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Tips to Stop Dog Barking

One of the frustrating things about owning a dog is that they bark so much. In fact barking and toilet training are the two main reasons that many people join a puppy obedience school.

But it is not just puppies that bark, grown dogs do it to, so this article will show you how you can stop your dog barking and start to get some peace and quiet again.

Before I spill the tips because you need to know that it's natural for a dog to want to bark. It's their way of talking and just like you can not stop a human from talking, you can not stop a dog barking altogether. However you can control their barking and reduce the amount of time's they do it.

Tip # 1 – Voice Command

You need to have a consistent voice command that will tell your dog that they now have to be quiet. "Stop Barking" is perfectly acceptable and you can use it whenever they are barking out of control. Keep your voice firm and even and when your dog stops, reward them with either a hug or a doggie treat. Positive reinforcement is the most powerful training method you have.

Very soon they'll begin to understand that they must be quiet when you issue your command and stop barking.

Tip # 2 – Distraction

If you dog is barking out of boredom or lack of attention then you either need to spend more time playing and being with your dog or provide toys or activities that will keep him entertained.

You can even hire puppy sitters these days who will come and play with your dog and take them for a walk for a few hours a day while you are at work. Chew toys and pull routes are also great toys to keep them entertained during the day.

Source by Jillian Mackay

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How to Stop Your Puppy From Biting

Why do puppies bite?

Dog owners have been trying to stop puppies from biting without knowing why puppies bite in the first place. By understanding why your puppy bites is the first step in training him not to bite.

The main reason why puppies bite is as a result of Puppy Teething.

Puppies' jaws are weak and as a result of new teeth they gnaw, mouth and even play-bite to sooth the gums around the teeth. This combination of weak jaws with extremely sharp, needle-like teeth, can result in numerous play-bites which, although painful, seldom cause serious harm. The developing pup, therefore, receives ample feedback regarding the force of its bites before it develops strong jaws – which could possibly consider injury. The greater the pup's opportunity to play-bite with people, other dogs and other animals, the better the dog's bite inhibitory as an adult.

Puppy Socialization

Proper puppy socialization is important when teaching your dog bite inhibition. Your puppy is a blank slate and needs to be taught proper behavior around humans and other animals. Once she is taught proper behavior, it will carry into adulthood.

For puppies that do not grow up with the benefit of regular and frequent interaction with
other dogs and other animals, the responsibility of teaching bite inhibitory lies with the
owner. All puppies love to play by being mouthy and biting or chewing anything they can get their sharp little teeth into. These sharp teeth are the reason that it is crucial for puppies to learn bite inhibiting (controlling the force of their bite) during the first few months of life. Normally this is learned naturally and effectively through contact with mom and other litters. If the puppy bites mom during nursing, mom can roll the puppy over to correct it or just get up and walk away. Most young puppies do not aggressively bite. If you have an aggressive puppy, you should give very serious consideration about keeping such a dog. Puppy aggression may lead to dangerous behavior as an adult dog if not properly handled.

Next the owner must realize that the puppy does not know how to act around the humans.The puppy has not had much life experience outside of its interactions with its canine family. Proper socialization techniques are critical at this stage of your puppy's development. You can learn these puppy socialization techniques in "Dog Bite Prevention", which is part of our Puppy Health & Training Package.

How to Train a puppy to stop biting:

The first and best way to start teaching your puppy to stop its biting is to do what his litters would have done were they in the same position. Puppies usually learn bite inhibitions from their mothers and litters. When a puppy bites its littermates, they will yelp and go away. This same method can be applied by you. As soon as your puppy starts to bite, you should give a loud, yelping OUCH! Glare at the pup, get up and move away. This way you can start ignoring behaviors you do not like. Be persistent with this method and advise your family to do the same.

If your pup does not change then you can start applying the '' Time Out '' method. You just leave the room or take him into his crate.

