Good Dog Rising

Training & Behavior in Carlisle, PA

Dog Scout Troop 161 Info

Good Dog Rising hosts a local chapter of Dog Scouts of America, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of dogs, their owners, and society through humane education, positive training, and community involvement.  

Our Local Troop
Modeled after other scouting organizations, Dog Scout Troop 161 gets together to learn new things, enjoy the outdoors, do good works, and spend quality time together with our dogs. Troop members are committed to learning and promoting positive training methods, and we know that this helps keep dogs in happy, lifelong homes. We also have a TON of fun together!

Typical activities include group hikes/walks, fun training days together to learn all kinds of new things, walking together in charity walk-a-thons, an annual group camping trip (in cabins/RVs), bell-ringing with our dogs for the Salvation Army, and having our dogs help us to raise funds for great charitable organizations in all kinds of ways. Sometimes we even get together without our dogs for things like a group dinner, bowl-a-thon for animal rescue, or a movie night with awesome dog training videos. 

Merit Badges? For real?
While they aren't our troop's main focus, there really ARE dog scout merit badges, and this gives us a great list of all kinds of activities to try and learn - everything from dog sports like agility and rally obedience, to boating and swimming, to dog care and maintenance, to carting, and much more.

Not every troop member goes for merit badges, but for many it can be a fun way to recognize your achievements together with your dog. Even if you're not interested in the badges themselves (getting evaluated, registering it with DSA, and getting the patch), it's still a great list of activities to try, with lots of free supporting training materials. You don't have to be going for the badge to try the activities. Sometimes we are able to have a certified evaluator test for badges in person at troop activities, but these are always available to work toward on your own and get evaluated via video. It all starts with earning the Dog Scout title - more on that HERE. More about the tons of other fun badges HERE

We welcome new members!
The only requirements to participate are keeping current membership in DSA the national organization (, and a small annual troop dues to help us fund activities and our troop insurance policy. Dues are per household (for any number of human and dog family members), and both combined are a total of just $35 per year. Occasionally for specific activities there could be other sundry costs, like a walk-a-thon entry fee, chipping in for supplies for a bigger activity, etc. that aren't covered by the troop dues if you choose to participate in those.

Is membership for me?
We have an awesome group of people and dogs, and we have a great time together! Along with the info and typical activities listed above, here's a little info to tell if you'd enjoy taking part:

We promote responsible dog ownership practices like always cleaning up after your dog when in public, being courteous and kind to other people and dogs, obeying dog related laws, not allowing your dog to approach other humans and dogs without permission, etc. and so we ask that members strive to set a good example at all of our activities. Members should be willing to commit to learning and using positive training methods and equipment (for a better definition of "positive" you can read over the info on the Good Dog Rising "About Us" page.) We don't expect perfection! But it's important that we all strive to be good ambassadors of the things Dog Scouts of America stands for.

We are a very low-pressure group, and you are welcome to attend just the events and activities that interest you and fit your schedule. No need to attend everything - just come to what suits you! You do not need to be a student at Good Dog Rising to participate, though we often host events at the GDR facility, and many of the GDR instructors help lead troop activities. 

Those that lead our troop and our activities are volunteers, so we do as many activities as fit into our volunteers' schedules. The more members volunteer to plan activities, the more we do! And the more fun it is to lead activities, the more people volunteer! So...we ask that members not ask too much of those volunteers and to be patient with them. If you want to do more than what's planned, you can volunteer yourself to help out with an activity, and there is also video certification for Dog Scout badges as well, so you can take advantage of this awesome way to get even more out of Dog Scouts! There is great info on the DSA website to do lots of on your own training to add to what we do as a troop. You can also use the troop FaceBook page to organize impromptu gatherings like meeting up for a hike or to try lunch with your dog at an outdoor cafe that welcomes dogs. 

Awesome! How do I join?

1) Join Dog Scouts of America HERE. Be sure to list "Troop 161" as your troop.

2) Print and fill out the Troop Membership Form, and submit it with troop dues (via snail mail with a check).

3) Keep connected with the group to be informed about events. Our main means of communication is our Dog Scouts of America Troop 161 FaceBook Group. Please post to the FaceBook page to introduce yourself when you join! We also maintain a Yahoo group for those not on FaceBook, though not everything that's posted on the FaceBook page is copied to the Yahoo group. And you can check the Good Dog Rising events page for scheduled activities as well. 

Current List of Scheduled and Tentative Upcoming Activities:
For active troop members only unless otherwise specified.
  • Jan 25, 2019 - troop open house at GDR, open to the public.
  • Saturday, April 20, 2019 - Troop member gathering and dog walk, Spring Meadows Park, meet at 11am. Details and RSVP on Troop FaceBook event. 
  • Saturday, June 8, 2019 - Troop member training day: learn about T-Touch. At Good Dog Rising, 1-4pm. 
  • Sundays June 16, 23, & 30 - Three-week class covering foundation skills required for passing the Dog Scout test. For active troop members only. Pre-registration is required. Class is free and space will be limited. See details on the Events page of the Good Dog Rising website.
  • Sep 6-8, 2019  - annual Troop fall camping trip (cabin/RV) at Rhodes Grove Campground, Chambersburg, PA. 
  • Sep 29, 2019 - volunteer staff and/or troop team (walk or run) at Furry Friends Network's Race for Their Lives, City Island, Harrisburg, PA. Support Woofstock together afterward.

  • Nov 16, 2019  - bell-ringing with our dogs for the Salvation Army.
  • Nov 28, 2019 - Turkey Trot Informal Run/Walk, 9am Army Heritage & Education Center (see details on Events page, or troop facebook page.

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