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Is the Bengal Breed right for you?

May 23, 2017

So, you’re thinking about getting a Bengal?

Well, you came to the right place. I will give you my professional opinion as a behaviourist about the breed & breed traits, plus, as a Bengal owner, (Boomer is an F7 Bengal) you’ll know that my advice stems from first hand experience.

Many of the things I’ve experienced with the breed has also been experienced (confirmed)  by many other Bengal owners (online or people I meet out in public.) It’s clear from what I hear, they are not like your average cat.

I understand there are exceptions to every rule, and I know that not every Bengal is the same. If you have a Bengal that is nothing like I’m reporting, or is everything I’m reporting and more, let us all know about your Bengal (and their temperament) in the comments below. I want my followers to hear all points of view. The bottom line… Whenever you’re committing to adopting a new cat/dog into the family, it’s important to do as much research as possible, nothing is worst then getting the animal home, only to find out, after a few short weeks, they are nothing like you thought they would be. Unfortunetely this scenario happens frequently, these animals are then abandoned in the streets or brought to shelters. This is very sad ending that could have been avoided if people did the research before buying.

I’m confident this article will help you see if the Bengal breed is right for you.

The Bengal breed is NOT right for you if…

  1. You consider yourself a cat person. (not a dog person)
  2. The reason you want a Bengal is because you like the way they look. This would never be a good reason to get any animals. Their temperament, YOUR lifestyle/living arrangements should be your main concern! Let’s turn this around, how about you ask the animal (hypothetically) what they think about being cramped up in your small living space, just so you can stared at them all day. If they could respond, I’d say a lot of Siberian Husky’s or Bengals would tell you, “NO WAY!” Getting an animal based on looks is never a good reason, it’s so important to do your research to find out what’s on the inside.
  3. You have a small living space, young children (I mainly say that because, Bengals require extra time, time they won’t get because you have a child to raise.) If you have an existing cat(s) over 3 years of age, and/or if the cat doesn’t have a lot of experience playing with other cats. In my view Bengals don’t make a good 2nd cats (unless maybe if they’re both Bengals) they can be overbearing at times, even becoming a little aggressive and possibly injure your older defenceless cat. Didga and Boomer play but sometimes he gets too rough and bites Didga hard, no punctures but hair comes out, and I have to intervene and let Boomer know that’s enough. Thankfully it only happens once or twice a month,  I’m just glad I do all I do with Boomer to tire him out, I have some control of his behaviour because of the training we’ve done, and I’m around most of the time with them to manage their interactions.
  4. If you want a cat you can pick up or hold/carry, or a cat to sit in your lap.   Well,”you” may want that, but that’s not what most Bengals want. Bengals ARE NOT considered “lap-cats” and will struggle if held. They will probably become more affectionate with age but you may be waiting a long time for that, maybe 5 to 10 years? There may be times they show affection but It’s definitely on their own terms. I had one lady tell me her Bengal is super affectionate and a lap cat but only with her, although she still can’t really pick the cat up. and the cat runs from other family members if they try.
  5. If you want a cat that will require a minimum amount of your time, and/or NOT take away from your social life. Not going to happen, especially if you start with a kitten. Bengals (IF you’re doing it right)  require a lot of your time (compared to most other cats) especially the first few years. This is because of their high energy and constant exploring into every nook and cranny of your home, they can be quit clumsy too. I was worried to leave Boomer in the first year roaming free in the house while I went out. Luckily I have a small secure sun room that I “mostly” felt safe leaving him, although after 2 years he found a way to break through one of the plastic windows, and if I didn’t see him hanging half way out he would have escaped. I’ve also heard from others, they are big time escape artist. The owners of a cat enclosure company told me, that if a Bengal owner calls them to install an enclosure, they say, “sorry we can’t help you.” The enclosure business owners told me Bengals will eventually find a way to escape from their enclosures. (Now, I can see why)
  6. You want your cat to have boundaries around the home as to where they can and cannot go. Not going to happen. “Boundaries” do not compute with Bengals. and unfortunetely, they don’t adhere to conventional deterrent methods, so if you have a Bengal, you’ll need to work extra-extra hard teaching them boundaries. Example: jumping on the kitchen counter, Didga learned not to jump on the kitchen counter after a few weeks. With Boomer, every trick in the book was used, and to this day at times, he still jumps on the counters.
  7. If you are planning to allow them outside “unsupervised” roaming free. Not a good idea, actually a very bad one. First, it’s very dangerous for cats to be outside, they can be killed by poisons, people, cars or dogs, and are likely to be stolen, or they’ll just kill the local wildlife for sport. Like most cats they are hunters, the difference is when you compare a cat like Didga to the Bengal, when Didga was young, it took 2 weeks to teach her not to go after birds, I’ve been teaching Boomer for 2 years now, and I not only have put in the time, but I’m a trained professional applying the training in text book fashion. Sadly, very little change has happened. Hence why you see, in many of my pics and videos, Boomer is on a lead and Didga is not.
  8. If you’re NOT going to take the time to teach them tricks, especially teach them how to walk on leash (which is somewhat easier for this breed). This would be cruel to a Bengal to not get out and explore the surrounding nature.

