The medical treatment of heart failure (HF) is associated with 50% survival at 5 years, thus being one of the major causes of mortality in Western countries. An understanding of the pathophysiology of HF is essential for the development of novel efficient therapies. Consequently, the use of animal models is indispensable. In addition, the development of new in vivo models of HF is critical for the evaluation of treatments such as gene therapy, mechanical devices and new surgical approaches. However, every animal model has advantages and limitations and none of them is suitable to study all aspects of HF. Besides the technical determinants of a model, species, strain and gender affect the pathophysiology of a given heart pathogenesis and, therefore, have to be considered in each animal model. The most common in vivo models used in cardiology research and in particular in HF remodeling are presented.