"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume II - Issue 23:  June 25, 2004
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Target Aggression, Part 2
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Signs your Co-Worker is a Hacker

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Gang!

Well, the first two Chongqing dogs will be here in the States in just a little over a week. It is a very exciting time not only for the club in China but also for Paws for Change. It has all seemed a little like a dream for the last year as I have worked on this but now reality has arrived. There is still a lot of work to be done but their arrival here should make it a little easier. Thanks to all of you who have given your support to this wonderful animal.

I will be taking a couple of weeks off from the newsletter once they arrive so I can get them acclimated to their new environment and work on their training. As a result, there will most likely not be a newsletter on July 9th or the 16th. If time allows, I will try to get it out but I can't be sure.

Do you have a dog that you rescued from a shelter or other rescue operation? If so, you might want to enter their picture in the Paws for Change (PFC) Model Search. Twelve dogs will be voted on to have their photo used in PFC 2005 calendar. Winners will receive a free copy of the calendar and some other goodies to boot.

Proceeds from the sale of the calendars will go to PFC educational programs and to promote adoption of rescued and abandoned dogs. Don't miss out on the chance to make your dog a star!

This really has nothing to do with dogs but I think it deserves mention. The parent company for M&M's candies has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise research funds. M&M's will be producing special pink and white candies for sale. For each eight-ounce bag sold , the maker of M&M's, Masterfoods, will donate fifty cents to the foundation. What a great excuse to feed that sweet tooth! Pick up a bag or twenty and help fight the battle against this horrific disease.

Now my never-ending plea for donations for PFC. While the first dogs are on their way, we still need to generate the funds for all their veterinary tests when they get here. Vaccinations, DNA testing, hip and eye exams etc. Please do whatever you can by going to the web site and making a donation. Every cent counts. Thanks in advance for your generosity. Don't forget to stop by the PFC store while you are there. Lots' of cool stuff to check out.


Okay, that's it for today. I'm outta here!


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We got a male Sheltie back in January we plan to breed with our female. He was owned by a friend of mine who has teenaged children before we got him.

At first he seemed perfect with my five-year old daughter but he has started to give her this “look” and now is showing his teeth and growling. She is very loving towards him and we don't want to give him up. What should I do?

Name Withheld

Target Aggression, Part 2

Last week we started the process of Crash Socialization. We also looked at the differences between instinct, predisposed behavior and learned behavior and how they apply to Proper Pack Protocol and Positioning (PPPP) and Crash Socialization.

This week are going to continue with the process our writer should take to re-socialize her dog to their daughter. If you missed last week's article I highly recommend you go back and check it out so everything makes sense.


When we left off last week, we were on Day 5 of the process. The dog has been isolated from human contact with the exception of the little girl who is the target of the dog's aggression. The child has been reading to the dog and rewarding the dog whenever he displays no aggression. She has just started to give the dog commands and rewarded them appropriately.

Day 6 is the point where the adults are going to hop back into the process. This is also where the process can really get screwed up without proper care. It's generally not the dog or kid that blows it, either. It's us all knowing, and well-meaning adults. Since we are talking about possible aggression, it is imperative this portion be strictly followed.

The role of the adult here is to basically be a bouncer. The adult, even though they are holding the dog's leash, they are not to talk to, pet or acknowledge the dog in any way other than explained. To do so will undermine the whole process and could even make the situation worse.

Days 6-7

The child should approach the dog just as she has on previous days. She should sit and talk to the dog for a few minutes, give the dog a command and reward the dog. She should then walk away and wait for ten minutes or so.

The child should then go back to the dog with the adult. While the child remains out of reach, the adult should put the dog on leash and walk the dog out into the yard. Remember, not a word to the dog from the adult. The child should continue to talk to the dog while they walk into the yard and for the first few minutes there.

The adult needs to watch the dog carefully for any signs that could indicate the dog is about to become aggressive. At the first sign the dog is becoming aggressive, the adult should immediately give the dog a firm, commanding “No.” They should simultaneously give a firm tug at the leash. Don't hurt the dog when you tug, it is simply to get their attention.

The child should continue to softly talk to the dog through out the correction. The dog should then immediately be put back in their kennel or wherever they are isolated. The child should stay behind while the dog is put away. Once the dog is back in their kennel and the adult is out of the dog's sight, the child should go into the dog again and sit for a few minutes.

Okay, lets assume the dog doesn't show any aggression when in the yard initially.

The child is talking to the dog and should give the dog a command. It should be one the dog knows and does fairly well. If the dog sits, the child can give the dog a treat. She can either throw it to the dog or walk up and give it to the dog directly. The method should be determined by the adult, based on the dog's behavior.

If they can walk up to the dog, have the child pet the dog softly on the back. Repeat the commands every couple of minutes until the dog has completed at least three successful trials in a row. The dog should then be placed back in the kennel for fifteen minutes. After that time repeat the process. Each round should only take around ten minutes and there should be three rounds during the day. It is better to break the rounds up through the day but not totally necessary.

