Working Dog Breeds: The Top Ten Dogs Of This Group by Mike Mathews

Working Dog Breeds: The Top Ten Dogs Of This Group
 by: Mike Mathews
The Working Dog group includes most of the guard dog breeds such as the Rottweiler and Doberman Pinscher as well as the northern sled dogs such as the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky. Most of these dogs need lots of exercise and a fair amount of living space. Many of these dogs have thick double coats and can be heavy shedders. The heavy shedding breeds include the: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, Samoyed and Siberian Husky. The top 10 most popular Working Dog breeds in the US according to the American Kennel Club 2005 registrations are discussed below and their registration rank is included in brackets.

1. Boxer

The Boxer (#7) is a large, strong and muscular dog that is energetic, good-natured and playful. Boxers are very popular because they love children and are a good dog breed for active families with children. Toddlers and young children should be supervised carefully when around young or adolescent dogs that will knock them over when they get excited. This breed needs early socialization and obedience training while they are puppies and exercise while adolescents to control their exuberance. Boxers are alert, intelligent and eager to please and can be trained to a high level for agility sports and obedience competitions. Boxers make good watchdogs and can even be trained to be guard dogs.

2. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler (#16) is a very heavy, muscular and large dog breed. A well-bred Rottweiler is calm, intelligent, confident and courageous but can be aggressive toward strangers and strange dogs. Therefore it is important that this breed be thoroughly socialized and obedience trained starting when it is a puppy and continuing through adolescence. The Rottie needs exercise and mental stimulation and makes a good obedience, agility and schutzhund competitor. Rottweilers are not suited for indoor life and enjoy being outside. A well trained Rottie does fine with older children but this breed should be restricted to people who have the time to thoroughly socialize, obedience train, and keep this dog active.

3. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher (#21) is a strong, muscular and athletic large dog. Dobermans are usually protective but also are sweet and docile family dogs. This intelligent breed needs early socialization and obedience training when it is a puppy and this should be continued through adolescence. Dobermans do fine with older children if they are raised with them. Male Dobes can be very aggressive with other male dogs and shouldn't be trusted with small pets and strange children. Dobermans need lots of exercise and companionship and shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time. This breed should spend a significant amount of time at a dog training school. Dobermans make good guard dogs and good watchdogs.

4. Great Dane

The Great Dane (#24) is a very large and strong dog and is known as the gentle giant of dog breeds. The Dane is gentle, quiet, loyal and affectionate towards its family. This breed would rather lean against you for a pat, than be aggressive towards anyone. The Dane is great with family children but small children must be supervised carefully to avoid knockdown. The Dane is so large that it must be socialized and trained to behave very cautiously around children and pets. Because the Dane is so large early obedience training is essential to prevent it from exerting dominance. Young Danes, up to three years old, can be boisterous and need strict supervision. Danes make excellent watchdogs.

5. Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky (#25) is a very handsome medium to large dog breed that is playful, friendly, athletic and independent. Siberians get along well with older children but are not recommended for toddlers and small children unless raised with them from a puppy. Too many people are attracted to this handsome dog without realizing this is a working sled dog that needs a lot of physical activity. Siberians belong outside in an escape-proof large yard but get bored and destructive if they have too little exercise. Training is quite challenging and must be started when the Sibes are puppies and continued through to adulthood. Siberians don't bark much (although they howl from time to time) and are too friendly to make good watchdogs.

6. Mastiff

The Mastiff (#33) is a gentle giant dog and one of the heaviest dog breeds. This gentle giant is a great family dog that is calm, dignified, good-natured and very fond of children. Because of its giant size, toddlers are in danger of knock-down, and should always be supervised carefully. Mastiffs need a house with a large fenced yard. This breed needs lots of companionship and should have early and on-going socialization and obedience training so that you can control the Mastiff with only voice commands. This breed is naturally protective of its home and family and must be socialized early and often with other dogs to prevent it from becoming combative. Mastiffs make good watch dogs and guard dogs.

7. Saint Bernard

The massive Saint Bernard (#37) is the most famous of all giant dog breeds and one of the best known of all dog breeds. The Saint is an intelligent, courageous, obedient and good natured dog breed. The breed is very good with children and also other pets but because of their very large size, young children and toddlers should be supervised carefully to avoid any accidents. The Saint is relatively easy to train but must be thoroughly socialized and trained while it is young and hasn't grown too large to handle. The Saint Bernard makes a good watchdog even though it doesn't bark much and is fairly tolerant of strangers.

8. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff (#42) is a very large dog that is a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff dog breeds. The Bullmastiff is loveable and trustworthy but also fearless and afraid of nothing. Normally this breed is mild mannered and docile but once aroused can be aggressive with other male dogs and strangers. Bullmastiffs make great family pets for families with older children but young puppies or adolescents are too exuberant to be around toddlers or small children. Bullmastiff puppies must have early socialization and obedience training that is reinforced through adulthood. This dog breed is too large to allow it to have any unruly behavior and at any sign of aggression get professional training assistance. Bullmastiffs make fantastic watch dogs and great natural guard dogs but should never receive additional guard dog training.

9. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland (#46) or Newf is one of the giant dog breeds whose teddy bear appearance gives an indication of what a wonderful family dog it is. The Newfoundland has a wonderfully sweet and gentle disposition that is reflected in his kind expression. This intelligent, gentle and good-natured giant dog is great with children and makes a terrific family dog. Toddlers should be supervised carefully as one slurp from his big tongue could knock a little one over. Newfs and all giant breeds should be socialized and obedience trained early while puppies and through adolescence. Newfs need lots of companionship and need to be involved in family activities.

10. Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog (#47) is a very handsome large dog which is outgoing, intelligent and affectionate and makes a terrific family pet. Berners love children but should be supervised with young children because they are large and can knock the toddlers over. Berners should be socialized early with small children and animals when they are puppies. Bernese are intelligent and very trainable and make good dogs for competitive obedience trials. These mountain dogs like to be outside and thrive in cold weather. Berners are fairly tolerant with strangers but still make excellent watch dogs and guard dogs.


Adopting A New Puppy by Mary Reid -

Adopting A New Puppy
 by: Mary Reid
Before rushing out to buy or adopt a puppy it is recommended that you seriously consider the impact this will have on your life. Examine the reasons of your decision. Why do you want a dog? Are there young children in your family? Do you live in a house with a yard or an apartment? How much time do you have to devote to your new puppy? There are many questions to ask yourself before jumping into this decision. Puppies need to be fed, walked, played with and loved. They need a great deal of constant attention. If you don't have the time, please wait until you can devote much of your day to him. As he ages, he will not need as much attention, but like a newborn, your pup needs you. Anyone who thinks they want a dog should step back for awhile and truly understand the impact he will have on their lives.

Not everyone should have a dog! Some people, for whatever reasons, simply do not have the time or the ability to care for a dog. Caring for a dog is a lot of hard work. A dog cannot take care of himself. From the minute he enters your family, you will be responsible for feeding, watering, exercising, training, playing, and sheltering him. A dog is a very social animal.

There are many different breeds of dogs and it is extremely important to choose the correct breed for you and your family. If you choose incorrectly, the dog will be in the SPCA before you know it. After all, there are over 130 breeds officially registered with the AKC. There are sporting dogs, working dogs, hounds, terriers, toy dogs, and nonsporting dogs.

So how do you decide which breed of dog is right for you? Some veterinarians feel that mixed breeds make better family pets because they have calmer temperaments and are less expensive. Others feel that purebreds are much more predictable as far as future temperament and size. A purebred pup allows you predict what he will be like as an adult.

Choose a puppy that reflects your personality. Are you active? Do you like staying at home? Do you like the outdoors? Are you hyper? Are you laid back? Do you work all day? You must choose a breed that will compliment your personality. Also consider your lifestyle. Are you flexible enough to work around your pup's needs? An example: Our family goes on vacation each year to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We have two Labrador Retrievers that we leave behind for the week. Our two dogs must be kennelled or stay with friends. This can be very expensive and stressful.

In conclusion: Please take time to consider your decision. Choose your breed carefully. Above all else - enjoy the new member of your family.


Dog Training Tips For Humans

Dog Training Tips For Humans
 by: M. David Keeling
Here's a short list of dog training tips us humans should always bear in mind. I've decided to mention these because, I believe, they are the most important.
To be honest with you this list has more to do with teaching ourselves how to communicate with our dogs, than it does with dog training tips. Because, when it comes to dog training, we too need to be taught in a sense.
We as human beings need to learn how our "best friends from the animal kingdom" think. If we send our dogs confusing signals when training, we won't get the positive results we're aiming for.
Perhaps I should have called this article, "human training tips" instead. Oh well, let us begin:
1.) When ever you're feeling a little cranky, you might want to put off training your dog till a later time. If you're not enjoying your training session, most likely your dog won't enjoy it either. So for take-away dog training tips number one I would say, "If you're in a bad mood, don't do it, you'll only make things harder on yourself and the poor mutt."
2.) You want to make each training session as much fun for "Fido" or "Fluffy" as possible. That way, in the future, your dog will respond with alacrity to your commands rather than fearful obedience. Take-away dog training tips number two: "For crying out loud, stop scaring the dog and have fun!"
3.) Never spend too much time training your dog. Usually fifteen to twenty minutes a day will be sufficient for your dog to learn. Take-away dog training tips number three: "Take it easy, no need to over do it."
4.) Always praise your dog when your training sessions come to an end. That way your dog will know that you are pleased with its progress. Take-way dog training tips number four: "Don't worry about your dog getting a big head. Dogs don't have egos." ( Yeah, I know. I don't know your dog, right? )
5.) Whether training or not, always reward your dogs good behavior with praise and maybe a treat. Take-away dog training tips number Five: "Read tip number six."
6.) Not to many treats though, or you won't have a dog anymore! Take-away dog training tips number six: "Don't over do the doggy biscuits."
7.) Don't punish your dog when it behaves badly during training. Try to correct it. If it doesn't do well, or is confused with a new command, resort back to one it knows. That way you can praise your dog and try again later. Take-away dog training tips number seven: "Lighten up! If your not perfect, neither is the pooch."
8.) If you become angry at your dog during training, resort back to tip number one.
Remember, you want to make training as fun as possible, for you and your dog, not a chore. Take-away dog training tips number eight: "This one speaks for itself."
I decided to keep this one short and sweet so you could take-away something to chew on. Us humans can only take-away so many dog training tips, right?

Puppy Housebreaking Does Not Have To Be All That Hard

Puppy Housebreaking Does Not Have To Be All That Hard
 by: Debbie Ray
Puppy Housebreaking and Housetraining Procedures and Methods - Working Toward a Housebroken GSD
Puppy housebreaking should start just as soon as you bring your German Shepherd puppy home - and it is the best way to teach your GSD puppy to go outside when it has to relieve itself. How long does it take - puppy housetraining? The easiest answer is: as long as puppy housebreaking takes. I had one German Shepherd puppy that housetrained herself pretty much in just over 3 days, and I have had others that took closer to 2 weeks.
German Shepherd puppies are different and not all can be housetrained in the same amount of time. Time of GSD puppy housetraining can easily vary from puppy to puppy. Additionally, keep in mind that eventhough this article deals primarily with German Shepherd puppies (due to the focus of this web site) that many of these housetraining techniques can also be used with most other puppy breeds.
When you get your GSD puppy home the first day, start puppy housebreaking him immediately. After he has been briefly introduced to his home and new surroundings, give him a drink of water and immediately take him outside to relieve himself. Take the GSD puppy to the area you chose before bringing him home. Remember, choice of this housebreaking spot is crucial as it enhances the housetraining - so take careful consideration of where "the housebreaking spot" is before bringing your German Shepherd puppy home.
There is a direct correlation between the time you actually put into the puppy housebreaking process and the speed in which the housebreaking of the German Shepherd Dog puppy successfully occurs.
This is a very crucial puppy housebreaking step so be patient and wait until the German Shepherd puppy relieves himself. It may take a while especially with all the new things happening to your GSD puppy, all the new smells, unfamiliar objects, etc. Do not play with the GSD puppy however until after it has "done it's business". If you do it may make the puppy forget about going at all. Since housebreaking is all new to the German Shepherd puppy it doesn't know what it's purpose of being in "the housebreaking spot" is in the first place.
As soon as your GSD puppy finishes, praise it excitedly and immediately take him inside. From that point on, take the German Shepherd puppy to the same housebreaking spot each time and encourage him with a command such as "go potty", "hurry up" or whatever you choose. Be consistent using this single command only with the process of puppy housebreaking so that the German Shepherd puppy will learn to associate this act with the command. This will be a huge help in the future, especially when in a new environment or location when traveling, visiting relatives/friends, etc. Being completely housebroken and completely reliable is the final outcome you are looking for.
You must watch them like a hawk at all times - in the beginning of housebreaking especially. If you can not keep an eye on your German Shepherd puppy for some reason please put them in a safe and secure puppy proofed spot (such as a crate or some other small room with easy to clean floors, such as linoleum, closed off with a baby gate so you can peek in as needed). If you are consistent in your puppy housebreaking in the very beginning, ESPECIALLY when it is inconvenient to you (late at night, while you are watching your favorite TV show, etc.), you will actually help the German Shepherd puppy housebreak itself to alert you when it "has to go".
A GSD puppy should be taken out immediately (to a prearranged housebreaking area outside):
when it wakes up first thing in the morning (before if you manage to get up before the puppy),
after each and every meal,
after each and every nap,
and again before he goes to bed for the night.
Another good housebreaking tip is to take up the German Shepherd puppies water early in the evening and to not feed or water it after say, 6:00 at night, otherwise you may have to make more housebreaking potty trips than usual outside to let the puppy relieve itself. Keep the GSD puppy on a strict housebreaking schedule, both feeding and elimination, and you will have German Shepherd puppy housebreaking success much sooner.
More GSD Puppy Housebreaking and Housetraining Secrets: From Housebreaking to Housebroken
Know in advance that a very young GSD puppy will probably not be able to go through the night without relieving itself so get used to taking it out during the middle of the night until it grows enough to sleep through the night.
You wouldn't expect a young human baby to be potty trained in a week, would you? Give the same consideration to your new German Shepherd puppy. He will not be able to be considered reliable as far as housebreaking goes either after only a few days. The GSD puppy too is a baby with a small bladder and weak sphincter muscles. Like human babies, your German Shepherd puppy will be able to go longer between housebreaking breaks as it grows older and will soon become completely housebroken if your are vigilant in the housebreaking process.
If you find your German Shepherd puppy has made a mistake in the house and you did not catch it in the act, simply clean the spot without comment. Clean up all residue and clean the area with a bacteria/enzyme digester. These housetraining aids are available at your pet supply or grocery store. This will get rid of both the stain and the smell. And the smell is the most important part to get rid of. Even if you can't smell the urine, believe me, your GSD puppy can and he will be encouraged to go back to the same spot again unless you remove ALL urine odors. This is absolutely critical in housebreaking your puppy.
If you find the German Shepherd puppy "in the act", scoop him up as quickly as possible with his tail between his legs (to help prevent spillage) and take him out asap. Say "out" or "quick" as you take him out but never NO. Since No is used for negative things you do not want your puppy to think that eliminating is wrong, no matter where he does it.
If the German Shepherd puppy thinks that eliminating is bad he will probably start hiding it from you and you do not want that to happen. That is a whole other behavioral issue to contend with and believe me it's much better and easier to prevent behavioral problems before they happen than having to deal with them later.
Generally speaking, German Shepherd puppies are naturally clean dogs - assuming they had the right start clear from the beginning. GSD puppies raised in small runs or cages develop dirty habits right from the beginning making housebreaking harder. Since they are used to playing and sleeping in their own excrement they will not have any problem with continuing to do so. This is not the GSD puppy's fault, it's just what they were accustomed to from an early age. Keep in mind, housebreaking puppies raised in these type of situations can be much harder and more time consuming than usual but housetraining can still can be done.
Overall, puppy housebreaking problems are often more of a human problem than a German Shepherd puppy problem. If the new owner is steadfast in keeping a watch on the German Shepherd puppy in the beginning of ownership, especially during the first 2 weeks of housetraining, then puppy housebreaking can accomplished and the GSD puppy will become a reliable member of the family as far as bathroom visits are concerned and will soon be completely housebroken.
Remember, as the new owner you must be patient with the housebreaking process. Each German Shepherd puppy will housetrain at his own speed and with your help. Take him out religiously as outlined above, and keep him on a strict feeding/bathroom housebreaking schedule (as well as anytime the GSD puppy acts as though he has to "go out". It is very important that you learn to read your German Shepherd puppies potty signals during the housebreaking process: sniffing out "a spot", circling, whining, going to the door, etc.
Finally, think about how you would like to be housetrained if you were in the GSD puppies place. The German Shepherd puppy won't enjoy being yelled at, jerked around or frightened any better than you would. A kinder, gentler and more patient puppy housebreaking approach will yield much better results, help your bond with your GSD puppy and develop a more confident housebroken German Shepherd dog in the long run. And isn't that what we all want as German Shepherd Dog owners in the first place?

1,000 Safe, Natural, And Effective Veterinary Secrets To Healing Your Pet

1,000 Safe, Natural, And Effective Veterinary Secrets To Healing Your Pet
 by: Ryan Stone
Most people do not know how to treat their pets when their pets needs them most. Surprisingly, alot of people do not even have the education or knowledge on how to care for their pets. The pet's life might be endangered if the owner do not has the knowledge. For example: If pets suffers from the aches and pains of old age and arthritis or it swallows household poison like chocolate, do the owners know how to deal with it? Most of the time the answer is "NO" as they are cluless on what to do next. So the next best action that a owner can do is to educate themselves better on how to care for their pets.
If you have the knowledge, you will be able to
-- Instantly decide on a course of action for your ailing pet - so you can ease pain and start treatment immediately.
-- Easily afford natural and effective remedies regardless of your financial situation so your pet doesn't have to go without treatment.
-- Quickly diagnose your sick or injured pet - so you can instantly know if you can administer care yourself or if you should seed medical help immediately.
-- Immediately begin regimens that have been proven to halt and or prevent diseases such as cancer and diabetes - so your pet can live a long and healthy life with you.
If the owner has very little knowledge and they are too dependent on vet as vet is the owner's only option , the pet will suffer because sometimes per owners
-- Delay bringing their pet in for treatment because the pet becomes ill after hours
-- Rely exclusively on harsh drug treatments because they (and their vets) are unaware of effective, gentle, natural ways to treat their pet.
-- Discontinue treatment for chronic illnesses because it's complicated or expensive
-- Aren't able to afford an office visit and or follow up treatment.
Most pet owners have no idea how to perform CPR, or even begin to give basic medical care to their pet. But you should know these things, because in some emergencies, you can't always get to the Vet in time.
And that is why it is so important for everybody who loves and cares for a pets to have the appropriate information. It might even saves your pet's life one day.
So the questions now is where to get the education and correct information?
You would have to pay hundreds of dollars to assemble enough books to cover all aspects of treatment in this one eBook. Books focusing on dogs, on cats, on behavior problems, chronic illness, and even trauma.
Then, you'd have to find books on herbal remedies - presuming you already know which are safe for dogs and which for cats and which could cause complications (including death).
Add to your cart books on dental health, acupressure, and homeopathy.
So it is very expensive and time consuming. So how? And what can I do? I really love my pet and I want to learn stuffs that can help my pet.
Dr. Andrew Jones who himself is a vet has compile all the informations that owner needs into one e-book at a very affordable price. He has practiced Veterinary Medicine for over a decade. Over the past 12 years he has treated thousands of pets for a variety of problems, and currently own the Nelson Animal Hospital in Nelson BC, Canada.
So if you really want to learn the correct information because you love and care your pet so much, or you want to know more detail, Please click on the link below in the Resource Box to see it.
I am Ryan and I am very interested in pet's health. So if you want to have more information or resources, go to
Click to know more.

Winter Coughs - Not A Good Wheeze!

