Learn to train a dog for agility, obedience, showmanship or as an ideal pet. Topics include canine behavior, breed characteristics, diseases, ethics, grooming, health, nutrition, responsible breeding, service dogs, therapy dogs, dog-related careers, and the wide array of dog sports. You can also choose to compete in the 4-H county or state dog show.
Important project information
To view county or local club events, visit the county website.
Dog Project Train the Trainer - Pre-registration deadline: April 20, 2018
For 4-H Dog Project Trainers and Leaders. April 28-29, 2018 in Redwood Falls OR May 5-6, 2018 in Wadena.
Dog Project State Fair Showcase - Sign up due August
The state dog committee likes to highlight the Minnesota 4-H Dog project at the Minnesota State Fair during the livestock encampment weekend, and needs youth from the 4-H dog project to be involved in this showcase. This is a great opportunity to help promote the Minnesota 4-H Dog Project and we need lots of help to make this a success! More info.
The Minnesota 4-H State Dog Show is an annual event held in the fall after the Minnesota State Fair. The state show consists of agility, obedience, and showmanship events. To be eligible for the state show, 4-Hers must first qualify at their county level. More info
- September 23-24, 2017 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul
Project Bowls are an exciting way for youth to explore a project area. Teams compete in quiz competitions with questions about specific project areas. Project Bowls are available for Dairy, Dog, General Livestock (Beef, Sheep & Swine), Horse, Poultry, Rabbit and Wildlife projects. Winners of the Regional Bowls advance to the State Bowl. More Info
4-H plays a pivotal role in youth development and public education at the Minnesota State Fair. Over 7,000 4-H youth have the opportunity to interact with the public and educate fairgoers through 4-H exhibits, demonstrations, performances, and 4-H promotion. More info
Level 1 Learning Goals:
Learn to identify dog breeds, identify dog body parts, investigate dog nutrition, explore dog behavior and more.
Level 2 Learning Goals:
Discover where dog breeds originate, investigate dog health maintenance and treatments, teach dogs to do tricks and more.
Level 3 Learning Goals:
Investigate dog breeding, appreciate dogs as service animals, identify dog ownership laws, explore careers with dogs and more.
Learning resources for all levels
- Dog Project Guide (545 PDF)
- The Complete Dog Book For Kids (ISBN 0876054602) Visit your local bookstore or library or order online
- Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - Fourth Edition (ISBN 0470067853) Visit your local bookstore or library or order online
Dog Project areas
- Rally Obedience Rules & Guidelines book (PDF) Updated April 2017
- Rally score sheet (PDF) Revised April 2017
- Rally signs (PDF) Revised April 2017
- Dog Agility Rules & Guidelines book (PDF) Revised 2017
- Agility classes release form (PDF) Updated December 2011
- Dog Obedience Rules & Guidelines book (7.2 MB PDF) Updated May 2017
- Foundation (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Beginner (PDF) Updated April 2018
- Graduate beginner (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Novice (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Graduate novice (PDF) Updated April 2018
- Pre-open (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Open (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Graduate open (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Pre-utility (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Utility (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Veterans (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Brace (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Four-dog team (PDF) Updated May 2017
- Long sit & long down (PDF) Updated May 2017
Other online resources
- Dog Project Guide for Training & Shows (PDF) Updated April 2016
- Dog - Helper's Guide
- Dog - Set of Four
- Ask training questions/rule interpretation/policy questions
- Find out about invitational dog shows your members may be interested in entering
- Reminders about deadlines for state-wide events
- Equipment available at sale price (please do not use this to advertise, if you have a dog business)
Resources needed for 4-H dog shows
Videos for trainers and volunteers
- General and New 4-H Dog Project Guideline books for trainers (Youtube)
- Foundation through Novice Plus Brace, Veterans and four-dog team 4-H dog classes for trainers (Youtube)
- Graduate Novice to Open 4-H dog classes for trainers (Youtube)
- Graduate Open to Utility 4-H dog classes for trainers (Youtube)
To get involved with the 4-H Dog Project, contact your county 4-H office.
All resources on this page have been reviewed by our faculty and included for their educational value. No endorsement is intended or implied. Minnesota 4-H does not profit from the inclusion of any commercial project resources.