Page 245 - ShowSight - August 2019
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                Foundation Stock Service Q & A
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 partici- pants 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 limit- ing 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 responsi- bility that we share with AKC.
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 market- ing 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 Cau- casian 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 dili- gently 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 show- cased 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!
My husband and I live in Vermont with currently two Kai Ken. Outside of dogs, I am a visual artist (though its not entirely out- side 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 test- ing recommendations and a code of ethics, and producing educa- tion 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, main- ly 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 (cur- rently 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
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