Another way to use this method is this; when your puppy bites, say "no" and gently hold its mouth shut. This will teach him to keep his mouth shut. Since the puppy is a social creature, saying no, yelping, holding his mouth or walking away will teach him that he will lose his playmate. An important fact about the above two methods is to maintain eye contact with your pup when saying "no" and also watching the tone of your voice. Your tone should be in the form of a command, sharp and to the point. Emitting a growling tone will convey the message in his language.

Your duty as a puppy owner is to plan a response to active puppy teeth that will soften the impact on you and your possessions. The best way to do this is to provide your pup with better chewing alternatives instead of your fingers and limbs. You can buy toys like hard rubber balls, sterilized or nylon bones and knotted ropes from pet supply stores.
In a low voice you can say "no" then remove her into a neutral area where you can give her any of the above stated toys or others to play with.

Praising your puppy whenever she behaves well is one of the best ways to teach her what's right. She will certainly want to continue getting the visa. So when she plays nicely and appropriately, praise the action.

Another method is teaching the "off" command.

You get a puppy's dry food. Hold a handy and close your hand with it then say "off."
Note what will happen. After a few seconds, if your puppy has not touched your hand, say "take it" and give him a piece of food. The lesson you are teaching him here is that "off" "means not to touch.

It is important to give your puppy daily exercise and give him enough playtime. It is advisable to have a specific daily playing time. Your puppy will always look forward to this period and will be less likely to seek attention at any time, thus limiting his biting behavior. Also you will be distracting his attention from biting by teaching him new tricks and taking him for a walk. You will be establishing a great bond with him doing this as well.
Teach all your family members not to play any rough games like tug-of-war or wrestling which may encourage aggressive behavior like biting. Also teach them to be consistent with the "no biting" rule. With everyone working together, you will achieve a well-behaved, well-adjusted puppy and, extremely, adult dog.

Source by Russ Richer

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How Do I Stop My Puppy Barking

In this short article I am going to outline a few simple ways to help you stop your puppy barking.

The first thing you should realize is that barking is your puppy's main form of communication. You will eventually learn his "bathroom bark" from him "bored bark" and his "hungry bark." When your puppy barks at you, do not immediately reprimand him. Stop and figure out what your puppy wants, since most dogs do not bark without good reason. When you determine the reason for your puppy's barking, fix the situation so he will stop. For example, if Fido needs water and gives you his "thirsty bark," go fill his water bowl. If he still insists on barking and has no other needs, give your command in a firm voice ("no" and "stop" are not acceptable commands "try" quiet "instead).

When your puppy stops barking, reward him with praise and a treat. If your puppy refuses to stop barking, try alternative measures, such as squirting him with water from a spray bottle. This will shock him and stop your puppy barking.

Do not forget to use your command and praise him once he stops barking. Another method is to use a tin can filled with pebbles, coins, or anything else that will elicit a loud sound. This sudden noise will startle your puppy and cause him to stop barking. It is not appropriate to yell or hit your puppy when he is barking. Remember, dogs bark for a reason. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to identify the reason why your puppy is barking and do your best to fix the situation. If you receive notice from your neighbors that you puppy barks all day while you are away, he is probably lonely or bored. Try arranging a way for you to come home on your break to play with him and take him outside or arrange a friend, family member, or pet service to visit your pup.

So remember, it is not difficult to stop your puppy barking at all. You just need a bit of time and TLC.

Source by Steve G Parker

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How Do We Stop Our Classic Car Hobby Dying Off?

Long term this classic car industry of ours is in danger of dying out for a number of reasons. Firstly the youth of today do not generally think of cars from the 1950s, 60s and 70s as classics. They just think of them as old cars, much as I thought of pre-war cars as I was growing up. My own personal definition of a 'classic car' is the ones that were around when you were growing up and aspired to drive and own. Growing up in the 1960s and starting to drive in the 1970s that puts 60s and 70s cars squarely in my sights. Anyone growing up in the 1980s and 1990s will have a different mind-set.

