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Wag Your Tail This Weekend At The IKC Dog Show

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 30, 2015 7:00PM

(Photo: Lisa White/Chicagoist)

The main event we've been waiting for all year long is upon us this weekend. No, not the Super Bowl, it's the International Kennel Club of Chicago dog show! The IKC International Cluster of Dog Shows is one of the largest all-breed benched dog shows in the nation and brings in dogs from all across North America to compete in a variety of competitions. But our favorite part? Meeting and enjoying these adorable pups while they strut their stuff and work hard to win.

Obviously the main focus for those competing this weekend are the actual competitions, which include a variety of events for different age groups of both dogs and handlers. And yes, there is an award for "best puppy in show," which we would be awful at judging since all puppies are truly the best puppies.

But for fans just enjoying the show, there is a variety of events to peruse. You can meet the breeds, a perfect option if you are interested in a certain type of dog and many rescue groups for specific breeds are in attendance at the show as well. You can walk through the hall and pet and greet dogs competing (just make sure to ask handlers if it is ok to say hello), you can watch agility, obedience, search and rescue and thunder tunnel (a transparent obstacle tunnel) demonstrations and my favorite events of the weekend, the variety show and dancing dogs World Canine Freestyle organization competition. Yes, dogs dancing. It's as adorable as it sounds. The first year I attended I was able to watch a group perform a synchronized routine to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and I've been returning to the show ever since.

If you already own a pup, the show also offers over 50 vendors selling all sorts of items to pamper your pooch, including clothing and jewelry, treats and all sorts of items for the dog lover in your family. Although you can't bring your own pet to enjoy the show, make sure to pick up some treats to take home. It will soften the blow once your pup gets a whiff of all the new friends you met at McCormick Place.

The International Kennel Club Cluster of Dog Shows runs this Saturday and Sunday at McCormick Place in the Lakeside building. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $20 per day for adults and kids under 12 are free. To save and enjoy the whole weekend you can purchase a two-day tickets for $25. Tickets are available at the door only and are cash only, but ATMs will be available. To save $2, there is a coupon to print out on the IKC website here. We hope you let your weekend literally go to the dogs!