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4-H Dog Project

Program Contact: Jenny W. Loyd, 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 574-1600 • jennifer.loyd@co.yakima.wa.us

Explore the National 4-H Dog Curriculum, and develop a stronger relationship with your dog and learn life skills along the way!  This project area includes training dogs both as house pets and training service dogs.

Objectives

Dog Care & Training

Youth will:

  • Exercise responsible pet care and ownership
  • Practice methods of dog obedience training
  • Recognize characteristics of dogs
  • Study care, nutrition, health, breeding, and anatomy

Service Dog

Youth will:

  • House, feed, and care for a puppy
  • Detect common ailments and apply treatments
  • Raise, socialize, train, and protect  a service puppy

A dachshund being walked by a person only seen from the waist down

4-H Dog Curriculum

Available in the Extension office or online.

Level 1: Wiggles and Wags

Youth Activity Guide and Workbook (Level 1) for the National 4-H Dog Curriculum, written by university experts. Youth explore dog web resources, breed origins, safety, locating a missing dog, socializing a dog, showmanship, tricks, health, feeding and controlling parasites.

Activities relate to body parts, selection, correcting behavior, house breaking a puppy, body language, controlling fleas, health care, grooming and how to train a dog to respond to seven basic commands. Age: Grades 3-5, but may be used by youth in any grade based on their project skills and experience. (36 pages)

Level 2: Canine Connection

Youth Activity Guide and Workbook (Level 2) for the National 4-H Dog Curriculum, written by university experts. Youth create a dog care budget, investigate inherited problems of dogs, conduct safety inventory, select dog food, observe veterinary procedures, teach dogs to do tricks, compare boarding kennels, etc.

Activities relate to selection and care, health and nutrition, behavior and training, and fitting and showing. Age: Grades 6-8, but may be used by youth in any grade based on their project skills and experience.

Level 3: Leading the Pack

Youth Activity Guide and Workbook (Level 3) for the National 4-H Dog Curriculum, written by university experts. Youth assess a dog’s vital signs, explore functions of dog body systems, investigate dog breeding, consider needs of older dogs, conduct a class for puppies, recognize value of guide dogs, identify dog ownership laws, sponsor a dog fun day, explore careers with dogs, etc.

Recommended for use with a project helper, facilitator, or parent. Levels 1 and 2 are recommended as prerequisites, depending on age and experience. Target Age: Grades 9-12, but may be used by youth in any grade based on their project skills and experience.

Dog Helper’s Guide

This is the Helper’s Guide for the National 4-H Dog Curriculum, written by university experts. Adult helper’s can use this to guide youth as they explore: dog web resources, breed origins, safety, locating a missing dog, socializing a dog, showmanship, tricks, health, feeding and controlling parasites.

Activities in the youth books relate to body parts, selection, correcting behavior, house breaking a puppy, body language, controlling fleas, health care, grooming and how to train a dog to respond to seven basic commands.

In this Helper’s Guide: 13 pages are devoted to helping teach 23 basic & advanced dog obedience training exercises. Group activities include fun dog games, Canine Good Citizen, skillathons, pet therapy sessions, Dog Pyramid, dog quiz bowls & glossary games.


4-H Dog Resource Handbook

This resource handbook contains essential information for members taking a dog project and includes everything from selecting a dog that’s right for you, proper care, training techniques, dog anatomy, competition, and much more. Purchase it just once and use it for several years.


All About Dogs

Ever wonder how prehistoric dogs met pre-historic humans? Want to know how dogs think and the meaning behind their body language? Curious about what keeps dogs happy and healthy? Discover these answers and the valuable roles these furry companions play in our lives. For beginning-level members who may or may not have a dog. Not for members enrolled in a dog project.


A Fear-less Approach to Understanding Dogs, Their Care, and Training

A Fearless Approach to Understanding Dogs, their care, and Training includes 5 different modules: History and Breeds; Dog Care, Husbandry, and Welfare; Communication and Behavior; Training; and Dogs in Society.  This curriculum uses experiential learning and inquiry-based strategies to explore dog care and training to create meaningful educational experiences that involve learn-by-doing.


All About Pets Cloverbud Activity Booklet

All About Pets is an 8-page activity booklet exploring pets made especially for the Cloverbud age range (ages 5-8)!

All About Pets includes four (4) simple introductory activities for our youngest 4-H members. Youth learn about different types of pets, how to choose a pet, and how to care for a pet. This activity is designed to be completed with the assistance of a caring adult. While this activity is perfect for groups, we recommend that each youth have his or her own activity booklet.

