2019 Date & Location Change

Due to facility changes at Fonner Park during the 2019 Nebraska State Fair, the 2019 State 4-H Dog Show and Dog Skillathon Contest will be held on Saturday, September 7th at the Animal Science Complex on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s East Campus. For more event information, please visit the 2019 State 4-H Dog Event page.

Agility Superintendent: Lisa Karr, Lincoln 
Showmanship, Obedience & Rally Superintendent: Tayler Wickham, Blair
Companion Animal Specialist: Lisa Karr, Lincoln

Dog General Rules

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 4H420. 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 SF263 Dog Vaccination Certifiation 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), two obedience classes (using different dogs and in different level of classes), and two rally 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 4H420.
  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.

Dog Showmanship


  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%).
  2. Classes are divided into age divisions.


  • G700020 - Intermediate Showmanship (10 – 13 year olds) 
  • G700030 - Senior Showmanship (14 – 18 year olds)



  1. Follow rules in Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4-H 420 to determine class entry and exercises within each obedience class.


  • G-701-010 Beginning Novice Division A - exhibitor and dog is in first year of competition (started Dog Project after October 1, 2017). 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-701-025 Beginning Novice Division C - exhibitor and dog is beyond first year of competition.
  • G-701-030 Novice A– exhibitor and dog is in first year of Novice Class competition (started after Oct 1, 2017).
  • G-701-035 Novice B – exhibitor and dog is beyond first year of Novice Class competition.
  • G-701-040 Graduate Novice
  • G-701-045 Advanced Graduate Novice
  • G-701-050 OPEN
  • G-701-055 Graduate Open
  • G-701-060 Utility



  1. Procedure - Agility will follow those procedures and classes described in Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4H420. Refer to Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines to determine class entry and obstacles for each level of competition. 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. 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.


  • G702010 - Level 1-6 Obstacles 
  • G702020 - Level 2-10 Obstacles
  • G702030 - Level 3-10 Obstacles
  • G702040 - Level 4-13 Obstacles
  • G702050 - Level 5-15-20



  1. Rally will follow those procedures and classes described in the Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines 4H420.
  2. Refer to Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Guidelines to determine class entry for each level of competition.
  3. Refer to Nebraska 4-H Dog Show Rally Guidelines for more information and resources.


  • G703010 - Beginning Rally - dog is on leash and there are 5-10 stations.
  • G702020 - Rally 1 - dog is on leash and there are 10-15 stations.
  • G703030 - Rally 2 - dog is off leash and there are 12-17 stations.
  • G703040 - Rally 3 - Dog is off leash and there are 15-20 stations.

Scoresheets, Forms & More