Megan Burda's Weekly Article

Sit. Stay.

The 4-H Dog Project

 Did you know that 4-H members can show their family pet at the fair? Learn how to nurture the bond between handler and dog, with 5 steps to stress-free training sessions, and the importance of joining a 4-H Dog club.

A common issue we see when 4-H youth are preparing for the 4-H Dog show is the lack of bond between 4-H handler and animal. Now is the time to start nurturing that bond! One way to do that is to make sure the child is always the one training and working with the dog. This way, you can encourage the dog to trust and respect the 4-H’er as its handler.

Make the transition from pet owner to 4-H dog handler with these 5 steps to more stress-free training sessions.

 1. Always have treats! While you can’t use treats or toys in the ring, it is good to encourage good dog behavior and attention by offering their favorite treat or toy for accomplished goals.

2. Practice in different locations. It is good training to give your dog exposure to different sights, sounds, and distractions when preparing for county fair. Practicing at parks, pet stores or your friend’s house can be great experiences for your dog. But don’t forget to ask for permission!

3. Practice with other 4-H Dog project members. Meet once a week at different locations and practice Showmanship patterns, Obedience commands, and get your dog used to other dogs.

4. Use the approved collars and leads. Certain styles of collars and leads are required for 4-H Dog shows. To learn more about what to use for your dog, visit:

5. Practice makes perfect, but perfect practice wins purple ribbons! Download the 4-H Dog rule book to be sure you’re practicing all patterns and commands correctly.

We encourage all 4-H Dog project members to network with other project members. This will ensure you are meeting all show requirements, allow you to meet new friends with similar interests, and introduce your dog to other people, smells, and dog-friends.

The York County 4-H Dog Clinic starts May 15th! Prep your dog for the 4-H Dog Show at County Fair. Bring a dog (must be at least 6 months old by fair time), a collar, and a leash. The clinic meets every Tuesday through the summer from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the York County Fairgrounds. This is open to youth ages 8 and older. Youth must be enrolled in 4-H by the May 1 deadline to participate. The clinic cost is $10 per child. Contact our office at 402-362-5508 to get signed up!

It’s Time to Enroll in 4-H!
Online 4-H enrollment for 2018 is now open for members and leaders at All Clover Kids (ages 5-7) and 4-H’ers (ages 8-18) are eligible to enroll. There is a $5 enrollment fee that is due at time of enrollment. Enrollment instructions can be found at The deadline to enroll in 4-H is May 1!