Constitution and By-laws



The 4-H Dog Club is hereby organized for the purpose of coordinating, encouraging, assisting and organizing the development of a county-wide club for the Dog Project in the county 4-H structure. The club is open to any eligible 4-H member interested in caring and training for his/her dog.


Further, the 4-H Dog Project is designed to help members:

1.    Develop into mature persons; develop leadership, initiative, self-reliance, sportsmanship, and other valuable character traits.

2.    Experience the pride and responsibility of owning an animal, training, feeding, caring, learning management and calculation of related animal’s costs.

3.    Gain an appreciation for care, purpose, and role of animals in our daily lives.

4.    Increase skills, patience and understanding in handling animals.

5.    Learn safety precautions so that injuries to people and animals can be avoided.

6.    Promote a love for animals and a humane attitude toward them.

7.    Prepare for citizenship responsibilities in animal husbandry as related to dogs.

8.    Become aware of career opportunities in animal husbandry as related to dogs.

9.    Continue to help develop a relationship with parent(s)/guardian(s) by keeping the lines of communication open through mutual interest and endeavor.


ARTICLE I: Advisory Board

The Elkhart county 4-H Dog Club Advisory Board is hereby established to consist of:

1.    six (6) elected adult members, (elected from the parent body of the 4-H Dog Club)

2.    the club organizational adult leader(s)

3.      the assistant organizational leader(s)  and

4.      one (1) representative selected from the trainers

5.      one (1) fair board director

Each board member, leader and/or trainer must complete and file with the 4-H Extension office the 4-H VOLUNTEER INFORMATION FORM (#4-H 784EC) for approval.


The purpose of the Advisory Board is to help coordinate the club’s program with that of the Elkhart County 4-H Club Corporation and to ensure that the program remains consistent with the general principles and aspirations as set forth by that Corporation. The Advisory Board shall also be responsible for the collection, expenditure and accounting for any funds.


ARTICLE II: Elections, Officers & Meetings

The parents/guardians and leaders of the 4-H Dog Club shall elect six (6) Advisory Board members. This election shall be held at the first business meeting following the fair. At this meeting, elections shall be held for expired board terms. Board member terms shall be a minimum of 1 year and up to 3 years maximum.  The length of each member’s term will be decided on by the member.


Prior notice and consent must be given by each adult whose name is listed on the ballot. If an Advisory Board member resigns, the Advisory Board chairperson, with the Advisory Board’s approval, will appoint an adult to complete the term.


The elected officers of the Advisory Board shall consist of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer and a fair board representative who shall be known as director. Advisory Board officer elections shall be determined and conducted at an appropriate time by the board.


The Advisory Board members are expected to attend all board meetings, 4-H club member’s business meetings and specially called meetings.



There shall be adopted a set of by-laws which shall specify all other necessary information required for the operation and continuation of the Elkhart County 4-H Dog Club, it’s Advisory Board, and the 4-H Dog program.


ARTICLE IV: Amendments to the Constitution & By-laws

This constitution may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the 4-H Dog Club Advisory Board present at the first organizational meeting of the current year.



Approved December 1998

Amended January 2004





ARTICLE I: Advisory Board Officers

Section One: Chairperson

1.    The chairperson shall preside at all board meetings

2.      Appoint any committees that are needed with the advice and consent of the remainder of the Advisory Board

3.      Prepare the Advisory Board meeting agenda.


Section Two: Vice-chairperson

1.    The vice-chairperson shall have the same powers as the chairperson in the event of the chairperson’s absence


Section Three: Secretary

1.    The secretary shall take minutes of the board meetings and submit a copy to the current Extension Educator - 4-H Youth and Advisory Board members

2.    Handle correspondence as needed

3.    Inform Advisory Board members of all meetings

4.    Coordinate with the fair board director any correspondence to leaders, trainers, trophy donors, special events, and other contacts as necessary


