Joining Dog Scouts of America does not automatically make your dog a "Dog Scout". The title "Dog Scout" is earned only after you and your dog have passed the "Dog Scout" certification test.
Likewise, "Dog Scout" certification is not a requirement to be a member of Dog Scouts of America or to participate in troop activities. However, the criteria of the test is important, to your dog's
well being and your journey in learning the Dog Scout Way, that members are encouraged to work towards their dog's certification as they participate, learn, and enjoy troop activities.
The "Dog Scout" certification test can only be administered by Dog Scouts of America Scoutmasters or by video (as explained on the Dog Scouts of America national website). Troop 119 leaders, Mart and Cindy Ratliff,
are both Scoutmasters and they administer the "Dog Scout" certification test periodically at Troop 119 meetings. The Dog Scouts of America national website has an abundance of material to help you
prepare for the "Dog Scout" certification test.
To view the criteria for passing the "Dog Scout" Certification test, CLICK HERE
Once a dog has earned his/her "Dog Scout" certification and it is recorded with the Dog Scouts of America national office, your dog can use the title of "Dog Scout", place the letters "DSA" after his or her name, and
proudly wear the "Dog Scout" bandanna and/or uniform.
Merit Badges and Titles
Dog Scouts of America offers over 70 specialty Merit Badges with more being added each year. Members can work on badge requirements at any time, but they can not be submitted until the dog is officially a "Dog
Scout". Like the "Dog Scout" certification test, Merit Badge requirements can be tested in person by a Dog Scouts of America Evaluator or via video as explained on the Dog Scouts of America national website.
Merit badges are optional. Some members and their dogs just enjoy participating in Dog Scouts of America while not worrying about earning badges; others have earned them, but have elected not to submit their signed evaluation forms for
processing; while others prefer to proudly display the merit badges on their dogs uniform, pack, or other gear. The choice is up to each individual. Simply working on a merit badge,
while using a positive reward system, enhances the human-canine bond and motivates your dog to learn new things. Displaying your dog's merit badges is a fun way to track their
achievements and introduce Dog Scouts of America to others as they take notice of your dog's uniform.
To view the inventory of Dog Scout merit badges, including all check-off requirements, CLICK HERE.
Dog Scouts of America is in the process of creating competition and titling programs that expand beyond some of the merit badge requirements (i.e. Traildog/Packdog) or provide a venue for Dog Scouts of America sanctioned trials
and competitions. To learn more about Dog Scouts of America competition and titling programs, CLICK HERE.