The FCI in the process of modernisation

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is more than one hundred years old; it was actually formed in 1911 and this year celebrates its 103rd anniversary. It now has 89 member countries. Reconciling the different points of view and finding solutions that satisfy everyone (or at least the majority) is never easy.

Each member has its own structures, traditions or reality, whether economic, social or cynological.

There is, however, one area where the desire to move forward together and keep pace with the challenges of our time is undoubted; that area is the modernisation and simplification of working procedures.

Read more

Y. De Clercq
FCI Executive Director
On the path of cynology from the middle ages to 1911 (part 7/7)

Read the whole article and more in the FCI Centenary Book

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


DECHAMBRE published his excellent volume of Zootechnie Générale (General Zootechny). The second edition was published in 1910. We can find therein (among others) the “coordonnées baroniennes” (Baron) and the avalanche of sophisticated words. This work of reference was translated into Spanish and Italian. The second Dobermann club was founded on January 10th in Frankfurt: the Dobermannpinscher- Club Frankfurt. Others followed. The Apolda club changed its name to become the National Dobermann-Pinscher Club (Nationaler Dobermann-Pinscher Club, Sitz in Apolda).

Publication of the first Apolda Club stud-book. Others followed, for example in Frankfurt which was to become an important town for German cynology. The Dobermann-Verein was admitted to the Kartell in Berlin in 1908. Later on we witnessed the union of several clubs under the title of the Dobermann-Verein which is the name of the present-day club presided by Hans WIBLISHAUSER from Munich. The date was July 18th 1911 in Coblence. Later on there was a section in Belgium, the Netherlands and in France.


September 21st.: First meeting of the two Dutch clubs founded in 1874 (Nimrod) and in 1890 (Cynophilia) in view of founding a common organisation.


Publication of the rich and famous book by William ARKWRIGHT: The Pointer and His Predecessors. Here again was a man dedicated to a breed and a breed which owes him so much.

  • January 1st., three Dutch clubs: “Nimrod” (cf 1874 and 1875), “Cynophilia” (cf 1890) and the Cynological Society “Nederland” founded the “Raad van Beheer op Kynologisch Gebied in Nederland” which we simply call “Raad van Beheer” or the “Dutch Kennel Club”. It keeps the stud book (Nederlandsche Honden Stam Boek). It organized from 1902 to 1911 fifty-three shows gathering 1655 dogs. In 1912 it counted 31 associations and 378 breeders.

The most popular breeds in Holland were the St. Bernards, Great Danes, Setters, pointers, “German Pointing Dogs” and Fox Terriers. Then came the Greyhound, Whippet, German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel and the Bouvier.

  • At the end of August the founding assembly of the Society to encourage the breeding and utility of police dogs was held (on invitation of Messrs. LAUFER, VON STEPHANITZ and GOESCHEL).


July 18th.: foundation in Lausanne of the Swiss Scent hound Club.


Publication of Die deutschen Hunde und ihre Abstammung (German breeds and their origins) by Richard STREBEL. It is a very important work, in two volumes of large format, in which the author presents not only the German breeds but more than 140 breeds. It represents a detailed and methodical study. Hans RAEBER, former President of the F.C.I. Standards Commission, stressed the importance of this work. STREBEL, breeder, judge, author and artist also dedicated his life to dogs.

  • The Italian stud-book is proud of the 1003 inscriptions registered since its creation in 1882.
  • August 14th., first trial in Berne for ambulance, police and war dogs.


In Germany, we witnessed an explosion of dog shows and dog clubs, each having its own “book”. Considering that the “Delegates Commission”, founded in 1878, did not assume its functions correctly, Baron VON GINGINS and Ernst VON OTTO summoned the representatives of eight clubs to a meeting in Frankfurt-on-Main on July 16th. The following clubs attended this meeting: The Griffon Club, founded in 1893 (von Ginging’s club), the Borzoi Club, founded in 1892 (club of von Otto, who was also editor from 1885 to 1914 of Hundesport und Jagd (Canine sports and hunting), the Dachshund Club (cf 1888), the Setter Club, founded in 1902, the Fox-Terrier Club, founded in 1889, the “Kurzhaar” Club (German pointer), founded in 1890, the German Shepherd Club (cf 1899) and the Wire-haired Terrier Club, founded in 1894.