Many classic car clubs are suffering from falling numbers as their membership is literally dying off and youngsters are not joining to fill the gaps. A few clubs are working to try and reverse the pattern. The TR Register (of which I am a member) have a 'Yoof Group' and at the NEC Classic Motor Show in November 2014 I was pleased to see the 'Young Members Register of the Morris Minor Owners Club'.

Fortunately Morris Minors, some Triumphs: Spitfires and TR7, and Classic Minis are still reliably cheap in classic car terms and make good starter classics. Once hooked, hopefully the owners will graduate to more expensive Triumphs and other more expensive marques. That is assuming they can get insurance as insurers are very biased again drivers from 17 to 25 (particularly male males) as they are liable for a disproportionate number of road accidents. According to an AA report in England 37% of drivers have had a crash by the age of 23!

I can not see the Jaguar Drivers' Club or Aston Martin Owners Club ever having a youth section for a number of reasons: primarily old age and prejudice of existing members but also the escalating costs of Jaguars and Astons and the insurance issue.

We do our bit to spread the word about classic cars and about 10% of our hire customers are doing a 'Try Before You Buy' – making sure the car of their choice lives up to their dreams – before going out to buy one. At the 2014 Classic Motor Show at the NEC we had 4 people come up to us on our stand and talk about the cars they had bought after hiring out one of our cars as a test. However even we can not fix the insurance issue as our own insurers have set a lower age limit of 25 for all our customers.

Assuming the clubs can can crack the 'Yoof' problem and encourage more people into our hobby this still leaves us with another problem which if we do not crack soon, will leave us with a huge problem in years to come.

If you want someone to program your home video or smart TV, you'll probably ask your kids to do it. If you want your website updated, or lessons on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you head to the spotty youth or the 20-something guru. If you want your classic car fixing, you look for a silver haired mechanic who can tell what is wrong with your engine by listening to it and can balance twin or triple carbs by ear. Sadly by the nature of life itself these silver haired mechanisms are literally dying off with very little sign of school leavers coming into the industry to learn their skills and replace them.

Youngsters do not see manufacturing or serving cars as cool jobs and most of them do not have the patience to watch an entire TV program without looking at Facebook on their iPhones, let alone complete a 2 or 3 year apprenticeship in an industry they perceive as dirty and underpaid.

However we do now have some heavyweights looking at fixing this problem (in the UK at least). The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) , which represents most UK clubs, has put together an approved apprenticeship training program in Historic Vehicle Restoration. The FBHVC believe there is a need to train 1,000 people over the next five years. There are two fairly local (30 miles way) organizations involved in this which should help – Bicester College and Bicester Heritage . I think it is Bicester Heritage that have the vision and drive to make some of this happen.

Anyone owning classic cars in the UK knows that the classic car movement owes a lot to Hitler, or rather to the RAF in their fight to defeat Hitler. Silverstone was a WWII airfield and its runways and perimeter road provided the ideal infra-structure to start racing after the war. The same goes for many other circuits around the country like Castle Coombe and Goodwood. Bicester used to have an RAF base, whose origins date back to 1916 and the fledgling Royal Flying Corps which morphed into the RAF in 1918. This great expansion in the 1930s and was used as a bomber base in WWII. The base is now augmented to the RAF's requirements and came onto the market for re-development. While part of the site is being used for housing, many of the 1930s buildings are 'listed' and not allowed to be demolished.

With incredible foresight a group of people have bought the 348 acre site, complete with runways and buildings. Their plan is to develop it as a center for the maintenance and restoration of classic aeroplanes, motorbikes and classic cars. This is a non-trivial task as first they had to restore many of the buildings to a state where they could be used, but keeping the 1930s 'listed' fabric and style of the buildings intact. The authenticity of the buildings can be attested to by their use in the film 'The Imitation Game' starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.

Bicester Heritage already houses the following:

  • Bicester Gliding Center
  • A shot blasting company – BMP Blasters – who can strip anything from the hangar doors to a Bugatti chassis.
  • A classic car storage company – Historit – occupying 50,000 square feet of a bomber hangar.
  • Kingsbury Racing Shop which specializes in racing and restoring four and a half liter Bentleys.
  • A young vehicle upholsterer who runs a 1910 Overland veteran car and is so well known that he does not need to advertise and has a waiting list of customers.
  • Robert Glover – selling pre-war cars and cars from the 1940s to 1960s.

As more buildings are re-furbished through 2015/16 more companies will join these at Bicester Heritage with 12 more tenants due before the end of the first quarter.

I think a combination of Bicester Heritage providing a base for a cluster of companies in our industry, together with Bicester College and the apprenticeship program from the FBHVC, are a beacon for the classic car industry. While I can not see 1,000 apprentices coming over the horizon, I can see a reasonable number of people learning new skills, working in a unique environment, learning a good living for the future from classic car owners with enough disposable income to make it all worthwhile.

On a less serious note, it is nice to know that even in the dark days of the 1930s, with Britain preparing for war, the RAF had a sense of humor. Being a military installation all the buildings have numbers with the offices for Bicester Heritage in the Guard House – building 89.

The planners decided that the toilet block should be building 100 !

Source by Tony Merrygold

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26 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Porn / Masturbating

Porn may have been the greatest thing you ever discovered when you were 12 and found a Playboy under your dad's bed, but can it be true that actually effecting you? Porn and Masturbation have had their time and place, but now I will give you reasons on why they need to go.

1. Porn / Masturbation drains your energy.

After you ejaculate, you lose many vitamins including vitamin C, calcium, chlorine, cholesterol, citric acid, creatine, fructose, lactic acid, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin B12, and zinc. When you masturbate frequently, it can deplete much of these sources and make you feel drained.

2. Giving up Porn / Masturbation can make you stronger.

When you are not regularly masturbating, the vitamins you retain in your body can give you a sense of strength and well-being.

3. Porn / Masturbation can lead to erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.

According to addiction. com, too much pornography can re-wire your body to react primarily to porn, so when you have a real partner in front of you, your body will not react how it is supposedly to.

4. Porn can make your brain desensitized to real sex.

As stated in the previous example, porn can confuse your brain and cause you to not enjoy real sex as much.

5. Porn / Masturbation can kill your motivation.

Too much porn / masturbation can lead to feelings of tiredness and lack of motivation. When addicted to pornography and ejaculation, it sometimes kills motivation to go out and strive for things you really desire.

6. Porn / Masturbation can get you addicted to "instant gratification".

Porn / Masturbation, like many other habits in life, are a form of instant gratification. If you build the habit of frequent porn / masturbation, you are 3x more likely to eat unhealthy and stay up later binge watching television, which can all lead to being very unhealthy habits.

7. Porn / Masturbation can take away from other amazing experiences.

Porn and Masturbation can leave you thinking about sex all the time, even at unwanted times. Instead of enjoying a sunset or having an enjoyable dinner, your mind can be flooded with sexual thoughts, rendering you unable to fully enjoy the moment you are trying to experience.

8. Porn / Masturbation can make you creepy.

With so many varieties of porn out nowdays, porn viewers are subject to watching things that would never usually happen in healthy sexual encounters. When you view material like this it gets subconsciously planted in your brain, and you think of it through the day. When you think about sex so much, it can affect how you interact and may even make you look creepy.

9. Porn / Masturbation can make you look lifeless.

As per reports from a group of individuals who decided to quit pornography and masturbation over at reddit.com/r/nofap, users report when quitting porn / masturbation they are not more color in their eyes, dark spots around their eyes disappearing, more color in their skin, and even the reduction / elimination of acne.

10. Porn / Masturbation lowers your testosterone.

According to an article at examine. com testosterone levels were higher when abstinent for 3 weeks compared to ejaculating regularly.

