Companion animals are diverse groups of animals that include dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, companion birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and many more! There are currently more than 1.1 billion companion animals worldwide. In fact, there are more companion animals than people in the United States.
The Nebraska 4-H companion animal programs offer opportunities for youth to develop life skills and obtain knowledge of companion animals. The focus of the Nebraska 4-H companion animal programs is the total development of the young person. The companion animals contests, shows, and related activities are utilized as a vehicle for human growth and development.
For more information about companion animal programs offered in your community, please contact your local Extension office.
4-H COMPANION ANIMAL OPPORTUNITIES
Are you and your dog at home with nothing to do? Have you thought of training your dog, but didn't know where to start? Join our Nebraska 4-H Virtual Dog Club to get started training your dog at home! You only need a few minutes each day to build a relationship with your dog and improve behavior. The Nebraska 4-H Virtual Dog Club will provide members with training tips each week delivered through short videos.
Companion Rabbit Science is a self-paced learning opportunity offering information about caring for rabbits. The online course is great for middle-school-aged youth but is open to all youth regardless of age who are looking to learn more about rabbits and the 4-H rabbit project. Companion Rabbit Science is a great resource for anyone interested in caring for or learning about rabbits in 4-H whether they own one now or not!
The Companion Animal Challenge, held annually on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus, provides 4-H members an opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their companion animal knowledge through a variety of 4-H contests that do not require live animals, including demonstrations, skillathon, essay, art, and photography contests.
The State 4-H Dog Show offers 4-H members opportunities to demonstrate their skills and abilities in working with their canine companion through a variety of competitions, including showmanship, obedience, agility, and rally classes. The State 4-H Dog Skillathon is also offered as an opportunity for 4-H members to test their knowledge of a variety of dog care topics.
Cat Club is a self-paced learning opportunity offering educational information about caring for and showing cats. Cat Club is open to all youth regardless of age or enrollment status, as well as parents and volunteers looking to gain knowledge about cats and the 4-H cat project. New lessons are added each month and cover various topics, such as vaccination, diseases, grooming, diet, reproduction, breeds, genetics, cat selection, and showmanship.
The Dog Showmanship Video Series includes maneuver descriptions, demonstrations, and general information for youth interested in learning more about dog showmanship. The short videos are intended to help youth while practicing with their dogs in preparation for 4-H showmanship.
Nebraska 4-H Companion Animal Judges Workshop is an online training opportunity for adults interested in judging 4-H companion animals. Additionally, the online judges training course is a great resource for 4-H'ers interested in learning more about how their companion animals will be judged at fair. This online course provides information about judging cat, rabbit, and poultry.