"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume II - Issue 25:  August 6, 2004
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Commitment
=>  Hero Dogs
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  You Know You're in Texas in July When ...

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Gang!

Here's Christopher ... (In my best Jack Nicholson voice)

Now I know I said I would only be down for a week or two but it took a little longer. Sorry about that folks. I have been tied up with the arrival of the first Chongqing dogs and preparing for their arrival. They are here though.

I want to thank those who helped bring the first two here. Their names are Mei zhu (May Ju) and Da Tou. (Day Toe) They are sweet little dogs that are so well socialized it is incredible. So sweet.

It has been a weird summer. Trying to get the dogs here from China and also everyone spending their money on everything other than training their dogs. This is okay as we always expect it. What has amazed me is the number of people who have written, saying, "Where are you Chris?"

I say I am still here but tell those that asked I am taking a little break. Should I be concerned? Maybe not, but I was kinda blown away that so many worry about me taking time off and the difficulties their dogs may face as a result. The truth of the matter is, I don't control your dogs. You do.

I do realize I often offer support to individuals who are working on their dogs' behavior. As many of you know, I offer myself up 24/7. I am here for you and appreciate the opportunity to do so. I love helping everyone. Without you I have nothing. I am proud to be here.

As a result, I'm going to repeat the first article I printed in B-n-S. It's called "Commitment." I want you all to know the "commitment" I speak of not only refers to the commitment of the dog owner to the dog, but also my commitment to you as my members. I take that commitment as seriously as I hope you do to your dog.

I thank everyone who has helped with the Chongqing dog project. I hope you all continue to support the project and realize its significance. It will make a difference for dog owners everywhere.

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


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I've worked with many people who tell me their dogs are the center of their lives. They take them to work, let them eat from their plate and even allow them to sleep in their bed. Do these people love their dogs? Absolutely.

Are they doing their dog any favors? No, not if they aren't also treating them like dogs. Dogs are dogs! Many, and in fact most, behavioral problems exist as a result of not being consistent with pack protocol and a dog's natural instincts. In a family pack, dogs must always be at the bottom of the ladder. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

If we allow our dogs to eat off our plates, sleep in our beds or dictate, in any way, how we go about things, we're telling them they have a higher pack status than we do. When this occurs, we have failed in our personal obligation to the dog.

When we bring a dog into our home, we make certain commitments to the dog. I'm referring not only to veterinary care, training, food and water, but also to ensuring we are raising them in ways consistent with their natural instincts. Unfortunately, we tend to blow off the dog's instincts and try to replace them with human ones. This is a losing battle.

Now, because we have ignored their instincts and pack protocol, our dog is misbehaving and making us nuts. This is the time when we must double our commitment to our dog in order to restore order, and make our dog feel comfortable with their pack position.

I often deal with clients who don't realize the things they're doing for their dogs are adverse to their behavioral growth and development. They like to think of the things they do for their dog as "pampering." I explain that some of the very things they're doing to pamper their dog could very well be the cause of the dog's behavior. Yet, they often tell me they simply can't stop the pampering because they, the owner, will feel bad.

While they may love their dog, they're not showing the commitment to the animal that he so richly deserves. They're also basically saying they are willing to put up with the bad behavior for the sake of their own feelings of accomplishment, love or whatever.

When I give this type of advice, I don't do it to take something away from the dog or owner. Quite the contrary. I do it because I know what is instinctually correct for the dog.

Sometimes, the pampering can be reintroduced at a later date. But, behavior needs to be directed first, pack protocol established and, then, the pampering needs to be properly reintroduced. This is the only truly successful way to go about it.

When we try to circumvent the process, it simply leads to failure. It also demonstrates a lack of true commitment to our best friend.

Whenever I take on a new dog, I take my commitment to that dog very seriously. I view my clients and myself as partners in the welfare of their dog. I want you all to realize this, and know it comes not only from my heart, but also from years of experience and study.

I believe our dogs deserve the very best, and if this means we have to adjust our schedules/lives a bit to benefit the dog, or help them through a difficult situation, then so be it. They give us unconditional love and deserve to have it returned. It's the least we can do.

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

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.

~ Phil Pastoret ~

Hero Dogs

A golden retriever from Farmingville, NY has been named the Kibbles 'n Bits Dog Hero of the Year.

It was a warm August afternoon during a family backyard picnic when Michelle Passalacqua ran inside her kitchen to get her daughters, Kaila, 7, and Sara, 3, a drink.

Kaila followed her mother inside to help, leaving Sara outside to play in the new toy ball pit. Seconds later, Passalacqua heard a scream and then crying. Running outside, she found their pet golden retriever, Sundance, barking at a large dead snake lying on the ground and Sara on top of the picnic table crying.

