The Bedlington Terrier: A Hunter In The Guise Of A Lamb

Bedlington terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is a dog that attracts everyone’s attention with its unusual exterior. But behind the charming appearance hides a “steel” character – in an instant, a dog from a harmless cutie can turn into a strong and fearless rival, ready to defend its rights.

Therefore, before buying such a dog, you need to find out the exact description of the breed and study all its features.

A Brief History Of The Origins

This breed was developed in England in 1970. It got its name from the city of Bedlington. Bull terriers, whippets, and dandy dinmont terriers took part in its formation.

Interesting. For a long period, the dogs of this breed were called “the favorite companions of the northern miners.” Later they began to be called “gypsy dogs”, and then – Rothbery terriers.

The Bedlingtons were originally used to hunt rats, otters, foxes, and other small game. But now dogs are brought up mainly as companions.

Interesting Facts About Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is a rare breed that few dog lovers know about. Meanwhile, in their “biography” there is a lot of interesting things:

  1. Previously, smart and quick-witted dogs were in special demand among the gypsies. They taught dogs to steal wallets from pensive passers-by.
  2. Bedlington Terrier puppies are born black or brown in color. As it grows older, the coat brightens. The final shade is formed by the age of two.
  3. Childbirth and stressful situations can lead to a change in the dog’s color.

Description Of The Breed, Standards And Appearance

The Bedlington Terrier: A Hunter In The Guise Of A Lamb

Bedlington is a graceful, harmoniously built dog with a graceful silhouette, well-developed muscles, and quick movements. According to the standard adopted in 1981 by the British Kennel Club, a typical Bedlington Terrier must meet the following characteristics:

  • The skull is narrow, rounded with an indistinct transition from the forehead to the muzzle. Decorated with a neat hat made of thick silky wool.
  • The jaws are long, tapering towards the nose.
  • The eyes are small, deep-set, and shiny. They are in the shape of a triangle. The color depends on the color of the coat.
  • The nose is well pigmented with large, well-defined nostrils.
  • The ears are medium in size, thin and smooth. The bottom is decorated with a fluffy tassel, the top is covered with short hair. They fit snugly to the cheeks, have a low rise, and are shaped like a walnut leaf.
  • The neck is tapered, long, without skin folds.
  • Paws are long, with tightly knit toes and thick pads. The front legs are straight, visually shorter than the hind legs.
  • The body is muscular, flexible with a deep, broad chest and a toned belly.
  • The tail is moderately long, set low, tapering from base to tip. Has a slight bend.

The growth of males of the Bedlington Terrier breed is 17 inches at the withers, of females – 16 inches. The weight is practically independent of gender and ranges from 20-27 pounds.

Color and type of coat

The guard hair of the Bedlington Terrier breed has an unusual structure. The thick coat loosely adheres to the body and forms curls. Curls are especially pronounced in the head area. The shade depends on the density of the dog’s down. The larger it is, the paler and silky the coat is.

Bedlington is available in sand, brown, or blue colors. Moreover, in the last two cases, tan marks may be present on the body.

The breed standard excludes black-backed or speckled coat colors. Such dogs are not allowed for exhibitions and breeding.

Expert Opinion On Bedlington Terriers

The Bedlington is least of all similar to the classic terrier, and it is very often – especially when unshorn – confused with a poodle. But upon closer acquaintance with the breed, the error is visible instantly.

The hunting qualities of the Bedlington Terrier are no longer interesting in the modern world. Of course, no one will buy a dog for the sake of catching mice and rats. Although less than a century ago, it was precisely because of such an occupation that they were kept. In the current conditions, the Bedlingtons have successfully retrained into wonderful four-legged companions for humans – perky, moderately obedient, and physically strong.

The Bedlington Terrier: A Hunter In The Guise Of A Lamb

Two unique qualities of these dogs are rarely mentioned.

First, they are incredibly jumpy. The five feet fence has never been an obstacle for the Bedlingtons. And at home, they are able to jump even on a closet without acceleration, as if instead of hind legs, springs were attached to the body.

Secondly, if the head has squeezed into any slot of a suitable size, then the whole dog will crawl through there. Owners occasionally have to pull the Bedlington Terrier puppy out of the narrow space between the heating radiator and the wall. And on a walk, the dog will have to be constantly monitored. If only it sees a mole hole, it will definitely try to dig it out and get deeper.

Character And Behavior Of Bedlington Terriers

Bedlingtons are mischievous, empathetic, and highly intelligent dogs. They love to spend time with the owners and are happy to play with the children. By nature, these dogs are extroverts who love to be in the spotlight.

