Competing in Europe

The Pet Travel Scheme allows dogs and cats from certain countries to enter, or re-enter, the United Kingdom without quarantine as long as they comply with the requirements of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This scheme has made it easier for UK exhibitors to compete overseas and a number of enthusiasts have already done so. The Kennel Club has compiled the following information as a guide for exhibitors wishing to find out more about competing overseas.

Requirements for Travelling with your Dog

In January 2012, the UK harmonised its pet travel rules with the rest of the European Union (EU) to allow for easier pet travel.The changes for anyone travelling within the EU or non-EU listed country require the owner to ensure that their dog has:

  • A microchip
  • A rabies vaccination (with a wait of 21 days before travelling). Also make sure your pet is microchipped first or the vaccination won't count.
  • A pet passport or an official third country veterinary certificate
  • Tapeworm treatment  (with an exception for Finland, Ireland, Malta and Norway).

For anyone travelling into the UK and EU from an unlisted country, their pet would need:

  • A microchip
  • A rabies vaccination (make sure your pet is microchipped first or the vaccination won't count)
  • A blood test 30 days after the rabies vaccination (the date of vaccination counts as day 0 and not day 1) then wait another 3 months from the date of the blood sample before travelling. The vet must provide a copy of the test results showing that the vaccination was successful.
  • Tapeworm treatment.

Prior to travelling, the vet must provide a copy of the results showing that the vaccination was successful. However, owners do not have to wait for three months if their pets were vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.

In both cases, owners must also use an authorised carrier and an approved route when travelling with pets.

For more information on the Pet Travel Scheme, please visit or call Defra's Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 0870 241 1710 from Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays).

How to enter shows

The Federation Cynologique International (FCI) is a world-wide organisation set up with the aim to promote purebred dogs. Contrary to widespread belief, the FCI is not a registry and nor does it have records of breeders addresses. One of its functions, however, is to set up the calendar of international dog shows. A list of shows is available from the FCI,13 Place Albert I, B-6530, Thuin, Belgium. Website:

If you require details about any of the shows on the list you will need to contact the Kennel Club of the country concerned or alternatively, obtain a copy of 'Info Expos' magazine (Jean Wastiaux - 24/2 Rue v Rousseau, B-7181, Feluy, Belgium - e-mail This magazine, published 8 times a year, includes judging lists, schedules, regulations, calendars, entry forms and other general information on about 1000 dog shows in more than 40 countries.

When choosing which shows to enter, it is very important to bear in mind the specifics of exhibiting in certain countries. For example, in order for a gundog to become a champion in Belgium the dog will require hunting certificates. Another point to remember is that the docking of dogs' tails is illegal in some parts of Europe and therefore not all countries allow the exhibition of docked dogs. Similarly, in some countries it is not permissible to show a dog which has been neutered. You will also need to familiarise yourself with the group system and breed names, which may both differ considerably from that in the United Kingdom.

You are advised to make yourself aware of any breed specific legislation which might exist in the country you intend to visit. You should be able to obtain such information from the relevant embassy in the United Kingdom or overseas Kennel Club.

You should also be aware that many countries have particular rules about dogs being carried in cars. These range from the use of cages and dog guards to leaving a dog in a car parked in a public car park. More information about this, together with details about where you can obtain some helpful leaflets, is available from the AA's website on

How to obtain a title

Awards are given overseas at both national and international level.

  • A CAC is generally considered to be the national equivalent of the breed CC awarded in Britain. 
  • A Certificate d'Aptitude au Championnat International de Beauté or CACIB is an international challenge certificate.
  • There are also awards for other disciplines such as working trials (CACIL), Obedience (CACIOB) and Agility (CACIAG). 

The relevant overseas kennel club will provide information on how to obtain a national title in all these disciplines. The FCI will provide information on how the obtain the International Beauty Champion (Int Ch) title.

Exhibitors should be aware that claims for an International title for UK based dogs should also be made direct to the FCI and that a British Champion or Show Champion title is required. For breeds which do not have Challenge Certificate status, there are other requirements which will need to be met before the claim can be put to the FCI. Exhibitors should note that under FCI regulations, a number of breeds are required to pass a working test before the Int Ch title can be awarded. Exhibitors should contact the FCI for further information about this.


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