VERMILLION, SD – In Clay County 4-H, four-legged friends come in all shapes and sizes.

The 4-H Dog Show, held July 16, is an opportunity for youth to show the strong bonds they share with their canine companions.

Members of the Clay County 4-H Dog Program competed in three events at the 4-H Dog Show on Tuesday evening: obedience, rally, and agility.

The obedience class teaches youth how to work with their dogs safely and effectively. It encourages youth to go back to the basics when teaching their dog how to heel, sit and stay, among other things. The obedience class is very structured and handlers are only allowed to give brief hand or voice signals and may not touch their dog.

In rally, the 4-H member and their dog complete a timed course that has been designed by the judge. Throughout the course, signs are posted that provide instructions to the 4- H member, telling him or her what skill their dog should perform. In Rally, handlers may talk to their dogs, but may not touch them.

Rally trials show how useful a dog can be while behaving in the home, public places and around other dogs.

Agility is a fast paced event where 4-H members lead their dogs through an obstacle course, which often includes tunnels, jumps, ramps and more.

Each event is judged at different experience levels, depending on what level the 4-H member and their dog is at. Youth/Dog teams must earn a particular score or ribbon level in order to move up to a higher class the following year.

Eight 4-H members and nine dogs participated in the Clay County 4-H Dog Show on July 16.

Senior Wyatt Knutson showed his Corgi Cross, Nip. Their results were: Novice Obedience: Blue; Rally Advanced B: Blue.

Junior Max Knutson showed his Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Nugget. Their results were: Pre- Novice Obedience: Purple; Grand Champion Obedience; Rally Advanced A: Purple; Agility Advanced: Purple; Grand Champion Agility.

Junior Emma Bohnsack showed her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Smalls. Their results were: Basic A Obedience: Purple; Rally Novice A: Purple; Reserve Champion Rally; Agility Off Leash: Blue.

Junior Trey Law showed his Labradoodle, Lincoln. Their results were: Pre-Novice

Obedience: Purple; Rally Novice A: Purple; Agility Off Leash: White.

Beginner Emmet Knutson showed his Border Collie, Nash. Their results were: Pre- Novice Obedience: Purple; Reserve Champion Obedience; Rally Advanced A: Purple; Agility Off Leash: Purple.

Beginner Emmet Knutson also showed a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Fergus, owned by club leader Margaret Williams. Their results were: Pre-Novice Obedience: Purple; Rally Advanced A: Purple; Grand Champion Rally.

Beginner Marissa Schweinle showed her Pit Bull Terrier Mix, Max. Their results were: Basic A Obedience: Blue; Rally Novice A: Blue; Agility On Leash: Purple; Reserve Champion Agility.

Beginner Rozlynn Olson showed her Corgi Blue Heeler Mix, Lizzy. Their results were: Basic A Obedience: Purple; Rally Novice A: Blue; Agility Off Leash: Red.

Beginner Ben Bohnsack showed his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Tuffy. Their results were: Basic A Obedience: Purple; Rally Novice A: Purple.

Following the 4-H Awards, Club Leader Margaret Williams presented club awards from the previous year's hard work.

Special thanks to Margaret Williams for her wisdom and dedication to the 4-H Dog Program; to Lisa Swanson for photographing the event; to HUB Insurance, the 2019 Dog Show Sponsor; our Judge, Morgan Hower; and all other volunteers and parents throughout the year.

For more information about 4-H, how to join 4-H, or the Dog Program, contact Lauren Hollenbeck at the Clay County Extension Office at 605-677-7111.

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