Section Four: Treasurer

1.    The treasurer shall accept and record all monies due and make payments as directed by the Advisory Board

2.    Provide financial reports to the advisory board

3.    Work with the 4-H Dog Club treasurer

4.    Be responsible for the 4-H treasurer’s book audit each year


Section Five: Fair Board Director

1.      Shall serve a term beginning October 1 through September 30

2.      Shall attend all county 4-H fair board meetings

2.    Inform the respective boards and leaders of the activities of common interest (liaison between both boards)

3.    Make contacts for trophy donations

4.      Have catalog information ready to turn in to the 4-H Fair Board by designated deadlines

5.    Contact donors for the Dog Clinic/Workshop

6.    Reserve or rent any buildings and/or equipment from the 4-H Extension office and/or Fair office necessary for judging

7.    Coordinator for fundraisers and any new building construction or permanent structure, club borrowing, or repayment of funds



ARTICLE II:  Adult Leaders

All organizational leaders, assistant organizational leaders, project leaders and trainers must complete and file with the Extension Office for approval the 4-H Volunteer Information Form (#4-H 784EC).


Section One: Organizational Leader(s)

The organizational leader shall provide the basic overall leadership for the 4-H Dog Club, such as coordinating the club’s program and activities, giving general guidance and leadership. In addition, the leader(s):

1.    shall check and sign 4-H enrollment cards prior to turning them in to the Extension office

2.    schedule meetings and make sure members and parents have meeting dates and location

3.    notifying the assistant leader(s) if unable to attend the club meeting

4.    assist club officers with agenda and conduct of club meetings

5.    conduct the meeting after the club president has completed the business meeting

6.    announce business concerning 4-H Dog Club to the club members

7.    review the 4-H Dog Club manual with the club members and leadership

8.    assist in providing experiences for members via participation in county, area, state, and national events, conferences and activities

9.    attend county 4-H leader meetings

10.  attend  county 4-H livestock meetings; confirm 4-H fair ribbon order

11.  provide the Extension Office with the necessary reports and data


Section Two: Assistant Organizational Leader(s)

The assistant leader(s) shall provide help and support to the organizational leader(s) in fulfilling the necessary responsibilities. In addition:

1.    attend the club meetings and preside in the absence of the organizational leader

2.    fulfill any tasks which the organizational leader may be unable to perform

3.    attend county 4-H leader meetings


Section Three: Trainer Representative

The trainer representative shall be elected by the Advisory Board and trainers from the club trainers. Responsibilities include:

1.    shall attend all Advisory Board and club business meetings

2.    represent the trainers at the Advisory Board meetings

3.    attend county 4-H leaders meetings

4.    work with the organizational leader(s) for the open dog show

5.      work with the organizational leader to secure judges for the open show


Section Four: Project Leaders/trainers

The project leaders/trainers help the organizational leader(s) by providing expertise and experience in training as they work with the members. They:

1.    are approved annually by the elected Advisory Board and adult leaders

2.    attend county 4-H leaders meetings


ARTICLE III:  4-H Dog Club Membership

Membership in the Elkhart County 4-H Dog Club project is open to any young person meeting the enrollment criteria set forth by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. They must also meet the dog ownership guidelines outlined in the 4-H Dog Club Manual.


ARTICLE IV:  4-H Dog Club Enrollment

1.    Online enrollment must be completed annually at The state will charge a fee of $15 per member (maximum $45 per family)

2.    Enrollments will be accepted until the date designated by the 4-H Dog Club

3.    The club charges a small fee (or dues) for administrative costs (postage, club mailings, etc) after which the name of the member will be placed on the assistant leader’s membership and mailing lists

4.    The organizational leader(s) must approve any enrollment received after the designated date


ARTICLE V: 4-H Dog Club Meetings and Training

Section One: Meetings

1.    business meetings are held on the third (3rd) or fourth (4th) Tuesday of each month

2.    the January, February, and March business meetings are for members and parents only (No Dogs)

