Question of the Week
While most of us surely wish to keep politics, international AND domestic, out of dog shows, the latest aggressive acts by Russia are more than any organization should accommodate. Condemned by most countries in the world, the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens all peace-loving nations, especially in Europe, and all organizations should immediately cease all activity with and in Russia as a show of solidarity.
Strafford, New Hampshire
The FCI should not allow shows in Russia at all. The FCI should also prohibit any Russian-owned dogs from being exhibited at any FCI event.
The world should hold Russia accountable; as such, the harshest penalties should be applied to Russia swiftly.
I know there are some Russians against this invasion; however, I’ve also seen many breeders/exhibitors supporting and applauding the invasion.
Janie A. Hecker
No … N … O… NO!
ABSOLUTELY NOT! GET REAL! It’s obvious that it is much too dangerous! DUH!
I’m sure that the Russian dog people would agree with that. However, they would be risking their lives if they spoke out. Let’s just stay out of the situation but recognize the fact that there are many really good dogs being produced by conscientious Russian breeders. I’m old enough to remember people telling me that the Russians were doing their best to kill German dogs, especially Giant and Standard Schnauzers, as they marched through Germany toward the end of WWII.
I see no reason to punish the dog lovers of Russia. So, yes.
I often remember those people who died along with their dogs, on the way to the World Show a few years ago.
What I would like to see happen to Putin is not fit for print.
I think it is almost a foolish question. Russia has not only instigated a Hitler-type invasion of another country, but the lies and misinformation that Putin is making are an insult to the whole world. No one should cooperate with such a corrupt country.
I would be seriously disappointed and angered if the FCI continues to offer any events in Russia. Russia and the Ukraine are both members of the FCI. The FCI would be sanctioning overt acts of aggression by one member against another. Additionally, many of the other member nations have enacted sanctions against Russia for their invasion of Ukraine. Why isn’t the FCI taking a sanctioning stance against Russia? How many Ukrainian dogs (champions, kennels and others) will die because of the invasion? The FCI needs to get on board with the rest of the world, to sanction Russia and revoke its membership.
No CACIB shows.
Only FCI can answer the question of whether Russia WILL continue to hold shows where CACIBs are awarded: FCI “owns” this award, which is awarded to the Best Dog and Best Bitch over 15 months of age at an FCI international show and helps qualify a dog for the title of International Champion. (Usually four CACIBs won under three judges in three different countries with a minimum of one year and one day between the first and the qualifying win does the trick.) Whether one thinks Russia SHOULD do so, or be allowed to do so, is a different matter entirely.
As usual, it helps to look at history. The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) was founded in 1911, disappeared during World War I and was re-created in 1921. What happened to FCI during World War II is unclear: certainly the organization stopped functioning, as there were no dog shows in Continental Europe during the early ’40s. (In Great Britain even Crufts was not held for most of the 1940s.)
Nearly 100 countries are now members or associates of FCI. The Russian Kynological Federation was established in 1991 and became a full FCI member in 2003. The U.S., Canada and Great Britain are not members, although we have reciprocal agreements concerning registrations and visiting judges, for example.
Personally, I feel that the question is almost irrelevant. Who cares about dog shows, with or without CACIBs, when Ukraine is burning? I have friends in Russia, and offspring of dogs that lived in my house in both Russia and Ukraine. Should we do nothing while the people of Ukraine are suffering? On the other hand, should Russian breeders be punished because of actions committed by their government?
I don’t know what response is correct. It’s one of those questions that has no right answer.
P.S.: Just got a letter from the Swedish KC, which is a member of the FCI. No Swedish judges are now allowed to judge in Russia!
Should FCI shows still be held in Russia? Absolutely not. Their leader, elected or not, is a war criminal who is displacing what will likely be millions of innocents.
For this we have a moral obligation, on all levels, to completely isolate Russia from the civilized world. FCI shows are representative of civilized society. Life in and for Russians must immediately reflect their pariah status in the world.
As a result, FCI shows should not be held until all Russian troops are removed from Ukraine, reparations have been made, and war-crimes trials have been undertaken.
We have a moral imperative to immediately and completely isolate Russia.
Clayton, North Carolina
Although the sport of dogs has nothing to do with Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the entire sports world is demonstrating their disapproval by canceling their events held in Russia. FCI should cancel as well.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Yes, FCI shows should continue in Russia. Why punish the dogs and their owners? What their leader is doing is not their fault. It's like a divorced couple – the kids are caught in the middle of the fight.
It's already a very sad, scary situation and with added sanctions that affect the people, the dog community doesn't need to be punished more then they will be, as all will be hurting economically.
I have spoken to many in Russia, and all feel sad. They don't want this any more than the rest of the world.
Broadway, New Jersey
I certainly hope not. Democracy first at all costs.
Absolutely NOT! The entire world must come together to stop this unprovoked war. FCI certainly should withhold all support from Russia until this is over. Additionally, we all have to come together to do whatever we can to sanction Russia, however small our part might be, and to support Ukraine.
Piedmont, South Carolina
NO. Hell, NO!
Jonathan Jeffrey (Kimes) Breckenridge-Mitchell
Kansas City, Missouri
Absolutely not. I am putting a moratorium on my breeding program, in fact. When people say it is not necessarily the will of all Russians, I say tell that to the dead, wounded and terrorized Ukrainian breeders.
Candace Lundin, DVM, MS
Yes. We are a sport, and so individual breeders/exhibitors should not be penalized for political decisions made that they cannot control. Like the Olympics being held in China, it would have been too unfair and harmful to stop athletes from their opportunity to compete. It only breeds resentment.
