As tropical fish display such a variety of colour and line, it is not surprising that keeping them has become something of a cult. Since many are incompatible, and some — notably the piranha — are deadly carnivores, beginners should take an aquarist’s advice before attempting to stock a community tank. Among the fish most … Read more

European Pond Terrapins

Terrapins are carnivorous and need a diet of raw meat, whole fish, and such freshwater life as Daphnia, Gammarus and Tubifex. Both crustaceans and molluscs will be taken complete with their shells, which are valu- able for their calcium content. Terrapins will also eat pond weeds and lettuce. ACCOMMODATION Terrapins should be kept in a … Read more

Caring For Tortoises

VARIETIES Tortoises are land animals, turtles are marine and terrapins live in freshwater, although in America the word ‘turtle’ is used to describe all three. Those kept as pets are usually Mediterranean tortoises, European pond terrapins and tropical Red-eared terrapins. None of these animals is well enough suited to our northern climate to successfully breed, … Read more

Cage Bird Varieties

The two most popular kinds of cage bird are the budgerigar and the canary. The first is a small Australian parrot and is by nature a roving flock bird from semi-arid grasslands; the other, is a flock bird of the finch family and is native to the forests of the Canary Islands. The care of … Read more

Mongolian Gerbils

Many species of gerbil have been kept as pets, but of all the different kinds it is the Mongolian gerbil, with its distinctive black claws, that has established itself as a very successful pet. ACQUIRING A GERBIL Gerbils are born after a pregnancy of twenty-four days. The young are very immature and small with dark … Read more

Rabbit Breeds

Pedigree rabbits are classified as normal fur breeds which include Chinchillas, Californians and New Zealands; fancy breeds, including English, Dutch, Angoras, Lops, Netherland Dwarfs and Flemish Giants and the Rex and Satin breeds. The smaller rabbits whether mongrel or purebred, are to be preferred as pets to the larger breeds, which may be very difficult … Read more

Dog Breeds

It is most important to choose a dog — regardless of whether it is a pedigree or mongrel — whose size and temperament suits the family. By general consent the middle-sized dogs such as the Border Collie, the Labrador and Golden Retrievers, number among the quietest and most agreeable of companions. They are known for … Read more

Pet Care Basics

In many homes the pets are introduced by the children, who understandably cannot resist the thought of an interesting new companion in their lives. Yet, when young children ask for pets and still more pets, they are not taking into account all the responsibilities involved. These concern the parents, and it is they who must … Read more

Dog Handling in Obedience Classes or Working Trials

Your objective from puppy to adult dog has been to achieve as near as possible perfect behaviour by the dog. Any information on dog training would not be complete, however, without some remarks on the correct behaviour of the handler. Although my remarks are directed to competitors in Obedience Classes they also apply to Trials. … Read more

Dog Obedience – Stand and Temperament Test

When I heard that the new Obedience Regulations included a temperament test in Novice and Class A I was delighted. I had agitated for something of that sort ever since I became interested in obedience. Alas, when I read the new regulation, I found that it was not a test of temperament at all. Temperament … Read more

Teaching a Dog To Stay Down–The Down-stay Command

The explanatory notes for obedience classes where it is called the ‘Down/Stay’ say simply that: This test should be carried out exactly as for the Sit, except that dogs will be left in the Down position throughout the test. In Working Trials the Down exercise is the same for all stakes — ten minutes, handler … Read more

How to get a Dog to Sit At Heel

On the command ‘Halt’ the handler should halt immediately and the dog should sit straight at the handler’s side. Although the exercises are called ‘Heel on lead’ and ‘Heel free” it is probably true to say that more points are lost by dogs not sitting properly than by dogs not walking properly to heel. Actually … Read more

How To Stop A Puppy Barking

Oddly enough, very few people, experienced trainers as well as novices, take any trouble to teach a puppy to remain quietly where he is left until his owner returns. This may seem a very trivial and unnecessary exercise. However, when one considers the number of dogs, including winners in obedience classes, which create pandemonium when … Read more

How To Breed Rabbits

Rabbits have to be kept singly in hutches and this means than breeding has to be undertaken deliberately, rather than letting nature take its course. Still, breeding is fun and is not difficult. Small breeds mature sooner than large, so that while a Dutch doe may be bred as early as five months, a larger … Read more

Handling Rabbits

Rabbits have been domesticated for so long that even youngsters of a few weeks display no fear. It is rare that petting or coaxing is necessary to overcome the animal’s natural caution. This makes the rabbit an ideal pet even for quite young children, who could not be trusted with a smaller animal for fear … Read more

Buying A Pet Rabbit

Rabbits make an ideal pet for most children because their larger size means that they can be handled more roughly without harm befalling them. By the same token, they can, be handled more easily. There is no question of their tameness for rabbits have been bred in captivity for so long that any wildness has … Read more

Guinea Pig Illnesses

Sickness is not something to be anticipated because guinea-pigs are tough little creatures. However, one cannot ignore the fact that illness may strike despite careful attention to feeding and hygiene. The typical signs of ill-health are a bedraggled coat, listless behaviour and absence of appetite. At the first signs, the animal should be separated from … Read more

Handling Guinea Pigs

Guinea-pigs are so naturally tame that little difficulty should be experienced in handling for the first time. Most animals show some signs of nervousness with strangers and this nervousness can be overcome by treating the animal kindly and unhurriedly. Gently stroke and pet him but make no attempt to pick him op if he cowers … Read more