Sampson County 4-H forming youth club for dog owners

By: By Chase Jordan -

Throughout the year, 4-H offers many opportunities for youths. In 2018, dogs will have a chance to benefit from the organization too.

Sampson County 4-H is forming a Dog Club for interested youths and their four-legged companions. Genny Thompson, extension agent for 4-H Youth Development, is currently searching for people to join.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” Thompson said. “We’re trying to provide more opportunities for the kids so they can participate in more 4-H opportunities.”

Some of benefits include training, care and health lessons.

“It’ll be anything and everything ‘dog,’” Thompson said.

Thompson said the club can serve new dog owners or young people who already formed a bond with their pets. People looking to learn more about training may also join.

“I know a lot of kids are looking forward to it,” Thompson said about the interest. “I had a parent call and say they had a dog for a while, but they want to learn how to train it better.”

After the club is established, Thompson said members will decide if they want to get involved with dog competitions and public demonstrations during events such as Ag Day or other events throughout Sampson County.

“There’s going to be an opportunity for kids to show what they learned,” she said.

As of mid-December, 4-H and Sampson Cooperative Extension is still looking for youths to officially form a club, with at least five members from different families. Currently, the club is open to ages 5 to 18 and members are required to join 4-H. If interested applicants are not 4-H members they can join the organization with assistance from extension officials or online at

The canine organization is one of a few initiatives coming to Sampson County 4-H in 2018. Officials are also in the process of forming a shooting club and finding a leader ready to make a commitment for time and training for the program, which is scheduled for March. Thompson added that many 4-H’ers would like to have the club and said her door is always open to new ideas for groups.

For more information about club opportunities or joining 4-H, contact Thompson or Elizabeth Merrill at 910-592-7161 or visit Sampson 4-H’s Facebook at

By Chase Jordan