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Draft Draught Horses The Belgian

(category: Pets, Word count: 529)
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History

As the name implies. this breed originated in Belgium. Back in the medieval times, the center of Western Europe became well-known for the large black horses known as "Flemish". These are the horses which carried the heavily armored knights into battle. By necessity, only the largest and strongest of this breed were trained as "chargers" or "destriers". It is from this stock that other draft breeds drew for genetic material. At the heart of this area, Belgium was established as a country. Stallions of the region were exported throughout parts of Europe, as the need grew for the larger stock horses to work in the industrial and agricultural settings.

Because Belgium was the resource upon which other countries relied for these large stock animals, all that remained was for the country to establish the breed and strengthen the genetic material already at hand. The Belgian government quickly helped to refine the breed by setting up district shows, from which the winners would move up to compete in the national show in Brussels. From those who showed in the national, the finest were chosen by the country's inspection committees to stand as stallions for public service. The result of these efforts was that the fixed breed type rapidly improved and the Belgian was established as a national heritage, and a treasure.

When the Belgian was first imported into America, they were criticized for being "too thick, too low-headed, straight shouldered, and round-boned". However, the Belgians quickly found a place with American farmers because they were easy to maintain, were hard and willing workers, and had good dispositions. So the Belgian remained, and American breeders set out to keep what was right and fix what was "wrong". The result has become one of the greatest success stories in animal breeding history. Today's American Belgian still has the solid middle, deep strong feet, plenty of bone and strong musculature, and that great disposition. He is still easy to maintain, ships well, and remains a hard and willing worker. American breeders very simply developed a horse with cleaner lines, more slope in the shoulders and pasterns, and a more elegant look around the head and neck.

Description

As far as color, while the first Belgians to be imported to America were a wide mix, about 50% were bay and bay-brown. However, there was really no particular color which was a defining characteristic. Through breeding, shown by American preference, the ideal for a Belgian in the U.S. today is a chestnut or sorrel with a snow-white mane and tail, a white stripe on the face, and four white socks. In other parts of the world, one can still find a very wide assortment of colors.

In height, the Belgian is usually 16 hands (162.5 centimeters, or 64 inches at the shoulder), but can exceed 18 hands (183 cm., or 72 in. at the shoulder). The American Belgian usually has a rather large head, short, "feathered", muscular legs, and large hind quarters.

The average weight is 1600 to 2000 pounds (113.6 to 142 stones), but stallions can exceed 2400 pounds (170.4 stones).

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Dog Behavior Training Dog Aggression Toward Its Owners

(category: Pets, Word count: 271)
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A dog that growls at and/or bites its owner does so for some reason, even if the behavior appears to be "unreasonable" to the owner. If your dog displays aggressive behavior towards you, for the safety and welfare of you, your family and your dog, it's important to find out why as quickly as possible.

Call your vet right away and schedule an appointment for a complete medical examination. Talk with your vet about testing your dogs hormonal balance, neurophysiologic functions and allergies. The test results may reveal the underlying cause. This has been especially helpful in dogs that have mood swings.

When growling or biting has erupted as a consequence of scolding or punishment for behavior such as chewing, jumping, general unruliness, or overprotection of food, these problems must be dealt with swiftly and firmly to correct the aggression it is initiating.

As the dogs owner, you must understand that your dog growls or bites at you as a result of defensive feelings. Even the dog that growls when ordered off the couch is reacting defensively, as it feels its dominance status has been threatened.

If scolding and punishment provoke aggression, your dog is reacting to a perceived threat to its physical safety. In either of these situations, your own threatening behavior may be producing negative results.

If the results of a medical examination show no signs of a medical condition that would be causing this behavior, you will have to examine your own behavior closely to determine what you are doing to make your dog feel threatened.

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Halloween Costumes For Pets

(category: Pets, Word count: 408)
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It's a night for scary surprises, lots of free candy for kiddies and the chance to dress up in Halloween costumes. And, even though he cannot eat chocolate, Fido may enjoy getting all dolled up for a night of fun. In recent years, designers have begun manufacturing Halloween costumes for pets. In creations ranging from super heros to villains, pet costumes are gaining in popularity both locally and through online merchants.

