Is a Bedlington Terrier a good family dog?

Did you know that the Bedlington Terrier, with its sheep-like appearance and bright, inquisitive eyes, wasn’t always such a family favorite? In the 18th century, this breed was often seen in the coal mines of England, where their agile bodies and quick thinking made them excellent rat hunters. Today, however, these dogs have traded the dark tunnels for the comfort of the family home, and for good reason too.

So, what makes the Bedlington Terrier such a potentially great family dog?

First, let’s tackle their unique appearance. Covered in a woolly coat that can range from blue, sandy to liver, these dogs are often described as resembling a lamb. However, beneath that lamb-like exterior is a dog that’s both athletic and sturdy. They are medium-sized dogs, standing anywhere between 15 to 17.5 inches at the shoulder, with a weight that can range from 17 to 23 pounds.

Apart from their distinctive coat and lamb-like features, the Bedlington is well known for their speed and endurance. Don’t let their appearance fool you, these dogs have speed and high energy levels, and they absolutely love playtime.

Despite their former role as a ratter, modern day Bedlington Terriers possess a temperament that is perfect for a family setting. They’re known for their friendly, mild and good-tempered nature. They are generally good with children and they can get along well with other dogs and pets, given the right socialization early on.

They are loyal, and their intelligence, paired with the desire to please their owners, make them pretty trainable. They are also known to be courageous and tenacious. They absolutely love being the center of attention in their family and have the ability to form close bonds with their family members.

These dogs are also known for their versatility. They are not just good family dogs; they have proven themselves in various dog sports including obedience, agility, and flyball. Their endurance and nimbleness make them well-suited for these activities.

As with all dogs, the Bedlington Terrier does come with its own set of challenges. For one, they are high-energy dogs and therefore require daily exercise to help them stay happy and healthy. This can range from a good walk or play in the yard to a game of chase – which they love, by the way. Without sufficient exercise, they can become bored and resort to negative behaviors such as chewing or barking.

When it comes to grooming, their fluffy coats, while beautiful, need regular maintenance. To keep your Bedlington looking neat and tidy, regular clipping – every six to eight weeks – is often necessary. Regular brushing will also help keep their coat free of mats and can reduce potential skin problems.

Also, Bedlington Terriers are prone to several health issues including liver problems, kidney disease, and heart conditions. Regular check-ups with your vet can help ensure any potential problems are caught early and treated effectively.

Now, while this might seem like a lot, it’s worth remembering that every breed comes with its own unique set of challenges. The important thing is to be prepared and to understand that owning a Bedlington, much like owning any other dog, requires effort, energy, and most importantly, patience.

Overall, Bedlington Terriers make excellent family dogs. They are lively, loving, and capable of developing deep bonds with their family members. They require exercise and grooming, but with the right training, socialization, and care, these dogs make a fun, energetic, and loyal addition to many homes. They have a lot of love to give, and their distinctive looks and playful nature surely provide plenty of joy and laughter, making them a truly delightful breed to bring into your life.

So if you’re looking for a family dog that’s friendly, intelligent, versatile and unique, the Bedlington Terrier could be just the breed for you. Just make sure you’re ready for their energy levels and grooming needs, plus, you’ve got to be ready to become the center of their world. Because once a Bedlington Terrier adopts you as their family, they take their job of bringing you joy very seriously.