University of Maryland Extension

2020 SoMD Virtual Dog Event

Typically at this time of year, our 4-H members are busily working with their dogs and preparing for the show season. Since COVID-19 is preventing us from having in-person meetings, we’re going to do some virtual educational offerings. We’re even going to try our hand at the first Southern MD Regional 4-H Virtual Dog Event. Woohoo!

What’s a Virtual Dog Event, you ask? Well, it’s a low-key, fun learning opportunity to show off what you are learning with your 4-H dog. We’ll ask each 4-H member to register (Step 4) to participate. In the registration process, we will require parental permission for each 4-H member to participate.

How does one "do" a virtual dog event, you ask? Each 4-H member gets someone to video them working with their dog (just as you would see in a live dog show). There will be specific exercises that each dog and handler will be asked to complete. A judge will give feedback on the work of each pair. Ribbons will be awarded for all participants.

Each 4-H member will participate by age and experience level, as always. The opportunities will be different-- but just as fun. Please submit your Dog Card to your respective County 4-H Office for EACH dog entered, as usual.

4-H Pro Tip: You can find the 4-H Dog Project Record HERE. Be sure to keep up with your training sessions, expenses and any other information for your Record Book as you go. We encourage you to keep and up to date, or active record. 


Here’s a list of the virtual opportunities! Everyone can participate in one, or all.

Trick Dog Video

Choose your dog’s one best trick and share it via video. Provide a demonstration of the trick, explain how you trained the dog to do the trick, and be sure to take no more than 3 minutes for the demonstration and the explanation. Need ideas? Go to the AKC Trick Dog examples online at

Obedience Video 

Virtual Titles: Virtual Titles based on level of mastery/number of exercises demonstrated. 

Virtual Beginner Obedience – Any 3 

Virtual Novice Obedience – Any 5

Virtual Intermediate Obedience – Any 5 from #4 and higher

Virtual Advanced Obedience – Any 5, from #4 and higher, including one off leash exercise

Virtual Excellent Obedience - #14 - #18

Choose from these Obedience Exercises:

  1. Walk at least 20 steps on a loose leash

  2. Sit on Command

  3. Heel on leash, simple pattern to include right and left turns and about turn

  4. Down on Command

  5. Recall on leash (Come when called) – no Finish

  6. Sit – Walk around dog

  7. Sit/Stay on leash – 1 min

  8. Down – Walk around dog

  9. Stand

  10. Heel on Leash, complex pattern to include: right and left turns, about turn, fast pace, slow pace, circle to the right, circle to the left, halt with sit. 

  11. Heel on Leash – Figure 8 with 2 Halt-Sits

  12. Recall on Leash with Finish (to right or left)

  13. Down – Stay on leash – 2 min

  14. Heel off leash, complex pattern to include: right and left turns, about turn, fast pace, slow pace, circle to the right, circle to the left, halt with sit.

  15. Recall off leash – approximately 10 feet between dog and handler, with finish (to right or left)

  16. Heel off leash – Figure 8 with 2 Halt-Sits

  17. Sit/Stay off leash – 1 min, approximately 10 feet between dog and handler

  18. Down/stay off leash – 2 min, approximately 10 feet between dog and handler


How Do I Get Started?

Step 1Enroll in 4-H Online. If you have not already enrolled for 2020, you MUST be enrolled in order to participate. You only need to fill out the required fields. The link to enroll is: If you have issues, please contact your county office.

Step 2: Fill out your Dog Card. You must fill out one dog card per dog. The Dog Project Registration Form is available at

Step 3: Watch the orientation video, or review the slideshow. You MUST watch this video to understand what is needed. Questions about orientation, or specifically about this event, can be directed to dog group email: The video can be found here: The slideshow can be viewed here: 4-H Dog Training Project Slides for Videos

Step 4Register for the Southern MD Virtual Dog Event. Please fill out one registration form per dog. You may register two dogs for this event. The registration form can be found here:

  • Need an awesome incentive? When a 4-H member has completed their dog card and registered to participate in our Virtual Dog Event, their name (& dog) will be placed into a drawing.  Once a week, a winner will be chosen and that person will receive a “Doggy Goody Bag” delivered to their front door.

Step 5: Watch the training videos and practice with your dog. Videos will be posted every Tuesday and Thursday for 5 – 6 weeks. These videos will consist of exercises to do with your dog. You can access the videos here:

#1:Getting Started, Focus & Attention:

#2 Walk on a Lead without Pulling:

#3 Teaching Heel Position:

#4 Teaching Sit:

#5 Teaching Recall:

#6 Teaching Stay:

#7 Teaching Down:

#8 Simple Healing Pattern:

#9 Stand or Sit for Exam:

#10 Teaching Finish:

#11 Figure 8 Healing:

#12 360 Degree to Right or Left:

#13 Halt Down Walk Around:

After watching the videos, practice these exercises with your dog.

Step 6: Submit your videos. This is the last step to submit to the Virtual Dog event. You must submit one form with videos per dog and handler pair to be considered for the virtual dog titles. Only ONE video may be submitted per exercise but there is NO LIMIT to how many videos you take before choosing one to submit. You MUST attach ONE video per exercise. The submission form can be found here:

Good Luck on your Virtual Titles and let us know if you have any questions. 

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