Ravalli County 4-H Dog Rules and Regulations
4-H Registration and Project Enrollment
- December 31 is the deadline to re-enroll as a 4-H member in a Ravalli County 4-H club.
- May 1 is the drop/add deadline for all 4-H projects if you want to participate in the Ravalli County Fair as a 4-H member for your specific project.
Project Requirements (what you need to do during the 4-H Year)
- Forms and Record Books: As a 4-H member, you are required to complete “My 4-H Year” form each It is meant to be completed during the year, not at the end of the year. You are required to have this form up-to-date if you are submitting entries for the Ravalli County Fair. This form is to be completed and signed by your club Leader by September 30th (end of the 4-H year).
- Project requirements in regard to the level enrolled: you must complete a minimum of 7 activities and three to five learning experiences each year to complete the project for the year. Please refer to the Clover, Montana 4-H Projects.
- Develop leadership, initiative, sportsmanship and responsibility
- Develop self-reliance and patience by working with your dog daily
- Learn cooperation as one part of a dog and handler team and by sharing your experiences with others
- Learn to accept judge’s decision gracefully
- Learn to work with other 4-H members and leaders
- Learn how to show and handle dogs safely
- Learn how to keep good records and use them to make management decisions
- Learn show rules and etiquette
- Learn to be courteous to the public, judges, show and fair officials, and other competitors
- Learn to care for and manage a dog
- Experience the pride of owning and showing your 4-H dog
- Enjoy and benefit from the experience of being an active member of a 4-H club
All 4-H members must be enrolled in the dog program to participate.
Two members can share a dog as their 4-H project. However, the two members may not show the dog in the same class.
Dogs may be any breed, mixed or purebred.
Dogs may be spayed or neutered.
Blind and/or deaf dogs may be used. Dogs that have a handicap may be used but, they must bring a statement from their veterinarian stating that use as a 4-H project dog will not have any adverse effects on the dog’s health or cause or increase pain. Superintendents must also give approval.
Bitches in season are allowed at Fair Show, but will be shown last. The show Superintendent must be notified if they are in season prior to start of Fair. Ability to show bitches in heat is at the discretion of the Superintendent.
Bitches in season may not attend training sessions.
Dogs that exhibit aggressive, and/or unsocial, and/or problem behavior will not be allowed to be part of the dog project and/or participate in Fair. Leaders and Superintendents have the immediate authority to excuse or place restrictions on the dog’s participation in 4-H activities. Leaders and Superintendents must inform the Extension Office of their decision. Every effort should be made to see that the member is included, even if the dog is excused. Alternative suggestions should be offered to the 4-H member and family.
A Flat Collar will be used for Obedience and Agility at the show.
A properly fitted Showmanship Collar will be used for Showmanship.
Choke, Prong, Spike, Electric collars and muzzles are not allowed.
In Training a flat collar, martingale and/or Front attachment Harness (i.e. Easy Walk) may be used for the dog.
(A Gentle Leader – Head Halter may only be used with approval of the Superintendents).
Dogs must have a solid sit-stay, down-stay and recall before they can participate in agility. In Agility your dog will wear a flat collar.
Proof of the following vaccines are required –
– according to the current AVHA standard and state Law a dog is to be vaccinated at 4 months and 1 year, and then every 3 years.
– proof of initial series; from then on either vaccines of Distemper and Parvo every 3 years, titers every three years or a note from an accredited professional as to why the dog has not been vaccinated, how it is being protected and that this will not pose a risk to the other dogs.
- an optional vaccine (kennel cough preventative)
Please do not bring your dog to meetings if it has a cough, or shows any other signs of being ill or hurt.
Note: any dog not current on vaccinations or titers as stated above must have a letter from a veterinarian or accredited professional explaining how the dog is being protected and that there is not a risk for that dog to participate in training or the Fair.
You are expected to attend Meetings as noted in the program contract. This is necessary in order to prepare you and your dog adequately for the Fair and to complete your project books.
However, we understand that it may be difficult to attend every Meeting. If you cannot attend a session, we suggest you contact one of your fellow 4-H members to get caught up on training.
If your dog is unable to attend a training session, you are encouraged to still come and participate.
It will be at the Dog Project Superintendents’ discretion to determine whether you are at the level of competency with your dog to perform at Fair.
Please refer to the 4-H Dog Program Participation Contract for further information!
