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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension



SPP Test 3. Appearance and Grooming

This test demonstrates that the animal welcomes being groomed and examined, and will allow someone to do so. It also shows the owner’s care, concern, and sense of responsibility. 

The 4-H’er holds their pet as in Tests 1 and 2. The evaluator approaches the pet, asks permission to brush and inspect the animal to make sure it is clean and well groomed. The handler should bring his/her own brush or comb. The evaluator softly brushes the pet and then inspects the ears and each front foot. 

The animal cannot show signs of resentment, fear, shyness, or aggression. The animal cannot nip, bite, or peck at the evaluator. The animal cannot try to avoid the brushing and exam by trying to get away.

In this video clip, the cat is using her paw, but note she is not extending her claws. Her facial expression is relaxed and she becomes interested in an outside distraction during the examining of her front feet.

This video clip shows a guinea pig being tested. The guinea pig is in a basket. It is not required to wear a harness and leash; however, the 4-H member must make sure the animal is secure and safe in the basket. Note that the guinea pig squirms when his front feet are examined, but he does not pull his feet from the evaluator’s hands, nor does he try to bite.

This video clip shows a rabbit being tested. The handler has placed the rabbit in a basket for the test. The rabbit does not mind being brushed or examined.