"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume II - Issue 40:  November 19, 2004
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...
Internet Toy Drive
Listen to:
"Children are the Very
Heart of Christmas"

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=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Designer Dogs
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Breed of the Week - Pug
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Things We Learn From Our Mothers

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Gang!

Well I'm feeling far better than I did last week. The bruising on my eye is gone and I no longer look like Tammy Faye Baker with only half her eye make-up on. I was pretty excited about this week's newsletter as it is an issue I have wanted to address but just haven't. Next weeks issue edition is the same.

Now I'm always saying how important nutrition is to the behavior of our dogs. It's something I believe all dog owners need to keep an eye on reevaluate from time to time to make sure we are meeting the needs of our dogs. So, I have found a site that does a good break down comparison of the different dog foods and treats. Go over and see what it is you are feeding your dog.


Next week, I am going to run a feature on a supplement I have been testing I think many of you will find rather interesting. You won't want to miss this one and I am certain you will all spend the week just giggly about my findings. You know how I can get.

I want to thank those of you who purchased the Paws for Change 2005 Rescued Dog Calendar. It is something we are really proud of and something you will be proud to own or give as a gift. These are dogs that beat the odds and made it through the rescue process and made it to forever homes.

This is not a cheesy calendar. In fact, the pictures are professional quality and truly show the personalities and abilities of these wonderful dogs. I think most of us have known a dog that has been rescued or even rescued one, ourselves. The proceeds of this calendar will go to helping other rescue dogs and teaching humane education.

If you didn't go look last week, go this week and buy one of these incredible calendars. Buy them as Christmas gifts for friends and feel good knowing you are not only buying a great gift, but helping rescue dogs in the process. Go have a look and order a bunch. They're really cool.


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

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



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Hi Chris,

My husband and I have been planning to get a dog and have been looking at several different breeds to find the one that is best for us. While doing our research, we have been seeing a lot of hybrid “pure breed” dogs. There are the Puggle, Labradoodle, and Miniature Rottweiler to name a few.

Are these really pure breed dogs or are they just mutts? Why are they so expensive? Your help with this would be great.

Sarah O.

Designer Dogs

Last weekend I asked all my kids what they wanted for Christmas so I could get started with the shopping. Believe it or not, all of them had jeans on their list. Now, they didn't just say “jeans.” They were specific as to the type of jeans they wanted and none were the same. Each one seems to have their personal “flavor of the month.”

Flavor of the month is a good thing when it comes to jeans, ice cream and other products. Personally, I look forward each month to seeing what new flavor Baskin and Robbins is featuring. When it comes to “creating” new dog breeds, I have very different feelings, particularly when it is done in such a way it basically fleeces the person buying a dog.

In the last fifty years, the pet industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry. With it came the blood-suckers. Who, in my opinion, are the blood-suckers? Let's take a look at a short list of a few…

Pet stores that sell dogs Puppy millers Dog brokers Modern breed creators Dog fighters

Breed Creators

With regard to our writers' question, I am referring to the breed “creators.” Now we have to accept that nearly every breed we have is man-made. There are a few evolutionary breeds out there but they are few and far between.

The majority of our current, I would guess about 98%, were “created” to meet the needs of people who worked their dogs, or to eliminate undesirable traits in the existing breeds of the time. Very few breeds have been “created” since the beginning of the twentieth century.

When dogs like the German Shepard and Springer Spaniel were created over 100 years ago, it wasn't done as a profit making venture. They were breeding for dogs that met a particular standard and purpose. Puppies that didn't meet the standard were culled or not allowed to breed.

It was done with a specific goal in mind and not as a money-making operation. In the case of the German Shepard, the process took approximately twenty years to come up with a well-defined single standard with good genetic lines.

In the 1960s' one of the first designer dogs to have success was created. The Cockapoo. Also known as the Cockerpoo. It was the result of the unplanned breeding of an American Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. What these inventive breeders did was give these mutts a name and called them pure breed dogs.

