Bedlington Whippet (Lurcher)

Being a cross-breed, there are many varieties of Lurcher in the world. Find out all about the Bedlington Terrier x Whippet in today’s guide. We discuss personality traits, health problems, exercise needs, and more!

Dog Owner Teaching Pet Lurcher To Sit

Height: 22-28 inches
Weight: 27-32 kilos
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Pedigree (registered with the KC?): No, this breed is not registered with the Kennel Club

Positives and Negatives

Below are the most commonly associated positive and negative traits regarding the Bedlington Whippet:

Pros

  • Makes a great family companion
  • Relaxed, gentle, and affectionate. Hardly barks
  • Minimal grooming needs
  • Highly intelligent and easily trainable

Cons

  • Not cat friendly
  • Requires lots of exercise
  • Not an apartment-friendly dog
  • Wouldn’t be a great breed choice for first-time owners

Overview

The Lurcher is a particular crossbreed. It’s a dog from the sighthound family mixed with a working dog.

This means there are many varieties of Lurcher. It depends specifically on which sighthound breed is crossed with which particular working dog.

The pooch we are looking at today is the Bedlington Whippet. It’s the result of the cross-breeding between the Bedlington Terrier and the Whippet.

This mix is highly popular with both hunters and families across the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, they aren’t very popular in the United States.

Due to this dog’s confusing background, they haven’t received any recognition as a breed. Yet they still have a deep history dating back hundreds of years.

This dog is highly adaptable. One minute they will be a focused and hard-working hunter and the next, they become a family companion.

Their ability to adapt is what makes them so popular amongst hunters.

The Bedlington Whippet size tends to be on the smaller scale compared to other Lurchers.

This can make them more nimble and agile, reaching much faster speeds. Another well-known trait is their theft of food! Anything left unattended or within this pooches reach, will be savaged!

The Bedlington Terrier is shaped like a Whippet, just fluffier and with very different needs. When cross-bred you end up with the sighthound and agility skills of a Whippet and the hard-working, hunter mentality of the Bedlington Terrier.

Rehoming a Lurcher is always an option so do check your local shelters. If you are more interested in Bedlington Whippet puppies you should try and locate a reputable breeder.

Ensure they have the necessary health certificates and be sure to meet the parents. Try and see what sort of personalities they hold.

History

The Lurcher has a history dating back to the late 14th century. Back then, sighthounds were limited to aristocracy only. Due to this, sighthounds were bred with working dogs to get around the restrictions that were put in place.

In the 1600s many European travelers, including the Romany gypsies were looking to create a silent hunter. This led to the creation of the Lurcher. They would hunt deer, rabbits, hare, and other game, without drawing attention.

Lurcher standing on grass

A Bedlington Terrier is often described as a lamb look alike. They were named after a mining town in England, Northumberland, and were originally known as ‘Gypsy Dogs’. Dating right back to 1752, the Romany travelers would use these dogs to hunt game.

The Whippet is a sighthound that descended from Greyhounds and originated in the UK. The first use of the breed name Whippet dates back to 1610. They were known as ‘snap dogs’ for how quickly they would approach prey. In the 19th century Whippets then progressed into racing dogs.

There were two types of Whippet, one with short fur and one with a slightly longer and rougher looking coat. This rough coat was due to the cross-breeding with the Bedlington Terrier.

The Bedlington Whippet cross was highly popular in Northumberland and Durham. They are now more commonly known as the more general name of Lurcher.

Up next: A cross between a Jack Russell and a Poodle, find out why the Jackapoo is gaining popularity!

Personality

Bedlington Whippet Cross Temperament:

This dog has always been one of the most popular in the UK and Ireland. Despite not being recognized as an official breed.

They make excellent hunting dogs and are also calm enough to be a family companion. They won’t annoy your ears with the forever sound of barking and are highly sociable.

The Bedlington Whippet personality is quiet and calm by nature. Indoors they make the perfect dog and will always be near your side.

These pooches may have been bred for work, but their ability to adapt into a loving companion is what makes them so well-loved.

white Bedlington whippet

Beddy Whippets love their sleep and will need around 12-14 hours. They don’t like being left alone, but you could leave them for around 4 hours as long as their exercise needs are met.

Are Bedlington Whippets Good With Strangers?

