There is always something magical about every puppy born, and Bedlington puppies are no exception. An interesting article in Discovery magazine years ago brought up the topic that puppies, regardless of the breed, are almost structurally identical at birth. The most common reasoning for this would be the commonality of the ancestry, tracing back to the early days of the domestication of the wolf.

 

One unique thing about the Bedlington is that the pups at birth are a totally different color than their adult counterparts. There are many color combinations within the Bedlington breed, but in my opinion, the three most common are blue, liver, and blue and tan. At birth, blue puppies are black, liver puppies are brown, and blue and tan puppies are brown and black. Their eyes are squeezed tightly shut, and they rely on their instincts to find Mom and the food supply. The fun really starts at about two weeks when the eyes are open, and the pups discover that, indeed, they can stand on their own, and they begin to explore their world.

To me, one of the most important aspects of assuming responsibility for breeding dogs is making sure that the pups are properly socialized before they leave Mom and home. I define socialization as preparing the pups for a life which includes human beings, cats, dogs, children, loud noise, sweepers, and on and on. I firmly believe that an early introduction to all of these things can produce a healthy, well adjusted pup. Remember, we are asking our dogs to live in a human world, and we must teach them from the very beginning how to appropriately "fit in".

I keep pups with their mother for anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks of age. By that time they are most likely weaned from Mom, and have learned from Mom how to be a well-behaved and well-adjusted animal. This is assuming that the mother herself has been well socialized and is well-behaved.

In the late fall of 1994, I was terribly fortunate to be able to bring my first female Bedlington into our home. Bred in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by Vanassa Sypher, of Meadowsweet Bedlingtons, Lillee was sired by English import Skewhill Clearly Lucky Lad out of CH. Meadowsweet O'Doutelle. Since that time, Lillee has become CH. Meadowsweet Lillee Bluestar, and has produced three lovely litters of all blue puppies. She has her first champion offspring, CH. Bluestar Centenary Salute, and now her first grand children. And so, the generations continue.

Lillee continues to be successful in the show ring, winning an Award of Merit at our National Specialty this past fall, at 6 years of age.

"Puppy Love"

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