I admit that, for me, it was love at first sight when I first met “Marcus” in Louisville. It wasn’t visions of sugar plums that danced in my head but a glorious succession of red, white, and blue rosettes and a personal invitation to my favorite social event, the Showdogs of the Year dinner. I thought that I alone had discovered the secret of this wonderful Swedish visitor to the United States. Imagine my surprise when I learned years later that I was not alone in my awe and envy. While I saw a grand show dog that typified the Breed Standard, some very experienced and respected breeders saw a valuable addition to the very slim American gene pool and jumped right in.
Since I was not at that time an actual breeder of Bedlington Terriers, I’m not tuned in to the inner workings and intricacies amongst the real breeders. It wasn’t long, though, before I learned that Marcus had made good use of his two prior trips stateside and sired a few very influential dogs on this side of the pond as well as in Sweden.
The first of what was to be many of these very pleasant discoveries was watching Lydia Frey and her Bedlington Terrier “Tony” conquer the world in an amazing Best Junior Handler win at the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club under my friend Michael J. Dougherty. GCHB LAMZ Let Them Eat Cake was sired by none other than Marcus. I admired the dog in the ring, but it was only after reading the catalog days later that I discovered the family ties. They repeated the feat at the World Dog Show in Milan and Marcus’ owner, Malin, was there to witness the event. It was to be Malin’s last show, but she was happy to see this great pair in action. Tony went on to win not one but two National Specialties. He was indeed his father’s son, and we couldn’t have been prouder of Tony and Lydia.
Tony was a decent-sized blue dog bred by the iconic LAMZ kennels. He had the longer head and powerful underjaw that one wishes in a Beddy, combined with the depth of chest and musculature that made him look like he could do the job. I would have taken him home and put him to work in a bloody minute.
It was sometime later that we learned that Marcus was also the sire of GCHG LAMZ Strike A Pose, “Vogue.” Vogue pretty much won it all including Bests of Breed at Westminster, AKC National Championship, and Montgomery. This pretty girl and her breeder/owner-handler Gaby Gilbeau also managed to win a National Specialty and BIS OH at Orlando. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
Well, maybe it does. “Zoolander,” GHP LAMZ Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking, has Marcus as a grandsire on both sides of the pedigree. He’s won a National Specialty and was No. 1 (Breed and All-Breed) Bedlington Terrier in 2019, 2020 & 2021. He is also a pretty athletic guy with a bunch of performance titles after his name.
With finished offspring in Sweden, Canada, and the United States, it was only a matter of time until Marcus’ influence as a sire was felt in Asia. There are very astute and active Bedlington Terrier breeders in both South Korea and China who have begun to produce some excellent specimens of the breed. In 2016, a Marcus grandson came to Montgomery from Korea to go BOW and meet his grandpa. Isotop’s Now Will Do, “Big Shot,” proved to be a very good likeness to Marcus and again made us proud. He took some impressive wins back home to Korea.
Well, time marches on and we hung up the show leads after Montgomery. Rats in the alleys were calling. About that time, I got a call from Ms. Bonnie, a very well-known Bedlington breeder in Canada. She had a bitch that she wanted to breed to Marcus. Would I approve her bitch to breed? Truth is, I’d probably approve of a three-legged mule, so it was a done deal from the beginning. Ms. Bonnie proved to have an incredible knack for getting natural ties in record time and a great litter north of the border resulted.
It wasn’t too long before Ms. Bonnie was on the phone again. She was offering an all-expense paid vacation to Canada with virtually unlimited sexual peccadilloes and two-way transportation. I jumped at the chance, only to find later that the offer was for Marcus and not for me. Even at that it seemed like a good deal and off he went. He came home a few of months later with a broad smile on his face and a bunch of Canadian litter registrations to fill out. It was such a great experience and worked out so well that Marcus and I were both considering Canadian citizenship. The difficulties in travel and transportation prevented me from picking up my stud puppy, so Can. Ch. Reynard’s Games People Play (call name “Malin”) stayed in Canada to be co-owned with Bonnie.
Most recently, Marcus sired a very nice litter here in the US with some pups already on their way to a successful show career while others are growing nicely. He may be getting along in years, but like the Energizer Bunny, he seems to just keep going and going. A granddaughter, Reynard’s Games of Love, “Tryst,” is here at home waiting to finish.
Hunting for some types of game with dogs is truly a team effort. In most burrowing critters (raccoon, woodchuck, fox, even small coyote) you need a good “hole dog” to locate and back up or bolt the quarry. Most often this is a Dachshund or a very small terrier. You need a good-sized terrier to be dug in that can finish the job or really put the pressure on the quarry to bolt, and finally, you need a powerful and patient type of canine to wait outside the back door and dispatch the quarry at the bolt.
This rear guard is called a lurcher. It’s not a breed, it’s a job description. For those of us in the Northeast (and more importantly, in England) just the right combination of speed, strength, and power is required. There is no one breed that will make an ideal lurcher for all circumstances, but nearly all lurchers depend on purebred parents to get the right proportion of each quality.
There is no one breed that will make an ideal lurcher for all circumstances, but nearly all lurchers depend on purebred parents to get the right proportion of each quality.
We’re not breeding “doodles” here and few, if any, of these dogs find their way to market. There is no intention to create a new breed, but rather, to produce a single dog, ideally suited to a specific quarry and the country in which it is to hunt. One rather common cross is the Greyhound bred to a Border Collie. The Greyhound supplies speed and power while the Border Collie supplies the patience and control. If that size of dog is a little big for your truck, a Bedlington/Whippet cross is another frequent combination for a small but very useful lurcher. With Marcus’ commanding size, powerful jaw, and biddable disposition, it was only a matter of time until we created some excellent lurchers now in use on groundhog and fox.
The Bedlington gene pool in the United States is small; even smaller in Canada. Today’s breeders have done an outstanding job of stewardship to the breed. Copper toxicosis, once the bane of the Bedlington, has been controlled and almost eradicated. Gone are the spindly, roach-backed characters of the 1950s, 60s & 70s. (Please note that I do not refer to all Bedlingtons of that era, for there were some darned good ones shown.)
I am happy that Marcus has been able to make a significant contribution to the resources available to breeders and terrierists and, through the miracles of modern technology, will continue to do so for years to come. I’m both pleased and somewhat embarrassed that others (you know who you are) discovered this long before I did. One truly does live and learn.
Are you looking for a Bedlington Terrier puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?
Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Bedlington Terrier dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Bedlington Terrier Breed Magazine
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