4-H members who excel in the 4-H Dog project are encouraged to compete at the local 4-H dog obedience contest for a chance to advance to the Illinois 4-H Dog Show. Competition in both obedience and showmanship are held. The Illinois State 4-H Dog Show uses the American Kennel Club regulations as a guideline.  CLICK HERE  to download the AKC Rules and Regulations. 

Find the Dog Ownership & Lease document here.

Thank you to all 2023 competitors and watch for 2024 information!


2023 Schedule for reference

  • 7 AM               Show site will open
  • 8 - 9 AM          Check in for obedience classes.
  • 9 AM               General briefing followed by judge’s briefing at your ring      
  • 12:30 PM         Check in for Showmanship and Rally Obedience classes
  • 1 PM                Second general briefing followed by judge’s briefing at your ring (as rings become available for classes)


NOTE: Ring assignments for classes will be posted or announced before classes begin.

*Judging will not begin until adequate volunteer support is secured for each ring as needed.

2023 General Site Information

  • Building is fully air-conditioned with artificial turf.
  • No un-entered dogs will be allowed on the grounds.
  • No dogs will be allowed in the building overnight.
  • No Flexy or Retractable leashes allowed.
  • Dogs must be under the control of the exhibitor at all times, either in a crate or on a leash (max. 6 foot long). Crating is highly recommended. CRATE SPACE is provided in designated areas. Absolutely no crating allowed on the turf.
  • Bring your own chair, water bowl, and other comfort items. Crating space and spectator seating will be limited so please be courteous and only take up the space you need.
  • Waste management: Anyone not cleaning up after their dog will be excused from the show. Cleaning supplies and disposal containers are available at various locations around the showgrounds.
  • Food will be available for sale on-site


Directions to the Show Site

Exit Interstate 88 at exit 54 (Il 26 N/S Galena Ave). Continue north over the river. Turn left at the McDonalds onto W Everett St. Travel approx. 2 miles. Turn Right onto River Lane (Razor Golf Carts). Turn right onto Kilgore rd. Follow Kilgore to Granny Rose K-9 Enrichment Center.



(County zoning regulations prohibit overnight stays on club property.) check bringfido.com for pet friendly accommodations



2023 State 4-H Dog Show General Rules, Entry Procedures, and Fees for reference

  1. The State 4-H Dog show is open to any 4-H member who has received a qualifying score (as noted below) at their local 4-H exhibition.
    1. OBEDIENCE: 4-Hers aged 8-18 years who have obtained a qualifying score of 170 or above with their dog at a County 4-H Show, County 4-H Obedience Class Graduation Trial, or an AKC Obedience Trial.
    2. SHOWMANSHIP: 4-Hers aged 8-18 years who have been chosen as their county’s Junior or Senior Showmanship representative may enter the Illinois State 4-H Dog Show showmanship portion. As stated in the rules, a county may also select alternate teams if the winning team cannot attend. Each county may only be represented by one Junior dog-handler team and one Senior dog-handler team.
    3. RALLY OBEDIENCE: 4-H’ers aged 8-18 years who have obtained a qualifying score of 70 or above with their dog at a County 4-H Show, County 4-H Obedience Class Graduation Trial, or an AKC Rally Trial.
  2. Exhibitors must have been at least 8 years old and not yet 19 as of September 1, 2022.
  3. Exhibitors shall be limited to one entry/dog in each obedience class. The same dog can be entered once in each show discipline; Obedience, Showmanship, and/or Rally Obedience if the dog has qualified at the county level. A 4-Her may show multiple dogs.
  4. After you have qualified, see your County Extension Office for assistance in registering for the contest. The County Extension office will register you for the state contest through its online system. Registration deadline is August 1. You will need to show your scoresheet noting your qualifying score, as well as a copy of your up-to-date rabies certification to the county office. You must bring BOTH your scoresheet and rabies vaccination certification with you to the state contest as well. You will also need to pay the $5 participant fee (payable to University of Illinois) to your local Extension office by the August 1 deadline.
  5. Special problems not covered by these rules will be acted upon by the superintendents and members of the State 4-H Dog Advisory Committee in accordance with the Illinois 4-H Policies including the Youth Code of Conduct and Member Behavior Guidelines.
  6. All exhibitors must have completed the Quality Assurance and Ethics Certification and are expected to be familiar with and abide by both the principles of that certification and the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act.
  7. Proof of rabies vaccination must be shown at check in.
  8. A dog being shown in the dog obedience project must be trained by and belong to the exhibitor or to a member of his/her immediate family. Or the dog can be leased for the length of the project and a signed agreement should be on file with local 4-H extension office by June 1, 2023.
  9. All dogs must be leashed or crated while on the grounds. Dogs must be under the exhibitor’s supervision at all times.
  10. A dog that is not under the control of the exhibitor, or shows viciousness toward its handler, judge, or other dogs will be excused from further competition.
  11. All participants must use appropriate show equipment. Acceptable leashes are a maximum of 6 ft. (can be shorter in advanced classes) of leather, nylon or canvas. No prong or electronic collars will be allowed on the grounds. No identification tags on collars used in the show ring. Harnesses or other training aids such as a gentle leader are not acceptable show equipment.
  12. Female dogs in season cannot participate in the State Show.
  13. It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to be at ringside when their class is called. Judges are not required to hold classes for late entries.
  14. Judges decisions are final.


