Your Dog is a Social Animal - and Needs You!

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Your Dog is a Social Animal - and Needs You!

By: Brigitte Smith

Your dog is a social being, just like you! He/she loves walking in the park with you, playing ball or chase with you, and just being with you. Even when he/she's lying around the house or the backyard having a snooze, your dog is well aware of your presence, or absence, and appreciates every minute you spend with him/her. If you have a family, your dog loves being part of your family and no doubt has a special relationship with most, if not all, of the family members.

I have a Rottweiler, Kara, and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Jet. They're both female and both just turned 9 years. I've had them since they were puppies, and they're definitely members of my family. I love them to bits and would be lost without them.

I'll bet your dog is much like mine when it comes to interacting with you.

I know my dogs are always beside themselves with joy and excitement whenever I come home - regardless of whether I've been away for a week, or just popped out for 10 minutes! What human gets that excited to see you? No one? I thought so. I don't know any human who's even half that happy to see me.

Kara often stands and wags her tail when I walk past her in the house or when I talk to her. And Jet doesn't move from her comfortable position lying down. But her tail thumps up and down on the floor. Just goes to show that every dog has his/her own unique personality. Just like us.

And my dogs just love being let in from outside. They consider their place is in the house - just like the human members of the household!

And why not? Dogs really can be a man's (or a woman's or a child's) best friend. They rarely ask for anything. So long as you feed them regularly, and show them some love and attention, they're happy. And a happy dog is the first step to a healthy dog. (Don't get me wrong, dogs don't have to be allowed in the house to be happy - mind you, my dogs would like me to believe that this is the case!)

Consistency when dealing with your dog is very important. And I'm talking here about both the initial teaching/training of your dog, and also the reinforcement of those teachings throughout your dog's life.

It's essential for your dog's wellbeing for you to be consistent when disciplining, playing with and just simply spending time with, your dog. But it's also important for other members of the household (and even frequent visitors) to treat your dog in a similar manner where possible. This is particularly so if your dog has any problem behaviours, such as jumping up at people. If you don't also ask your family and your visitors to make it clear to your dog that this is unacceptable, your dog is unlikely to curb the jumping altogether. And this may simply perpetuate the problem.

Dogs who experience consistency tend to be better behaved dogs, and, guess what? You guessed it - better behaved dogs are happier dogs, and happier dogs are healthier dogs!

So you know what to do - love your dog, spend quality time with your dog, and make sure you're consistent.

About The Author

(c) Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs, 2004

Brigitte Smith is a dog lover and owns 2 dogs - a Rottweiler and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Brigitte has a special interest in improving the health and possibly extending the life of your dog.

You can subscribe to the Healthy Happy Dogs ezine - for free tips, information, strategies and resources for a healthier happier dog - at:


Anon 06.02.2013. 04:03

How can I convince my parents to let me get 2 rats? I want to get 2 little boy rats. I think rats would be a good pet for me. They are usually more active at night, when I'm awake, and they're generally very sweet and social. I do, however, have a dog. He doesn't like me much, though. He's more attached to my mom. I've been feeling lonely and depressed recently, so I think that having 2 babies to come home to and take care of every day would cheer me up. I've read a lot about them. I know I need to get them a large cage (at least 2 cubic feet per rat, but I'm hoping for 2.5/3) and toys. I also know if I get one, I HAVE to get another as rats are social animals and need to be in groups or else they can get very lonely and unhappy. I've also read up on what to feed them and searched for breeders and adoption agencies near me, as chain pet-store rats are more likely to have health problems. See, I've told my parents that I'd keep the cage in my room, and always have my door shut so my dog can't get anywhere near them. I've also told them how I think they'd make me happier, but they don't care. Even after I've shown them how cute fancy rats are, they still think they're gross and ugly and refuse to let me get any. Do you guys have any ideas on how to convince them otherwise? I've been trying since September.


Admin 06.02.2013. 04:03

I can understand your parents' reaction. Rats are seriously gross. But if you've really got your heart set on them, ask your parents to hear you out for five minutes (without interrupting) and: (1) explain to them in simple terms all the research you've done about rats and hygiene (2) offer to pay or at least contribute to the set-up and upkeep costs and (3) agree to give up the rats if its not working out after a two week trial. Good luck.


