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Showing Overseas

Firstly: You will require a pet passport. For this you must go to your vet and he will check the dogs health and give it a microchip and a RABIES vaccination. After three weeks (the time has now been reduced) the dog goes back to the vet and a blood sample is taken and this is sent off to the laboratories in Weybridge. The vet is then notified that the immunity levels are correct. If not, a second rabies vaccination is needed and the whole process is repeated. The vaccination is valid for three years. The dog is able to get back in this country SIX months after the valid vaccination has been given, not six months after the results of the test.

Now that all the results are with you and the waiting game begins, you can begin to look at schedules. The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) has a website www.fci.be and has the International shows listed. If you are going to a show these are the ones to go to. All the shows are Championship shows, but many of these are national shows – at these you can win a CAC which is the equivalent of our CC. How many you have to win to make up a champion varies from country, and whether your dog is a British champion.
At an International show you get CACs and also a CACIB if your dog is deemed good enough. The CACIB is an international award and for your dog to be an International Champion your dog has to be – a champion in its own country, and won 4 CACIBs in 3 different countries under different judges.

 For the French shows or www.scc.fr should get you some more details. Schedules are not easy to get for the first time, and patience and being able to speak French goes a long way.

Having found your show and received the schedule, read the small print carefully. You may find that the show asks for more vaccinations or an annual rabies vaccination – you can argue until you are blue in the face that it’s OK. But if the show wants annual rabies shots and yours is out of date, they will not let you in. They are very hot on looking at paperwork as a rule, so have your pet passport clutched in your hand as you go into the show. Every dog is vet checked on its way in. They will not allow dogs in who are not entire or bitches who are in season. If you think you bitch is due to come into season go to your vet and have it put off for a while. (It’s not a bad idea to take some alcohol hand rub for the vet’s hands before he goes over your dog, after all he has just touched 200 others before yours!)

What class do you go into – again read this carefully. In some countries you can get a CAC and a CACIB from the Champions class, others the CACIB only. Otherwise enter your champion in the Open class. If your dog, for example, is already a German Champion and wins best of sex and is graded excellent you will get the CACIB but not the CAC this is passed down the line to the reserve best of sex. After all you do not need it, your dog is already a German Champion! (Some rules make real sense!) However we are getting ahead of ourselves. Youngsters under 15 months cannot win a CAC or a CACIB, so they go in the age classes. You then have a choice of Intermediate, Open or Champion classes.

Having filled out the form, send it together with copies of KC registration, and pedigree, and if a champion, a copy of this certificate too. Credit cards are such a boon these days. Banker’s cheques are expensive, and putting euros in is dodgy, but not all shows have a credit card facility. Amazingly enough, many of them let you pay on the day, but do speak to someone beforehand to check this out.

Travel: If you can go to your first show with a coach tour, this is great because there are plenty of people who know the ropes and will help you along. Make sure you have a metal crate for the coach, and for ease a soft crate and trolley for the show. A chair is a good idea too. Bring bottled drinking water for the dog for the whole trip or add Lectade to the water. Strange surroundings can give violent diarrhoea. Bring extra bedding and a fan. It can get very hot on the Continent. If going by car: ‘sat nav’ is a great invention. Allow plenty of time to get settled and work out where everything is. The great thing is, so many people speak English.

Before you go: Get the vet to stamp your pet passport that the dog is ‘fit to travel’. Take with you worming tablets (such as Drontal) and Frontline. Can be expensive if you forget and have to buy them from the vet.Your pet passport has to be stamped by a vet to get you back to the UK, also the ‘fit to travel’ bit has to be done again. The big shows where there are many overseas visitors the vets will stay to do this. Remember, when you get to Calais or whatever port you travel through, the worming and tick treatment must be done MORE than 24 hours before you get there and LESS than 48. So it’s no good going to a vet in Calais and then on to the ferry. You will be sent away and will have to stay the night!

If you just want to put your foot in the water and see what International shows are like. Go to Southern Ireland. They are now in the FCI and have International shows. The Irish Kennel Club will give you the details about this. The dogs that go there have to registered with them before entry though. Ireland could be the country where you get 2 of your CACIB’s and it’s almost like home!

Flying: Heathrow is the only airport, through which you can bring dogs, and the dogs have to come in cargo and this is very expensive.