Winter Coughs - Not A Good Wheeze!
 by: Mark Andrews
It's not just horseback riders that cough and wheeze at this time of year. Respiratory problems are common in horses as well. Loss of performance may be the first sign that something is wrong. Mildly affected animals may cough occasionally when eating or when starting work. As the condition gets worse they may cough almost continuously.
Why is coughing such a problem in the winter? We need look no further than the changes in management that accompany the colder weather. Horses spend more time inside, often stabled in close proximity to their companions, giving any infection the opportunity to spread. They are exposed to irritants and allergens in the hay and bedding.
Recurrent airway obstruction (also known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the horse equivalent of human asthma . It is an allergic condition, in which the horse reacts to small particles in the air. Chief among the culprits are fungal spores from the hay. This is a problem that seems to be becoming more common - probably due to the lack of good hay for horses.
We seem to have lost the ability to make good hay. Much of the hay fed to horses is dusty, and liberally sprinkled with fungal spores. Under poor storage conditions toxins such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) can accumulate. These can cause inflammation of the respiratory tract.
Dust from the bedding may make the problem worse. It's important to keep the bed clean and dry. Replacing dusty straw with clean shavings may be a good idea. But if the shavings are allowed to build up into a soggy deep litter bed the ammonia and endotoxins may cause more irritation than the straw ever did, and may make matters worse.
When assessing the air quality in a stable, remember that the horse spends much of his time with his nose close to the ground. The air you breathe in the middle of the stable may be completely different from the air the horse breathes when he's sniffing around the floor or eating his hay.
It can be difficult to differentiate between infectious or environmental causes of coughing. What can be done to investigate the problem? The vet will observe your horse breathing and listen to the chest with a stethoscope. (This is not the time to talk to him or her!)
Respiratory infections may also be involved - in particular, viruses such as influenza, and equine herpes virus. If an infectious disease is suspected, swabs can be taken from the nose to try to identify the organism responsible. Blood samples may contain antibodies to the offending virus.
In persistent cases it may be necessary to collect a sample of fluid from the airways. This is usually done using a flexible endoscope.
Although medicines can be used to help clear the horse's chest and reduce the inflammation, the most important factor in treatment is allowing the horse to breathe clean fresh air.
So how can you prevent your winter schedule being disrupted by coughing? First of all, avoid feeding poor quality hay. Soaking it may help. The water damps down the dust and makes the spores swell. But it also washes the water-soluble nutrients out of the hay and so reduces the feeding value. (If there is any doubt about the hygienic quality of the hay, your veterinary surgeon or feed merchant may be able to have a sample tested to see if it is safe to feed.) Consider feeding haylage instead.
Let your horse have as much fresh air as possible. Turn out as much as the weather conditions allow. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the stable or barn. Avoid the temptation to close the stable up, even in the coldest weather. Keep the bed as dust-free, and as clean, as possible. Do not muck out the stable with your horse in it. Give the bedding time to settle - preferably an hour or more - before bringing the horse back inside.
Give your horse clean air to breathe, and hopefully you will both enjoy a cough-free winter.

Pet Rat Care: The Top 10 Mistakes Of New Rat Owners

Pet Rat Care: The Top 10 Mistakes Of New Rat Owners
 by: Colin Patterson
Being a dedicated rat owner can be very rewarding. All it takes is a little research and a lot of preparation.
If you're getting ready to adopt a rat as a cherished pet, there are some pitfalls that you should be aware of beforehand. Here are 10 of the most common pet rat care mistakes that first-time rattie owners make:
1. Getting only one rat.
A person might think that getting two rats is too much extra work... or that a pet rat will bond with a human owner more readily if there is no other rat around to become friends with. The truth is that rats are highly social creatures. They need to have other rat-friends to play with and to "talk" to. Furthermore, taking care of two rats is not much more work than caring for one.
2. Getting the wrong kind of bedding.
Sometimes a rat owner will want to cut corners and use newspaper or cheap bedding. Rats are very sensitive to the chemicals in the ink and cheap bedding can often have dusty particles that will irritate their lungs. If you see a red discharge coming from their noses, chances are, there is an irritant present in the air. Pine wood chips are not safe!
3. Feeding the rats an imbalanced diet.
No, it's not cute how your furry friends can eat almost as much pizza as you. Caring for pet rats means feeding them healthy food. Look, there's no excuse. Fruits and veggies are not expensive items to buy; also, be sure they get their share of lab blocks, seeds, and a daily dab of a vitamin supplement.
4. Not cleaning the cage often or thoroughly enough.
Their urine will decompose and produce ammonia. This, along with the decomposing bedding can irritate their lungs. Yes, it's a pain to do. But putting up with the unpleasant aspects will only help you to appreciate them more. Clean and disinfect with bleach-water once a week, or up to two weeks, maximum.
5. Not taking them out to play often enough.
Rats will eventually get depressed if they remain cooped up inside their limited cage environment. If you make play time fun and challenging, you will be looking forward to the bonding time as well!
6. Deciding to breed for the wrong reasons.
Breeding responsibly is not a lucrative or easy hobby to get into, especially at the beginning. Don't get stuck with a litter of rats that wind up becoming snake-food at a pet store. Instead, try investing some time volunteering for or starting an apprenticeship with a breeder.
7. Not giving them enough toys.
If you bore your rats, they will become boring. Rats not only love to play, explore and solve problems, but they actually need to be constantly stimulated by a challenging learning environment. Provide them with a variety of toys and games and switch things around constantly. They'll love you for it!
8. Entering them into a fancy rat show before researching it.
You may love your rats and think they are just the most perfect rats you have ever seen, but the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association (AFRMA) has very strict standards and those judges have seen hundreds--if not thousands--of rats in their day. Before deciding to enter your rats into a show, visit one first. Interview a handful of judges and learn exactly what makes a rat top in its class. Then decide.
9. Procrastinating on researching a qualified vet for small animals.
The moment one of your rats becomes ill, you will want to have the phone number of a good vet handy. Not all vets will treat small animals or rats. Do the searching beforehand and spare yourself the frustration and desperation an emergency situation can sometimes bring about.
10. Underestimating the importance of belonging to a rat club or rat society.
Belonging to a rat club or rat society such as AFRMA will go a long way in getting your key rat questions answered. Moreover, doing so will connect you with a community of rat lovers who are likely to want to share what they know for the sake of advancing the hobby as a whole.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Puppy Picking

