TEMPERAMENT

Have you ever seen a dog that looks like a lamb?

The Bedlington Terrier is unique – it has a head like a lamb, ears like a poodle, a tail like a rat’s, paws like a hare and a gentle arch over the loin.
It’s hair feels like silk – soft to the touch.
The Bedlington resembles no other registered breed. It is all curves and no straight lines!
How can you not fall in love with the Bedlington!

Physical Characteristics:

  • Bedlingtons are built for speed. They take off in a flash especially when spotting a cat, and run at great speeds.
  • They can be easily distracted, are alert and curious.
  • They generally have a light appetite.
  • They are playful and intelligent and respond well to training.
  • Their coats of course require a certain amount of maintenance to keep the special Bedlington shape. They should be trimmed at least once every 6 weeks, but they do need daily brushing to keep their hair from matting.
  • The Bedlington wants nothing more than to be part of its owners’ life.

Bedlingtons come in three colours and two marking patterns. The colours are Liver, Blue and Sandy. The patterns are solid, or with tan markings. As adults, the tan-marked dogs look identical to the solids for the most part, as the markings blend into the lighter adult coat.
Bedlingtons are born dark - blues are born black, liver and sandy dogs are born dark brown. The difference will be in the skin colour and nose/eye pigment. Blue Bedlingtons have a black nose and eye rim, with a very dark brown eye. Skin colour will be light grey. Liver and Sandy dogs have brown nose and eye pigment, and a lighter eye. Their skin is pinky-brown. The pups get lighter and lighter as they approach a year old. As 1 year olds, many Bedlingtons look white. White is NOT a colour listed in the breed standard. By two years old, they should have colour on their bodies, with lighter heads, and often lighter legs. One of the more interesting aspects of the breed is how their colour is constantly changing, ever so slightly. Blues will be shades of grey. Liver is a sort of purple-brown colour, while sandy is more of a taupe. When a Bedlington's skin is cut or bruised, their coat may grow out in their birth colour on that spot. It will grow back out to adult colour over time.

Bedlington Terriers weigh between 17 and 23 pounds (approx. 7-10 kilos), and are between 15 and 17 ½ inches tall (37–42 cms). They are a medium-size dog, easy to pick up, and certainly consider themselves lap dogs given the opportunity. Many times a dog that will be too big for the show ring will be sold as a pet, giving pet owners the chance to own a beautiful dog with that one minor "fault". Other reasons for dogs to be considered pets could be an overbite or underbite, short ears or kinked tail, or other physical faults. An honest breeder of champion show dogs will tell you there are pets in every litter. They cannot show every dog they breed, so some will be pets for no other reason than that.

The Bedlington Terrier has a soft linty coat, mixed with coarser dark guard hairs. Their unique coat and appearance definitely gets people’s attention and I get many "ooohs and aaaahs" when people pet my dogs. They feel like silk to the touch! This coat requires frequent brushing with a slicker brush, followed by combing. They can get mats under their armpits, and on their head and legs, where the coat is kept longer. The standard calls for a coat no longer than an inch on the body - the longest body coat will be on the topline, under the chest and on the head and legs. Pet owners could shorten those up - so their dog still looks like a Bedlington Terrier, but is easier to maintain. Bedlingtons don’t shed, but dead hair will be removed by brushing and combing. For this reason, they are considered hypo-allergenic.

The Special Bedlington Personality:

A versatile and intelligent dog that is happy and willing to be a great companion, to participate in whatever area its owner chooses, be it sport, agility, obedience work and especially going-to-ground activities.
Although seemingly docile as the lamb, the Bedlington is a true terrier, curious and enthusiastic, with natural “killer” instincts when spotting a squirrel, rat or other vermin.
They are wonderful with children, loving, playful and alert. They are not noisy, yappy dogs, but do bark at strangers at your door.

I have discovered that whatever one reads about the Bedlington’s personality, is so true.
They are so cuddly and playful and endow their owners with such love and devotion, that one can’t help but love them. They are affectionate and welcoming to whoever comes to visit, bringing their toys and wagging their tails and behinds, ready for the “throw and fetch” game that can go on for hours. When arriving home from work or wherever, they happily jump up and lick you all over like a long-lost friend they haven’t seen for years!
No one can welcome you home so joyfully!
Their flexible bodies can contort into the funniest positions, especially when jumping in excitement and play, or when settling down to sleep.
Although obviously not all Bedlingtons are exactly alike, they each have some of these common antics.
They speak to you with their eyes, ears and body positions. They are so human, that once you’ve owned a Bedlington, your life would not be the same without his/her companionship.

My Felly and Styler are true Bedlingtons, yet quite different in personality and temperament from one another.

Felly is highly active, always wanting to play and demanding attention.
She is very intelligent and seems to understand commands immediately. She “sulks” if I pay Styler more attention than to her and gets most offended if I scold her!
She is very sensitive, but very dominant and very vocal!
She abounds in personality, very alert and is always hungry!
She is intelligently obedient.

Styler on the other hand, is really laid back. He prefers to cuddle in someone’s lap and doesn’t share Felly’s enthusiasm in chasing a ball for hours on end!
He is slower to grasp what you want of him and generally behaves like more of gentleman as opposed to Felly’s boisterous interference in every activity.
He is like an old man who tries to keep out of his nagging wife’s way, often hiding away from Felly when she starts chasing him around!
Styler just seems to remain a sweet, adorable little baby that wants to be in your arms all the time.

Together, they are a real delight and wonderful companions.
 
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