Bedlington Terrier

  • Overview

    These terriers' lamb-like appearance masks a willful and occasionally opinionated personality. Bedlington Terriers only weigh between 17 and 23 pounds, but underneath their small size and plush coat, they are active and alert companions. Don't expect these extroverted dogs to take the back seat during your activities. Bedlingtons love to be the center of attention and form close bonds with their families. Although they can be aggressive when they display their terrier spirit in front of intruders, these dogs will constantly be noticed for their amusing antics and interesting appearances.

    View Grooming Diagram for bedlington terrier
  • Personality

    Bedlington Terriers delight in being the center of attention. They enjoy digging and chasing and they are surprisingly impressive jumpers. They require lots of activity to channel their energy and tame their mischievous streaks. If they do not receive enough exercise or stimulation, they will find their own outlets for attention. Bedlington Terriers are naturally inquisitive, which can make them willful during training. They are hard to housebreak because they don't like to be forced to do things. Bedlingtons respond best to quite, positive environments where they have room to express their opinionated personalities and bond with respectful human friends. These terriers are smart, curious and graceful, which makes them an entertaining companion. If you establish dominance right away, this breed can perform well in the agility ring.

    Even though the Bedlington can be temperamental with strangers, they bond very well with one person or one family. In fact, they can be loyal to a fault. They have a tendency to be aggressive and headstrong with other dogs if they are not socialized as puppies. They can be especially snappish and loud if they are worried that their families are being threatened, so they make astute guard dogs.

  • Coat Care

    Bedlington Terriers are not as sturdily built as other terriers, nor do they share the terrier's typically straight coat. Their double thick coats stand out from the skin and tend to curl. Most Bedlington puppies are white, but they gradually darken as they mature. Their coats can be found in whites and creams as well as blues, livers and sandy-tan colors. The Bedlington's curly coat should not feel wiry, but the overall texture should be dense and wooly.

    Although Bedlingtons shed very little, their coat grows out very curly and thick and can quickly become unmanageable. As a result, they won't need their coats to be stripped, but they will need extensive brushing with a pin brush to prevent mats and discomfort. Their coats require significant grooming to execute the lamb clip that displays their distinctive facial appearance. Show dogs, who are clipped in a Poodlington style, are left with only 1 inch of hair on their bodies, except for on the slope of their heads and legs, which are left longer. Their tails, paws and the top parts of their ears are shaved.

Brushing

Bedlington Terriers do not need their coats to be stripped like other terriers, but they will need extensive brushing with a pin brush to prevent mats and discomfort.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but breeds with curly and wavy hair should be done more frequently, usually in the six-to-eight week range. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry.

Hair Clipping

The Bedlington's coat requires significant grooming to execute the lamb clip that displays their distinctive facial appearance. Show dogs, who are clipped in a Poodlington style, are left with only 1 inch of hair on their bodies, except for on the slope of their heads and legs, which are left longer. Their tails, paws and the top parts of their ears are shaved.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Curly and wavy coated dogs have large, sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Poodles are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.