"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume III - Issue 7:  February 18, 2005
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

Please send comments on the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter to:

A warm, "WELCOME!" to all of our new readers!

Please add the newsletter's email address of: Newsletter@Master-Dog-Training.com to your "Friends" list, "Approved Senders" list or address book.

In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Deaf Dog Training
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  You Know You're in California If ...

Subscribe to:

"Bark 'n' Scratch"



Subscribe FREE

Privacy Policy

Christopher's Drool

Howdy All,

I'm not sure why I said that. Maybe it's the redneck in me creeping out.

Well, I hope everyone has had a great week. Personally, I have been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest but that's okay. It has been productive.

First, I want to tell you about the teleclasses I am doing. They are going to be held weekly and we have managed one heck of a line up. The instructors are some of the biggies in the animal care, and training world. I'm really very excited to be a part of it and highly suggest you go to the link below to learn more. Additionally, the format used for the classes is incredible.


It is really rare to have such an extensive line up of leading professionals all in one place, so make sure you take the time to check it out.

Recently, I have been fortunate enough to meet an incredible hero in the humane education world by the name of Randy Warner. You may remember his name as it was on the email I published that HSUS sent out blacklisting me. As far as I'm concerned, if he's blacklisted too, he can't be all that bad.

Mr. Warner has visited literally thousands of classrooms all over the country and his humane education programs are in numerous countries. He is the founder and President of the non-profit organization, 21st Century Cares, where none of the members or employees receive any pay for their work, which would make the average HSUS executive faint.

He also has a series of books in both printed and ebook format that are absolutely excellent. I highly suggest you look at them and consider getting them for yourself if you are an educator, rescuer or just a lover of animals. His site has over 900 pages of Humane Education information. His efforts in Humane Education have been acknowledged in thousands of interviews as well as by talk show host David Letterman.

Mr. Warner is also a very straight-forward speaker and writer who calls it as he sees it - a lot like I do. (No doubt the reason for his being blacklisted by HSUS) However, I have never met anyone who has put so much compassion and knowledge to work for Humane Education as this man.

So, go by his site and check out his ebooks. He has offered to give a 25% discount to any of my readers and remember, all the proceeds go to educating the kids. Well worth it, believe me.


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

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



Dog Chewing the Sofa?  Puppy Eating Your Shoes?  Or WORSE?

Master Dog Training

FREE Initial Telephone Consultation!  I pay for the calls on your Coaching Sessions (within the continental USA).

"Learn the 'Pack Mentality' and Train Your Dog with Ease."

You deserve to have the very best coaching for your beloved pet. He deserves no less than a Master Trainer who knows how to shape his behavior in the most natural, and painless way possible!

Click Here
for full details!


Hi Chris,

Have a friend who just adopted a dog who turned out to be deaf. Any suggestions as to how to train him to come, sit, stay, etc. I told them for the come command to get a long training lead and lightly tug to get his attention and pull him towards them giving the come hand signal. Don't know if I was correct or not but thought in the interim it was a solution.

Any advice?

Sue D.

Deaf Dog Training

The writer is definitely on the right track here. Whenever we work with a dog that is hearing impaired, we obviously can't rely on verbal commands. This doesn't mean the training of the animal will be significantly different. Before we start though, there are a couple of things we should look at or do.

Veterinary Care

First, whenever you suspect a pet has any type of “disability” you need to address your concerns with a veterinarian. The condition could very well be treated making it a moot point. If your vet doesn't specialize in or have experience with the condition, take the time to find one that does.

Now we have to remember: animals that have lost one sense or another will rely on the others more keenly. Often, the other senses are actually heightened as a result. This something you need to watch for so you can use this to your advantage. Additionally, some dogs, depending upon the severity of their impairment, can still “feel” the vibrations of sound.


I will move into the actual training steps later in the article, but want to address the behavioral aspects that can come with a dog that is impaired. While some dogs will be just fine, others may have issues because of their personal confidence level or even the way they are treated by their owner as a result of their impairment.

