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Function and role of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Created in 1911, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is a worldwide canine organization aiming to promote cynology - the study and knowledge of dogs - and to encourage the breeding of pure breeds based on strict rules.

Definition of breed standards

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes a total of 352 breeds of dogs whose health, character and morphological appearance meet the requirements of the standards established by its 99 member and partner countries. Each member issues its own pedigrees and trains judges for dog shows. These criteria and requirements are the only reference on which the jury (during the shows and competitions held in the FCI member countries) and the breeders are based in their desire to produce dogs of excellent lineage. The world organization delegates to its members the maintenance of their own stud book (LOF in France).

More than a century of existence for the FCI

Based in the Belgian town of Thuin, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale was founded on May 22, 1911 by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The First World War interrupted the project and it was not until 1921 that the Société Centrale Canine de France and the Société Royale Saint-Hubert in Belgium took the initiative to recreate the FCI. The two countries were soon joined by the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.

The CFI is represented around the world

The 99 member and partner countries of the FCI represent the five continents and are divided into three geographical sections: Europe; the Americas and the Caribbean; Asia, Africa and Oceania. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale communicates with its members in its four official languages: French, English, German and Spanish. It also translates the rules and breed standards proposed by its partners.

FCI: the role of the commissions

Three mandatory commissions deal with specific issues: the standards commission, the disciplinary and arbitration commission and the scientific commission. The scientific commission deals with issues related to the health of the dog, such as hip dysplasia and other diseases affecting certain breeds, or the practice of inbreeding. At the same time, 24 optional commissions are in charge of various subjects such as exhibitions, hounds, utility dogs, rescue dogs, herding dogs, pointing dogs, retrievers and bushwhackers, greyhound racing, canicross, etc. ....

Activities of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The FCI oversees the international exhibitions and competitions organized by its members, in which the dogs must be judged according to the standards of the country of origin. Following these events, the federation verifies and certifies the titles of international champion in the various categories: beauty, working, obedience, agility, racing, performance, herding... Another activity of the FCI consists in managing the breeders' catteries. The cattery is the name of the kennel that allows to know the origins of the dog. Its registration in the French Book of Origins (LOF) represents a guarantee of traceability and security.

Framing of the breeding

The FCI has established international breeding regulations in order to legalize this activity within its member countries. The provisions concern in particular the conditions of the mating, the transfer of the breeding right and the registration of the puppies in the book of origins. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale advocates breeding to preserve and preferably extend the genetic diversity (polygenicity) of a breed. According to the FCI, "it is the responsibility of any breeder selecting a dog for breeding to ensure that the dog's character and physical condition are stable. As long as a breeder maintains the care of a puppy, he or she must allow the puppy to develop in a healthy - mentally and physically - and beneficial environment to ensure proper socialization."

Youth FCI, the next generation

The world canine organization recently created the FCI Youth group to oversee the actions of young dog lovers around the world. This initiative aims to cultivate and celebrate all activities carried out by teens, young adults and young professionals within the Fédération Cynologique Internationale's national organizations. FCI Youth is mobilizing social media to share its values and ideas to build the FCI of tomorrow, "for the benefit of dogs everywhere.