Dog Obedience Club

for youth in grades 5-12

The Oneida County 4-H Dog Obedience Club is led by a certified 4-H adult volunteer is designed to help youth learn dog obedience and practice life skills while having fun.

MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENT:  Youth must enroll in Oneida County 4-H in order to participate. 4-H is free to join anytime. Click here to learn how to join 4-H.

If you are interested in participating in 4-H dog obedience, please email or call 715-365-2750. Thank you!


What To Bring

  • 6 foot Obedience Leash (standard 6 foot leash and made of leather, nylon or cotton webbing – no retractable or chain leashes).
    • Leather or cotton leash is easiest on the hands and not as likely as nylon to cause a rope burn if pulled through the hands quickly. You can wear gloves for training if needed. The leash should be correct width for you and your dog (small dog: narrow light weight leash; large dog: ¾ to 1 inch diameter leash). Leash for showing should be plain, without gems or bright designs.
  • Obedience Training Collar (ask the 4-H leader for recommendations). Prong collars are not allowed unless the 4-H instructor suggests one and shows you how to use it correctly. All training collars should be free of tags, as tags on collars are also not allowed in the show ring and are distracting while training. A separate training collar that your dog only wears during training and obedience workouts is a good idea. Your dog will learn the difference between the collar worn all the time and the one worn tor training.
  • Clean up bags (training will be done indoors).
  • Training treats in a treat bag, vest or sweatshirt pocket with easy access. Treats should be soft, no hard kibble.
  • Refrain from feeding your dog a meal before training: Please try not to feed the dog for at least 6 hours before training.
  • Water pail for your dog (before or after class – refrain from watering during sessions).
  • Water bottle for yourself.
  • Your dog…or a borrowed one. We do need to have records of vaccine that have been given to the dog. It is a good idea to have an extra copy that you can take with when you are traveling with your pet. In case of emergency, while on the road, this can come in handy if you have it in the glove box of your car/truck.
  • TIE SHOES (no flip flops, sandals, heels or barefoot allowed).
  • A current copy of your dog’s health papers. Must be submitted BEFORE you can participate. You can also bring this to your first session or upload it during the online registration process. If you do not bring it with you, you will not be able to participate.

4-H Dog Obedience Club Participation Policies

  • Youth participants must be enrolled in Oneida County 4-H before participating. 4-H is free to join anytime. Click here to learn how to join 4-H.
  • Member must be willing to work as a team with their dog. Daily practice at home is strongly encouraged.
  • Any breed or mixture of breeds and/or size dog are allowed except wolf-hybrid canines.
  • The participant handler must maintain control over their dog during 4-H sponsored dog activities or events.
  • For health and safety, all participant handlers must make their best effort to clean up and properly dispose of waste from their dogs.
  • The dog must be in good health at the time of competition and up to date on vaccinations.
  • The following vaccinations are required to be current during any 4-H sponsored dog event or activity.
    • REQUIRED: Rabies vaccination as required by state law (DATCP). REQUIRED.
    • REQUIRED: DLHPP vaccination – Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus.
    • RECOMMENDED: Bordetella (Kennel Cough).
    • RECOMMENDED: Dogs be tested and treated for heartworm.
  • REQUIRED: A copy of vaccination records.
  • The safety of training session attendees is of utmost concern. Trainers have the right to remove aggressive dogs from training sessions and at 4-H dog shows. This includes aggressiveness towards another member, trainer or dog. Dogs will not be allowed to participate in activities, training, or shows if:
    • They are determined by 4-H staff or local dog volunteer leaders to be dangerous or unmanageable in or out of a 4-H group setting.
    • They have a record of biting which caused injury to a person.
    • They have received formal or informal bite or bite sport training.
    • They are in heat (in season/estrus).
  • Intact female dogs who come into season (heat) during training can not attend training until she is out of season which is typically a period of three weeks.
    • Exceptions or substitutions may be made with approval from county 4-H staff, local 4-H volunteer leaders, or written approval from a veterinarian.
  • Female dogs that have recently given birth may return to training after they have finished nursing puppies or with written approval from a veterinarian and 4-H volunteer leader.
  • Handlers may continue to attend the activity without the dog and continue training at home.
  • A member may exhibit two dogs in obedience if the dogs are at different training levels. Under special circumstances, a dog may be shown by two members of the same family. Arrangements must be made with the 4-H Educator prior to the start of project year.

4-H Dog Obedience Program Standard Equipment Policies

  • Participant handlers must wear rubber-soled, close-toed, closed-heeled shoes that can be fastened.
  • Participant handlers must use a standard 6 foot leash and made of leather, nylon or cotton webbing – no retractable or chain leashes.
  • Dogs must be kept on leash before and after group activities.
  • Dogs must wear a plain, well-fitting slip collar or martingale of chain, fabric, or leather OR a well-fitting, plain buckle collar. This includes quick release collars.
  • During initial training, dogs may wear head collars, head haltis, pinch or prong collars, and harnesses when appropriate with approval from 4-H volunteer leaders. These collars should be phased out from use as training progresses.
  • During shows or competitions, dogs may wear choke, martingale, and flat buckle collars when appropriate with approval from 4-H volunteer leaders.
  • Electronic training collars are prohibited.


What about younger siblings participating?

If you are bringing small children with you, you will need to have activities for them to do so that they do not interfere with class members who are trying to work. The certified 4-H leader who is leading this dog obedience program has specifically designed this program for youth in grades 5-12. If you are interested in helping lead a dog obedience program available to youth in younger grade levels, please email or call 715-365-2750. The more volunteer support, the more opportunities we can offer young people in our county!

What about 4-H members who are in grades K-2?

The certified 4-H leader who is leading this dog obedience program has specifically designed this program for youth in grades 5-12. If you are interested in helping lead a dog obedience program available to youth in grades K-4, here is the policy regarding youth in grades K-2:

  • Cloverbud project members (youth in grades 5K-2), may participate in small animal clinics, demonstrations, workshops or other non-competitive educational activities with one-on-one adult supervision. Common small animals include dogs, cats, poultry, rabbits, and pets. Supervising adults must maintain primary control of the animal while Cloverbud project members are present.

Do you need to have a dog?

Bringing a dog will certainly help participants receive hands-on dog learning in dog obedience, but it is not required. Youth are not required to own an animal in order to use it as a 4-H project animal. If you are not bringing a dog, but still want to learn, that is OK! And there are other ways of “showing off” what you have learned, such as designing educational dog poster displays or exhibiting a project about dogs at the local county fair.

Family Support is Important

The purpose of all Oneida County 4-H youth development programs is to enhance the education, experience, and development of young people, a purpose that is not realized without the involvement of several people working as a team. The successful completion of this dog program depends upon the combined efforts of parents or guardians, 4-H leaders, and 4-H members. All contribute to successful teamwork. Behind most successful club members are parents or guardians who are truly enthusiastic about the topics their children are learning more about. Parents and guardians can help offer supervision, assistance, and encouragement to the 4-H members working through what they are learning. The payoff from this involvement is an exciting learning experience, and sometimes can even include awards and recognition, such as at the annual Oneida County 4-H Awards & Recognition event or during the county fair. If you are willing to help in these ways, you can make a big difference.

Why 4-H?

Youth develop marketable skills for lifelong success. Click here to read more about how 4-H programs can help young people.

Sharing is Caring - Click Below to Share