Isabel 13.02.2008. 19:32

What are some of the psychological bases for our social nature? Why are we social animals? Let's stay away from evolutionary advantages on this one, looking more for cognitive/behavioural individual reasons for being tuned into others...


Admin 13.02.2008. 19:32

If we compare cats to dogs cats feel less need for social acceptance. Dogs are more concerned with social hierchies or "pecking order", and are more likely to want to be dominated.

Humans are closer to dogs than cats in socialization. Some simians (i.e. monkies or apes) use sex as a social bonding, instead of just shaking hands, or ritualized kissing.

In early pre/proto-human times there was competition between more peaceful individualistic people who banded together in small family groups and other more agressive types who banded together in larger war parties.

The warlike people dominated, and and our genetic makeup favoured more doglike agression and social behaviors.

If we had evolved more like cats we would have perhaps been less inclined to conformity such as ladies being slaves to gossip or fashion; or men needing to continually prove they are "top dog" by having a bigger stereo or car than the neighbours.

There was of course a fine ballance that needed to be found between cooperation and agression. Too much infighting and groups would wipe themselves out in civil wars or all out brawls, whilst being too peaceful could lead to beeing killed off by larger cooperative groups.

Two of the key ingredients that allowed civilization to develop were religion and alcolhol. Religion provided group identity and conformity whilst grog provided the social lubrication to relax our suspicians of neighbours. Grog of course also fosters Pub brawls, drink-driving and spousal abause; but some historians seem to think we would never have had civilization without it.

As to interfamily bonding the nuclear family has been a relatively new development in human evolution. When we were still swinging in the trees, our social grouping were more like an dog pack (with an extended family or tribe), later it became like a pride of lions with groups or individual single mums having little need of men in their daily social circle.

Even in tribal situation the men and women might be in separate social groups, usually with the women being lower in the pecking order du to male agression and physical dominance.

It has apparently only been a recent evolutionary trait that women attached themselves romantically to men and sought to keep a man around to help raise children.

In terms of differences in men and women to romance, the older imperritive is that men have many more sperm than eggs and require a much smaller investment in proctreation, and therefore need be less choosy than women as to what they do with their sperm than women with their eggs.

Humans however are in many ways more like penguins in that our children have a long childhood and may need both parents to raise children to the best advantage.

Animals that have large numbers of children and require little parental support are more likely to abandon the children early, with the women having more likely to have less use for a man once his sexual services are rendered. E.g. with spiders the physically dominant female sometimes kills her mat to feed her children. Similarly, male salmon die of stress after the mating season once they are no longer needed.

Adolescent male magpies will tend to show off to potential mates with deaf defying stunts. many horned animals engage in duels to decide which male is dominant and therefore able to sustain the largest harem.

Young human males often seem to have similar behaviors.

In cats the dominant queens will mate with a small number of males e.g. allowing the top three males to mate with them when they are in heat and perhaps choose the dominant tom for other social interactions or defence of joint territory and incidental child minding. toms may seek multiple conquests but the top queens are unlikely to get caught unless they choose to.

Humans unlike dogs and cats are potentually sexually arroused at all times, with males being more easily stimulated mostly by visual cues, and women less easily aroused requiring tactile stimulation such as holding hands, but capable of more intense enjoyment of sex and romance. I.e. women are more likely to savour romance, where with men it is more a constant itch that requires scratching.


Robby 27.04.2007. 18:46

Pet owners: How do you manage to take care of your dog, when u have to be at work all day? I know that dogs need lots of attention and love - how could I do a 9-5 job, and leave him all alone in the flat?


Admin 27.04.2007. 18:46

I work at home. Usually if you have to work at 9, you're leaving for work at 8? If you get out at 5, you aren't usually home until at least 6. Plus if you stop on the way home, it can stretch more. A puppy can't really hold it more than 3 hours. You really need soneone to let them out. It's a long day for a social animal to be home alone in a crate. I think you know the answer. I would wait to get a dog. Pretty soon you'll get the corner office and be able to come home for lunch. You sound very smart.


kell_go_moo 21.08.2008. 23:17

What sorts of things will I need for a pet rat? I was thinking about getting a pet rat (or two since I hear they are social animals). I was just wondering what sorts of things I would need to get before I actually get the rats. Such as, type of cage (size), best type of food to give them, and toys n such.

