Monday, February 28, 2011

CATS and why they do what they do...

We at 6 pack of dogs love all animals. We personally have dogs, cats & a macaw in the zoo we call home. With that in mind, I like to spread information on all pets, whenever possible. Here is an interesting recap of normal cat behaviors. See what you think and compare them to how your cat acts.

We love our cats but don't always understand cat communication. Our feline friends use a combination of vocalizations, body language and smells to talk with each other and their special people. Here are 12 ways cats communicate.

1. Meows: These are rarely aimed at other cats. Instead meows are requests pointed at humans. For example, cats meow to be petted, for you to open the door or for you to wake up and fill their bowls. The more demanding Kitty becomes, the lower the pitch of the meow.

2. Purrs: These vocalizations signal nonthreat. A cat's purr has been described as a feline smile, and cats purr in the presence of other pets and humans. Purrs often express happiness.

3. Hisses:
Keep your distance if you hear a hiss. Cats hiss at other pets and people. Hisses can be defensive or offensive, and arise from frightened or hostile felines.

4. Growls: This is a serious warning from a cat that an attack may be coming. Hisses that don't succeed turn to growls when the cat can't escape.

5. Chattering: This odd sound indicates frustration. Cats that watch critters through the window may chatter when unable to reach the evil squirrels.

6. Spit: This not-so-pleasant communication is the equivalent of a feline gasp of surprise.

7. Body Position: These movements indicate attitude. Confident cats face forward, while fearful cats stand sideways with arched backs to look larger than they really are. Defensive or submissive cats want to look small and nonthreatening, so they crouch low, with feet tucked, and ears and tail held close to the body. Cats show trust by placing themselves in vulnerable postures such as rolling.

8. Fur Position: The hair on a cat can telegraph emotional state. Fur is smooth in relaxed cats. Any kind of arousal -- fear, aggression, happiness, stress -- may prompt fluffed fur that stands straight off the body. For instance, you'll see a bottle brush tail when kitty becomes excited.

9. Ear Position: The ears of relaxed and interested cats face forward. Ears turn sideways in uneasy cats. Fearful kitties hold ears sideways like airplane wings. Ears that flicker back and forth very quickly indicate great agitation. The cat slicks his ears tight to the head in preparation for attack. Cats with one ear forward and one sideways aren't clear how they feel.

10. Eye Reactions: They dilate suddenly (pupils go from slits to round) any time the cat feels sudden excitement. That arousal might be anything from the sight of a dog to a bowl of favorite food or a feather toy. Cat stares indicate a challenge. Squinting shows strong emotion and possibly impending attack. But a slow eye-blink to other cats or people signals non-threat and is known as a "kitty kiss" when aimed at people.

11. Tail Position: While these vary somewhat between cats, a tail held straight up, with just the end tipped over, is a feline "howdy" that signals to other cats and people a friendly greeting -- it means kitty wants to interact with you. Relaxed cat tails are held in a gentle U, and the greater his interest, the higher the cat holds his tail. Tails tucked between the legs or wrapped around the crouched body show fear. The end of the tail flicking back and forth indicates frustration that may progress to tail-thumping wags that warn of imminent attack. A bottle-brush tail held straight up or behind the cat shows aggression, but if it's held in an inverted U it is a defensive posture.

12. Rubbing/Scratching Behavior: When cats rub against you or scratch objects they are leaving the equivalent of scented Post-It notes. Scent glands in the forehead, cheeks, paw pads and tail leave behind the kitty's signature scent. Cats rub or scratch to mark territory as owned -- including scent-marking a beloved human with cheek rubs.

Understanding cat vocabulary can help you become more attuned to what your cat has to say. But every cat is different, so pay attention to what your favorite feline does. Some cats develop their own way of communicating -- a particular meow, for example -- the same way people who speak the same language may have different regional accents. Watch your own kitty to learn the way he or she talks.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

10 Practical Tricks to Teach Your dog

Having a dog is a great feeling since you get a lifelong pal that will stick by your side loyally forever. Most people like to teach all the great tricks to their dog in order to have a well-trained and well-behaved pet that is able to do things others can’t. There are several tricks that you can teach your dog in order to make a more entertaining pet that is able to compete with other pets, showing just how bright he or she really is. Some dogs are quite intelligent and it doesn’t really take much but a bit of guidance and reward in order to teach the best of tricks, while there are some dogs you have to work a little harder with in order to ensure he or she gets the gig. If you are thinking about teaching your dog something new, here are 10 practical tricks to teach your dog, that just about anyone can do quite easily.

  1. Sit. This is perhaps the most basic of tricks to teach your dog and extremely practical. Not only is it very easy to teach, but your dog is able to comprehend this command very easily due to the one word, one syllable command type. For most, this is often the first trick worked on and leads to great success with the reward of a few good treats.
  2. Beg. Every dog begs, but there are different ways of begging. The typical owner doesn’t want the dog to beg unless it is a trick, in which the dog sits with his paws up, begging quietly. This is a great trick to teach, and is done easily with the dog’s favorite treats and a great deal of patience.
  3. Stand. There aren’t many breeds out there that can stand perfectly, but they all can pretty much stand if taught how by their master. Teaching a dog to stand is much like teaching them to beg, and can be a great trick to show all your friends as they stop by.
  4. Heel. Heel is one of the most basic commands, yet is still a trick that many dogs may not know. This is great for those big dogs that like to attack and can ward them off the attack easily. With a quick “heel”, they will sit back and leave the threat alone.
  5. Roll Over. This is a great trick to teach a dog that is obedient when it comes to laying. Once the dog knows how to lay down, half the work is done and the next step is roll over. Rolling over is a harder trick to teach, but many dogs grasp it after only a few tries.
  6. Lay Down. Laying down is a necessity for a dog, but if you are patient and interested in teaching your dog new tricks, you can teach them to lay down on command. This is one of the most practical of tricks to teach as most dogs can learn this one in less than a day.
  7. Shake Hands. Whether you call it giving paw or shaking hands, dogs are great at learning this trick. Any breed can learn it and the earlier you teach it the quicker the pup will learn. Giving paw is a great way to show your dog affection as well, making it a great trick to teach.
  8. Fetch. This is a trick that is always taught by kids and dogs are prone to grasp it almost immediately. Even if you have the dog that just stares at the object flying away, after a couple tries, he or she will likely get the hang of it and do the trick all the time. This is also a great trick to teach if you want to have great fun with the pup.
  9. Get the Paper. There aren’t many masters that really teach this trick anymore because many people rather just get the paper from the store reducing the issues with the paper boy, but this is a highly practical trick nonetheless. There are many dogs that actually enjoy this trick and will stay on routine until they no longer have a paper to fetch.
  10. Play Dead. Playing dead is a great trick to teach, especially for those that wish to put their pup in some acting later on. Teaching a dog to play dead is not only amusing, but can be extremely easy for the master to accomplish with a few great treats and a while to master the trick completely.

All dogs have great potential to perform great tricks, and there are some tricks that are very practical and can be taught to just about any dog. While there are some tricks exclusive for certain breeds, these 10 tricks are for any breed that has the will to try.

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