"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume I - Issue 11:  December 12, 2003
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Spot Organics
=>  Today's Quote
=>  Breed of the Week
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Dogs' Questions to God

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Christopher's Drool

Hi Gang!

Today's issue has the first product review I'm doing in the newsletter. As I said a few weeks back, this is NOT paid advertising, and you will get my honest assessment of the product. I've been trying to figure out a general scale to use to grade the products, and I have come up with a 1 - 5 scale with five being the best and one being the worst.

I also kind of figured the whole "thumbs up" and "star" system has been overdone so I am opting for the "puppy kiss" for good products and "doggie farts" for products I don't like. In other words, if I really like the product, it would get "1-5 puppy kisses." If I think it stinks, excuse the pun, it will get "1-5 doggie farts." Moving on ...

With the holidays come all the goodies and the inevitable expansion of our waistline. Just as we tend to pig out a bit, we also seem to feed our dog more goodies as well. Not a huge deal if it isn't excessive, but we need to remember that not all foods that are good for us are necessarily good for Fido.

With this in mind, I've put a list in today's newsletter of foods and plants that can be toxic too your dog. I think you'll be surprised at the some of foods on the list.

I am a huge fan of home remedies and would like to encourage everyone to send them in so they can be shared with others. For instance, washing your dog with Lemon Fresh Joy dishwashing liquid will keep fleas off your dog. Things like that, so if you have one, share it with the rest of the pack.

Well, that's it for now. You all have a great week and keep the suggestions coming. I'm outta here.



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Spot Organics

I'm a firm believer in aromatherapy and it's benefit to people. I personally # purchase incense, scented candles and room sprays that I find relaxing to take the edge off after a really crappy day. I am, however, skeptical of similar products for animals that make bold claims and statements about their results.

Recently, I met a woman named Kyla Sims who is the President of a company called Spot Organics. Spot Organics offers all organic aromatherapy sprays, shampoos, coat conditioners and bedding.

When I read her literature and web site, I saw similar claims I felt were rather extraordinary so I decided to see just how effective they are and if they could live up to the claim. I will say though I didn't think they would cut the mustard.

Ms. Sims sent me two aromatherapy sprays, one called "Chill" and one called "Happy." The "Chill" spray is recommended to relieve anxiety and the "Happy" spray is designed to lift your dogs' spirits when they're feeling down or a little gloomy. They also have a peppermint breath spray, "Bug Off" spray, "Coat Care," which freshens the coat and promotes hair growth and "Bedding Spray" which deodorizes, repels insects and kills bacteria.

I also got two of their shampoo products. The first is "Herbal Coat Care" and is a traditionally styled liquid shampoo. The other is a shampoo bar called "Gentle Chamomile." I have to admit I was a little skeptical of the shampoo bar as I wondered how easy it would be to apply to a dog thrashing around in the tub.

I decided to take the products to a friend, who's a veterinarian here in town, and try them out on some of her patients. First, she reviewed the ingredients to ensure they were nontoxic and wouldn't strip the coat of any nutrients.

After the doggie doc's thumbs up, we awaited the arrival of our first trial participant. Eight dogs were used for each spray and three dogs were used to test each of the shampoos. Lets start with the sprays.

Each of the dog owners were given a questionnaire to fill out and return to evaluate exactly how the dog responded to the sprays. They were also advised to look for coat deterioration, color loss and skin irritation.

We used the "Chill" aromatherapy spray on dogs that suffer from vet anxiety. Each dog was given two sprays applied to the chest/neck area ten minutes prior to actually entering the office. They were then taken into the office for their appointment as usual. The dogs were at the vet for a variety of reasons from vaccinations to stitch removal. All of the dogs had a previous relationship with the vet.

The "Happy" spray was given to dogs that had undergone less than pleasant procedures or grooming. Again, we gave each dog two sprays on the chest/neck area of the dog immediately after finishing the procedure or grooming. All the dogs that used the spray, again, had a previous relationship with the vet.

All of the participants in the "Chill" trial gave it a resounding "thumbs up." Several of the dogs had severe vet and vehicle anxiety. Not only did the owners say it was beneficial during the appointment, but also on the drive home.

