As one of the leaders in dog education, our vast website is loaded with information on how to be a responsible dog owner (a good parent and devoted teacher) and improve the relationship you have with your dog. Articles include training information for raising a new puppy, helpful tips on preventing or getting rid of behavior problems, and instruction and info for getting into dog sports and activities that you can enjoy with your dog.
Dog Scouts do everything with reward based training, and there is information on how to add clicker training, operant conditioning, and shaping to your dog training “toolbox,” and how to use these tools to teach your dog what every good dog knows; from basic manners to specialized training! Our goal is to help every dog parent value their canine companion even more, and deepen the bond they have with their dog.
With millions of dogs discarded each year, mostly due to behavior problems or other poor excuses, we needed to fill the information void. We need to help each dog owner become a responsible dog parent, and give them answers to perplexing behavior problems that would otherwise eventually lead to them abandoning the dog. Dogs are an absolute JOY to have in your life, if the dog is raised properly. The reason dogs are dying in shelters is because there are too many people out there not doing it correctly because they don’t know any better! We’re helping people choose to keep their dogs (because they love them) instead of discarding them like trash or making them someone else’s problem to fix.
We Are an Encyclopedic Resource
Many Shelters, Rescues, and Breeders use our site as a reference, so that their dogs and puppies will not end up returned or tossed away. With the information on our web site, the homes that these organizations and persons find for their dogs and puppies will be permanent homes. We are constantly contacted for permission to reprint articles from this site, to aid in the placement of dogs and puppies in forever homes with responsible parents. Permission is granted, provided the source is sited, and web site address is provided, so that the readers can come back and get even more helpful, free information, to improve the bond they have with their dog even more.
We Help You Learn New Things
We encourage people to help their dogs be all they can be… “Let us learn new things, that we may become more helpful” is the Dog Scout’s Motto. The more a dog learns, the more welcome that dog becomes in more places. That dog becomes an ambassador for good training and responsible dog parenting everywhere he or she goes. Dog Scouts participate in their communities, just as the Boy and Girl Scouts do. There are Dog Scout Troops all across the nation, and these people and their dogs become involved in helping in the community.
Dog Scouts have conducted clean-up efforts, raised thousands of dollars for service dog organizations, and bullet-proof vests for police K-9 officers, and each year some raise money for the Salvation Army, through the Christmas season bell-ringing campaign. The troops have raised money for shelters by holding art actions (selling artwork that the dogs have painted), and collected donations and delivered holiday packages for the pets of seniors and shut-ins, in conjunction with the meals on wheels program (these folks often feed their meals to their animals, because they have nothing else to give them.) Many Dog Scouts regularly visit elementary schools to help children learn to become better readers, through the DSA SIRIUS Reader Program, or other reading programs. Other Dog Scouts volunteer their time at nursing homes, spreading love to the elderly or infirm, or visiting schools to teach non-violence education, responsible ownership, bite prevention and other important lessons to the kids. Sometimes they just show the kids how dogs can paint.
When a child sees how the people talk to their dogs in full sentences, and the dogs completely understand and cooperate with their humans during the demo, without leashes, loud commands, or threats of punishment, it teaches the children a lesson that goes beyond just one of, “dogs can paint.” It teaches them that dogs are intelligent, loving creatures, who can be wonderful friends and companions if you’ll just take them off that chain in the back yard and teach them something. It teaches them to treat dogs with respect and to value all life.
We Recognize Merit
We have a recognition program whereby parents and dogs work together to earn merit badges in various areas of training or service. There are over 60 badges for things like Community Service, Therapy Work, Clean-up America, and Fundraising, as well as many dog activities like Painting, Water Safety, Backpacking, Obedience, Agility, and Search and Rescue.
To earn merit badges, the Scout and parent work together as a team, under the guidance of a certified Scoutmaster. If there is no recognized Scoutmaster in your area, you can begin training to become one (which is free), and even start a troop in your area, or you can take a written and create a video of your skills to send to a Scoutmaster. See our “Start A Troop” and “Certification Program” pages for more information on how you can earn badges, become a Scout Evaluator, and/or start a troop near you.
We Offer Dog Scout Certification
You can also get free Leadership Training and/or earn merit badges at Dog Scout Camps, or Mini-Camps. We have week-long camps in Michigan, and weekend mini camps in Texas and Missouri. The Dog Scout Certification is also offered through mini-seminars, which you might be able to host in your area if you have enough people interested. If you would like to see the Dog Scout Certification offered at a camp near you, or any three-day event near you, please contact the organizer of that event and ask them to offer this certification. They can contact the DSA office for information on how to accomplish this.
This certification is also offered to anyone around the world, without attending a camp, through the “worldwide certification program” and use of video equipment.
We Have a Junior Scout Program for Kids
This part of DSA is a wonderful program for children to become involved with. It teaches kids responsibility, and some very important life lessons. It helps them build self-esteem, and how to reach success with goal-oriented steps. It’s not always possible for a child to be a fully responsible dog parent. The child is not usually in a position to make decisions like whether the dog will live inside or out, whether or not to fence the backyard, or if and when the family dog will be spayed or neutered. But the child can train the dog, and learn all that he or she can to become a future responsible parent.
Children aged 6 to 18 can teach their dogs obedience and good manners, so that the dog can pass the training requirements for the Jr. Scout badge. Various elements of the DSA badge requirements are made more lenient for the Junior Scout certification. Some of our Dog Scout Troops actually cater to kids, and are a group of adult dog trainers, mentoring kids.
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