BLACK BEARS sybils den
Welcome to Sybil's Den.  This site is meant for information purposes  on raising  pet exotics animals based on my experience.  There are care sheets for black bears, foxes, raccoons, emus, farm animals and domestic animals.   Also please find a very informative message board with a lot of great members.

For some of the species of animals I have or had information on, You will find their photo gallery.

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`PLEASE NOTE:  The following information is based on my experience and my opinions only.


get sick when I hear of people that abuse their pets.  I can't understand this. If  an animal is shown love, it will return that love.   Maybe these  dog owners  just don't know how to show love. If this is the case, they should not own pets. Generally, if they can't show love to their pet, it is a good sign they can't show or have love for people either.

I have seen so many pets that been abused, it makes me sick. I think anyone that abuses any animal in any way, should do jail time over this.

There are a lot of animals in the humane society because of ignorant people that can't take proper care of their pets.

Then there are the people that say, well the dog just won't listen to me, probably because they keep the dog on a chain all the time and don't spend much time with the dog and the dog is not fixed.

Most dogs need some type of activity and/or outdoor time.  If a dog owner can't afford  to fence off their property, build a large pen, or install a underground fence, then take the dog for walks.

Some dogs require more exercise than others. I own mostly coonhounds, and these type of dogs do not do good on a chain or cooped up.  I have about 10 acres that is fenced in.  They are free to roam.
They are not hyper, bad, destructive or bored. 

Animals have feelings too. I wish more people can understand this.

REPORT THEM.  If you are unsure as to who to call, try animal rescue league, police. if they can't help, they will direct you to someone that will.

Lets help stop animal abuse


I firmly believe in neutering or spaying your pet.  It is best to have your dog fixed between 6-12 months of age. But, if the dog is not fixed within that time period, I believe it still better late than never.  Keep in mind, if a dog is fixed after he/she matures, it will just take a little time for the brain to catch up with the procedure.

If  a male dogs is not neutered, that can possibly cause prostrate cancer and could be more aggressive..
Spayed and neutered dogs are generally happier because they are free from sexual anxiety and are therefore calmer and more content to stay at home, less likely to fight with  other dogs in the house.. They will get along better. 

This procedure is NOT cruel to the animal.
What is cruel,  is when a dog is NOT fixed and chained up all the time.

If you can't afford to have your dog fixed at a vet. There are programs for low income people, from many animal rescue leagues.  Call around and ask. 


My opinion on chaining a dog outside all the time is cruel. I hear of many people chaining their dogs outside and this is where they stay.   if this is how this dog is to be treated, then I don't think these people should have a dog.  Dogs want to be part of the family. they need  lots of love and attention. If a dog is given love, they will
show love in return. 

Then I hear people tell me "I don't have time for a dog"  My thoughts, are they should have thought of that before they got the dog. 

On the other hand, I don't believe in letting  a dog run to the point where it can get out of the yard. this could be very dangerous also, they could get hit by a car., shot, poisoned.
so my solution is fencing. it makes it so much nicer with a fence around the yard.
But of course the bottom has to be secured so they can't dig under the fence. I put electric fence around the bottom. one zap and they stay away. I also would put logs at the bottom of the fence and staple it to the fence. this keeps it so they can't dig under  it.  There is also the underground fence which is very inexpensive.
If you the owner can't afford to fence off their property, then at least a large pen is better than nothing.

We have a doggie door for our dogs, so they can come and go as they please. This way if they need to go outside at night they can. Doggie doors are very easy for dogs to learn.. The doggie door with the heavy plastic is a good choice... I DO NOT  recommend the Plexiglas. I had this at one time for a short while, most of my dogs were scared of it. The one dog that wasn't scared of it, did use it, but he got his foot caught in it.
So I returned this type and bought a good one with a heavy plastic. I don't even know if they are still being made.  I hope not.

I think it is great that some people will take their pets with them.. but, what I don't think is great when they are left in the car. especially  on hot days or even warm sunny days.

 A dog's body temperature is much different than people. they sweat differently. they get overheated easier.. I get so upset when I see dogs in a car with the window cracked just a little.. My thought is, leave the dog at home if they have to wait in the car for more than 5 minutes.

If you leave your pet in a car on a hot or even warm day. sit in the car with the windows cracked and see how comfortable it is for you

If you see a dog in a car on a hot day with the windows barely opened.  PLEASE REPORT THEM. Get their license plate number.

A child should  be taught to respect pets. I think it is so unfair to the animals that some parents let there kids pull the dogs hair, hit them or whatever.  Animals have feeling also. Allowing a child to tease a dog, leaves a greater chance of the dog turning or getting aggressive.  Then, when the dog bites the child, it is always the dogs fault.

Personally, allowing a child with this type of behavior will  lack  respect for animals and people and could stay with them through adulthood.

I have found if I talk to my pets all the time, they begin to understand words. I am always telling them how pretty they are. If they are being really good and quiet, I make sure I tell them "how good they are".

But in general I just keep talking to them about anything, they look at me as though they really want to know what I am saying..  In time they will understand more words than people realize.
I can generally understand 90% of what they  want and they understand 90% of what I would say to them 

Talk about anything, even the weather. Most pets like to hear people talking to them. If you have more than one dog, talk to each one individual also.

I hear people tell me how bad their dogs are ,how they won't listen, how they chew furniture and more.
well is it possible  these dogs are not getting enough attention and love. some dogs require more attention then others.

So, basically, if you show your dog lots of love and attention, you will receive the same in return.                              

When a dog jumps up at you, the dog generally is showing his love and wants to near the owners face.. The best way to stop a dog from jumping, is to correct it at a very young age.

To correct a dog or puppy from jumping: Two people would be best at this method. The dog should have a choke collar on and put on a long rope, cord or chain. The owner should leave the house, then return (however long it takes for the dog to get excited to see his/her owner)
The helper holds the rope. As the owner approaches the dog the long cord should be quite loose and as the dog goes to jump up, the cord should be jerked hard by the helper until the dog is pulled very sharply and unexpectedly to the ground with the command "down". If this is done several times, the dog has no idea where this correction is coming from and thinks before repeating his/her jumping up. When the dog don't jump, make sure he/she is praised.

Another method, mostly with larger dogs, when he/she jumps on you. knee him/her in the chest. you don't need to do this with a lot of force. Make sure you yell "NO" to him/her at the same time. When the dog gets down, praise him/her for being down.. scoot down to praise him/her for not jumping.. The dog just wants to show his/her love and don't understand that jumping on its owners or guests is wrong..
You may need to do this several times before your dog learns, he/she is not suppose to jump.

Dogs are no different from people as for characteristics and temperaments.. Dogs can have nervous breakdowns, just a person could, but dogs get recognized as bad-tempered or disobedient. Some people don't think of stresses of life, the noise of traffic, the perpetual human rat-race, which can affect dogs also. When dogs are left at home when the owner leaves, it also puts confusion and stress on dogs.

I hear many people buying dogs from previous owners or from the humane society. The new owners get upset with the new dog when she/he is hyper, disobedient or tries to run away.
It takes time for the new dog to get use to his/her surroundings.. The new environment is very stressful for a dog. Chances are, it would take longer for a adult dog to adjust to his/her environment than it would for a puppy..

There are many people out there that have dogs and don't understand them. If these people would just do a little research on dog behavior, this would help. People should try and understand life from a dog's point of view before blaming him for everything that goes wrong.

How many words does your dog know? If he is not spoken to, he obviously is not going to understand much.. Does your dog stay with you most of the time you are home.. Is he/she part of your family.. The effort that is put into a dog makes a difference  on his/her behavior.
Don't except to have a well behaved dog that is left on a chain all day with no attention..

Altering you dog also helps with behavior. I can't stress this enough.. Unless you plan on breeding your dog, I highly recommend this.. There are so many unwanted dogs, why would people want to bring more into this world...

Correcting dogs that chase and/or kill chickens, ducks or anything.

This is one problem that is tough to correct.. But, it can be done. However, the hunting dogs are the ones that are more prone to chasing poultry or other animals.. It is natural for hunting dogs to chase and kill other animals.

I have three coonhounds that use to  chase my chickens and have killed some of them.
It took a little while to break them of this and be able to trust them when I am not around.

One dog at a time can be trained. You could first try telling your dog "NO", if he/she don't respond, then a spray bottle of water, if you are near the dog. Every time he/she even looks at the chicken or whatever, spray the dog in the face.  Don't expect this to work the first time.  You have to be consistent, it could take days, weeks or even months.

The last resort is a shock collar. but, it is very important that you understand how they work.
A dog will NOT understand any correction if the correction is not done at the exact precise time.

If you choose to try the shock collar, PLEASE do NOT set the intensity too high.
start at a low setting first.  If the dog starts chasing your chickens or whatever little critter,
then zap him/her with the low setting, if the dog don't respond to that setting, then up it a notch.
When the dogs stops, then you know the setting is OK. Again, it MUST be used only while they are
chasing the chickens.   Otherwise, the dog will not understand.

Now, the new shock collars has a warning button on it.  which is my preference. Generally, once they get zapped,
the warning buzzer is all that is needed thereafter.  But, before you use the first zap, be sure to hit the warning
button first.

What I did was hide, so the dog could not see me or associate that it was me doing this. When the dog would begin to chase a chicken, I would zap her.  This will most likely have to be done several times. but, only used the the warning buzzer.  Most likely, this will not stop them permanently, you will need to keep reinforce as needed.
It helps a lot, if the dog is corrected every time. 

