Competing in the UK

The Rules regarding obtaining an Authority to Compete (ATC) number do not apply to exhibitors or competitors from the Republic of Ireland or the Channel Islands.

An overseas competitor's guide to attending Kennel Club licensed events in the UK.

  • Guidelines, Rules and Regulations relating to competing with a dog at Kennel Club licensed events in the UK can be found in the schedules relating to the events in question, which are generally available from the secretary of the Club or Society. More detailed information can be found in the Kennel Club's Year Book, which is available from our Publications Department or from the online shop. Competitors especially need to make themselves aware of the Kennel Club rules regarding double handling, grooming and fouling. Special consideration also needs to be taken into account of certain welfare issues such as dogs left in cars on hot days.
  • However, before you may show your dog in the UK, you will need to apply for an ATC number from the Kennel Club. Forms can be obtained direct from the Kennel Club by mail or from the ATC web page. You may not enter any competitions in the UK until you have received your ATC number, and this number must be quoted on all entry forms. Failure to do so may result in your entry form being returned.
  • All applications must be submitted with a three generation pedigree for the dog (a photocopy is acceptable), issued by the overseas kennel club with which the dog is registered, and with which the Kennel Club (UK) has a reciprocal agreement, or which has membership of the FCI. The pedigree must show the name of the owner of the dog (the same as the person applying for the ATC). If the correct ownership is not shown on the pedigree, the Kennel Club would need to receive a copy of the registration/transfer document to show that the dog is owned by the person applying for the ATC.
  • On acceptance, the owner of a dog will receive an ATC number which as well as being quoted on all entry forms, must also be quoted on all correspondence.
  • N.B. Dogs registered overseas which were originally registered with the Kennel Club do not require an ATC number since it already has the information needed. Owners of these dogs should enter the dog's original Kennel Club registration number in place of the ATC number on all entry forms.
  • Owners of dogs which have subsequently gained the title of FCI International Champion or a National Champion title should inform the Kennel Club, supplying a copy of the appropriate documentation from the issuing kennel club if they wish to use the title. It should be noted that Champions are only eligible to compete in Open Breed Classes, or age restricted classes and Any Variety Champion classes.
  • It is the exhibitor's responsibility to ensure that their dog is eligible for the class that they have entered, especially when calculating wins which count towards the title of Champion.
  • Prior to exhibition, permission must be sought from the General Committee of the Kennel Club to exhibit any dog which has undergone an operation to alter its natural conformation. Dogs which have been spayed or castrated are permitted to be exhibited at Kennel Club licensed events. However, the owner of the dog must inform the Kennel Club, prior to exhibition, of the date of the operation, the name of the veterinary surgeon and the practice where the operation was carried out. Dogs with cropped ears are not eligible to compete at any Kennel Club licensed event.
  • Overseas exhibitors are reminded that the Kennel Club has the jurisdiction to investigate, and if necessary to penalise, any breaches of Kennel Club regulations or complaints made under Rule A42.
  • Before you may enter the UK with your dog, you will need to comply with strict regulations laid down by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). An outline of these regulations is given below, although we would advise that you check the DEFRA website for further information:
  • Your dog must be microchipped with an ISO approved microchip.
  • After the dog has been microchipped, it must be vaccinated with an inactivated rabies vaccine. Details of both the vaccine and microchip should be recorded on your dog's veterinary record.
  • Approximately 30 days after the vaccination, your vet should take a blood sample which must be sent to one of the DEFRA approved laboratories to check that the vaccine has taken effect. This check can be done later, although 30 days is the optimum for an accurate result.
  • The result of the blood test will be returned to your vet, and in order to pass, the titre (antibody) level must be 0.5 or more. If the titre level is less than required, then the vaccination and test must be repeated.
  • Your vet will issue a Pet Passport (for Europe) or a certificate confirming all the above on completion.
  • Six calendar months after a successful blood test you will be free to travel with your dog to the UK from the approved countries listed on the DEFRA website.
  • Dogs must be treated for ticks and parasites by a qualified vet who will record this information on a certificate (or in the Pet Passport for European dogs) not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before entry into the UK

Entering the UK

  • The routes allowing entry into the UK are various, and not all airlines and ports are currently part of the scheme. Therefore it is advisable to contact DEFRA for full details on the applicable routes and airlines.
  • All the necessary checks should be made before a dog enters the UK, except for those dogs flying into the UK, whose document will be checked on arrival at the airport.

DEFRA approved countries:

  • Andorra
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Ascension Island
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hawaii
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • La Reunion
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Monaco
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • St Helena
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St Vincent
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis & Fortuna

Further details can be obtained from DEFRA in the UK at:
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
Tel No: 020 7238 6000
Helpline No: 0870 241 1710
Helpline Fax No: 020 7270 8419
Internet: www.defra.gov.uk
Email : pets.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk

The Kennel Club
The Kennel Club, 1 – 5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB
Tel No: 0844 463 3980 Fax No: 020 7518 1058
Email: admin@thekennelclub.org.uk
Website: www.thekennelclub.org.uk