What Is A Bedlington Whippet?

If you’re looking into whippets then you’ve probably come across the words Bedlington whippet.

In this post, we are going to look at what is a Bedlington whippet? To ensure you know exactly what a Bedlington whippet is and where they originate.

The Bedlington whippet is really a type of lurcher, it is a Bedlington terrier cross whippet. This type of whippet is popular in the UK, as they are used as working dogs to catch rabbits, rats and other small vermin. Beddy whippets are an excellent choice for those looking for a whippet with a shaggy coat!

When you think of a whippet, you probably think of a small dog with a short, smooth coat.

But the Bedlington whippet has a shaggy coat, and a larger head, which makes them perfect for burrowing down rabbit holes and running through bushes to chase prey.

Let’s take a closer look at the Bedlington whippet…

What Is A Bedlington Terrier?

Bedlington is a small town in Northumberland, which is in the North East of England. It was a mining town that gave the Bedlington Terrier its famous name.

The Bedlington Terrier was originally bred to hunt vermin but has been used in dog racing, conformation shows and other dog sports.

It’s a small dog that wright around 17 – 23 pounds and has a distinctive shaggy coat, it almost looks like a little lamb.

what is a bedlington whippet?
Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay

Their fur forms a distinctive top knot on the top of their head, it’s nonshedding and has minimal odour, which is why today they make a great house pet.

But do Bedlington whippets shed? Not much at all, because their fur is nonshedding they tend to keep most of it, meaning your couch and carpet won’t be covered in fur.

The original name for this dog was the Rothburn or Rodbury Terries, as the name Bedlington Terrier was not applied to the breed until 1825.

Bedlington Terries are distinctive in their look; you can usually spot them a mile off due to their unique appearance.

They are known to be great with kids and a great house pet and all-around family dog.

However, they have not lost that killer instinct, and will often chase rabbits, rats, and other vermin as their prey drive is incredibly strong.

What Is A Whippet?

Whippets are a small dog breed that was originally bred as a cross between a greyhound and a terrier or spaniel.

They were bred for racing and hunting as they are incredibly speedy and can run at speeds of 35mph.

Whippets are a type of sighthound, which means they hunt using their speed, and their eyesight.

They are small, lightweight dogs that are great hunters of small prey, such as rabbits, rats, and other vermin. That being said they are also incredibly gentle and soft, making them perfect family pets.

Whippets are great with kids and other dogs, although I wouldn’t recommend a whippet if you own a cat or rabbit, as their hunting instinct is very strong which could be disastrous.

Unlike the Bedlington Terrier, whippets have a smooth coat and a small head.

what is a bedlington whippet?
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

They look like miniature greyhounds and are often confused for the larger breed.

They are renowned for their loving and elegant nature, making a great family pet.

What Is A Bedlington Whippet?

So what is a Bedlington whippet?

Well, it’s actually a Bedlington terrier cross whippet, making it a lurcher.

A Bedlington whippet is a popular dog here in the UK thanks to its hunting skills catching small prey such as rabbits, rats, and more.

Bedlington whippets have the shaggy coat of a Bedlington terrier combined with the speed and agility of a whippet, making them a fantastic working dog.

Bedlington whippets have the instinct of both the Bedlington terrier and whippet, meaning you’ll need to be careful if you own a pet cat or rabbit.

The instinct of a Bedlington whippet is very strong; they’ll hunt and chase almost any small animal that they see.

However, once they mature they do calm down, making them great family pets.

If you’re thinking of a Bedlington terrier but love the speed aspect of a whippet, then a Bedlington whippet is a great option.

Bedlington whippets are known to be a little feisty, so I wouldn’t recommend one as your first dog.

Training a Bedlington whippet will take some time and experience, as their prey drive often overrules your commands. This can mean you may end up chasing your Bedlington whippet for hours trying to get it to return as it’s off chasing a rabbit.

That being said, once Bedlington whippets mature and get a little older, they are perfect house pets, as they have many of the laid-back, chilled characteristics of a whippet.

Bedlington whippets are beautiful, loving, and formidable hunters, if you’re looking for a working dog then the Bedlington whippet is up there with the best!

How fast is a Bedlington whippet?

Just like the whippet, they are incredibly fast. They can run at up to speeds of 35mph.

How Long Do Bedlington Whippets Live?

Providing you feed your dog with healthy nutritious dog food and don’t feed him too many doggy treats then they have a pretty impressive life expectancy.

The typical life span for a Bedlington whippet is around 14 years old, this is because they are classed as a lurcher.

This means they are not purebred but are one breed of dog cross with another.

In this instance, the Bedlington terrier cross with the whippet, meaning they have the genetics of both.

Lurchers are notorious for their lifespan, as they have combined genetics from both breeds, making them less prone to health issues.

Feeding your Bedlington whippet on a high quality, nutritious diet can see your dog live up to 15 – 20 years old.

Bedlington Whippet Temperament

When it comes to the temperament of the Bedlington whippet cross, you’ll be glad to know that this dog has a very gentle and loving disposition, as well as a high level of patience.

This is why they make great family dogs – children can play with them without too much trouble – but all the same, it’s still important to monitor younger children with this breed, because although they do have a very sweet temperament, they are still quite fragile.

This means learning your children that pulling their tail is a big no-no, and no poking their eyes either.

The Bedlington whippet has an even temperament, they are loving, affectionate, and super charismatic dogs.

The temperament of mixed dogs is always a little murky, it’s hard to give specifics as every dog is different in their own right, this is why it’s important to look into the parent dog too.

