BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter  
"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume III - Issue 37:  December 16, 2005
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  What is Socialization?
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Breed of the Week - Dachshund
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Transportation Board Accident Survey

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Christopher's Drool

Hey Everybody,

Well, Christmas is almost here and like always, the closer it gets, the less I loathe it. I always start off a little humbug. I mean hey, they start in with the carols, decorations and Mall Santas practically the day after Halloween. Truth be known, I am actually pretty excited this year.

Now, because the next edition of Bark-n-Scratch would be coming out on December 23rd, I have decided to cancel the next edition until after the holidays. Lets face it, on the 23rd we will all be running around taking care of last minutes details and picking up those final gifts. B-n-S will be back out again on December 30, 2005.

PLEASE remember the kids who might not have Christmas at all.

Help Yourself By Helping Children . . .
The 5th Annual Internet Toy Drive!

We are proud to be a partner with the official U.S. Marines "Toys for Tots" program in The 5th Annual Internet Toy Drive. It's a sad fact that millions of children in the United States will NOT have a single gift to open on Christmas Day! We aim to change that and make sure EVERY child has at least one present 'from Santa' under their tree. Help a needy child in YOUR community right now:

Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanajkah or any other holiday, please let me relay my very best to all of our readers and I hope the new year brings everything you hope for. From my family to yours, have a great holiday!

Keep those letters and suggestions coming. They are greatly appreciated.

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



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Mr. Aust,

I constantly hear from people how important it is to socialize our dogs but what exactly are we supposed to socialize them to and why. My dogs spend all their time on our property and rarely leave for walks etc. Only time we do leave is too go to the vet. Is it really necessary to socialize my dog to everything?

East Angli

What is Socialization?

I guess before I address Gary's question, we should have a firm understanding of what the word socialization means when it comes to canine behavior. Now you won't find this in Webster's, but this is my interpretation.

Socialization is the introducing of a stimulus to a dog, so the dog becomes comfortable being around it and exhibits no anxiety, aggression or fear.

The stimulus can be anything from sound, scent, different people/animals or a new environment. We have all seen the reaction our dogs have given us when they come to a new place or meet a new person. Even a well socialized dog can be a little apprehensive to these new encounters.

Every one's environment is going to be a little different so people are going to have to have to socialize them to different things. However, everyone should socialize their dogs to the most common types of encounters they are likely to experience. This is not only for safety's sake, but also as a courtesy to the other members of your community.


Many people think that because their dog doesn't go anywhere and only has interaction with the family, they don't have to socialize the dog to other people. This was the mindset of many of the owners of dogs that were left behind after Hurricane Katrina. These dogs were family pets, but many never had outside interaction.

As a result, many of these animals fought vehemently against capture from rescuers because they didn't understand the intent of the rescuers and they hadn't been socialized when they were younger. If nothing else, Katrina has shown the importance of socializing our dogs to people.

Storms like Katrina don't come along that often, but visitors to our homes do. Whether it's a family member, neighbor, utility company employee or law enforcement, our dogs need to be able to deal with these encounters. There are also the legal ramifications of your dog biting someone.


Near my house is an enormous park with a fishing lake that has a walking path around it. It is a great place to go and get some exercise with the pooch or take them along fishing with you. It is a favorite place for my kids and I to go and monkey around.

What I hate though is having to deal with other peoples' dogs. Not everyone, but you know the dog I'm talking about. The dog that growls as you walk by, and does nothing but try to get at your dog. The owner looks at you, smiles and gives you that “sorry” look as they go by.

There simply isn't an excuse for not socializing your dog to other animals. Now I have been told that some breeds can't be socialized to other animals, but I have successfully done it with those breeds repeatedly. We all have to live together and our dogs are included in this. Again, just like with people, there are serious legal ramifications if your dog injures another person's animal.


I work with many animals that have sound related fears. Thunder, gunfire, or just any sudden noise. This is one of those areas it can be difficult to prepare for until your dog exhibits a fear of loud or sharp noises. If you get the dog as a puppy, it is relatively easy to work out before it becomes a problem.

Many people will say they don't have gunfire going off around their house and some places rarely see thunder storms. However, nearly every town has a car that backfires or the occasional fireworks display. Either of these could cause a sound fearful dog to bite if the dog is surprised and in the street.


Scent works most closely with animal socialization. I know when I take the dogs to the park, they are going to have to sniff the gate leading to the park so they can meet all the dogs who have passed before them. Some dogs are more interested in these smells than others, but I have found allowing them a little time initially to explore these odors, they tend to do better when meeting dogs they aren't familiar with.

In our next edition, we will expand upon the subject and focus on how to go about the socialization process. It is relatively easy to do and will go a long way in making your relationship with your dog much easier and more enjoyable.

This article may be republished using the following attribution statement:

Copyright ©2005 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 by visiting NOW!

Quote of the Week

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

~ Unknown ~


Do you remember Mighty Mouse? Well, for those of you who don't, Mighty Mouse was a cartoon mouse who was a super hero. He flew around saving the city from evil villains by shaking them out of buildings or crushing their cars. Well, if they were to have called the show “Mighty Dog” it would have been a Dachshund that got the part.

Many refer to the Dachshund as a “wiener dog” and I find this a little insulting considering the brave, loving, devoted and proud nature of the animal. They are an extremely intelligent animal whose humor, at times seems to take on the appearance of being well thought out. They have quite a bit of energy and do require regular exercise to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated.

Despite their wonderful attributes and wonderful intelligence, they can be a little stubborn, jealous and nippy without proper exercise and adequate social interaction from other members of the pack. They can also be a little yappy at times but this too I believe can be attributed to the issues listed above. They will do well with older respectful children.

There are three categories for the breed. The short-haired, wire-haired and long-haired. Additionally, there are three different sizes. The standard, miniature and toy varieties. The Dachshunds is an elongated muscular dog with short legs. They walk with almost a prance with their protruding eyebrows, non-pendant lips and elongated head held high and proud. They should have a tight scissor bite and extremely strong adult canine teeth.

Their eyes are oval, dark red or brown-black with an energetic and friendly expression. Their ears are mobile and hang long onto the cheeks. Its body should have a strong protruding sternum and a moderately retracted abdomen. Its tail is carried in line with its back. The short-haired Dachshund's coat should be shiny, sleek and uniform. Solid-colored Dachshunds may be tan or yellow. Bi-color Dachshunds may be deep black, brown, or gray with areas of bright chestnut. There are also piebald, speckle-streaked, or harlequin varieties.

The varieties range in size and weight. The normal weighs between 18-20 lbs (8-9 kg) and are about 16 inches (37-43 cm) at the withers. The Miniature weighs approximately 9 pounds (4 kg) and stands around 13 inches (33 cm) at the withers. Toys weigh approximately 6-8 pounds (3 kg) and stands at 12 inches. (30 cm)

They are a relatively healthy breed that can live from 12-16 years. They are prone to spinal disc disease, aka Dachsund's Paralysis, urinary tract infections and diabetes. These things, I believe anyway, can be avoided by simply providing them with a very healthy diet. Their weight must also be closely monitored and you will do well to keep them on the slimmer side.

Some believe the Dachshund will do fine in an apartment without a yard. On this point I disagree unless the dog is also getting daily walks as well. We have to remember these dogs were bred to be active hunting animals with a defined job. Ample exercise will allow the dog to work off excess energy and satisfy their prey drive, thereby reducing the chances of destructive or aggressive behavior.

All and all, the Dachshund will make a wonderful loving family pet. They require a lot of socialization, exercise and human interaction, but their intelligence and devotion make worth the effort.

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Joke of the Week

Transportation Board Accident Survey

The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had covertly funded a project with U.S. auto makers for the past five years, whereby the auto makers were installing black box voice recorders in four-wheel drive pickup trucks and SUV's in an effort to determine, in fatal accidents, the circumstances in the last moments before the crash.

They were not surprised to find in 44 of the 50 states the recorded last words of drivers in 61.2 percent of fatal crashes were, "Oh, Sh*t!"

But the states of Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama and Kentucky were different, where 89.3 percent of the final words were, "Hold my beer, I'm gonna try somethin'."

(Don't write and complain if you live in one of those States. I have family in nearly every one of them.) ;)

* Have a joke you'd like to submit to us?

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 © 2005 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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