"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume I - Issue 9:  November 28, 2003
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Chewing Up the House
=>  Today's Quote
=>  Breed of the Week
=>  The Mail Bag
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Why Dogs are Better than Men

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Everyone!

I hope everyone had a great week. Mine has been very busy with several new ideas for articles and partnerships to “spread the word” about the newsletter and site. Many of you have been helping along the way and I can't thank everyone enough. I can't imagine having better readers ... No I can't imagine having better friends. Thank you all.

I am planning to start a product review article in place of the normal training tips occasionally. It will not be a paid ad. It will be my honest assessment of dog-related products. If I like it, I will let you know. If I think it stinks, then that is what I'll say. I honestly believe the equipment and products we use can make an astronomical difference in the results we get from training.

My new cat seems to be doing much better. He is putting on weight and seems to be getting some of his energy back. He's much more playful, enjoying his toys, and as of last night, the side of my couch with his claws. (grrrr) He will be going to get his shots and to be fixed next week. Anyone looking for a cat? :-)

Okay kids, I am out of here. Have a great week. Hope everyone here in the States had a great Thanksgiving!



Dog Chewing the Sofa?  Puppy Eating Your Shoes?

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[Edited for space]

It would be an honor (to feature my question) and your newsletters do help A LOT and are fun at that!

Well, Henry's (Mini pinscher) problems are as follows ...

He has chewed just about everything in house up! And when I say everything, I mean just about that ... sofa, loveseat, a $1500 chair and ottoman (even though chair was exs' so that's a GREAT stress buster! LOL!) Just last night he snuck into my bedroom took my slipper out of the den while I was online, and when I went to check mail and came back in, I found it chewed up in the family room.

He jumps (he has a 4ft vertical leap) and grabs cooking utensils from my island stove! We (daughter & I) have spent $$ on chew toys and he treats them as dessert or a standby when I'm on alert!


Also the ONLY time when he listens is when I'm preparing their "morning wet meal" (feed wet one time a day and dry left out for the rest of day) and I call the boys and girl (I personally have two dogs and have 2 "foster dogs" that I'm fostering from animal rescue organization I volunteer for) for "breakfast!"

I have a completely fenced yard and when I let them out ... Henry WILL NOT come when I call him in. The others do ... even foster dogs. But w/ Henry it's a 2-3 hour ordeal.

I appreciate any help you can give.


Chewing Up the House

Have you ever caught yourself doing something when you are nervous that you didn't realize you were doing? Maybe you were biting your nails or fumbling with something sitting on the table in front of you. Could be anything. I find myself playing with the sides of my mustache whenever I am a little anxious.

Many things that happen in our lives make us anxious. It could be a new house, job, baby, someone new living in the existing house or just a change of diet. We've all experienced it and know what it can feel like. Unfortunately, while we humans can discuss the changes with each other and work through our fears, we often forget that our dogs are going through many of the same emotions.

Dogs really aren't any different than us when they are exposed to changes in their pack environment. Let me change that. Dogs are at least as affected by change as we are, if not more so. It's for this reason we must focus on our dogs during these changes as much as ourselves.

As I always like to do, lets break this one down a bit ...

First, we need to understand that a human pack member left the family not long ago. This can have a great effect on a dog if the leaving member played a large role in the dog's life. Their leaving may have made a change in the feeding and or exercise schedule, or maybe less one-on-one affection with the dog. There is also the emotional charge the humans have whenever a family member leaves, whether it was a blessing or not, and our dogs pick up on it.

Next we have the loss of mobility in the Alpha of the family. In a wild dog pack, this would indicate the role is now open and that all worthy dogs need to prepare to take over the role. This is a time for exhibiting dominance and control.

Now we need to look at the temporary residents that are in the house. Lee does rescue dog fostering which means there is a turn over of dogs going into and out of the house.

Whenever anyone does rescue and has a personal dog in the house, it is essential the personal dog maintain an Alpha role over the rescues. They need to feel secure in the family pack and not be worried the rescues are there for an audition to replace the family dog.