  1. Tentative DATE FOR 2024: The State 4-H Dog Show is tentatively scheduled for August 24, 2024 in Dixon, Illinois. Starting times and show schedule are subject to change.


The Illinois State 4-H Dog Show uses the American Kennel Club regulations as a guideline.

For complete AKC Rules and Regulations, please use the AKC website. Rulebook is available free to all as a PDF on their website.

American Kennel Club

8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100

Raleigh, NC 27617-3390

Tel: (919) 233-9767

E-mail: orderdesk@akc.org Website: http://www.akc.org




  1. To be eligible a dog and handler team must have a qualifying score of 170 or above for all classes.
  2. Dogs do not have to be AKC registered to show in the 4-H obedience show. AKC rules will be used as a guideline for judging. If a dog has 3 qualifying scores at either 1)county show, 2) state 4-H dog show, 3) AKC sanctioned match, 4) AKC trial,  in beginner novice or novice, three months prior to the State 4-H Dog Show, it must be shown in the next higher class. The three qualifying scores can come from different shows or all from one show over time.
  3. Beginner Novice I is for new handlers and inexperienced dogs only.
  4. Beginner Novice II is for experienced handlers with inexperienced dogs or experienced dogs with inexperienced handlers. It is recommended that one qualifying score be achieved before advancing to the next class level.
  5. Preferred Novice is for dogs who have qualified at least once in beginner Novice II the sit or down stay walk around the ring will be utilized.
  6. Novice I is for dogs who have qualified in Preferred Novice at least once, or upon recommendation of the local trainer.
  7. Novice II is for dogs who have qualified in Novice at least once, or upon recommendation of the local trainer.
  8. A run-off will be held in case of a tie for total score.
    1. All beginning level classes will use on leash heeling exercises. (Beginner Novice I and II, Preferred Novice, Novice and Graduate Novice)
    2. All advanced classes will use novice off lead heeling exercises. (Graduate Novice, Pre-Open and above)
  9. Dogs must have a qualifying score at the state contest to receive placements. No judge’s sheets will be given to exhibitors. Score sheets will be viewed at judge’s discretion. All awards will be given at the conclusion of each class (with the exception of the High Point Awards, which will be given at the conclusion of the last class in that category). Exhibitors must claim trophies and ribbons the day of the show. They will not be sent.
  10. In most classes, commands/signals given by handler will be either voice or hand, but not both. The Stay command can be both verbal and a signal. See full AKC rules and regulations for clarification of your class’s specific rules.
  11. Exercises for all classes may be done in any order, depending upon scheduling and the judge’s preference.

The following (12-14) are the exceptions as compared to AKC in the classes offered for the 4-H show:

  1. 4-H has 2 levels of Novice obedience. Level 1 for dogs new to the novice class and Level 2 for dogs who have successfully shown in Novice previously, or the youth showed a different dog previously.
  2. 4-H is based upon Positive Youth Development – meaning that the dog training project is for the youth only, not for a parent to train the dog and the youth to show it.
  3. Youth showing dogs who were trained previously by an adult need to enter a special class called Versatility. This is a non-regular class. We have different rules for this with 4-H. It is one class, shown at the level of the dogs’ competencies. Novice, Open or Utility. The 4-H youth member will be assigned 5 random exercises from the training category at the dogs current or previous levels of their dogs. Each exercise will be worth 40 points to a get possible 200 total points. (This is totally new and added April 1, 2022, after our Zoom meeting due to an observed need)



Dan Jennings
Donna Nuger