With spring and summer rapidly approaching, now is the time to offer your child two unique local activities for youngsters who are animal lovers. The Carroll County 4-H Dog Training Classes and the Humane Society’s Critter Camp are activities that may fit the bill for your child.
Carroll County 4-H dog training classes
For over 55 years, the Carroll County 4-H Dog Project has been conducting dog training classes for youngsters and their family’s dog. The classes teach canine manners, basic obedience skills (sit, down, heeling on lead, stand for examination, stay, and to come on command). The children also learn about dog behavior, bonding with an animal partner, and developing good sportsmanship. The instructors for this program are volunteers who collectively have over 200 years of dog training and showing experience and enjoy sharing their knowledge with students. The classes are divided by age and previous training experience. Three different dog sport classes are offered for all of the participants: Obedience, Fitting and Showing, and Rally.
Obedience: utilizes the basic obedience skills listed above.
Fitting and Showing: the students learn how to present their dogs in the manner as seen on televised dog shows.
Rally: requires use of all the basic obedience skills as well as additional skills with the handler following directions from signs with symbols. This sport has been a favorite with 4-H students because they can talk to and encourage their dogs as they follow the signs’ directions to complete a course in the ring. Skills for all of these dog sports are taught sequentially using positive dog training techniques (food rewards). The dog and handler teams gradually refine their skills in preparation for the Carroll County 4-H Dog Show that takes place in late July in conjunction with the Carroll County 4-H Fair. The Dog Show is a family-oriented event and the young handlers compete for and may win ribbons, rosettes and trophies based upon how well they and their canine partners perform in the ring. If the scores they earned are high enough at this show, some of the dog and handler teams may qualify to compete at the Maryland State Fair’s Dog Show, a prestigious event!
To be eligible to participate in the 4-H Dog Training Program:
- Children must: be a member of a 4-H club and be 8 to 18 years old by May 1 (no Clovers).
- There is a $10 fee for Carroll County Dog Club members and a $25 fee for other 4-H members.
- Dogs must: be 4 months old by April 1 , have a county license and rabies shot by May 8, and pass a temperament tes (on April 3 in rooms A and B in the extension office).
Registration for the classes will take place on March 27 at the 4-H library in the Ag Center’s Extension Office.
The safety of students, dogs and instructors is of utmost importance. Dogs that exhibit aggressive behavior towards people and /or other dogs during the test will not be accepted into the training program, however the child may still participate by training a ‘loaner dog’ provided by an instructor to be used during class time.
Classes start on Tuesday, May 8 and will take place from 6:30 pm to 8 p.m. in the “Red” Buildings at the Carroll County Agriculture Center.
For more information, call the 4-H Office at 410-386-2760.
Parents: The following pieces of equipment will be needed: a 6 ft. leash and a plain choke or martingale collar (no prong collars or head halters). Please save all sales receipts in case the wrong equipment or size was purchased.
Humane Society of Carroll County’s Critter Camp
Last year’s inaugural Critter Camp received rave reviews. This year’s program will also feature guest speakers, demonstrations, crafts, games, and opportunities for kids to connect with a variety of animals!
Each day of this year’s 5-day camp will have a unique theme like “Barnyard Day” with special animal guests from a farm. On “Protecting Pets Day” Animal Control Officer Dawn will provide information about keeping pets safe and healthy. During “Going to the Dogs Day” the campers will learn about Bite Prevention and how people must “listen with their eyes” to understand how dogs and cats communicate by using body language signals.
Special dog visitors will demonstrate their obedience and scent detection skills. “Cattin Around” and “Wild And Wonderful” days are also planned for the campers.
The Critter Camp is located at the Humane Society on 2517 Littlestown Pike, Westminster.
The 5-day sessions are divided into 3 age groups with a limit of 20 campers per session.
- Ages 6-8: July 9-13
- Ages 8-10: July 16-20
- Ages 11-13: July 23-27
Camp hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee per camper is $225. Early reservations are advised.
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For more information please call 410-848-4810.