Vera Regina Aché Annechino
No. I think the Russians must know how the world is feeling about this insane war. People and animals are suffering.
A better question is “What are the conditions required to be met for the FCI to allow shows to be held in a country?”
If you can list those conditions fairly and without embarrassment, and if a country meets those conditions, then why not?
Sure, once in a while the world changes and you realize something needs to be added to (or removed from) the list, but then that applies to everyone.
Perhaps the additional requirement of “country must not have recently invaded another for the purpose of annexation” should be added to the list of criteria. Of course, you would have to also define “recent.”
No, FCI shows should not be held in Russia under the present circumstances! We all need to stand in solidarity with Ukraine.
Lynda Birmantas Beam
Probably not while there is an invasion going on.
I believe the Russian people, in general, are not behind this invasion, as there are thousands in jail who have been protesting in Russia. So I expect there will be more shows there at some point.
Thousand Oaks, California
I can’t imagine anyone from the USA thinking that it is appropriate to support any events in Russia at this time.
Putin has three goals: polarize/weaken America, polarize/divide NATO and re-create the Russian empire under a brutal tyrant. Ukraine is a trial balloon, but Putin didn’t expect the resolve of the Ukrainian people, a unified NATO and the condemnation of the world. Remember Munich, remember 9/1/39 … if you give a tyrant a cookie. I have no doubt if Russia were not a nuclear power there would be NATO boots on the ground to push back this brutal, senseless aggression … babies, children, grandparents, the elderly. This is an evil country under Putin … and if BP can dump $25 billion in Russian assets in protest … really, having dog shows in Russia? This is good vs evil, and anyone living in Russia who is not on the streets protesting is an enabler. We can’t pick the hand that we are dealt, but it is our choice how we play it.
Diane Young McCormack
One word … NO.
Hacienda Heights, California
I have judged in many countries, including Russia. I felt very safe.
Today I doubt I would go, and I doubt there will be any dog shows held in the foreseeable future.
Canceling any and all dog shows should be only for safety and security reasons ... I hope that all breeders of purebred dogs and all of their dogs will remain healthy and safe.
Will make VERY little difference in my daily routine either way.
Cara Campbell, DVM
Absolutely not! I’m sympathetic to Russian citizens who apparently are protesting Putin and the war, but it’s past time for the cruel hand of Putin to be stopped.
April and Todd Clyde
Absolutely not! This is 2022 – we are not back in the Dark Ages! If countries have disagreements, you sit down and work them out. If that doesn’t work, you take it to the UN or World Court. You just don’t invade another country because you don’t like its current policies. No events should be held in the Russian Federation until every Russian soldier is out of Ukraine. I’m sorry for the Russian people who don’t support this war, but ultimately the people are responsible for what their government does!
No way! More important and impactful events are being canceled. The dog community needs to show solidarity with Ukraine and its people.
David K. Qualls, DVM
I am as far detached from the “Woke Movement” as humanly possible, but I cannot consciously support any regime with such a horrible record of atrocities against both their own and the citizens of neighboring countries. Russia (and also China, for that matter) continue to exhibit a total lack of concern for even the most basic human rights. I would not and will not support any organization lending either of these bad actors’ legitimacy or credibility.
Absolutely not! In every way that they can be ostracized from normal civilization, they should be!
Caledon, Ontario, Canada
I would say no during this period of instability.
Patrick C. Byrne
Kansas City, Kansas
There is ZERO to think about regarding this question about dog shows in Russia. Absolutely NOT. Furthermore, NO AKC judge should be allowed to participate in any dog event in Russia or China. Two dreadful governments with an appalling human rights record.
It is time people grew a backbone and stood for something.
I vote no. It is a country whose leadership has declared war on a democratic country. Continuing dog shows in Russia at this time trivializes the seriousness of this action.
Celeste M. Gonzalez
Thomasville, North Carolina
My gut reaction to the question was that FCI should not sanction shows in Russia that intend to offer the CACIB.
However, I had to take a step back and ask where the FCI was when Russia invaded Crimea (and continues to occupy that territory). The FCI did nothing when that occurred. Is it because Russia has invaded a much larger area of the same country that this is now an issue? I have to ask what the role of sporting sanctioning bodies is in situations like Russia has put itself in. What about the systematic oppression of ethnic or religious minorities in other countries e.g., China and the Uighurs? FCI-sanctioned shows with CACIBs on offer still go on there.
Deliberate consideration should be given by the FCI governing body as to how to treat FCI member countries who have oppressive governing regimes. Will the FCI suspend their membership, thus no CACIBs on offer at their shows, or will they expel them, or will they continue as they have done in the past? Maybe the larger questions is, should the registration certifications of purebred dogs from the Russian Federation be accepted by other countries, FCI members or not?
Our sport, which reflects a microcosm of humanity, and our sport’s governing bodies can choose to join the other sports-governing bodies and refuse to participate in/with or sanction dog shows in Russia. I’m not sure it will impact the Russian regime, but it will make a statement. The ultimate impact will be felt by our friends in Russia who show dogs, and our friends in Ukraine who are having their homes, lives and beloved dogs devasted.
Dr. Rene' Echevarria-Cofino
San Juan, Puerto Rico
It is my personal opinion that FCI dog shows in Russia must not be recognized. Additionally, the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club must not permit Russian visiting judges to do any assignments. And, finally, do not recognize the Russian dog registrations and pedigree until the Ukraine conflict is resolved.
Don’t be ridiculous! The country should be shunned until they withdraw.
Editor’s Note: To read the back story of Andrew’s question – as well as the FCI’s eventual decision regarding sanctioning its shows in Russia – see this week’s editorial.