228 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
no superior at killing rats and all kinds of vermin. He has an exceptionally fine nose, and makes a very useful dog for rough shooting, being easily taught to retrieve. If he has any fault at all, it is that he is of too jealous a disposition, which renders it almost impossible to work him with other dogs, as he wants all the fun to himself, and if he cannot get it he will fight for it. But by himself he is perfect. As a companion he is peculiarly affectionate and faithful, and remarkably intelligent ; he makes a capital house-dog, is a good guard and is very safe with children.
Bedlingtons are not dainty feeders, as most writers have asserted, nor are they tender dogs. If they are kept in good condition and get plenty of exercise they feed as well as any others, and are as hard as nails if not pampered. They are easy to breed and rear, and the bitches make excellent mothers. If trained when young they are very obedient, and their tendency to fight can in a great measure be cured when they are puppies ; hut, if not checked then, it cannot be done afterwards. Once they take to fighting nothing will keep them from it, and instead of being pleasurable companions they become positive nuisances. On the other hand, if properly broken they give very little trouble, and will not quarrel
unless set upon.