How much do you know about the Bedlington Terrier? Bedlington Terriers are gentle, well-behaved housemates. They are alert watchdogs, versatile and energetic athletes, and cuddly canine companions. These dogs are a constant contradiction: high-energy and cuddle-bug, gentle but adept hunters with a sparkly coat known to get dirty in coal mines. Read on to learn more about the unique Bedlington Terrier.
Where Does The Bedlington Terrier Come From?
Breeders first developed the Bedlington Terrier in the 1800s in Bedlington, England, located in the mining shire of Northumberland. Though this breed looks and acts like a lamb at home, their origin was much dirtier and sometimes deadlier.
These terriers were a working man’s dog; they excelled at several jobs. Bedlington Terriers hunted rats in coal mines, killed varmint around their homes, and were even used as entertainment in pit fights. The breed earned the name “Gypsy Dog” because they were popular with Romani people for hunting. Though Bedlingtons are gentle by nature, once they find their way into a fight, they could be vicious and would fight to the death. The first identified Bedlington Terrier, named Piper, was born in 1825.
Though originally bred for fighting and hunting, the Bedlington’s gentle nature soon brought them out of the mines and into the manor houses of the British elite. These attractive dogs were excellent and loving companions and gained their first AKC registration in 1886.
What Does a Bedlington Terrier Look Like?
These terriers have a short, crisp, curly coat that can be blue, liver, or sandy. They can also have tan markings mixed in. This breed is easily identifiable due to their tassel-shaped ears, arched back (similar to a whippet), scimitar-shaped tail, and fluffy, pear-shaped head.
The average Bedlington Terrier weighs between 17 and 23 pounds, females between 15 and 17 pounds. They are usually between 15 and 17.5 inches tall at the shoulder.
What Is A Bedlington Terrier’s Personality Like?
Like most terriers, this breed is strong-willed, confident, energetic, and independent. They are vigilant watchdogs with a bark similar to that of a hound. They are generally friendly with people, even strangers, but are wary of other dogs and may even pick fights. They should not be kept in a family with a dominant dog, as they will take up the challenge. This breed is gentle with children but tenacious with vermin. They are fast and have high endurance running on land and swimming in water.
How Hard Is It To Train a Bedlington Terrier?
Socializing and training a new puppy is essential for any dog, and the Bedlington Terrier is no exception. Their strong personality means they need early and consistent training to avoid problem behaviors later. Training your pup with a firm hand and plenty of patience can be an enjoyable pastime for you both. These Terriers are energetic and intelligent, so they learn quickly and easily, meaning they become bored easily. Keeping them interested and engaged with your training is the key to keeping their attention and burning off some of that high energy.
During training, try to avoid methods like shouting or punishment, as these harsh techniques may cause your Terrier to shut down. Instead, try to stick with positive reinforcement and keep your training sessions short and fun. A great-tasting training treat doesn’t hurt either. If you begin to feel frustrated, end your training session as quickly as possible, preferably on a positive note.
How Much Exercise Does A Bedlington Terrier Need?
Despite their small size, Bedlington Terriers require quite a bit of regular exercise to dispel some of their energy and maintain a healthy, happy weight. This breed is a working and hunting dog, so they always have plenty of power and endurance. They also have a high prey drive due to their history as exterminators, so make sure to keep your Terrier leashed whenever you are out and about. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are prone to boredom, leading to destructive behavior; we all eventually learn that a tired terrier is a better-behaved dog.
In addition to adequate exercise, it’s essential to follow serving-size recommendations from pet food manufacturers or your veterinarian, no matter how much they flash you those hungry puppy dog eyes!
Do Bedlington Terriers Have Health Problems?
Although generally a healthy breed, Bedlington Terriers can suffer from a couple of inherited health issues.
A Bedlington Terrier’s life expectancy is between 11 and 16 years.
How Do You Groom a Bedlington Terrier?
Bedlingtons’ curly coats have a mixture of soft and harsh, though not wiry, hairs. Their coat sheds very little but still requires regular, weekly grooming. These coats grow quickly and need a groomer clipping approximately every 2 months.
The Bedlington Terrier: A Fantastic Pet For the Right Home
Bedlington Terriers aren’t for everyone. They are friendly and loyal, but their high prey drive and intense exercise needs won’t suit every household. These dogs are fantastic with children but will only get along with other dogs with a specific, non-dominating temperament. A Bedlington Terrier can make a tremendous canine companion for the right owners.