Saturday, October 3, 2020

4-H Dog Show

Desert Girl tried out a new 4-H activity this year, dog training. We found a local dog trainer who was willing to work with the 4-H kids. Since this was new for our area, we started last fall and met once a week.

Mrs. Phillips started with the basics, like sit, down, heel, and stay. The kids (and dogs) learned a lot with the repetition. The dogs also started getting used to each other. Our dog, a puppy, was at a great age and really needed the training!

Covid came and everything came to a stop for awhile. But then we started having a few outdoor sessions in June. In July, I took Desert Girl and her friend to Ely to see what the performance area would like. The girls had a lot of fun on the agility course!

The dogs seemed to like it too.

 Soon it was time for the competition. There were actually 5 competitions on the same evening: costume, agility, rally, obedience, and showmanship.

Desert Girl made a little horse and cowgirl outfit. Just one other dog competed in costume, and he had a cool looking robot costume.

Next up was agility. Finn had to sit in the square to start.
Then it was off to the tube. He wanted to play more than go through it.

Finally Desert Girl got him through.

He did the weave poles okay, but skipped the teeter-totter. He had gotten scared in a practice and just wouldn't do it.

He was okay with the bridge.

A shorter tunnel.

And the the end!

He had to sit and then he was done. He just wanted to come over and see me, but Desert Girl held on and got him to sit first.

Next up was rally, where Desert Girl had to read signs and then have Finn do the activity, such as sit, down, walk, walk fast, 360 degree turn to the right, and so on.

Somehow I didn't get a photo of her and Finn doing showmanship and obedience. I was surprised when she told Finn to sit and stay and then walked the length of the leash and he kept sitting. Progress! He didn't do so well when she had to walk an "L" shape and there was a bush along the way that he just had to pee on. Sigh.

Only 3 dogs competed, and two of them were in the junior class. Desert Girl had been so nervous, but she really liked the vibe of the competition. She also liked playing on the agility course again.

Then it was time for prizes. All three competitors got lots of big ribbons. Desert Girl said she'll be competing again. Hopefully some of her friends will join her.

We've had a really good experience with 4-H, and the dog training/show is no exception. Thanks so much to Mrs. Phillips, Kim, and all the judges who have volunteered their time.

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