Dog days of summer are fun at 4-H canine camp

If you are an area youth (or know an area youth) looking for some fun in the sun (or rain) with your dog, then the week-long summer program for dogs and youth handlers sponsored by the Albany County 4-H program and Albany Obedience Club might be just the thing for you.

Held July 14 to18 at the Albany Obedience Club training facility on Wemple Road in Glenmont, the program runs from 9 a.m. until noon each day. Each day provides new opportunities to have fun with your dog and to learn more about dogs and dog training.

Agility with its colorful tunnels, jumps, weave poles, and contact obstacles (A-frame, and elevated dog walk) is always popular with new and returning students and is a daily feature of the week.

Put your dog’s sense of smell to the test with the nose-works sessions. Can your dog find the hidden treats? With a keen sense of smell, most dogs enjoy this game — and especially the tasty reward for a successful “find.”

Learn about service dogs. Meet Echo, a service dog for the wheelchair-bound session leader and another service dog in training. What services do they provide and how do you train a dog for these skills?

Dr. Chris Gundersen, a holistic veterinarian from Shaker Veterinary Hospital, will be there mid-week to talk about her work. She will be there all morning and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Keeping your dog happy and motivated during training can be difficult. In the Games sessions, learn some short, motivational games to play with your dog to keep him or her interested in being with you. Use these games as part of each training session and your dog will be super-excited to work with you.

Join in the fun! It is always a close contest to see who has the most fun — the dogs, the youth handlers, or the AOC volunteers who make this program work.

Participants do not have to be current 4-H members, but will be enrolled as part of the summer program. Enrollment is limited to 18.

The cost is $90. For additional information, or to register, contact Barb Stevens in the 4-H office by e-mail at bes13@cornell.edu or by phone at 765-3541.

Editor’s note: Sharon Breisch is a 4-H volunteer.

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