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Companion Animals

Companion Animals — Dogs

The purpose of the Virginia 4-H Dog Project is to develop a closer bond and become a team member with your dog through the study of dogs and practice of personal skills with dogs: physiology, breeds, how to select a dog; caring for a healthy dog including feeding, grooming, fitting, and training practices; appreciation for dogs in society; responsibility as a dog owner including ethics and budgeting, responsible breeding and, diseases; and dog roles and dog-related careers.

The State 4-H Dog Show provides an opportunity for youth dog handlers to exhibit year-long practice and the teamwork of handler and dog working together in the areas  of obedience, rally, showmanship, and agility. Please note that this event should not be viewed as a training session. All handlers should ensure, to the best of their ability, that their dogs are ready for the classes in which they are entered. It is highly recommended that handlers attend a clinic, fun match or 4-H/AKC/UKC show prior to competing. The State 4-H Dog Show occurs in the fall. Watch for Premium posting with specific theme, rules, general information and guidelines for the show in late summer.

The Virginia 4-H Dog Council, established in 2011, is formed of 4-H staff, volunteers, and youth who would like to help the Dog Council realize its mission, has as its goals to:

  • educate local leaders on current training methods
  • educate 4Hers about dog training and promote positive training methodologies
  • attract endorsements, funds, and sponsorship for dog related events and general program support
  • provide leadership opportunities for 4H youth
  • collaborate/partner with dog training organizations and educational bodies to mutually support  the mission of both organizations
  • coordinate, evaluate, support, advocate, and recommend changes for the improvement of dog programs statewide
  • offer a forum for communication and idea sharing among various State/Regional 4-H Dog Training Programs