With the internet being the largest shopping mall in the world, albeit a virtual one, the selection of Halloween costumes is much greater in cyberspace. Designers and specialty stores around the world have the opportunity to showcase their latest ideas and fabrics that are sure to please even the pickiest of pet owners. Anyone who plans to order via the internet can expect to pay a shipping and handling fee, but with Halloween costumes being lightweight, this additional cost won't likely be a significant one.

When selecting Halloween costumes for pets, it is a good idea to measure your cat or dog beforehand so that you will know what size to purchase. That's right. Not all Halloween costumes for pets come in a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter shape. In fact, most quality outfits will be specially made for various size animals. A yellow lab and a poodle probably wouldn't agree on the same size costume, so stay away from designers that gear toward the one-size-fits-all design.

When selecting Halloween costumes, it is a good idea to choose one that will be most comfortable for your furry little friend. Remember, they are also wearing a fur coat, so anything that is breathable will be ideal. It's also a good idea to keep in mind that most pets will be resistant to Halloween costumes at first, simply because it is a new concept. If you plan to show them off on Halloween, make sure that you break them in several days prior to the big night. One way to do this is by showing them the costume, putting it on for a few minutes and then removing it. Afterward, give them a treat and praise them for good behavior. After several of these exercises, not only will your pet be happy to wear the costume, but he/she will also be looking forward to a treat afterward. So, just make sure that you have a special treat for them on Halloween as well - but no chocolate.

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How To Buy The Dog That Is Right For You

(category: Pets, Word count: 412)
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Owning a dog or puppy gives pleasure to millions of people, however the choice of which breed of dog to purchase deserves more thought that it typically receives.

Owning a dog or puppy is a big responsibility, yet someone who has little time to exercise their pet or is away from home for long periods of time often buys a breed which is very demanding, leading to a poor relationship between them and their dog.

There are numerous breeds of dog in the world so the choice of which breed to purchase can be extremely daunting. One of the best methods of seeing which breeds of dog are available is to visit a large dog show, where you can see the dogs up close and ask questions to existing owners.

Find out as much as you can about the breed of dog you are interested in; Can you afford to feed the dog or puppy? Can you provide the right type of housing or living environment? Will you be able to provide the correct level of exercise for the dog and at the right times?

Remember a puppy may well grow into a much larger dog and therefore need more food, larger living space and a great deal more exercise. It is a sad fact but many dogs are abandoned because they have grown too large for their owners to cope with their demands.

Think about the practical aspects of owning a particular breed of dog. If it is a long haired breed then you'll need more time to groom its coat. If you buy a female dog then they will come into season twice a year and have to be kept away from male dogs to avoid mating.

Many people start by buying a puppy but there are lots of adult dogs available who are looking for a good home and are often well trained and ready to fit into a loving family or home environment.

Think about the financial aspect of owning a dog or puppy; Can you afford veterinary bills and certificates? Will you need health and insurance cover? Does the dog have specific nutritional requirements or food costs?

Taking the time to think about these important questions *before* buying a dog or puppy will make sure you get the animal that is right for you and more importantly make sure you are right for your dog or puppy!

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Your Dogs Intelligence Could Dogs Be Smarter Than Their Owners

(category: Pets, Word count: 447)
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The intelligence of the dog is among the highest of all the animals, maybe higher than we give him credit for. Although his brain is proportionately only half as large as ours, he is certainly the most intelligent of domestic animals.

As with humans, individual intelligence varies greatly according to inherited genes. While no one breed can be said to be more intelligent that another, some breeds that have been selectively bred for work ability are often brighter and more receptive than those bred primarily for purely physical attributes.

Whether a dog is a mixed breed for purebred, studies have shown that neither is much more intelligent than the other. However, dogs that have been exposed to a more varied lifestyle, both indoors and out, and with both human and animal interaction, does show more intelligent behavior.

Simply put, giving your dog an opportunity to investigate and manipulate all sorts of objects, to explore all sorts of places, to share all sorts of experiences with you will stimulate his or her intelligence. Aside from getting a lot more out of life, your dog will be eager to learn more and he will learn with increasing ease and rapidity. Nothing is sadder and more wasteful than an intelligent dog that is confined in a kennel and deprived of mental stimulation.

Despite opinions to the contrary, dogs are endowed with an elementary reasoning power. Anyone who has ever owned a dog has often seen him size up a situation and then taken some logical action. Guide dogs for the blind, as well as working and hunting dogs of many breeds constantly have to use their judgment and make decisions.

Memory is an important component of intelligence. The dog's memory for scents is extraordinary. His visual memory is only fair, but his memory for sounds is very good, since he can remember and identify familiar voices even after an absence of many years. While he builds up a large store of identifiable sounds without the slightest effort, remembering different words requires more concentration.

The dog's capacity for learning is more a matter of memory than of true understanding. He will remember the sequence of cause and effect in his actions, but he is unable to draw broad conclusions from his experience. The greater the variety of experiences and contact with others they have, the quicker they learn, and the more they retain.

Dogs are bound by nature to remain intellectually inferior to man, but we owe them a chance to develop their native intelligence by training, teaching, and working with them as much and as often as we can.

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Dog Training Secrets

(category: Pets, Word count: 595)
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Every dog and every dog owner has his or her own unique dog training challenges. Each breed of dog has a different temperament as does each individual dog. And dog owners are no different. Despite the differences, there are some basic things in common for training all dogs.

No matter why you have a dog, he should at least have some very elementary dog training. No one wants a dog who isn't housebroken, who runs away or into the street, who won't sit, come or stay when you want him to. Both you and your dog will be happier with a little common ground on obedience training.

One of the first things to take into account when dog training is that dogs are programmed for a world of leaders and followers. You have to be the leader in your relationship. Signs of a leader are absolute consistency. Know what you want your dog to do and keep that constant from day to day and training session to training session. Don't shout. That is a sign that you have lost control. And keep your dogs attention focused on you during the entire training session.

Attention is the second important thing to keep in mind for dog training and one of the hardest to maintain. It has been said that ninety percent of dog training is getting and keeping his attention. Dogs are very much like small children and have short attention spans. Keep training sessions short - 20 minutes is fine, or even a couple of 10 minute sessions. Work with your dog in a quiet environment that is free of distractions. Talk to your dog in a quiet voice. Use his name and explain what you want him to do. He may understand no more than, "Blah blah blah, Toby", but your voice will keep him focused in your direction.

Experts have found that positive dog training is more effective that a system of rewards and punishment. A dog who looks forward to training sessions as fun and full of rewards is a dog who will learn faster and better. Reward accomplishments with treats or words of praise or pats. As your dog learns new skills, you can reward him for each step along the way. If he doesn't respond the way you want, rethink what you are asking him to do and how you are asking him to do it. What worked as a dog training method for one dog may not work as well for the next. Your dog may need to review some more basic dog training lessons before going on to new lessons. Rather than punishment, a stern NO, blocking a movement with your hands, or withholding rewards when he doesn't perform, and remaining consistent are the best ways to encourage your dog to exhibit the behavior you want. Remember that it is in his nature (as well as yours) to want to test limits and see how much he can get away with. Consistency in dog training and rewards are what get positive results, not punishments.

Dogs are very much like us. They want to follow a leader they respect. And dog training is just like school. They like to do things that are fun and make them feel good, where they get rewards for accomplishing what is asked of them. And they want the same thing their owners want, a happy and safe relationship with the ones they are love. A little dog obedience training will go a long way in making this happen.

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Attract Birds And Accent Your Patio Or Yard With A Bird Bath

(category: Pets, Word count: 667)
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Birds, especially wild ones, are a good source of entertainment and peace. Who has ever hated hearing the amusing chirps of the birds in the evening? What's even better is to see them hopping around your yard while you are in your pation, sipping your coffee and gearing yourself for a new day. The absolute charm of birds never fails to entice many homeowners to keep on placing items to attract them to visit their backyards every so often. If you are one of those who enjoy observing the beauty and amusement these little creatures give, one logical step is to put a bird bath in your yard. Birds can put up one fun show while they are bathing and drying off in various manners. Some can do the bathing timidly, while some can be really gregarious.

