What a glorious weekend. It has been festive weekend for most, the weather is in springtime mode and I got to spend special “mom and me” time with my dog Reilly. We joined Dog Scouts of America about a year ago, so Reilly could have a “job”. All of the dogs in my household are high energy and enjoy having something to lend their minds to.
Here is a link to a great article that has been written about Dog Scouts in the Star Telegram (Ft. Worth newspaper) recently: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/04/03/3857079/dog-scouts-of-america-have-troops.html
This weekend our local troop had an Easter egg hunt at beautiful Camp Carter in Ft.Worth, TX. Our troop leaders went a little early to “hide” the plastic eggs. 750 to be exact. All with freeze dried liver treats inside for the dogs.
The dogs are required to find the eggs (they can smell the liver inside) while we are attached to the other end of the leash. 45 minutes given to find as many eggs as we can and head back to the starting point to count our stash. 35 humans and 34 dogs, plus 680 eggs found.
At the end of our fun, Reilly was allowed to test for the last three items he needed to pass to become a registered Dog Scout. And pass he did, with flying colors. I am one very proud mom.
I am sure you are reading this wondering why I find this such a big deal. So let’s look at the situation. There were 35 humans, of all ages, kids (ages 14 and up) and adults. All humans, kids and adults alike, had a dog with them and had to manage their own dog. 34 dogs. In one location, on leash, and well mannered. No aversive jewelry allowed (no prong collars, shock collars, choke chains). And no retractable leashes. (All of these same rules also apply in the manners classes I teach at Good Dog Fetch.)
Just imagine. 34 dogs, having to mind their manners around very high value food, other dogs and other humans. A hard thing for many dogs. There was no snarking, no lunging, no barking and no yelling. Just folks out having a good time with their furry companion.
Many of the members of Dog Scouts of America are just like you. They are not professional trainers, or dog behavior consultants, they are just folks who love their dog and want to include their furry companion in their daily lives. The manners that are required to pass the Dog Scout test or the Canine Good Citizen test, are the same manners that I teach in my classes.
If you think you would enjoy spending time with your dog, earning badges (just like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts do), you should join me for one of my manners classes to learn the basics you need to be confident in joining public outings and clubs, such a Dog Scouts of America. You can check out my website, Good Dog Fetch for the info if you are interested in having fun with rover and learning a few things.