Question of the Week
I do agree with banning Russian judges at dog shows and not registering new dogs from Russia. However, I think the AKC should grant registrations to dogs who were here before the invasion of Ukraine and also here before the banning of Russian imports. Those dogs have nothing to do with limiting the Russian economy, as they were already in the U.S.
Sandra L. Gillen
I have been a breeder/owner/handler of AKC dogs for 50+ years.
All three breeds that I have are also popular in Russia. I know breeder/owners of Portuguese Podengo Pequenos and Border Terriers who have imported these two breeds and are showing and breeding them in Russia. My third breed is Borzoi, and I am on Facebook with these breeder/owners. Borzoi, as a Russian breed, are well loved.
Since Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine, I have sent Facebook messages to several Borzoi folk. The responses on Facebook clearly show that Putin’s lying propaganda has them believing that Ukraine and the evil West are killing Russian-speaking Ukrainians.
When I also explained that FCI will not recognize any Russian dog show or any titles won … the response was that it was because of the West.
I am absolutely in favor of the AKC not allowing any Russian judges to judge and no importation of any Russian dogs!
Desmond J. Murphy
Monroe, New York
Yes, all the kennel clubs of the world have to sanction Russia.
Richard and Linda Stark
We think that this unjustifiably hurts, penalizes and causes suffering to hundreds of people of Russian descent who may make their living handling dogs and to the owners of said dogs who may not even live in Russia. Additionally, these bans will not hurt Putin by causing the Russian citizens involved to protest, riot, etc. Like the 8,000 or more protesters of Putin's war on Ukraine, they will end up in jail. So who's getting hurt? The owners of Russian-bred dogs, handlers who've spent their lives earning their living training and showing for their clients, AND the owners of the dogs along with many wonderful judges who have nothing to do with Putin's war.
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Agree! Blackball anything from Russia.
I regret that this is happening. But in reading some of the Russian responses to concerns of Eastern European breeders and friends, I have to concur. Why should they get the benefits of showing when others cannot since the start of the war or so-called “military operation”? They need to be aware of what is really happening in Ukraine. What Putin is doing is appalling, and I can’t understand anyone supporting this.
Yes, I feel very strongly RUSSIAN dogs should be banned.
It’s the right thing to do, though I wouldn’t go as far as to remove Russian breeds from the AKC list of breeds. That’s as silly as banning Tchaikovsky. But Russian judges and dogs brought from Russia to compete? Yes, definitely, although I wouldn’t think there are many of either one. I am not including Russians who live here or are naturalized U.S. citizens.
Dr. Daniel W. Dowling
While these actions are actually close to insignificant, they do represent support of the Ukrainian people and the well-deserved disgust of the tyrant Vladimir Putin.
Shauna R. Brummet, PhD
Yes, I agree. All Russians should be informed that other people and organizations do not condone or accept what their government is doing in Ukraine. Everyone Russian should shoulder some responsibility for the actions of their government. Shunning has long been a powerful instrument to change behavior.
It really is amazing you would even ask this question. Putin has enforced censorship on the Russian people so they only receive what he wants them to hear. The whole world needs to unite to oppose this tyrant. While there are many good people who oppose Putin in Russia, Putin has done things like try to poison opposition leader Navalny and then send him to prison. Ordinary citizens are forbidden to express opinions, and face beatings and jail time for doing so. And yet some risk their lives to oppose him.
When the world unites and isolates Russia, the people will start to learn the truth. The European dog fancy understands this. I fully support banning Russia from partaking of inclusion in world events, including dog shows. Let us all support the brave people of Ukraine and democracy. While we may feel badly for good people in Russia who despise Putin, we should feel worse for Ukrainians watching their Ukrainian children killed and their lives destroyed.
YES … Whatever can be done, big or small, MUST be done.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Let's please not judge the Russian people for the actions of their leader. We don't judge our fellow Americans for our own leader's actions. Let's especially not blame the dogs! Our love and compassion draw us to our dogs and activities with them. Shouldn't we extend that compassion and love to everyone on the globe who shares those feelings?
Yes, I do agree. Although the breeders, judges and dogs are not to blame, their leader is ruthless and I believe committing war crimes against the people, breeders, judges and dogs in the Ukraine. The innocent suffer when people do not stand for what is right. Putin has been in office for so many years that I must conclude the people of Russia are either apathetic or support his views. We cannot sanction some and not others.
I feel sad for those innocents but much sadder for those innocents in Ukraine who are fighting and dying for what they believe is right for their country.
Prayers for peace.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
I much very support actions against Russian judges and the RKF. I feel great sympathy for the Ukrainian people and fully support action against Russia for this unwarranted attack. However, DON'T BLAME THE DOGS! Sanctions against registration of dogs that have already been imported, in most cases well before this conflict was ever anticipated, are simply unfair to North American dog breeders and breeds. Certainly no more dogs should be allowed to be imported from Russia while this war continues, which would mean no further registration of dogs not already here.
But those dogs that have already arrived here, or that were already transported out of Russia prior to this invasion, should certainly be allowed to complete the registration process.
Taking action against Russian breeds of dogs, and promoting actions against Russian breeds, is much like the actions taken against the population of Japanese and German citizens that were already living here, during World War II – simply unfair because of their nationality! The dogs are not the ones to blame!
Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada
I do not agree, unless placing identical sanctions on China – with a million Uyghurs in concentration camps – is next on the agenda. But we know that won't happen, because it hasn't already happened.
Dog registries should keep their noses out of geopolitics. It is not their field of expertise, nor their mandate.
