"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume III - Issue 22:  August 5, 2005
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Myths of Spay/Neuter
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  If Miss America Pageant Judges were Dogs ...

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Christopher's Drool

Hey Everybody,

I don't know about the rest of you but this has been a weird summer. I decided to do the newsletter every other week for the summer so I could focus on a couple of other projects. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to work out that way. Hopefully, I will manage to get things rolling once the kids are back in school in a few weeks. Also, I will be going back to doing the newsletter weekly in mid-September.

I am going to turn the Drool section this week into a little mini article so I can answer one of the questions in the Mailbag section. It is a common problem I think nearly every dog owner has experienced at one time or another but figured it would be best discussed here in the Drool.

I think we have all had to pill/medicate a dog at one time or another. As I'm sure you discovered it can be a real pain in the rear. They wiggle around, spit the pill out and some dogs will even get a little aggressive. After all, who likes to have a pill shoved down their throat?

This can be particularly frustrating if you give your dogs supplements daily. I mean, you're trying to give your dog something to help them maintain their health and have to battle the dog. Many will choose to simply quit giving supplements and meds rather fight the dog each day.

Whether it is medication or daily supplements, there are a couple of things you can to do to make the process a little less dramatic for everyone involved. Remember though, you can play around with this a little and when it comes to prescribed medications, make sure you check with your vet first just to be safe.


These usually are the hardest to administer. Traditionally, vets will tell you to stick the pill on the back of the tongue hold the mouth closed and rub the neck to make the dog swallow. I don't know about you, but I have lost lots skin off my knuckles this way.

Personally, I would rather use trickery to administer pills and there are a couple of things you can do. Usually, you can stick a pill into a piece of hot dog but many dogs will still manage to spit the pill. If this happens, you need to be a little more creative.

Personally, I like to either empty the pill, (if in capsule form) or crush it in a mortar and pestle. You can then spread it over their food and most dogs will eat up. If the dog refuses to eat the food, you may have to add a little wet food. This method works best for dogs on a cooked food or B.A.R.F. diet.

Liquid Supplements and Pills

If you are giving you dog a liquid supplement/medication, or if the dog refuses to eat food with meds in it, I like to mix it with their water. The problem with this is some dogs will refuse to drink the water. This is when you have to be a little more creative.

I like to add a sweetener to the water to overcome the bitter taste of many meds/supplements. Personally, I like to use organic cranberry juice. Dogs tend to like the taste and it is also good for the urinary tract. Heck, we all like to have an easy pee.

Hard Core Dogs

There will always be those dogs that will simply refuse to take any med mixed with their food or water. There are a couple of things you can do in this situation but I will mention my favorites.

First, simply not feed them unless they eat what you have given them. Many will feed a dog that doesn't like the meds/supplements they are given. They make a new meal and throw out the food with the meds.

In my house, my kids eat what they are given for dinner or they have it for breakfast. As a result, my kids eat almost anything. I certainly make allowances, as some things may be too spicy, for my daughter. However, she must make an effort. Same goes for dogs. The dog will eat if they are hungry enough and will adjust to what is in the food.

Dogs aren't kids though so we must figure out how to trick them. When all else fails, I use peanut butter. You heard me right … peanut butter.

I crush the pill then mix it with about two tablespoons of peanut butter. I then simply put the glob in their mouth. They can't spit it out and the med will get through. It works with both pills and liquid and I have never seen a dog reject it.

Be creative and talk to your vet to make sure whatever you do works with the meds. What we have to remember is that the dog needs it, and it is up to you to make sure they have what they need. Please feel free to let me know if these suggestions don't work or you need more ideas. I'm here for all of you.

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

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



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Myths of Spay/Neuter

This weeks article requires you to have either your dog where you can see him or a picture nearby. If this is not possible, I want you to picture your loving pooch's face in your mind. I'll give you a second ...

Now think about the love they have provided you, the silly way they do the things they do and the way they serve you as a companion and confidant. Can you see it? Are you feeling the love?

Now consider, that by the law of averages one of your loving dog's siblings, who is probably very much like your own, will be destroyed for no better reason than no one cared enough to save him. Methods used: gunshot, gas chamber lethal injection, the captive bolt method. (The captive bolt method requires a dog be placed in a stand where their head is locked in place. They then have a 86mm bolt "fired" into their head.) Now look down at your beloved dogs. It could have been them.

Each year in the United States, over 1.5 million dogs are destroyed by government agencies. That would be like killing the entire population of Hawaii and then some. This doesn't count stray dogs that have been hit by cars or shot by farmers. This number is absolutely staggering to me.

With this in mind, I am often puzzled when people ask me if they should spay or neuter their dog. On the other hand, I too have heard all the myths about whether someone should wait until a dog is older to spay or neuter and the health and mental-related problems the procedure can cause. Today, we're going to dispel some of those myths.

