"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume I - Issue 3:  October 17, 2003
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  How to Stop a Runner
=>  Breed of the Week
=>  The Mail Bag
=>  Talking Dog For Sale

Christopher's Drool

Hi Everyone!

Well this has been one heck of a week! First, I received an email from a reader who noticed I had repeatedly misspelled the word “heel.” While I definitely appreciate anyone letting me know when I make a mistake, that really made me feel like a dork! The great dog trainer who can't spell heel. Rest assured I have adjusted my spell check and crawl back humbled.

For those of you who don't know, I live in Northern California. As a result, there have been all the calls and emails I've received from old friends relaying all the jokes and amazement at California's recent selection for Governor. I just want to assure that while we cannot spell, nor do we have a conventional political agenda, we are not ALL crazy! I have GOT to get out of here!

Speaking of living in California, we also have a new spam law out here. In fact, spam laws – all of them different – are springing up everywhere. But, California's and the new one in Europe have teeth in them! So, I've been instructed by Mentor Momma with the big stick, to "get in compliance for newsletters!"

What this means to you is this: In a few days, you'll receive an email from me asking you to reply to agree that you DO want to receive "Bark 'n' Scratch" and that you understand it may contain both in-house and third-party advertising – exactly what you've been receiving. You will also be asked to give your NAME. We are REQUIRED by the new laws to have your name.

New subscribers will have to go through a double opt-in process – which you didn't. The confirmation email you receive from me will take care of that little problem. If you want to continue to receive "Bark 'n' Scratch," it's VERY important that you reply when you receive that email. Otherwise, I won't have any choice but to take you off the list.

Sorry to have to ask you to take that extra step at this late date. But, we have to try to comply with all these different states' spam laws as best we can! And, The Terminator would only have to drive a few miles to nab me!

I hope you've all had a great week. Please keep sending your comments and ideas. As I've said before, this ezine is about giving you all the info you want and not just what I feel like providing. Cheers!


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I have had a Siberian Husky now for ten years! When I got her she was approximately a year to a year and a half years old. The person I got her from warned me that you can't let her loose, because she takes off for places unknown.

Well, it turns out she was telling me a fact, because although Sasha (dog's name) is treated well in every respect she still takes off if she gets loose. I have had to pay the dog catcher $150 to get her back if the neighbors don't happen to catch her and call me to come and get her.

She has a 10 x 10 dog run but prefers to be tied up instead? If she gets loose my wife or I can't get her because she keeps running from us, and yet, she will walk up to strangers, and they get her for us. I have heard it said that some dogs are just runners , what is your answer to all this?

John - Canada

How to Stop a Runner

I was raised by she-wolves.

My entire conscious life I was the baby in a family that consisted of three older sisters and my ma. I was the victim of torment from my sisters in many ways, and hated when I got the dreaded slap in the back of the head, I could never catch them and have my vengeance.

I get the same feeling with a dog that runs. This is a frustrating feeling and a potentially deadly habit for your dog.

This situation will only get worse before it gets better if not dealt with. Unfortunately, we usually take the wrong approach when we're placed in a situation where the dog is loose and not responding to commands. Additionally, there's a good chance we caused the behavior ourselves. More frustration.

What always amazes me is when the owner tells me, with complete astonishment, that they were unable to run them down and catch them. Well, duh. They have four legs and can run as fast as 25 MPH, if not faster, depending on the breed. What makes us think?

This is a fairly common complaint I hear from clients and one of the more difficult to correct without committing the time to correct it. It's sometimes caused by playing the wrong games with our dogs when they were puppies. For the purposes of this article, lets just look at the solution for adult dogs rather than the cause when they were pups.

The myth that some dogs are just runners, I've never been able to validate. I've always been able to modify this behavior, however, it does take time and patience. It's usually caused as a result of a physiological need that's not being fulfilled. By meeting these needs of the dog, they are less likely to want to run.

The desire to run is nothing more than the instinct to stay safe from predators and practice the instinct to chase, bite and hold. The instinct is called the Prey Kill instinct. It can also be due to a lack of exercise.

Whatever the cause, it must be dealt with calmly. Never chase the dog or shout at them. How likely are you to come to someone who is chasing and yelling at you? Actually, I find simply walking over to the car or house and pretending to leave to be far more effective.