Victor, New York
I have no problem with it. I'm sorry for the Russian breeders and fanciers, but our horror has to be expressed in all ways.
After World War I, one way that people came together was around preserving purebred dogs – including breeds that were heroes in the war. During World War II, valuable breeding stock was saved by cooperation among fanciers of very different political philosophies. I hope we never find out what a World War III might bring to the world of dogs, or the world at large.
Seeing the videos of so many dogs deeply valued as beloved members of the families of displaced Ukrainians has been profoundly moving. Especially poignant is recognizing some of them as native breeds not well known here. I know fanciers in bordering countries helping refugees desperately trying to keep their dogs. This generosity may prove crucial in preserving these breeds for posterity.
Today we are faced with a historical moment that requires maturity and judgment. We need to move beyond our usual repertoire; the world is simply a different place than it was a month ago.
We must all respect the decisions of each organization, regardless what our own groups do. It is not an exact science where only one answer will do; it’s an attempt to express how we want the world to be.
Do we use our increasingly unique position as an international network of people with shared cultural values to safeguard non-military relationships? To lead by example, demonstrating that a kind of common ground that transcends global politics can and does exist?
Or do we, perhaps reluctantly, decide the atrocities demand we withdraw – at least for the duration of the war – from any kind of direct collaboration with a country committing war crimes against another country that also has an active fancy. After all, Ukrainians running for their lives are also unable to judge, hold shows, or register litters. Right now they cannot even hope to protect the lives of dogs and dog people who are being killed alongside other civilians who just want to live in freedom.
One need not endorse particular decisions in order to understand and respect them. I hope that the war will end and the world will find a way to move forward together without second-guessing or pettiness. I hope the day will soon return when Russian experts can again be welcomed with open arms at shows all around the world, and that the precious bloodstock they protect will not be lost to future generations. In the meantime, the fancy will get by, just as we have the past two years when so many events have been on hiatus.
Dogs are an inextricable part of the human story. So is politics. It would be inauthentic to pretend there’s no overlap. And the world is starving for authenticity. How individuals and organizations navigate these very fraught spaces should be wholeheartedly respected commensurate to the honesty of the effort.
Trehewey, Abbotsford, Canada
I think it is sad that dogs should be used in politics. I am sure we all know our dogs help us through difficult times. We should all know that every Russian is NOT in favor of this terrible war.
By boycotting Russian dogs, we are not helping the situation to resolve itself. We should be lobbying our politicians to stop oil and gas from Russia to squeeze the banks and money going into Putin’s pockets.
T. D. Harris
We need to do everything we can to let Russia know we are against their invasion of Ukraine. We may suffer a little, but we’d suffer more if Russia does not get the message and continues to arbitrarily invade countries.
Yes, I agree with sanctions. It is unfortunate that otherwise “innocent” Russians be penalized – but we (the world community) cannot carry on “business as usual.”
Putin’s internal disinformation to Russians is that any inconveniences will pass.
Russian citizens must know, or learn, that is NOT true. Until ALL Ukrainians can enjoy “business as usual,” no Russians should have that privilege.
There is no question, Russian judges should be banned and Russian-bred and/or registered dogs should not be allowed in.
Tonawanda, New York
The Russian people must be made to share in some of the consequences of their nation’s decisions. Let them seek the truth and make Putin and the autocrats disappear
Yes. For now, to help stop the Ukrainian war, we need to sanction ALL things Russian so they "get the message" by us countering the lies and propaganda that Putin is feeding the Russian citizens.
I do NOT agree in sanctioning innocent civilians of any country. We have no say in what our dictators do, just look at our own country under this Biden administration! What goes on in this world is appalling and to take it out on the citizens of ANY country is just added evil on top of evil. Most of us want world peace and to raise our families and live in harmony with our neighbors. War is always foisted onto the people that do not want it or benefit in any way from it. In fact we are all the ones who suffer while the rich politicians get richer. It is a travesty.
Oh, the AKC has banned them? Good for them, it was about time! They are way behind the felines.
New London, New Hampshire
I disagree with this policy. While the financial impact is negligible, the social impact is significant – at least for the Russian dog fancy. This policy fails to distinguish between a government (and those who are enablers of the government) and the country’s ordinary citizens. I doubt many Russian judges and breeders are either kingpins of the government, or oligarchs who have benefitted from President Putin’s patronage.
Banning the judges/breeders will only serve to antagonize and estrange the citizens, who are blameless for their government’s actions. The United States does not benefit from alienating Russians; it is not likely to bring Russians around to understanding the world’s view.
I would hate to have been held personally responsible for some of the United States’ policies of the last administration – to wit, the border policies regarding asylum seekers.
In reference to your question about banning the registration of Russian-bred dogs: Purebred dogs should be duly registered (in their own country, at least). They would be collateral damage if unregistered; they don't deserve being stripped of that right to be registered.
I think it would be folly to invite any Russian judge for an assignment at this time because there doesn't seem to be any way to guarantee their arrival, as so many airlines have cancelled flights to Russia. The show committee would be on “pins and needles” wondering if they were going to make it. I don't think they should set themselves up for it. The judges can always be invited for one of the subsequent years without the drama.
When my daughter and I toured St. Petersburg and Moscow just a few years ago, the Russian people were so kind and genuine. One of them even told us that the 5 percent of the population in government were the only rascals; 95 percent of the citizens disagreed with the way their government was being run.
Piedmont, South Carolina
All I can say is that it's the least we can do. Russia needs to feel the pain in every possible way.
Thomas W. Baldwin
I absolutely agree. If the Russian people cannot control Putin, then they all must bear the consequences.