The Bedlington Terrier is a unique looking breed – looking more like a lamb than a dog. He has a lamb-like head and tightly curled coat which needs regular grooming and fairly frequent trimming. He’s tougher than he looks and retains a sporty, terrier disposition. He makes a suitable family pet and will be happy to join in with most family activities. Regular exercise is very important.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 12.0% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS48.32
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
The Bedlington’s coat will harbour dirt and debris, causing possible skin problems, unless regularly groomed and trimmed.
Eye disease: Total retinal dysplasia (TRD) (litter screening) (causes severe visual impairment).
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Copper Toxicosis (COMMD1-CT) (an inability to use and store copper properly, resulting in liver disease and other problems) High incidence in this breed 33%.
- Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
- Hereditary Footpad Hyperkeratosis
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Breed health website: www.bedlingtonterrierhealthgroup.org.uk
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Chronic hepatitis (due to copper storage problems)
- Distichiasis (double row of eyelashes causing irritation and pain)
- Entropion (inward turning eyelashes)
- Lacrimal punctal atresia (tear duct malfunction)
- Kidney disease
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: