Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 4-H Dog Training

Last week our spring 4-H dog training classes started!  I think I say this every year but what a GREAT bunch we got this year!  My co-leader was on vacation so I got to substitute teach the beginners and wow!  They were stupendous!  My advanced class, a wonderful group of returning students, has quite a variety of training levels.  Some are just out of the beginner class and some have been training for several years and are ready for more advanced exercises like retrieving, broad jump and drop on recall.  It can be hard  to teach such a diverse group but there is no reason the whole class can't work on every exercise at their own level.  Just because some may not need to know retrieve for a couple of years doesn't mean they shouldn't start training it now!
I wanted to share some pictures from last fall's dog workshop day.  We had several guests come to present different topics and the 4-Hers also got to each give a demo about training techniques. 
 A local groomer came and showed us a TON about grooming.  Dot helped out by letting 4-Hers practice their dremeling skills on her nails.
 We made fleece tug toys to take home.  (In 4-H colors!)
 We had guests from the ASPCA Poison Control Center speak about health topics.  Here they are demonstrating safe ways to pick up an injured dog.
 An APDT trainer came and showed us games we could play with our dogs, like this hunting and sniffing game!
 This poster shows some (not all) of our fantastic sponsors.  I have had the greatest experiences soliciting donations from dog product companies.  Most are so receptive and generous in wanting to help out young people to learn responsible ownership and training!  And we owe a huge thank you to the Illinois 4-H Foundation for a grant to buy this awesome Dog Learning Lab Kit which will get a ton of use in our classes and events!

This workshop day was all day and included lunch.  I was inspired by several state 4-H programs that offer workshops and camps at the state level for those in the dog project.  Illinois does not offer anything like that but our county-level event was well-received.

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