1. The Depth of the Bathing Basin

Less than 3 inches; that should be the depth of the bathing basin. It should allow you ti fill it with only 2 inches or 5 centimeters of water. Any deeper than that or you risk not having too many birds to enjoy and frequent your bird bath. Most songbirds prefer to hunker down in a depth that does not reach the bottom of their bellies.

2. The Surface of the Bottom of the Bathing Basin

It is advisable that you get a bird bath with a bottom that has a rough surface. This is because several bird bath bottoms are usually too slick that they don't provide secure footing for birds. This could be aggravated when a coat of algae forms on submerged surfaces. If you can't find one that has a rough bottom surface, you can either use a sandpaper or hammer claws to rough it up before putting water on it. This is applicable to plastic basins only, though. Or you can put some textured materials such as sand, pebbles, stones, and concrete to provide sure footing.

3. Buying Tips:

- Place your bath somewhere sunny, away from shrubs and trees, so birds can keep an eye out for the neighborhood cat or other predators

- Make sure that you place the bird bath somewhere it is visible and convenient for you. Your indoors views should be given consideration too

- Keep the bird bath close to a faucet for cleaning and refilling. Every 2-3 days in the summer, empty and scrub it to prevent the formation of algae and bacteria

- To keep the birds coming even during the winter, use birdbath heaters

- To attract more birds, provide something that will produce the sound of gently moving water. A simple dripping hose or an artificial water fall can be very good sources of that little water music

- Ensure constant supply of water or refill the bird bath consistently. When birds ran out of water source, they might go to dangerous places such as aircon units and even a pet water dish

- Don't place bird baths under perchers or feeders. Droppings may fall into them that can cause the fouling of the water

4. The Fit of the Bird Bath on the Pedestal

If the basin does not fit securely on the pedestal, it will be subject to tipping by thirsty animals, i.e., raccoons, dogs, deer, or even bears. It would be a great hassle to keep on picking up an overturned bird bath every morning. It could even get broken.

You don't have to break the bank in getting a bird bath. It should provide you cheap entertainment, not a pile of bills unpaid. Many furniture stores have bird baths that don't pinch your wallet that much. Just shop around. It would be good to get a one-piece bird bath, or attach the basin to the pedestal with a waterproof adhesive. You can also use weight to secure the base or simply sink it in the ground to avoid its getting tipped over.

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Traveling With Your Bird Some Tips From Folks Who Travel With Their Bird Every Day

(category: Pets, Word count: 827)
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Before we get into specifics, let's start with the basics. Emergencies aside, if you're planning to travel with your bird, get the travel cage a few weeks in advance. This will give your bird time to get accustomed to the new cage. Also measure - measure - measure. Make sure it will fit in where ever it will be going car, travel trailer, family vehicle, motor home, commercial airliner, vacation cottage - just make sure it fits.

We don't have a flock, we have one small Indian Ringneck - Sunshine. Sunshine is 17. Catherine acquired him as a baby. He loves being with mom. We know about traveling with a bird. At home he has a 30 x 30 California cage (1), a large playstand (2) in the dining room and another playstand (3) in the kitchen. Every work day Sunshine climbs into his custom, 18 inch long carrier (4) and comes to work with us.

We open the carrier, he climbs up his Booda perch in to his 26 x 20 HQ cage (5) and finishes breakfast. Afterwards he'll walk back out via the Booda perch onto his King's acrylic playstand (6). When he gets bored he fly's onto his Prevue playstand (7) or his Prevue 20 x 20 wire cage (8) where he'll stand so he can watch mom oversee the shipping of packages to our customers.

We spend many of our summer weekends at a campground. When we get there he usually goes right into his 18 x 18 (9) Prevue cage. We modified our small travel trailer so the cage fits nicely into a closet where we removed the top of the door and provided a gentle light. When we're outside the trailer, we have a large canopy/tent where Sunshine spends time in his 32 x 21 HQ aviary (10) under the canvas. He always has one side of his cage against a wall for his own privacy.

If you've been following my notes, you'll see our little 3 ounce bird has 10 cages and stands. We've never had a problem getting him into a new cage because 1) we don't make of an issue of it and 2) he's happy just to be with us.