A Step-By-Step Guide To Puppy Picking
 by: Ron King
With hundreds of breeds to choose from, how do you decide which one is right? Narrow down the choices in a few simple steps.
Size Matters
First, consider your available space. If you live in an apartment, you can rule out large dogs. Look for dogs in the Toy group, such as Yorkshire Terriers, or some of the smaller dogs in the Terrier group, like the Miniature Schnauzer.
If you have children, you may want to rule out very small dogs, such as Chihuahuas or Maltese. They are delicate and can be accidentally injured by young children. On the other hand, very large dogs, such as Boxers or Saint Bernards, can be overly boisterous and can accidentally turn your child into a human bowling pin. Consider medium-sized breeds, such as Fox Terriers or Lhasa Apsos.
Exercise Essential
Next, consider how much exercise you can give your dog. If you have a home with a fenced yard, your dog will be able to get some exercise on his own.
However, dog breeds in the Sporting, Hound, and Herding groups are very high-energy animals, and they will need intensive daily exercise. Plan to take a lot of long walks with your dog or go for a daily romp in the park. After all, these dogs were bred to work hard, and they don't do well unless they have a job to do or a way to burn off excess energy.
To Groom Or Not
Also, don't forget to consider grooming needs. Some breeds need only half an hour or so of grooming a week, while others require an hour a day. If you are short on time, don't buy a Standard Poodle or a Maltese -- unless you plan to take your dog to a groom. Breeds like Boston Terriers or Whippets are good choices for people who don't have time for a lot of grooming.
Puppy Problems
Once you decide which breed you want, you will need to consider the age of the dog. Many people opt to buy a cuddly little puppy instead of an adult. While puppies have the advantage of not yet having developed any bad habits, it will be up to you to be sure your puppy is housebroken and obedience trained.
Do you want to buy a puppy? If so, you will need to find a reputable dog breeder who has a litter of the appropriate breed. Often, a good breeder will have a waiting list for puppies. If you aren't the patient sort, you may be tempted to buy a puppy from a pet store. A word of caution -- many pet store puppies come from puppy mills and have genetic health defects, bad temperaments, and other problems. It is usually safest to buy a puppy directly from the breeder.
Older dogs are usually housebroken and frequently have some obedience training. They are also less likely to be hyperactive and destructive. However, they can have behavioral problems or health problems that prompted the former owner to find them a new home.
If you are interested in an older dog, you may want to visit your local animal shelter or call a breed rescue. These groups evaluate the dogs' health and temperament before adopting them out. Once you've picked the breed and the dog, you have one more important decision to make -- what to name your new best friend!
Ok. How To Train Your Dog To Heel Off The Leash