Showsight April 2023


Another nice surprise for me was getting to visit Jay Kim and meeting his wife and young son, whose American name is Frank Murphy in recognition of Jay’s long-term relationship with Frank as an assistant and for his genuine love for his mentor. Unfortu- nately, Jay was not entered, as the family had just dealt with the tragic loss of Jay’s mother-in-law in the weeks before the show. I understand that Jay had been campaigning one of the country’s top dogs, a German Wirehaired Pointer, that had enjoyed a successful show career. The one noticeable difference in this assignment vs. those I have judged in the past was that the number of dogs exhibited was higher in the smaller-sized breeds. I am told that it is very difficult for people who live in the city to keep many of the larger breeds, and therefore, the Toy and smaller- to mid-sized breeds have become more popular. South Korea, like some other countries, has two governing kennel club bodies. I was judging for the Korean Kennel Club, although there is also the Korean Kennel Federation which is FCI affiliated. My understanding is that both clubs have been around for well over thirty years, and exhibitors in both organizations often import dogs from our American kennels. While enjoying dinner following the show, I was told that the biggest and most frustrating obstacle for the Korean Kennel Club was that the AKC has refused to acknowledge and regis- ter dogs from their registry, telling them they only recognize one kennel club body per country. This, they say, has resticted them from working with more American breeders to import and export dogs to improve their programs. They say that, over the years, they have had many judges (as well as AKC board members) visit and judge their shows, but they have been unable to get recognition in this area. It is very difficult to understand why in this day and age, with all the technology and DNA testing available, this issue cannot be resolved. Here in the US, the AKC has cross-registered dogs from numerous American Stud Books. Also, the NGKC and the China Kennel Union are both able to register with the AKC. In China, the NGKC, which was founded with help from the AKC, requires DNA testing before registration, while the China Kennel Union, an FCI affiliate, does not require the DNA. It would seem to me that if both clubs are allowed AKC registration, the Korean Kennel Club should also be recognized. The KKC is well over 35 years old and has a good track record. If we are truly going to see the purebred dog world expand, we need to be more open-minded to differences that might exist politically in various countries. We need to be all about breeding and improving the health and wel- fare of all dog breeds in the world. Many countries do not have the history of the KKC, as many clubs have been added since the fall of the old Soviet Union, yet clubs from many of those countries, including Russia, are allowed to register with AKC. (Note: Due to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, those privileges have been suspended for the time being.)


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