About the 4-H Dog Project
Learn how to properly care for your dog’s health, nutrition, training, and housing needs! Caring for a pet helps you develop responsibility, decision-making, nurturing, and communication skills.
Contact the Marion County 4-H office:
Dog Project Manuals
You can learn more about how to care for and show your dog by completing one of the project activity guides, based on your skill level:
- Dog Level 1: Wiggles and Wags
- Dog Level 2: Canine Connection
- Dog Level 3: Leading the Pack
- Dog Group Helper's Guide
Project manuals may also be available to purchase at the Marion County Extension office, and older editions of manuals (if available) are free. Contact us to ask about availability!
Keep track of what you learn using a dog record sheet.
You are also encouraged to join the Indy 4-H Dog Club. The Dog Club offers multiple meeting locations and normally meets weekly. Each training session builds upon the others. Contact club leader Melinda Manges to join!
Showcasing What You’ve Learned
- Dog training is a must to learn the skills needed. Youth interested in showing dogs must be a member of the Indy 4-H Dog Club. Contact club leader Melinda Manges to join.
- You are required to show obedience, but are welcome to do showmanship. For your second year and after, you are able to do agility.
- Dogs must have a vaccination form and proper shots to show and train at the County Showcase and the State Fair.
- You must read and follow the Marion County Dog Club Bylaws/Rules.
- Aggressive Dog Policy
- Indiana 4-H animal identification information
- Animal Education project exhibit guidelines for 4-H members grades 3-12
- Marion County 4-H poster exhibit guidelines and tips
Each score card is based on the activities and your experience level or your dog’s ability. Each level will build on what you and the dog have learned from previous training.
- All dog show score cards can be found on the Indiana 4-H dog project page (scroll down to “score cards”).
- Dog Poster Score Card
Advancing to the State Fair
- Yes! Dog project exhibits from 4-H members grades 3 and up may advance to the State Fair. (You do not need to qualify at the county level to enter State Fair animal shows.) Be sure to review the Indiana 4-H Policies and Procedures for 4-H Animal Shows at the Indiana State Fair.
Cloverbuds (Grades K-2)
- You may enter a poster or notebook about dogs through our Animal Education project. You can also participate in showmanship with a stuffed model.
- If you are interested in showing your dog, each member is a case-by-case requirement. Due to working with and around live animals, your parent/guardian will need to sign a liability form.
- Cloverbud projects are for exhibition only (not judged), so there are no score cards, and exhibits are not eligible to advance to the State Fair.
More Dog Project Resources
- See Indiana 4-H’s Dog project page for more resources.