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Am I making the right decision? Bedlington puppy.

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 11:24pm PST 
I've loved Beddies since I read "The Soul of the Silver Dog" when I was 12 years old. 16 years later, I'm still infatuated.

I manage a feed store, and there's a trainer who has a weekly class at my store. She also has a lovely little beddie. I was chatting with her a few weeks ago about genetic testing while her boy sat in my lap and made himself at home. (He's DNA 1-1, yay!)

His owner mentioned that she has a breeding planned between him and a bitch who belongs to his breeder, and asked if I would be interested in getting on the waiting list for a puppy. I admit I was speechless for a moment...I think my eyes nearly bugged out of my head, LoL.

We're going to have lots more chances to chat over the next few months, but I want to make sure I'm a good fit before bringing home a beddie.

I admit I got in over my head when I adopted Jasper. I was in school getting a veterinary technology degree and I was in no way prepared for a high-energy terrier to be my first dog (first dog who was MINE, not a family dog). I've learned a TON from raising Jasper, and I think I'm now a devoted terrier person, LoL.

I'm fairly low key, but I make it up to Jasper by taking him to doggy daycare and walking him along the creek trail by my house. We used to jog, but that's stopped since his knees have started deterioratins. We train train train to keep his mind active. I'm also able to bring a dog to work. There are three cats in the house; two of whom are very dog-savvy and one who is dog-tolerant but will run from chaos.

What I've been hoping for in a second dog is a dog similar to Jasper, who has a serious side...I'm NOT a fan of happygoofysilly all the time. I'd like a dog who is fairly trainable...manners, basic commands, and maybe a few tricks. Stubbornness doesn't bother me, and I do not want a super soft dog.

Jasper is nearly silent, and I fervently hope that my next dog will at least have an alarm bark! (someone once broke into my old apartment WHILE I WAS HOME and Jasper didn't even rouse himself off the couch...just looked up at the guy and thumped his tail a couple of times...)

I LOVE grooming dogs, so I'm excited at the idea of having a dog who needs regular brushing and trimming...though it's going to be quite a learning curve to get a beddie looking nice. Jasper is pretty wash-and-wear, LoL.

I'm never having kids and there are no kids in my local extended family, so kid tolerance doesn't matter. I do travel with my dog though, so good tolerance for new situations is appreciated. (I realize this is more of a socialization issue than a breed issue, I'm just trying to be thorough) My household is somewhat chaotic and doesn't have a set routine.

My ideal dog would be affectionate, but also able to entertain themselves occasionally. Jasper spent the last two hours working at a bully stick, now we're catching up on cuddle time. smile

Overall...everything I've read about beddies seems to mesh fairly well with my household...but I wanted to ask for opinions to make sure I'm not just MAKING them fit because I want it to work so badly. When I worked as an RVT I was so many people who were a poor fit for their dogs, and while many of them made it work, I always felt a little sad for both the people and the dogs that the relationship wasn't a more enjoyable one.

Edited by author Sat Jan 12, '13 8:15am PST

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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 8:07am PST 
Bedlington Terrier Meet the Breed Brochure

The temperament is twofold; very quiet, much like
a sporting dog, until aroused - then the aggressive
terrier spirit predominates. Bedlingtons are bright,
clownish extroverts. Always anxious to love, please
and be the center of attraction, whether in the show
ring or in any room of your house. Their greatest
talent is running
a household.
This includes
being fantastic
hosts that
leap with joy
when company
arrives. Astute
judgment as to the legitimacy of any arrivals has
proved them to be excellent watchdogs.

I think there's a real possibility you might have the same issues with a Bedlington that you had with Jasper. I would recommend having an honest discussion with this trainer about Jasper and about what you're really looking for in a second dog. If that's promising, you want to meet the breeder, the bitch, her other dogs, and talk to her about what she's breeding for and what the temperaments and energy levels of her dogs are. I'm not familiar with Bedlington terriers, but it sounds like they are definitely real terriers.

Don't rule it out, but do ask more questions and learn more about not just the breed in general, but the breeder you'd be getting your puppy from and her dogs. It's a real advantage that you already know the stud who will father the litter--but you want to know what he was like as a puppy and an adolescent, too.

Good luck!
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Samoa- SunnyBear- Bell

Happy Boy!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 8:30am PST 
LITTLE LAMBIE DOG!

(thud!)

Not a responsible response, but am overcome. Good luck!
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 10:11am PST 
Ahhhhh, one of my faves and one I have tried to push in my breed matching threads.

