Agility Superintendent: Kathy Potthoff, Lincoln 
Showmanship, Obedience Superintendent: Tayler Wickham, Blair


NOTE TO EXHIBITOR AND EXTENSION OFFICE: Please follow these rules carefully. Contact a Superintendent if you have any questions.

  1. Procedures - Those procedures described in “Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4-H 420. Exhibitors are expected to read and follow the information in the “State Fair 4-H Dog Exhibitor Letter” which is posted on the web with the 4-H dog information. It is the dog exhibitor's responsibility to pick up after their dogs at all times. Dogs soiling in the show ring (during a class) will be lowered one ribbon placing. Dogs soiling anywhere on the show grounds with no pick up will be disqualified from all entered classes on that show day regardless of the person who is holding the dog leash. 
  2. Dog Eligibility - Exhibitor should provide primary care and training for the dog. The dog should reside with the exhibitor or be cared for the by the exhibitor the majority of the year. 
  3. Vaccination - All dogs must be immunized for distemper, hepatitis, parvo and rabies. The Nebraska must be filled out and signed by a veterinarian and returned as part of the Advanced Entry. The Nebraska State Fair Show Vaccination Record Form (SF 263) must document all vaccinations within 1 year or 3 years depending on the vaccine given. All required vaccinations must be given within 1 to 3 years of the show date based on label guidelines. All vaccinations must be in effect at the time of the State Fair Dog Show. Explanation: Some vaccinations are viable for one year and some vaccinations are viable for three years but are specifically designed and administered according to their label. It is not acceptable nor allowed to vaccinate a dog with a 1-year vaccine and plan to have it in effect for 3 years. The SF 263 form must be submitted for each dog according to the entry guideline due date or will not be allowed to show. 
  4. Arrival Time - All exhibitors should first check-in at the registration area. They should then check in at their assigned ring(s) 30 minutes prior to judging. 
  5. Number of Entries per Exhibitor - For State Fair: Youth may enter one showmanship class, two agility classes (using different dogs and in different level of classes), and two obedience classes (using different dogs and in different level of classes). 
  6. Advancement in Obedience and Agility Classes - Follow rules in Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4-H 420: A youth will move up to a ‘transition year’, after they receive 2 purples in a specific class at county or state level competition. Youth will finish their 4-H year at the same level if the second purple ribbon occurs in the middle of their 4-H year. Youth do not have to move up in the middle of a 4-H year. Youth will then have the option to stay in their current class for one additional year (after receiving 2 purple ribbons) called the ‘transition year’. During the transition year, youth will practice the more advanced class (gaining skills such as off leash work) but may compete in their same level. Youth may advance up to the next level more quickly with advice/assistance from a leader and parent to help evaluate skill and readiness of youth and dog. This may especially occur if the youth has had previous dog handling experiences. 
  7. Advancement in Showmanship Classes - Classes are divided into age divisions: Intermediate 10-13, Senior 14-18. All 4-H dog exhibitors must show their own animals to be considered as participants in the Showmanship Contest. Showman will be allowed to compete in a division each year based on their age or until they win that particular age group. Winners must advance to the next age group. Winners of the Senior division will be ineligible in future dog showmanship contests. 
  8. Disqualified Dogs - Females in season will not be permitted to be shown. Overly aggressive dogs may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge or superintendent. Lame or crippled dogs will not be permitted to show if it is determined by a show superintendent that it is affecting the health of the dog. Also see: A. Procedure for information about disqualification for dog soiling on show grounds. 
  9. Age of Dog - A dog that is exhibited at the State Fair must be 6 months or older. Agility dogs must be 18 months or older to participate in competition. 
  10. Show Schedule - The class schedule with exhibitor, time and ring assignments will be completed after entries are received and will be sent to Extension offices and posted on the 4-H State Fair web page prior to the State Fair. 
  11. Dress Code - Exhibitors are required to wear the official State Fair 4-H t-shirt that is given at the Show. Solid blue jeans are required. No headgear is worn in the show ring. Exhibitors shall not display local, county, commercial or other identification while showing at State Fair. Closed toed shoes with a non-slip sole are required.
  12. Baiting - Baiting with food or a toy is not permitted and is cause for disqualification. Handlers may use baiting action without food or toys in showmanship. The judge has the authority to disqualify violators. 
  13. Exhibitor Responsibility - Dogs are not allowed on the floor except while in the show ring or 30 minutes prior to the class for check-in. CLEANUP shall be the EXHIBITOR'S RESPONSIBILITY. This includes all areas while on the show site. Dogs should use the designated dog run area. 
  14. At State Fair, non-entered dogs and puppies are not allowed in the grooming area, ring waiting area, public seating areas, or on the arena floor. 
  15. Only exhibitors are allowed to groom or work dogs at the show, both in and out of the rings. 
  16. Awards - Any award can be withheld if the exhibitor fails cleanup around their area. An entry must earn a purple or blue ribbon placing to be eligible for an award. 
  17. Substitutions - A dog may be substituted for showmanship classes only if it is injured or dies following the entry deadline. Substitutions are generally not allowed in obedience and agility classes however; substitutions may be considered at the discretion of the state fair superintendents. A substitute can be selected from the exhibitor’s household family or from the household where the originally entered dog resides. Dog(s) may be substituted only if a superintendent is directly consulted prior to the show date. A Nebraska State Fair Dog Show Vaccination Form (SF 263) must be completed for all substitution dogs and received by the superintendent prior to the show date.


