FCI in transition

We are living in a changeable world. Politically the last 25 years have been characterised by very big changes: New countries have emerged, others have dissolved and new state formations have appeared.

This has of course affected the FCI and our whole organisation. We have become many more members and before long we will probably pass a total of 100 full member countries, associated countries and contract partners. And not many years ago we were “only” 70 countries.
As most people will know, our statutes are based on the principle “one country – one vote” and this principle will surely be challenged in the coming years, as the rapid increase in the number of members with a lot of quite small kennel clubs is diluting the influence of the large and middle-sized countries; those countries that pay for almost the entire running of the FCI (the 5 largest contributors pay more than 1/3 of the total income of the FCI).

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Jørgen Hindse
On the path of cynology from the middle ages to 1911 (part 4/7)

Read the whole article and more in the FCI Centenary Book www.fci.be/onlinecatalogue.aspx

Raymond TRIQUET, France
Senior « Maître de Conférence » at the University of Lille III,
former President of the FCI Standards Commission
Translation: Jennifer Mulholland

Germany was not left out of the scene as REICHENBACH published Der Hund (The Dog) in Leipzig as early as 1836. Around 1840, the fanciers of pure-bred dogs felt the need to get together to compare their dogs and organize the first contests (matches) even sometimes, at the beginning, in the same seedy taverns where the matches between ratters or even fights were held even though they were banned. Sportsmen were the first to assemble their dogs to “judge” them, that is to assess them according to beauty criteria as there was a new appreciation of the morphology and esthetics of the dog. The first known dog show (for the time being) was held in Tervueren, Belgium, on May 28, 1847. Only one breed was exhibited: the English Pointer with 60 exhibits evaluated by three judges. It is not surprising that Belgian hunters took this initiative because they were already well organized. The rules and regulations of the “Société des propriétaires et Amateurs de chasse pour aider la répression du braconnage dans la province de Brabant » (Association of owners and hunting fanciers to help the repression of poaching in the province of Brabant) were published in Brussels in 1859 whereas its French counterpart, the “Société Centrale des chasseurs pour aider la repression du braconnage” (Central Society of hunters to help the repression of poaching) did not publish its rules and regulations until 1868. It seems that there were no other exhibitions in Belgium before 1880. In any case, it is certain that everywhere dog shows always preceded the creation of canine organizations. We will try to draw up a list, year by year.


Ist English exhibition in Newcastle, in the Town Hall, on June 28 & 29, which was considered for a long time as the first exhibition in the world (English authorities believe that, with a thorough search, we would find earlier shows). Two breeds were represented with a total of 60 entries: Pointers and Setters. Five judges officiated, amongst whom the famous John Henry WALSH, known as “STONEHENGE”, editor of The Field magazine which supported this manifestation and wrote an article about it. He was the only one to judge both breeds. It was Mr. BRAILSFORD, the instigator of the show and Setter judge, who won with his “liver and white” Pointer. For the Setters, the prize was won by a dog belonging to Mr. J. JOBLING who judged the Pointers. Mr. W.R. PAPE, a gunsmith from Newcastle, offered a double barrelled rifle to the winner of each section. Strangely enough, 100 years later, it was the custom of the Club St. Hubert du Nord to offer a gun to the winners. The same year, in November, the second English exhibition with 80 entries was organized by Mr. BRAILSFORD in Birmingham for Pointers, English Setters, Retrievers, Clumber Spaniels and Cockers. The diversification of breeds was a reality.


Birmingham’s second show took place on Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 December. 267 dogs were entered and it was the first show open to two groups (called “divisions”): sporting dogs, from Bloodhounds to Spaniels, including Greyhounds and Irish Setters as well as non-sporting dogs (“dogs or bitches”). The word “dog” is well defined here, dogs in general, from the word “dog” meaning the male, the generic definition against the specific definition. It was the beginning of the classification of breeds for shows. In the second “division” we find Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, Sheep Dogs (with no other precision), Black and Tan terriers, “White terriers and other English terriers, Scotch terrier including Skye terriers, Pugs, Italian greyhounds, Blenheim Spaniels (nowadays, a variety of King Charles or Cavalier King Charles which were not yet known at the time), King Charles spaniels, Toy terriers, not to mention the “foreign dogs” (about which Vero SHAW said in 1881: “those we secretly despise”). We will come back to this.

