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Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed

Summary:

Category: Terrier
Origin: Great Britain
Other Names: Rothbury Terrier
Size: Medium
Lifespan: 14-15 years
Living Area: Any
Exercise: Medium
Grooming: Medium

Bedlington Terrier is often described as looking like a lamb on a leash, probably because it has non-shedding fur with a woolly texture. These dogs may be blue, sandy, or liver, and can be solid colours or have tan markings. These become paler as the dog grows older.

This breed has a wedge-shaped head with sparkling eyes. Although it looks meek when reclining on the couch, the Bedlington Terrier is argumentative and every inch a terrier when aroused. Its body shape, however, is unusual for a terrier, being somewhat like a Greyhound or Whippet in construction, which enables it to gallop at great speed. However, the front legs are constructed differently from those quick hounds in that the front legs are closer together at the feet than at the elbows. This enables a Bedlington Terrier to turn or pivot quickly when chasing quarry at high speed. At a trot, the Bedlington moves with a ‘mincing’ gait, picking its feet up in what appears to be a dainty manner.

Bedlington Terriers are groomed with patches of fur on their heads and ears. This practice is thought to have originated when the Bedlington was used to hunt rats. The rats, trying to escape, would claw at the dog’s ears or head and become entangled in fur instead. History

The famed progenitor of Bedlington was a dog named “Old Flint”, whelped in 1782 and owned by “Squire Trevelyan.” Originally, the breed was known as the “Rothbury” or “Rodbery Terrier.” This name derived from a famous bitch brought from Staffordshire by a company of nail makers who settled in Rothbury. The Terriers of this section were accustomed to rodent hunting underground, and worked with packs of foxhounds kept there at the time.

It is suggested that the Bedlington may well have made its way to Ireland and played a part in the early development of the Kerry Blue Terrier.

The first Bedlington Terrier club was formed in 1877. The Bedlington Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

Temperament

These do-all dogs were able to do almost anything asked of them, if in classic terrier manner. Bedlingtons would have to be able hold its own when pitted in dog fighting contests and was particularly well known to fight to the death when set upon. In addition, it was fast enough to bay a badger or a fox and was a first-rate water dog. Said to have the face of a lamb and the heart of a lion!

Health

Mortality

Median longevity of Bedlington Terriers, based on two recent UK surveys, is about 13.5 years,[1] which is longer than for purebred dogs in general and longer than most breeds similar in size.[2] The longest-lived of 48 deceased dogs in a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey was 18.4 years. [3] Leading causes of death among Bedlington Terriers in the UK were old age (23%), urologic (15%), and hepatic (12.5%).[3] The leading “hepatic” cause of death was copper toxicosis. Dogs that died of liver diseases usually died at a younger age than dogs dying of most other causes.

Morbidity

Bedlington Terrier owners in the UK reported that the most common health issues among living dogs were reproductive (primarily of concern to breeders), heart murmur, and eye problems such as epiphora and cataracts. [3] Copper toxicosis occurred among about 5% of living dogs.

Courtesy of: The Free Dictionary