To Alter or Not?
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
2M ago
There's an emerging body of evidence suggesting that it's beneficial to wait to alter our dogs until they're mature. The research indicates that avoiding pediatric altering is even more crucial for certain breeds, but that all breeds can benefit from sex hormones as they mature. Although more research is needed, these findings are certainly logical. These hormones have a role, and removing them before maturity seems illogical. At Bedlam Acres, we encourage owners to wait to alter until their pups are mature, around 12 mos for girls and 18 mos for boys. As Dalmatians carry the genetic predispos ..read more
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Socialization
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
3M ago
What is socialization ? It's not meeting every person and every dog you pass. It's not bringing your puppy to the dog park to let them play. Its not about only walking them around the block. It's about carefully curating experiences that will expose your pup to new sights, sounds, smells, footing, etc, without overwhelming them, without teaching them that every person or dog they pass is their new best friend, and without letting their world be so narrow that they shy away from new experiences. Socialization is about building a stable, confident, resilient dog. Socialization, particularly with ..read more
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Walk your dog (please)
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
3M ago
A recurring theme on DogBook (and one I’ve been hearing for the 25ish years I’ve been in performance sports) is that walks are simply unnecessary….yikes. The primary argument is that fitness can be achieved/maintained without walks. I’m willing to concede that could be true (however, I do think skipping walks is skipping the fundamentals of fitness), I would argue that walks provide SO much more than “just” fitness. Canine Fitness Although I understand that you can have a fit dog without walks being part of the program, I would argue that the BEST base for fitness is regular off-leash hiking ..read more
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PennHip vs OFA
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
6M ago
What are they? OFA and PennHip are the two versions of radiographs accepted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Canine Health Information Centre (CHIC) program to certify hips. The CHIC is the minimum requirement for health testing before breeding a litter. Dalmatians require OFA eyes OR thyroid, BAER hearing testing, and hips. With such a short list of requirements, there is no excuse for breeding a litter without CHIC numbers for both Sire and Dam. It is important to remember that CHIC merely certifies that the tests have been done. Do your own due diligence to ensure that the res ..read more
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Resource Guarding
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
6M ago
Resource Guarding is a common issue with ANY dog breed. Resource Guarding does NOT equal aggression. First, it is entirely reasonable to not want someone to take away something you value. If I am hungry and you go to take my plate of food, I will likely stab you with a fork. PLEASE do not try to “teach” your puppy/dog not to resource guard by TAKING things away. Constantly messing with your dog’s food, taking it away, putting your hand in their bowl, etc can CREATE resource guarding. The best way to manage resource guarding is to prevent it from starting. Managing how dogs are fed and how and ..read more
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Fetching up some fun
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
7M ago
There are memes making the rounds again that vilify the game of fetch. They typically cite concerns like repetitive strain and high impact, some go into behavioral concerns like obsession and fixation. One thing that's always bothered me about the message that fetch = bad is that there are so many permutations of fetch. I've never understood how the whole game can be tarred with the same brush. I've spoken to owners who play fetch, and for them the game means taking their dog to the local tennis courts and hitting the ball. I've spoken to owners where fetch means tossing a ball in a small back ..read more
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How to Have a Patio Pooch
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
7M ago
One of my favourite things to do with my dogs is hang out on a patio on a beautiful day. It is a great way for us to spend some quality time together, and it is also often a wonderful opportunity for some socialization and some practice in being chill and focused around other dogs and people. I really value the “relax and hang out” skills as they allow me to safely and enjoyably bring my dogs more places. To begin, I need to be well prepared. I almost always bring a dog bed with me (the exception being the places I know are nice grassy areas). Particularly on a warm day, it’s nice to have a co ..read more
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Adopt or Shop?
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
8M ago
First, let’s be honest. Whether you’re acquiring your dog from a breeder, a shelter, or after endless scrolling through rescues on the internet, you are shopping. As you should be! Acquiring a new dog is not something to be done lightly. Everyone *should* be discerning and “shop” for the perfect fit, regardless of where that lucky pooch is from. There is an unfortunate stigma attached to working with a breeder. The extreme “ADOPT DON’T SHOP” mentality vilifies breeders and shames anyone who isn’t “rescuing” their new pup. Let’s break this down a bit. Not all breeders are equal. Preservation ..read more
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Weight Pull
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
8M ago
The sport, the drama, the controversy Although Weight Pull is a sport dominated by power breeds like Pitbulls and Corsos, I was introduced by a mentor and her Greyhounds. Perhaps because I was introduced to the sport by a highly respected pillar of the dog community (and her decidedly non-aggressive, beautiful Greyhounds), I was unprepared for the controversy that seems to follow the sport. Why do I do Weight Pull? That’s the easiest answer, because my dogs love it! Why is there controversy? That’s more complicated…. Safety One of the most common objections I hear to Weight Pull is that it is ..read more
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Is it ever ok to rehome a dog?
Bedlam Acres Blog
by Heather Parsons
1y ago
Often, I'll see people talking about a "forever home" (or furever ?). The ideal absolutely IS dogs landing in the right home where they're living their best life and are their human's best friend. The best way to accomplish this, IMO, is to do some solid research before choosing a breed, being realistic about what you want AND what you can provide, then working with an awesome breeder to be matched with the right pup. I do think the matching is a crucial piece. Within every breed and within every litter there will be a range of temperaments and energy levels and a variety of personalities ..read more
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