The Kentucky 4-H Dog Program may seem to be about dogs, but in reality, it is about kids.  Young people are very important to us and we want to make sure that we provide the very best educational experience that we can. For most, animal-related programs and projects will provide a variety of life lessons, which will positively impact them for the rest of their lives, no matter what career path they choose to follow.  While it is important for youth in 4-H dog clubs and programs to gain a basic understanding of daily care, nutrition, and dog ownership, it's the learning from hands-on experience---making decisions, seeing the results, and accepting the responsibility for the care of a living animal---where lives of youth are changed forever.

In an effort to make sure that every young person involved in a 4-H dog program or project has the best possible learning experience, Kentucky 4-H is developing and implementing the Kentucky 4-H Dog Volunteer Certification Program. This program will put in place a system of "certification" for 4-H volunteers that work with dog programs and projects. In order for a county to offer dog programs and projects through 4-H, at least one volunteer per county club/group must attend a Certification Workshop and complete specialized trained. That volunteer must then continue to hone their knowledge and skills in youth development and subject matter training through annual continuing education to continue as a "Certified Volunteer". This program is a step towards providing the finest educational experience for youth that we can.

Kentucky 4-H believes that all youth should have opportunities for positive youth development in our four guiding concepts: mastery, belonging, independence, and generosity.  The Kentucky 4-H Dog Program fosters mastery by learning about dog care and management, belonging by taking part in club and community events, independence by demonstrating responsible dog ownership, and generosity by participating in community service and outreach events.

Please contact Alissa Ackerman at Clay County Extension Office for more information at 606-598-2789.