Also, a pet guide would be nice to follow as well, but I cannot find one of those.



Admin 21.08.2008. 23:17

This might be long but here goes, i'll give you as much info as possible!
Your best bet is to get two, rats are very sociable as you said and contrary to what some people say this will not change their relationship/bond with you.
When you buy a rat you have a huge range of cages/enclosures to choose from. I myself have found glass aquariums are the best and easiest to clean. You can generally buy fitted wire tops for these or make one yourself using wood and wire. Generally 1 rat needs at least a 10 gallon/40-L tank to be comfortable and have enough room to play, so obviously more room is needed for two.
Now you need things for your rats enclosure. Bedding: There are so many different types with pros and cons for each but i have found that pelleted paper, a natural unscented kitty litter and pine shavings to be the best, some rats sneeze when kept in pine shavings but others don't and some people will tell you that pine shavings are bad for your rats but i was reading a study on this and over a period of ten years two lots of rats from the same gene pool were kept in exactly the same situation but different bedding, one pine shavings, the other paper pellets and those kept on shavings lived longer by an average period of six months. Just make sure if you go with the shavings, that they are sterilized, you can get these at pet stores. I clean out my ratties cages at least once a week.
Nesting box: Your rats need somewhere to sleep, so many different ones are available, just take your pick. I give them tissues and material to sleep on.
Containers for food and water: I use water bottles suspended from the edge of the cage, that way bedding and poo cant get in, an open dish will usually not stay clean for long. I use heavy crock or glass containers for food, and usually have two, one for their grain mix and another for fresh fruit and vegies and treats.
Toys: Your ratties will love toys, lots of things will amuse them. Tunnels, wood chews, wheels(usually the solid type, not made from wire), ropes, ladders, ramps, just anything you can think of that will keep their active minds entertained. Its also good to rotate their toys, change them weekly.
I use to buy commercial food for rodents but since have made it myself. I buy wild bird mix, rolled oats, sunflower seeds and low fat dog or cat kibble and mix it all together and store in airtight containers, it lasts for ages and ends up being cheaper in the longrun.
Fresh food to give your rat can include: Nuts(not peanuts in some rats can cause allergic reaction, sores and itchiness)fruit and vegies of all sorts but avoid onion, chillies, rhubarb. Cooked wholmeal pasta and rice, chick peas, peas, corn, just anything thats fresh and washed. They love cooked egg, porridge, yoghurt, and most breakfast cereals. For treats find something your pet loves and only feed it sometimes.

On average rats live for 2 to 3 years, although i had a male who made it to six!! They are relativley healthy animals if fed right and kept in a clean environment. Rats are comfortable living in an environment thats between 65-80F (18-26C) and you shouldn't keep their enclosure in direct sunlight, or where cold draughts are. Signs of illness in rats include: laboured or noisy breathing, loss of balance, excessive scratching or hairloss, sneezing, diarrhea, diminished appetite, sneezing and discharge from the ears or nose. Its usually advisable to find a good vet that has delt with rats before and if you are worried about your pet take it to the vet immeadiatley. You can train your rat too! Things like coming to their name and some will even fetch little balls.
Overall i advise that you get in touch with a breeder and purchase two littermates from them or find a petshop who knows a bit about their rats, (can at least tell you their age, sex, etc) you can also get rescue rats, but you will need to find if there are any in your area.
Rats are very loving individuals and they bring lots of joy to your life. Hope i've helped, told you it was going to be long!!!


Lea 24.03.2013. 22:27

What should I do if I'm witnessing animal cruelty? Recently my boyfriend?s roommate got a puppy (without the consent of my bf) that he obviously doesn?t have the time to take care of. He didn?t discuss getting a dog with my bf, and randomly came home with an adorable puppy. He leaves the house around 8AM in the morning and doesn?t come back until 10-11PM that night, and leaves the puppy in the cage all day in his room, Monday thru Friday. Mind you, he leaves the food and water outside the crate, so the puppy doesn?t eat/drink for 12hrs. Even when the roommate comes home, he plays with a the puppy for a few, and sticks him right back in the crate to fall asleep.

The puppy cries as soon as he hears people in the house and won?t stop until someone lets him out. A few times I took the dog out it?s crate when the roommate isn?t home to get some fresh air, attention, and food. However my bf says I shouldn't because the dog isn't our responsibility and he never agreed to getting it. Its been about 2 weeks, and its clear that the dog is losing it?s sanity. It cries/barks as soon as it hears people and the cry sounds almost desperate (if that makes sense). I understand where my boyfriend not wanting to take care of the dog because it isn't his and he has a life of his own. However, I?m kind-of an animal lover and can?t sit by and watch the dog suffer.

Should I call the humane society or some type of dog social services to get the dog the love and attention he needs?


Admin 24.03.2013. 22:27

I think your boyfriend should honestly sit down and speak with the roommate about the puppy. The puppy needs to be placed with someone who has the time and understanding of caring for a dog. By isolating this puppy....the longer this puppy is isolated with no socialization and not being fed, you will have a dog who ends up being put down because it will become aggressive without socialization, food, water and basic things in life pets need. A puppy needs to eat routinely doing the day....the younger the puppy the more food they need. It is animal cruelty to keep a pet in this situation. Your boyfriend is just as liable in my opinion, because he lives in the apartment and knows the puppy is being abused.

I couldn't stand by and watch the dog suffer either...especially when the dog is in his apartment. It would be a different scenario if the dog was in another apartment and he may not want to confront the owners.....however this dog is in his apartment. And while it is not his dog.......he is part of the problem by standing by and watching this dog being starved....being deprived of food, water, being forced to urinate and defecate in it's bed, not being allowed socialization. By all of these things, you all have pretty much signed this puppy's death. I am also sure he isn't making sure the puppy has the appropriate vaccinations from a vet.

I personally would have the boyfriend speak with the roommate about having the puppy placed in an appropriate home. If the roommate disagrees, then I would call the humane society.


Sammy 26.02.2009. 22:28

What can I buy with 100 dollars for my 11 year old daughter who is horse crazy and loves animal? My daughter has a homework assignment for social studies and needs to buy 5 things for 100 dollars- this is fake she doesn't actually have 100 dollars, but in her imagination... So... It doesn't have to add up to one hundred dollars but it has to be under one hundred dollars, the items can range from food to toys, but nothing inappropriate please. Thank you.


Admin 26.02.2009. 22:28

If that is the complete assignment, why not just have her look on some horse supply websites?

Some good ones to use would be Dover Saddlery, Jeffers Vet, KV Vet Supply and SmartPak.

You might gently remind her about the sale and clearance sections.
All of these sites also have things for dogs as well.


Tyler 15.11.2012. 17:22

How to introduce two dogs who are going to be living together? I have a one year old female beagle and my soon-to-be-roommate has a four year old cockerspaniel-poodle mix female. We've introduced them on only one occasion, we went to the dog park and on a walk and then back to my apartment. In the dog park, her dog stayed by our side while my beagle ran and played with other. They did fine on the walk and didn't seem to care much about eachother. However, when we got in the apartment, her dog became aggressive and wouldn't let my beagle get near her. Will this pass as we live together? What are some tips to help them get along better? How should we introduce them in the new apartment? They're both kennel trained and their kennels will be in our bedrooms respectively.


Admin 15.11.2012. 17:22

Dogs are social animals and most enjoy the company of other dogs. However, it can be tricky to introduce a new puppy or dog into the family. The resident dog may not be accustomed to having other dogs in his home or he may not appreciate having to share your attention. First impressions are important, so you?ll need to do what you can to maximize the chances of success.

If your dog has a history of fighting with other dogs, please consult with a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Veterinary Behaviorist, or Certified Professional Dog Trainer before introducing the new dog.

