Rare Russian terrier in Escazú picked as dog of the year

The ears may get in the way of the crown.

The average dog has little chance to be a star.

Sure there are dog shows, but the bulk of the participants are upper class dogs with pedigrees who, like Miss America contestants, have been raised from puppyhood to strut their stuff.

But out at the Doggi Divino Grooming Salon, owner Laurie Sklar runs a contest for family pets who come by for hair cuts and other beauty treatments. The year’s favorite dog is selected by a vote of patrons. Some 400 votes were cast this year, said Ms. Sklar.

This year the winner is Zoey, a black Russian terrier. Ms. Sklar said that this is considered a rare breed that was developed by combining up to 17 various breeds during the 1940s in the former Soviet Union to be guard and police dogs. Today, the black Russian terrier is a highly intelligent, brave and observant pet who thrives on human contact and has a strong and balanced temperament and love to please their master, she said.

Zoey takes her job of protecting the Faa family of Escazú very seriously, Ms. Sklar said. However, when with her family, she is a gentle giant who enjoys lots of cuddles and making herself part of all family activities, especially wrestling with the kids, she added.

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