One particular participant said it was the first time in eight years her dog had ever gotten off the floor of the back seat of the car and looked out the window. The vet was also impressed at the effectiveness of the spray stating that at least three of the dogs normally fight to get out of the office throughout the exam.

The "Happy" spray produced the same results. All participants saw significant results in their dogs' moods. I was most impressed with the comments from two participants whose dogs were in their geriatric years and terminally ill. Both stated their dogs were more playful than they had been in some time, one saying, "You would have thought it was his birthday."

Next, we were off to the grooming room where we tried out the shampoos. We tested the shampoos on three dogs each, all with varying coat types and colors. We also selected dogs with varying "hygiene" levels. A couple of them were a real mess.

The liquid "Herbal Coat Care" has a light pleasant smell and did a wonderful job removing the dirt and oil from the coat. It did not produce a heavy lather, which I saw as a plus, as it rinsed out quickly, making the whole bathing process less of a pain.

The liquid goes a long way as well. Three medium sized dogs were washed with a two-ounce sample bottle, and I still have about half an ounce left making it quite cost effective.

The "Gentle Chamomile Shampoo Bar" did very well too. My concerns that it might be difficult to hold onto when wet were proven unfounded. It also removed the dirt and oil well and rinsed out splendidly. Its fragrance was a little stronger than the liquid shampoo but certainly not overpowering.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I like these products! In fact, I think they are the best of their kind I've ever used. I couldn't find anything to ding these products for, and believe me, I tried.

They give a 100% satisfaction refund guarantee so there's no reason to not give them a try. They have definitely become a permanent part of my doggie hygiene kit. Go check them out. SpotOrganics.com

RATING: 5 Puppy Kisses

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing and reputation falls to pieces, he is constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

~ Senator George Vest, 1870 ~


Centurion & Panzer


Rottweilers are believed to be descendents of the Italian Mastiff around the time of the Middle Ages and were used as herding dogs. Originating in the German town of Rottweil in Wurttemberg they were once nearly extinct. Thankfully, a few hundred years ago, the breed made a comeback as a result of efforts of a dog club in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Rottweiler is an absolute powerhouse. Their well-defined, muscular bodies and extremely athletic nature, make them ideal for tracking, herding, guarding, police work, carting, competitive obedience, and agility. These dogs are steady and confident and require early socialization and training to establish pack protocol and position.

The Rottie is not a foo-foo dog. Weighing in between 80 and 135 ponds (36-62 kg.), they are from 23 28 inches (55 70 cm.) at the withers. They have an enormously broad head, prominent forehead and massive neck. Their muzzle is medium length and their teeth meet in a scissor bite. Their nose is black and their eyes are dark and seem to always have a look as though deep in thought.

They have a short, dense coat whose primary coat color is black, with brown or reddish markings on the face, muzzle, legs and paws. There is also a red and brown version, which is the result a deficiency in the hair gene. Their tails are traditionally docked, but I kind of think it makes them look like the back end of a Volkswagon bug. The ears are triangular and set forward on the head.

Breeding the Rottie is an endeavor best left to professional breeders for a couple of reasons. First, the breed has been way over-bred. Extensive research needs to be conducted when researching the pedigree, as there is plenty of registration fraud in the breed. Second, the litters produced by Rotties are quite large and can be a lot to handle as they grow.

Training and extensive socialization are an absolute must for the juvenile Rottie. Luckily their intelligence makes this process more fun than work, but it is critical. Just like any breed, without proper training and socialization, they can become aggressive. The difference with the Rottie is, a bite from a Rottie is much more damaging because of their strength and size. They have an extremely high pain tolerance, so a heavy-handed approach will get you nowhere.

The Rottweiler is a natural guard dog with a mellow temperament. They are highly intelligent and have proven their worth undeniably in police, military, and customs work over many years. They can be trusted with children they are brought up with, however, they should be monitored around children they don't know. They can also be dog aggressive, although early socialization can remedy that.

While some will tell you a Rottie will do well in an apartment, this has not been my experience. They require plenty of exercise and room to roam around and explore. You are unlikely to overwork these dogs, as they are tireless when set to a task. They love to run, swim and generally romp. This is something to consider as they do have a tendency to become little fatties. Their life expectancy is 11-13 years.

When properly bred, they have few genetic issue or health problems. They are susceptible to knee damage, hip dysplasia and a tendency to snore. They groom easily with a firm brush and are average shedders.

