After a spectacular celebration of the Centenary of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, those of us who sit on the General Committee of the FCI set ourselves the task of carrying on with our work for another hundred years of services dedicated to dog lovers all over the world in an atmosphere of companionship and with a team working on targets which have been set with the aim of getting straight to grips with the challenges of the future.

One of the great challenges we face, in all Sections of the FCI, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, relates to laws which set out to restrict dog ownership and declare many of our current breeds to be dangerous. I am aware that all of the Sections of the FCI are engaged in legal battles either to prevent these laws being passed or to repeal those which are already in force.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI Vice-President

From Puerto Rico to the World…
  1. The gardens of the Hotel Dorado Beach were the setting for the first international dog show at which the FCI’s CACIB was awarded, held in Puerto Rico in spring 1980. Around 200 animals competed in this major event, which saw the country join the international cynological community. The Puerto Rico International Dog Expo immediately attracted the attention of dog lovers in the United States, Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, amongst other countries.

    The show is becoming better-known in the region every year; indeed, it has become the most prestigious dog show circuit in the Caribbean. Nowadays the Puerto Rico International Dog Expo is visited by the world’s most famous judges and attracts exhibitors and dogs from across the globe. This major show has incorporated the Championship of the Americas and the Caribbean into its remit on three occasions, in 1985, 1992 and 1998, along with the Latin American Championship in 1986, 1993 and 2005. In 1997 it provided the backdrop for the World Dog Show held in San Juan.

    The Puerto Rico International Dog Expo is currently keeping up its reputation in the region, with an average of 600 registrations per circuit, it is held in modern arenas and incorporates the most advanced technology such as lights, live broadcasts over the Internet and multimedia platforms through social networking websites.
  2. The Puerto Rico International Dog Expo 2012 marks the start of a great year for canine sport in Puerto Rico as it acts as a curtain-raiser for the 2012 FCI Americas and Caribbean Championship to be held in the city of San Juan in November.

    The support which the Federación Canófila de Puerto Rico (FCPR) has received over the years was in evidence once again during this year’s Puerto Rico International Dog Expo. In spite of the economic difficulties being experienced both in Puerto Rico and worldwide, registrations were up 4% and we welcomed both international and local exhibitors, a very high standard of animals.
  3. The worldwide recognition for the dog shows held in Puerto Rico is due to the standard of the animals on show, the variety of international judges and, of course, the support of the FCI. The 2012 show is fortunate to have international judges such as Espen Engh from Norway, Javier Sánchez from Spain, Mrs Keke Kahn from the United States and the Puerto Rican judges Marlene Mortera and Miguel Masferrer.

    The Puerto Rico International Dog Expo is also receiving wide coverage in both the Puerto Rican and international media.
  4. In the FCPR, we divide our communication work into two areas: exhibitors (competitors) and visiting members of the public. In order to keep FCPR members informed, attract new exhibitors and promote the events worldwide, we have developed alliances with magazines specialising in dog shows and details of the events are published regularly. The FCPR also has a large number of contacts (approximately 8,000) on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The FCPR recently set up a live online broadcasting channel called Canofila TV, through the portal, on which FCPR events, seminars and conferences are broadcast live.

    In order to attract audiences to shows, the FCPR, together with Purina Pro Plan, has developed alliances with the country’s major communication media so that they give the FCI’s events in Puerto Rico due prominence and, as a result, both newspapers and television channels and multimedia platforms are promoting the Puerto Rico International Dog Expo. In order to make the event, canine demonstrations and shows are organised, there are shops selling items for pets, gifts and samples of food on behalf of our sponsors, whilst a commentator explains what is happening on the competition tracks to the audience of visitors.
  5. The fact that we are an island does mean that we face some very real challenges, with advantages and disadvantages which have to be taken into consideration when organising a dog show in Puerto Rico. The most important of these is air access to San Juan and the limitations placed by airlines on travelling with dogs, along with the fact that some breeds are banned and, no less importantly, the cost of transporting a dog by air.

    Holding a dog show on a tropical island also depends on the weather conditions, which means that shows need to be held at indoor venues with air conditioning because the heat and/or rain can threaten the success of a show in Puerto Rico.

    The FCPR is committed to putting on international dog shows to rival the best in the world, which does mean that the costs tend to be rather high. With the global economy so weak, the FCPR has forged alliances both with the private sector and with the government in order to minimise the economic impact.

    Together with the government, the Puerto Rico International Dog Expo has become an event at which children, young people and adults can learn about responsible breeding, treating animals properly and also about the social benefits of dogs.

    Together with our sponsors, we are not just forming an alliance for the show itself - it actually becomes a mutually beneficial relationship in which our organisation plays a key role in the various companies’ marketing efforts.