A travel cage can be metal, fabric or plastic like - rigid or collapsible. Because it's a travel cage only makes it slightly different than his home cage. If it's metal, bar spacing should be appropriate. If it's fabric, the fabric should be durable enough and well designed to discourage chewing. Clear plastic cages allow for great vision but may be confining for extended travel periods. It may only have one perch instead of three or four. Make sure it's comfortable on the feet. Stopping and starting in traffic should not cause your bird discomfort. A couple of small toys should be introduced to keep birdie boredom down. If you're traveling by auto, keep the bird in the back seat away from airbags in case of "god-forbids." Keep it strapped with a seatbelt to avoid sudden movement.

If your driving at night, cover the cage, the intermittent glare of auto lights can be scary, especially if its after bed time. If you're taking a road tip stopping at motels, find a place to put the travel cage where you bird can sleep with as little disturbance as possible through the night. We usually find the bath room counter to be the best spot, it's out of the way and once the cage is covered, affords privacy. In terms of temperature, it's simple - if your comfortable, your bird is comfortable. No hot cars with the window cracked or in front of air conditioners in hotel rooms.

If traveling for the first time, we suggest a few trial runs before the big trip. Go to a friends, the vet or even just a ride, the bird gets accustomed to the procedure, travel process and change in general. If you let the bird out of the travel cage while in the vehicle don't forget to put him back before any passengers open the door. Some birds don't like to poop in their travel cage. This is a judgment call. Choose carefully where you'll let them out to poop. You also may want to check out the nearest avian vet to your destination, before you get there - just so you have the info.

Remember. birds in the wild are natural travelers. Larger birds will fly 50 or miles per day seeking food. Many migrate thousands of miles twice annually. It's usually less of an issue for the bird than for you. Lastly, we know you love showing off your bird. Unknown places would not be the time to do it. Unscrupulous people may have ulterior motives. While traveling with your bird it's no ones business but your own.Have a great trip

www.windycityparrot.com

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Basic Principles In A Dog Lovers Club

(category: Pets, Word count: 442)
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There are lots of dog lovers clubs in the US that offer a lot more for both the dog lovers and their dogs. Here are some of them.

The American Kennel Club has a dog lovers sections called "For the Love of the Purebred Dog". This article is more than a canine purebred section. It is dedicated to living at home with dogs. This dog club gives informative and educational materials pertaining to pet care, training, nutrition and a lot more. It also includes funny stories, art, pet history and the more popular Companion Animal Recovery method. There are also more popular sites like the dog breeds and events page.

The American Mixed Breed Obedience Registration or (AMBOR) on the other hand was created in 1983 with the objective of taking into accounts the perseverance and accolades in obedience contests of mix breed dogs and handlers. This dog lovers club also gives support and inspiration to dog handlers.

Important Information for Members:

1. Mixed-breeds

Unlimited full membership is open to handlers and owners of mixed-breed dogs as long as the pet is spayed and nails are cut. There should be front and side photo shots of the dog that will be included in the application. This is the ticket to all the obedience and agility programs, automatic tabulation in the agility and obedience nationwide ranking system. This also includes a given eligibility for the annual awards.

This achievement will be given honor in AMBOR highlights (AMBOR'S newsletter) and on the website. The member will be eligible to any agility and obedience national competition in the future. Dogs with assigned numbers are marked as purebred and should be enlisted as a purebred. Also, dogs that are listed as mixed-breeds that are given a number based on the owner's application causes its membership to be changed to a status of a purebred.

2. Purebreds

Purebred dogs can be listed with AMBOR with a rule that entry is limited to the AMBOR-supported agility program. All dogs that are purebred, listed with AMBOR and exhibits AMBOR-supported programs on agility will have competition points monitored and there will be an automatic issuance of certificates.

Dogs that are purebred and listed with AMBOR are not qualified to be a part of the agility and obedience scoring systems. They will also not be included in the website on highlights and not qualified for any mixed-breeds national competition in the future.

Handlers that register to the AMBOR-supported trials on agility should put their AMBOR number on the form at the club's entrance so that competition points will be monitored.

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