First, even though we know we have to make some adjustments for the impairment, it is important we not coddle the dogs or allow undesirable behavior to occur because we feel sorry for them. They don't need a pity party from their pack leader. They need their leader(s) to be just that. Leaders.

Some dogs, as a result of this impairment, will develop confidence issues. It is extremely important that once a dog is determined to be deaf, they engage in confidence building exercises. This can be anything from doing basic obedience, teaching them to sniff out a favorite toy or treat. This will be important for the dog's social interactions with other people and more importantly, other dogs.

I am a firm believer that dogs can sense such impairments in other dogs and will often view it as a weakness. A dog that is comfortable with their impairment is going to be able to “stand his ground,” so to speak. In fact, I have seen dogs with a missing leg that have been able to maintain their role as the pack leader over other dogs in the family pack.

Dogs with a hearing impairment are capable of everything any other dog is - except hearing. With this in mind, we need to allow them to be dogs and not be overly protective. They can play fetch, do an obstacle course and, even, find drugs. They aren't china dolls and need to be allowed to be what they are. Dogs. Never allow such an impairment to put limits on your dog.

Hand Commands

There really is little difference between the way we train a hearing dog from a non-hearing dog with the exception of the preparation and the order in which you proceed.

First, we know we are going to have to use hand commands. Before we start, we have to decide what they are going to be. Some trainers will say you have to use specific gestures. Honestly, they can really be just about anything you want. If you want to stick your finger up your nose to signal the dog to sit, then dig away. As long as you clearly introduce it to the dog it really doesn't matter.

Now, when devising hand commands, you should make sure they are somewhat distinctive so as not to confuse the dog with a common body movement. I will tell you the ones I use just to give you an idea of what I am talking about.


When I give the sit command, I use my right hand at my side, palm forward. I then raise my straight arm skyward until I reach a 45-degree angle and stop. That's it.


For down, I hold my right hand out, palm to the sky, with my elbow at my side. I then simply roll my palm over so it is facing the ground.


For come, I take both my palms and gently “slap” my waist in front one time


For stay I like what I call the traffic cop. With your right hand, palm towards the dog, I push my hand towards the dog as though I were stopping traffic.


No is a two part command. I quickly raise my right hand, with only the index finger extended, so it comes next to my face. This draws the dog's attention to your face and I then scowl at the dog. It's the same look we got from our parents when we were pushing our luck.

As you can see, they are fairly simple and not easily confused by the dog. Remember, if it is too general, the dog will become confused frequently; you will actually end up un-train them and possibly cause destructive behaviors.


As I have said, the process is basically the same only we are substituting visual for audio. At first, I find it easier to have two people involved in the process of introducing the commands and required response. One is the teacher and the other is the tutor, for a lack of better words. The teacher gives all the commands, praise and/or corrections. The tutor holds the leash and will manipulate the dog's position.


Start with the come command, as this is the one I found to be the easiest. Have the tutor and the dog stand about 20 feet from the teacher. When the teacher sees the dog is visually focused on them, they give the hand command for come. The tutor then runs with the dog to the teacher. When the dog gets to the teacher, the teacher should give the dog lots of praise while the tutor stands quietly.

Repeat the process until the dog is responding to the hand command without prompting from the tutor. Believe it or not, the hardest part is over. The dog now understands that you communicate to them with your hands when you want them to exhibit a particular behavior.


You will repeat the same process as with the come command only the teacher should only be a few feet in front of the dog. Once the teacher gives the sit command, the tutor will place the dog into position by gently applying upward pressure with the leash while at the same time applying gentle downward pressure on the butt of the dog. Once in position, the teacher should give the dog the reward.

Once again, repeat the process until the dog is responding to the command without prompting. Now it is just a matter of introducing the rest of the commands to the dog like above.

Once the dog has successfully responded to any hand command ten times in a row you can be fairly certain the dog understands the required response and the tutor can be taken out of the picture. Remember, to use the no command whenever the dog doesn't respond correctly.