There are several things that should be done to prevent a dog from running. First we must ensure they are being exercised appropriately. When dogs are kept in dog runs and chained, they can't get the level of exercise they need just to maintain proper health. As a result they will often run just to get the muscles moving and the blood flowing. Dogs are not sedentary animals, and exercise is vital.

With runners, I recommend a brisk thirty to forty minute walk first thing in the morning. This allows the dog to release pent up energy from sleep and get the blood flowing. You will also find they will be more attentive to obedience commands as they are not distracted by the desire to stretch their legs.

I also like to feed runners their largest meal in the morning. This is just another method of giving the dog a way of expending energy. Remember to wait at least an hour after the walk before you feed to prevent bloat, a serious and deadly condition. I repeat the exercise and feed in the evening to help them settle down for the later hours of the evening.

It will also help to allow the dog to have free time in the yard to run and play during the day. Provide toys that are designed to tug and pull and not just chew toys. Large balls and pull ropes secured to a tree are a great way to help your pooch release energy, exercise their muscles and lessen the desire to take off.

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

Have a question you would like to see answered in this newsletter? I'd like to have your questions be the primary focus of future articles. So, come on. Send them in! Click below to send your question.


No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog.

~ Christopher Morley ~


Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, box shaped dog with a long head, bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows. The tail is usually docked, but I think they are cuter with the tail left in tact. The have soulful eyes that are either dark brown or black.

The standard is to crop the ears so they make a “V” however, when left natural they fold down giving them a comical look. Their heads and muzzle are quite large, sometimes as much as one-third the size of their head. They range in color from black, salt and pepper to white.

These are cool little dogs. I have only worked with two, but have known a few others and found them all to be an absolute blast. They're intelligent, energetic, obedient when trained, and affectionate once they get to know you.

They are known for being good with children, even young children, and love to play games and entertain their families. They can be demanding of their owners' time if they feel they have been neglected and are extremely alert to their surroundings.

They can be dog aggressive with no worries about putting up quite the front to dogs of greater size. Possibly, “Little Man Syndrome?” As a result, they should be socialized with other types of dogs from a very young age.

With proper socialization they'll do well with others, however, the introduction of a new dog into their home should be done by sticking to strict protocol. It's important for pack protocol to be followed.

They range in size from 11 to 14 inches and weigh from 10 to 18 pounds. They should be kept on a strict diet and exercise schedule, as they can easily become little fatties.

They are a hardy breed that is prone to the same ailments of many small breeds such as kidney stones, diabetes, and liver disease. You should have the eyes checked prior to buying a Miniature Schnauzer as eye disease seems to be the only prominent breed disorder.

These little guys will do well in an apartment without a yard, but I do recommend a regular exercise for their health. They make fantastic companions for just about anyone and, believe it or not, the do quite well in competitive obedience competitions.

Breed requested by Patty, from Florida

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 love dogs so I was very happy to find your site. My hubby, Frank, and I have had dogs all of our lives, and they are still teaching us things! We have 3 dogs: Major who is a 7 year old shep/lab cross, Willy and Willis (brothers) who are toy Poms and are 11/2 years old.

Please keep up the good work and I, amongst many more people, will keep learning dog etiquette from you.

Bev Sobkowich


Hi Christopher,

First off, I just received my first issue of Bark 'n Scratch today. Evidently the filters ate your first issue. I hate that! Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the issue and learned a lot too.

We have two Labrador retrievers and the oldest one was trained by a man here in the area who was well-recommended. However his training methods were just too aggressive for me. I really think he made Chessie nervous and fearful.

She seemed to love him but her personality changed also. Therefore, I'm happy to see that your methods are much less aggressive and seem to be equally, if not more, effective.

Kind regards,

Linda Offenheiser


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Talking Dog for Sale

A guy saw a sign in front of a house: "Talking Dog for Sale."

He rang the bell and the owner told him the dog was in the backyard.

The guy went to the backyard and saw a black mutt just sitting there.

He asked, "You talk?"

"Sure do," the dog replied.

"So, what's your story?"

The dog looked up and said, "Well, I discovered my gift of talking pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the ASIO about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running.

"The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in.

"I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired."

The guy was amazed. He went back in and asked the owner how much he wanted for the dog.

The owner said, "Ten bucks."

The guy was astounded. "Ten bucks! But this dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?"

The owner said, "'Cause he's a bloody liar. He's never done any of that stuff."

Thanks to Jaye!

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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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