The Bengal Breed is right for you if:

  1. If you can except the breed for what they are (above), and not put them in a situation or an environment that goes against their nature.
  2. If you’re an active pet person willing to exercise your cat on a daily basis. – This breed loves to be part of the action, take them on walks on leash, on road trips, camping trips, play with them in the house (they love chase games,) provide them with an exercise wheel, or any type of exercise outlet. Even a dog would be a great companion, just make sure their temperament would have to match that of the Bengal.
  3. IN the right home these cats can be great pets, they not only look amazing but have a personality to match, just make sure you’re that right home for this breed. You can always live vicariously through me.
  1. FYI -I trained police dogs in the Military, then worked with animals actors in Hollywood, and although our company specialised in dogs and cats, we assisted in training other animals including exotics. then I started my own dog training business, and was training dogs up until just a few years ago, now I am full time with these cats, social media and YouTube.  Getting a Bengal was an experiment to see what I can do with whats considered the most teachable cat breed, atm I’m not convinced they are, although if Boomer had a higher food drive, one like Didga I may feel differently.

ONE last thing to add: For all I do with Boomer, ( have to seen our videos and social media posts?) anyway, I still get the feeling I’m holding him back. He is an F7 – I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have anything closer to the Leopard. Hey, I’m just looking out for the cats well being, I don’t think any wild animals should be in captivity, so the closer to the Leopard the Bengal is, the more I’d be against having one in a home environment. Very-very-very few people could provide what’s necessary for these animals.

Btw – early next year, I’ll be adding a third cat to the CATMANTOO family, I might be known as – Catmanthree? LOL – I won’t be doing the ‘pure breed’ thing anymore, it’s back to the shelter to look for another amazing cat like Didga. In the meantime look for me doing a few fosters before the end of the year, and stay tuned for more.

(If I think of anything new, I’ll update this blog)

IF you want to add anything, or just say “HI” feel free to comments below.

IF you found this post useful and informative please let me know below, that way I will be motivated to write more things for this site.

Robert, Didga and Boomer

 

10 Difficult Breeds

July 13, 2014

This is just a list of dogs I’ve read about and have come to know “personally” as difficult breeds to own. It’s NOT a list of stupid breeds or breeds that are bad. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule and don’t take this personally. I’m just informing people that, if they get one of these breeds, or they aren’t an experienced and very dedicated dog owner,  they may have trouble leading a normal dog-owner life, i.e. having a calm and orderly home, being able go to the dog park, allow the dog off leash, be around kids, dogs or other animals, or being allowed back into doggy daycare or a boarding facility. With that said, a few of these breeds get their “difficult” reputation because of lack of  proper early socialization (before 3 months old), training and or guidance from a professional dog trainer. 

In no particular order:

Siberian Husky

Jack Russell terrier

Chow Chow

Basenji

Akita

Alaskan-Malamute

Beagle

Samoyed

American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit Bull)

Presa Canario or American Bulldog

If you would like to know why a breed is on this list, ask me using the comment form below.

Dogs often make wonderful pets. However, every dog has the potential to inflict harm under the right circumstances – that’s why many other breeds could have made this list. If a breed is not listed here, it doesn’t mean they will automatically be a “perfect” dog without a lot of dedication from you.

If you are thinking about getting one of the listed breeds or any breed for that matter, do your homework and find a good breeder. Meet the puppy’s parents, as good sound parents produce good sound puppies. Learn everything there is to know about the breed. Proper early socialization (before 3 months old), training and exercise is the key. whether your dog is younger or older than 3 months, hiring a professional dog trainer can really make a difference.

If your dog shows aggression or other negative behavioral issues, get help right away. Don’t make excuses for the dog and don’t be in denial. It’s OK to ask for professional help.  My recommendation is if you have a known ‘aggressive breed’, a puppy from aggressive parents, a puppy you don’t know who the parents are or a puppy who is showing aggressive behavior, you should have them neutered as early as possible (usually before 4- months of age). All other dogs can be fixed at 6 months old.

Top 10 Smartest Breeds

July 10, 2009

bordercollieSome of the more-trainable breeds were tested to determine which breeds might be smarter. The tests judged how quickly they learned obedience commands and how quickly they solved problems. Regardless of who’s #1 a lot of our dogs potential depends on us, the more active we are with them, the more knowledge we have, the more training we do, our dogs will become smarter.  So keep reading from blog sites like mine and your dog will be competing for a spot in the top ten. However, don’t get your hopes too high as I think the breed in the #1 spot has nothing to worry about.

10. Australian cattle dog

9.   Rottweiler

8.   Papillon

7.   Labrador

6.   Shetland Sheepdog

5.   Doberman

4.   Golden Retriever

3.   German Shepherd

2.   Poodle

1.   Border Collie

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