These shows were a great success, attracting even high society. In the first Birmingham Council there were eleven Marquis, Earls, Lords, Knights or Baronets. Many of them were exhibitors. In the beginning it was exclusively a man’s pastime. The owners did not show their dogs themselves. Handlers, paid by the organizing Society (something to think about!) took care of everything. For many years (according to Annette OLIVIER) the selling price of the dogs exhibited was given in the catalogue and it even happened that a dog changed owners “once or twice during the show”.


Leeds – “North of England” show – the 16, 17 and 18 July with the same two divisions.
Again Birmingham, the 2, 3 and 4 December. Here we find a Cuban dog (?) who won first prize, a Chinese Sacred Dog, a French poodle, a Pyrenean dog and …a Russian setter (?).
Manchester with a Dandie Dinmont, a “Pomeranian Fox-dog”, two “Esquimaux” (in French), a “Tartar Sheep-dog”. We can see that, very early, dog fanciers were attracted to rare dogs, those that the others did not have. Dogs were imported from China (and, especially after the looting of the Summer Palace in Peking in 1860, by British and French troops), from India and Russia (“Russian Wolfhounds”, i.e. Borzois). We notice that, in the beginning, these shows were organized in the industrial regions of the centre and north of England.
In France, the first dog show was organized in May at Boulogne-sur-Mer by a dogfancier, Mr.du LORIN.


London, in the Islington “Agricultural Hall” from June 24 to 28, but the show was still organized by the “North of England” Committee.
Birmingham, for four days, from December 1 to 4, thus becoming the leading society of the evolving dogdom.


A very important year.

  • The first “national” London show was held in Chelsea, from March 23rd to 28th, with 1214 entries.
  • London (again): The first “international” show was held in Islington from Monday, March 25 to Saturday 30th, with more than 2000 dogs shown.
  • Birmingham during 4 days, from November 30th to December 3rd with 570 entries.
  • The first German show for pure-bred dogs was held in July in Hamburg, in the St. Pauli gymnasium, with 453 entries. The next show in Altona in 1869 gathered 1353 dogs. Then came the shows in Kannstadt in 1871 and Stuttgart in 1873.
  • The 1st official French dog show was held under the reign of Napoleon III (Prince Napoleon showed a pack of Foxhounds). It was organized at the Jardin d’Acclimatation on May 3rd. It was not an “English” style show. The show gave rise to a census, a “study and overall revision of the species, under the patronage of the most important scientific, cynegetic and artistic experts”, and was presided by M. DE QUATREFAGES, of the Institute, naturalist and anthropologist, Professor at the Paris Museum of Natural History and under the supervision of M. GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, naturalist and Professor of zoology at the museum. Of the 1000 dogs shown, 200 were disqualified: they did not display “sufficient characteristics of the breed” (according to MEGNIN). The Dogue de Bordeaux bore its official name for the first time. There were still only “French shepherd dogs” (13) even if the name “Brie shepherd dog” (Briard) has been known since 1809 (LUQUET).


May 27th to 31st, the London show planned a class: Chinese and Japanese dogs.