You always have to start with worst case scenarios on correct temperament, though, and ask yourself "can I live with that?"

SO.....firstly, Bedlingtons are more needy than average terriers. Separation anxiety, rare for terriers, is not unheard of in Bedlingtons, and they can show jealous tendencies. So that's one. Two, is what can be a very high prey drive. Three, potential DA. Sometimes, most times correctly, it will be moderate to the point where they simply won't back down if challenged, compared to the indiscriminate scrappiness of a lot of other terrier types. But this is a breed with a lot of gameness, moreso than some....they can be quite fearless and intense.

This is one of those "velvet glove/iron fist" types. They are sensitive, quite, and unlike a lot of terriers can show a high willingness to please done RIGHT, but they need structure and rules. They are a lot more trainable and handler focused, though, so that helps a lot. But it is not a breed you want to make mistakes with or be permissive. It can be a lot of dog, but is far easier to work with than most terriers.

Health testing is VITAL. Socialization....VITAL. Do not take the puppy until minimally eleven weeks old, particularly due to their potential doggie issues. One of those breeds, if you are meticulous and make no errors, the only thing that may be non-dart-able is a very high prey drive.

If you have q's, let me know. This is one of my favorite breeds which does have an exceptional amount to offer.
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Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 12, '13 10:08pm PST 
Oh Tiller, I have a lot of questions! Lol. I am on my phone at the moment because we had a small electrical fire in the house tonight, so I'll get back here for a now detailed reply after the electrician is done fixing things tomorrow.
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Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 13, '13 10:08pm PST 
Oookay, electricity is back!

Addy: I think I'm in much better shape to care for a high energy terrier now...LoL...When I got Jasper I was a full-time student looking for a senior dog who would be content to sit with me while I studied. Now, though I do work full-time, I'm much better prepared to work my mornings and evenings around Jasper and keep him happy.

Samoa: No kidding! I meant to have a chat with the beddie's owner yesterday, but he was freshly bathed and fluffed and my brain shut off the moment I saw him.

Tiller: I'm thankfl for your reply, and I've been mulling over the worst-case scenarios since I saw your post.

Separation anxiety I can deal with. I've dealt with it in Jasper, and while it was a stressful ordeal, we got through it and it wasn't the end of the world...mostly just time consuming.

Jealousy is something I've never really dealt with. When my family got Wilbur, we learned that you had to greet Star first or she would snap at him...we all got into the habit of greeting Star first, and that was that. Was that jealousy? How else does it manifest, and how is it dealt with?

I've already been told that a beddie is not likely a good candidate for doggie daycare due to the fact that they will finish any scuffles that start. Star and Wilbur both have moderate DA issues and when I lived at home I wasn't bothered by that. We walked carefully, avoided off-leash dog areas, and arranged supervised play-dates with easygoing dogs we knew.

Prey drive is something that concerns me, with three cats in the house. I am spoiled in that regard because Jasper is WONDERFUL with the cats, and has never offered to harm even the tiniest foster kitten. I am under the impression that raising a puppy carefully around cats will minimize the likelihood of problems later, but I know nothing is 100%. Two of my cats are fantastic with dogs and good at standing up for themselves when Jasper goes too far during play. The third one runs away sometimes and even Jasper can't help chasing her when she does. She's my biggest concern, I don't blame Jasper for chasing her when she makes herself into prey by running like that... confused

The "not a breed you want to make mistakes with" makes me nervous. I've made a lot of mistakes with Jasper, and while I've learned a TON and am MUCH more confident in my abilities, I don't think there's any way I could raise a puppy without making a few mistakes. Meticulous, methodical, and consistent I can do. Flawless? Not so much.

What health tests need to be done? I know the liver biopsy is critical, and the stud is 1-1. I haven't asked what else he has had done.
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Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 14, '13 12:02pm PST 
On another happy note: My "NO MORE ANIMALS!" hubby actually really likes the look and size of the beddies. He was also really impressed by how well behaved the stud is, though I made it clear that part of that was the fact that he belongs to an excellent dog trainer, LoL. Still, it's encouraging that my hubby is actually a little excited rather than just putting up with the idea of a second dog.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 2:46pm PST 
No need to panic! You have a lot of time to have some vision and develop puppy raising strategies. That's the best way to "no mistakes."

