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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Horse Shopping Is Easier If You Do This First

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Top 10 Things to do BEFORE you go horse shopping

Buying a horse is a big commitment in both time and money. The emotional energy spent is a large factor as well. With so many horses for sale, how do you choose?

If you buy a horse before you lay the correct groundwork, you run the risk of coming home with one that isn’t suitable for you. At the worst, he could be dangerous and at best, you could easily spend a thousand dollars or more to get professional trainer to correct the problems.

Make a plan before you look at horses for sale and do these 10 basic steps first.

1. Take riding lessons for at least six months.

Horse riding lessons will teach you the basics of control and the foundation for correct horsemanship. In addition to learning to ride a horse, you’ll also learn how to safely groom and handle one. You’ll establish a relationship with a professional horse person in your area who knows you and who you can turn to for help if you need it.

2. Decide on the type of riding you want to do.

There are many types of horse riding styles. The most basic are Western or English. Then you can break down those two styles into many subcategories. You don’t have to make one choice exclusive of all others. Many people enjoy riding both styles and compete in both.

Decide if you want a horse to trail ride and just enjoy having him or if you want to be competitive and show.

3. Horse’s personality

The type of personality you want for your horse depends a lot on the type of riding you want to do and also your personality. Some riders want a horse with a big engine and a lot of fire. Others like a horse to be quiet and laid back.

It’s usually easier to get the laid back one to rev his engine than to get a hot horse to relax.

4. Decide on what breed of horse you most want.

Once you’ve decided on the type of riding you’re interested in and the type of personality you want your horse to have, the breed choice will become easier. Some breeds are associated with certain types of riding. For instance, a Thoroughbred or Warmblood breed are usually thought of for the Hunter/Jumper circuit or dressage. In the past, the Quarter Horse, Appaloosas and Paints were thought of for Western riding. Today, these breeds can successfully compete at all levels with the more traditional hunter type horse.

If you want a very smooth ride, look at the gaited breeds such as Missouri Foxtrotters, Tennessee Walkers or Paso Finos.

5. Decide on how big a horse you need.

If you’re looking for a horse for a child, buy a pony that your child can groom and handle now. A too big horse is intimidating for a young child to deal with.

If you’re looking for one for yourself, consider the type of riding you want to do. Western styles of riding do not require a large horse and most of the stock type horses can carry a large adult even if the horse is 15 hands or smaller.

If you want to show in hunter/jumper classes, a 16+ hand horse is necessary to be competitive. However, if your plans are to learn to jump and go to small local shows, you’ll save money by buying a smaller horse.

6. Decide on the gender of the horse.

A gelding or a mare should be your only consideration. A stallion is difficult to handle and can be downright dangerous even if you are a very experienced rider. He isn’t suitable unless you’re in the breeding business.

Geldings make great riding horses and companions. Preferably he was gelded before his second birthday so that he never learned stallion behavior.

Mares sometimes get a bad rap for being difficult every time she comes into heat. Perhaps some are, but there are many wonderful mares with very stable personalities.

7. Decide where you will keep your horse.

If you plan to board, check out several boarding stables. Your first choice is probably the barn where you’ve been taking riding lessons. Look at some others to have for back-up choices and as a general comparison.

If you plan to keep your horse on your own property, be sure to have safe fencing, a solid barn and know your time schedule will allow you to feed your horse at least twice a day – every day – rain or shine. Find out any local and state liability laws for a horse property before you bring your new horse home.

8. Figure how much you can afford for the initial price of a horse.

The original purchase price of a horse is a large upfront expense. Obviously, the more you can afford to spend on a horse, the more choices you’ll have to look at when shopping. If you have this money saved up in advance, you’ll have better leverage with a seller. If you have to buy your horse on payments, you’ll limit your bargaining power and choices because many sellers won’t want to take payments.

9. Figure out your monthly expenses.

Monthly expenses include board, lessons and supplements if you keep your horse at a boarding stable. If you keep your horse at home, you’ll be buying feed, hay and stall bedding instead of a board bill.

There are reoccurring expenses that don’t come every month but still need to be added up for a year’s cost and averaged as a monthly expense. These include farrier visits, worming, vaccinations and vet care such as floating teeth and a yearly Coggins test.

10. Tack and Supplies

Purchase the basic supplies before you get your horse so that you’ll be all set when you bring him home. Brushes, shampoo, liniment, leg wraps, buckets and a first aid kit are a good start on supplies to have ready.

An all purpose headstall and a few bits, saddle pads, a saddle, halter and a long lead rope with a stout snap are your basic tack supplies.

If you follow these 10 steps before you begin horse shopping, you’ll have a clear idea of the horse that will be the best choice for you when you do begin your search.

Cat Litter Box Problems: 7 Essential Keys To Solve The Problem Quickly!

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Has this ever happened to you? Your cat’s peeing outside the litter box, and you’re desperately trying to clean up after your cat, wondering if you’re actually doing anything to stop it from happening in the first place!

Well, if you’re like me, you probably want some quick solutions to the problem, or at least a list of checkpoints that you know you must, like a detective on a trail, work through, to get the litter box behavior problem under control.

By the time you finish this article, you will have learnt the 7 most important steps you must know, when it comes to this problem of the cat peeing outside the litter box.

Firstly, let’s have a look at the reasons why this happens. The reasons for peeing outside the litter box are:

1. A medical problem.

2. The cat that has never been properly house trained to use the litter box in the first place.

3. Problems with the litter tray itself.

4. An unpleasant event that occurred while the cat was at the litter box.

5. A temporary physical or emotional stress, or change in the household causing the cat to urinate in an area outside the box, which is perpetuated by the urine smell reminding the cat to return to the same area over and over again.

6. Old age causing a cat to not be easily able to get to the litter box.

Now, keep these causes in mind, when checking out the 7 action steps:

1. If there’s a change in toilet behavior with no obvious cause, it may be caused by illnesses such as urinary tract infections, blocked anal glands, worms and parasites, diabetes and tumors. These illnesses may have no other obvious signs, apart from this urination problem. So you must consider a visit to the vet. In other cases you may see symptoms such as lethargy, blood in the urine, diarrhea, or constant licking in the anal area. If you see this, then your first stop is the vet!

2. Look at the litter box itself. Ensure you’re cleaning out the waste once or twice a day, and changing the litter every 3-4 days for non-clumping litter (2-3 weeks for clumping litter). Clean the tray with hot water and mild detergent, without any strong odors such as citrus or ammonia, which will repel the cat from the box. If you have multiple cats, remember – the number of trays should equal number of cats, plus one or two. If you’ve changed brands of litter, this may have caused the problem as many cats dislike this change, especially to scented litter. Return to the older litter. If you want to change, introduce unscented litter gradually by mixing the old with the new over 2 weeks. And ensure that the location of the box is acceptable: no loud noises, has some privacy, and is not in view of other cats.

3. Consider adding in 1 more litter box to another suitable private location of the house. This is because sometimes it’s not the litter box that’s the problem, but a negative experience there. For example, if your kids played with the cat while she was on the litter box, or if the cat had pain when urinating, such as during a urine infection, after having kittens, or had a procedure done on the bladder or urethra at the vet, then the cat would associate pain with that litter box. Even if the pain is gone, the association and is still there.

4. Thoroughly clean the area that has been peed on. This is important because no matter what the cause, the fact that the urine remains on the bed, carpet, or sofa is a reminder for the cat to return to pee there. The cat’s sense of smell is more acute than ours, so ensure you clean with a solution such as Brampton’s Simple Solution. If you have remaining urine smell together with a bad association at the box, then you have 2 forces causing the problem to continue. So get rid of both!

5. Next, if possible, deny the cat access to the area that is peed on, especially if it’s an area that is repeatedly used. Many people forget to do this, and their problem is prolonged. By stopping access, the cycle of repeated urination is stopped. Will the cat pee somewhere else? Possible, though less likely if you provide a second litter box, show him where it is a few times, and also do the step 7 below.

6. If you can’t stop the cat from accessing the area, make the area less attractive for peeing instead. You can do this by either placing a scent, or, by placing a bowl of dried cat food there. If using a scent, try citrus or eucalyptus. If using dried food, which often works better, ensure that you top up the food bowl during the day. Either way, once you have success, continue for another 1-2 weeks to ensure it stays that way.

7. If you’re at home when the cat is, then you have this step up your sleeve as well: the startle technique. Only do this method if you actually catch the cat about to urinate because if you do it at any other time, that cat will not be able to associate that urinating in the area with the unpleasant startle. Startle the cat with a loud “No!” or clap of the hands. Wait 5 minutes, then bring the cat to the litter tray, and if she toilets at the tray, reward her with praise and a food treat. As long as the length and enjoyment of the reward if far greater than the startle, this will be unlikely to cause stress. Use this method carefully as some cats may experience stress with it. Make sure that the cat seems relaxed after the food treat, and that it’s actually improving the situation.

If you follow the above steps, most problems of peeing outside the litter box will be solved within days or gradually improve over 1-2 weeks.

Remember in all cases, you’ll be even more effective if you reduce stress at the same time. This means more play time and attention.

In conclusion, it does take some effort and detective work to see what has caused the litter box behavior problem in the first place. And you now know how to apply 7 essential steps to help you solve this issue, as quickly and effectively as possible.

If you’d like to learn more advanced tips on solving your cat’s litter box behavior problem, go to the website described in the resource box below.

The Best Toys for Your Dogs

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Dogs is a major status symbol in American pet-keeping. Every year, over 12 billion dollars have been spent on dog food and veterinary care alone. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association’s 2003-2004 Pet Owners’ Survey, more than half of dog owners purchase toys for their dogs.

Playing with toys is not the monopoly of little kids but also pets of different kind. Dogs have their own sets of toys to enjoy during their playing time.

Dogs benefit from these toys, health and training wise. There are dog toys that can strengthen their teeth or build their intelligence especially if they also attend a series of training classes with the experts. Like man, dogs are very sociable. Interaction with their companion or a sibling dog is very important in avoiding behavioral problems in the future.

When buying toys for your dog, you may want to match them with your dog’s needs, demands and even personality. Is your dog the type that enjoys chasing and retrieving games, or chewing, sitting and sprawling? You may want to try experimenting first to find out which toys make your dogs the happiest.

Before going on a toy hunt, take a look at this list of toys that may help you identify the right kind of toy for your dog.

* CHEW TOYS. These are perfect for the dog that likes to chew a lot. Instead of your dog chewing your furniture, why not buy these TOUGH little babies for them. These types of dog toy are usually made of nylon or latex rubber. The “King Kong Toys” are among the popular brands of chew toys. You can experiment by stuffing these toys with peanut butter or cheese spread, freeze them and give them to your dog for hours of licking and chewing fun.

Doggie “potato chips” is also a favorite. These “edible chips” can last to a minimum of an hour to a couple of days. They are available in different shapes like pig ears, snouts, cow knuckles, femurs, hooves and bully sticks. Others are bone-shaped made from a variety of vegetables such as carrots.

Another good toy for your dog’s chewing pleasure is the rawhide. These are non- consumable, mummified skin-like toy that you have to throw away when they get soggy, and give your dog a new one. Some rawhides are basted with a variety of flavorings. Be sure to get the “USA rawhide” with a little flag sticker on the label because these do not contain preservative flavorings that are harmful for your dogs.

SQUEAKY TOYS. For these toys, choose the rubber over the stuffed toys for durability and to avoid synthetic materials. These little noisemakers are good for training your dog’s hunting skills.

RETRIEVING TOYS. These are perfect for the chase-and-retrieve types of dogs. Dogs enjoy these toys because they get to play with you. Frisbees and balls made specifically for this activity, are the best to be used. Your dog will get a good workout and so is your arm.

TUG TOYS. These toys are best for dogs that like to grab hold and never let go. Available in rope-like designs.

BRAIN TEASERS. Best for dogs that is left alone a lot. “Biscuit balls” and “food cubes” are great examples. These toys require the dog to solve types of puzzle in order to get a treat.

Various toys of these forms are available in the market.

1. For Chewers of all Sizes

SQUIRREL DUDE – tough, durable and fun too; this hollow rubber chew toy takes on a new level in innovation; this helps to exercise your dog’s jaw a little more with the four little rubber prongs blocking the hole slightly that the dog has to work a little harder to get the goodies out.

2. Ball Launchers and Throwers (Retrieve Toys)

FRISBEES – is an all-time favorite dog toy especially the soft version; fold to fit in a pocket; comes in blue and orange colors, size six to nine inches, prices at eleven to sixteen dollars.

THE ROUND ORBEE – a tough ball hallowed with ½ inch thick membraney surface and it’s softish; it is flexible, durable, grippy, bouncy, and buoyant and has a peppermint scent; good for sniffing-and-getting-the- ball game; prices at five to twelve dollars depending on the size and form you choose

3. Squeaky Toys

SQUEAKERS – available in packages of ten each; dogs that love to silence squeakers are the best for this toy; excellent as attention and pocket squeaker as well; prices go lower if you buy in packages, from five to three dollars each box/package.

4. Tug Toys

LEATHER TUGS – great for tug-of-war games with your dog; made of high grade leather, 3/8 inches thick, tanned and not-treated; dogs like them a lot especially those with active lifestyle.

THE MONGO FETCH TOY – a chew and tug toy combined in one; the natural rubber bar is vanilla scented; rope running through the center gives you a grip for tug games and the soft tasseled ends are made for exciting action with your dogs; medium to large in size, from five to seven dollars each.

5. Brain Teasers

I CUBE – this is a toy that challenges and develops your dog’s intelligence and puzzle solving skills; be sure you are there for supervision; available in junior and jumbo sizes, six to eleven dollars.

DUCK EGG BABY – egg Babies are a plush toy with three squeaker eggs inside; there is an opening on the bottom of the toy so your dog can get the hidden treasures inside; this is a toy that challenges and develops your dog’s intelligence and puzzle solving skills too.

Toys are a fun way to enjoy with your dog in a sunny day at the park. But be sure to apply proper safety measures especially when playing with balls, sticks and stones. You do not want to harm them in any way. Remember, this is a dog-eat-dog world! Even as harmless as playing can cause indestructible damage to your dog.

Mihail Fortomas is a teacher of Biology in a High School of Athens Greece. For the dog owner who wants dog health care information – everything for Dog Diseases and Treats, Foods and Diet, visit:
http://1source-body-health.com/dog-health-care.html

Important Cat Litter Box Health Considerations You Should Know About

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Cats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.

The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.

Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

Again, most of the 60 million plus American’s infected with Toxoplasmosis parasite will never experience any symptoms. Most of those who do experience symptoms will simply think they have the Flu as the most common symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. For those in the high risk group, Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes and internal organs. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, children born with Toxoplasma gondii can suffer from hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness with some children developing brain or eye problems years after birth(2). The CDC estimates that 400-4000 fetuses are infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite each year and as many as 80 infants die from Toxoplasmosis annually(2).

So how does an individual contract Toxoplasmosis? A Toxoplasmosis infection is caused by ingesting the Toxoplasma gondi parasite. Most cat owners are infected with the parasite by accidentally ingesting infected cat feces. This happens when a person touches their mouth after handling a cat litter box, working in a garden or sand box or touching anything that has come in contact with cat feces(3).

People in the high risk group may wonder whether or not they should give up their cat to avoid infection. According to the CDC, it is not necessary for cat lovers to give up their cats, but it is important for them to protect themselves from infections. The USFDA makes the following recommendations for avoiding infections(2):
1) If possible, have someone else change the litter box. If you have to clean it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water afterwards.
2) Change the litter box daily. The parasite doesn’t become infectious until one to five days after the feces are deposited in the litter box.
3) Wear gloves when gardening in a garden or handling sand from a sandbox because cats may have excreted feces in them. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
4) Cover outdoor sandboxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.
5) Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food. Never feed your cat raw meat because it can be a source of the Toxoplasmosis gondii parasite.
6) Keep indoor cats indoors. Be especially cautious if you bring outdoor cats indoors.
7) Avoid stray cats, especially kittens.
8) Don’t get a new cat while you’re pregnant.

Safer Child, Inc. makes the following additional recommendations(4):
1) Have your veterinarian test your cat for the Toxoplasmosis parasite. If you cat is infected, you may want to consider having someone else keep your cat during your pregnancy.
2) Keep sandboxes covered to prevent cats from using the sandbox as a litter box.
3) Be aware of neighborhood sandboxes as the parasite can be brought home on shoes, clothing and toys.

Similar to Toxoplasmosis, Escherichia coli (commonly called E. coli) can infect humans thru contact with feline fecal material, although the primary means of infection is thru ingestion or raw or undercooked meats. E. Coli is a bacterium commonly found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Almost all strains of the bacteria are harmless. However a few strains can produce powerful toxins and cause severe illness, especially in children under 5 years of age(5). Symptoms usually include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In children under 5, 2%-7% of E. coli cases can cause kidney failure. Fortunately, E. coli is easy to prevent. Using the preventative measures, outlined above for Toxoplasmosis will greatly reduce the risks of you or your children contracting an E. coli infection.

In addition to these human risks, there are a few health risks cat litter boxes actually pose to cats that cat owners should be aware of. Just as a dirty litter box poses health risks to humans, cats are equally at risk if forced to use a dirty litter box. Since cats stay clean by licking themselves, allowing a cat’s litter box to get too dirty can cause infections when a cat cleans it’s paws after using the dirty litter box. The most common infection is a urinary tract infection, and although this type of infection is rarely fatal it can be very uncomfortable for your cat and will most likely require treatment by your veterinarian.

Finally, a lesser-known health risk to cats is actually caused by cat litter itself. What many cat owners do not realize is that some types of cat litter can be harmful or even fatal to their cat. Both clumping and non-clumping litters pose health problems to cats. Clumping cat litters are probably the most popular type of cat litter because of their convenience, hygienic qualities and the fact that clumping litters are required for use in self-cleaning litter boxes. Unfortunately, some clumping litters can be harmful to cats. Clay based clumping litters can contain the mineral sodium bentonite, which can be harmful or fatal to your cat. It is best to avoid using clay based cat litters, especially with kittens. Wheat or corn based clumping litters such as Swheat Scoop, World’s Best Cat Litter and Littermaid cat litter work very well and are non-toxic(6).

By their very nature, non-clumping litters do not absorb and isolate a cat’s urine or feces like clumping litters do. As a result, it is much harder to keep your cat’s litter box clean when using non-clumping litter. When using non-clumping litter it is important to frequently clean and disinfect the litter box itself to reduce the chance of bacterial buildups that can cause urinary or other infections in your cat.

The second category of health risks covers injuries caused by an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box. Occurrences of this type of injury are rare, but they can happen. An automatic or self cleaning litter box does just what it’s name implies. Usually between 10-15 minutes after a cat uses the litter box, the litter box automatically cleans itself by “sweeping” or “raking” the cat waste into a sealed compartment or bag. For cat owners, injuries can occur if a small child or toddler plays with the automatic litter box during the cleaning cycle. All major brands of automatic litter boxes contain sensors to prevent the cleaning mechanism from activating when a cat or other foreign object is inside the box. However, children can still be injured if they put their hand inside the cleaning mechanism in such a manner as to avoid the sensors.

Although these types of injuries are very rare it is best to take precautions. Placing the litter box in a location where your cat can get to it but small children can’t is an easy method. This is good advice for any litter box as this is the best way to keep children from contracting one of the illnesses described earlier in this article. If you can’t keep the automatic litter box out of a child’s reach then it is best to put the litter box inside a litter box cover. There are many types of covers and all of them will help prevent a child from reaching the litter box and the cleaning mechanism. A final option is to unplug the litter box or put it into a “manual operation” mode. Both of these options will require the cat owner to start the cleaning cycle whenever necessary. Although this reduces some of the convenience of an automatic litter box it certainly removes the danger to children.

Automatic or self cleaning litter boxes are completely safe for almost all cats. However, most manufacturers recommend that the litter box be used in “manual operation” mode for cats under 5 lbs. Cats under 5 lbs many not be large enough to activate the sensors and the cleaning mechanism could cause injury. Since most adult cats weigh over 5 lbs, it is only necessary to use the “manual operation” mode until kittens grow to 5 lbs.

This article is not intended to dissuade anyone from owning a cat. 70 Million cat owners can’t be wrong; cats make great pets! So, if you already own a cat or are thinking of becoming a cat owner it simply makes good sense to be aware of the health risks associated with cat ownership. Understanding the risks can definately increase the enjoyment of cat ownership.
(1)Toxoplasmosis Fact Sheet; http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/factsht_toxoplasmosis.htm
(2) While You’re Pregnant – USFDA
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pregnant/whiltoxo.html

(3) Toxoplasmosis – An important Message for Cat Owners; http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/toxoplasmosis_brochure_8.2004.pdf

(4) Safer Child, Inc.;
http://www.saferchild.org/pets&.htm

(5) Escherichia coli O157:H7 Fact Sheet;
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/escherichiacoli_g.htm

(6) Stanford Cat Network’s – Guide to Caring for Your Adopted Cat or Kitten;
http://www.stanford.edu/group/CATNET/articles/careguide.html#litter

Happiness is a Well Trained Puppy

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If you are reading this article you might be thinking about buying a puppy; or already bought on. Congratulations on the new addition to your home! You now have a friend who is always ready to play, never too tired to go for a walk and one of the most loyal companions you will ever have. There are some things you are going to need to know about training your puppy. A puppy is only as well-behaved as his training allows.

During the first few weeks your puppy needs constant supervision to prevent accidents in the house. But it’s easier to teach good habits now than it is to correct bad behavior later in life. Your puppy needs to start understanding what is and isn’t acceptable in your home right away. You are the leader of the pack in the home and your puppy looks to you to work out what is allowed and what isn’t.

It’s important that your puppy starts to understand their boundaries. You will need to decide soon what the limits are – what furniture they may or may not climb on – what areas of the house they are allowed. Decide where your puppy will sleep and what they may or may not chew on.

Getting your puppy housetrained is not difficult and can be quick if you follow some of these tips. Make housetraining a painless and quick procedure by using the crate method.

The Crate method

The crate method is well known because it is one of the most humane ways to train a puppy. Your puppy will need to relieve himself after eating, drinking, running, playing. The frequency will depend on the size of your dog and also on the breed. Be careful – it can happen as soon as 15 minutes after any of these activities. One of the easiest ways to keep your home pee free is to keep a record of when he needs to go. Try to learn the natural schedule and take your puppy outside at the times when you know they are going to need to go. Plan your walks around this schedule. Take the puppy out when you expect they will need to urinate.

When your puppy is 10 weeks old until they are six months they will need to be walked between 5 and 10 times a day. Quite a task if you are not used to including a puppy in your daily schedule. Take turns walking the puppy. One of the most important things about housetraining you pup is that you do not return from your walks until he/she has urinated and done all his business.
If for some reason you need to go inside before he has gone you will need to take your puppy out every 15 minutes. Give lots of praise and affection when your puppy has done what you wanted. You might feel silly praising your puppy for going “wee wee” (or other!) but it is very important to the housetraining process.

Some tips for using the crate:

The crate method works and is one of the most humane ways to train your puppy. It works because dogs are naturally neat and don’t like to eliminate in their sleeping area. If your puppy sleeps in the crate they will not want to mess in it. It’s an instinctive desire to keep their sleeping area clean.

The crate should become a sanctuary for your puppy. A crate is your dogs’ den in the house; their very own ‘safe space’. Your puppy needs to associate the crate with positive feelings. Put your puppy’s favorite blanket, toys and treats inside.

Help your puppy get used to the crate by leaving the door open until the dog seems comfortable. It’s important that your puppy is comfortable in the crate – the more comfortable they are – the less likely they are to soil inside.

Never use the crate as punishment. The crate must be associated with positive feelings. If your puppy does start whining, barking or scratching don’t let them out. Establish a regular schedule. After feeding take you puppy outside until they have done their business.

Put your puppy in the crate at night – but make sure to take him outside before bedtime and first thing in the morning. Let your puppy play for a while after they have done their business. Don’t give your puppy free reign of the house until they are housetrained.

Make a chart of when your puppy needs to go. Take the puppy outside within 15 minutes of eating, or any other time you know they will need to go.

After they have done their business; play with them for a while and then put your puppy in the crate for a nap. Repeat this throughout the day. After your puppy is fully housetrained you can leave the crate open during the day.
Some do’s and don’ts when housetraining:

DO

– If you are going to be away for long periods of time put your puppy in an area of the house where you are prepared for accidents. Put newspaper in this area.

– Limit the food and water supply if you are going to be gone for long periods of time. If it’s hot make sure your puppy has enough to drink (but remember what goes in must come out!).

– Praise your puppy when they are good.

– Be consistent. You don’t want to confuse your puppy.

– Involve the whole family in the training process. Even small children can participate in the housetraining.

– Be realistic, you can’t get mad with a puppy for not being completely housetrained. Accidents happen despite your most careful schedule.

Don’ts

– Don’t ever use the crate as punishment.

– Don’t let your puppy outside of your designated area until they are housetrained.

– Don’t reprimand your puppy for accidents.

If this all sounds like a lot of work – don’t worry. Your puppy should be completely housetrained after about 6 months. Even sooner if you use the crate method. As your puppy gets older it will get easier. A well trained puppy will bring much more happiness into the home then an untrained puppy. Owner and puppy will be more happy and in tune with each other for years to come.

Overview Of Different Breeds Of Dogs

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There are over a hundred registered breed of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proved that mating two adult dogs of the same type would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.

If thinking of adopting or buying a pet dog for yourself, it is important to know which type of dog you want. Here are a few popular dog breeds for your easy reference:

Labrador
Labradors are very outgoing dogs that have yellow, black or brown furs. Labrador are versatile dogs that has a wide rang of functions. Most of them are known to retrievers and are utilized as guide dogs for the blind. They enjoy holding different objects in their mouth and are prone to chewing things. Labradors are observed to be hypersensitive and have a high regard for their territory. Their furs are observed to water repellant thus making them perfect for waterfowl hunting. They are excellent as family dog.

German Shepherds
Germans shepherds are also known as Alsatian. Originally, they are intended to be aide for a farmer in herding their sheep or cattle. They are incredibly intelligent and very trainable. Because of their built they are often used as working dogs in the military or police community. Most of them are also guide dogs. German shepherds are large and strong dogs with varied fur colors. Most comes in cream, tank, white or black.

Boxer
Boxers have pointed ears that are tilted forward. They have a distinguishable white underbelly and white parts at the tip of each foot. These white regions are often called as ‘flashiness’ which sometimes extend to other parts of the body. These usually appear on the shoulders and face. Boxers are playful and energetic breed. They are perfect as a pet for children because they have an extended puppy hood, meaning they are not considered as an adult dog until they reach the age of three. Training would not be a problem. Boxers are known to be obedient and possess a strong personality. It is advisable to train a boxer at an early age. They can sometimes be a substitute as guide dogs or police dogs.

Rotweiller
Rotweillers’ origin traced back on ancient times. Their existence has been associated with the Roman Empire as watchers for groups of cattle. Since then, their incredible strength and intelligence has been recognized. They are utilized as police dogs and military aides during wars. Rotweillers are black tan spots on its cheeks, legs, chest and face. You should definitely find one too underneath their tails. They are marked with upside down triangles can be found on the chest area. Their eyebrows have a unique spot on each one. Rotweillers are intelligent and fearless dogs. You can notice their foreheads getting a little wrinkly when they are alert. Rotties are very active and playful and are fast on learning tricks.

Poodle
Poodles can be a very good companion and are very loyal to their owners. They belong to a quiet breed of dogs that has a naturally curly fur. Their color ranges from black, grey, white, blue, apricot or brown. Training a poodle trend to require more effort compared to other breed. They are considered as a hypoallergenic breed. They are very famous for their very nice coats. Maintenance proved to be a tedious job. Owners have to keep their hair in a manageable length so that matting and tangling would be prevented.

Labrador
Labradors are very outgoing dogs that are yellow, black or brown in colors. Labrador are versatile dogs that has a wide rang of functions. Most of them are known to retrievers and are utilized as guide dogs for the blind. They enjoy holding different objects in their mouth and are prone to chewing things. Labradors are observed to be hypersensitive and have a high regard for their territory. Their furs are proved to be water repellant thus making them perfect for waterfowl hunting. They tend to be mellow and are excellent as a family dog.

German Shepherds
Germans shepherds are also known as Alsatian. Originally, they are intended to be aide for a farmer in herding their sheep or cattle. They are incredibly intelligent and very trainable. Because of their built they are often used as working dogs in the military or police community. Most of them are also guide dogs. German shepherds are large and strong dogs with varied fur colors. Most comes in cream, tank, white or black.

Dachshund
Dachshunds are also referred to as sausage dogs because of their elongated built. They have short legs and pointed facial framework. Chasing and hunting are their favorite past times. Most dachshunds have crooked legs and chest compared to a barrel. Dachshunds are playful and loyal dogs that loves to chase small animals like birds. Their senses are very keen and well-developed though they often exhibit shyness.

Beagle
Beagles have acquired a strong sense of smell. Because of such quality they are used for hunting animals like rabbits. They have big ears that are low- set giving them that gentle look. Their furs are commonly white, black, brown or a combination of both. Beagles are known to be very good tempered. Training might prove to be a trick task because these dogs are strong willed that made them quite stubborn. Beagles travel in pack, being a pet dog might cause them to have anxiety.

Above is a simple overview of popular breed of dogs. In choosing a dog for you better consider each breeds’ physical appearance, temperament and health issues. Of course, each dog should fit your lifestyle. Remember dogs should be given proper attention and care but in exchange you can have the best companion ever.

Dog Flea Control Management: How To Prevent, Treat, And Kill Dog Fleas

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Dog flea control and management requires an integrated approach. For effective treatment both the host animal and the environment must be treated at the same time. Control of fleas on the pet generally requires the use of insecticides. Although flea combs can remove some fleas, combing should be thought of as a method for detecting fleas rather than removing them.

If an animal is to be treated for other conditions besides fleas, such as expression of anal glands, these procedures should be done before the insecticide application to minimize insecticide contact with interior mucosal membranes.

A wide range of insecticides are available for flea control. The pyrethrins and pyrethroids have the lowest mammalian toxicity. These insecticides come in many formulations including shampoo, dust and powder, mousse, aerosol and non-aerosol mist or spray, dip, spot-on, roll-on and collar. Organophosphate drugs for oral use are available, by prescription from veterinarians.