The Bedlington terrier is a courageous dog that is has been used for ratting for decades all across the UK.

They have a strong prey drive that makes them a questionable choice for those with cats, rabbits, or rats as pets.

The whippet also has an even temperament, they are laid back and calm, but if you let them get bored they can get destructive.

They need mental stimulation along with exercise every day or they will become bored and sad.

The Bedlington whippet cross will likely display some of the below temperament traits:

  • Social
  • Intelligent – making them easier to train
  • Playful and energetic
  • Affectionate
  • Feisty at times

Bedlington Whippet Exercise

Exercising a Bedlington whippet cross is much easier than you may think, often presume that because there is a whippet involved, the dog must need a ridiculous amount of physical exercise each day.

This really is not the case, and in fact, the Bedlington whippet cross only needs around 40 – 60 minutes of physical exercise each day.

This dog will be more than satisfied with a couple of short walks per day to keep their mind and body active and healthy.

However, if you cannot provide your dog with this amount of exercise then maybe this isn’t the right breed for you.

Bedlington Whippet Health

Generally, Bedlington whippet crosses are healthy dogs that often live for 15 years or more.

The biggest health problem that people will usually face is the development of hip dysplasia, but this can normally be prevented by making sure your dog has a healthy diet and does regular exercise.

You’ll be glad to know that both parent dogs are also healthy breeds, meaning providing you get your dog from a reputable breeder your pup should be fit and healthy.

That being said, there are some diseases which you should be aware of as a Bedlington whippet owner.

Below are some of the diseases that the parent dogs may suffer from:

The Whippet

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Mitral Valve Degeneration
  • Hemangiosarcoma

The Bedlington Terrier

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Copper Storage Hepatopathy
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

With proper care and nutrition, your Bedlington whippet cross will hopefully not come across any of the above health concerns.

It’s a good idea to ensure you have appropriate pet insurance in place just in case, to keep you and your pet covered.

Bedlington Whippet Grooming

Due to this dog having a slightly longer coat than a purebred whippet, they will require a little more maintenance.

A regular grooming routine should be implemented to keep your pet nice and clean.

Generally, these dogs need to be groomed at least once a month, but this is largely going to depend on how filthy they are.

It should be noted that their long coat can pick up and hold dirt, which means that you might need to give them a closer going over.

To help keep their coat in good condition, it’s also a good idea to brush the coat out at least once a week as well.

When combing through their hair, take care not to pull on tangles as this can cause discomfort.

It’s also important to use a shampoo and conditioner that is suitable for their coat.

Trimming their fur once it gets too long will help keep it out of their eyes and early, but they don’t need to be clipped.

Are Bedlington Whippets Good Working Dogs?

The Bedlington whippet is a notorious working dog, it has shaggy fur that helps it run through bushes and burrows, combines with the agility and speed of a whippet.

Bedlington whippets are used throughout the UK to hunt small prey such as rabbits, rats, and more.

They make excellent ferreting dogs, although they can be a little tricky to train when they are young due to their powerful prey drive.

Bedlington whippets can run up to 35mph, they also have excellent stamina and endurance allowing them to run for long periods.

Feeding your Bedlington whippet on a high-quality diet, as well as proper training and regular exercise will result in an excellent working dog.

The Bedlington Terrier was originally bred to hunt small prey, and that instinct is still hard-wired in the breed today.

As a whole, Bedlington whippets are up there with the best working dogs for small prey, they really are excellent sighthounds that have speed, agility, and endurance.

Bedlington whippers are incredibly fast dogs, they can catch small prey easily thanks to their superb eyesight and ability to run up to 35mph.

Are Bedlington Whippets Good Family Pets?

As well as being excellent hunters, Bedlington whippets also make superb family pets.

They have a loving, gentle temperament and love nothing more than to snuggle up on the couch with their owner.

These dogs are great with kids and other dogs, although if you do own a cat then a Bedlington whippet probably isn’t right for you.

These dogs have an incredibly strong prey drive, meaning they’ll chase almost anything that’s small and running.

So if you own a cat, rabbit, or other small pet then I wouldn’t recommend a Bedlington whippet.

These dogs can live in smaller apartments with their owner or on a large farm. However, they do need the opportunity to run for at least 60 minutes a day.

Bedlington whippets don’t need as much exercise as you might first think; although they are high energy they have some of the whippet’s characteristics, which include enjoying relaxing, sleeping, and spending time with their owner.

That being said if you do live a busy work life then a Bedlington whippet can be left alone for up to eight hours, although it’s not recommended and younger whippets can experience separation anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Bedlington whippets are stunning, unique dogs.

They have a gentle, loving temperament and love showing their owner just how much they love them.

These dogs are affectionate, but they are also superb hunters and are an excellent choice for those looking for a working dog.

So what is a Bedlington whippet?

They are a Bedlington terrier cross whippet, having genetics of both. Bedlington whippets are around the same height as a whippet, although they have a shaggy coat and larger head.

They were specifically bred for hunting small prey and originate from Northumberland in the North East of England.

Bedlington whippets make great family pets and can get along well with other dogs.

I wouldn’t recommend a Bedlington whippet as a first dog, as they can sometimes be tricky to train, especially when they are younger.

How fast is a Bedlington whippet?

Very fast, they are able to run at up to speeds of 35mph, making them exceptional hunters of small game.

Do Bedlington whippets shed?

Thanks to their fur being nonshedding you will find that they don’t shed much at all, even in the summer months.

However, when they do get a little older and start to mature, they start to calm down and can be left alone for long periods if needed, although I don’t recommend leaving any dog alone for too long

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