This little "lamb chop" of the Terrier group is quite the wolf in sheep's clothing! Never one to pick a fight, he will nontheless, not walk away from it either, hanging in there till the point is taken. As with most Terriers, he originated as someone's fancy for ratting or vermin catching and grew to family living status and also recognition with a breed club back in 1877 in England.
His distinctive coat is one of a kind amongst the Terriers. Likened by one wit as having the appearance of the crisp crust of a Crispy Creme Donut, it is a coat that is thick and linty, standing well out from the skin. It is not wiry but crisp and has a tendancy to twist, particularly on head & face.
The Beddy coat is all in the preparation. Get that coat bathed and dried correctly and your job of trimming and finishing is easier. This is not an easy coat to master. Having said that, once you have the routine down pat and do it correctly, it's like riding a bike, you never forget! The trick is to bath and dry it properly so that the coat stays in place giving you a better surface to work on.
Best shampoo for the Bedlington is Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo to give correct lift for the coat to stand out from the skin as the breed standard requires. Dilute this 5:1 i.e. 5 parts water to one part shampoo. At times, you may wish to add Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo which is not a lightening shampoo but in fact a toning shampoo, neutralising unwanted warm yellow/red tones in the coat. For that, mix 1/2 and 1/2 Whitening Shampoo and Body Building Shampoo together and dilute 5:1. This will give that required lift to the coat and at the same time, mellow out the colour. You get to do two things in the one procedure.
After shampooing and fully rinsing, don't use a conditioner for this type of coat as it will just make the coat fluffy and lose the texture. Use instead Plush Puppy Revivacoat worked well into the coat and then rinse off. We usually don't rinse Revivacoat out but in this case, for this coat, you do. You want texture and correct texture. If you feel you must use a conditioner then dilute Plush Puppy Silk Protein Conditioner 1 tspn to 1 litre/2 pints warm water and sluice through the ear tassles and maybe part of the body and rinse thoroughly and I mean thoroughly. Revivacoat is the better option every time and I only mention conditioner if you have a very dry coat that needs remedial help. The Revivacoat is a non greasy moisturising mousse that hydrates and adds moisture but doesn't alter texture like a regular conditioner will. Just perfect for a Beddy.
Like many breeds, the Bedlington too will undergo various coat stages. At times you may wish for more coat and if your dog is out of coat or you just want a thicker appearing coat, there are 2 Plush Puppy products that will suit this situation.
Firstly, Plush PuppyVolumising Cream, a non sticky cream that is applied as a final rinse and left in. It really does make hair appear to be much more than it is, without the tacky after feel of most thickening type products - it is, once dried, undetectable, but the peformance is there! The more you apply, the more effect there will be. Easier to use as a final rinse by diluting 1 tbspn to 500 mls warm water. Shake or agitate well with a fork till dissolved and apply to the coat. Don't rinse off - just towel dry and blow dry.
The second product to use is Plush Puppy Puffy Dog which is a firm hold mousse but a water soluble one that won't dry sticky or turn sticky in humidity. It can be applied directly after the bath as a mousse or diluted 2 golf ball amounts to 500 mls warm water and poured into a Plush Puppy Water Spray 500ml Bottle. Wet the coat and then dry thoroughly. This is perfect for the head as it helps maintain that topknot that is such a distinctive part of the Beddy. You may just wish to use this mix on the head and legs. This will give it that little more stand off from the skin in look and touch. Wonderful for getting that just so finish when scissoring. Use in conjunction with the Volumising Cream or use alone, depending on the particular coat you are working with.
Use the Plush Puppy Blue Pin Brush to start the drying. This allows you to get into the the coat without damaging or dragging too much on the coat. Any lost hair on a Beddy when drying or dragging knots or kinks out or otherwise, results in the new hair growing through dark as when a puppy and spoils the overview of the finish of the dog. It eventually tones down but we will all know you have been heavy handed when grooming won't we? Finish with the Plush Puppy Blue Soft Slicker and a comb for a proper finish. Remember, the finish you end up with is totally controlled by the drying that you do.
Always have on hand Plush Puppy Powder Puff Regular, an all naturally derived dry cleaning powder for those accidental moments (dog pee etc) that can be applied direct to the coat and brushed through, leaving a clean fresh smelling coat. The last thing you want is to have to wet the dog and start again. Apply the powder using a mens shaving brush using just a small amount and brush well into the area. Brush the powder out and problem solved!
The scissoring is an art. If the coat has been correctly textured with the right shampoo and lift when drying, then it will be easier to trim. It is the most difficult breed to scissor but don't be intimidated because everything can be learned - just don't make the task harder than it has to be. The head, topline and legs must be correct and spend the time to get them right. That back must show an arch over the loin with a definite tuck-up of underline. The head must have the characteristic no stop and narrow skull, covered with profuse topknot, with length on bodyhair not exceeding an inch but leghair length slightly longer.
At the show you do need to spruce up the dog but must avoid over wetting of that lovely blow dry you have done getting the kinks and coils out of the coat. Wetting the coat will just spring the curls back once more. Make a show spray of Plush Puppy Revivacoat, 2 golfball amounts to 500 mls warm water and put into the Plush Puppy Spray Bottle 500ml size. A light mist only for brushing - OR - dilute Plush Puppy OMG Concentrate 1 part to approx 40 parts water and use this mix in a Plush Puppy Spray Bottle either 250ml or 500ml size depending on how much you mix. The mist this delivers is not too heavy and sprays nicely and evenly without too much when misted at finest setting. Use this to brush and comb up to reduce static and for easy brushing/combing. Wonderful product!
Final piece of pizazz is a light sprinkle of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust just to leave a delicate shimmer to your masterpiece. Simply add a light sprinkle onto the brush and apply a light dusting over the dog's topline and legs to bring out the glints and highlights of the coat.
So, now your Bedlington who is capable of everything from a gallop to his distinctive light, springy action is a point of attention for all and sundry with his super glam appearance oozing all the attributes and hallmarks his standard calls for. His spirit and confidence, his lovely pear shaped head right down to his scimitar tail is a picture that tells you this is no ordinary terrier. He is truly one of a kind in the Terrier group - glamorous but able to cut the mustard as well as any Terrier - and don't we all know that! One of the truly outstandingly stunning breeds in our showrings when prepared well.