The second annual 4H dog camp is set be held at the Brylin Obedience Specialty School (BOSS) facility August 8 through 12.
The camp is part of the 4H Dog Club that meets once a month and will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The camp will feature a wide variety of activities, guest speakers, competitions and educational segments.
Pamela Davis, coordinator of the 4H Dog Club, said that over the week of the camp, students will be able to assist with a service project for military dogs that are serving overseas.
In total, the project will cost in the neighborhood of $500, Davis said, adding that the care packages will consist of such things as dog goggles, boots, feet cream and even a cooling vest.
Davis noted that they’re only allowed to send certain items in the care packages, noting that the goggles that will be included in the care packages have to be black with smoke colored lenses due to military requirements. Specifically the goggles, Davis explained, protect the dog’s eyes from the sun and dust particles if they’re stationed in such places as the Middle East.
Davis explained that last year’s camp included 15 campers, however this year the maximum number of campers was capped at 10, citing that a smaller group allows for more intimate training.
Speakers at the event will include individuals who work with canines in areas such as search and rescue and the veterinary field.
Davis said that the camp would focus on agility, tricks, scent work, health and wellness and racing.
“The point is to have them be excited and encouraged to work with their dogs,” Davis said of the goal of the camp.
Davis stressed that the camp is inclusive to all dog breeds, explaining that dogs that participate in the camp range in size from 4 to 70 pounds.
“The kids just come in and say this is what I have,” Davis said of the wide variety of canines that participate in the camp.
Davis said that some of the dogs aren’t bred for racing, but still compete in the Fast CAT race. In addition, dogs that participate in the camp are both inside and outside dogs.
“The kids work with their dogs and bond with them,” Davis said, adding that there have been instances in the past where a dog was an outside dog before the camp, but became an indoor dog after the camp concluded.
The Fast CAT race is a 100 yard dash in which the dogs can either chase after a plastic bag on a string or the owner can stand at the finish line and cheer their dog on. One of the benefits of using the bag method, Davis noted, is the fact that it plays into the dog’s hunting instincts.
First, second, third and fourth place ribbons will awarded for the Fast CAT race in the small, medium and large categories.
In order to participate in the camp, all of the dogs have to be up to date on their vaccinations. Davis said that when the campers aren’t actively working with their dogs, the dogs have to be held in their crates, with each dog having their own crate.
The campers will also learn how to properly groom their dogs, everything from brushing a dog’s teeth to ear cleaning and nail care.
When working with the dogs, Davis said that the campers will use treats as positive reinforcement.
“The dogs love it because they’re getting treats left and right, everyone gets positive reinforcement,” Davis explained.
At the end of the camp, the campers parents will attend a miniature show in which the campers will demonstrate what they’ve learned through an agility course, Fast CAT race and trick expose.
“This is a way for the kids to gain a little more confidence and leadership experience, it aids them well in high school and college,” Davis said of the benefits of attending the camp.