Another method you could try with a shock collar is, when the dog starts to chase the chicken, yell "NO"  if the dog don't listen, then zap the dog..  It is very important that you DO NOT zap the dog unless  he/she is in the act of doing something wrong. but, again, generally the buzzer warning will stop the dog after the very first zap from when you started using the shock collar.

Several people have told me that once a dog gets a taste of blood, there is no stopping him/or. This is not true.. As I said, my hounds did kill several chickens, a couple geese and some rheas.. So there is hope..  I now leave all my dogs loose on the property with my emu and all the chickens, ducks and geese..  The dogs no longer bothers anyone.. However, they will hunt up wild rabbits, raccoons, opossums or basically anything that is wild.. I don't want to correct them for this, because this is part of their nature.. Besides, it keeps the wild animals away from my farm animals.  But personally, I think a wild animal has a different smell to them.

My coonhounds are great with my raccoons and foxes.  they play together.  but, a wild animal is different.
Feeding Dogs
I make homemade food for my dogs.  I honestly do not trust most of the dog foods out on the market.
I guess there are some that are safe. but, since I lost one of my dogs to  tainted dog food a few years back.
Homemade dog food is the way I go.  However, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with making them food.
to stretch the food, sometimes,  I will add a little purina dry food or bil-jac.

Deer meat is their favorite. but, for me, it is not always easy to find.
When I cook their food, I use ground meat, stew meat, chicken, turkey or hot dogs.
Fish is also a good meat for them, but, I won't cook fish for the dogs or anyone.

I don't use all the above at the same time, but, will sometimes mix two of the meats.
also, I add,  rice or noodles.  carrots or peas.  Usually I blend the veggies so they eat it.
I also add some chicken broth to their mixture.  then put a little flour or corn starch to thicken it.

when I cook the food, I generally try and cook a lot at one time, then put them in containers and freeze the extra.  This way, I don't have to cook everyday.

Raw meat vs cooked meat? some people claim raw meat is better than cooked meat.
Personally, I prefer cooking it for two reasons.  one reason: it stretches further.second reason: my dogs are less apt to get worms. However, once in awhile, I will give them raw ground meat. but, NEVER raw poultry.

If you have a dehydrator, you can make chicken tenders. you can buy a 10lb bag of chicken breast from sams club for about $22.00 or watch for them when they are on sale at your local grocery store.
Its is pretty easy to make. pre-cook the chicken, then slice it thin and lay on the dehydrator shelves.
the dogs love them, and I know they are safe.
Some researchers have found that feeding your dog three smaller meals a day is better for the dog than one big meal a day.. This also spreads their food  intake though the day, where it will lessen a dog begging for food.

However, I generally feed  mine smaller meals about twice a day, with a snack in between.  whatever they don't finish, goes in the refrigerator for their dinner. If there is not left in their dish, I will leave the dish for them later.
Training a puppy to do his/business outside

This is a task that sometimes could take a while. To start with, the puppy should be brought outside every 2-3 hours with hope he/she will do their business.. If the puppy does do what it is suppose to outside, praise him/her. "GOOD BOY" say this several times.

If the puppy should dirty in the house, gently put his/her nose toward the spot (not in it)
then bring the puppy outside.  In conjunction, put the poop outside where you take the pup.
if the pup urinates inside, then soak a little with newspaper and bring that outside also.
consistency is the key. However, I do understand when no one will be home for hours or all day,
it is obviously hard to train your dog.  If at all possible,  an outdoor pen with a dog house and shade would be the ticket.  NEVER hit  your dog  for messing in the house, especially hours later.  Most likely, they will not get the connection.

 I had my female trained in one day.. Now the problem is night time. They should be brought outside a couple times during the night. If the puppy cries, when you are sleeping, don't ignore it, bring it outside.. 

Some people crate train their puppies. I never had and never will. If you are concerned that  your dog should dirty. then  put it in a cage. (not a small one) keep the puppy where you sleep..

I would put the puppy in the bed with me at night.  If it had to go to the bathroom, I would know, the pup would wake me up.   Pups don't generally dirty where they sleep..

......... A PETíS TEN COMMANDMENTS .....

1.  My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful

2.  Give me time to understand what you want for me.

3.  Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4.  Donít be angry with me for long and donít lock me up as punishment.
     You have your work, your friends, your entertainment but I have only have you.

5.  Talk to me. Even if I donít understand your words, I do understand your words,
     I do understand your voice when speaking me.

6.  Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7.  Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet,
     I choose not to bite you.

8.  Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something
     might be bothering me. Perhaps Iím not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too
     long, or my heart might be getting old and weak.

9.  Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you canít bear to watch.
      Donít  make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are here, because I love you so.


Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without Godís critters
 Now please pass this on to other pet owner.

We do not have to wait for Heaven, to be surrounded by hope, love and joyfulness.

It is here on earth and has four legs!