Dog Scouts: It’s Not Just for Humans Anymore
Many boys of school age join the boy scouts where they learn important skills and life lessons. Being a boy scout can be a transformative thing for a young boy and it can teach him lessons he will apply to the rest of his life. Now there is an opportunity for you and your dog to have a similar experience becoming part of a troop, going to summer camp, and earning badges – it’s called Dog Scouts.
What is Dog Scouts?
The Dog Scouts of America (DSA) was founded in 1995 as a non-profit organization for people dedicated to enriching their own lives as well as the lives of other people with dogs. In addition to providing opportunities for dog owners to spend quality time with their dogs, DSA exists to helping both dogs and their owners learn new skills.
The DSA believes that “working dogs want to work” and dogs who don’t have the opportunity to work off their excess energy are more prone to developing problem behaviors. The DSA provides an opportunity to help dog owners better understand the way their dogs think and what drives his behavior. They also aim to develop their members into more responsible dog owners.
What Can You Do with the Dog Scouts?
When you join the Dog Scouts you have unlimited opportunities to learn and grow with your dog. Joining the DSA, however, doesn’t mean that your dog automatically becomes a Dog Scout – he must first pass the Dog Scout certification test. Until your dog passes the test, he will be classified as a “Cadet Scout” and all you need for this title is to pledge to uphold the Dog Scout Laws and for both you and your dog to conduct yourselves in a manner befitting a title of Dog Scout.
You can work with a certified Scoutmaster or by video to meet the criteria and, once your dog passes the test, he will be given an official DSA bandana, a photo I.D. card, and his very first merit badge – the “Dog Scout” badge.
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Any dog can become a Dog Scout as long as he meets the certification requirements. The DSA doesn’t discriminate against any breeds but each dog must pass a test to prove that the owner is responsible and that the dog is not a danger to humans or other dogs.
Once your dog has been certified as a Dog Scout you have the option to earn more merit badges. The easiest way to earn badges is to attend Dog Scout Camp where certified DSA instructors will lead you and your dog through a variety of activities to earn certifications for new badges. Some of the badges you and your dog can earn include the following:
- 60 Weave Pole Challenge
- Agility 1 and 2
- Obstacles 1 and 2
- Clean-Up America
- Community Service
- Therapy Dog 1 and 2
- Humane Education
- DSA Service
If you are looking for a way to spend more time with your dog, building a stronger bond, Dog Scouts of America might be just what you’ve been looking for. Find a local troop and sign up to start enjoying this wonderful opportunity. Both you and your dog are sure to love it.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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