Often though, and I have caught myself doing this with rescues I've had, we pamper the rescue more than our own because we feel bad about the rescue's history.

Anytime we have any type of life change that can affect our dog we must try to keep everything else as consistent as possible. This means we may have to experience a little inconvenience but it's vital to lessen your dog's anxiety and desire to act out.

In Lee's case, we have numerous reasons for the dog's anxiety and chewing behavior. This case requires a complete overhaul of the dog's perspective and a total reestablishment of pack position and protocol. This takes a bit of thought as doing it right the first time is critical. Since it took time for all of the life changes to happen to the dog, it would be unrealistic to think this is something that can be fixed overnight.

First, sit down and make a list of all the unusual changes that have occurred in the dog's life. Feed schedules, sleep schedules, exercise schedules, everything. For Lee, it would be appropriate to change all the schedules providing he sticks to these schedules meticulously.

Next we have to consider the regular changes, i.e., the rescue dogs. It's imperative the family dog have more privileges than the rescues. The family dog should be fed first, loved on first and exercised first. Always - with no exceptions. This will clarify the family dog's pack position over the rescues.

Finally, Lee and his daughter will need to reestablish their position as the Alphas of the house. With all the changes in the home, the dog is now competing for the Alpha role and this can lead to a disaster, as we can see. As Lee has said, the dog doesn't chew things up when it knows he's being vigilant. In other words, being the Alpha. Exercise will also help eliminate the chewing behavior. Throwing the ball, playing tug-o-war or just letting them chase around with the other dogs will tire them out, expend energy and lessen the desire to chew. Additionally, the dog's toys should not be left out for the dog all the time, at first. Make it a special treat to prevent boredom. Don't forget, lots of praise when they chew their toy.

There are several different commercially made products designed to keep dogs from chewing on things. Some work and some don't. The trick is to find an odor or taste the dog finds unpleasant so the desire to chew is eliminated.

Destructive behavior is one of the top reasons given every year when people take their dogs to the pound and animal shelters. This behavior can, with a little bit of planning, be eliminated and help you to get rid of the furniture store credit account.

This article may be republished using the following attribution box:
Copyright ©2003 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

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.

~ Mark Twain ~



The Keeshond, also known as the "Dutch Barge Dog," is a stout little dog that closely resembles its distant relative, the Samoyed.

These great little family dogs have a distinctive coat that always appears to have just come out from under the dryer. Their ears are triangular and erect and their full tail rolls up on their back like a Danish roll. Their coat comes in shades of gray with black tips, is extremely thick and luscious, and tends to make you want to run your fingers through it.

These medium sized dogs are full of energy, intelligence and humor. They can have a reputation for being distant and timid which makes early socialization a must, but then again, all dogs need early socialization. Their curiosity and intensity in play make them a show all on their own.

These dogs make an excellent choice when selecting a dog for a child. They are extremely smart, energetic and alert dogs that seem to be able to moderate their playfulness with the situation. They love people and love to be part of an active family with a desire to participate in family activities, whether they are designed for a dog or not. They are gregarious animals that have been used to perform in circuses and side shows for years, however, they are primarily used as companion dogs now.

When researching the history of the breed, it became quickly apparent these animals were Jacks-of-all-Trades to the sailors of Dutch vessels in the past. They were used on ships to carry small loads, as mousers, companions, and, even to warn of other ships approaching under the veil of darkness. They are also given credit for saving overboard sailors, however, with their heavy dense coat, this may be subject to the truth.

The breed is believed to have been developed in the sixteenth-seventeenth century in Holland, but, the timing varies depending on the resource. They are known, however, to be a combination of Samoyed, Chow-Chow, Elkhound, and Pomeranian. The latter leaving them with unkind nick name of the “overweight Pomeranian.”

The breed ranges in weight from 35-65 pounds (15-30 kg.) and are from 17-22 inches (44-51 cm.) at the withers. There are different standards for size in the USA and Europe, so you should check with the breeder to determine their lineage. This also makes researching breeders and their record a must before ever purchasing this breed. You must be careful not to overfeed this breed as they are susceptible to excessive weight gain. Their life expectancy is from 13-15 years.

