Is Your Dog REALLY an International Champion?


What does it mean to be an International Champion? That depends on how you acquired it.


There are three versions. The first is actually attending and earning a championship in a designated Federacion Cynologique International (FCI) Dog Show. That is a TRUE International Championshipsetstats. Any advertisements could officially read: FCI Int’l CH Big Hound Dog, since only the FCI in Belgium endorses the CACIB ticket toward the International Title. The atmosphere at these shows can be highly competitive. Their International shows range from 800 to around 20,000 and are specific to a country. They also endorse and provide the title World Champion at shows held every year in the host country of the current FCI President. To learn more about this truly prestigious organization, you can visit their website: GO TO:


The second could mean that you have a dog who you have shown to an AKC Championship title then traveled to Mexico or Canada for another championship in that country. The AKC title isn’t a necessity, but it looks good on the advertisements!! Like, Am/Can CH Big Hound Dog. Having crossed the border into another country does, afterall, implies “internationally titled”. The dog simply needs to be titled in a country other than its country of residence to be “internationally titled”.


The third version would be to attend and be awarded a Championship from another 1registry claiming International status, such as the International All-Breed Kennel Club, or the International All-Breed Canine Association of America (of Canada, as well). The premium list almost always states that they have affiliation and sanction from a foreign country, usually Germany. They offer a list of Championship levels, including ones for puppies 3 months up to 18 months. It is this version that is sometimes advertised in U.S. dog magazines as “International”, yet was obtained from an affiliate Club in the U.S. Unless the ad stipulates “FCI International”, it is probably from one of these other organizations. At these 3rd version shows, every class entered has a fee; recertification of a title has a fee—that’s for EVERY title, and there are over a dozen titles available, as well as a fee for participation in certain Special Classes (e.g., Bred-By Exhibitor Best Of Breed has a fee for entering if you qualify). In one weekend, an exhibitor can earn 2 or 3 titles and pay for them before leaving the grounds. This is very handy, to be sure. Having been an exhibitor at a few of these shows, I can report that my titles were easily won—no competition in my breed, the critiques were spot on which I appreciated, and the dollars spent (over $600 for 4 shows plus certification of 6 Championships awarded to two dogs), were worth about half that amount in the entertainment and educational value.


There are many good things to recommend these local “international” shows: the Spay/Neuter Class, two shows in one day, and small entries allowing more interaction with other breeds including many rare breeds not seen at AKC or CKC shows. They are relaxed like big Club Matches. Bring a picnic; stay all day. Unless you own a Rare Breed, consider these “international” shows merely a learning experience. This “international title”, to the knowledgeable, means you had a really good time—and probably spent a lot of money.



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