Come prepared to all meetings – dress appropriately, wear proper footwear, bring a leash, proper collar, soft pea-size treats, water for you and your dog, water bowl, poop bags and a way to safely confine your dog during non-dog activities. (No tie out!)
We ask that a parent attend all meetings with their children, unless a prior arrangement has been made with Nicki. Youth old enough to drive themselves to meetings do not need parental attendance.
We encourage and appreciate parents who participate in various aspects of training.
Call, text or e-mail Nicki by 1pm on day of meeting, if you are unable to come. 406-369-0707, [email protected]
We will start on time, so please be there a few minutes early to potty your dog and get ready.
We will have a signup sheet for a parent/youth team to be there early enough to help with set- up and, at end of class, with clean up.
The parent/youth team responsible for set- up will also be responsible for supervising sign-in of everyone.
Wear solid, closed toe and closed heel shoes to class and trial. No sandals, flip/flops or similar. Youth will not be able to participate without the proper foot wear. (Tennis shoes are best)
Keep a minimum of 5 foot distance between each dog/handler team during training. This assures that none of the dogs feel that their space is being invaded and also gives you more space to practice.
Use treats, squeaky toys, or move to a less distracting location to keep your dog focused on you.
Watch for any staring at another dog. Staring is rude in dog language so it is better to prevent it than have two dogs have the wrong ‘conversation’ with each other. At the first few meetings the dogs are stressed, as well as people, until everyone gets used to the place and each other. So let’s make it easier for everyone!
Interaction between dogs will be limited to training exercises under supervision and only after the dogs have been evaluated by the superintendent.
Dogs are only allowed in the designated areas for our training sessions and the Fair Show.
You must pick up after your dog.
Dogs are to be kept on leash during training or at Fair unless they are performing a specific training exercise.
Dogs need to be either on leash, in a crate or a well ventilated car (with water available to them). This is required when we either ask you to put up your dogs or before and after training while you get ready to leave.
It is important that we, as a group, make the best impression to the Fairground staff and anyone else that may be observing us. It is a privilege that we do not want to lose to have our show during Fair.
There will be a sign-up sheet for you (4-youth) to choose the date and topic you want to do a presentation and demo. Please note that we would like it to go along with our Theme of that session, if possible.
If, for some reason, you are unable to do your topic at the time you signed up for, you are responsible for finding another youth to trade the time slot. You must inform us of the changes prior to the Meeting day that you were going to do your presentation.
- Submit your completed fair entry form by the given deadline.
- The superintendent will review your entries with you and make changes to lot numbers as needed, before Fair entries are du Changes will not be made the day of the show.
- About 1 week before the fair, you may want to pick up your fair entry tags at the fairgrounds Premium Offic It is located just West of the First Interstate Building in the old Arts building. In addition to the fair entry tags, you will receive an exhibitor number on an index card which will be displayed on your upper, left arm. Please be certain to have this number with you during the fair. You must be wearing your number or you will not be let into the show ring.
- Each participant is encouraged to bring record books to all training sessions throughout the year, to be reviewed periodically by a superintendent.
- Arrive Early to get yourself and your dog settled and familiar with the ringside.
- You will bring a crate or have other arrangements made to have a safe resting place by the ringside at Fair.
- For your dog - bring something for shade, grooming tools, water, poop bags, leash, collar and treats.
- For you – bring sunscreen, clothes for layering (it can be cold in the mornings), any snacks and drinks you want to have on hand.
- Dress code for showmanship: AKC style outfit, (a handout describing this will be provided prior to fair) as approved by the superintendent OR white button up shirt with collar tucked into black or dark blue pants, dark shoes (no rubber boots or sandals), no hats. Bring a second set for a potential change for the awards ceremony.
- An Emergency Medical/vet kit for you and your dog is strongly recommended.
- You are responsible for the care of your animal during the fai This includes, but is not limited to, watering, picking up after your dog and yourself. All treats should be kept in a sealed container or at your camp area. Please do not help yourself to someone else’s treats without permission. You are responsible for your own supplies.
- Please take the time to visit with fair attendees about your animals and proje This is part of the reason people attend the fair. Many people who walk through the animal areas would love to know specific facts about your animal and what is involved in its care.
- Check the Fair Book for Round Robin schedule.
Thank you for paying attention to the above! Sincerely, Nicki Arndt