Dog Program and Events

Florida 4-H Dog Project & Show Day

The 2014 Dog Show has been CANCELLED.

Please contact Georgene Bender at if you have any questions regarding this decision.


Small Animal 4-H Leader Training

  • When: Oct 17-18, 2014
  • Where: Camp Ocala
  • Questions? Contact Georgene Bender,

What is the Florida 4-H Dog Project?

The Florida 4-H Dog Project was formed in 2005 when 4-H Leaders from several Florida Counties formed an alliance to increase communication between the various County 4-H Dog Projects and Clubs in Florida.  The leaders also wanted to provide new opportunites and events for 4-H Dog Project members on a State Level.

Florida 4-H Dog Conference and Dog Camp

The efforts of the Florida 4-H Dog Project Committee to put on an overnight Dog Camp for 4-H members and their dogs became a reality in August of 2009. The Camp has been a huge success since then and was also held in 2010 and 2011 at Camp Clover Leaf in Sebring, Florida.

Florida 4-H Dog Project Quiz Bowl

Florida Leaders discussed the concept of a Dog Quiz Bowl and how it is conducted in other States. Then they came up with resource materials and Katherine Croft took over developing Quiz Bowl questions and implementing the program. Over the years the Quiz Bowl has grown by leaps and bounds to the successful program it is today.

Florida 4-H Dog Project Show Rules, Score Sheets

The Florida 4-H Dog Project Committee worked very hard to standardize Florida Dog Show Rules, Classes and Score Sheets to make it possible for all Counties to use the same set of rules in 4-H Dog Shows. 4-H’ers can now be judged the same way when going to 4-H Dog shows across the State. Each year the Show Rules, classes and Score Sheets are revised as changes are needed and posted on the website.

The Florida 4-H Dog Project

Volunteer 4-H Leaders provide training classes for 4-H members and their dogs, both purebred and mixed are welcome. The 4-H year generally follows the public school calendar, or September through May of each year. Enrollment to become a 4-H member is required and information is available through your local County Extension Office. Most County programs ask 4-H members to enroll in 4-H and sign up under the 4-H insurance program (the cost of insurance is one dollar per person- for the 4-H year). It is also recommended at least one parent (or adult) sign up as a 4-H volunteer omega replica. We request 4-H parents & leaders volunteer to work at Florida 4-H Dog Project sponsored events such as shows, seminars and fundraising activities throughout the year. This is a great way to contribute to the success of the 4-H program and a way parents can ‘give back’ to the 4-H program for the training their children receive. To locate your County Extension Office check:

During The 4-H Year

4-H instructors teach classes in Obedience, Agility, Rally and Showmanship. If your child has any interest in dog training or showing- 4-H can help them accomplish their goals. 4-H members can train their dogs to become better behaved family members or 4-H members also have the option of putting the skills they learn to use competing in 4-H Dog Shows. Several Florida Counties across the State hold 4-H Dog Shows throughout the year, please check our website for show dates, location and information.

 Annual Florida 4-H Dog Shows

In recent years there have been several Florida 4-H Dogs Shows offered in the Tampa area. A Florida 4-H Dog Project Scholarship Show is held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, in October or November. At this show judges offer exhibitors advice on improving their show skills. Profits from this show benefit the Florida 4-H Dog Project Scholarship Fund. This is a great training experience for new 4-H members, and an opportunity for returning 4-H’ers to prepare for upcoming dog show competitions. The Florida State Fair hosts the State 4-H Championship Dog Show in February of each year at the State Fairgrounds. There is also a Hillsborough County Fun Show that is held at the State Fairgrounds in March with Fun games for 4-H’ers and adults. There are several Counties in Florida that host 4-H Dog Shows during the year, and invite all Florida 4-H members to attend.

Florida 4-H Dog Quiz Bowl

The first Florida 4-H Dog Quiz Bowl competition was held in 2006, and has been getting bigger and better every year since then! The primary objective of the Dog Bowl contest is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H Dog Project to demonstrate their knowledge of dog related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendless and fairness prevail. It is also hoped that these contests will provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators. The Florida 4-H Dog Quiz Bowl is conducted in a (Jeopardy) game show style format. Questions are designed to test the contestant’s knowledge of subjects such as dog conformation and anatomy, canine health, and 4-H & AKC dog show rules. Questions come from designated study materials (that will be listed yearly on the Florida 4-H Dog Project website). These study materials include publications such as: the Florida State Skill-A-Thon Manual (for the current & previous 4-H years, info will be posted on this Florida 4-H Dog Project website); AKC Complete Dog Book For Kids; AKC Obedience & Rally Rules- (regarding AKC dog show rules); and Florida 4-H Dog Show Rules (listed on this Florida 4-H Dog Project website). Florida Counties are encouraged to establish a “library system,” so their Quiz Bowl contestants can “check out” materials to study and return the materials at the end of each year. Each Quiz Bowl team consists of four contestants and an alternate, the team will pick a Team Captain and an adult leader to help the team replica watches. Teams can represent their County or 4-H Group, and multi- County teams can also be formed. For more information on starting a 4-H Dog Quiz Bowl team in your County please contact Katherine Croft:

Dog Project Clinics & Seminars

The Florida 4-H Dog Project offers several seminars and training clinics for 4-H members during the year. Locations and dates vary, please check this website for information. Training topics include Showmanship, Obedience, Rally & Agility.

Florida 4-H Dog Conference

This is a four day , three night camping experience for 4-H members and their dogs! For more information contact: Beverly Ruble at 863-386-1943 or ..

Training Classes Offered In 4-H

Training classes are offered to 4-H members and their dogs in their home County in Showmanship, Obedience, Rally & Agility. In dog training starting with Obedience first is always a good idea. Obedience classes teach dogs basic control- which is the foundation for all the other classes. While teaching your dog Obedience is an ongoing process (there are many levels to advance through)- you need a good foundation before you can go on to try other divisions such as Showmanship, Agility & Rally. In fact it is recommended, beginning 4-H’ers have a very good start in Obedience before they start learning Agility. 4-H dog training classes are usually offered by the Counties at either free or reduced prices. If you would like to take your child to additional dog training lessons, please ask your 4-H leader for a recommendation of a child friendly instructor in your area, that trains in a similar manner to your 4-H class instructors.

Community Service

4-H youth are encouraged to participate in community service projects. Through the Florida 4-H Dog Project, many 4-Her’s have the opportunity to have their dogs tested to become therapy dogs. Therapy dogs are used in a variety of ways including visiting the elderly in nursing homes, visiting children and adults in hospitals, and participating in the schools’ reading to dogs program. Some County 4-H programs encourage their 4-H members to become ‘puppy raisers’ for dogs who may go on to become ‘service dogs.’ The 4-H member trains the dog to be able to perform the types of skills needed to be accepted into the service dog program. At the end of the training period, if the dog passes the test- he will be accepted into the final training phase of the service dog program. Check to see if your County participates in one of the Service Dog ‘puppy raiser’ programs.