During this meeting the Kartell der stammbuchführende Spezialklubs für Jagd und Nutzhunde (Cartel of breed clubs holding a stud book for hunting and utility dogs) was founded. It was simply referred to as the Cartel (das Kartell).


The first Assembly of the Cartel was held in Hanover on May 26th. The “Show Rules and regulations” were adopted.


Assembly of the Cartel in February. The principles of negotiations were established in view to an agreement with the “Delegates Commission” (D.C.).

  • During the Assembly in Berlin, the Boxer, St. Bernard, Bulldog and Dobermann Clubs joined the Cartel which became Kartell der stammbuchführenden Spezialklubs (Cartel of Breed Clubs holding a stud-book).
  • At a meeting in Darmstadt, the Cartel authorised the affiliation of regional dog societies under certain conditions.
  • J.Hay HUTCHISON published his famous The Perfect Bulldog in Word and Picture, a guide for Exhibitors, Breeders and Judges which fanciers would have been well advised to always follow…and which is now back in the headlines.
  • July 20th. : Karl SCHEIRMANN, from Mannheim (1856-1944), founded the 1st German club for Dogues de Bordeaux along with Wilhelm THOMAS and Henrich HEIDEREICH. In Bordeaux, during his inaugural speech for the creation of “his” club: “The Dogue de Bordeaux”, Professor KUNSTLER officially thanked Mr. SCHEIRMANN. It is a good example of Franco-German collaboration.


December 27th saw the creation of the first Dogue de Bordeaux Club in Bordeaux; it was presided by Professor KUNSTLER.

  • The first French Bulldog Club in Germany was founded in Munich by a German, Heinrich KNOTZ, an Englishman, Ernest LANGFORD and an Austrian lady, Maria MUELLER as well as a Spanish representative, John BLACKER. The club was “international”.


The Cartel renewed its international relations. On August 8th 1910, in The Hague, it concluded an agreement of mutual recognition with the Austrian, Swiss, Belgian and French Kennel Clubs (the German writer forgot to mention the Dutch Kennel Club). The “Cartel” was to send a representative to the founding Assembly of the F.C.I. Its founder did not participate: Baron VON GINGINGS died on August 5th 1911. The presidency was assumed by Doctor ROESEBECK from 1911 to 1933. In 1910, at the preparatory congress in The Hague, Germany was not only represented by the “Cartel” but also by the Delegates Commission (Delegierten Commission). Both entities appear in the rules and regulations of the F.C.I., drawn up on March 7th 1911 in Brussels.

The Spanish Kennel Club has not been mentioned because the Real Sociedad Central Para el Fomento de las Razes Caninas en España was not founded until June 27th 1911 in Madrid and its rules and regulations only became official on November 16th 1912. The first show was also held in Madrid in 1912. Nevertheless, the name of the first president, Manuel Alvarez DE LAS ASTURIAS BOHORQUES Y PONCE DE LEON, COUNT OF LERIDA, appeared in the report of the Royal Saint-Hubert Society of February 28th 1912. It was stipulated therein that, as soon as the F.C.I. was founded, the Spanish Kennel Club, presided by the Count of LERIDA, requested a treaty of alliance. The Count of Lerida obviously had contacts outside Spain because the first dog registered in the Spanish stud-book is Viana de Châtelaine, a smooth-haired Fox Terrier bred by E. VAUCHER of Paris.

