"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume II - Issue 11:  March 26, 2004
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Preparing for Spring
=>  Breed of the Week - Maltese
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  You are Being Watched

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Folks!

Boy, haven't I been a bit testy the last week or two! Haven't meant to be, but guess the nice weather made me want to get outside instead of pounding on the old keys. Anyway, the Prozac seems to be working, so we are off on another fun week of spending time with the furkids.

I love and loathe this time of year. Part of it is because I sort of live in the sticks. We get deer, wild turkeys and other wild life, which makes it wonderful. We also have a multitude of stains, dirt, and other dragables available for our dogs to use to soil the carpets. Very different from the city, at times.

As a result, I have asked to have a fellow iCop member to give us some information for all of us to follow not only to protect but restore our carpets as well. Here is what Joseph, our premier carpet cleaner advised regarding the most commonly asked questions:

1. We are getting a new dog.  Our last dog was very old when she passed and had lost bladder control.  We have had the floor professionally cleaned but are afraid some of her "favorite" spots might still smell?  What should I do?

A: There are pet stain/odor removal solutions. I buy mine at the local janitorial supply, ask at yours, telling them the problem and let a professional recommend what they have available.

2. My dog was sick and pooped on the floor in such a manner that it left a stain.  I am sure the smell is gone, but what can I do to get rid of the stain?

A. I again recommend going to a janitorial supply company and explain your situation to a professional who will know the best product for your situation.

3. Are all cleaning chemicals safe for dogs and should I keep my dog out of the house after the carpet has been cleaned?

A. I can only speak for my "solutions." They are non-toxic, non-allergic, will not harm fibers, fabric, pets, children, or carpet cleaners. I have been using them for over 10 years with no problems. I have even had a big bird walk on it (1 time) right after cleaning with no adverse effects. Of course, it is best to keep off the cleaned areas for 1-2 hours, if possible.

I called a couple of local janitorial supply companies around the area and was pleasantly surprised at the cost I was quoted for some of these products. A few dollars more than what you would pay in the grocery store, and industrial strength for better results. They even offer “green/earth safe products at some of the stores.

If you live in SW Florida, don't hesitate to give Joseph a call. You can reach him by phone at 941-764-0004. You can also visit his web site for more information about caring for your carpets. He is a true dog lover and great at what he does. He is also a member of iCop so you know he is a business with utmost of integrity.


Well, I guess that's it for now. Please keep sending your questions and comments. They are always appreciated.

I'm outta here!



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Dear Christopher,

As you know, we recently moved from Toronto, Canada to McAllen, Texas. This will be our first spring/summer here, and after reading your comments about dogs and water last week, we were wondering what other inherent dangers the heat could bring to our dog.

We usually take our dog everywhere with us and don't want to stop that, but we also don't want to jeopardize his health either. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the great information you give each week.

Cheryl L.

Preparing for Spring

Last week, since spring has sprung, I mentioned water safety for our dogs. It wasn't until I received this letter that I realized I left a whole pile of stuff out. As a result, I have changed this weeks article to address just this issue. I humbly apologize for my oversight.

It has been my experience that most weather related injuries and conditions happen either in the beginning of the spring and again in middle August when the temperature hits its peak. You then see another peak at the beginning of winter. For this article, I am going to focus on the warm weather injuries and conditions.

I know for me here in the foothills of the Sierras, I spend most of the winter sitting on my butt. It's cold and rainy neither of which do I truly appreciate. As the result of a snapped knee, I don't ski and don't snowboard. I live 30 minutes from some of the best ski slopes in the world, but still sit on my butt for the most part. Now if you are like me, I do everything I can to exercise my dogs during the winter but I must admit, it is nothing like the exercise they receive in the summer.

As a result of this inactivity, our dogs develop the old secretarial spread.

They get a little out of shape, lose the stamina they may have had the previous summer, and have to ease back into being out and active. Just as we need to ease back into physical activity, so do our dogs.

Dogs also deal with environmental changes differently than humans. This is due to their physiology more than anything else. These differences must be considered as well if we are going to protect our dogs from harm during warmer weather. By understanding these differences, we will not only understand the reason dogs can get hurt, but also the knowledge to avoid these injuries in situations we never would have thought dangerous.

