Gila County 4H Dog Obedience and Agility Club provides training


According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, this year may be the Year of the Tiger but August 26 is International Dog Day every year. International Dog Day was first established in 2004 by pet and family lifestyle advocate Colleen Paige. Colleen had the objective of raising awareness about adopting our furry friends who are currently in shelters or rescue centers. In addition to encouraging rescue, International Dog Day promotes ownership of all different breeds of dogs, purebred and mixed. August 26 is significant to Colleen because it is the day her family adopted her Sheltie when she was 10 years old.

Since the first celebration in 2004, International Dog Day has grown and is now celebrated across the world including right here in Globe, Az. Sancho at  Waggin’ Vineyard & Estate invited all his furry friends to join him and enjoy the live music, hot dogs, corn dogs and shaved ice. Gila County Animal Care and Control staff offered free microchips to all our furry friends at their new facility near the Gila County Fairgrounds. Hopefully these will become annual traditions here in Globe.

International Dog Day has also been using its platform to encourage dog ownership of all breeds, mixed and pure, and continuously pushes for all dogs to be allowed to live happy and abuse-free lives. Key to that objective is effective training and education in how best to care for our furry companions and help them realize their full potential as our companions. For some dogs, that may be sitting on your lap. Others may help bring in the cattle, or be a partner to a police officer. Our canine companions can do such a wide variety of things.

Gila County 4H offers a dog project for 4H members that provides this training for dog and handler alike as well as the education needed to understand the specific needs our furry friends have. These young people get together at least every other week throughout the entire year to learn new skills and to prepare for competition at the county fair. Pictured are members working on obedience including teaching the dog to heel, stay and come when called. Both handler and canine love it when the agility equipment comes out and everyone gets to play. Agility is a sport where the dog gets to run through tunnels, jump over jumps and cross a dog walk. The dog club will be competing from 9-12 Thursday morning, September 22 at the Gila County Fair. Activities include obedience, rally obedience, showmanship and agility. There is even a class for open agility for anyone to come and compete on the agility course.

In addition, on Sunday, September 25, this great group of young people will be giving back to the community by offering the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test starting at 2 p.m. The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program is designed to recognize dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. This rapidly growing nationally recognized program, which started in 1989, stresses responsible dog ownership for owners and basic training and good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club®. Many insurance companies offer a discount for homes with CGC certified dogs, or landlords may require a CGC for renting with a pet. All of the exercises are done on a leash. Preregistration is required by September 14 to demonstrate your furry friend is a good citizen of the community and earn that CGC title. More information is available at