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Michigan State University Extension
21885 Dunham Road, Suite 12, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-6440

4-H Companion Animals (Dogs, Cats and Pocket Pets)


4-H Companion Animals

Companion Animals are animals that are “pets” as opposed to “livestock”. This includes dogs, cats, pet birds, hamsters, and even reptiles and amphibians. Youth have fun learning how to train and care for their own pets.

Events and Training

  • 4-H Companion Animals Workshop: This workshop is held each May at Kettunen Center in Tustin, Mich. Learn, share and explore 4-H companion animal activities, club and group development, leadership opportunities, and canine behavior and training. Participants also learn how to improve both beginning and advanced skills in performance areas such as agility, obedience, showmanship, rally, and freestyle. Additional topics of interest include cat sessions and many other opportunities that will enhance your 4-H companion animal project experience. Open to 4-H adult and teen volunteer leaders aged 13 and up.
  • 4-H State Dog Show: The State 4-H Dog Show is held each August at Michigan State University in East Lansing.  Youth from across the state compete in a variety of contests, including showmanship, obedience, agility and freestyle.
  • Armada Fair: 4-H youth can show their dogs and pocket pets at this annual event held in August.
  • Canine Good Citizen Testing: This AKC evaluation is offered each fall for 4-H members and the general community. Macomb County 4-H requires members’ dogs to pass Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or Therapy Dog International certification before participating in patient visitation programs.
  • Dog Patch Program: This statewide program recognizes members who have achieved a certain number of qualifying scores in specific areas of competition.
  • Fun Matches: Dog Project members have the opportunity to participate in fun matches organized by 4-H clubs in Macomb and other nearby counties.
  • Training: Macomb County’s 4-H dog clubs all offer training in obedience, showmanship, and agility from April to August. Some clubs have access to indoor facilities and continue to train in fall and winter.



Cat Project Book: The Cat Project Book comes in 3 age-appropriate versions and can be entered into the Armada Fair.

Dog Project Book: The Dog Project Book, comes in 4 age-appropriate versions. A member must complete the book in order to show in 4-H at the Armada Fair dog show.

Dog Show Promotion Record: This document should be updated each time a member’s dog completes in a 4-H or non-4-H match or show. The information on this record is used to determine the appropriate level of competition.

Dog Patch Program Overview and Qualifying Scores Documents (Page 1 and Page 2): Explains and illustrates the various dog patches that can be earned by members. The qualifying scores document should be signed by the judge each time a member competes.

Pocket Pet Project Book: