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BEDLINGTON TERRIERS: BRED FOR THEIR GAMING PROWESS by JOANN BURTNESS, PAT MILLS, DR. DENNIS CORASH & RICHARD REYNOLDS
Bedlington is thought to have one of the longest continuous pedigrees of any breed recognized by the American Ken- nel Club. In 1825, a man named Joseph Ainsley (Aynsley) mated two of his ter- riers and he called the result, Bedling- ton Terriers. This was the beginning of the name, Bedlington. He is believed to have lived in or near the town of Bedlington (UK) and named the breed after the English Village. The town of Bedlington lies about 18 miles from Northumberland. One of these pups was named Piper (or Young Piper) and is said to have started hunting badger at only eight-months-old. He had a long and notable career; he lived up to his intended purpose and was admired by the neighbors and townspeople. BEDLINGTON TERRIERS, THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL BARN HUNTERS? In 1872, Mr. Holland writes in the first edition of Dogs, “I have heard the Makepeace’s, especially Old Nicholas, were celebrated rat-catchers. (who lived near Howick and made their liv- ing going from gentlemen’s’ house to another to kill vermin. They always had first-rate terriers, most of the small wiry sort, who were splendid ratters)”. In old England, Bedlington Terriers were employed to clear the mines of rats. Today’s terrier enthusiasts, take to the streets of urban New York City to thin out rat infested populations. The modern-day Bedlington Terrier is still
SHORT HISTORY The roots of the Bedlington Terrier can be traced to the latter part of the 18th century, to a collection of terriers that existed near Rothbury Forest in the county of Northumberland in northern England known as the Rothbury Ter- rier. This particular strain of Terrier was highly esteemed by the local com- munity for their excellent qualities, especially for their gameness. In rural England, a good hunting dog could pro- vide food for the family, rid the fields of vermin that competed for the crops that the people depended on and pro- vide animal skins for shelter and cloth- ing. At that time, and long before, were some very staunch and sporting terriers in the district. Procuring the best and gamest of them, the local people pro- duced the gaming dogs relied on for their effort and cooperation to provide game for food. This meant survival for their proud owners. The outcome of these matings in this area is thought to have produced the Dandie Dinmont as well as the Bedlington Terrier. The early histories of these breeds are close- ly intertwined with many of the same dogs and people. During this period in history, dogs were bred to perpetuate their hunting qualities: strength, courage, endurance, nose, even barking—to identify their
location underground. To get badger, fox or other vermin, the dogs would often work as teams, some would go to ground (terra—terrier.) These dogs would need to be able to chase the prey into the tunnels and holes. To hunt above ground (pursue and catch rabbits, etc.) the dog must not be too short on leg. His principal vocation (though sometimes considered poach- ing) would require a dog small in stat- ure with a powerful, punishing jaw, strong neck and good strong teeth. The Bedlington Terrier became well- known in this location for being a “gen- eralist”—able to go to ground and also adept at overcoming prey in the open field or working in teams to chase and deliver the sought-after vermin. These dogs, which were working in and around Rothbury became recognized and highly prized for their prowess in the field. At this time, it is believed their appearance to be rather rough and not always uniform or alike in physical char- acteristics, however, what they were prized for was their ability to work in the field and underground. The first Bedlington Terrier can be traced back through pedigrees to Old Flynt. Old Flynt was born in 1782 (1792 by some accounts) and belonged to Mr. Trevelyan, the squire of Netherwit- ton, a village south of Rothbury. The
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3. Orbit. Proc.
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14. Cr. Ilium
11. Lumb. Vert.
10. Neur. Sp. Dors. Vert.
17. Dors. Scap.
12. Neur. Spin. Caud. Vert.
4. Malar. Proc.
16. Tub. Isch.
18. Spine Scap. 19. Acromion 20. Coracoid 21. Hd. Humerus
39. Grt. Trachanter
40. Ext. Tub. Fem.
42. Patella 43. Int. Tub. Fem. 44. Int. Tub. Tib.
41. Hd. Fibula
23. Ext. Epicon. Hum.
24. Cap. Radius
25. Int. Epicon. Hum.
45. Cr. Tibia
27. Int. Malleolus Rad.
46. Ext. Malleolus
47. Int. Malleolus
34. Tub. Radius
50. Cuboid 51. Tub. Ext. Melat.
52. Nav. or Scaph. 53. Tub. Int. Metal.
49. Ext. Pr. Calc. 54. 3rd Cuneif 55. Tub. 3rd Met. 56. Tub. 4th Met.
31. Pyramidal 32. Unciform
35. Hd. 4th Metac.
30. Hd. 1st Metac.
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quick to find a rat whether it be in Barn Hunt or Earth Dog Tests. Little training is required; hunting is embedded in their DNA. Illustrations document the gameness of the Bedlington Terriers of the 19th Century. CH Tyneside was whelped in 1869. She was a very famous bitch in her day, belonging to Mr. T.J. Pick- ett. She was entered in Vol. I of Ken- nel Club Studbook as number 3433 bred by Sir Thomas de Wheatley. She was by Spoor’s Rock out of Breeder’s Nimble. The Kennel Club, founded in 1873 featured Tearem and Tyne in the very first volume of the Kennel Club Studbook. Brother and sister were mated, and it is said that William Clark fairly gloated over their offspring. The pedigree of Scamp connects the dogs of today (1935) and the dogs of the pre-show past. (1) Edwin Megargee, (1883-1958), a very prolific dog painter, is probably the most beloved painter of our breed. He produced several works of the Bedling- ton Terrier. His art of the breed is well known and deeply respected because his illustrations are very accurate depic- tions of the soundness and structure of the Bedlington Terrier. Known for “the Head of a Lamb, and the Heart of a Lion” the Bedlington Terrier is fearless, with intense prey drive, once engaged in a hunting expedition. Drive and determination is why they excel in test events. As discussed, the Belington Ter- rier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds. Historically bred as a hunting dog, this breed’s loyalty, intelligence,
Epaxial and hamstring muscles support body weight and elevate the body’s cen- ter of gravity during the leap suspension phase. Abdominal wall muscles bring the pelvis forward during trunk flex- ion. The trunk muscles are significantly involved in locomotion. This also gives the Bedlington Terrier excellent jump- ing abilities. It is rare for the Bedlington Terrier to knock a bar in a jumping event unless exhausted by the length and pace of the run. Although the rotary gallop serves the Bedlington well in short sprints and jumping, if she cannot transition into the more traditional traverse gait for the weave poles, execution of this obstacle is not efficient. Bedlingtons excel in the flat-out sprint. Lure Coursing can be physically challenging and commit- ment to conditioning is necessary. The lengthy course is primarily reserved for the young and well-conditioned Bed- lington. However, Course Ability Tests (CAT) and Fast CAT are rewarding for the athletic, well-maintained Bedling- ton Terrier that enjoys showcasing their speed. TODAY’S HUNTING AND VERMIN CONTROL In recent years there has been renewed interest in the United States in using the Bedlington for the pur- pose originally intended, that being hunting and vermin control. Although it is well hidden under the styled and manicured coat, the Bedlington Ter- rier’s ability to work seems to have sur- vived. When hunting rats the dogs seem
tenacious personality and keen work- ing ability make them very fine com- panion and performance dogs. THE BEDLINGTON TERRIER EXCELS IN RUNNING COMPETITION SUCH AS AGILITY AND COURSING ABILITY TEST. Overground, the Bedlington Terrier kicks it up into high gear. This gait is known as the rotary gallop, also utilized by the Greyhound, Whippet, Borzoi and Cheetah. It is the fastest, but also the most fatiguing of all gaits (double suspension gallop; jumping gallop). Suspension periods follow lifting of the second impacting hind limb and lifting of the second impacting forelimb. The pattern of the limb impact rotates: right hind, left hind, extended suspension, left fore, right fore and collected suspen- sion. The Greyhound and Saluki using this technique can achieve speeds of 43 mph. Some have been clocked even higher. The running speed of a horse is around 25 to 30 mph with the fastest horse ever clocked at 43 mph. Flexion and extension of the vertebral column greatly increase the effectiveness of the stride length, thus compensating for the shorter limbs thereby, able to overcome prey. Trunk flexion (abdominal muscles) enables the hind paws to impact far ahead of the spot where the fore paws impacted the ground. Trunk extension during hindlimb propulsion produces a leap that enables the forelimbs to impact far ahead of their static anatomical reach.
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BEDLINGTONS IN THE SHOW RING
to choose whether to work close in to bolt rats from their hiding place (push dogs) or stand back, ready to snatch up the runners (catch dogs). When hunt- ing larger quarry, the Bedlington most often serves as a lurcher, ready to catch bolted quarry escaping the burrow. It is a fearsome fighter, ready to dis- patch quarry previously located by the hole dogs. Perhaps because of its roots among poachers, the Bedlington hunts mostly in silence and give little or no warning when it attacks. It is for this reason that the Bedlington Terrier should never be sparred in the conformation ring. Many of the breed have succeeded in Barn Hunt and Earth Dog Tests and are quick to learn the tricks of the trade. The hunting instinct is different and takes longer to develop. CORRECT PROPORTION OF THE BEDLINGTON TERRIER: FORM AND FUNCTION These points all relate to the bone structure of the Bedlington and all serve a functional purpose. 1. The Bedlington should be mea- sured with a wicket for absolute accu- racy. The height of the dog is measured from the top of the withers to the ground. Our standard calls for a dog to be 16 and ½ inches tall and a bitch to be 15 and ½ inches tall. Deviation from the ideal size is normal and there is no disqualification on either sex when the specimen presented in the ring is of obvious quality. The standard also calls for the animal to be slightly longer rather than tall and a square dog is incorrect despite being appealing to the eye of many judges. A longer dog is usually a faster runner and bet- ter able to catch rabbits for the pot. (Red lines). 2. To achieve correct movement, the Scapula and Upper Arm should be of the same length and the return of the upper arm should equal the layback of
the shoulder angle. This is very impor- tant for the desired front movement because a shorter upper arm equals a hackneyed gait. The standard calls for a springy gait but severely criticizes hackney movement. The width between the legs at the chest should be greater than at the foot because of the depth of chest needed for lung capac- ity, again a reference to a good running dog. (Green line). 3. The Femur and Fibula in the hind end should be of equal length. This is easily measured by lifting the leg until the hock touches the ischium exactly. A longer leg bone giving a sweeping rear to the dog is incorrect. It is also a weak structure that will break down in dogs doing performance events like agility, racing, and coursing. (Blue line). 4. The arch should be the highest right above the tuck-up. In the loin these seven lumbar vertebrae are fused and are important for stability. This is not to say the dog should look like a cro- quet wicket, but rather have a nice easy arch over the loin. (Brown line). 5. The thirteen thoracic or dorsal vertebrae along the back between the withers and loin are very flexible. This is important for dogs used to go to ground as it gives them the great flex- ibility to turn in very tight quarters. It is also essential to the double suspen- sion gallop where a dog demonstrates once again the flexibility so necessary for speed. (Yellow line). 6. & 7. The back skull is measured from the occiput to the slight stop in the front of the face. The fore face is measured from the slight stop to the end of the nose. These should be at least equal and preferably longer in the for face. This longer fore face gives immense strength to the jaws which house extremely large teeth. This char- acteristic has made the Bedlington one of the most formidable hunters and fighters in its size category. (Purple and pink lines).
Dog shows in the United States and Canada predated the formation of gov- erning bodies. The American Kennel Club formed in 1884, began publica- tion of its official Stud Book in 1887. The Stud Book registering 2,221 dogs is known now as Volume 4. Previous stud books from other registry organizations predated this work. The Bedlington made its mark on these early, hectic years of registration history. The first Bedlingtons in the U.S. were imported from England in 1880 and the first reg- istered Bedlington is found in Volume 1, a registry effort of Forest and Stream, predating AKC. Three Bedlingtons were shown in a special Bedlington division of the class for “Rough Haired Terriers” at St Louis on October 9, 1880. The first Cham- pion was shown in 1884. Ch Blucher was a dog born in 1882 in England and brought to the United States. Champi- ons of the time were dogs who won three blue ribbons. Ch. Blucher won the ribbons in shows in the United States and is recognized as the first Bedling- ton Champion. Few breeds can actually boast of so many years in active show classes and Champions of Record. There have been many outstanding Bedlingtons of note in the show ring, however the only Bedlington winning Best in Show at Westminster did so in 1948, Ch Rockridge Nightrocket. He was owned by Mr. and Mrs. William A. Rockefeller. REFERENCES 1. Redmarshall, et.al, The Bedlington Terrier. Comprising a Short Account of the Early History and Origin of the Breed, and Stud Book. 2nd edi- tion, (1935), Bedlington Terrier Club of America. 2. Seton, Ernest Thompson, Art Anato- my of Animals. (1977), Running Press Philadelphia, PA. (Figure 1)
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THE BEDLINGTON TERRIER By Lucy Heyman I never really fully appreciated the exceptional qualities of my Bed- lington Terriers until I owned and operated a public boarding kennel and had to care for many di ff erent breeds. Th e constant “...to see a Bedlington’s tender
Now that’s a testimonial. They are engaging, they are endearing and if you can get to the grooming shop regu- larly, the rest of it is a cakewalk. Much has be said and written over the years about the ferocity of an aroused Bedlington, their ability to kill prey and their unpredictable rival- ry with other dogs, but to see a Bed- lington’s tender affection for a stranger in a nursing home is an amazing sight. affection for a stranger in a nursing home IS AN AMAZING SIGHT.”
clean up of copious amounts of hair; the nervous and unsure dogs that refused to eat and drink; the dogs that resisted nec- essary grooming care all came as a rude awakening to me. My credo became, “Oh, if I could only a ff ord to limit my clientele to Terrier breeds, primarily Bedlingtons, life would be wonderful!” Af ter over 30 years of breeding and exhibit ing Bedl ington Terriers, I never t ire of l istening to my cl ient s’ superlat ives about the breed: “I can’t imagine going through l i fe without a Bedl ington”, “I’ve a lways wanted a Bedl ington since I saw one when I was nine years old”, “I’m glad I didn’t have to go through l i fe without knowing how wonder ful Bedl ingtons are”, “We had other breeds a f ter our Bedl ington, but want another one” and the best of a l l, “If I had known how great Bedl ingtons were, I would not have had chi ldren!”
Th ey are tremendously e ff ective ther- apy dogs and we already have a few that have earned recognition from the Ameri- can Kennel Club for their therapy work. Did you know that Bed l ing tons can compete succes sfu l ly in lure coursing? We now have a few t it le- holders in that pursuit . The breed ha s excel led in the va r ious other per formance event s that they a re el igi lble for.
“Did you know that Bedlingtons CAN COMPETE SUCCESSFULLY IN LURE COURSING?”
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We have agility Bedlingtons that have earned MACH titles up to the 9th level. We have UDX Bedlingtons in obedience and some high achievers in Rally. Not surprisingly, the Master EarthDog titleholders are quite numer- ous. Greatly surprising are the few Bed- lingtons that are Schutzhund dogs. Bedlingtons are a low population breed with less than 200 individual dog registrations recorded every year. However, the breed enjoys an enthu- siastic fancy, with a parent club that “A BEDLINGTON HAS NEVER GONE WANTING FOR CARE AND A NEW HOME, thanks to some conscientious and dedicated fanciers.”
boasts over 300 members and exhibi- tors that f inish conformation titles on at least 50 dogs a year. We are fortunate to have a wealth of literature about the breed, considering it’s low population. A comprehensive bibliography can be found on the parent club’s website, bedlingtonamerica.com. Th e breed books are richly illustrated with photo- graphs, and there are several authored by Muriel Lee and some from experts in the mother country of our breed in Great Britain, Ken Bounden and Ian Phillips.
The breed is most fortunate to have been chosen as a subject for the original research to develop a molecular genet- ics test to identify carriers of a major hereditary disease, inherited copper toxicosis. Many affected dogs would succumb to liver failure, some prior to their third birthday. The test developed at the University of Michigan in 1994 has now virtually eradicated the disease in the breed and became the impetus for the formation of the AKC Canine Health Foundation.
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Like all mammals, Bedlingtons suf- fer from a few other inherited diseases, but the majority of identif ied maladies in the the breed are not life threatening and nor are they diff icult to manage. The parent club opted to participate in the Canine Health Information Center established by the Orthopedic Founda- tion For Animals and the tests desig- nated for registration in the scheme are the aforementioned DNA Markers for Copper Toxicosis, OFA Patellar Luxa- tion clearance after the f irst birthday and a yearly eye exam by a ACVO certif ied ophthalmologist. Despite the low population, the need for rescue efforts arises occasion- ally. Our breed fancy started organized rescue in the late 80s before the prac- tice was widespread. A Bedlington has never gone wanting for care and a new home, thanks to some conscientious and dedicated fanciers. One of the greatest testimonials for the breed occurred with a dog that I personally rescued. He was imported from Russia by a Missouri puppy mill- er, passed along to another puppy mill in Kansas that was raided. We were notif ied that there was a male Bedling- ton in a state authorized shelter, how- ever he was considerably larger than the standard. I was able to get the dog released after being neutered and I test- ed his DNA markers for copper toxico- sis which would also aff irm that he was pure-bred. He was and a non-carrier, so I sent him to a new home shortly thereafter. What was truly remarkable, was his easy adjustment, after 6 years of being kenneled in puppy mills and shelters, he acclimated to his new home without missing a beat! So what do you think? A 20-pound dog that you can carry under your arm, that doesn’t shed or have a doggy odor, is happy with whatever life brings them, and is so very versatile that it can perform at a high level with other breeds that are specialized in the event. If you ever had one, you would raving with my clients!
ber of the now disbanded Palm Valley Kennel Club, the Corpus Christi Ken- nel Club and is currently a member of the Houston Kennel Club. In addition to the parent club, Lucy is al so a mem- ber of the U.S. Lakeland Terrier Club and the American Fox Terrier Club. She serves as a Director of the Hous- ton All Terrier Club, newly licensed to hold AKC events. Lucy has served 6 terms as Corresponding Secretary of the Bedlington Terrier Club of Amer- ica, Inc., as well as it’s Awards Chair- man and has been rescuing since 1988. She is Chairman of the Bedlington Terrier Wellness and Rescue Associa- tion, a 501(c)3 charity and is on the President’s Council of the AKC Canine Health Foundation. To date, Lucy has completed the AKC title requirements on 158 Bed- lington Terriers, several Lakelands and both coats of Fox Terriers, most of them being home bred. She is al so the co-owner of an Airedale Terrier that f inished specialty weekend in Ft. Worth. She has 7 all time top producers to her credit, including the top produc- ing Bedlington Terrier dam of all time. As the AKC Gazette columnist since 2005 until recently, Lucy’s col- umns were focused on the interpre- tation of the breed standard using a group of breeders designated as Breed- ers of Distinction by the parent club Awards Commit tee. She assisted edit- ing The Of f icia l Book of The Bed- l ington Terrier and Bedl ington Ter- rier with Muriel Lee. She contributed to An Eye For The Second Century by Ian Phillips and has writ ten for sev- eral publications such as “Just Terri- ers”, “Tassel s and Tales”, and “Terrier Type” in addition to being an invited guest columnist and regular columnist in the AKC Gazette . Lucy has been a Judges Education Presenter since 1994. 19402 Kuykendahl Road Spring, TX 77379 email@example.com (281)772-3468
BIO Lucy Heyman has been active in canine sports since 1979 when she f inished the Championship title on her f irst Bedlington Terrier at the National Specialty held at the Mont- gomery County Kennel Club. He was never used in the breeding program, but the puppy bitch, who was Reserve at Devon was to be the foundation of her Carillon breeding program. To date, Ch. Claremont Lana has nearly 700 Champion descendants and many individual s that excel in performance events. Lucy joined the parent club in 1979 and is now a life member, being awarded the prestigious Willemson Breed Betterment Award in 2007. Lucy was al so active in all breed clubs, being a founding Board Member and Corresponding Secretary of the Tyler Texas Kennel Club in 1981 and is still a member. She was al so a mem-
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