11. Giving up porn / masturbation can give you boosts of energy.

Anyone seeking because they have no energy, but can not seem to find a cure – try being abstinent for a month. People who abstain report significantly higher levels of energy when giving up porn / masturbation.

12. Giving up porn / masturbation can get you a girlfriend / boyfriend.

If you decide not to ejaculate from porn / masturbation, your body will start seeking out other ways to satisfies it's desire, either through wet dreams or seeking out a mutual partner. People who give up porn / masturbation report the opposite sex noticing them more.

13. Giving up porn / masturbation can make you more productive.

With the newfound energy from quitting, people have reported using their time to pursue more productive ventures.

14. Giving up porn / masturbation can save your marriage.

If you are married and decided to give up porn and masturbation, throwing away other sources of sexual pleasure usually lead to giving more attention to your significant other. Users on reddit.com/r/nofap have reported quitting porn / masturbation to have "saved their marriage".

15. Giving up porn / masturbation can make you more self-disciplined.

Quitting this habit takes self-control, and when you quit you may notice yourself having self-discipline in other areas as well.

16. Giving up porn / masturbation can make you different from every other guy / girl.

They say around 95% of men masturbate regularly, and when you quit, it may give you a mental and physical "edge" over other men or women.

17. Porn / Masturbation can give you social anxiety / depression.

Abstainers have reported after quitting porn / masturbation their social anxiety and / or depression was greatly reduced or vanished. The science behind this is unclear, but it may be from unconscious social fears of feeling like you are hiding something.

18. Giving up porn / masturbation frees up your time.

When you give up porn / masturbation, you will have more free time to pursue other ventures.

19. Giving up porn / Masturbation can make you feel better spiritually (if you're into that)

In many religions, sexual immorality or pornography is viewed as a sin, and quitting them will lead you to feeling closer to your spiritual goals.

20. Porn / Masturbation can give you an unrealistic view of how women want to be treated.

Many times pornography consumption starts at an early age, and before learning how to truly interact with other women, they are rather being trained by pornography videos where the women are clearly mistreated. Kids can grow up believing that women should be treated like sex objects instead of people.

21. Quitting Porn / Masturbation has led to feelings of wholeness.

Abstainers report feeling more whole as a person when quitting porn / masturbation.

22. Quitting Porn / Masturbation can improve your sex life.

After quitting porn / masturbation, your sex life may improve from you being more present with your significant other.

23. Quitting Porn / Masturbation can make you more likable.

People that have quit porn / masturbation report being more sociable and having others come and socialize with them more often then when they were using porn / masturbation.

24. Quitting Porn / Masturbation can give you more confidence.

Without the feeling of hiding anything sexually and the build-up of extra protein / vitamins in your body, people have reported feeling more confident after quitting porn and masturbation.

25. Quitting Porn / Masturbation can make you feel more.

Others that have quit porn / masturbation report feeling more emotions after quitting.

26. Porn / Masturbation can mess with your reward circuitry.

Porn and Masturbation can mess with your reward circuitry, teaching your brain that sex is just a mouse-click away.

These are just a few of the effects of porn / masturbation.

Source by Connor Burns

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How To Stop Cat Fights When Introducing A New Cat To Your Home

Bringing home a new cat to provide your kitty with some companionship and a playmate may seem to be a very good idea, but it can be fraught with difficulties. The older (or original cat) may be very resentful of this new interloper, invading his territory and will defend it. The result can be vicious cat fights, which, if one of the cats is younger, smaller or more vulnerable can end up in a trip to the vets or worse! However, it does not have to be like this. By taking a few precautionary steps, you can keep accommodations to a minimum. It is only natural that there may be some initial hissing and growing, but you do not want any resentment to progress further than that. The key to success lies in the slow introduction of the new cat. Give them time to get to know one another by using the following steps:

  • Rub the cats down with the same towel to transfer their scents to each other.
  • Make the cats smell similar by rubbing powder into their fur.
  • Put the new cat in a bathroom or bedroom for a few days away from the older cat. Feed the older cat by the door of the new kitty's room so that the two cats can smell each other and basically eat side by side but with a door separating them!
  • Take some time to put the older cat into the new cat's room and allow the new arrival out to explore the rest of its new home in safety. This gives her a chance to find a hiding place if she wants and to learn the smell of the older cat. The older cat meanwhile will be becoming accustomed to the new cat's smell, too. Then return the animals to their original places, leaving the door slightly open for a few hours so the cats can see each other. Repeat this process over the next few days.

This gentle, slow introduction should help prevent a face to face cat fight. There may still be romps and occasional actions of aggression but by introducing them to each other slowly, they should learn to tolerate each other and cohabit peacefully.

Source by Tricia Craggs

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Puppy Potty Training Tips – How To Successfully Stop Your Puppy From Eliminating in the House

Potty training your puppy can be a trying battle at times. It is much easier to accomplish when you have some dog potty training tips to follow. We want your puppy toilet training to be as painless, yet as effective as possible. This all becomes part of your general puppy training routine. Repetition is the key to achieving this, but patience is definitely needed as well.

You may need to spend some time setting the stage for this routine task. Potty training puppy should begin from the time you bring him home. Remember that a puppy aged 8 weeks old will need to eliminate more frequently than an older dog. If you can not be with your puppy during certain hours due to work or school, the purchase of a crate for your dog should be first priority.

As a rule dogs will not eliminate in their living space and they will learn to wait until they can get out of the crate. It need only be large enough to allow your dog to turn around and lie down. If the breed of puppy you have chosen is one that will grow to be considerably larger as an adult, you may want to consider buying the large crate now and modifying it with heavy cardboard or a well sanded piece of plywood or press wood that you can adjust when your puppy needs more room to move.

Become aware of a few details relating to your puppy's behavior that could indicate the need to go outside such circling or sniffing the floor. It is also a good idea to have any needed items ready ahead of time to avoid a state of confusion when it's time to take your puppy outside for another potty break.

This is a good time to use positive reinforcement and clicker training. When you are potty training your puppy and they associate the command with the required action, make the click and offer the reward or praise. You want to make sure you have treasures and your clicker on hand before opening that crate door.

The area you want your puppy to use for eliminating should be confined to one particular place in the yard. By using the same location each time you have a potty training puppy session, he will quickly make the connection between that location and what needs to be done there. You can also use a verbal command or phrase each time your dog goes outside. By simply saying "go potty" every time you are working on puppy toilet training you puppy will associate those words with the action expected of him. Soon enough you'll be able to open the door to your yard, say the word and watch your puppy follow the command.

The first time of the day it is important to practice puppy toilet training is when puppy first wakes up. It is an essential time since they have been crated overnight so not only do they have the need to potty, but also get a bit of exercise and stretching done. Another occasion for you to practice potty training your puppy is to take them out right before bedtime for their last potty and exercise occasion of the evening. Make sure that you continuously praise your puppy each time they correctly achieve a command. The praise they receive will be a trigger for them to willingly repeat the action.

Another puppy potty training tip is following a predetermined schedule for feeding so you will learn to graduate when your puppy needs to go outside. Usually it will take somewhere between 30-45 minutes after eating for your puppy or dog to need to go outside. By keeping track of times between eating / drinking and eliminating you will soon have a good idea how long to wait until it's time to go outside.

Do not scold your puppy if they have made a mess in the house without you catching him in the act. If you do see your puppy squatting to tie himself himself, it is perfectly fine to say "No" or some other predetermined word, scoop him up and bring him directly to the outdoor potty area. He will soon understand that it is not acceptable to do his 'business' anywhere but the assigned location.

Potty training your puppy requires planning and a bit of patience and consistency. When your puppy knows what is expected of them and you're able to be consistent with your requests and your rewards they will quickly catch on. Potty training does not need to take months, follow these basic dog potty training tips and your puppy can be trained in no time.

