ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier dog breed
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Have you ever thought about keeping a lamb, just because they are so cuddly and cute? And then changed your mind because not everyone can keep a lamb in their home… Well, the Bedlington terrier is the closest thing to a lamb! At least that’s how they look like! Their temperament however, is like all terriers’: alert, intelligent, nosey, and sometimes aggressive with other small animals.

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityHigh
TrainabilityHigh
Health and GroomingAbove Average
All Around FriendlinessHighest
Exercise NeedsHigh

Dog Breed Group: Terrier Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 3 inches to 1 foot, 4 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 17 to 23 pounds
Life Span: 14 to 16 years

Even though they look like lambs, peaceful and calm, they have their amusing, opinionated personality. They love to entertain the family and enjoy the company and the activities with their close ones. They usually welcome guests and amuse them but they can for sure let you know when they don’t like somebody. Owners say that they make brilliant watchdogs, because of their perceptive judgement.

Don’t be fooled by their looks, they need exercise! If you want them to be healthy and happy, you will need to find time to exercise with them. They don’t need much. A long walk or an energetic game of fetch can satisfy their activity needs. Also, jogging with a Bedlington, or hiking is always a good idea!

Bedlingtons have some hunting abilities, like retrieving, pointing, or tracking, even though these days they are not used as hunting dogs that much.

They like children, but they don’t like to be harassed by them. Make sure you teach your kids how to play with a dog and you will have no problems. Nevertheless, you should always supervise the interaction between the dog and the child; it can turn into a crying game in a second.

When it comes to other animals and other dogs, this breed will get along with them quite well if they are raised together. Still, you will need to stay alert when it comes to meeting new people and new pets. Especially same sex dogs can cause aggression in your dog, so be cautious. A well trained Bedlington will stay calm and would not cause any trouble by himself. However, if another dog provokes him, he won’t stay peaceful.

The breed is a brilliant companion and eager buddy in all kind of activities! You will learn to appreciate his unique sense of enthusiasm and humor in every moment of the life.

Main Highlights
  • Stubborn sometimes
  • Bedlingtons need to be socialized when young in order to prevent problems when they grow up.
  • Destructive if bored! They need to be stimulated mentally and to do exercise; otherwise, you won’t be happy when you find your home to be a mess.
  • They return the challenge! If males are provoked, be sure that they will not stay calm.
  • Moderately easy to be trained! They are intelligent dogs who don’t respond to physical and harsh methods.
  • Grooming required! At least once a week, in order to keep that lamblike coat nice.
  • Fast! They would chase after small animals, so keep that fence tight.
Breed History

There are many theories about this breed’s origins, but it’s for sure that it was developed in England, to be more precise, in the North. Some say that they were brought there by gypsies and after a while the breed was recognized by the noble men. In the beginning, an individual from this breed was known as the Rothbury terrier, after the Lord Rothbury, who had such a dog.

Because of his resemblance with the Kerry Blue Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten and the Dandie Dinmont, it is speculated that they may actually share common ancestors. Also, they may have been bred with the Whippet, to increase the agility and the speed.

In time, their popularity increased between the mine and the factory workers. They used them for getting rid of rats and organizing races with them against the Whippets.

The breed we know today as the Bedlingtons appeared in the show rings around the 1800s. In 1877, in England was formed the National Bedlington Terrier Club, but in the US, the first Bedlington was registered in 1886.

Size

Males are usually 16 inches at the shoulder and females are 15 inches. Weight is around 17-23 pounds.

Personality and Character

Entertainment for the whole family! This breed enjoys making his people happy and amused. They like it when everyone is paying attention to them and are bored when nobody wants to play with them. Be careful, they can be aggressive towards unknown people or small animals, or dogs of the same sex.

As in every breed, character and temperament are affected by many factors. Heredity, socialization and training play a great role in how your dog acts. Bedlingtons tend to be playful and curious and they are comfortable with people but they also like the attention and the company of their family and maybe other dogs.

However, like all dogs, it’s better for them to be socialized as early as possible. You should expose them to different things, places, people, if you don’t want to have a dog that is intimidated and violent or aggressive.

Health and Potential Problems

Every breed has its faults, or health problems. It is good to know them and be aware of what to expect as a potential health risk. The most common health problems a Bedlington can have are the following:

