Showsight Presents The Bedlington Terrier

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)

298 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2018

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