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The Lawrence County Cooperative Extension office hosts a 4-H Summer Fun Shop series as part of their summer 4-H & Youth Development programming. Lawrence County coordinator Linda Robinson says these workshops combine learning and fun.

“Summer is a break from school so we look for creative ways to blend education with fun activities,” says Robinson.

spencer1For the fourth summer, one of the workshops offered was on dog obedience training. Robert Spencer, urban regional Extension specialist, who has led Extension’s companion animal program and has experience showing dogs in obedience trial competitions, conducted the workshop. The workshop drew 35 participants and 14 dogs who attended with their owners. Attendees included young people and their parents as well as a summer class from Moulton Elementary School.

While the focus of the workshop was on obedience training, a number of topics related to dog ownership and care were covered. Young people learned the importance of training their dogs and how to manage their pet’s health. Part of the day’s fun activities featured Sharon Fisher, agent assistant and her dog. The pair demonstrated an agility trial course which include jumps and tunnels each dog must maneuver through and is scored based on skill and speed.

After finishing their practice of basic obedience skills, the young people could participate in a talent and costume show. Spencer says this is always a highlight of the workshop.

“The kids really enjoy showcasing their dog’s talents,” says Spencer. “They always come up with really entertaining costumes for their pets.”