Jealousy means they can get emotional about you giving other dogs attention. Bedlingtons are a bit velcro, and have a very strong attachment to their owners. VERY bond driven. So here, very important for a puppy parent that if you are giving attention to Jasper, maybe start by giving puppy something else to do (a nice bone, perhaps!), which is foundational conditioning, and eventually weaning off that sort of indulgence and be sure the puppy is allowing space. Treat/feed Jasper first. That's not an alpha thing wink, but with a potentially jealous dog just a good structure. Understanding that another dog getting attention or good stuff doesn't leave them out. Try to keep things even, fair, but be consistent and lay down the law. I would follow general alpha policies not for the alpha sake, but the dog learns how to share you and your bounties and feels no threat. Otherwise, you may end up with a dog who is constantly budding in which, yes, sometimes can direct an aggression. Sometimes not, sometimes it is just the dog is unsettled when others get your attention or they try to force their way in. Encouraging confidence in the puppy, and also some sort of etiquette, is what you want to do from the start. This includes the first week puppy is home, eh? wink Just START right and you don't have problems.

Even if SA is not a huge issue for you, it still goes to bear that for a well adjusted Beddie from the outset they should be worked with re feeling at ease with separation. So work on positive blocks of time where the Beddie pup is having a quiet time. This also helps with potential jealousy....if they are comfortable not being around you constantly. Did that make sense to you?

Re the cats, your biggest problem is Jasper chasing the more flighty cat. Think about it....a puppy who can mature to an intense chase drive gets this example. Maybe you can see if you can work on that behavior a little? For that's not a good modeling for the Beddie, who has the potential to "go there" naturally. All that said, raised in the home and encouraged to respectful behavior, you are likely ok through good parenting.

This really is a breed you need an emergency command on, such as a drop, due to the chasing behavior, which can put them at risk in opening settings. Just putting that bee in your bonnet, for they can be gone in a flash. You can work that command when working with a flirt pole, also.

I'd be there to coach and help you develop good strategies, too. Just to lay down a good format before puppy arrives so your basic battle plan is familiar to you well before the puppy arrives, so that you'll be well stocked and ready to raise a perfect pup. And I will be jealous wink Very!

Health tests you want the biopsy, eye, cardiac and patella.
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Jasper

Whut?
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 16, '13 3:28pm PST 
May I add...an opposite sex second dog is "usually" a better fit...in terms of getting along.

Beddies cloud 9
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Jasper

High-flyin' Pup!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 17, '13 10:04am PST 
So much to think about! Thank you for the advice about preventing jealousy. I definitely want to set my puppy up for success (So I'm thankful there will be such a long wait before she's born!) I fostered another dog for several months and Jasper didn't seem bothered when I paid attention to her, so at least I know I won't have to worry about HIM being jealous!

I'm going to have to chat with my hubby about SA and the fact that he's home all the time. I know it's going to be hard for him to leave a puppy by herself for any length of time, but I if I write out her "alone time" on a schedule and remind him of how much *fun* (not) it was dealing with Jasper's SA, he'll be 100% on board with preventing it from ever happening. I know he wouldn't intentionally cause a problem, but I know he'll have a hard time not having her with him all the time just because he likes puppies, LoL.

Per my hubby, I already have two things I _have_ to fix with Jasper before another dog can come home (begging and jumping). I'll add chasing Charlie the cat to that list. I'm not sure what to do about that...they are good friends 99% of the time. They sleep in a bed together, she gives him head-bumpies when she walks into a room he's in, and he lets her eat out of his food bowl if she wants. It's just that 1 in 100 times something startles her and she flees. thinking I've been working on building the cat's confidence too, so hopefully Jasper's trainer will have some ideas for me and Charlie will learn to relax!

In a way I feel lucky that I live in an area without any offleash dog areas. There are a few dog parks....working as a vet tech in an emergency clinic I saw enough disasters from dog parks to keep me away from those places...and I've had to focus on long walks/jogs as well as training to keep Jasper stimulated. He's also a "gone in a flash" type dog if something like a squirrel should appear. We *do* have a fairly solid emergency recall (Come to think of it, it's time to proof that some more...), but I've never needed it. *knock wood*

I'm so glad Dogster (and Tiller!) is here for clueless soon-to-be puppy parents! Hopefully I'll see the stud and his owner on Saturday so I can ask aboutteh cardiac, eye, and patella testing.

Jasper: I am hoping for a female puppy...partly because opposite gender pairs tend to get along better, also because I have a silly fascination with cute dog clothes...I'm embarrassed to admit that, but there you have it... red face
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