Competing at Dog Shows in the UK (inc. ATC)

Dog Showing image © David Paton

Before competing at a Kennel Club licensed Dog Show in the UK, exhibitors from overseas must obtain an 'Authority to Compete' (ATC) registration number for each dog.  Once the ATC number has been issued it will be valid for the life of the dog. 

You may not enter any competitions in the UK until you have received your ATC number, and this number must be quoted on all entry forms. Failure to do so may result in your entry form being returned.

What you need to submit :

  • Three generation pedigree (a photocopy is acceptable), issued by the overseas kennel club with which the dog is registered
  • The pedigree must show the name of the owner of the dog (the same as the person applying for the ATC)
  • Alternatively, a copy of the registration/transfer document to show that the dog is owned by the person applying for the ATC must be sent to the Kennel Club

On acceptance, the owner of a dog will receive an ATC number which as well as being quoted on all entry forms, must also be quoted on all correspondence.


  • Dogs registered overseas which were originally
    registered with the Kennel Club do not require an
    ATC number since it already has the information needed. Owners of these dogs should enter the dog's original Kennel Club registration number in place of the ATC number on all entry forms.

  • The Rules regarding obtaining an Authority to Compete (ATC) number do not apply to exhibitors or competitors from Southern Ireland or the Channel Islands.


It is the exhibitor's responsibility to ensure that their dog is eligible for the class that they have entered, especially when calculating wins which count towards the title of Champion.

Prior to exhibition, permission must be sought from the General Committee of the Kennel Club to exhibit any dog which has undergone any operation to alter its natural conformation. Dogs which have been spayed or castrated are only permitted to be exhibited at Kennel Club licensed events if the owner has informed the Kennel Club, prior to exhibition, of:

  • the date of the operation
  • the name of the veterinary surgeon
  • the practice where the operation was carried out

Dogs with cropped ears are not eligible to compete at any Kennel Club licensed event.

Overseas exhibitors are reminded that the Kennel Club has the jurisdiction to investigate, and if necessary to penalise, any breaches of Kennel Club regulations or complaints made under Rule A42.

Rules and Regulations

Kennel Club licensed Dog Shows in the UK must adhere to Kennel Club Rules and Regulations, these can be found in the Kennel Club's Year Book, which is available to buy from our from the online shop.

Entering the UK

Before you may enter the UK with your dog, you will need to comply with strict regulations laid down by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). An outline of these regulations is available here, although we would advise that you check the DEFRA website for up-to-date information:

  • A full list of the PETS Travel Scheme approved countries can be obtained from the DEFRA website.

Further details can be obtained from DEFRA in the UK at:
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR Tel No: 020 7238 6000
Helpline No: 0870 241 1710 Helpline Fax No: 020 7270 8419
Email :

The Kennel Club
The Kennel Club, 1 - 5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB
Tel No: 01296 318540 Fax No: 020 7518 1058

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Related Topics

Dog ShowingDog Shows

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