The Bedlington Terrier is a fairly old breed that was actively developed in medieval England. However, they came from completely different places, but from which – no one knows for sure. There is an assumption, and most dog breeders are inclined to him, that these dogs traveled with the Gypsies, thanks to which they ended up in England.
The gypsies used them to hunt small game, as well as poultry (yes, you heard right, no matter how it sounds) – the dogs were taught to carry chickens, geese and turkeys from farms, past which the camp passed. Although the appearance of the dog tells us that it is an aristocrat performing purely decorative functions, in reality this is not at all the case. Rather, such an appearance was given to him by a man, and the dog itself has excellent hunter instincts and can be very useful, which was what people used in the Middle Ages. Also, the Bedlington Terrier was excellent at destroying rats and badgers.
His talents in getting rid of rats, badgers and other parasites attracted the attention of local squires, who acquired some of the dogs. One of the squires served Lord Rothbury, and after showing him a new dog, he became an ardent fan of the breed. He acquired several more of the same from itinerant gypsies.
Lord Rothbury’s estate was in Bedlington, which at that time belonged to the county of Northumberland. At first, the dogs were even called by the name of the Lord – Rothbury, but then only the name of the area remained where these dogs were in high esteem. There are legends, or rumors, whichever you prefer, that the lord valued his dogs much more than the peasants in his own villages.
Rothbury was such a fanatical adherent of the breed that the name existed until 1825. The dog to which the name Bedlington Terrier was applied was Piper Ainsley, owned by Joseph Ainsley of Bedlington. This dog Piper went against the badger for the first time when he was only 8 months old, but even when he was old, toothless and almost blind, he still participated in the hunt along with the young dogs, setting an example.
Other breeds have taken part in the formation of modern Bedlingtons at different times. For example, in order to increase speed and agility, cross them with whippets. Also, crosses were carried out with Dandy Dinmont Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, and Wheaten Terriers. Bedlington began exhibiting in the mid-19th century, and the National Bedlington Terrier Club was established in England in 1877.
The Bedlington Terrier is a medium sized dog with a lean but muscular build. The limbs are of medium length, the chest is pronounced, the tail is short. The muzzle is slightly elongated, a distinctive feature is a curly hair in a strip from the head to the very nose, the ears are drooping.
The color can be: blue, reddish blue, sand, reddish brown. Puppies are born black or brown.
The Bedlington Terrier is a very cheerful dog, has a higher than average energy level and is not suitable for those who are not ready to provide walks, active games and physical activity. This is necessary for the pet in order for him to feel happy and satisfied. In addition, this is a very intelligent dog, which not only understands everything that is happening around it and perfectly remembers commands, but also draws its own conclusions.
This imposes certain rules in behavior and training, but more on that later. In relation to their family, the breed shows great love and devotion, they are really very affectionate and friendly dogs, capable of becoming everyone’s best friend. Although, sometimes they are characterized by refined selfishness – they like to be in the spotlight, to show themselves from a funny side and to feel looks full of love and approval on themselves.
These terriers will happily go with you on a hike, for a walk, feeling like a fish in water in a park or forest. But if you come home and sit on your favorite sofa, the dog will happily sit next to you and spend a couple of hours alone. It is not recommended to leave them alone for a long time, since the Bedlington Terrier is very attached to its family and does not tolerate a long separation. In addition, they are generally very people-oriented, and if you go to work every day and there is no one at home, it is better to choose a different breed of dog.
The breed is well suited as a watchdog, although, let’s be frank, these dogs are practically not used in this capacity now, except at home. Moreover, the residents of Bedlington say that their terriers are very perceptive, have excellent hearing and instantly react to an intruder.
They get along well with other dogs, especially if they periodically meet or grow together, but same-sex aggression is possible. By the way, despite their aristocratic appearance, these pets are able to get into a serious fight and not retreat to the last (especially the males will fight until they are seriously injured), so you need to be on the lookout during walks.
Children are perceived well, they can become excellent friends. Strangers, if they are your friends, guests, or just people on the street who do not show negativity, are perceived with friendliness. The Bedlington hunter instincts are quite strong, because in the past they were bred and kept just for this. Therefore, with a high probability they will hunt small animals, or at least try to do it while walking. Nowadays, dogs are mainly of interest as companions and great friends for the whole family.
The Bedlington Terrier is well trained, but there are certain subtleties in working with him. Due to their high intelligence, these dogs perfectly learn commands, but they need to be encouraged and shown in every possible way that they need training themselves. If the pet does not understand this, he will study, but after reaching a certain inner line, he will lose interest.
If we were talking about a person, one could say that he sees the meaning in improving himself for his own sake, and not in order to help others. But this is a dog, and therefore it is much easier to outwit her. Sometimes, but not always, it is enough just to correctly position yourself as a leader, as well as to make the pet’s life more diverse by using commands in everyday life.
Then he will understand that he himself needs these commands, in addition, he receives rewards for them, and for non-fulfillment, on the contrary, he loses something valuable, for example, he does not immediately receive a toy or a tasty treat. Rudeness and violence with Bedlington Terriers is counterproductive and only harmful.
The Bedlington Terrier breed has a curly coat that many people cut in a certain way, although this is a matter of taste. Either way, you need to brush your pet a couple of times a week, and keep your ears and eyes clean. The claws are trimmed three times a month, and the dog is bathed at least once a week.
The Bedlington Terrier is a fairly healthy breed, but certain problems still occur:
- copper toxicosis is a hereditary disease;
- dislocation of the patella;
- renal cortical hypoplasia, due to which the dog subsequently develops renal failure;
- Retinal dysplasia is a malformation of the retina with which a dog is born.