Before you bring the new puppy or dog home, remove anything your resident dog might guard, such as food bowls, bones, chew toys, toys, and beds. Even if your dog has never exhibited possessive tendencies before, it is best to exercise caution. If your home is cluttered, clean it up. Congested areas are more likely to trigger aggression because the dogs may feel forced upon each other.

The Initial Meeting: Before You Bring the New Dog Home
Enlist the help of a family member or friend, so there is a person to attend to each dog during this initial meeting. Make your way, separately, to a neutral area, such as a park. An open area in the park is perfect because there are plenty of interesting sights and sounds to distract the dogs and they can move away from each other if they choose. It is best not to introduce the dogs in your house or yard because the resident dog may become territorial.

Bring the dogs together and allow them to greet each other. Do your best to keep slack in the leashes (or let the leashes drop) so the dogs won?t feel like they are being held back. Allow them to sniff. A puppy will typically adopt a submissive position, such as lying down or even rolling over to be investigated by the adult dog. A well-socialized adult dog will likely check out the puppy and then either play with him or ignore him. When two adult dogs meet, they often stand tall and ?posture? to each other. They may sniff each other, circle each other, urinate, play, or just decide to ignore each other. Don?t panic if they push each other a bit, growl, or even try standing up on each other?s shoulders. Allow them to do what they do to establish a relationship, with as little intervention from you as possible.

If the dogs try to fight, however, you will need to intervene. If you see signs of serious tension, such as raised hackles, growling, showing teeth, prolonged stares, or snapping, call the dogs away before things escalate. Try not to pull them away by the leash, as the tension on the leash might trigger an attack. If the dogs won?t come away on their own, wave a treat in front of each dog?s nose and then lure them to turn away from each other.

Keep the interactions brief at first. After the dogs greet, go for a walk together. If you have multiple dogs, introduce each dog to the newcomer separately before bringing everyone together as a group.

Bringing the New Dog Home
Walk home from the park with the dogs together and just walk into your home as though nothing has changed. If you have a yard, go there first and let the dogs off leash to hang out while you supervise. When the dogs are ready, bring them into the house. If they got along well at the park and in the yard, let the resident dog off the leash first. Permit the new puppy or dog to explore the room or house on the leash. If the resident dog acts in a friendly manner, let the new pet off the leash.

Always supervise interactions between the dogs until they have been friendly with each other for one to two weeks. They should not be alone together before them. Keep your mealtime, bedtime, walk and play routines the same as before the new dog arrived, so things don?t seem too different for the resident dog.

For the first few weeks, keep an eye on the dogs in situations that might trigger aggression, such as when you come home, when guests come over, going out to the yard, coming in from the yard, preparing to go for a walk, mealtime (theirs and yours), and playtime.

It is very important that you spend time with each dog alone so that the resident dog continues to receive one-on-one attention and the new dog develops a bond with you. If you only hang out with the dogs together, they will become attached primarily to each other, rather than to you. The new dog needs to bond with you.


gigueta 24.09.2007. 20:11

Introducing a dog to my 2 older cats - marking territory? We have recently adopted a 4 year old basenji female. She is a wonderful dog, very social with other dogs and people and accepting of our 5 year old son. For the most part when the cats (13 and 12 years old) and the dog cross paths the cats hiss and the dog backs off. But now if they run she will chase them, when they hide under the bed or in the garage she will just lay down near them. They're also having what I call the "turd wars." I haven't seen it happen but about once a day I find a circle of dog and cat pop in the living room and today the dog peed at the entrance to our bedroom, where the cats often hide under the bed. What can I do to stop this behavior and ease everyones tension.


Admin 24.09.2007. 20:11

The dog is trying to establish her territory and the cats are trying to keep theirs. You will need to stop this behavior immediately before they turn you house into a turf war. Remember, the turf belongs to YOU.

Separate them when you are not home. When you are home, do not allow the dog to chase the cats. Do not allow aggression on any of the animals parts. Cats can be corrected too, by telling them no, and tapping them on the shoulder.

They will eventually get used to each other.


