Activities to share with your Bedlington Terrier
Conformation: Your breeder should be able to help you decide if your dog is suitable for conformation shows. These are the shows where a judge has you stand the dog, then move the dog, and he evaluates how the dog is built, how it moves, and how closely it resembles the written breed standard. If your puppy was sold to you as a pet, please talk to the breeder before entering your dog in a dog show. It can be difficult to predict how an eight week old puppy will grow up. If your puppy has blossomed into an outstanding specimen, the breeder will be happy to know it, and can offer you advice about showing your dog. For additional information, see the page about dog shows. Many kennel clubs provide handling classes for you and your dog to learn the ropes. You can search for local kennel clubs at the AKC website, and contact them for information about classes.
Scent work: Multiple organizations offer Scent work events that can result in titles. NACSW, National Association of Canine Scent Work and the American Kennel Club both offer varying levels of scent work titles. Watch an accomplished Ashcroft Bedlington with his owner at a Detective level scentwork trial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz8DKezO1DE
Barn Hunt: Barn Hunt is a new all-breed, above ground sport that many Terriers enjoy. Started in 2013, the sport is growing rapidly. Additional information can be found on the Barn Hunt association website .
Ch Ashcroft Do U Believe In Magic JE, CA, RATO is the first Barn Hunt titled Bedlington Terrier! Videos of her Barn Hunt runs are on youtube at:
Karen Miller has several Ashcroft Bedlingtons that are many X's into their RATCH titles.
Coursing Ability Tests: AKC titles can be earned for demonstration of Coursing Ability. Many Bedlingtons love to run and chase, so they excel at this sport. Dogs run alone, so there is no risk of interference by another dog. It has been noted that this type of activity may cause an increase in your dog's prey drive. More information and an event schedule can be found on the AKC website.
Fast CAT : AKC offers Fast CAT titles, Fast CAT (coursing ability test) is a 100 yard long straight race, run one dog at a time. Look for rules and event schedules at AKC.org .
Earthdog Trials: Terriers have traditionally been dogs that "go to ground" after their prey. While the Bedlington Terrier is a long legged terrier, they can and do compete in "earthdog trials". These trials have a series of events that test your dog's instincts for quarry and his determinedness to get his prey. No animals are harmed during an earthdog trial, and they can give you insight into what "drives" your dog.
Agility: The sport of agility is growing ever more popular. The Bedlington Terrier can excel at this sport as they are a very athletic dog, and quite fast when they're motivated. This activity will help you forge a super relationship with your dog as you must work as a team to succeed. Bedlingtons are versatile! You can search for local agility clubs at the AKC website, and contact them for information about classes. There is a growing group of Bedlington agility enthusiasts, and they welcome new people into the sport. Bedlingtons have achieved the level of MACH titles in agility demonstrating how very adept they can be.
Rally and Obedience: Many kennel clubs sponsor rally and/or obedience competitions at their AKC dog shows, and it is possible to earn rally and/or obedience titles with your Bedlington Terrier. Rally is a new sport within the AKC, where the owner is encouraged to talk to their dog as they follow a series of signs describing each task they should undertake next. Less rigid than obedience, it is a fun way to introduce dog and owner to basic obedience concepts. The highest level of obedience, the UDX level, has been reached by a Bedlington with her dedicated owner, proving that these dogs are tractable and willing to please.
Kennel clubs also provide puppy kindergarten classes, which teach new owners how to approach dog training and help socialize your puppy. Kindergarten graduates advance to basic obedience classes, and can progress to the highest levels of obedience, where all commands are given by hand signals and dogs demonstrate scent discrimination of their owner's articles. These are impressive performances, and again help to forge a strong bond between dog and owner. Obedience training is a positive experience; dogs are rewarded for correct behavior and praise is lavish for the well behaved dog. Clicker training is just one of the methods that can be used for obedience training. You can search for local kennel clubs at the AKC website, and contact them for information about classes.
There are certainly other activities you can try with your Bedlington. Events like Flyball and competitive Frisbee catching are naturals for this fast, athletic and enthusiastic breed. Dock Diving is also a sport supported by the AKC.