When I left Italy in 2014 I left behind a lot of things that I love and that I still miss. One of them it's FCI Obedience.
The Obedience, the only one I ever practiced and trained is under the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) rules. The FCI is the main organization that regulated all Kennel Clubs in Europe and in the rest of the World apart from the British Kennel Club (and a few others). Under the FCI there are rules for breeding and competiting pedigree dogs.
That doesn't mean that only pedigree dogs can compete in FCI obedience, that rule stands only for the World Championship that is run every year in a different location in the World.
The British Kennel Club doesn't take part to the FCI World championship and so it doesn't run FCI obedience shows.
What is the difference between the KC obedience and the FCI obedience?
The first very obvious difference is the classes and the progression. The official FCI obedience rules has 1,2,3 class. Each kennel club can make the decision to run a pre-beginner and a begginer class but they are not FCI official classes.
The number of exercises differ a lot, having FCI many more exercises that have a progression from class 1 to class 3.
Training and judging criteria are also different. Heelwork doesn't allow a fixed hand target and a more natural dog position is requested. Retrive and any finish are not in front but on the haldler side straigh away. The send away is alway is a box of 4 cones that are always a the same distance and with the same spacing.
Retrive is not only on a straight line but also over a jump and with directions.
There a few exercises with jumps that make the training very fun and vary for the dogs and the scent discrimination is with 10cm sticks and not with cloth.
Class 3 is the one that will be run at the World Championship as well where the best of the world will send 3 days, first two for the qualifier runs and the last one being the final.
I keep training FCI obedience in the hope that one day it will be possibile to introduce competition in this country.
if you want to know more I will run workshops with some international handlers during the year and you can join a facebook group dedicated to FCI obedience fan in the UK.
If you want to read more about FCI obedience rules check on the website and download the pdf