|Area of Origin:
|Date of Origin:
||killing rat, vadger,
and other vermin
Bedlington Terrier was originally named the Rothbury Terrier,
after the district of Rothbury on the English border. Gypsy
nail makers in Rothbury prized the breed as a hunter of various
game including foxes, hares and badgers. In about 1825, a Rothbury
dog was mated to a Bedlington bitch, resulting in the Bedlington
Terrier. Some sources mention the Otterhound and Dandie Dinmont
Terrier as some possible contributors to the breed. Today there
are some breeders, especially in England, that will cross Bedlingtons
with Whippets and Greyhounds to produce what they call Lurchers.
The Bedlington was used as a vermin hunter by the miners of
Bedlington who also exploited its gameness as a fighting dog
in the pits. Hunters also used them as retrievers. The Bedlington
was first exhibited as a separate breed in 1877. Originally
it was developed for the hunting of rats and small game in lairs
or on open ground (talents it has certainly not forgotten).
Today the Bedlington is a good apartment dog. It is also an
attentive and barking watchdog.
Bedlington Terrier's unique appearance combined with his assertive
demeanour are two reasons why this dog is described as having
"the head of a lamb," and "the heart of a lion."
Careful breeding has resulted in a more companionable and affectionate
personality in today's Bedlington Terriers. Playful and cheerful,
the Bedlington Terrier is loving with children and fairly friendly
with strangers. They are loyal, lively and headstrong. This
breed needs to learn to like cats and other household animals
when they are young. Usually they can get along with other dogs
but keep them away from those that want to dominate, as once
challenged they are terrifying fighters, despite their gentle
appearance. A little powerhouse, it is courageous and energetic,
with the ability to run very fast. It is an enthusiastic digger.
Bedlingtons like to bark and can be high-stung. Only let this
breed off its lead in an enclosed area. Like the Whippet, he
is fast and loves to chase!
Bedlington needs daily exercise in a safe place; it loves to
run and chase. Its needs can be met with a good long walk or
vigorous romp. This is not a breed that should live outside.
Its coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus scissoring
to shape the coat every other month. Hair that is shed tends
to cling to the other hair rather than shedding. This breed
is considered good for allergy sufferers.
Official Breed Standard
A graceful, lithe, muscular dog, with no
sign of either weakness or coarseness. The whole head should be
pear or wedge-shaped and expression in repose mild and gentle, though
not shy or nervous. When roused, the eyes should sparkle and the
dog look full of temper and courage. Bedlingtons are capable of
galloping at great speed and should have the appearance of being
able to do so. This action is very distinctive. Rather mincing,
light and springy in the slower paces, could have a slight roll
when in full stride. When galloping must use the whole body.
Head and Skull:
Skull narrow, but deep and rounded; covered
with profuse silky top-knot which should be nearly white. Jaw long
and tapering. There must be no "stop", the line from occiput
to nose end being straight and unbroken. Well filled up beneath
the eye. Close fitting lips, without flew. The nostrils must be
large and well-defined. Blues and blue-and-tans must have black
noses; livers and sandies must have brown noses.
Small, bright and well sunk. The ideal eye
has the appearance of being triangular. Blues should have a dark
eye: blue-and-tans have lighter eyes with amber lights, and livers
and sandies have a light hazel eye.
Moderate sized, filbert shaped, set on low
and hanging flat to the cheek. They should be covered with short
fine hair with a fringe of whitish silky hair at the tip.
Teeth, level or pincer-jawed. The teeth should
be large and strong.
Long tapering neck, deep at the base; there
should be no tendency to toatiness. The neck should spring well
up from the shoulders and the head should be carried rather high.
The forelegs should be straight, but wider
apart at the chest than at the feet. Pasterns long and slightly
sloping without weakness. Shoulders flat and sloping.
Muscular, yet markedly flexible; flat-ribbed
and deep tough the brisket; well ribbed up. The chest should be
deep and fairly broad. The back should be roached and the loin markedly
arched. Muscular galloping quarters which are also fine and graceful.
Muscular and of moderate length. The hind
legs, by reason of the roach back and arched loin, have the appearance
of being longer than the forelegs. The hocks should be strong and
well let down.
Long hare feet with thick and well closed
Of moderate length, thick at the root, tapering
to a point and gracefully curved. Should be set on low and must
never be carried over the back.
Very distinctive. Thick and linty, standing
well out from the skin, but not wiry. There should be a distinct
tendency to twist, particularly on the head and face.
Blue, blue and tan, liver or sandy. Darker
pigment to be encouraged.
Weight and Size:
Height should be about sixteen inches (40-64
cm) at the shoulder. This allows of slight variation below in the
case of a bitch and above in the case of the dog. Weight should
be between eighteen pounds (8.1 kg) and twenty-tee pounds (10.4
Male animals should have two apparently normal
testicles fully descended into the scrotum.