2nd show was organized in Paris, Cours la Reine, by the same “Jardin zoologique d’Acclimatation du Bois de Boulogne” Society. It was called the “Universal Dog Breeds Show”. This time one could distinguish “Brie dogs and other French shepherd dogs” which formed the first class of the first category. “Utilité” breeds (which, as we can see, has nothing to do with the present-day English “Utility” group which assembles breeds which cannot be included elsewhere, for example the Bulldog along with the Poodle and the Dalmatian). The second category was for “Chiens de chasse courants” (hounds). The third category concerned “Hunting pointers” and stipulated “short haired pointing dogs or braques”. It included the “Braque Dupuy” (now extinct), the “tailless Bourbonnais Pointer”, the “double-nosed Pointer” (it was believed that dogs with “double noses” could breathe better and had more keenness of scent), and, already in France, the German Pointer. Further along we find “Long-haired and wirehaired Pointing dogs” with the “English spaniel” (Setter), the “Double-nosed Spaniel”, the “Black and tan Spaniel” (Gordon), “Irish Spaniels”, “Sussex Spaniels” (Springer), “Devonshire Cockers”, “Water Spaniels” and “Retrievers”. The Griffon Pointers and the Barbets are in a separate class with the “Great Russian Barbet” (?). The fourth category was for the Sight Hounds, “short-haired” and “long-haired” including the “Russian Greyhound”; the word “Barzoï” did not appear in French until 1932 whereas the word “Borzoi” exists in English since 1887 (O.E.D.). The fifth and last category was for “luxury breeds”, “Italian Greyhounds”, “Mexican and Chinese hairless dogs”, Pugs and the “Alicante dog” which was already mentioned by BUFFON. These five “categories” were divided into forty-three “classes”. Each class included a presentation of the dogs and a historical text often taken from Hamilton SMITH’s works, proving the importance of English influence. We also find a quote from Pierre PICHOT (in reality, Pierre-Amédée PICHOT, 1841-1921, a falconry enthusiast, very pro-English and owner of the Revue Britannique, which explains the citations from Cross-Channel authors). In 1863 PICHOT, we ignore on which account, judged the Dogues de Bordeaux. He wrote, in regard of “the dogs which cattle drovers use” (thus, cattledogs): “The majority are born without a tail, an anomaly which is without a doubt a hereditary transmission caused by sectioning this appendage”. This belief which makes us smile today was still taught by GAYOT in 1867 and took up a full page of his famous Le Chien, histoire naturelle: “The source of this anomaly was surely amputation by the hand of man (...) it is therefore following successive mutilations in the same family that this deformity became hereditary and that the work of our Creator was modified little by little”. Another strange notion about heredity: it was believed that the marks on the coats of puppies depended on the lighting on the dam during mating (Chasse et Pêche, n° 48, August 26, 1911).

  • The year 1865 also saw the organization of the world’s first Field-Trial, Tuesday April 18, on the property of M. WHITBREAD, member of Parliament, at Southill, in the county of Bedfordshire. One of the two judges was the famous Reverend (another one) Thomas PEARCE, a hunter and owner of many dogs, who published in 1872, under the name of IDSTONE, a very personal book: The Dog comprising the description of 41 breeds. On this April 18th 1865, two breeds were in competition: Pointers and Setters. The judges’ notes on the manner in which the dog covered the ground and searched were published. We can also notice that the majority of the dogs took part in the Islington show the following June. So, the very English custom of separating working and show dogs was not yet in place.


  • Eugène GAYOT (1808-1891), a veterinary surgeon, member of the Société Impériale et centralel d’Agriculture de France, presented in his 546-page book, Le Chien, histoire naturelle, in a lively and very personal style of a zootechnician and storyteller, twenty-six categories of dogs amongst which were mongrels and street dogs. His wonderfully old-fashioned chapter titles are like those of the Comtesse de Ségur and the entire work is fascinating.
  • “The most important French cynegetic magazine” (THIEBAUD) was presented on August 3rd: La Chasse illustreé, covering the pleasures of the farm and castle, which became in 1869 La Chasse illustrée et la vie à la campagne (Illustrated hunting and country life). Suspended during the 1870 war, the magazine ceased publication with the on-set of the 1914-18 war.


  • At the crafts, botanical and zoological exhibition in Berne, capital of the Swiss Confederation, there was a section assigned to dogs.


