Inside the IKC Dog Show

February 21, 2014 (CHICAGO)

But what does it take to be best in show? How are all these breeds judged? Exactly what is a benched dog show? Before you high-tail it to McCormick Place, here's a road map to the dog show!

They're adorable, obedient, intelligent and affectionate - with over 160 breeds from Airedales to Whippets, there's a canine for everyone at the International Kennel Club of Chicago Dog Show, one of the few benched dog shows left in the country.

''Every breed that's entered in the dog show is benched for a certain number of hours, 10 to three this year. People can walk up and down the aisles and meet all the individual breeds that are recognized by IKC,'' said Deborah Cooper of IKC Chicago.

This is a great educational tool for families looking for the perfect pet. There are many judged competitions in skills, but the most coveted is best in show - and it's quite a process. Each breed is judged against a standard. The winner of that breed, say this Dalmatian, will then compete with other breed winners in the non-sporting group. There are seven groups in all, such a herding and hound. Those final seven compete for best in show.

New at the dog show this year - an event called Barn Hunt - just like it sounds, it's for dogs like TJ, a Border Terrier who are trained to chase rats in a barn!

The dog show is held at McCormick Place Lakeside, Saturday and Sunday from 8 am - 4 pm. You can bring the entire family, but you're not allowed to bring your dog to the show

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