3.    training meetings will begin approximately April 1 (the last Tuesday in March for 1st year members) and will be held every week thereafter until the start of the fair. The Advisory Board will decide exact dates. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. unless notified of time change


Section Two: Parent/Guardian participation

So that parents/guardians might be better informed, we suggest that:

1.    parents/guardians attend training sessions and business meetings

2.    help with special events and fund raisers

3.    be prompt in picking up your child after the club meetings/training if you are unable to stay


ARTICLE VI: 4-H Dog Club Officers

Section One: Officers

The officers of the 4-H Dog Club shall consist of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and news reporter. Optional offices include devotional leader, health & safety leader, song leader and recreational leader.


Section Two: President

The president shall preside at all 4-H Dog Club business meetings. Specific duties may include:

1.    calling the meeting to order and presiding at the business meeting

2.    guiding club business meetings in a courteous, tactful way

3.      arrange to have another person (usually the vice-president) preside if the president cannot attend

4.      additional responsibilities are listed in the publication, 4-H 448 President’s Guide, available from the Extension office


Section Three: Vice-President

The vice-president shall have the same powers as the president in the event of the president’s absence at the club business meetings. The vice-president may serve as the chairperson of the program committee and help plan the program for each business meeting. Specific duties may include:

1.    being familiar with the duties and responsibilities of the president

2.    representing the club at outside meetings when requested

3.    person states not only what will happen when, but who will be responsible attend all club committee meetings

5.    additional vice president’s responsibilities are listed in the publication, 4-H 449 Vice-President’s Guide, available from the Extension office


Section Four: Secretary

The secretary shall use the regular 4-H club secretary’s book available through the Extension office or the secretary’s book provided by the 4-H Dog Club. Specific duties may include:

1.    keeping complete and accurate account of all club business meetings such as membership rolls, minutes, final reports and duties called for in the secretary’s book or the Secretary’s Guide, publication 4-H 450

2.    reminding the president of any unfinished business from the previous meeting

4.    reading correspondence sent to the club and replying when appropriate

5.    calling the club business meeting to order and presiding when both the president and vice president are absent


Section Five: Treasurer

The treasurer shall handle the club accounts in a business-like way. The treasurer shall keep the accounts current and give accurate reports on the club’s financial status. Specific duties may include:

1.    work with the adult treasurer as needed

2.    give the treasurer’s report when asked

3.    additional responsibilities as listed in publication 4-H 451 available from the Extension office


Section Six: News Reporter

1.    submit the club meeting reports to the local newspaper

2.    collect newspaper articles about the club for the secretary’s permanent record or club scrapbook


Section Seven: Devotional Leader

1.    give a reading or story of positive content at club meetings


Section Eight: Song Leader

1.    lead the club in group singing at the club meetings by teaching new songs and planning special musical features for various events


Section Nine: Health & Safety Leader

1.    plan the club’s health and safety activities with the adult leader

2.    give a report pertaining to club safety related issues


Section Ten: Recreational Leader

1.    plan activities for each business meeting


ARTICLE VII: 4-H Dog Club Officer Elections and Meetings

Section One: Elections 

The officers of the 4-H Dog Club shall be elected at the first club business meeting of the current year.


Section Two: Meetings 

All officers of the 4-H Dog Club are expected to attend officer’s training as announced.


ARTICLE VIII:  4-H Dog Club Member’s Records

Section One:  Records

All 4-H Dog club members must  complete the following to receive a 4-H pin and consider the project complete:

1.    complete online enrollment by the designated due date

2.    complete the requested number of activities in the 4-H Dog Activity Book

3.    any other requested material

4.    My Record of 4-H Completion

5.    record books must be completed and turned in to an adult leader for grading on the designated due date. If help is needed members may ask adult leaders/trainers for help in completing record books and sheets as needed


4-H’ers and parents/guardians will be given fair passes after records and requested materials are turned in to the adult leader.


Approved December 1998

Amended January 2003

Amended January 2004

Amended December 2012