Many breeders whole-heartedly recommend them as apartment dogs, but I feel they will be much happier and better-behaved if they have at least a small yard to roam and explore. While they are primarily companion dogs now, they did originate from breeds that are known for roaming and work. A yard will allow them to exercise this instinct and lessen the chances of boredom and destructiveness.

The Keeshond needs a cooler climate for a couple of different reasons. First, their dense undercoat can be down right hot. This can, of course, lead to heat stroke or bloat if the dog is in a climate where the temperature is too high. This leads to the second reason they need a more temperate climate. If it's too hot to exercise them and you add in their propensity for being overweight, you can be looking at a veterinary disaster!

They require moderate exercise with "moderate" being the key word. It is recommended they be taken on a 1/2-3/4 hour walk daily, or to be allowed to run free in a large yard or field for an hour+ a day. While some may be very capable, they are not recommended for agility training or Frisbee™ competitions as a result of a hereditary trait, which causes knee problems.

They like to bark and are good watchdogs because of their notable gift for warning of danger.

While grooming is a daily must for the breed, it probably isn't as bad as one might think if you have the right equipment. I highly recommend using a firm tooth rake style comb and a standard slicker brush for their coat. Use both to go against and with the grain, against going first, in order to remove any dead hair from the undercoat. If conducted daily it shouldn't be a chore.

They go through two heavy shedding seasons annually. This is an ideal time to inspect their skin under the coat, which can be difficult at other times due to its density. Be sure to check for signs of external parasites at these times as dogs with these types of coats are havens for fleas and ticks. Even if you don't see any live parasites, look for scars created by these buggers. This will tell you if your parasite regimen is working effectively.

These dogs have few genetic issues. They usually are only exhibited in dogs that were not conscientiously bred, but one should be on the look out anyway. First, heart disease can be prevalent which is another reason to keep their exercise at a moderate level. Eye disease and hip dysplasia can also be present - with eye disease being the more prominent.

At the beginning of the French Revolution, the breed became the symbol of the common and middle-class Dutchmen who were led by the patriot Kees de Gyselaer. The breed then suffered a long period of neglect. They were first introduced into the UK by Mrs. Wingfield-Digby, and did not become popular again until 1920, when they arrived in the US. There are now many healthy strains all over the USA and Europe to choose from. This dog will make a wonderful pet for an active family with children and will bring years of loving companionship.

Breed requested by Aileen MacManus

Have a breed you would like to see featured in the newsletter? Give me a holler and we'll get it featured as soon as possible.


The Mail Bag


I cannot believe the research you did on my behalf (or should I say on Pepper, the miniature schnauzer's behalf!).

Thanks so very much for taking the time you did to respond to my question. Your information and advice is invaluable. As to your newletter, I have to tell you that I must subscribe to 20-25 different newsletter on various subjects, and without a doubt yours and your mom's are the two best! Both for content as well as design. ... please don't give it up!



[Here's a comment someone left on one of the billboards I've been on.]

Hi Everyone,

If you haven't already done so, you should check out Christopher Aust's www.master-dog-training.com website. Just by reading his pages, I learned quite a bit of how our 4 legged friends ACTUALLY interact in our homes.

Its a very informative and professional site. I personally plan on staying in touch with Chris as I truly believe he understands the K9 species at an incredible level.

Guy M.


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Why Dogs are Better than Men

 1.  Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public.

 2.  Dogs miss you when you're gone.

 3.  Dogs feel guilty when they've done something wrong.

 4.  Dogs admit when they're jealous.

 5.  Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out.

 6.  Dogs do not play games with you except fetch (and they never laugh at how you throw.)

 7.  You can train a dog.

 8.  Dogs are easy to buy for.

 9.  The worst social disease you can get from dogs is fleas.

10.  Dogs understand what "no" means.

11.  Dogs mean it when they kiss you.

Next week: Why Dogs are Better than Women

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

Thank You For Reading!  Have a Terrific Week!

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The BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter is published by Christopher Aust Copyright © 2003 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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