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Ohio youth likes pet class competition in county fair
Ohio Correspondent

HAMILTON, Ohio — Danielle Jones, 13, trained all year to get her Shetland sheep dog, Buddy, ready for Grooming and Handling Class at the Butler County Fair.

She did a good job - they won first place. Jones had fun showing and being at the fair all week.

“The most fun thing is being here with my dog and showing him off to people,” Jones said. “I love showing him off.”

Jones is in the Huggable Hounds 4-H Club; her advisor is Joyce Bradley.

“You had to groom your dog and show the judge how to ‘stack’ it (arrange its feet),” said Jones, who shows Buddy using a special gold leash. “Then you take your dog and walk in line to show how it can walk. The dog that best exemplifies their breed is the winner.” Grooming on the day of the show took about an hour and a half, Jones said.

“The first thing you clip his toenails and then give him a bath,” she said. “Then you brush him, and there are two different kinds of brushes you use. One is to get under the fur and get the inner fur out and one to make the top fur shine.

“You need to brush his teeth, make sure they’re clean - he does not like that,” she said. “And then you need to make sure his ears are clean.”

Jones, who is now eligible to show at the Ohio State Fair, said she liked being in 4-H because, “it helps keep the fair going, and it helps people learn about dogs.”

Her dad, Ron Jones, like many dads, took a week of vacation to spend time at the fair with Danielle and her brother, Robert, who shows model rockets.

“It’s a lot of fun, Ron said.

The family lives in Trenton, an area that has seen a lot of development, yet they still hear roosters crow every morning, Ron said.

That is typical of the area, according to Julie Dalzell, OSU Extension, Youth Development, because of urbanization, the Butler County Fair has an increasing number of non-typical 4-H projects such as small pets, hobby projects, rocketry, photography, arts and crafts, and shooting sports.

“Kids that want to be in 4-H but live in the city can take something like a dog or a cat,” Dalzell said. “Anything small, so they don’t need a lot of acreage.”

The dog project takes a lot of time, Dalzell said.

“Our dog program has grown a lot in Butler County,” Dalzell said. “We had about 60 kids involved in it this year. It’s a project that can be done in the rural or urban community. Dogs can be indoors or outdoors; they don’t take up the space that a steer does.”

Traditional or non-traditional, the 4-H members are still involved in all aspects of the 4-H program and in being part of a 4-H club.

This farm news was published in the August 9, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.