How can they get away with this? Easy, a gullible public and a different idea in modern days about dog ownership. Keep in mind, until about 90 years ago, most people owned dogs because they served a purpose or did a job. It was only the well to do that could afford dogs as companions.

It is quite easy to go out and get a business license, open up shop as a kennel club and start to issue “pure breed” papers. Now, the average person sees these papers and takes them as golden when in actuality, they aren't worth crap.

So, What's the Problem?

Okay, so what's the big deal? If someone wants a dog that looks a certain way and is willing to pay for it, then, who cares? You should. Particularly if you or someone you know is considering buying one of these dogs.

First, let's look at the Cockapoo. They were created over forty years ago yet they still have an extremely vague breed standard. For instance they have four different size ranges.

Teacup Toy (under 6 pounds)
Toy (under 12 pounds)
(13-18 pounds)
Maxis (over 19 pounds)

In other words, regardless of whatever the heck size they are, they will meet a standard.

Their coats can be straight, wavy or curly and can be any color. Their tails can be docked or left in tact. Ears can be from medium to long. Whatever you end up with they are perfect.

Now, they do have a couple of disqualifications according to the standard.

Genetic Diseases
Poor Health
Uncertain Lineage

Am I the only one sitting here right now going, “Well duh!” These, in my opinion are not breed standards, they are excuses for a poor breeding program that never was able to determine a definitive standard. After forty years!

Again, what is the problem?

When you have such a vague and wide-open standard, you have no way of truly knowing what you are getting. When every puppy can be labeled as top quality, the breeders have no reason to ensure appropriate breeding practices are maintained. No matter what they produce, they can charge top dollar.


In the last few years, there have been numerous hybrid dogs come onto the market. One of my favorites is the Miniature Rottweiler. This is a cross between a Pekinese and a miniature Pincher. Not one drop of Rottie blood in them. Guess what they cost. $700.00 plus shipping and handling!

Another one gaining in popularity is the Puggle. This is a Pug and Poodle cross. You can get one of these dogs for $800.00 plus shipping and handling. If that doesn't strike your fancy, there is always the Japanese Pom, which is a Japanese Chin and Pomeranian mix, which run a little over $600.00 plus shipping. That's a lot of money for a mutt.

Health Concerns

I did a little research on the skeletal and muscular configuration of the mix that makes up the Mini Rottie. The mix is a Pekinese and a Mini Pincher. These two breeds have very different muscular and skeletal configurations even though their weight is generally the same.

The Mini Pincher is lighter boned and carries the majority of their weight in the chest neck and head. Their back hips are slighter, designed to handle approximately 25% of their body weight. The Pekinese, on the other hand is a little bigger boned and capable of carrying more weight in the rear. Approximately forty percent.

Now, if one of these puppies is born with the skeletal formation of the Mini Pincher and the muscular distribution of the Pekinese, you could find this dog having some serious hip and back issues as they get older. I called my vet, who has a strong genetic background and she agreed. All for $700.00.


It all really boils down to common sense and semantics. You can call it a Puggle, a hybrid, designer dog whatever. The bottom line is, it's a mutt. In my opinion, the individuals out there peddling these dogs for outrageous prices are little more than shysters and cons.

I believe our forefathers produced enough breeds to suit every one's aesthetic tastes. If you're looking for something different, there are plenty of established breeds that have been around for hundreds of years. Some are big and some are small. Some have long hair and some have none. Your choices are limitless.

Now let me make something clear. I love mutts. Some of the best dogs I have ever seen have been mutts. What I hate are people who will intentionally manipulate dogs for financial gain so they can create the newest “flavor of the month.”

We don't need any new breeds when we, as a society, can barely take care of the ones we already have. If you want to spend upwards of $1,000.00 on a mutt, here's what you do. Go to your local shelter or rescue and find the dog that suits you. Pay the $100.00 dollar adoption fee and give the other $900.00 to the rescue organization. You will not only get a great dog, but will save several others at the same time.