Mesha 29.03.2007. 23:03

What is the best pet for my kids besides a cat or dog? My son is 3 1/2 and my daughter 18 months. We can't have a cat or dog because we are in a duplex, and the others that live here don't want a cat because they will tear up the screens, and no dog because of the poop. So please any info on other pets, preferably one that doesn't smell bad and is fairly easy to clean up after. Thanks (please no sarcasm like a pet rock)
also, I don't like fish.....


Admin 29.03.2007. 23:03

Choosing the Right Pet for You
Sharing your life with an animal has great benefits and can bring you great joy. If you are
thinking about adding a pet to your family, it?s best to learn about the needs of different
types of pets to find one that will best suit your lifestyle. Each type of pet is different in
terms of care, feeding, behavior, cost, housing and demands on your time. If you know
what you?re getting into, you?ll be more likely to have a happy animal, a good relationship
with your pet, and an easier time dealing with any challenges that might arise.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider what type of pet to get:
? What type of animal is the best fit for your home? Will you be able to live with pet
hair, a litter box or the occasional wear-and-tear caused by pets?
? If you have children, how will having a pet affect them? Will everyone in your
home welcome an animal?
? If you rent, do you have permission from the property owner?
? How much space do you have inside and outside your home? Will you need a
fenced yard? If you get a cat, will you want an outdoor enclosure (a cattery) so
your kitty can spend time safely outdoors?
? How much time do you have to spend with a pet?
? What is your activity level? Are you sedentary or physically active?
? Do you have the financial resources if your pet has a medical crisis and has high
veterinary bills?
? Do you have someone who can be a secondary caregiver if you are away from
home? If not, how will you provide care for your pet when you travel?
One key question is where to get your new pet. Please consider adopting. Although
animals can be purchased in markets and on the streets of Shanghai, these animals
are often very sick, and there is a fair chance that the animals are from Chinese puppy
and kitten mills (inhumane breeding factories).
Puppies or Dogs
Dogs are very social creatures; they aren?t happy left
outside or chained up in the yard alone all the time. If
you are thinking about getting a dog, make sure you?re
going to be able to spend several hours a day with him
or her.
Also, consider carefully what kind of dog to get.
Adopting a puppy is a huge commitment, since you
cannot leave a puppy home alone all day. Most puppies
need to eliminate every two hours or so. Also, in order
to co-exist happily with humans, puppies must be taught
house-training skills and basic commands. If puppies
are not handled often and socialized when young, they will become shy and fearful.
If you?re thinking about getting a particular breed of dog, you might want to read up on
various breeds before deciding what type of dog to get. Different breeds of dogs have
different characteristics. You can still adopt from your local shelter even if you want a
purebred dog, since a quarter of the dogs at shelters are purebreds. We at SCAA,
however, hope that you will decide not to go to a breeder for a purebred dog, but will
choose one of the abandoned, mixed breed dogs that we save and rehome; these
animals need as much, or more, love than purebreds!
You?ll also want to consider where you live, how much space you have, and what your
lifestyle is. For example, larger dogs may not do well confined to a small apartment or
living in a big city, unless you are thoroughly committed to providing your dog with
plenty of exercise. All dogs should have at least one walk a day outside their home turf,
but some dogs need much more. If you are a fairly sedentary person, you probably
want to find a dog (perhaps an older dog) who doesn?t require that much activity. Keep
in mind that not all small dogs are less active and not all large dogs need a great deal
of exercise. You?ll want to learn more about the traits of the dog you?re thinking about
getting, even if he or she is a mixed breed, to see if you are compatible.
Dogs need quite a bit of interaction with their humans in order to be happy. If you?re
very busy and spend little time at home, a dog might not be a suitable pet for you,
unless you can bring your dog along when you?re away from home. You?ll also need to
spend some time training your dog to do basic commands like sit, stay and come.
Make sure you have enough money to support a dog. Costs associated with dog care
include food, toys, leashes, training, grooming, spay/neuter surgery, routine vet care
and, sometimes, emergency vet care.
Whatever dog you choose, keep in mind that you are making a long-term commitment,
since dogs live 10 years or more. Your dog will need attention, love and respect from
you: food and water are not enough. Consider your dog to be part of your family ? to
your dog, you and he (and your other family members) are a pack.
Kittens or Cats
Contrary to popular opinion, many cats are social animals
and love attention. Though most cats don?t require as
much attention as dogs, they still need play time and
petting on a daily basis. Spending time every day with
your kitty can be the difference between a happy cat and
a bored cat.
Make sure you have enough money to support a cat. The
costs of caring for a cat include food, toys, litter and a
litter box, spay/neuter surgery, and vet care. Here are
some other things that you need to know before adopting a cat:
? Cats are very fastidious about their litter box habits, so it?s important to keep the
litter box clean and fresh.
? Cats can live up to 15 years or more, so you should be prepared to make a longterm
commitment if you adopt a kitten.
? Cats need to scratch, so a sturdy scratching post is necessary. Declawing a cat
to protect your furniture is cruel and unnecessary. Declawing, which involves the
removal of the first knuckle of each toe, is extremely painful for the cat. You can
learn to trim your cat?s nails to prevent damage to furniture; besides scratching
posts, there are many other products, available at pet supply stores, that deter
cats from damaging furniture.
? Kittens are not suitable if you have children less than three years of age in your
home. An adult kitty would be a better choice.
? Cats have different personalities. Some like to be held and snuggled; others are
more aloof and don?t like to be picked up. So, be prepared to adapt to your new
cat?s individual personality traits. If you go to a shelter or contact a local rescue
group to adopt a cat, they will be able to advise you on the personalities of the
cats in their care and help you choose just the right cat for you.
You?ll have to make a decision about whether to have an indoor or outdoor cat. Many
organizations will not adopt cats out as outdoor pets because of the risk of disease or
injury. In most locations, indoors is a much safer place for cats. Indoor kitties live longer
and are generally healthier. You?ll want to provide your indoor kitty with plenty of toys
and regular play time. You might also think about adding a cattery or cat enclosure to
your home so your cat can enjoy the outdoors safely.
Cats can be wonderful companions, but before you get a cat, make sure you are willing
to make the commitment to provide your cat with the necessities, and you will not mind
adapting your life a little bit to accommodate your new feline family member.
Other Types of Pets
For information on other types of pets, check out these websites:
Ferrets:, (Ferret Wise Rescue and
Rehabilitation Center) or (Ferret Information Rescue Shelter and Trust
Guinea Pigs:
Pot-Bellied Pigs:
Reptiles (Snakes, Lizards, Turtles):