KUNSTLER, Professor of compared Anatomy and Embryogeny at the Bordeaux Faculty of Sciences, Conservator of the Bordeaux Museum of Natural History from 1898 to 1921, published his Etude critique sur le Dogue de Bordeaux aux expositions françaises de 1910 (Critical study of the Dogue de Bordeaux at French shows in 1910) followed by Prolégomènes pour servir à l’établissement d’un Standard du Dogue de Bordeaux (Prolegomena to help write a standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux , a first standard which was quite remarkable for this breed. Professor KUNSTLER was also a breeder and judge. He judged in Bordeaux and in Paris, Cours-la-Reine, for the 40th show organised by the French Kennel Club. He also gave lectures on dogs in the city of Bordeaux. He was thus a truly great cynologist and dog-man, creator of the modern Dogue de Bordeaux and had no concern about controversy when he rejected exaggerations and the “hideous folds”. He was the alliance of science and passion. An example to be followed.

Fom the middle of the XIXth century, we observe the explosion of dog shows with the multiplication of bigger and bigger exhibitions. In France, the railway company offered special prices to fanciers travelling to shows. In England, the organizers of 101 the Birmingham show met “un-accompanied dogs” at the railway station and transported them to the show venue the night before. Accompanied or not, 150.000 dogs travelled on British railways on their way to and from dog shows in 1894 (A. OLIVER). Dogs Clubs appeared everywhere with numerous breeders. The breeds continued to diversify. Some varieties became breeds. Pure-bred dogs became known in other levels of society, among the high class personalities of this world (the English Royal family and also Bismark with his Great Danes), artists (from Mistinguette to Chaliapine). Dozens of books were published in Great Britain by knowledgeable fanciers, passionate breeders, experienced users; in France and Belgium scientists often joined the committees of breed clubs. Magazines and dog newspapers, often originating from hunting communities, appear all over. Novelists put dogs on stage. In France, COLETTE wrote delightful pages, full of love and subtlety about her dogs. In England, GISSING was born in 1857, thus with the onset of cynology. In his book, The Town Traveller, 1898, one of the characters, Mr. Gammon, gives many technical details on the dog and talks like a standard or a judge’s critic. He gathered all the terminology of canine jargon. The author must have attended shows and studied specialized literature. He became initiated. He was, I believe, a unique case who demonstrated the impact cynology had on the society at the end of the XIXth century.

It goes without saying that this enthusiasm met with reactions against what was considered as a luxury (there were “luxury dogs” classes) at a time when labourers worked 10 hours per day and when 10 year old children worked for miserable wages. In Les bons chiens, BAUDELAIRE, sings “les bons chiens, les pauvres chiens, les chiens crottés” (“good dogs, poor dogs, dirty dogs”), « les chiens sans domicile » (stray dogs) and rejects « danois, king-charles, carlin ou gredin » (Great Danes, King-Charles, Pugs) : « A la niche, tous ces fatigants parasites » (to the kennel, all these tiresome parasites). These poems were published in 1869. The dog fanciers, boosted by their passion, paid no attention. It took them no more than ten years to penetrate all levels of society. They widened their territory, exhibited in other countries and went beyond the borders for stud-dogs or puppies. For example, the Belgian stud-book includes, from the beginning, dogs born in France. The number 35 of Chasse et pêche, dated May 27th 1911, which covered the 41st Paris show with almost 1200 entries, paid tribute to Mr. Paul MEGNIN “who placed the canine press at the level of the great weekly press” and to Mr. SODENKAMP, a judge “as well-known by the dog fanciers on the banks of the Seine as those of the Neva”. However, the rules, the classification of the breeds and the standards differ. The dog fanciers, having made international contacts, felt the need to try to unify the dog world as much as possible. This is what was to happen in Brussels in 1911 and, for example, the Swiss Kennel Club abandoned the English method of classing dogs at shows and adopted that of the German “Cartel” with “Excellent”, “Very Good”, “Good” and “Satisfactory” (befriedigend which became genügend, corresponding to “Assez bon” in French and “Good enough” in English). The minutes of the General Assemblies of the Royal Saint-Hubert Society, held at the Hotel de la Poste in Brussels on February 22nd 1911 and February 28th 1912, presided by Baron W. delMARMOL, were rich in information as to “the realisation of the unification and recognition of the rules of canine sport”.


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