Disguised delights – a lamb on a leash
We are original Englishmen?
– Historical account
The origin tale of this breed takes us to the mines of England. The miners of the early 19th century in England needed a dog for tackling rodents and vermin menace. And for the same, they developed the Bedlington Terrier, who were smart enough to hunt vermin…and showed other terrier qualities as well. In historical accounts, the very fi rst BT was found in 1825. And later in 19th century, they gained popularity world over and explored new pastures in other countries including United States, Australia, Israel and Canada. Earlier, they were known as Rodbery Terrier and then got christened as Bedlington Terrier on the basis of their origin land – Bedlington, Northumberland in North East England.
They are also known as the “gypsy dogs” as gypsies in the Rothbury Forest near Scotland border started taming and breeding them for hunting rabbits. Other story about their nomenclature says that Lord Rothbury of the town of Bedlington in Northumberland Count, became an enthusiast of this particular breed that the breed became popular as Rothbury’s Terrier (or Rothbury’s Lamb) as well.
Do we look like Lambs?
– The general appearance
These lambs look alike dogs have a soft woolly coat, which is intentionally cut to resemble a little lamb. Originally bred to hunt vermin, now they are pawfect companions and watchdogs. “In spite of their decorative and toy like appearance, they are still a true terrier under the white wool… and they are fast athletes as well. His coat, the head with matching ears and overall lamblike look is striking as well as head turning feature of Bedlingtons,” says Pradip.
The head is rounded, and is shorter around the skull and longer around the jaws. Eyes are almond shaped with thick black rims. They are small, bright and placed high on the head. Ears are triangular with rounded tips, and are dangling on the cheeks. The jaws are long and tapering. The muzzle is strong and thick. Neck is long and tapering and is deep at the base. The body is muscular with healthy coat. The hind limbs are longer than the forelimbs, which gives a slightly bent posture.
They come in various colours, including blue, liver and sand. Basically, these are the colours pups have, when they grow up, the colour fades away. They just have a cream and white shade with a tinge of birth colour shade.
Aren’t we sweet and loving?
– Temperament and behaviour
These four-legged furry angels are very loving and attached to owner and family, they know how to shower their unconditional love on others. What makes them a great companion is their ability to gel well with kids, they are very fond of children. Staying in a family, they show several traits. They are well behaved pets, if trained properly. They love to be the center of attention and do several antics to win over one and all. “They just love kids and kids simply adore them. The story is ‘Mary had a little lamb…Why Lamb loves Mary Sir? Why Mary loves the Lamb you know?’ the teacher did reply…these are apt words for this sweet kidpooch relationship,” admits Pradip.
They are comfortable with outsiders also…very pleasant… even visitors averse to pets do not find their size and appearance alarming. “They are ideal as apartment pets… why? Well! that’s the best thing, they will never bark unnecessarily. So, having a pet will also leave a smile on our next-door neighbour’s face,” he adds.
They are easy to handle and can be trained easily also. Having them as a pet is a great delight for any pooch lover. With their fetish for cleanliness…they just floor anybody and everybody.
We aren’t crazy about six packs abs?
– Fitness regimen
They need moderate exercising. They like to run whenever they get an opportunity. With daily short walks and small exercise sessions, they are happy. Being a healthy and happy dog, they have great abilities for pointing, retrieving, tracking, and, of course, chasing den animals. “They are very obedient dogs, if trained early, they can be great with agility jumping, frisbee, catching ball, etc,” informs Pradip.
How we look?
– Grooming tips
As they have short hair coat, and shed less…so they are easy to manage. They need haircut every 3 months while, combing is required daily for better management. Ear cleaning and nails trimming are also periodically required. Most importantly, professional grooming in every 3-4 months helps to keep their coats (which tend to curl) in good shape.
How to take care of a puppy?
– Caring ways
Always bring home a puppy, who is at least 3 months old from a reputed breeder. Vaccinations and deworming are very important like any other breeds. Make sure that your puppies get balanced and quality dog food either readymade or home cooked. They need meat, bones, carrots, animal fats, vitamins and mineral supplements if they are taking homemade food. And clean water is mandatory… always.
They are a healthy breed but can have CT (copper toxicosis), a liver problem. The parents can be DNA tested and screened for the same before breeding. Hence it is important to buy a pup from reputed breeder and ask for parents’ DNA test for CT. “Keep the pup clean and brush him everyday. For today’s apartment life with occasional outings, this breed is most adoptive. And I would love to give any advice about these sweethearts,” says Pradip on a concluding note.
Me and my Bedlingtons “I live with 6 Bedlingtons – Lily, a blue mother from Australia, Nils, a liver coloured father from Moscow and their four daughters. Both Lily & Nils are champions…and their four daughters, two blue and two liver, are also great looking canines. One liver daughter Merina is about to give pups now…and I am thrilled about the litter. I never had any problem with them… no barking…no aggression.
They love agility jumping, frisbee catching and playing with the ball. I just love them like anything and they too are my loving buddies.”