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How to Become a Top Dog Breeder
by John Pawlett

Many people want to become good dog breeders. Dog breeding and doing it properly is an expensive hobby. There is the picking up of a good bitch, waiting for her to become old enough before breeding, choosing the best dog for her to mate with, and undertaking all the health checks she needs, and ensure that the dog you need also passes through the same health checks. There are potential extra expenses during pregnancy, you have to pay a stud fee (or return a puppy), you have the time at your disposal, and can incur the expense of whelping. The puppies are to be kept for a minimum of 8 weeks before sending them to their homes.
There is the need to advertise and look for good homes before sending them to their homes. As a breeder, you also need to see that the dogs have had their shots before going. You may be and ardent dog lover and want to better a particular breed of dogs. You may devote your time and energy to bettering a particular breed of dogs. Often this requires breeding dogs of a particular bloodline, thus creating particular traits that will be passed down through future generations. There is the requirement to have one or two un-neutered female dogs. If you have two or three adult dogs, you may not even need to register your kennel.

A good dog breeder does not want to use dogs with major blemishes. The breeder may show the dogs to endeavor to have a championship before breeding them. This increases the value of the dog's future puppies. It also leads to the breeder networking with the people who know the most about the breed. The dog may not get a championship but a few wins and the dog exhibitors will take you more seriously. If one of the exhibitors has a dog with characteristics that will even out any of the flaws that your dog has, then you can breed show quality puppies.

If, as a dog breeder, you want to breed dogs for many years, you may want to choose a kennel name. The kennel name has to be registered with the corresponding Kennel Club. It may be a good idea to get a kennel permit. The permit will eventually be needed as you may require a few puppies to continue the bloodline. There is the requirement to get the permit before you are attached to your puppies. When you are breeding your dog for the first time, you should seek out a male dog that belongs to a practiced dog breeder. When the dog has bred, you need to take it to the veterinarian. You need to ask the vet about the birthing procedure. When the delivery time comes near prepare a quiet spot for your dog to deliver. These steps ensure that you are a successful dog breeder and you take care of your dog and ensure that the best dogs only breed to carry on the bloodline.

About the Author
This article comes to you from dog lover John Pawlett who is currently building a community site for dog breeds and breeders

Best of Atlanta's Top Dogs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dog Custody Battles Increase as Divorcing Couples Argue Over Who Keeps the Pet
By Tim Shipman and Juliet Samuel in Washington
London Telegraph

A dog may be a man's best friend but it can also be a woman's favourite companion - and for a growing number of divorcing couples, that is a problem.
American lawyers are reporting a sharp rise in the number of custody battles they are fighting, not for access to children but for the right to look after family pets.

Courts throughout the US are now regularly ruling on what should happen to dogs in divorce cases, making heart-wrenching decisions on which partner will get custody of which animal.

Joyce Tischler of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal advice for cases involving animals, told The Sunday Telegraph: "The incidents seem to be increasing markedly and judges are having to deal with them.

"Sometimes the couple is using the dog in the same way that the children sometimes get used, as a way to keep the relationship going, but at other times they are fighting because animals are considered family now."

Jennifer Keene is typical of those who, faced with the collapse of their marriage, must deal with the trauma of breaking up their canine family too.

She and her husband were the proud owners of Moxxy, an Australian cattle dog, and Sixxy, a pointer mix. As part of their divorce settlement, they agreed to take one dog each.

But the experience was so upsetting that the dog trainer from Beaverton in Oregon wrote a book to help other couples going through the same experience, We Can't Stay Together for the Dogs.

Ms Keene, 30, told The Sunday Telegraph: "This is a traumatic decision for some people. Almost half of all divorces each year involve dogs.

"When my husband and I divorced, it was clear we had to do the best for our two dogs. Each of them was attached to one of us, so we split the pack. It would have been more traumatic to separate them from their human friend than from one other."

But she warned that this is often not the best solution. "Pet parents must work together. You've got to communicate, compromise and always put the dog first. Dogs get distressed when there is conflict. It can lead to behaviour and health problems."

Disagreements over dogs have played a role in celebrity breakdowns.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal kept Atticus, a German shepherd, after splitting with the actress Kirsten Dunst, but she was granted partial custody. Fellow film star Drew Barrymore fought to keep Flossie, a labrador, in her divorce battle with the comedian, Tom Green.

