with Sue Zecco NCMG of Super Styling Sessions
The Bedlington Terrier is one of the most difficult breeds to learn to groom. They are very different from all other breed grooms.
With the rise over their loin, rat-tail, tassel ears, hare foot and long narrow tube-shaped head, not to mention a very fine soft coat, Bedlington’s definitely take practice to get it right. To start the clipper work I use a WAHL Bravura clipper on the #40 blade setting. Clip “against” the grain on the outside of the ear. Hold the ear leather flat against your fingers. Start about 1 inch above the tip of the ear and clip an inverted “V.” Follow the same lines doing the same to the inside of the ear. Clip to the top of the ear where it meets the head.
Next clip the sides of the cheeks from the top corner of the ear to the corner of the eye, and from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. The entire under-jaw of a Bedlington is clipped clean. Start about 1 inch below the adams apple making a “V” from the center of the neck up to the lower corner of each ear, much like you would do on a Poodle’s throat. I used the 40 blade setting on a WAHL Bravura clipper. For pet trims you can optionally use a 15 blade setting against the grain in these areas. This option also works well with sensitive skin dogs.
Clip the tail with the 40 blade against the grain. Start at the tip of the tail. Clip up towards the body to one-third of the tail length. Leave a “V” on the top side only of the tail. Clip sides and underside clean.
The Bedlington style is a series of “V” and “S” shapes, smooth curves, from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. The underline on the body should mirror the top line of the body. Leave the roach at the highest point of the top line and the highest point of the under line is in the tuck up area. The lowest point of the top line should be just slightly behind the withers. The deepest point of the under line mirrors that.
Bedlington’s should have “Hare feet” sloping slightly at the pasterns and angling into tightly trimmed feet, not cat feet. Viewed from the rear you should see parallel lines, inside and outside of the rear legs. The tail is scissor-styled at approximately 30 degree angle into the croup. Head towards the high point of the roach above the loin. Then slope gently toward the withers and up into the neck. Remember, soft transitions and no sharp lines.
The Bedlington head is an important breed trademark. A long lean head is most desirable. Now look head-on straight at the head. You should see the shape of a paper towel roll. It should appear tight on the sides with a slight arch from the nose to the tip of the occiput, your high point.
Sides of the neck should be tight and about a skip tooth 7 in length. Style parallel lines from the ears, straight down the sides of the front legs. Make sure the front legs balance with rear legs in size.
Front legs should have a slight forechest, no bib and be fairly straight from the throat to the toes. Scissor edges of the ears making them look clean and smooth.
The overall profile of the Bedlington is very “lamb-like.” However, make no mistake they are “Terriers” and posses their power. Bedlingtons have soft coats with course guard hairs throughout. They come in blue (like the dog pictured here) and liver. They are built like Whippets for speed. Your style should indicate slab sides which are flatter through the rib cage, and not a rounded spring of rib.
The little girl in these photos is my Bonnie Bell, First Class Echoing Willow Wind, when she was just about a year old.
For the cover of eGroomer Journal we used Sue’s final photograph of Bonnie Bell’s style and replacing the photo’s background with solid black to visually accentuate the lines. Beautiful!