October is a great time for 4-H dog clubs to host a fun, social event for their members. It’s also the perfect time for new and returning club members to mix and mingle. The following are ideas from several New Jersey 4-H dog clubs. Take a look and see which activities fit with your club’s plans for the fall season. If you’re planning a club field trip, be sure to plan ahead of time by collecting permission forms, packing extra water and bowls for your pups, and bring plenty of dog waste bags.
- Fall Hikes – Get outside as a club to enjoy the changing season! A group hike through New Jersey’s many parks and trails is a great way for club members and their dogs to bond with one another. Take a look at the many beautiful walking trails available near you. Consider your group’s stamina level before selecting your route. Some members or dogs may not be able to travel a long distance.
- Beach Trip – Many beaches allow dogs to visit between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Again, this is a great way for club members to explore the outdoors with their furry friends. Find out which beaches are dog friendly this time of year in your area.
- Costume Party – Who doesn’t love dressing up? Many 4-H dog clubs plan a party in October where members and dogs dress up in silly costumes. This is a fun way to see each member’s creative side. Some clubs host a costume parade at local nursing home or other community locations. Residents love meeting 4-H members and their dogs, especially when they are dressed up in costumes. Add a little more fun by awarding each member and their dog a funny award. Suggested ideas include “Best Use of Colors”, “Most Glamorous”, “All-star Team”, but you can come up with so much more.
- Bobbing for Biscuits – How can the dogs get into the traditional fall game bobbing for apples? Turn it into bobbing for biscuits! Use a shallow tray or bowl filled with water and add several dog biscuits. One at a time, let each dog remove the biscuits as fast as they can. For added fun, time each dog contestant to see who can remove the most number of biscuits in a minute or which dog is the fastest.
- Tricks for Treats – Play off of Trick or Treat with your club’s own dog tricks contest. Can your dog speak on command? Give paw? Roll over? Or do they have an even more amazing crowd pleasing trick? Have club members showcase their dog’s talents and then share how they taught their dog these tricks. Members may discover a brand new trick or teaching technique they never considered before. Top off the game with some special dog treats for each member to take home.
- Spooky Movie Night – Many dogs love curling up with their special human for a movie. Why not watch a movie as a whole club? Make sure you have plenty of comfy places for every member and pup to enjoy the movie. Ask members to bring a favorite snack to share along with some treats for the pups. When picking out a movie, consider your audience. Not everyone likes to be scared so make sure the selected movie is fun for everyone.
There are many more ways to celebrate the fall season as a club. What are your favorite games, activities, and locations to visit in the fall? Share them with your fellow club members to get started on planning your own social event.