The Bedlington Terrier is a small working dog that runs fast and is rather graceful. The way it is trimmed and its natural body shape give it an appearance of a little lamb. But don’t let its looks fool you: this little dog has tremendous strength, stamina, and courage. Let us study the Bedlington Terrier in detail.
Interesting facts about the Bedlington Terrier
- Originally known as the Rothbury Terrier, the Bedlington is a thoroughly British terrier in a ‘lamb’s clothing’. The Bedlington hails from the Border Counties between England and Scotland. Other terriers from this area are the Dandie Dinmont, the Lakeland terrier, and the Border terriers.
- They are also known as Gypsy dogs. The tassels at the ends of their ears are actually reminiscent of gypsy earrings!
- In the United States, there are various official clubs dedicated to the welfare of this breed. These include the Bedlington Terrier Club of America, the Bedlington Terrier Club of Greater Chicago, and the Bedlington Terrier Club of the West.
The Bedlington Terrier is a small dog measuring about 16.5 inches at withers and weighing between 17-23 lb. Its coat is a distinctive mixture of hard and soft hairs that are crisp to the touch. Bedlington Terriers have a muscular body with a deep chest. Their eyes are small and almond-shaped, deep-set, and bright. Lip colors vary with the coat colors: they are black in the blue and blue and tan coated Bedlingtons and brown in all other varieties.
Coat colors include blue, blue and tan, sand, sandy and tan, and liver, and liver and tan. In bi-coloreds, the tan markings are found on the chest.
Bedlington Terrier temperament
Bedlingtons are versatile, hardy dogs that live a long healthy life. They make great household companions. They are fast, courageous, and also sometimes ‘high strung’. Bedlingtons can even ‘fight to death’ so they are the apt ‘lions’ in lamb’s clothing. On the downside, they are also known to be jealous and possessive of their loved ones.
These active, brave dogs need great deal of indoor and outdoor activity. They are stable dogs but can sometimes show dominance towards strange dogs. Bedlingtons are wary of strangers and also highly territorial dogs.
Some experts believe that the Bedlington lacks in emotional stability. But that can be handled through early training and proper socialization. Mostly, they gel well in the family and get along fairly well with children and other pets. Bedlingtons make great watchdogs but their guarding ability is lacking. They usually learn at a high rate provided they have a firm owner. Bedlingtons have medium obedience and problem-solving abilities. Behavioral problems like house soiling, irritable snapping, and excessive barking have been reported in Bedlingtons. This little lamb loves family activities like going out on car rides, keeping the kitchen floor clean, and at the end of the day, snuggling in bed.
Where to find a Bedlington Terrier
Ask a local vet, or visit a few canine events or dog shows to find reputed Bedlington Terrier breeders near you. The Bedlington Terrier Club of America’s official website can also point you to ethical breeders for this breed. Once you have spoken to and shortlisted a couple of Bedlington Terrier breeders, it is time to meet the litters. Be prepared to wait for up to a year to get a Bedlington Terrier puppy home. Whether you are looking for a household pet or a show dog, ensure that the puppy is attractive, friendly, and healthy. You can also ask the breeder to show you health records, pedigree, and other medical records for his/her dogs. Also, you can meet the puppy’s parents to ensure they are of a friendly disposition. The average price of a Bedlington Terrier can go up to $1500. You can also visit animal shelters to get a Bedlington Terrier rescue dog.
This is an intelligent dog that learns fairly quickly, provided you begin training at an early age. Start as soon as your pet comes home. You can teach him where to eliminate and also get him used to sleep in a crate. Do not think that crate training is inhuman; it will help provide a safe place for your Bedlington Terrier who will even appreciate the safe, den-like atmosphere the crate offers. Crate training and house-training should go hand-in-hand.
As your puppy grows, you can start teaching him basic commands like sit, heel, etc. It doesn’t hurt to keep a treat on hand; this breed responds to positive, reward-based training. You can get your entire family on board for training your Bedlington Terrier. Children in the age group of 10-13 years who know how to treat a dog with kindness can be taken along for training. This is a great way to teach children patience, compassion for animals, and consistency in working towards a goal.
All dogs need daily exercise, irrespective of their breed. The Bedlington was bred as a working dog and he has done everything from watching the farm, to warning about intruders, to even trapping rodents. As a result, your dog will be the happiest when he is given a job to do. In case of family pets, enlist your kids to keep your Bedlington Terrier mentally and physically stimulated. An indoor game of fetch or an outdoor romp in a secure area away from the traffic can help keep your Bedlington from getting bored.
The Bedlington Terrier is prized for his beauty and elegance. Naturally, you need to maintain his coat irrespective of whether your Bedlington is a show dog or a family pet. In case you plan on showing your dog, a reputed breeder who also shows his dogs can give you valuable advice about grooming. In case your dog is to be a family pet, you can trim his coat yourself.
Place your dog on a grooming table, and take the help of some photos of a well-groomed Bedlington Terrier. Then imagine the trim and cut your dog would need to look the same. Alternatively, take your pet to a professional groomer. Your Bedlington will need a trim once every three months. Keep up with home grooming and comb out your dog’s coat once a week. You must also give him a bath as often as needed. There is no substitute for a warm bath but some pet owners also prefer dry baths for their Bedlingtons.
This hardy, agile dog is relatively healthy and does not have too many health issues; provided you buy your puppy from a reputed breeder. Some commonly inherited conditions include osteogenesis imperfecta which can cause fractures in the affected dog. Hip dysplasia and patella luxation are also common in the Bedlington Terrier. The life span of the breed is between 12-14 years.