In addition, some on-animal formulations contain insect growth regulators (IGRs) that kill flea eggs on the animal. *Remember to read all insecticide labels, and to follow all precautions and dose directions.

The insecticides used for flea control vary widely in toxicity and efficacy. Considerations for selecting a formulation include the size, weight and age of the animal, as well as the species.

For example, greyhounds are a very chemical-sensitive breed and are more sensitive to insecticide products than most other dogs. Do not attach flea collars or flea-killing medallions on these dogs. Do not use chlorpyrifos, DDVP, methoxychior or malathion on greyhounds.

Cats are more sensitive to organophosphate insecticides than dogs. In addition, cats groom themselves more than dogs and are more likely to ingest an insecticide by licking the residue from their fur.

Kittens and puppies, because of their smaller size, require a lower dose than adult animals. Young animals may also require treatment with insecticides of lower toxicity than adult animals. Pregnant or nursing animals may be sensitive to certain insecticides.

Several products are available for especially sensitive pets and other situations that require lower risk chemical measures. These include the citrus peel extracts d-limonene and linalool, sorptive dusts such as silica aerogel or diatomaceous earth, the insect growth regulators fenoxycarb or methoprene, and insecticidal soaps.

Theses words may seem foreign to you, but you can always consult a veterinarian if you have questions. They will have accurate information on insecticides and their use for flea control on pet animals. The insecticide label should also contain accurate information on how a particular formulation of an insecticide should and should not be used. *Remember to read these labels before opening the container!

When using insecticides for flea control, remember that the applicator, namely your pet and you can be exposed to the insecticides several times. The label may call for the use of gloves and other protective equipment during application and suggest the pet not be handled with unprotected hands until the treatment dries. All personal protective equipment listed on the label must be worn. As a minimum aspect, chemical-resistant gloves, apron and goggles should be worn while mixing insecticides and during application to prevent insecticide contact with the skin.

The working area should be appropriate for containment of the pesticide and should be resistant to caustic materials. A stainless steel preparation table and stainless steel or ceramic tub are ideal. Also, certain parts of the pet’s body (such as the eyes) may be sensitive to the insecticides and must be shielded during application. When using flea “bombs” (aerosol cans with a self-releasing mechanism), follow all the precautions and remove the pets from the area being treated. For your information, using excessive aerosols is illegal and may cause fires and even explosions.

The other important part of an integrated flea management program is to control larval fleas in the habitat away from the animal. This can be achieved either mechanically or with insecticides. Mechanical or physical control of flea larvae involves removal and laundering of animal bedding and thorough cleaning of areas frequented by the animal.

Using a vacuum with a beater bar and immediately disposing of the waste bag effectively eliminates up to half of the larvae and eggs in carpet. You should also launder animal bedding and thoroughly clean areas the animal frequents and dispose of the vacuum waste bag after every cleaning.

Do not put insecticides in the vacuum cleaner bag. This is an illegal and dangerous use of the products and can harm you, your family and pets by creating dusts or fumes that could be inhaled.

Another mechanical control measure is carpet shampooing or steam cleaning. This rids the carpet of blood feces, an important food for the larvae, and may also remove eggs and larvae. In outdoor areas, cleaning up the places where animals like to rest reduces eggs and larvae and removes blood pellets. In yards and kennels, flea larvae can be found in cracks at wall-floor junctions and in floor crevices. These areas must be thoroughly cleaned and then maintained to prevent another infestation.

Recently several ultrasound devices, including collars, have entered the market claiming to control or repel fleas. Several scientific studies have investigated these devices and found absolutely no basis for the manufacture’s claims. Ultrasonic devices do not control flea populations. It is unnecessary for you to buy these equipments.

Chemical control of flea larvae can be achieved with insecticides. Organophosphate, carbamate, pyrethrin, pyrethroid and growth regulator (hormone mimic) insecticides as well as certain minerals are available for flea control in the environment These insecticides are formulated as coarse sprays, foggers and dusts or are micro-encapsulated.

All but the growth regulators kill flea larvae on contact. Insect growth regulators prevent flea larvae from developing to the adult stage. Growth regulators may also inhibit egg hatching. A good flea larval control program will incorporate sanitation, contact insecticides and growth regulators for good results.

Flea management requires patience, time and careful planning. Vacuuming and cleaning areas frequented by dogs and cats should be routine. The same applies to kennels. If an infestation occurs, insecticide applications on the animals or in the environment may have to be repeated according to the label. The need for retreatment and time intervals between insecticide treatments will vary with the kind of insecticide and the formulation.

Flea control will not be successful if only one approach is used. The animal and its environment must be treated simultaneously, and that treatment must be combined with regular sanitation efforts. Read all product labels carefully. Do not overexpose your pet by combining too many treatments at one time, such as a collar, a shampoo and a dust. Pesticides have a cumulative effect. Be aware of each product’s toxicity and do not endanger yourself or the animal by using excessive amounts of any one product or by combining products.

To end, please remember that flea control will only be successful when you treat both your pet and the environment simultaneously. Hope this article is useful in helping you manage flea problems.

Do You Build Or Buy A Saltwater Aquarium?

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Haven’t decided whether to build or buy a saltwater aquarium? For most people buying a ready-made aquarium is by far the easier option. But if you’re handy with tools and construction you might be thinking of building your own tank. This chapter will provide you with do-it-yourself instructions on how to build a 55 gallon glass aquarium to house your marine life. Ultimately it is for you to decide whether you want to build or buy a saltwater aquarium. If you are more comfortable with a bought tank, by all means, get one!

Building a tank from scratch is challenging and not for beginners unless you have plenty of patience and are willing to ask for help. However using the materials list, step-by-step instructions and advice provided here you can build your very own glass aquarium. Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will find the setup fun and rewarding. However having built your own special tank is doubly satisfying.

Before you get started you need to know a thing or two about working with glass. The tank you are going to build is 14 inches high with ¼ inch glass panels. If you want to make a bigger saltwater aquarium you will need to learn how to calculate the correct thickness of glass for the size of the tank. If you haven’t decided whether to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you might want to consider how comfortable you are working with glass.

Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium, the first thing to do is to draw up a plan or schematic of the kind of saltwater aquarium you want. Make sure that all your measurements are correct so that the tank fits together properly. This aquarium is built with the two end panels fitted inside the back and front panes.

The front, back and side panels are set on top of the aquarium floor. If you don’t know how to cut glass you can ask the professionals to do it for you. If you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you need to understand how the glass is fitted together as this has a lot to do with the stability of the tank.

Whether you decide to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will probably be making use of a lighted hood. When you draw up your plans you must include the hood. You should never place solid glass on the aquarium top as this reduces the gas exchange that occurs at the surface. If this happens your aquarium will not get enough aeration and the health of the tank will suffer.

So what materials will you need to build a saltwater aquarium? Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will need to purchase all the necessary materials that go into making a good marine setup. To build a 55 gallon aquarium you will need the following:

* 1 glass panel for the tank bottom
* 1 front, 1 back, and 2 end pieces of glass
* Single edged razor blades.
* Acetone.
* Non-toxic 100% silicone sealant. (All-Glass® Brand 100% Silicone Sealant)
* Roll of paper towels.
* Washable felt tip marker.
* Roll of duct tape.
* Emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper.

Whether you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you should choose the biggest one that fits into your home. If your tank is bigger than 30 gallons in size you might want to install a support brace at the tank’s center. Do this by cutting a six inch wide piece of glass that will fit to the outside edges of the front and back panels. Use silicone to position it in place.

Next you will prepare the glass panes. Use an emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper to smooth the edges of the glass. Clean the glass pane joints and edges at ½ inch inward using acetone. Prepare the duct tape by cutting 16 strips of tape, 5 inches long. Place these nearby. Always be careful when handling glass. This is true whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium

Place your pieces on the floor or table in the correct order for assembly. If need be, mark them with words or arrows so you don’t lose track. Place the bottom panel on a flat non-scratch surface. Stick 8 pieces of tape to the glass on the bottom side (sticky side up). If you decide to build or buy a saltwater aquarium always take care not to scratch the glass.

Now install the front glass piece. Next fold the two bottom pieces of tape upward and stick them to the glass. Now you are ready to install the first side panel by folding the 2 bottom duct tapes upward and sticking them to the front of the glass. Secure the side piece to the front piece of glass with 2 strips of tape.

Next install the other side piece, and the back panel. Once the tank has been built use silicone to seal the eight joint areas on the inside of the tank. Use a small amount and smooth your thumb over the silicone to level it. Let the tank sit for 24 hours to cure the silicone. It does not matter if you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium, it is always vital that it does not leak!

After the resting period you can fill the tank with fresh water. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. Why? You are testing your tank for leaks! A 24 hour testing period is better as it will leave you more confident that your tank is actually watertight. This is important whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium.

Once you are sure that your tank is fit for your marine world you can set about planning the fish, invertebrates, and plants that will go into your tank. It is not that important whether you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium. Most people will probably opt for the ease of walking into a store and choosing a perfect, assembled tank but for those who like a challenge, constructing your own tank can be very satisfying. Once you have set everything up you will feel doubly proud! Enjoy your new aquarium!

About Saltwater Aquarium Fish! – Beautiful…

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Saltwater aquarium fish are amongst the most beautiful of animals to be found anywhere in the world. A variety of saltwater aquarium fish can be housed in your marine tank provided you know what they need in terms of care, such as feeding, environment, competitors and space to grow.

Any marine enthusiast will tell you that setting up a marine tank is tricky and so is choosing the right saltwater aquarium fish! This is because it’s easy to make mistakes with the kinds of fish you choose. It’s usually best to start your marine tank with a few hardy and affordable fish. The majority of saltwater aquarium fish are collected from nature rather than captive raised so don’t waste that gift by making mistakes that result in the death of your fish.

Damsels are a great saltwater aquarium fish to start off with. Damsels are hardy little creatures and can survive in poorer water conditions than many other marine species. They are not fussy about their food and won’t cost you the earth. Unfortunately damsels are also quite aggressive. You can easily keep one or two of these tough saltwater aquarium fish in a tank but don’t try any more than that.

Its best to start with damsels and then add more aggressive fish later, If you want to house saltwater aquarium fish that are more shy, you need to take your damsels out before adding more timid varieties of saltwater aquarium fish. Blue and yellow damsels are two species that are less aggressive than others.

Mollies are an alternative starter saltwater aquarium fish. Mollies that are used to salt water allow you to start with cheaper fish while you learn how to make sure the salinity of your tank is correct for more sensitive creatures. On the other hand mollies are raised and bred in captivity so you won’t get much real experience in keeping them. Get them used to the tank by allowing saltwater to drip into the bag for about 6-8 hours. When the bag becomes full remove some water. After the tank cycles you can keep the fish in the tank.

Clownfish are cousins to damsel fish and are a fairly hardy saltwater aquarium fish. They are not that easy to acclimate to a marine tank, though. They are also quite territorial but aren’t likely to be aggressive to other species. They don’t have to have an anemone to survive. If you do get one bear in mind that they need water that is very clean and high quality lighting.

Blennies or gobies are fairly hardy and small and shouldn’t be a problem for the other saltwater aquarium fish in the tank. They are character fish but they are small and so might get lost in very big tanks with bigger saltwater aquarium fish. They are a good choice to help control algae but if you have a fish only tank they may not be easy to keep fed.

Tangs are a hardy saltwater aquarium fish which are a little sensitive and tend to contract marine ich (also know as “White Spot”). They eat algae so as soon as you grow some you might try to introduce some tangs.

Triggerfish or lionfish are an ideal saltwater aquarium fish for a tank which will eventually contain large aggressive fish. However they can be costly if you make mistakes. It might be a good idea to ‘practice’ on fish that are both cheaper and easier. You will need to feed them lots of shell fish and other sea creatures to keep them healthy.

Angels and butterflies are very sensitive and difficult saltwater aquarium fish to keep. They need special diets most of the time so they are not that easy to care for in a tank. The same goes for batfish.

Once you gain more experience in keeping conditions in your tank stable you can add a few other varieties of fish. Choose from hawkfishes, grammas, dottybacks, basslets and wrasses. But make sure to find out about how to take care of them properly because some are not as easy as others. However they are a much easier bet that angels and butterflies.

So which saltwater aquarium fish should beginners avoid? You should not attempt angelfish, butterfly fish, pipefish, seahorses, long-nosed filefish, blue ribbon eels, stonefish, and Moorish Idols as well as mandarin fish until you really know what you are doing.

What about invertebrates? Contrary to popular belief invertebrates are well suited for mini or micro-reef tanks. Many invertebrates do well in non-reef tanks. For the novice aquarist the hardy species are best. These include shrimps like the cleaner shrimp, blood shrimp or peppermint shrimp and coral banded shrimp. As is the case with saltwater aquarium fish, stick to the hardier shrimps to begin with.

Anemone crabs are another option you might try along with your saltwater aquarium fish. And why not add some sea urchins and starfish which are quite well suited to beginners with a couple of month’s experience? They differ in size, shape and color and some are poisonous so be careful! Sea urchins and starfish eat detritus and algae and other small bits of food so they will help to keep your tank clean and your saltwater aquarium fish healthy.

Anemones are not really suited for beginners. They need special lighting and top-notch water conditions so if you can’t foot the bill for the lights stay away or you’ll live to regret it. Invertebrates you should avoid include tridacna clams, flame scallops, Octopi, Nudibranchs, or any hard or soft coral and sea squirts. Like the saltwater aquarium fish listed previously these invertebrates have special feeding and living requirements.

When you choose saltwater aquarium fish, you need to bear in mind that they are a bit more expensive then the freshwater varieties. For this reason you should take care with them and try to keep them alive. When fish are captured and moved from the store to your home they are liable to get stressed, especially since most of them have been taken from the ocean mere days ago. So make sure you can properly care for your new friends before you bring them home!

The Top 3 Canine Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 2

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In part one of this 3-part instructional we pointed out that some canine behaviors are ingrained, while others are learned. We also highlighted successful ways to control excessive barking. In part 2 we will deal with effective techniques to stop biting.

Canine Behavior Problems: Biting

According to the U.S. Disease Control Center in Atlanta, Georgia, about 1,000,000 people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of victims are children between the ages of 5 and 8; in most cases, the biting dogs were house pets.

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. Dogs may bite or display threatening behavior when they are angry, afraid, agitated, over-excited, or when challenged or seeking to protect.

The first thing to do when confronted with biting dogs is to discern “why” the dog behaved aggressively. If the dog was being teased or felt threatened, the problem may not be with the dog. Instead, fault may lie with whomever or whatever teased him or made him feel threatened.

Some dogs bite or snap at their caregiver’s hands when the caregiver tries to take something away from them. According to Barbara Woodhouse, internationally known dog trainer, canine behavior expert, and author of Barbara Woodhouse’s Encyclopedia of Dogs & Puppies, the best cure for such aggressive behavior is to “return violence with violence.”

Effective Ways to Stop Biting Dogs

When the dog attempts to bite, the caregiver should act swiftly by suspending the dog off his front legs by his choke chain; at the same time, scold in a violent tone of voice, “No bite!” The dog should be allowed back on his front legs only after he shows signs of discomfort (usually within 10 seconds). Once subdued; caress and praise him.

This process should be repeated every time the dog attempts to bite; he must be forced to respect your authority. While this type correction may sound cruel, it is not. Curing the dog of biting using this means is much kinder than having the dog sentenced to death in the gas chamber because of injuries inflicted on someone he bit.

Inexperienced caregivers may have a difficult time correcting their dog this way; if that is the case, the help of an expert dog trainer should be sought.

Preventing Aggressive Behavior in Dogs that Leads to Biting

Some dogs are so naturally protective of their owner they attack anyone who approaches, without being given a command. This can be quite dangerous. Allowing a dog to lunge toward people could very well lead to other aggressive behaviors, such as biting.

One of the best methods to prevent this type aggressive behavior in dogs is to take the dog among crowds – muzzled if necessary. Get people to touch him (muzzled), and give him a sound scolding if he attempts to attack.

Another effective method is to get someone who trains dogs to snatch him from you and really shake him (by his choke chain) when he shows signs of vicious behavior. He must be defeated, and then praised for submitting.

What About Puppies that Bite?

Puppies are notorious for biting and nipping during play. One mistake people often make with puppies that bite is to let them get away with it. Caregivers often think such behavior is cute and believe the puppy will naturally grow out of it without intervention. The reality is that such “innocent” biting and nipping can become a learned bad habit, difficult to break once the puppy is older.

Caregivers should address nipping and biting early on, instead of waiting until the puppy has grown and the problem more difficult to correct. Puppies are not like children; they are growing dogs. And dogs need training and an understanding but firm, consistent hand to teach them what is acceptable and what is not. Correction methods for young puppies that bite are different than methods for grown dogs.

How to Handle Aggressive Behavior in Puppies

When a puppy bites hard enough to hurt he must be corrected firmly. Say “No bite!” in a firm tone. If that doesn’t work, use what is called “the shakedown method,” which resembles what the mother dog does to her pup to keep order in the litter. Shake the puppy by catching hold of the loose skin of its neck on both sides under the ears. Repeat “No bite!”

Correcting aggressive behavior in puppies older than 12 weeks is done the following way: grab the puppy by the scruff of the neck with both hands, and lift him off his front feet, if necessary. Make the puppy look you straight in the face, and repeat “No bite!” If you sound angry enough, the puppy will understand.

This correction method must be consistent. If you permit a puppy to bite one time, but get annoyed and correct him the next, the puppy will become confused and will not learn effectively.

Puppies are especially likely to bite or nip children who play with them either for too long a period, or are too rough with them. When a puppy shows signs of being tired of being “mauled” during play, it is time to let the puppy rest. Put the puppy away in his box or pen, and instruct others to leave him alone and let him rest.

Under no circumstances slap a puppy or dog’s nose to discipline him; this is cruel, as well as ineffective. And always give plenty of love and praise for submissive behavior after correction has been administered.

At Savvy Dog Lover, we care about you and your pet. In part 3 of this 3-part instructional we discuss the problem of jumping. Read part 3, “How to Prevent Dogs and Puppies from Jumping up on People” at Savvy Dog Lover, www.savvy-dog-lovers.com.

©2006 Lori S. Anton
Savvy Dog Lover editor

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