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BEDLINGTON TERRIER

Life span: 12-14 Years

Height: 66-71cm (Male); 64-66cm (Female)

Weight: 17-23 pounds

This breed has a unique appearance often compared to a lamb. They are very intelligent and highly enjoy the company of their family, especially when doing activities with them. They are not fond of small animals and may become aggressive towards them. They are also known for their ability to judge strangers although still being wary, making them great watchdogs.

Physical Characteristics

The body of this breed is longer than it is tall, with long hind legs. Its head is slim and round with an oval shape appearance to it. Their ears are thin and rounded at the end. The hair covering most of the ears is velvety, with a tuft of hair at the end. Their teeth are strong and sharp and their tail is medium length and thin. Its eyes are brown with a black or brown nose. Their thick coat is a combination of harsh and soft hairs, and can be very difficult and expensive to maintain. The coat can be white, blue, sable, brown or light brown.

History

The exact origin of the Bedlington Terrier is unknown, although it is known it was developed in northern England. Some believe the breed traveled with gypsies, hunting on the road, eventually catching the eye of some landowners who acquired these dogs for themselves. Later on Lord Rothbury showed immense interest in the breed, gaining them the name of Rothbury Terriers. It was not until 1825 when Joseph Ainsley bred two of these terriers that the name Bedlington Terrier began being used. In the 19th century these dogs began being used as show dogs and as pets, leading them to a popularity rise and eventually the show ring in the 1800s. This lead to the formation of the National Bedlington Terrier Club in 1877 and its registration in the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Personality

The Bedlington Terrier is intelligent and active, often excited to participate in activities or simply enjoy the company of its family. They are known to be good at judging strangers and remain wary of them, making them good watchdogs, even though they are generally quiet within the house. They do not get along well with dogs of the same sex or small animals, sometimes becoming aggressive towards them.  If socialized correctly, they will be able to get along with other house pets, but will still chase small animals it finds outside.Usually they are not aggressive animals but will not stand down if another animal chooses to pick a fight with them. They are good with children and, if properly introduced, with strangers as well.

Health

Bedlington Terriers are a very healthy breed. However, they may suffer from certain health issues, such as:

Distichiasis, which causes an additional row of eyelashes to appear along the edge of the eyelid, causing irritation of the eye. It can be corrected through surgery.

Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.

Copper Toxicosis, which is a hereditary disease in which dietary copper is expelled, caused by liver failure and leading to severe illness and eventually death. Dogs can be tested to see if they are carriers.

Renal Cortical Hypoplasia, in which the dog develops renal failure due to the abnormal development of the cortex in one or both kidneys, and there is no treatment.

Retinal Dysplasia, a malformation of the retina during its development that is present from birth and is usually mild and has no noticeable effects on the dog’s vision.

Care

The breed’s fur does not shed at all, however, it can still be very difficult to maintain, as it grows very quickly and has to be cut approximately every two months. It can be done with electric clippers and scissors or brought to a professional, although this can be expensive. Their nails should be trimmed regularly and their teeth brushed daily, as well as checking its ears for any dirt in order to prevent infections. They need to be exercised daily and kept on a leash during walks as well as in a fenced yard when playing due to its instinct of following small animals. After they have exercised, they enjoy quality time with their family, even if it is just being lazy. When it comes to training, they can be a bit stubborn but will respond well to positive reinforcement. They also need early socialization, especially with other family pets.

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