Marsh Newmark was the victim of a highly traumatic dog divorce. The millionaire owner of the New York company Design Strategy Corporation says he spent $60,000 on a custody battle for his golden labrador Rocky with his estranged wife, the opera singer Darynn Zimmer.

The couple first shared the dog after they split but then, amid acrimonious claims of dog abuse and dog-napping, the case ended up in a Long Island court where a judge ruled in favour of Ms Zimmer. Mr Newmark is planning to appeal the ruling.

He told the New York Daily News: "He's the sweetest, friendliest dog. I haven't seen him since last June. I've never had children. This is my child."

Robert Fennessy, a lawyer from Walpole, Massachusetts, said: "Often it's the animals that engender the highest emotional response between the parties. Even more so if it's a childless couple, and the animal then becomes the child.

"In young, short-term marriages sometimes the only property of value is the pet that they both acquired. The pet gets stuck in the middle."

Some court battles have been so bitter that lawyers who work on animal cases say they are trying to end the convention that pets are treated as property. They want courts to appoint lawyers to represent dogs from broken homes, just as US family courts have legal representation for children in custody battles separate from their parents' counsel.

Lorrie Elliot, an animal lawyer from Seattle, Washington state, said: "It would be much better if we had a law that said animals are more than property."

Dog sharing is also becoming common when cohabiting couples and live-in lovers split. Amelia Glynn, 35, wrote recently in a blog at an about her break up from her boyfriend, describing how they now alternate fortnightly custody of their pit bull.

She confessed that she was concerned her ex would break the arrangement when he got a new girlfriend - until he revealed that his new girlfriend also had joint custody of her own dog, so understood the arrangement.".

Miss Glynn wrote: "This is when it dawned on me that he and I weren't alone in trying to make this seemingly bizarre experiment in canine and human psychology a success."

Cat Exercise? That’s Pandora’s Box
Kansas City Star

Getting cats to exercise is akin to getting pigs to fly.

Dog people have no clue how easy they’ve got it. Throw a ball, and your pooch takes off in hot pursuit, tail wagging with joy.

But a cat? Oh, puh-leez. Try tossing a few of those little plastic balls that contain jingle bells to get your mature couch-potato kitty to spring into action. The look you’ll get indicates one of the following responses.

“Looks like you dropped something. Better fetch.”

“You’ve just wrecked the feng shui of my living room.”

“Wake me when you’ve got toys made of tuna.”

“Did we get a dog?”

My resident feline, Pandora, is quite a big girl. At 6 or 7, she’s middle-aged in cat years. When people comment on her girth — and they always do — I point out that she’s big-boned and quite fluffy. More than 13 pounds of fluffy, to be exact.

But I’ve become ludicrously fond of her in the year we’ve been together, so I’m concerned about health issues her extra poundage may cause. Her vet convinced me to scale back on her food portions, but his advice to “make sure she gets exercise” has been tougher.

Her litter box is in the basement laundry room, so she’s forced to make a trip up and down stairs. But other than that, her activity is limited to running to her food bowl each morning and strolling leisurely between favorite napping spots.

Panda-boo is a “string cat,” entranced by any kind of long string, ribbon, yarn or rope, if you move it around long enough to catch her interest. The green handles from a Coldwater Creek bag, for example, when tied together, make a “snake” that I wear myself out tempting her with every day. She’ll chase it wildly for a couple of minutes. Then she flips on her back and paws at it so she doesn’t have to further exert herself.

Dear Kitty Diary: My pet — we’ve been together a year now — is quite a big girl. She’s middle-aged, as humans go, so I’m concerned about the health issues her extra poundage could cause. (Not that health problems of others interest me in the slightest, but if this broad kicks off, who’ll feed me?)

I try to help her with portion control by jumping up beside her to eat off her plate, but the ungrateful thing shoos me away time after time! So really, getting her to exercise is my only hope. Her activity is limited to sitting on the sofa watching TV, sitting on the sofa talking on the phone, lying in bed reading and walking to the refrigerator.