Source by J Macek

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Help Stop Your Cat Scratching Your Furniture (and Save Your Sanity!)

This one's for all us cat owners living in fear for our sofas and carpets! Does your kitty like to scratch your furniture?

Its a common problem with lots of cats, especially 'flat cats' (not literally!) I mean of course kittys who live in apartments with very little outdoor exercise.

Why do they do it? Not as people commonly think to sharpen their claws, but to exercise, clean and keep them healthy. Cats that have lots of outdoor exercise will often use your fruit trees – which can cause major damage to the tree trunk, indoor cats will use any suitable surface – your sofa, carpet, wallpaper etc. etc.

The thing with cats is that they're creatures of habit and they 'bond' with certain surfaces or items for their 'personal hygiene' (I'll be writing about toilet training soon!). So to save your trees, soft furnishings and sanity, the trick is to get them to bond with something more suitable and take action to protect your home.

Okay so a two-pronged solution:

Save your furniture – apart from shutting your cat out of the house (no chance), declawing (illegal and very painful for the poor cat), what else can you do? There's a couple of things that spring to mind

Furniture protectors – clear plastic strips that attach to the furniture. They provide a smooth surface so kitty's claws slide off, helping to break the claw habit.

Claw Scissors – these are a small pair of clippers suitable for indoor cats, rabbits and so on. Clipping the ends of your cat's claws regularly will not worry kitty and will help save the carpets from those claws hooking in. Not always such a good idea for outdoor cats as they use their claws for climbing and defense.

Provide 'bonding' material for your cat with Sisal scratching posts, pads and climbers. Sisal is a tough material that can withstanding constant clawing and provides the type of surface that cats like to use for their grooming. They're often impregnated with catnip and come with toys attached to encourage your cat to use them.

If all else fails, pop down to your vet surgery – many run clinics where the nurses give advice on all sorts of subjects.

Source by Trish Gudgion

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Small Dog Syndrome – How to Stop a Small Dog Behaving Badly

Small dogs or lap dogs or comforters as they were once called have a very extensive history, encompassing several thousand years. Small breeds were often kept by nobility and given as presents to royal figures. It was also thought that small breeds were good for ones health. The Pekingees, pug and King Charles Cavalier Spaniel are three examples.

Many dog owners have a preference for small dogs over larger breeds, and for many different reasons. However, by virtue of their diminutive size, these dogs are much more affordable to keep, need less exercise in relation to larger breeds in general, and are simple to transport for example.

Many owners of larger dogs, and often those thinking of caring for a new dogs avoid smaller breeds, because of the perceived differences in their behaviour, in relation to larger dogs. It is thought, and wrongly of course, that smaller dogs are by nature, yappy, aggressive, possessive, over protective and demanding,, and so on.

If this assumption is not true, then why do so many small dog owners experience problems with their dogs behaving aggressively towards other dogs and humans and displaying possessive and demanding behaviours etc?

To get an understanding of the problem, we need to begin at the beginning. All puppies are cute and adorable, even the largest breed was small and cuddly at one time. However, the small breeds tend to retain their puppy looks and size, long after the cute Rottweiler puppy has grown and gained 50 Kg in weight, for instance

Researchers have found that humans have developed a biological response to ‘cute’ things, especially baby animals. It is thought the need to nurture and protect, perceived defenceless creatures is automatic.

This is where problems often begin; the owner over protects the dog, may carry him round, let him sleep on the bed or jump on the furniture when he chooses, and picks him up in the presence strange dogs, and gives in to his demands for attention. This is often done through the misguided notion that the dog needs protecting, by virtue of his size and ‘baby like’ qualities.