Keep the training sessions fairly short. Ten minutes twice a day are more than adequate. Dogs can easily become bored or frustrated with lengthy training sessions. Between sessions, don't miss the chance to reinforce a command the dog knows how to perform. For instance, if the dog is walking by you while you are watching television give them the command and praise them up. This simply reinforces the benefit of following the commands to the dog all the time.

Whenever working with a dog with a disability of any kind, it is important to have a plan and give the plan an opportunity to work. It doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming, just realistic. If you run into a snag and can't work it out, don't get frustrated. Simply call a trainer or behaviorist who has experience with your situation.

There are many “disabled” dogs out there in shelters and rescues that have all of the same capabilities as any other dog. Unfortunately, these wonderful animals usually get overlooked because people are afraid they can't handle raising such an animal. Truth is, it's really quite simple with a little bit of thought.

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

Quote of the Week

Ever consider what they must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!

~ Anne Tyler ~

Mail Bag


I subscribed to your newsletter a while back after a friend told me about it. I will admit it was a little begrudgingly as I had been a member and fan of (name withheld) newsletter for a couple of years.

Now, I look for your newsletter every Friday morning. Your information is great and you absolutely crack me up! Keep up the great work. You have a new die-hard fan.

N. Lewis

Mr. Aust,

I was reading an article you did a few months back about jealousy between dogs and could have sworn you were talking about my dogs. Everything you pointed out was happening right down to moderate aggression. I did what you said in the article and was amazed in the changes we have seen in our dogs. I simply can't believe how easy it was. Thanks for all the help and guidance you give.

Shelly Meeters

Need New Subscribers For Your Newsletter?

Let's Trade Ads!

If you would like to trade a six (6) line request for more newsletter subscribers, please write to:

=>  ads@Master-Dog-Training.com

"Complimentary Special Report"

Cathy Goodwin, PhD, dog-owner and author of Making the Big Move, helps midlife professionals navigate career and business transitions. Complimentary Special Report: How Smart People Get Derailed on the Transition Journey (and how to get back on track).

=>  http://www.cathygoodwin.com/subscribe.html

"Home-Based Business"

Interested in having your own successful, home-based creative real estate business? "Like having a personal coach arrive in your email box!"

We've been helping folks start successful home-based businesses for over 17 years.

=>  http://www.homebusinesssolutions.com

"The Whole Dog Store"

Your Source For All Ways Natural Pet Products ... Wholesome Alternatives for your Pet's Lifestyle and Fancy!

=>  http://www.jeanesholistics.com/TWDS.html

TGood to Be You

For the latest articles on health, beauty and well-being for the mind, body and spirit, please sign up for our priceless (free!) ezine today. Just log on to GoodtoBeYou.com and see the ezine sign-up box.

Chock-full of unique accessories, gifts and spa bath & beauty products for the pampered princess in all of us.


Joke of the Week

You Know You're in California If ...

Your coworker has 8 body piercings and none are visible.

You make over $300,000 and still can't afford a house.

You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.

Your child's 3rd-grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Flower.

You've been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.

You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.

A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.

Gas costs a dollar per gallon more than anywhere else in the U.S.

Unlike back home, the guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, and looks like George Clooney really IS George Clooney.

Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.

It's barely sprinkling rain and there's a report on every news station: "STORM WATCH."

You pass an elementary school playground and the children are all busy with their cell phones or pagers.

It's barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.

Both you AND your dog have therapists.

The Terminator is your governor.

If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one.

* Have a joke you'd like to submit to us? Joke@Master-Dog-Training.com

Thank You For Reading!  Have a Terrific Week!

Don't forget to send your comments, questions and suggestions on the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter to:


Newsletter Archive:  Master-Dog-Training.com/archive/

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

iCop Charter Member


To subscribe

Cancellation directions can be found at the bottom of your announcement email.