seem to think. There are similarities in markings, but their demeanor is completely different. This is one of the reasons I work very hard socializing, training and competing in a variety of events so that people fully understand what they are about.

We as a breed club, are slowly getting there. When I first started showing in Conformation with my Havana Brown male, he was the only Appenzeller being shown. Now, you will sometimes see two or even three Appenzellers in the ring on the west coast. It is a matter of encouraging fellow Appenzeller owners to participate, and that Conformation and Performance events can be enjoyable and rewarding. Breed recognition would be nice, but for me, it’s not the be all and end all. What I enjoy most is educating judges and other dog owners about our amazing breed.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I am the owner of a stud dog presently. He is a UKC CH, and Rally Obedience title holder. I will continue to campaign him as a viable male but very selectively.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? As a puppy, my male was very exuberant in the ring. His tendency was (and sometimes still is) to bite at my clothing in the show ring. At a show in Washington several years ago, he attempted to disrobe me on the down and back! It was quite entertaining for
everyone watching.

Terri Wemigwans

We live in the mid-Michigan area. Our life mostly revolves around the dogs and they seem to be involved in everything we do. We have a film production company and a cable/fiber installation company. Our CSV also work in the film industry. I teach animal reading and energy healing and I am an avid gardener and enjoy hiking in the wilderness,

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? I feel our breed is doing well. I feel a slow steady approach is better than rushing to see how fast we can get there.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Yes, their popularity will surely increase. People will be drawn to their very exotic look. I feel with the increase in popularity in the ‘regular shows’ it will help to show people what these amazing dogs can do but it will also attract people who will want to exploit them for personal gain. So both good and bad.

I feel there are not enough people in the breed at this time who care to help push the breed forward, We do have people working towards this goal but we have a long ways to go. We are okay with a slow steady pace.

I would not breed more litters if the breed where AKC recognized. Our breeding practice does not revolve around
AKC recognition.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Hmmm they are always doing something comical. So it is hard to say what is the funniest?

When our male Czechoslovakain Vlcaks, Meigunn, was around 2 ½ we entered a UKC show. Meigunn, knows the building well we went to puppy classes here, upon entering the hall he
immediately looked at a newly installed billboard and stopped and stared at it. He very much did not trust this person and did not want to continue into the hall. We forced him into the hall for the next two hours, he never took his eye’s off from the man in the Cowboy hat advertising his car dealership. There were also other new billboards with people, some with hats. Miegunn seemed not to care about them at all but this man with the cowboy hat was not to be trusted. When it came time to go into the ring, right under the billboard, Miegunn kept his eyes on the man in the hat as he went around the ring turning his head in an almost complete circle. Everyone watching this were laughing. He also did not want to go past the man so we made our go around a bit outside the lines because I knew he would not go close to this man.

After years of showing in the venue, he still does not like this man and gives him an extra intense look every time he comes into the hall to make sure he does not make a move. We see billboards on venue walls at almost every show. Only this man triggers him. It is very funny to watch even years later.

Everyone now jokes they know how to throw Meigunn off in the ring just throw up a photo of that man and you can expect Meigunn to focus all his attention on this untrustworthy man.

Karina Whittington

I live just north of the DFW area in Texas. Outside of dogs I am a web developer by trade and work for a software company.

We really started getting moving on the quest for recognition about two years ago. I think we have made a lot of headway in two years and should hopefully be ready to move to Miscellaneous in two to three years if all goes well. We have already begun some of our requirements for the next steps to gain full recognition!

We have already had a large surge and I think it will continue to grow while we are in FSS and Miscellaneous before we even get to full recognition. I think if we continue on the path of our club goals overall we should be able to manage the continued interest in the breed so that it does not hurt our cause.

For the foundation of our club I think we have a great amount of helpers, our current downfall is getting more people involved in competing and showing with their dogs but interest is slowly growing for those categories.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, only because I also have a day job and cannot dedicate myself year round to puppies. Breeding is hard work and producing more litters means even more work. I want to be able to keep close tabs on my puppies and having to many could become overwhelming with keeping track of them.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I was competing in rally with my male and he decided he was done and it was not worth his time, livestock guardian breeds what are you going to do. I was trying to get him to sit for like the third time and he wasn’t having it and just gave me a blank stare with some side eye and the judge broke out laughing. He won’t be getting his rally title anytime soon but at least one of my females managed to get hers. They definitely have a mind of their own and will tell you when they think something is stupid! Another time one of my girls thought showing wasn’t fun so she decided to make a game of trying to eat her show number off my friends arm while going around the ring. A 135 pound girl just bouncing around trying to pull off the number while going around the ring was quite entertaining. The whole time she was being examined she just kept reaching for that number. 

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