Dog Scouts! Does Your Dog Have What It Takes?


Written by: Phil Monahan


Dog Scouts earn merit badges, just like their human counterparts.

photo via the Columbus Dispatch

A great story in yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch focuses on the Dog Scouts of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “improv[ing] the lives of dogs, their owners, and society through humane education, positive training, and community involvement.” Founded in 1995 by a woman in Michigan named Lonnie Olson, DSA now features troops from Maine to California, and the organization’s website features a page on starting your own troop.

Dog Scouts can earn more than 60 badges for things such as 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. This is no frivolous endeavor, and the “About Us” page on the DSA website sets out many ambitious goals and core values. But perhaps the best distillation of what the organization stands for comes at the end of the “DSA VAlues” section: “In Dog Scouts, people help dogs, dogs help people, and the whole community benefits.” Sounds like a pretty noble effort.


A Dog Scout works on a new training badge.

photo via the Columbus Dispatch

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