Torsion and Bloat

The technical name for Bloat is Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. (GVD) It is reportedly the second biggest killer of dogs in the world. Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air, although food and water can be present. It usually occurs when there's an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and /or foam present in the stomach. Stress can be a contributing factor as well.

Bloat occurs with or without twisting. (volvulus) As the stomach swells, it may rotate from 90 degrees to 360 degrees, which basically cuts off the upper intestine and esophagus, food tube. The twisting traps air, food, water and stomach gas. It causes obstruction of the veins in the abdomen, low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect is death.

So how do we prevent bloat? It is really quite easy when we know how a dog responds to heat. It's much different than it is for humans. Let me explain ...

Humans relieve heat by sweating. I know when I come out of the gym, I am sweating like a prostitute on dollar night. I am slightly out of breath but drenched. Sweat is the product of exercise in humans. This is just the way it is.

Dogs relieve heat through panting. It takes effort and energy to pant. Every organ gets jostled and bounced. Not only are they panting to relieve heat, but also to breathe. I personally can't imagine having to relieve heat and breathe through the same mechanism. Seems crazy to me.

So, if this is the way they are, how do we deal with it? Easily. Take it slow.

1. Give your dog the chance to get up to speed and work off the cobwebs they developed during the winter.

2. Don't feed your dog for one hour prior to or after strenuous exercise. The dogs need time to metabolize their food and water before and after they workout.

3. Do not excessively water your dog when out and about. If you are worried about your dog being hot, you will do better to soak down their body, particularly under the pits than let them drink excessive amounts of water.

4. If your dog is tired, let them rest. No one knows better than you if they are tired.


We often think of boots as being a winter item but we must remember that dogs need to protect their feet as much in the summer as they do during the spring. The pads become soft with inactivity. No way to get around it. If you live in a rural area, it would not hurt to toughen your dog's pads and/or give them boots for the spring.

There are a couple of ways to toughen our dogs' pads.

1. Soak them in commercial pad toughener.

2. Soak them in a combination of ˝ cup sea salt to one gallon of warm water. This should be done daily for a week before the effectiveness will be seen.

It only takes three minutes of soaking to make it effective.

Don't Over Water

Dogs don't need drinking water like we do. When we get hot, we drink water to relieve the heat. This will only minimally help your dog and could kill them if they are still going to exercise. If you are out exercising your dog, only give them enough water to wet their whistle. It won't cool them but could cause them to bloat. Soak them down if they are hot. It will do more than a drink.

Don't Leave Dogs in Vehicles

If it is 60 degrees outside with sunshine, then the temperature in your car is at least 85 degrees after 20 minutes. Now imagine what it's like when the outside temp is 80 degrees. Cracking windows doesn't help much. Your dog will die in as little as 40 minutes. If you can't take the dog in the store with you, then let them stay at home. That's all there is too it.

The long and short is, you need to use common sense when dealing with environmental changes. Think like a dog and understand their abilities and limitations. If you do, you are ensuring a lifetime of fun and enjoyment with your dog.

This article may be republished using the following attribution box:
Copyright ©2004 Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies
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In the world which we know, among the different and primitive geniuses that preside over the evolution of the several species, there exists not one, excepting that of the dog, that ever gave a thought to the presence of man.

~ Maurice Maeterlinck ~



An old neighbor of mine had one of these little guys and used to say they were the angels of dog heaven. I can't remember if he ever told me why he said this, but I can only imagine it's because they seem to glide across the floor as they walk.

These little guys are an absolute hoot to be around. Their personalities and antics can dominate conversation when they are in the room. Their extroverted personalities are light and rarely harsh. If I were ever to get a small dog for myself, they would definitely make the list.

The Maltese is a sturdy little companion dog with a phenomenal glossy white coat. The coat hangs from a centerline on the back, straight to the ground on each side. The coat should not be kinked or wavy and must hang straight in order to meet breed standards. They are single coated meaning they have no undercoat. Their coat should be heavy, thick and absolutely white although ivory is acceptable in some circles.

