The bedlington terrier is a dog with a lovely lamb-like appearance due to its curly and fluffy coat. It is an intelligent breed, with a benevolent and affectionate temperament, but brave and full of confidence. This terrier, originally from Rothbury, England, has a past as a hunter.
- Weight. The Bedlington Terrier typically weighs between 17.6 to 22.0 lbs.
- Height. Their height usually hovers around 16.1 inches, although it can vary slightly, with males tending to be taller and females slightly shorter.
- Coat. They have a dense, fleecy coat that tends to curl.
- Colors. Bedlington Terriers come in liver, blue, or sandy colors, with the possibility of having tan markings. Puppy coat colors may change as they grow.
- General Build. The Bedlington Terrier is slightly longer than it is tall, boasting a muscular, agile body with a graceful appearance. They have a wedge-shaped head covered in silky fur. Long neck with an upright head carriage.
- Well-muscled and flexible body.
- Wide and deep chest. Curved back.
- Long, muscular limbs. The nose of a blue or blue and tan Bedlington will be black, while liver and sandy-colored ones have a liver-colored nose.
- Strong teeth with a scissor bite. Medium-sized, low-set, hanging ears with a hazelnut shape.
- They are covered in soft fur with a fringe at the tip. Small, bright eyes, ideally appearing triangular.
- Blue-coated Bedlingtons have dark eyes, while blue and tan ones have light eyes; and liver and sandy-coated ones have light chestnut eyes.
- A long, thicker base of the tail tapering towards the tip, slightly curved, but never carried over the back. Their movement is flexible and light, with a brisk trot.
Despite its adorable lamb-like appearance, the Bedlington Terrier conceals a brave, confident, and assertive personality. It can be fierce when challenged, so proper socialization is crucial.
This breed is highly intelligent and requires mental stimulation. Bedlington Terriers retain a strong hunting instinct. Alongside their bravery, they are known for being kind, affectionate, and noble towards their family. They are extroverted and well-balanced, making excellent companions.
Guard Dog. Bedlington Terriers make excellent guard dogs, alerting with persistent barks to the presence of strangers or any anomalies in their environment.
Barkers and Diggers. Like many terriers, Bedlingtons love to dig, and while you can train them to reduce this behavior, it’s deeply ingrained. The ideal approach is to provide a specific space and time for digging, possibly incorporating it into a game of search, tracking, and digging to satisfy their instincts. You can also train them to reduce excessive barking. When they bark, it’s to signal an unusual noise, presence, or alert. Let them know you’ve heard and appreciate their warnings, and they’ll cease barking once they’ve conveyed the information.
Training and Education. Bedlington Terriers are intelligent and well-balanced, which makes them easy to train.
Socialization helps them adapt to different environments, people, and animals. Obedience training using positive reinforcement methods is highly effective.
Life Expectancy. The average lifespan of a Bedlington Terrier is 13 years.
Bedlington Terriers with Children. They are affectionate and friendly with children, making great companions. Socializing puppies and teaching kids to be careful with their pets ensures a harmonious relationship.
Bedlington Terriers with Other Pets. Due to their hunting instinct, they may have issues coexisting with other pets, especially smaller ones, as they might be seen as prey.
Early socialization is key to ensuring a good relationship with other pets, especially if they are raised together.
Adaptation to Solitude. They do not like to be left alone for extended periods. If they must be alone for a few hours, it’s advisable to acclimate them to short periods of solitude and gradually increase the time.
Training them from a young age is more effective. To help them adapt better, take them for a walk before leaving them alone.
Daily Walks and Activity. Bedlington Terriers are active dogs that require daily exercise. They love walks and games.
An hour of daily activity will keep your Bedlington Terrier healthy and happy. Without proper exercise, they may develop destructive behaviors.
Bedlington Terriers in Apartments. This breed adapts well to both apartment and house living, in rural or urban settings. The only requirement is to meet their daily exercise needs.
Coat Care. It’s recommended to brush their coat daily to keep it clean and soft. Regular visits to a canine groomer are advisable to maintain an ideal coat length.
Pros and Cons
Advantages of Bedlington Terriers:
- Adaptable to any living space.
- Intelligent, cheerful, and affectionate.
- Easy to train.
- Typically get along well with children.
Disadvantages of Bedlington Terriers:
- Require frequent brushing.
- May not coexist well with other pets.
- May experience stress and anxiety if left alone for extended periods.
- Need an hour of daily exercise, which can be a challenge for owners with limited free time.
- Strong tendency to dig.
Bedlington Terriers are generally healthy, but they can be prone to specific health issues, such as copper toxicosis, which occurs when copper accumulates in the liver.
This condition has three stages: asymptomatic, acute, and chronic. It’s recommended to consult a veterinarian for genetic testing to detect this condition early and manage it with special diets or zinc treatments.
Dogs with this condition should not be used for breeding. They can also suffer from heart murmurs and eye problems like cataracts, epiphora, and retinal dysplasia. Regular veterinary check-ups can help diagnose and treat these conditions.
History and Origin
The Bedlington Terrier originated in the northern part of England in 1870. It is believed to be descended from athletic terriers bred in Rothbury, Northumberland.
Hence, it was initially known as the Rothbury Terrier and holds the broadest pedigree among all terriers.
This breed was used for rat hunting in mining areas, helping keep the mines free of pests. They were also skilled at hunting rabbits.
Over time, they transitioned into being companion animals due to their exceptional hunting skills and their affectionate, well-balanced nature.
The breed was officially recognized by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) in June 1963. The last official standard recognized by the FCI was published in October 2010, classifying it in Group 3: Terriers, Section 1: Medium-sized or Large Terriers.
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