The character of the representatives of this breed is more restrained in comparison with other terriers. But despite the outward calmness, if necessary, they become fast, courageous, and even aggressive.

Bedlington Terriers are characterized by a heightened perception, which allows them to almost accurately determine the character of the host’s guests. Therefore, they make good guard dogs, warning of the approach of strangers.

Bedlington Terriers do not get along well with other pets.

How To Choose The Right Puppy?

It is better to buy a Bedlington Terrier dog only after a personal examination. Healthy puppies are playful, curious, and active. Little Bedlingtons are very sociable and take an interest in everything that happens.

It is desirable to choose the most mobile puppy, not showing cowardice or aggression. To get an idea of ​​the character of the future dog, you must definitely look at at least one of the parents.

Important! Liver Bedlington Terrier puppies are born dark brown and blue puppies are black. What color dogs will become in the future can be discerned at the very base of the coat.

Caring for a Bedlington Terrier

Bedlingtons are unpretentious, clean dogs with no characteristic odor. Dogs of this breed are easily adaptable to keeping in city apartments and are suitable for people with an active lifestyle.

Correct diet

Representatives of this breed can be fed with both industrial and natural food. High-quality ready-made dry food will provide the Bedlington Terrier with all the necessary vitamins and minerals, which means that the dog will not suffer from a lack of nutrients.

Important! A dog eating dry food should have free access to clean drinking water.

Despite the wide range of pelleted feeds, many owners of dogs of this breed prefer to choose their own diet. The menu of dogs eating natural food must include:

  • meat and offal;
  • fruits and vegetables;
  • cereals;
  • dairy products.

The list of prohibited includes:

  • tubular bones;
  • spices;
  • pickles;
  • baking;
  • smoked meats;
  • confectionery and chocolate.

On a note. With natural feeding in spring and autumn, it is recommended to additionally give vitamin and mineral complexes.

Walks, games, and physical activity

Bedlingtons, like all terriers, have a need for long walks with the ability to run around and throw out the accumulated energy. It is necessary to take them outside in any weather.

It is important that walks do not turn into monotonous dog walking after the owner on a leash. An active, energetic, and temperamental dog will gladly take part in a ball game or picking up.

The Bedlington Terrier: A Hunter In The Guise Of A Lamb

Training and education

Puppy training begins from the first days of its appearance in a new home. After it has adapted, it’s taught to respond to its name and follow the established rules. From the age of three months, they begin to work out basic commands, including “Come to me!”, “You can’t!”, “Place!”, “Stop!” and “Sit!”

In order for the dog to behave adequately in crowded places, it must be socialized in time. To do this, it is recommended to walk more often on busy streets with the puppy and ride on public transport.

Care And Hygiene

Mandatory procedures include:

  1. Combing coat. If it is enough for an adult dog to carry out this procedure twice a week, then with a puppy it will have to be repeated daily.
  2. Clipping the claws. This manipulation is carried out as needed.
  3. Brushing your teeth with a special toothpaste or dental treats.
  4. Examination of the ears. They not only need to be cleaned of dirt but also to be freed from excess hair.
  5. Bathing. You can use special puppy shampoos to wash puppies under 12 months of age. It is recommended to bathe Bedlington at least once every 2-3 weeks. Finish each procedure by spraying the coat with a conditioner.

Vaccinations And Disease Propensity

The first vaccination is carried out at the age of 8 weeks. As a rule, this is done as a complex drug that provides the development of immunity against leptospirosis, hepatitis, parvovirus, and plague.

Shortly before the introduction of vaccination, puppies are treated for fleas and worms. And 3 weeks after the first vaccination, a second procedure is carried out. Subsequently, the vaccine is done annually throughout the dog’s life.

In addition to viral and parasitic diseases, representatives of the breed are often identified:

  • food allergic reactions;
  • eye diseases (glaucoma, cataracts);
  • copper toxicosis. This genetically determined liver disease is diagnosed in young dogs. Bedlingtons that are associated with such disease are not allowed to breed.

Pros and cons of the breed

DevotionThe need for a special diet
High learning abilityA love of digging holes and a penchant for digging
Suitable for apartment maintenanceThe manifestation of hunting qualities in the wrong places
Unusual exterior

The Bedlington Terrier is an intelligent and loyal dog that will become an excellent companion for active people.

It will be a good family dog ​​if you devote enough time to exercise and walk with It. It is only worth remembering that behind the angelic appearance of a harmless “sheep” there is a fierce beast with developed hunting qualities.


About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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