The long pendant type ears and tail are heavily covered with hair and the tail drapes definitively over the back. The eyes should be deep set, large and dark in color. They also should be very round with darkly colored rims. The muzzle should have a slight taper and be no more than 1/3 the length of the head. Their nose is black with pronounced nostrils and a definitive stop.

They should be slightly longer than they are tall and their back should be parallel to the ground with no sloping. While the Maltese is a hearty breed, they are still rather fine boned. As a result, they might not be the best choice for a family with small children unless the child is well behaved.

The Maltese does require a little more daily grooming than some other breeds. Their coat requires daily brushing that is best to be done with a fine-toothed comb as their hair is rather soft and can become brittle. Their eyes need to be cleaned daily to prevent staining of the coat. Likewise, the beard needs to be cleaned after each feeding for the same reason.

They should be bathed only as necessary making sure the dog is in a warm environment until they are completely dry. This is due to the lack of undercoat, which can make it difficult to retain heat. Since their hair can "trap" dirt, their ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections.

Many fanciers of the breed will tie the hair up in a topknot on their head to prevent staining of the hair by the eyes. Others simply choose to clip the hair short to minimize the daily grooming chores. If you choose to leave their hair down make sure to keep it clean and free of debris. This is necessary to prevent injuries to the eyes. While they are rather hairy, they are minimal shedders and are highly recommended for allergy sufferers.

The Maltese ranges from eight to ten inches (21-25 cm.) in height and weighs from seven to nine (3-4 kg.) pounds. Some may be prone to digestive issues, skin afflictions and eye, tooth and respiratory problems. With proper maintenance these issues are reportedly rare. Their life expectancy is thirteen to fifteen years.

These silly little guys love to play and learn tricks for your amusement. They are highly intelligent and will make a suitable apartment dog, as they are very active indoors. They do, however, love to play outside and run around. While they will do great in an apartment, they should still be given ample time to romp around outside. They remain very active well into their geriatric years.

Like most small breed dogs, it is important not to coddle these little guys or become overly protective. Smaller breeds that are over protected tend to become nervous, jealous and even aggressive towards other people and dogs. Over pampering can cause them to become stubborn and demanding. It is important they be socialized with various people and dogs from a young age to prevent this from occurring.

The Greek philosopher, Theophrastus, described the breed as belonging to the "Melita" breed, an ancient name for Malta. The modern version was actually developed in Italy through the introduction of miniature spaniel and poodle blood. The one time Roman ruler of Malta, Publius, prized his Maltese enough to commission portraits and poetry about his beloved dog, Issa.

It is believed the Maltese was first brought to Western Europe by Crusaders returning home from the Mediterranean. The breed quickly became popular with women of distinction who often carried them inside their clothes or specially made carriers.

Overall, this is an exceptional dog despite the extra care they may require. They are lively little entertainers that will give years of die-hard dedication and love to their owner. Even if you are a "big dog" lover, these little guys will capture your heart.

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Joke of the Week

You are Being Watched!

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shone his flashlight around, looking for valuables, and when he picked up a CD player to place into his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying, "Jesus is watching you."

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off and froze.

When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a long vacation after his next big score, then clicked the flashlight back on and began searching for more valuables. Just as he pulled the stereo out so that he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, "Jesus is watching you."

Totally rattled, he shone his flashlight around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

"Did you say that," he hissed at the parrot. "Yes," the parrot confessed, then squawked, "I'm just trying to warn you."

The burglar relaxed. "Warn me, huh? Who do you think you are anyway?"

"Moses," replied the parrot.

"Moses," the burglar laughed. "What kind of people would name a parrot 'Moses?'"

The parrot quickly answered, "The same kind of people who would name a Rottweiler 'Jesus.'"

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Thank You For Reading!  Have a Terrific Week!

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The Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

The BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter is published by Christopher Aust Copyright © 2004 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the express written consent of the publisher or contributors.

We accept no responsibility for your use of any contributed information contained herein. All of the information presented in BARK 'n' SCRATCH is published in good faith. Any comments stated in this newsletter are strictly the opinion of the writer or publisher.

We reserve the right to edit and make suitable for publication, if necessary, any articles published in this newsletter. We reserve the right to publish all reader comments, including the name of the writer.

Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies

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