LAVERACK published his famous book: The Setter. He was the pioneer for describing the Setters and also for publishing his own pedigrees. His variety was described in detail, more or less in the same sequence as today. To tell the truth, it was a standard along with comments. The author gives a true lesson as a breeder, user and exhibitor. He exposed the efficiency of in-breeding (DENIS). He was a man full of passion, who admitted to having devoted a great part of his life to “his” breed. He was perhaps the first great cynologist. Also the first to have mentioned the unpredictable side of dog shows.

  • The first dog show in Holland was held in Rotterdam on May 28th, at the same time as a poultry show.


  • The Kennel Club was founded in Great Britain: “The Kennel Club”, the only one which does not carry a nationality adjective in its name because it was the first one (by date and in the heart of English dog fanciers). The majority of the thirteen gentlemen who met on April 4th, 1873 at 2 Albert Mansions, Victoria Street, London, in view of founding the Kennel Club on the initiative of Mr. SHIRLEY, came either from the Birmingham area or were involved in the Birmingham Dog Show Society. Almost all of them had exhibited dogs. There was only one Viscount, a colonel and a clergyman well known for being a dog fancier, the Reverend J.C. MACDONA. Two months later, on June 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th, a dog show was held “under the patronage of The Kennel Club”. It was at Crystal Palace and there were 975 dogs. The first general Assembly was held on December 1st, 1874 in Birmingham and was presided by Mr. SHIRLEY. Rapidly, the “rules” helped to unify the organization of shows and field trials in Great Britain.
  • During the same year, the “Imperial Society for the propagation of the hunting dog and hunting regulations” was founded in Russia on the initiative of Count Vassili Alexeivitch CHEREMETIEV; it was under the patronage of “The House of Romanovs” until 1917 (source: R.K.F.).
    Here we have the same procedure as in Belgium and France. It was the hunters who established the first associations. This “Imperial Society” was re-established in Russia in June 2000 on the initiative of Prince Andrei Kirillovitch GOLITSINE.


  • 1st show for hunting breeds in Moscow. Shows and coursing events (hare and even wolves) followed. Industry began to expand and the people could travel much easier: Russia built 21300 kms of railway lines between 1860 and 1880 ( SOKOLOFF).
  • 1st General Assembly of The Kennel Club on December 1st in Birmingham.
  • London, publication of the first Stud-Book (the word was borrowed from horsemanship), edited and compiled by Frank C.S. PEARCE, son of Reverend Thomas PEARCE. This superb volume was handed out on the first day of the Birmingham show on December 1st 1874. Apart from the Kennel Club rules concerning dog shows and field trials, the list of Kennel Club members under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the shows from 1859 to 1873 (there were eight), the names of the judges and the results, field trials from 1865 to 1873 (four) with the judges’ comments, the Stud-Book gave, in the “Pedigrees” chapter, the list of births per breed, in the order of the “classes mentioned above”. It comprised 4027 dogs with the name and address of the owners, the name of the breeder (kennel names did not yet exist), the names of the parents, those who bred them and the show results. Taking into account the resources at the time in regard to printing and publishing, this represented a remarkable achievement which was to become a reference for the entire world. The first stud-book begins with Bloodhounds (St. Hubert in Belgium and France) which form class 1. Thus the first inscription is a female with a French name (Abeille), born in 1865, previously owned by French people, then owned by an Englishman but whose breeder was none other than Prince Napoleon. The very clever notes enable us to see that Abeille’s dam, born in Durham (N.E. England) really belonged to the Prince. This is perfect for establishing a complete pedigree. The stud book illustrates the reality of the French-English exchanges and also that the important people in this world could not only become users but also breeders.
  • January 1st: The “Dutch Hunting Society Nemrod” (de Nederlandsche Jachtvereeniging Nimrod) was founded.
  • Second Dutch show organized by “Nimrod” on April 11 & 12th in Amsterdam on the same lines as the 1872 show.
  • February 5th, 1874, publication of the first French weekly magazine, L’Acclimatation for farmers, breeders and hunters. This magazine existed until 1932.