A Bedlington Whippet Lurcher is generally a sociable breed. They like human contact and enjoy interaction outdoors. Yet some Beddy Whippets may feel shy or wary of strangers if they haven’t been socialized as a puppy.

Are Bedlington Whippets Good With Children?

Yes, this dog has the ability to become a great family companion! They’re playful and will definitely get involved in some ball games out in the garden.

As they tend to be rather boisterous, especially when puppies, it is best for them to be around children aged 6+. A Beddy Whippet could accidentally knock over toddlers so do keep an eye out for this.

two bedlington terriers lying down

This photo is from Bedlington Rescue. Make sure you check them out if you’re looking for one of these awesome dogs!

Are Bedlington Whippets Ok With Other Dogs?

This breed is very social and loves to interact with other dogs. However, some very small dogs may trigger their hunting instinct so do be aware. This can easily be trained out of them with regular socialization.

Beddy Whippets can be sole hunters but can also work in packs, which explains their high social needs. Unfortunately, house sharing with cats and other smaller household pets, probably wouldn’t be a great idea for this dog.

Exercise

A Bedlington Lurcher needs at least 2 hours of exercise each day. They suit more rural areas where they have the space to run free. As puppies, they can be hyperactive, but some Bedlington Whippets do turn into coach potatoes as adults!

These pooches don’t like being left alone and can get into some destructive behavior when they get bored. You won’t be able to prevent their need to run. So if you can, take them to a large space out in the open.

Beddy Whippets are better suited to rural areas where they can access bigger spaces of land. If you do own a Lurcher in the city, you should only let them exercise off-leash in an enclosed area.

They do have a high prey drive so no matter how strong their recall is, they may go straight for the kill! This is why a Bedlington Whippet’s training is so important. Extendable leads are recommended for this breed type.

Health

The following health conditions have been related to the Bedlington Whippet Lurcher:

  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus – When a dog eats to much too quickly it can make the stomach twist trapping the food and gases inside. You must seek immediate veterinary care.
  • Heatstroke- This breed can be prone to heatstroke. In summer, try to walk them early in the morning and in the evening to avoid the sun.
  • Osteosarcoma caused by a tumor on the bone. It is very painful and can cause your pet to be lethargic, have a loss of appetite, and can put them off walks and playtime.
  • Torn Toe Nails- It can be painful, but the bleeding will generally stop if you apply towels and pressure to the wound. In serious cases, the dog may need veterinary treatment.

Intelligence & Training

A Bedlington Whippet is independent and intelligent. This is portrayed in their ability to change job roles, from hunter to family pet.

Socialization must start as early as possible. This breed can become timid if they haven’t been introduced to strangers, other dogs, and new places.

They won’t be aggressive by nature but could become fearful if they lack social skills.

Bedlington Whippet understands commands much quicker than other breeds. Your most important and hardest task will be establishing recall.

No matter how well your dog understands this command, all it takes is the sight of prey and they will be off!

This is a sensitive breed that won’t react well to harsh training techniques or scolding. Food treats would be the best way to get your pooch to listen.

Even though they are known to be thieves to any food within their reach. This breed is one of the easiest to train, yet some impulses may override your dog’s obedience, such as prey and food.

Recommended: Find out what makes the Pyrenean Mastiff different from other Mastiff breeds.

Grooming

Bedlington Whippets have rough coarse fur compared to other Lurcher crosses. The Bedlington Terrier has a mix of soft and harsh fur whereas the Whippet has a short coat. This gives the Beddy Whippet a fluffier look, yet not as furry as other greyhound mixes.

If you completely shave off the Bedlington Terriers fur, underneath, their body shape resembles the Whippet. This is why many choose not to trim this dog.

A comb would be a better fit for this coat when trying to remove tangles. Other brushes to include would be a strong bristle brush or a widely spaced metal pin brush.

Depending on your pooches fur you may also which to occasionally trim it down. Some sharp scissors or an electric shaver will work fine.

You should aim to wash your Beddy Whippet every 4-6 weeks. At this time you should also clear the entrance to the ear canal from any excess fur and trim around the paw pad. Aim to cut or file your dog’s nails every two months.

Image Sources:

Photo of a Lurcher, by Marilyn Peddle, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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