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In looking at alternative youth groups for my youngest son, I came across Dog Scouts of America. Good relief from uniform police, bsalegals, over-serious scouters, etc. And it is real!




"It is the DOG that becomes a Dog Scout, so the individual at the loop end of the leash can be an adult or a child. We have programs for all ages!"


"The nonprofit Dog Scouts of America was founded by Lonnie Olson in Michigan 14 years ago. It boasts more than 60 troops in 35 states, from California to Alabama to Vermont."


The Dog Scout Parent's Motto: ``Our dog's lives are much shorter than ours -- let's help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can.''


Dogs wear a red neckerchief and cape with earned merit badges.


They are developing a Junior Scout program which may interest my dog-loving, autistic son. 4-H is a possibility but most groups around here are focused on farm animals or horses. However 4-H here does run a dog summer camp program where a child takes his dog along to camp (try getting anywhere with that idea in the BSA).



Here's a recent news story.


No trees were cut in this story though they may have been marked.


I wonder if the highest rank is Beagle?



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Love it!


Concerning 4H: There are lots of "clubs" for interested kids. You can be in a club up to your own level. Mostly, it depends on the adult leader, how involved they get. Around here, along with the more expected live stock clubs (beef, cattle, dairy, goats and sheep, pork) there's a "Pets" club, "Electricity", "Rocketry" and "Landscaping" and even "Modelmaking". Scout son also raises rabbits (4H Rabbit Club) and competes in the Rabbit judging team. His County Rabbit Judging Team won State championship, much to the amazement of the more rural county teams. Once you are in 4H, you can participate in lots of stuff, not just in your "Club". If you feel Scouting is not appropriate for your son's situation, by all means pursue 4H.


Hey, take some like minded families and found another 4H club! Dog! I bet the 4H folks would find no problem with that!


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