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Your Questions: How can we stop our labrador stealing food from our plates?

Q. We have an 18-month-old chocolate Labrador and he is quite well behaved, but has one significant flaw. He likes food too much and when we are sitting at the table having dinner, he is there watching us, dribbling and trying to get the food. If we are not careful, he will steal from our plates. We don't know what to do. Help! Margaret, London

Pet of the week: The chinchilla

Who's this? It is a chinchilla, native of the Andes, and used to scraping a herbivorous living in pretty tough environments, so don't be fooled by the cute little ears and goofy teeth routine. He's a born survivor, so be prepared for him to live up to 15 years.

The Ten Best Dog Beds

Let your pooch sleep easy with this selection of dog beds.

Your Questions: My cat has abandoned me!

Q. My four-year-old cat, Nosey Parker, has abandoned me! We were getting along just fine, both of us leaving early in the morning and coming back in the early hours. But since I've moved, things have changed. He's taken up residence with my mother (when he only used to stay with her when I went on holidays). I've tried to keep him in, but as soon as he can get out he's off to my mum's. Stephen, Crystal Palace

Pet Of The Week: The Easter bunny

I tawt I taw a wabbit? You most certainly did. A Netherland Dwarf rabbit, no less. Small of body, frugal of ear size, hamsterish of jowl, with big eyes. If you wanted to conjure up the perfect Easter Bunny (out of a top hat, perhaps?) then you could do no worse than this whiskery nibbler. And he's got a lovely temperament, not like some rabbits which can show a bit of attitude.

Doga – that's meditation for mutts

Canine yoga craze hailed as opportunity for owners to bond with their pets

First person: 'I live with Britain's largest lizard'

Chris Weller, 62

Your Questions: Do rats make good pets and are they safe to keep indoors?

Q. I'm considering getting a small pet and I was thinking about a rat, but I'm worried about hygiene issues. Do they make good pets and are they safe to keep indoors? Hugo, via e-mail

Pet of the week: The puggle

Aaah, he's so cute. What type of dog is he? A puggle, the fashion-forward crossbreed du jour. First they brought you labradoodles, then it was cockapoos, and then there was the terrier crossed with a bulldog, known as a terribull. The puggle is the latest litter in an ever-growing kennel of crossbreeds. As with all things fashionable, one is left thinking, "Whatever next?"

Your Questions: 'I'm at my wits end with my pug'

Q. My partner and I own a lovely two-year-old pug. He was mine originally and when I moved in with my partner things started to change. He follows her everywhere, will not listen to anything I tell him to do, sleeps in our bed between us and hates it when we cuddle. I'm at my wits' end. Help! Chris, London

Your Questions: 'Should we take on a third puppy?'

Q. We recently bought a new male Yorkshire Terrier puppy to keep our five-year-old female Cavalier company. Everything is going well and they are settling in nicely together. The breeder asked us if we would consider taking on one of the other male puppies that has been returned to her. We are worried it might unsettle the others. Mary, via e-mail

Animal crackers: The rise of pet memoirs

Why have pet memoirs replaced misery-lit on bestseller lists? Tim Walker sniffs out the story
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste