The Bedlington Terrier is a breed of small dog named after the mining town of Bedlington, Northumberland in North East England. Originally bred to hunt vermin in mines, the Bedlington Terrier has since been used in dog racing and dog fights, as well as in conformation shows, numerous dog sports, and as a companion dog. It is closely related to the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Whippet and Otterhound.
It is described as being both good with children and 'fit to kill any other dog of his weight'. They have powerful swimming skills, comparable to those of water dogs such as the Newfoundland, and are noted for being very quick and having high endurance. Bedlingtons are noted for their similarity in appearance to lambs. The dogs have blue, liver or sandy colouration, all three of which may have tan points. Their fur forms a distinctive top knot on the dog's head. However, concerns have been raised about the modern Bedlington Terrier's gameness and drive to work, and the purity of its bloodlines, as some breeders are concerned that poodle may have been introduced to make the dog's coat easier to maintain.
Originally known as the Rothbury or Rodbury Terrier, the name Bedlington Terrier was not applied to the breed until 1825, but some dogs have pedigrees that can be traced back as far as 1782. The first dog shows with a class for Bedlington Terriers was held in 1870 at Bedlington. Bedlington Terriers shown at early shows were frequently dyed to improve the look of their fur. In 1948, a Bedlington Terrier known as Rock Ridge Night Rocket won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The breed has a high instance of copper toxicosis, but with the exception of eye problems, it is mostly free from health complaints.
The Bedlington Terrier has been described as resembling a lamb. At the same time, Frank Barton said that 'the Bedlington can hardly be regarded as a handsome dog.' It has also been compared to a miniature version of the Scottish Deerhound. George Shields stated that exceedingly well-bred dogs possess the spirit of a thoroughbred racehorse.
The dogs have blue, liver or sandy colouration, all three of which may have tan points. Bedlingtons carry what is known as the greying gene, a dominant trait carried on the G locus. This gene causes puppies born with black or dark brown fur to lighten to grey or liver with age. The fur of the Bedlington creates a shape on the top of the dog's head known as a topknot. Although most modern breed standards call for the dog's topknot to be lighter than its body, when the breed was first being formed there was at least one prominent breeder, Mr. Pickett, who believed that the topknot should be darker, not lighter.
The head of the dog must be rounded in shape with no stop.Their eyes are almond-shaped and small, and the lips are close-fitting and lack flews. The back must be arched, and the body should be slightly longer in length than in height. Although 16.5 inches (42 cm) is the preferred height for male dogs, a range from 16 to 17.5 inches (41 to 44 cm) is allowed; for females, the preferred height is 15.5 inches (39 cm) and the acceptable range is from 15 to 16.5 inches (38 to 42 cm). Both genders must weigh between 17 and 23 pounds (7.7 and 10 kg). They possess a light, springy gait.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedlington_Terrier
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