So how is this all worked out in the dogs mind? Although our domestic dogs are very different in many ways to his ancestor, the wolf, he has inherited much of his ancestors instinctual behaviours. A part of this instinctual blue print,comes the desire to be part of a group or pack. Although most dogs are more than happy to be the follower in their human pack, if their is no obvious leader, or the dog is getting signals from his owner that he is the leader of the pack, then the dog will have no option but to fill the role, as this is how life is played out in the dogs world.

Over time, the dog may show behaviours that to the experienced eye would be considered dominant, however, to the dogs owner these behaviours are seen as either breed specific, for example, ‘that’s how Chihuahuas’s are’, or part and parcel of the dogs personality, eg ‘he’s always been this way’. This kind of behaviour would be a cause for concern if seen in a larger dog, but somehow overlooked, or not considered serious in many smaller breeds.

There are a number of behaviours that are common to small dogs acting dominantly, so much so, that this type of behaviour observed in smaller breeds, has inherited the label ‘small dog syndrome’ or ‘little dog syndrome’. Some of the common behaviours that characterise ‘small dog syndrome’ are listed below.

  • Your dog has developed the habit of sitting on you, or jumping on you, or next to you, when he pleases.
  • Your dog does not allow you near him when he is eating or has a toy he is playing with
  • Your barks excessively to get your attention.
  • Your dog is over protective when other dogs or humans come near you.
  • Your dog growls when you attempt to move him from his favourite resting place.
  • Your dog is generally stubborn and refuses to follow commands given to him.
  • Your dog displays an exaggerated reaction to being left alone, characterised by constant barking, or destructive behaviour.

Much can be done to turn this problem around, however, owners must first consider the role they play in encouraging this type of behaviour in their dogs. Owners must come to realise that their small breed dogs are in fact animals and not little humans.

Secondly, owners must understand that it is natural for dogs to be a part of a ‘pack’ and more importantly, a pack in which they would much prefer to be a follower, than a leader. Understanding these two concepts alone, will help greatlyreduce the problem.

In terms of retraining, owners must communicate to their dogs that they are the leader, provider, and protector of the team. This can be done by controlling all of the dogs resources, for example, food, toys, treats, walks, and favourite places of rest, and allowing the dog access to them when the owner decides.

All demanding behaviour, for example barking for treats or to be picked up and so on, should be ignored, and all appropriate behaviour praised.

Aggressive and possessive behaviour towards other humans by the dog can be dealt with by having a place for the dog to go to when the owner is interacting with others. This may be to his crate, or a cushion in the corner of the room for example.

Owners should be aware that retraining takes time, especially in the case of dogs who have been allowed to display this kind of behaviour for a long time. With patience and repetition however, the dog will be content to become a follower, rather than the leader, of his human pack.

Source by Ivan Ojounru

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Cat Litter – How to Tell If You Are Allergic to Cat Litter and What You Can Do to Stop the Allergy

Both cats and people can be allergic to cat litter. However, this allergy is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. If you have had persistent allergy symptoms and have been unable to identify a cause, then consider the possibility that you may be allergic to the litter that your cat is using. Fortunately, if this is the case, the issue is easy to treat.

Symptoms to cat litter allergies is the same as any other allergies. You can be sneezing, have a running nose and red itchy eyes. The same goes for your cat. One thing for sure is that these symptoms tend to get worse whenever you are around your kitty’s litter or your cat as it may be having some of the litter on its body. If that is so, then chances are, you are allergic to the kitty litter that you are using and not other allergies.

By far, the most common types of irritants found in itters are clay-based and silica dust. Make sure these are not found within the kitty litter you are currently using by checking the labels on the litterbags. If so, simply switch to another and you would likely see an immediate improvement in your symptoms.

However, there are people who are allergic even to non-dusty cat litter and if so, then avoid getting too close to the litter boxes in your house. Isolate the little box in a confined area where you would less likely be going. Also as cats is likely to have some cat litter dust on their body, it’s best that you avoid rubbing your nose against its fur or shower your cat more often to keep him free from litter dust as much as possible.

Source by Ann Wong