66th and 67th annual Dog Show held at NIU Convocation Center

April 8, 2019 GMT

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center is usually the home of the Huskies, but this weekend, the Convo went to the dogs.

The 66 and 67th annual Kennel Club of Yorkville Dog Show, was held Saturday and Sunday at the Convo. The American Kennel Club-licensed show featured about 900 entries and about 130 different dog breeds, from miniature pinschers to Newfoundlands, toy poodles to Saint Bernards.

Each day featured identical shows but had different judges each day.

“We do it for the love of dogs,” Show Chairwoman Diane Corkey said. “It’s similar to a pinewood derby or a classic car show, with winners winning ribbons or trophies. Dogs are awarded for their conformation, or how close they fit the breed standard, their obedience and how they move in the ring. It’s a fun, social event, and you leave with the pride of knowing you did well.”

The event also featured heart and eye clinics and vendors selling items such as grooming equipment, collars and waterproof dog jackets.

For Maureen Smetzer of Hinckley, the event was a fun way to show her two toy poodles, 2-year-old Misty and 1-year-old Crown Royale.

“I’ve been showing toy poodles for about 40 years, and I love it,” Smetzer said. “Toy poodles are wonderful dogs, great companions with wonderful temperaments. It’s a great way to talk to others about the breed and answer questions.”

Jean McAdams of Green Valley has been showing Newfoundlands for the past 30 years. Her 4-year-old Newfoundland Homer, whose registered name is Shadrack Aim for the Fences, won the title of top owner-handler Newfoundland in the country in 2017.

“I can’t go two steps without people being gravitated toward my dogs,” she said. “We have eight [Newfoundlands] right now, and I love showing.”

Nancy Winter and her sister Karen Joe came from Minnetonka, Minnesota, to show their Old English sheepdogs; Doug Belter came from Hastings, Michigan, to show his beagle; 16-year-old Alaina House came from Danville, Indiana, to show her Australian shepherd; and Diane Cocos from Jefferson, Wisconsin, came to show her Berger Picard.

“It’s a great show, and people come from miles around because there are two days of shows with different judges,” said Cocos, whose 1-year-old Berger Picard Napoleon won best of breed and best owner-handler in breed. “I think we show our dogs because we love them. It shows in the pride we have for them.”