Den282 04.03.2008. 23:28

How do I get my two year old dog to stop growling at my 9 year old son? Dog was a rescue and is ok with everyone else in the house, including my 5 year old daughter, but he always growls at my son, even when my son is just trying to pet him. Please help!


Admin 04.03.2008. 23:28

You need to take a look at what your son might be doing to the dog when you are not around. Also, it might be a dominance thing -- Alpha Male -- for your son. This means that the dog is trying to assert dominance over the boy. Some simple measures to take to help with that are:

Have your son feed the dog and no one else. That asserts your son's dominance over the dog, since he is the one to feed the dog.

Sign the dog up for dog obedience classes and your son will be the one *teaching* the dog. Your son needs to know how to handle the dog, not just the dog obeying in general. With your son knowing how to properly handle the dog, this shows his dominance over the dog.

Get a Halti head halter for the dog and use it at all times. This allows for complete control over the dog without the dog feeling pain from a choker collar, which could be upsetting for the dog.

Make sure the dog is neutered.

This comes from experience in my life. I used to have a St. Bernard who was put through 4-H obedience with my teenaged step-daughter. He did wonderfully, however, 4-H requires the use of a choker instead of a regular collar. My dog won Best of Showmanship and came in second for Obedience. This means we went to State. During the State Fair, my dog began to growl and nip at passers-by, so we were asked to leave. We asked our vet for behavioral help. He referred us to an animal psychiatrist who had only phone calls, no office to go to, and worked only on vet referrals. He guaranteed his work. We sent him a check and followed his advice, which I just shared with you. My dog became the most obedient, loving dog around after that. He became much more social, because before that, we could not let him around most people because of his aggressive traits. My best friend came over with her children, ages infant to pre-teen, and the dog was wonderful around them. Good Luck!


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