Myth #1:  Puppies are too delicate to undergo surgical procedures and more likely to develop complications.

False. The truth is puppies heal much faster than adult dogs and require less surgical preparation. Adult dogs need to be restricted from food for 8-12 hours prior to surgery, whereas puppies require only a 2-hour restriction.

The anesthesia is by gas, and vital signs are monitored to ensure the dog is not suffering from stress during the procedure. Lower body fat ratios and bleeding in puppies make the procedure faster, easier and shortens post-operative recovery.

Myth #2:  If I get my dog neutered when it is young, it will affect the health and size of my dog.

False. A while back, a study was conducted at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine which determined there are no difference in immune function, growth rates and final size, or urinary tract function and disease rates in juvenile versus adult spay/neuter cases. In fact, you will extend the life of your dogs as they will not be susceptible to many of the fatal illnesses that kill older dogs like ovarian and uteran cancer, and testicular cancer.

Myth #3:  Getting dogs fixed when they are young will make them lazy and affect their adult behavior.

False. Studies have shown that no undesirable behavioral conditions develop as a result of early spay/neuter. Additionally, undesirable behaviors such as urine marking, aggression, and roaming are much less likely to develop in dogs that were fixed as puppies. There are also absolutely no links between dog laziness and spay/neutering.

Myth #4:  Dogs do not feel "complete" unless they have had a litter of pups.

False. Often, in a wild dog pack, less than half of the pack members are ever allowed to breed. The idea that one is not "complete" is a human emotional thought and not a factor of dog mentality.

Now that we've established there is no medical or emotional reason for not fixing your dog, let's just look at a couple of "convenience" factors.

When a female dog goes into heat, she has only one thing in mind. Getting a little lovin'. They become incredible escape artists intent on finding their lover boy to meet their instinctual needs. Very often they run from their house and are picked up by the pound, hit by a car or injured by over zealous mates. Either way, the outcome can be very costly and could mean the death of your beloved family member.

When an unfixed male gets the scent of a female in heat, he too seems to loose his mind like a sailor fresh back from six months at sea. You run into the same issues as with the female, but males also experience a few other hazards.

Male dogs become extremely aggressive towards other males when a female in heat is present. Dogs who have never been aggressive have been known to maim and even kill a competing male. They can also become aggressive towards people who try to interfere with the process. Either way, a lawsuit could be the end result.

Quite honestly, it's pretty simple. We have more dogs being born each year than we can care for. There are no medical or emotional drawbacks to the procedures of neutering, and, in fact, it will extend the life of your dog. You won't have to worry about being a contributing factor to the pet overpopulation problem.

Okay, look at your dogs again. Don't they deserve it?

This article may be republished using the following attribution statement:
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

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.

~ James Thurber ~

Mail Bag


I have to agree they (dogs) do show us love and love us even when we don't give them treats or play with them. I know from personal experience after having been in the hospital for 3 weeks and only having my husband around, who, mind you, didn't have time to play, just feed and walk them. When I came home they wouldn't leave my side!



I really enjoyed your article on a dog's love. I personally agree with you 100%. I'm sixty and had my share of dogs and have grown attached to all of them. My problem is dogs die before people do, and I think I morn a death of a dog, more than that of a person, (unless there is a doggy heaven ). My favorite breed has always been a German Shepherd, their temperament, their loyalty and even their looks, (with their beautiful sloping back and proud chest).

Three years ago I had to put down my Shepherd, Buster, and swore it was the last time. That is until my new son-in-law gave me his four-year-old Shih Tzu and once again I'm sucked back into taking care of a dog. I love it.

Because of you, and your newsletter, you introduced me to Noni Juice for me and my dog. My problem is that my dog doesn't like the taste and I have to squirt it in her mouth with a syringe. Even though it's only two teaspoons, the little girl sure knows how to put up a fight. If you have any tricks or suggestions, I would love to hear them, either in your column or if you have some time, maybe a short e-mail.

I love your style and commitment, thank you for all the work you do to educate a somewhat benign public.

Ed Norris

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Joke of the Week

If Miss America Pageant Judges were Dogs

10. Points taken off for mange

9. Put your money on the girl wearing the sash made of baloney

8. New sniffing competition

7. Rambunctious Miss Ohio forced to wear one of those big plastic cones on head

6. Host Bob Barker torn to shreds by pack of angry neutered judges

5. Winning talent? Throwing a stick

4. Pageant thrown into total chaos by judge in heat

3. Miss Texas disqualified for stuffing her evening gown with Gaines Burgers

2. Winner gets to drink out of toilet

1. Title revoked if old photographs surface of the winner petting a cat

* Have a joke you'd like to submit 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 © 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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