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
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Quote of the Week

A dog is like an eternal Peter Pan, a child who never grows old and who therefore is always available to love and be loved.

~ Aaron Katcher, American Educator and Psychiatrist ~

Mail Bag

THANK YOU!!! I LOVED (Osama and Marine Jokes) them and will send them to two of my kids that have been to Iraq. God Bless and keep up the good educational work! I just joined but your articles have so much common sense to them, something sorely lacking in our society today.



The Pug

It became the fashionable pet of European royalty from the 1700's through the Victorian era. In Holland, it even became the official dog of the House of Orange having been credited with sounding the alarm at the approach of Spanish troops in 1570. Even Napoleon's wife, Josephine reportedly used to send messages to her husband under the collar of their beloved Pug.

Pugs have again gained popularity in recent years due, I think, to their use in numerous commercials and movies. It's really hard not to fall in love with these little guys. Just about everything about them is hilarious. While some may say they have a face only a mother could love, I find them adorable and full of expression.

The Pug has a stocky, square and well-muscled body and range in weight from 13-20 lbs (6-9 kgs.) and range in height from 10-14 inches. (24-36 cm.) Their muzzle should be black, short and flat and their teeth should meet with a slight under bite. It is preferred the ears have a “rose” shape. The eyes should be dark and prominent with almost a look like they are saying, “You talkin' to me?”

Their legs are straight and carry them with a distinctive, almost haughty gait. Their back should be short, level and ending it the base of the tail, which should curl tightly (preferably a double curl) high on the back. They range in color from fawn, apricot, silver and black.

The Pug is an extremely intelligent, playful dog that can sometimes be a little mischievous. Extremely loyal and affectionate, they are reliable with children and strangers, however, can become jealous if they feel their owner isn't paying enough them enough attention.

They can be a bit stubborn and therefore require consistent training and a well established family pack position from an early age. Most seem to enjoy soft toys they can play rough with and dominate. While they may think they are ten feet tall, you need to handle them with a soft hand.

Pugs will do well in a home or apartment setting with adequate exercise, however, one needs to be cautious not to over exercise this dog to prevent over-heating. At the same time, you don't want to under exercise this dog as they can become over weight rather easily.

All and all, the Pug is a relatively healthy breed. Like most short-muzzled dogs, they are prone to allergies, colds and breathing problems if not regularly monitored. Care should be taken to protect their prominent eyes, which, in some, can develop corneal ulcers. Breeding should be left to the professional breeder, as they regularly require cesarean sections due to the size of the puppies' heads and females' hips. They have a life expectancy of 11- 16 years.

They are relatively easy to groom because of their short coat. A regular brushing with a stiff bristled brush and bath when necessary is really all that's required. The folds on their faces should be wiped out regularly. Depending on the time of year, particularly after the winter, they can be heavy shedders

The Pug is probably one of the best all around dogs in the smaller breed category if you are looking for a trusted and entertaining companion. They're easy to train, raise, socialize and will keep you in stitches. Look at that face. How can you not fall in love?

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Joke of the Week

Things We Learn From Our Mothers

Mothers teach us TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE - "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

Mothers teach us RELIGION - "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

Mothers teach us about TIME TRAVEL - "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

Mothers teach us LOGIC - "Because I said so, that's why."

Mothers teach us FORESIGHT - "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

Mothers teach us IRONY - "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

Mothers teach us about STAMINA - "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

Mothers teach us about WEATHER - "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

Mothers teach us about HYPOCRISY - "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

Mothers teach us the CIRCLE OF LIFE - "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

Mothers teach us about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION - "Wait till your father gets home!"

Mothers teach us about ENVY - "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

Mothers teach us about RECEIVING - "You are going to get it when you get home!"

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION - "Just wait until I get home."

Mothers teach us MEDICAL SCIENCE - "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

Mothers teach us HUMOR - "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

Mothers teach us about our ROOTS - "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

Mothers teach us WISDOM - "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

And my favorite:

Mothers teach us about JUSTICE - "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

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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 © 2004 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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