Showmanship Rules

  1. Each class will be judged on handler's appearance (10%), grooming and conditioning of dog (20%), coordination of the dog and handler (50%), and general knowledge (20%). Classes are divided into age divisions.

Showmanship Classes

  • G-700-020 Intermediate Showmanship- (10 – 13 year olds) 
  • G-700-030 Senior Showmanship- (14 – 18 year olds)


Obedience Rules

  1. Follow rules in Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4-H 420 to determine class entry.
  2. BEGINNING NOVICE-All exercises must be performed on a six-foot leash. Dogs must heel including figure 8; Stand for examination; come on recall; long sit for one minute and long down for three minutes.

Obedience Classes

  • G-701-010 Beginning Novice Division A - exhibitor and dog is in first year of competition (started Dog Project after October 1, 2015). Exhibitors incorrectly entered will be moved to Beginning Novice Division B
  • G-701-020 Beginning Novice Division B - exhibitor or dog is beyond first year of competition. 
  • G-701-030 Novice - Dogs must heel on leash including figure 8; stand for examination off leash, heel free; come on recall off leash, long sit for one minute off leash and long down for three minutes off leash. 
  • G-701-040 Graduate Novice - Dogs must heel on leash; stand for examination off leash; heel free including figure 8; drop on recall; long sit for three minutes and long down for five minutes both with handler out of sight. 
  • G-701-045 Advanced Graduate Novice – heel on leash and figure 8 (off leash), drop on recall, dumbbell recall, recall over high jump, recall over broad jump, and long down. 
  • G-701-050 OPEN-All exercises off leash. Heel free and figure 8; drop on recall; retrieve on flat; retrieve over high jump; broad jump; long sit for three minutes and long down for five minutes, both with handler out of sight. Refer to Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4-H 420.for jump heights/distances. 
  • G-701-055 Graduate Open – signal exercise, scent discrimination, directed retrieve, moving stand and examination, go out, and directed jumping. 
  • G-701-060 Utility - The dog will perform five exercises- the signal exercise; the scent discrimination exercise with leather and metal objects; the directed retrieve; moving stand and examination; directed jumping. Exhibitors must supply their own scent articles and gloves for the directed retrieve.


Agility Rules

  1. PROCEDURE- Agility will follow those procedures and classes described in Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4-H 420 ( Refer to Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines to determine class entry. If a youth has not had training or practiced on agility equipment, they may not enter a competition due to safety and training experience in agility. Wither heights of all agility dogs must be included with advanced entries. Level 1 & 2 Agility classes are run on leash. Level 3, 4, and 5 are all run off leash. One of each obstacle noted in each level are mandatory and duplicate obstacles will be added to make up quantities of obstacles in each level. Obstacle equipment needing repair or deemed unsafe by judge will be excluded from the competition. Judges determine the arrangements of the obstacles on the course. Obstacles in course should be numbered to note the obstacle order for the course. Course maps will be made available and posted at time of show registration in designated area(s).
  2. Level 5 – youth can use additional equipment for competition that they have access to and can use in practice. Obstacles that are used for agility competition events may be included from (AKC, CPE, USDAA, NADAC, UKC, etc….)
  3. Agility Jump heights – measure dogs at withers to determine jump height:
    • Dogs 11 inches or less – 4 inches, 
    • Dogs over 11 inches up to and including 14 inches – 8 inches, 
    • Dogs over 14 inches up to and including 18 inches – 12 inches, 
    • Dogs over 18 inches – 16 inches.

Agility Classes

  • G -702-010 Level 1-6 Obstacles – 3 bar jumps which have two bars each, short dog walk, pause box or table, and tunnel (open). 
  • G -702-020 Level 2-10 Obstacles – several bar jumps which have two bars each, short dog walk, pause box or table, tunnel (open), and solid panel jump. 
  • G -702-030 Level 3-10 Obstacles – same obstacles as Level 2 but dogs run off leash for Level 3. 
  • G -702-040 Level 4-13 Obstacles – bar jump which has one bar each, bar jump which has two bars each, tall dog walk, pause box or table, tunnel (open), solid panel jump, teeter totter (seesaw), and weave poles (single set with 6 poles). 
  • G-702-050 Level 5-15-20 - of any of the following obstacles such as: bar jump which has one bar each, bar jump which has two bars each, tall dog walk, pause box or table, tunnel (open), solid panel jump, A-frame short, A-frame tall, teeter totter (seesaw), weave poles (single set with 6 poles), weave poles (double set with 12 poles), broad jump, dump jump, triple bar jump, swing bridge, etc. Number of obstacles used for a course will depend on ring size and available equipment at show site. Course layout may include more advanced handling techniques.