Day 7 should be a repeat of Day 6 only the rounds should be about 50% longer than the previous day. Remember, the adults are there only to supervise and not interact with the dog. If both days have gone without any aggression then you can move onto Day 8 and 9. If the dog has shown any aggression, repeat Days 6 and 7 until you have two consecutive days with the appropriate behavior.

Days 8-9

These days will start just as the previous ones, however now the dog will be allowed to come off leash. The child should throw the ball for the dog and play with toys but they need to remain fairly calm. The child should not run, scream or be overly physical with the dog. These normal childhood behaviors can often frighten the dog and bring on aggressive behavior. The child should also not lay on the ground with the dog so as not to tempt the dog to take a dominant physical position over the child.

If the dog has a successful round, have the child accompany the adult to put the dog back in the kennel. They should then stay with the dog for a minute or two and talk while the adult leaves the dog's vision. Before she leaves the dog she should give the dog a treat. This will be the only treat the dog gets on these days.

Day 8 and 9 should be exactly the same. If the dog shows any aggression at all it should be handled in exactly the same manner as Days 6 and 7.

Days 10-14

The dog has been paroled!

The dog is now going to be allowed back into the home as usual. Special care should be taken to monitor the dog and child when they are together. Any aggression should result in banishment to a bathroom or garage. Again, the child needs to calm and respectful whenever the dog is around. At this point a lot of progress has been made, but the dogs confidence may be a little low from all of the new structure. It is important for the dog to be allowed to re-acclimate in a calm environment.

The child should be the one to feed the dog and be the primary one to give the dog affection, treats etc. The adults in the house need to maintain a fairly aloof with the dog. Remember, we are trying to endear the child to the dog, and any over affection given to the dog by the adults could cause a set back.

Day 14-Eternity

At this point, the dog should be fairly well on its way and things can return to normal. It wouldn't be a bad idea to allow the child to remain the main affection giver to the dog as well as continue to feed the dog. It is also helpful for them to be the one to hold the leash on walks and play with the dog in the yard more frequently.

If you do not see any progress when working this system there could be another reason for the aggression. It could have something to do with a hidden medical condition or inappropriate breeding. It is always advisable to take your dog to the vet for a complete physical including blood work-up.

You may also want to contact a local canine behaviorist to come and work with you and your dog. They can often see behavioral indicators that are missed by the untrained eye. Make sure they have experience working with aggressive dogs.

Aggression of any kind needs to be dealt with immediately. Additionally, you need to be patient and realize there is no quick fix for aggression that will also be lasting. The best thing you can do is enforce obedience, stay consistent and don't let emotions and attachment interfere with the process.

Finally, when there is an imminent danger to children or anyone for that matter, you are better off to place the dog with someone who can retrain the dog and possibly find it a more suitable environment. While this is a hard decision to make, it will be even harder on you if the dog bites someone and Animal Control orders the dog destroyed.

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
Subscribe to the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter: subscribe@Master-Dog-Training.com
VISIT NOW: http://www.Master-Dog-Training.com

A dog is like an eternal Peter Pan. A child who never grows old and who therefore is always available to love and be loved.

~ Phil Pastoret ~

Mail Bag

Hey Chris,

Loved the article “ New Member to the Family Pack.” My girlfriend and I are moving in together next month and it really gave us some insight on how it will affect my dog and how we should make the transition easier. Thanks for the great newsletter!

David N.


Dear Christopher,

Your joke this week killed me. My husband and I were just complaining about how much it costs to get the dog groomed. Needless to say, your joke not only cracked us up but put an end to our complaints about the cost.

Jerri B
. Chicago, IL



First, love the newsletter. It always makes my Fridays easier to get through. I went and looked at the Paws for Change web site and it looks great. I commend the fact you are using your talents to do some good in the dog world and aren't just out for profit. Keep up the great work.

Kathy L.
Lubbock, TX

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Joke of the Week

Signs your Co-Worker is a Hacker

1. Everyone who ticks him off gets a $26,000.00 electric bill

2. He/She has won the Publishers' Clearing House Sweepstakes three years running

3. When asked for their phone number they give it in hex

4. Seems strangely calm whenever the office LAN goes down

5. Somehow gets HBA on their computer at work

6. Mumbled "Oh puh-leeeeez" 295 times during the movie "The Net"

7. Massive 401K contribution made in half-cent increments

8. Their video dating profile lists "public-key encryption" among their turn-ons

9. Instead of the "Welcome" voice on their computer, you hear, "Good Morning Mr. President"

10. You hear them murmur, "Let's see you use that Visa card now Professor 'I-Don't-Give-A's-In-Computer-Science'"

* To submit your joke to us: Joke@Master-Dog-Training.com

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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