My name is Kevin Carroll, and I am the owner of Yakumo Sou Japanese Akitainu kennel in Buffalo, NY. I moved to the USA in 2013 from Ireland where I was working on my FCI judges license, as well as being a founding member of our breed parent club back home. I have been judging conformation ever since and this year, I am pleased to join the cause as a newly approved AKC FSS Open Show judge. As you can see, I may be new to the AKC ‘scene’, however I am not new to dogs in general. That is the case for many FSS/Miscellaneous folks involved in what are so nonchalantly coined as ‘rare’ or ‘new’ breeds within AKC. This is what I wanted to briefly speak about in this article.
First off, for anyone who does not know, the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) is a program offered by the AKC for less common breeds in North America to begin their formal process of recognition. The goal is to ensure the breed flourishes in the USA with trustworthy pedigrees and accurate historical breed records. Through this program, the AKC is acknowledging that there are hundreds of different purebred dog breeds globally, not all of which are affiliated with AKC today. Once detailed criteria are met in this program, the breed moves forward into the miscellaneous group. At that point, if the AKC is satisfied that there is sustainable commitment and interest in further developing the breed (through its breed club, litters, titles, registration statistics etc.), the AKC will move them to ‘full recognition’ which results in the appearance of the breed in the official AKC stud book.
It is important for AKC fanciers to realize that although these breeds are new to you, many are well established elsewhere in the world and deserve the same level of respect and commitment within the AKC community. Some have been associated with other globally recognized registries for decades while others even have their own historic breed specific registries in their country of origin. Unfortunately, a narrow-minded stigma within fully recognized breeds exists today where FSS/Miscellaneous dogs are seen as lesser breeds due to their newly formed status in AKC. That could not be further from the truth. If you take anything from this short article today, please try to remember that registries exist in the world to safeguard and protect the integrity of ALL purebred dogs, as well as setting them up to successfully progress and develop into the future. Globally, dog breeds vary in popularity depending on what country you are in. What is seen as a common breed in Japan is not in the USA. There is an entire world for that ‘new’ breed you just saw at the AKC dog show that you do not know anything about yet and thus, tend to not respect it.
In summary, please respect all purebred dogs, not just some. If you are new to AKC yourself but have a fully recognized breed, do your best to see FSS/Miscellaneous dogs in the same light as you see your own. For experienced veterans of our sport, breeders, handlers, owners, judges, event organizers, lest we forget that your breed was once in the same boat as these breeds are now. Show support around the FSS and Miscellaneous rings rather than uneducated assumptions so you can be a part of their breed history as it unfolds in the USA.