A person who wants to buy a purebred dog often encounters a huge problem. On the one hand, paying a few thousand for a thoroughbred puppy may seem like an exaggeration when you can buy it for PLN 500. On the other hand, apparently only dogs from ZKwP and FCI are truly purebred … But they are so expensive! Why is a more expensive dog a better dog if it is still the same breed? And why are FCI kennels considered better than others?
What is FCI?
FCI, i.e. Fédération Cynologique Internationale, is an international canine organization based in Belgium. It owns 99 national organizations – one from each of 99 member or partner countries. It is therefore the largest international cynological organization. She deals with developing dog breed standards, breeding, exhibition and training regulations, as well as supervising dog exhibitions and competitions. Thanks to this superior organization, all countries and kennels can exchange information about dogs and pedigrees of individual animals, taking care not only about the proper appearance of purebred dogs, but also about their health, eliminating serious genetic diseases from the population.
This organization also trains cynological judges, who at dog shows decide which of the purebred quadrupeds are suitable for further breeding. Only dogs with pedigree from this organization’s breeding are allowed to participate in exhibitions supervised by FCI. It is only thanks to him that the judge has no doubts whether the pooch is purebred or is it just a good-looking mongrel. It is also known exactly what origin the pooch is, what genes it carries and what is the probability of occurrence of various defects in his offspring.
The international FCI pedigree database allows breeders to connect dogs from even the furthest parts of the world. Without the risk of one dog being hybrid or their offspring being seriously ill. When buying a dog from FCI kennel we are sure that we are buying a pure breed dog. We can present it at exhibitions in Poland and international, and in almost every other country. FCI also makes every effort to ensure that dogs in member kennels are kept in good conditions, that they are well cared for, properly fed and treated. He also cares about education and broadening knowledge about dogs and their health. Both FCI and its members have the status of a non-profit organization.
Other FCI-like organizations
Not all countries have decided to join the FCI. These include the United States and Great Britain. They have their own cynological organizations, which are governed by slightly different rules. Works in the USA American Kennel Club (AKC), but in Great Britain it exists Kennel Club in the United Kingdom (KC). However, both these organizations work in consultation with the FCI, with whom they honor each other’s pedigrees. In addition to these organizations, there are also other unions which, however, do not operate on such a scale and their members are not subject to such strict regulations.
What is ZKwP?
According to FCI rules, only one cynological organization from each country can be a member. In Poland, it is the Kennel Club in Poland (ZKwP). All farms belonging to this organization also automatically become members of the FCI. This means that buying a dog from the Polish ZKwP kennel will be exactly the same as buying a dog from FCI.
ZKwP is the largest cynological organization in our country. It has 47 field branches and supervises its farms. He reviews newly born dog litters, publishes birth records and pedigrees, organizes exhibitions and training, as well as promotes dog welfare. Kennels registered in ZKwP must meet appropriate standards and examine dogs for the most common diseases occurring in the breed. Before allowing breeding, dogs must obtain breeding rights by participating in a designated number of exhibitions and obtaining an appropriate grade from an FCI judge. At these events not only the appearance of the dog is assessed, but also his behavior – aggressive dogs are disqualified and do not receive a rating.
The Kennel Club in Poland also cares for the health of breeding bitches. Each bitch with breeding rights can give birth to puppies up to once a year. After the age of eight he retires and its further reproduction becomes prohibited. Thanks to all this, when buying a puppy from ZKwP kennel we know that his parents were healthy, mentally stable and properly built representatives of their breed. The pedigree of this dog will be recognized at international shows, and we will have confidence in its origin.
What about farms that do not belong to ZKwP?
Pursuant to the Act on the protection of animals, breeding dogs for commercial purposes is only allowed in kennels registered in national social organizations whose statutory purpose is activity related to breeding purebred dogs. In other words – selling puppies by people not registered in any association is illegal. Since the introduction of this provision in January 2012, dozens of organizations have been created in Poland, whose main task has been to allow people breeding dogs to sell puppies legally.
To establish an association dealing with dog breeding, three people are enough, regulations and registration with the staroste. People establishing such an association do not need to have any knowledge about dogs, their breeding, genetics or health. Members of such an organization determine the rules on which they will operate, and their farms are not subject to any external regulations. Often the activities of these associations are referred to as „amateur” or „hobby”, and dogs used for breeding do not need to have any qualifications, genetic tests, assessments of qualified judges or a proven, stable psyche. Most such organizations do not set litter limits that a bitch can give birth to. So often dogs in kennels belonging to these associations are exploited without any restrictions, including age. Puppies coming into the world do not undergo any obligatory reviews in ZKwP. It also doesn’t work in what conditions dogs are kept.
Pedigrees issued by such organizations are not verified in any way. In some associations, the origin of the dogs used in the kennel is not known at all – so it is not known if they are truly purebred dogs or just appropriate looking mongrels. The pedigrees exhibited are often incomplete … And they are not recognized by any international organization. From the point of view of FCI, a dog born in Poland in a kennel registered in an association other than ZKwP is simply a mongrel. He cannot take part in international exhibitions.
Is it worth buying puppies from outside the ZKwP and FCI kennel?
When buying a puppy from a kennel not associated in ZKwP, we are not sure about his origin or genetic diseases that may appear in his life. We also do not know if his parents were purebred dogs and whether among them there was a case of an animal of unknown origin. And that’s not why you buy a purebred dog so as not to know if he is really purebred! When buying a purebred dog, we would also like to be sure that it will be healthy and mentally stable. We often choose a dog of a given breed because of the specific character traits and the safety of our children! We would also like our dog to be raised in a warm home, not in a dirty barn. We can take a nice looking dog in a poke for free in a shelter!
Is every ZKwP and FCI kennel perfect?
Belonging to ZKwP or FCI does not guarantee that dogs originating from it live in good conditions and are healthy, although they should be. However, these organizations are the few who really visit farms and require breeders to perform research on selected diseases. When choosing a kennel from which you want to buy a dog, we must always be careful and check everything carefully!