(aka: Rothbury Terrier)
The Bedlington Terrier has the appearance of a little lamb. The dog's pear-shaped head is narrow, but deep and rounded. The muzzle is strong with no stop. The almond-shaped eyes are small and deep-set. The jaw meets in a level or scissors bite. The low set ears are triangular with rounded tips. The chest is deep and the back is arched. The back legs are longer than the straight, front legs. The tail is low set, thick at the root and tapering to a point. Dewclaws are usually removed. The Bedlington has a thick double coat of a mixture of hard and soft hair standing out from the skin. Colors come in blue, sandy, liver, blue and tan, sandy and tan, and liver and tan. Tan markings may appear over the eyes, on the chest, legs and rear.
A graceful, lithe, well-balanced dog with no sign of coarseness, weakness or shelliness. In repose the expression is mild and gentle, not shy or nervous. Aroused, the dog is particularly alert and full of immense energy and courage. Noteworthy for endurance, Bedlingtons also gallop at great speed, as their body outline clearly shows.
The Bedlington Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948, it belongs to the Terrier Group.
Bedlington Terrier Temperament
Calmer and less boisterous than many other terriers, the Bedlington Terrier is known as a dog with a good nature and mild manners. In addition, it is fast enough to bay a badger or a fox and is a first-rate water dog. Incredibly smart and attentive to its owner, the Bedlington is one of the most reliable terriers. They are problem solvers and loyal family companions.
Bedlington Terriers have an affectionate personality. They are cheerful, playful, lively, and loyal. This breed is deeply devoted to their family, and loving with considerate and well-behaved children. They will get along with cats and other animals they have been raised with, but will not tolerate dominating or threatening behavior. Despite their gentle appearance it is important to remember that the Bedlington Terrier is a terrier breed. If they are challenged they are ferocious and terrifying fighters. They are fairly friendly with strangers. They make excellent watchdogs as they are extremely protective of their family and will alert them to danger and visitors.
The coat sheds little to no hair and requires specialized clipping every six weeks, so it is probably best if you learn to do it yourself. The coat is thinned and clipped close to the head and body to accentuate the shape. Shave the ears closely leaving a tassel on the tips. On the legs, the hair is left slightly longer. Brush the dog regularly and clean the pluck inside the ears. Although frequent bathing will not dry out skin as it does on so many other breeds, it should not be washed too often or the coat will become lank, which is not considered appropriate for the breed. Dogs which are to be shown require higher levels of grooming. This breed is considered good for allergy sufferers.
The famed progenitor of Bedlington was a dog named Old Flint, whelped in 1782 and owned by Squire Trevelyan. Originally, the breed was known as the "Rothbury" or "Rodbery Terrier." This name derived from a famous bitch brought from Staffordshire by a company of nail makers who settled in Rothbury. The Terriers of this section were accustomed to rodent hunting underground, and worked with packs of foxhounds kept there at the time.
It is suggested that the Bedlington may well have made its way to Ireland and played a part in the early development of the Kerry Blue Terrier.
Like all terriers, the Bedlington is intelligent, but also highly aggressive and self-willed. To training, this means Bedlington's pick up on commands, instructions, and tricks but that you have many more commands, instructions, and tricks to teach before you end up with a well-trained dog.
Two problem behaviors that you'll want to eliminate in early training are digging and barking. Both behaviors result from the Bedlington's genetic heritage as a hunter and a ratter, two professions that require a good ability to dig quickly and a good sense of nervousness. Although digging and problem barking aren't often a problem in early life, they'll become a huge problem in later life, so it's a good idea to replace these behaviors with alternate patterns before bad habits become set in your dog's mind. You can combat the former by giving your dog other outlets for his energy: toys, tricks, or even heavy obedience training to take his or her mind off of digging. You can combat the barking by exposing your dog to a variety of people early on, and by making it clear that barking and aggressiveness are not viable behaviors. The earlier you expose your dog to people outside your immediate family, the easier it will be to eliminate barking in later life.
Other animals can sometimes be a problem for the notoriously-ferocious and territorial Bedlington Terrier. Again, you can best combat this problem by introducing other animals and children to the Bedlington early on and by making it clear that aggressiveness and fighting are not the right behaviors to use when "making friends". Do not be afraid to break up a fight between your Bedlington and other animals (even much larger dogs)-the Bedlington as a breed has a long and distinguished history of violence, and an equally distinguished history of not giving up a fight until his opponent flees or dies. You don't want that to happen, so use whatever means are necessary (without psychically or physically scarring your dog) to ensure that he or she knows that fighting is definitely not allowed.
Bedlington Terriers may have a serious inherited liver problem known as copper toxicosis or copper storage disease. This genetic disorder allows copper deposits to build up in the liver which can lead to cirrhosis and death. Responsible Breeders have been very careful to not breed lines with the disease, but it is still a good idea to have your Bedlington checked by a vet so you can have an early warning of any potential problems.