Join the pet-loving public for two days filled with tail-wagging and serious primping as the International Kennel Club of Chicago (IKC) hosts the 2014 International Cluster of Dog Shows on February 22-23, 2014. The annual event at McCormick Place is one of the largest all-breed benched dog shows in the country, drawing more than 10,000 dogs representing 160 breeds — from the Afghan to Akita, Whippet to Welsh Terrier.
These prestigious pooches from across the US and Canada go paw-to-paw, competing for prizes and the coveted title of "Best in Show." And while the four-legged competition is fierce, the International is a family-favorite event and a perfect introduction to purebred pets of all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities.
For kids and prospective owners, the education factor is big — everyone is encouraged to meet-and-greet with the canine contestants and their handlers. So get up close and make some new furry friends, check out the fashion show, catch the All-American Frisbee fetching dogs and pick your favorite at the Puppy Spectacular competition.
From the creative names (wire fox terrier Afterall Painting The Sky took home the crown recently, beating out such names as Babheim's Captain Crunch and Hundeleben Queen's Armada) to watching all the prep work that goes behind those shiny, flawless coats, you're sure to have a great — or dare we say, doggone — good time! Check out the full Event Schedule and don't miss the highlights below.
- Judging Program
With all those sweet faces and puppy dog eyes, these perfectly-primped participants will no doubt steal your heart. But about 65 professional judges stick to their standards, narrowing down the 10,000 dogs to top of their class, breed, group and then lastly, Best in Show. The dogs also show off their skills in judged competitions such as conformation, rally and obedience.
Man's best friend isn't all about good looks. The daily line-up of demonstrations will have you in awe of K9 Nose Work and the incredible search and rescue skills; Earthdog and the instinctive hunting skills of many terriers; and even freestyle dog "dancing."
Stroll the floor filled with booths showcasing pup products and services of all kinds: doggie treats and chew toys, fashionable leads and collar jewelry, obedience training and rescue organizations. Mixed in is a special Kid Zone too, for your young ones to get hands-on with arts & crafts, face painting, "Ask the Vet" sessions and more.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
Tickets are available at the door only. Visit ikcdogshow.com for special admission offers.
- Adult 1-day ticket $20/Adult 2-day ticket $25
- Senior 1-day ticket $15/Senior 2-day ticket $20
- Children under 12 years old FREE
Location and hours for the 2014 International Cluster of Dog Shows are:
- Saturday, February 22 and Sunday, February 23
8:00am - 4:00pm
- McCormick Place, Lakeside Building
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60616
For all the latest information, even tips on how to watch a
dog show (following proper etiquette of course!) and breeder referrals, visit the International Kennel Club of Chicago online at ikcdogshow.com and facebook.com/ikcdogshow.