Temperament: Loyal, Charming, Frollicking
- Height: 15-17.5 inches
- Weight: 17-23 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 11-16 years
- Group: Terrier Group
Graceful terriers in sheep’s clothing, Bedlington Terriers, named for the English mining shire where they were first bred, are genial housemates, alert watchdogs, versatile athletes, and irresistibly cuddly TV-time companions.
A graceful, lithe, well-balanced dog with no sign of coarseness, weakness or shelliness. In repose, the dog’s 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.
About the Bedlington Terrier
Bedlingtons are lithe, energetic Englishmen. The crisp, curly coat; arched back; tasseled ears; scimitar-shaped tail; and fleecy, pear-shaped head are identifying features of this one-of-a-kind breed. As the curvy contours indicate, there’s sighthound—Whippet, most likely—in their family tree. Bedlingtons move with a light, springy step and when roused to pursuit can run like the wind.
Rollicking, charming, and full of fun, Bedlingtons want most to be their family’s centre of attention and are known to be protective of loved ones. For an active family looking for a no-shedding, lively, and loyal companion, the search might end here.
NUTRITION The Bedlington Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The crisp, curly coat of the Bedlington Terrier is a mix of soft and harsh, but not wiry, hair. While fastidious owners will be happy to learn that it virtually does not shed at all, it grows very quickly and needs to be clipped every two months. Many owners learn the process, which involves both electric clippers and scissors, while others are happy to take their Bedlington to a groomer. In addition, a Bedlington needs to be brushed and/or combed once or twice a week. As with all breeds, the Bedlington’s nails should be trimmed regularly, because overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.
EXERCISE Bedlingtons, like most Terriers, have a fair amount of energy and require regular exercise to stay fit and happy. The breed is energetic, but not rambunctious or mischievous. A Bedlington loves to play fetch or go on a long walk or run, but afterwards he’s happy to just curl up on the couch with his family. Despite their lamb-like looks, Bedlingtons were bred to chase small animals, and that’s what they do. So they require a fenced-in yard and should be on a leash for all walks. Many Bedlingtons enjoy participating in agility, obedience, tracking, and earth-dog competitions.
TRAINING Early socialization and puppy training are recommended for all dogs. Though Bedlingtons can be stubborn, they are also both intelligent and eager to please. Bedlingtons do not respond to harsh training methods or physical correction, which can lead to a battle of wills rather than to obedience. Positive-reinforcement techniques, such as using praise and food as rewards, are much more successful.
HEALTH The Bedlington is generally a healthy breed, and responsible breeders will screen their breeding stock for health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder), thrombopathia, and certain eye issues. As with all breeds, a Bedlington’s ears should be checked regularly, and the teeth brushed daily.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Copper Toxicosis DNA Test
- Cardiac Exam
- Patella Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation