Showsight Presents The Russian Toy

LEARNING A LITTLE RUSSIAN— TOY, THAT IS! by MARTHA GUIMOND photos courtesy of OLGA PALTSEVA of FAVORIT STYLE RUSSIAN TOYS

T he Russian Toy is a Foundation Stock Service Breed (FSS) in the American Kennel Club. Hope- fully in the near future, with the help of the AKC, the breed will move up to join the Miscellaneous and ultimately the Toy group! Th e breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2008, where is it known as the Russkiy Toy. Getting involved as owner, breeder and exhibitor of a “rare” or “new to the USA” breed is a daunting task. Finding some- one to be a mentor or reliable resource is most di ffi cult since there are few estab- lished and knowledgeable breeders in this country and they are often many states away from where you live. Th ere are few, if any, dogs to be seen at rare breed shows, matches or AKC open shows, and many that are exhibited may not be the best rep- resentatives of the breed. To add to these di ffi culties, too often there is more than one group or breed club

that wishes to represent the breed—each group can be passionate and obstinate in their determination to be the only voice representing the dogs in the AKC and usu- ally do not work well together. At some point you may have to decide to join one group in the full understanding it will be seen as heresy to the others and you will be banished from their tribe. Another major obstacle with more than one group claim- ing to be the breed representative is that the AKC will want the groups to merge before naming or accepting one club as the Parent Club for the breed. Without a Parent Club accepted by the AKC—or if the breed is not far enough along in the recognition process—there is no “o ffi cial” AKC standard. In its place, the breed fan- cier must back on the FCI breed standard or the standard from the country of origin or founding breed organization. If you use the country of origin and that country is Russia, add language

problems on top. Th e language barrier also limits resources to gain essential knowl- edge on type, blood lines, health issues and all other aspects of the breed knowledge since most of the established experts and breeders in Russia do not speak English, and many of us (including yours truly) definitely cannot read nor converse in Rus- sian. Internet translation systems help a little, but far too often the resulting tangle of Russian to English words is at best frus- trating and of little use. Along the way, I also learned how to send money to Russia (not as easy as you think and there are no guarantees that the money will not just “disappear”), how to get a very small dog safely into the coun- try (they came on non-stops flights to New York City by courier in business class cabin —a method of travel I can not a ff ord for myself !) and the fact that Russian bureau- cracies actually can be worse than our own (red tape is well named)!

280 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2015

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