Passalacqua checked her daughter for bites, but found nothing. Apparently, the eight-foot-long python had made the ball pit his home when Sara jumped in, agitating the snake. Sundance, recognizing the danger, began barking loudly and eventually killed the snake, saving his young owner from harm.

For his heroic act, Sundance will receive $500 cash, a $100 grooming gift certificate and a specially engraved Dog Hero food bowl.

This next story epitomizes the love the dog seems to know, accept and understand for the human. Would we do the same if the tables were turned? I'd like to think we would.

A Mowgli-like wild boy who appears to have been raised by a dog since he was three months old, has been discovered living in a remote part of Siberia seven years after he was abandoned by his parents.

Andrei Tolstyk was discovered three weeks ago by social workers who wondered why the seven-year-old had not enrolled at his local school in the beautiful Siberian region of Altai.

Deprived of human contact for so long, Andrei could not talk and had adopted many dog-like traits, including walking on all fours, biting people, sniffing his food before he ate it and general feral behavior.

In an extraordinary case of life imitating art, Andrei, like Rudyard Kipling's fictional Mowgli in "The Jungle Book," had spent almost his entire youth in the company of animals. According to the local press, his existence had been forgotten.

His mother left home when he was three months old, entrusting Andrei's care to his alcoholic invalid father who also appears to have abandoned the boy soon afterwards and drifted away.

Incredibly, the hamlet of Bespalovskoya where the family lived was so sparsely populated and the house so remote that the parents' absence went unnoticed by the lonely outpost's few other inhabitants.

Instead, Andrei reportedly forged a close bond with the only other living thing around, the family guard dog, which somehow helped the young baby survive and grow up. Doctors say that Andrei was born with speech and hearing problems anyway but that his wayward parents made no effort with him for the short time that they hung around. Dubbed a 'dog boy' by some in the Russian media, he has now been moved to a shelter for orphans in a local town where he is being encouraged to mix with other children.

When he first arrived, the shelter staff told RIA-Novosti that he was afraid of people, behaved aggressively and erratically and continued to sniff all his food before eating it. They were, however, able to communicate with him using basic sign language. Two weeks after his arrival they say he began to walk on two legs and has since mastered the art of eating with a spoon, making his own bed and playing with a ball.

The other orphans are reported to be suspicious of the boy they call "wild," but Andrei is said to have struck up a friendship with a little girl with whom he communicates using sign language.

Doctors, pediatricians and psychologists are currently carrying out a series of tests on Andrei to ascertain whether he can be taught normal human behavior. If the answer is yes, he will be transferred to a normal children's home; otherwise he will be dispatched to a specialized boarding school. Police have initiated a search for his parents, who are likely to face various charges of neglect and endangerment if and when they are found.

Andrei Tolstyk's is not the first case of a "feral child" in Russia. In 1998 police near Moscow "rescued" Ivan Mishukov, then six years old, from the clutches of a pack of wild dogs he had lived with for the last two years.

Mishukov left the family home when he was four to get away from his mother and her abusive alcoholic boyfriend. He took to begging and won the dogs' trust by offering them scraps of food. In return they protected him, from the cold and from ill-wishers, and made him their pack leader. The police tried to rescue him three times but each time he was protected by the dogs.

They eventually managed to separate the boy from the dogs by leaving bait for the pack in a restaurant kitchen. Mishukov, who could speak before he went wild, has been successfully reintegrated into society though is said to still dream of dogs.

Mail Bag

Hey Christopher,

Please don't tell me you have left us all for another dog! Mom hasn't seen your newsletter and is trying to train me on her own. I must admit I have had a lot of fun at her expense but may have pushed it too far. Please come back before she decides it's off to the farm with me.

Remus (Cathy's dog)

Play nice Remus, I'm back! ~C

Dear Chris,

Two months ago we got a new dog from the shelter that definitely needed some training. Our other dog was so easy going and smart we never needed to take her to a trainer. She just learned on her own from us. The new guy though ...

We had read your article from a few months ago regarding group training vs. in-home private training. We called around to find a private trainer but thought it was a little cost prohibitive so we went to the training classes offered at ********. (Chain Pet Store) It was a disaster. Next we tried the local humane societies classes with the same results.

After six weeks, $250.00, countless hours of our time and no results, we called a man who offered in-home training. We checked him out and decided to hire him. In two sessions and less than what we had already paid, we saw great results.

We should have listened to you in the first place. Won't make that mistake again. Our family is blessed to have you with us. Hope you're back soon!

Leslie B.
Newport, RI

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Joke of the Week

You Know You're in Texas in July When ...

The birds have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground.

The trees are whistling for the dogs!

The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

Hot water now comes out of both taps.

You can make sun tea instantly.

You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.

You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.

Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"

You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt, and pepper.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs.

The cows are giving evaporated milk.

Ah, what a place to call home.

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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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