Leo (July 23 to August 22)
These pets are easy to identify by the way the stand apart from the crowd and wait for you to admire them!
Their voices tend to be loud and they hold their heads high. Their movements are slightly slower than other signs - as well as deliberate and poised. A "look but don't touch" presence is their signature style, especially when they walk into a room. When they enter, they look you straight in the eye and will wait patiently wait for your praise and attention. They're solidly built and enjoy roughhousing but when they have had enough, they'll dramatically stop playing and remove themselves from the games.
Intelligent, charismatic, and charming, they see themselves as profoundly worthy of your love and praise. Leo's pets crave attention and often behave as if they were "to the manor born". In general, they are neither aggressive nor energetic. When they do accomplish something they consider especially pleasing, they'll demand your immediate attention and applause. The Leo pets command attention from a very early age. Even as little ones, they manage to hold their head a little higher than others of your breed. A natural showoff, this one learns early how to upstage its cohorts and maintain it's visibility. They show their affection by allowing you to shower them with love! They reciprocate, of course, but not until you make the first move. After that, this cuddly animal will shower you with all of the love you can handle. This is a pet that does not like sharing and if you forced to, they'll turn a cold shoulder to show their distaste. They literally turn their back on you when displeased. Although not incredibly energetic, a Leo pet loves performing and does it well. You'll find that they're at their most charming when you have company. Look for an eagerness to show off their skills and a regal bearing even when sitting down. Leo's make great show pets because they thrive on being handled and pampered.
They have a real love for children - once they see them as something other than an ungrateful audience! They are loyal and loving to anyone smart enough to see how special they really are. A Leo's family should be affectionate and generous with praise. In a multi-pet household, they insist on being the favorite and will insure that they keep this status by placing themselves - quite literally - in your path. An active family that knows how to play and socialize is the ideal household for these adorable pets. They will bond to all family members equally. Very small children have a special appeal to them and their protection of children is immediate and fierce, whether or not they are members of the immediate family.
Who could discipline a pet with a face like that? You - unless you want your pet to think it can get away with anything (which we all know they can!). Be prepared for a lot of sulking and cold shoulder routines before they eventually get the idea that you're the boss. Of course, that won't stop them from letting you know when your overstepped your bounds! Discipline should be meted out firmly and patiently but not abruptly. Sharp, sudden actions may cause them to feel defensive. A defensive animal may snap at you, and that's a whole new set of problems. If you remember to reward them quickly for good behavior, discipline should only be necessary in rare cases. More often than not, once they understand that they've done something bad, they'll be so ashamed that punishing them will be cruel and unnecessary. A simple word will do to remind them at those times.
They love to be rubbed around the head, the back, the front, the top, the bottom, the side...actually, they crave just about any affectionate attention. They greatly enjoy treats and toys, especially soft, fuzzy toys, but given a choice between your affection and toys, they'll always opt for you! Taking them for walks and letting them be admired by other humans and animals is the best treat of all, so take them out and show them off.