No one can say I haven’t done my part. I feign disinterest when she waves my green snake toy, forcing her to really work those forearms. To get her to move more, I stop chasing it so she’ll step up her antics. Each morning I run like a cat with her tail on fire to my food bowl in hopes she’ll make an attempt to keep up. As a not so subtle hint, I pawed down the sweaters on her treadmill to give her the idea she might want to use it for its intended purpose. Periodically she dusts the thing, but that’s it.

Well, you know what the sage kitties say: Getting humans to exercise is like getting pigs to … well, you know.

Aid-a-Pet Needs a Helping Paw
by Victoria Lim - ZooToo

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A play-date accident almost turned fatal for a 12-year-old Golden Retriever named Angel.

While frolicking in a park with her sister Bonnie, an 11-year-old Brendel, and another dog, collided with Angel. The impact twisted Angel's hind leg and tore her ACL.

"It was devastating. I was in tears," said her owner, Janet Murchinson of St. Petersburg.

Murchison was cash-strapped at the time and couldn't afford the expensive surgery to fix Angel's leg. She agonized over what she thought were her only two options.

"I would have had to put her down, or give her over to (a shelter)," Murchinson said.

But that was until she found the Aid-A-Pet program at the Humane Society of Pinellas. The program offers no-interest loans to long-term pet owners.

"We've come to realize this is really a need in our community," said shelter manager Abagail Appleton. "We really feel it's in the best interest of the animal, rather than have (the owner) surrender the animal to us and put up for adoption … we feel it's in the best interest of the owner and animal if the animal stays with the owner. We want to promote long-term pet ownership."

Since the program began in November 2006, Aid-A-Pet loans have paid for health care for more than 75 pets -- services as simple as a vaccination to treating catastrophic events like injuries from a car accident.

The Humane Society of Pinellas places no limits on the amount of money an owner can receive -- it's simply based on need.

To be eligible, pet owners must apply, go through an interview process, a reference check and a consultation with a vet. Once approved, owners can take their pets to one of the vets who has agreed to offer discount medical services for treatment. Owners can repay the loan, or pay back the amount of money in volunteer hours.

"The criteria is making sure people have made a commitment to their pet. That doesn't necessarily mean they've made sure the vaccines happen every year. We want to make sure this is somebody who cares for their animal and made a long term commitment to care for their pet not only in the past, but into the future," Appleton said.

A large donation created the program. But it's become so popular, Aid-A-Pet has run out of money. Appleton is hopeful the community will see its value and provide funds to continue the program.

"There's not a lot of resources for people who have problems like this," Appleton said. "We're looking forward to donations to making (Aid-A-Pet) continue."

Murchison calls the program "a blessing". The $1,400 Aid-A-Pet loan she received paid for Angel's surgery and she's now back to active play dates. Murchison is repaying the loan $25 at a time and hopes to earn extra money to put towards the program.

To help resurrect the Aid-A-Pet program go to

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Pet Tricks
Los Angeles Times

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Cat Art Gifts - 6 Ideas
by Claudia Escobar

Cat art makes a lovely cat lover gift. Furthermore, a gift of cat art makes the perfect choice for cat lovers who are also art enthusiasts.
There is no question about it. Cats' feline majesty and beauty have inspired artists throughout history. Paintings and sculptures of cats have been found in Ancient Egyptian sites as well as in Incan palaces. More recently, pictures of cats have graced posters and day-to-day items, such as calendars and clothing.

And it's not only their physical beauty that has captured the imagination of painters, sculptors, designers, writers, and musicians. Cats' unique nature, mysterious personality, and sometimes quirky traits have inspired novels, poems, songs, movies, and one of the longest running shows on Broadway, among many other works. So it is safe to say that a gift of cat art will delight any cat lover, especially those who also love art.

However, just picking any gift of cat art will not do. Some factors to keep in mind during the selection process include: The form of art you want to give (i.e. painting, sculpture or photography), the technique you want to focus on (for example, watercolors vs. pastels, if you're giving a cat painting), your friend's personal taste, and of course, a budget.

These factors will help you narrow your search and will help you select the right gift for your cat-loving friend. If you need some ideas to inspire you in your search, take heart. Below you will find six cat art gift ideas, arranged from most expensive to most affordable.