This activity serves as an age-appropriate introduction to our comprehensive curriculum series such as PetsDogCat, and Rabbit.

Washington 4-H Records, Forms, and Guides

For youth members

MISC580 – The Complete AKC Dog Book for Kids

This book has big, full-color photos of every AKC-recognized breed. It also uses language that is easy to understand. They have made every effort to make a reference book you would enjoy.

C0794E – Dog Record

For 4-Her’s in the dog project. A 2-page record for: dog’s profile, record of shots and medicines administered, training and exhibit record, and summary of expenses by yearly quarter.

C1084E – Rabies Vaccination Certificate

C0961E – Guide Dog Puppy Project Record

A record for the 4-Her’s service dog/puppy project.

For adult helpers and club leaders

C1140E – All Washington State 4-H Dog Obedience Program Score Sheets

C1106E – Guidelines for Judging the WA State 4-H Dog Obedience Program

State Dog Project Area Resources
A cluster of a variety of dogs at left and the title "Dog" in white on green at right

Helpful Resources

Activity Ideas

Exploring 4-H Dogs Spark Activity:  Spinning in Circles – Illinois 4-H (PDF)

Have you ever wondered how dogs as different as a Great Dane and a Yorkshire Terrier can be the same species?  Learn the purpose of different dog breeds and how they developed. How can you raise a healthy dog who lives a long life? Study dog nutrition, grooming, medical needs, and responsible ownership. What are  some fun activities to do with your dog? Learn about basic training, dog sports,  and showing. How can you make your love of dogs a full-time career? Learn about careers that work directly with dogs or contribute to improving the lives of  dogs and their families.

Skill-a-Thon:  Dogs Parts Identification – Missouri 4-H (PDF)

Skill-a-Thon:  Dogs Vital Signs – Missouri 4-H (PDF)

Educational Dog Bingo Game

This fun bingo game comes with enough pieces for 2-6 players and promises to make learning about dogs fun! Players select picture boards and place a chip over the corresponding dog image as cards are read aloud by the caller. Each card has educational facts about a breed or group of dogs. The first person to cover the selected pattern and yell “woof” wins! Makes a great complement to our Dog Curriculum!

Washington Specific Reference Material

Washington 4-H has made an agreement with the American Kennel Club to allow members and leaders to use AKC-educational materials.

Members, to receive publications, send a postcard to AKC with the following message: “I am a 4-H Dog Project member in Washington State, I understand that one (1) copy of each of the following materials is free.  Please send me a copy of each of the following. Thank you”.

  • Obedience Regulations
  • Junior Showmanship
  • Dogs – A General Information Booklet
  • Canine Summer Safety
  • Winter Care for Canines
  • Getting Started Series
  • Rules Applying to Dog Shows

Print your name, address, city, state, and zip code, and send postcard to:

American Kennel Club
5580 Centerview Drive, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-3390

Leaders may request one free copy of each of the AKC publications listed above, and the following:

  • AKC Order Form
  • Canine Good Citizen Program Information

Other Reference Material

From 4-H Programs

PetPALS Dog Behaviors – Ohio State University Extension, 4-H PetPALS

Each animal will react differently to changes in its environment, just as each person reacts differently to the stresses in his or her life. Some people deal better with stress than others, as do some animals. It is essential for 4-H’ers to know their pets well enough to be aware of their stress signals to avoid any unhealthy levels of stress.

PetPALS Stress in Animals – Ohio State University Extension, 4-H PetPALS

Each animal will react differently to changes in its environment, just as each person reacts differently to the stresses in his or her life. Some people deal better with stress than others, as do some animals. It is essential for 4-H’ers to know their pets well enough to be aware of their stress signals to avoid any unhealthy levels of stress.

4-H Animal Science Web Series:  Dog Showmanship – Purdue Extension (video)


From Higher Education Institutions

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth – Iowa State University Extension (video)

Are you having trouble brushing your dog’s teeth? Dr. Brenda Mulherin from the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University is here to talk to you about ideas on how to make brushing your dog’s teeth easier.

How to Save Your Dog’s Teeth – Iowa State University Extension (video)

Do you wonder if your dog has a bad tooth? Dr. Brenda Mulherin from the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University, is here to talk to you about what to look for if you think your dog is having dental issues and how to treat it.


From Related Organizations, Journals, and Professionals

 

American Kennel Club YouTube Channel

Puppy Information – American Kennel Club

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers


 

Kits, Projects, and Activities from National 4-H

National 4-H Dog Curriculum Collection

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