  • Copper Toxicosis: A hereditary disease mainly focused on the liver. It is caused by liver failure, more specifically, the liver fails in expelling the dietary copper. This leads to copper buildup in the organism, which causes illness and even death. In order for a dog to be affected, both parents must be carriers of this disease, since it is an autosomal recessive trait. In order for a dog to be just a carrier, it should only inherit a gene from one parent. These days, the disease can be detected trough DNA tests and carriers can then be removed from the breeding program.
  • Patellar Luxation: This can be a congenital condition (present at birth) or caused by an injury. It is also referred to as slipped stifles and it is a dislocation of the kneecap or the patella. Sometimes there can be no symptoms or pain, but sometimes there is severe pain and limping and the dog will refuse to walk. Severe cases require surgery.
  • Distichiasis: Distichia is an eyelash and this condition happens when there is an additional row of distichia growing on the oil gland in the eye. They protrude the edge of the eyelid and cause irritation. You will notice your dog rubbing his eyes or squinting. The condition can be treated by cryoepilation, which means freezing the eyelashes with liquid nitrogen and removing them. The procedure is done under anesthesia.
  • Renal Cortical Hypoplasia: This condition affects the kidneys. More specifically, the cortex of the kidneys is not developed normally and this leads to kidney failure. The first symptom of a kidney failure is increased thirst, which leads to increased urination. The bad thing about this condition is that there is still no cure. However, it can be treated by managing the symptoms and preventing additional damage to the kidneys.
  • Retinal Dysplasia: When we hear the term Dysplasia we always think of the problem with the hips or elbows. But this is another kind of dysplasia and it has to do with the eye. It is a congenital condition, malformation of the retina. In most cases there is no vision loss, however affected dogs should not be bred, even though they lead perfectly normal lives. If a puppy is thought to be affected, a test can be done in order to confirm, even at just 7-12 months of age.
Care Features

The ideal living conditions for a Bedlington Terrier consist of a spacious home and a big, fenced yard. However, they don’t mind living in an apartment as long as they have a place to stretch. Anyway, if your home is not enough for them to do exercise, you will need to find the time to take them outside for a long walk and a game of fetch. After their exercise, they will be happy to enjoy the time with you on the sofa and relax.

This breed can be trained for obedience, tracking, or agility. Also, you can take them jogging or hiking as they are a good company and they will like it a lot.

Because they are intelligent, sometimes they can be stubborn. This makes them moderately easy to train, however you will need to make them believe that everything you need them to do, is actually their idea. Positive attitude, praise and treats are always a good idea and can do magic with your dog! Make sure you never use physical force or harsh words because they can lead to a stubborn streak and you will never accomplish anything.

Puppies, like all breeds, tend to be destructive while playing and messing around. You can crate train them and leave them in the crate when you are not able to supervise.

Feeding Schedule

This breed is relatively active, so you should give them two meals a day. The daily amount should be written on any kind of food you buy however, for high-quality food the daily amount shouldn’t be more than 1-1.5 cups.

Every dog is different and unique and this leads to a different amount of food for each individual. Their needs depend on their build, age, metabolism, activity and size. However, it is clear that if you buy high-quality food you will need to give less quantity than if you buy a lower quality food.

You can always consult your vet if you are not sure about whether your dog is thin or fat, or the amount of food you need to give.

Coat, Color and Grooming

Bedlingtons have a very distinctive coat that is a combination of soft and harsh hair that resembles the coat of a lamb. The coat feels crisp and tends to curl. The show haircut is actually a very practical one, since the coat needs to be only an inch long on the body and a bit longer on the legs.

When we think of a Bedlington, we always imagine a white dog, but the truth is that they come in several colors and even combinations of colors. They may be blue and tan, liver and tan, sandy and tan or just sandy, blue or liver. The markings in the bi-colors are usually found on the chest, legs, eyes, and under the tail. It is important to know that the color of the puppy Bedlington fades or lightens as they grow up. Also, the topknot (hair on the head) in adults should be lighter than the color on the body.

They differ from many terriers regarding the trimming or stripping. They don’t actually need these operations, they only need to be combed weekly, or if you have the time, daily.

You will get the best look if you take them to the groomer’s or a Bedlington breeder that knows exactly how to clip their hair. It is very important for the hair on the face to be cut with scissors in order to get the unique appearance. However, if you want it to be even more practical and you don’t care about your dog having a show look, you can always cut the hair however you like it and even yourself.

When it comes to dental hygiene and nails, you should know that it needs to be done. Teeth need brushing at least twice a week and nails need trimming at least once a month.

Everything that you want to do to your dog when he’s an adult needs to be taught when he’s a puppy. So, if you want him to be calm and not causing problems at the groomer’s or the vet, start accustoming him to these activities when he’s a puppy.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

A Bedlington loves to play with kids! For them, the best company are older children. They can tolerate toddlers or younger children, however if the game gets rough, they will pay the same treatment. They don’t really make a difference between a kid’s skin and a dog’s skin, so be careful not to let your kid play harshly with this dog, because they will get the same treatment back.

They all look like little lambs, but after all, they are terriers, so keep that in mind. Kids need to be taught how to interact with dogs and how to approach them.

This breed can be tolerant towards other pets and small animals if they are raised together. However, to newcomers they might be aggressive especially dogs of the same sex. Be careful when you introduce them to new dogs, they will either play or start a quarrel.

These lamblike creatures will astound you! They are the dogs that you can cuddle with and sleep on the pillow together, but also take them hiking and jogging. They like physical activities and the laying on the sofa part afterwards. Their unique look will turn many heads and raise a lot of questions with the people that pass you by.

So, if you decide to keep one as a lifelong friend, prepare to hear the question: “Is that a lamb you’re walking?”

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

0
0
Total
0
Shares