1. Cat paintings. Many well-known artists have painted cats down through the centuries: From Leonardo Da Vinci and Titian to Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. I guess they couldn't resist cats' beautiful shape and had to immortalize it on canvass. Indeed, a feline-inspired painting makes an exquisite cat gift. Of course, some of these works of art come with a hefty price tag. But you can still find gorgeous paintings at affordable prices.

2. Cat portraits. If you want a truly one-of-a-kind painting, one that immortalizes your own cat (or your friend's cat), then commission a cat portrait. Pet portraits have grown in popularity in recent years so you can find several artists who specialize in pet portraiture. Prices may vary depending on the work you want and the artist.

3. Sculptures of cats. Somebody once said that if you have a cat you don't need artwork. And that's true, I think. Still, cat-inspired sculptures can add another level of feline beauty to any spot. Cats are amongst nature's most beautiful animals. And that beauty lends itself to be reproduced in sculptures. You can find statues for every place in your home: Sophisticated sculptures for the living room, whimsical statuettes for the bedroom, and lovely pieces for the garden.

4. Cat-inspired photographs. I think all cats are photogenic. Most often than not, cats take great pictures. You can find posters based on cat photographs of many different styles: Black and white photographs, breeds, funny and whimsical, inspirational, and more. If you prefer, you can take a picture of your cat-loving friend, place it in a nice frame and give as a gift.

5. Make it yourself. Are you creative and adventurous? If that is the case, make the gift yourself! Draw or paint cats. Or take a photograph. Or make a calendar. Thanks to user-friendly software and digital cameras, you can make your own art and personalize your gifts.

6. Inexpensive cat art. Give decorative coffee mugs or magnets showcasing cat-themed artwork. These gifts are not only beautiful but also practical. And best of all, you can find them at affordable prices.

About the Author
Claudia Escobar is a cat lover who loves anything cat-related. For more gift ideas for cat lovers visit her site at If you would like to reproduce this article please feel free to do so, provided that you publish the article in its entirety and include this resource box.

3 Tips for Purchasing a Rare Dog Breed
by Rusty S

3 useful tips that help you wisely purchase your rare dog breed
Selecting the right dog for your lifestyle isn̢۪t all that easy but it doesn't have to be hard. I used to complicate my process for choosing rare breeds but over the years I've simplified it down. I'd like to get right into the thick of it so you can quickly and effectively choose the right rare dog breed for you. Supposedly, rare dog breeds are a more difficult category to narrow down but if you follow my advice it becomes very simple. Consider your personality, family, and expectation. Rare dog breeds have needs that must be met, so study what they specifically need from you. If you don't like regular exercise then a breed that benefits from running several miles a week isn't the right fit for you. Maybe you love getting exercise but your family's happiness depends on you managing a quicker work out than you'd like. Either way, a dog that requires long periods of exercise isn't for you. The key is to realistically look at your personality and family life to pick out what expectations you should have for you specific rare dog breed. Consider these 8 groups of dog: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding, and miscellaneous. Then break down the groups that interest you into specific rare dog breeds. You'd be surprised how your expectations will lead to unexpected breeds. Take time to think about what pick benefit you AND benefit the dog. Maybe rare breeds aren̢۪t right for you, maybe instead of rare dog breeds you'll decide on a rare hamster breed.

Evaluate the dog breeder. Make sure they are who they claim to be by researching what the best rare dog breeders say and do. Dog breeders, as a general rule, love and care for dogs and would probe you with questions to make sure you can take care of the dog. There top priority is that particular rare dog and not selling a product. Many belong to a dog breeder club and are proud of the fact. Proper certification of the sire and dam of the litter is information that breeders should be gloating about. The key is not assuming a rare dog breeder is selling you the breed you want. That is simple, right? Choose the right dog for the expectations that your overall lifestyle suggests. Consider possibilities you may have ignored. Be certain you're speaking with a good breeder. Follow these and you and your dog will be happy.

About the Author
I'm a dog enthusiast and have been for many years.Many of my close friends to purchase specific rare breeds and am now trying to become a rare dog breeder myself. If you would like more information on purchasing a rare dog breed go to Now learn all about a great inexpensive dog training system that worked wonders for me http:

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