History

The International Amphitheatre in Chicago, home of the original Chicago Kennel Club dog shows.

One of the few privately owned dog clubs in the United States, the International Kennel Club is the successor to the venerable Chicago Kennel Club, which was founded in 1900. Originally held in Chicago’s International Amphitheatre, adjacent to the  Union Stock Yards, the first “International” took place on  April 2, 1938, showcasing an astonishing entry of 1,169 dogs.

Seme and Louis Auslander

In 1982,  Louis Auslander and Dorothy Ranney Donnelley acquired IKC.  The same year, the International Amphitheatre closed , necessitating a new home for the show.  The spring show in 1983 took place at the Rosemont Horizon (now known as the Allstate Arena).  The fall 1983 International moved to the McCormick Place Convention Center on the Chicago lakefront, where it remained until 2015.

In 1997, Mr. Auslander purchased Ms. Donnelley’s interest in IKC.  Under the leadership of the late Louis Auslander and his wife, Seme Auslander, the International was considered one of the premier shows in America, drawing some 3,000 entries and 60,000 spectators at its peak.

In 2021, the Auslander family entrusted the family’s legacy to new owners, D. Scott Pfeil and Erika Wyatt, to continue the mission to keep the International as one of the greatest dog shows in America.

“The Auslander family is pleased to pass the baton to Scott Pfeil and Erika Wyatt to continue to honor the legacy built by our parents, Louis and Seme Auslander, and to restore IKC to its former glory as one of the most prestigious dog shows in the United States,” says Louis and Seme’s son, Carter Auslander.

Read more about the history of IKC here.

The New York Times article on IKC dated April 3, 1938.