There is another category of the breed called the American Rottweiler. It's difficult to obtain information on the difference between the German and American lines, as there was no split until about 20 years ago.

What I've discovered is the American version seems to be smaller in size and a little mellower in temperament. This could be due to different breeding practices between the US and Germany. I've also been unable to find any recognized registry that classifies them in this way.

The Rottweiler is a wonderful breed that, when provided with the right environment, training and love will make a great addition to any family.

Breed Requested by June Krahn and Connie Neal; Photo provided by June, Gary and Nick Krahn

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.


Plants and Foods Toxic to Dogs

A. Alfalfa, Almond (Pits of), Alocasia, Amaryllis, Apple Seeds, Apricot (Pits of), Arrow grass, Avocado, Azalea

B. Baneberry, Bayonet, Bear grass, Beech, Belladonna, Bird of Paradise, Bittersweet, Black-Eyed Susan, Black Locust, Bleeding Heart, Bloodroot, Bluebonnet, Box, Boxwood, Buckeyes, Burning bush, Buttercup

C. Cactus Candelabra, Caladium, Castor Bean, Cherry (Pits of), Cherry (Most wild varieties), Cherry (ground), Cherry (Laurel), Chinaberry, Christmas Rose, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Coriaria, Cornflower, Corydalis, Crocus Autumn, Crown of Thorns, Cyclamen. D. Daffodil Daphne, Daphne, Datura, Deadly Nightshade, Death Camas, Delphinium, Dicentrea, Diffenbachia, Dumb Cane

E. Eggplant, Elderberry, Elephant Ear, English Ivy, Euonymus, Evergreen

F. Ferns, Flax, Four O' Clock, Foxglove

G. Golden Chain, Golden Glow, Gopher Purge

H. Hellebore, Poison Hemlock, Water Hemlock, Henbane, Holly, Honeysuckle (only the berries are toxic), Horsebeans, Horsebrush, Horse Chestnuts, Hyacinth, Hydrangea. I. Indian Tobacco, Iris, Iris Ivy

J. Jack in the Pulpit, Java Beans, Jessamine, Jerusalem Cherry, Jimson Weed, Jonquil, Jungle Trumpets

L. Lantana, Larkspur, Laurel, Lily, Lily Spider, Lily of the Valley, Locoweed, Lupine. M. Marigold, Marijuana, Mescal Bean, Mistletoe, Mock Orange, Monkshood, Moonseed, Morning Glory, Mountain Laurel, Mushrooms

N. Narcissus, Nightshade

O. Oleander

P. Peach (Pits of), Peony, Periwinkle, Philodendron, Pimpernel, Poinciana, Poison Hemlock, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Pokeweed, Poppy, Potato, Precatory Bean, Common Privet

R. Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Rosary Pea, Rubber Plant

S. Scotch Broom, Skunk Cabbage, Snowdrops, Snow on the Mountain, Staggerweed, Star of Bethlehem, Sweetpea

T. Tansy Mustard, Tobacco, Tomato, Tulip, Tung Tree

V. Virginia Creeper

W. Water Hemlock, Weeping Fig, Wild Call, Wisteria

Y. Yews (Japanese Yew, English Yew, Western Yew, American Yew)

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Dogs' Questions to God

Dear God,
How come people love to smell flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Where are their priorities?

Dear God,
When we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch or is it the same old story?

Dear God,
Excuse me, but why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not one named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around in a car? We dogs love a nice ride! I know every breed cannot have its own model, but it would be easy to rename the Chrysler Eagle the Chrysler Beagle!

Dear God,
If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God,
When my foster mom's friend comes over to our house, he smells like musk! What's he been rolling around in?

Dear God,
When I get to heaven, more meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God,
When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in? We can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent IDs, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God,
Are there dogs on other planets, or are we alone? I have been howling at the moon and stars for a long time, but all I ever hear back is the Schnauzer across the street!

Dear God,
Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God,
Is it true that dogs are not allowed in restaurants because we can't make up our minds what NOT to order? Or is it the carpet thing again?

Dear God,
When my family eats dinner they always bless their food. They never bless mine so, I've been wagging my tail extra fast when they fill my bowl. Have you noticed MY blessing?

* To submit your joke 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 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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