Originally bred from a combination of local terriers with an outcross to whippets, this is a lean, racy and assertive terrier. Miners in the Rothbury area of Northumberland developed the breed sometime in the 18th century. It was not shown until 1869, but in the meantime developed a reputation as a killer of vermin, a poacher’s sidekick and a fighter. Alternate names it was known by are 'The Rothbury Terrier' and 'The Gypsy Dog', (due to its assistance with poaching.) Although now rarely called into the field, The Bedlington was an excellent hunter due to its acute sense of smell and hearing, as well as its speed and its ability to ‘go to ground.’ It was even known to take on badgers. In its other arena, dog fighting, Bedlingtons were known to fight to the death.



The Bedlington has a narrow skull, is a long legged terrier and has a lamb like coat. They are capable of galloping at high speed.


Size Small
Colour The colour begins dark and lightens as the dog matures into blue, the most common colour. Blue and tan, liver and sandy are also seen.
Coat Length Corded Wooly
Weight/Height Range Both dogs and bitches measure between 38 - 43cms and weigh between 8 - 10kgs.
Ailments Although the Bedlington has a decent life span of 12 - 16 years, it does have some hereditary health problems to contend with. The most studied is Copper Toxicosis (CT). Now, with DNA testing, both carriers and affected dogs can be identified and eliminated from breeding programmes. Less serious diseases also afflict the Bedlington, such as Distichiasis. Imperforate Nasolacrimal Puncta is another eye disorder common in Bedlington Terriers.
Breed Classification Bedlington Terriers belong to the terrier group and are mainly used as companions and seen in the show-ring.

Feeding & Ownership


Bedlingtons are generally healthy eaters and can be fed tinned or dry food once or twice a day.


Food Cost $5 to $10
Other Expenses They are a hardy breed therefore veterinary expenses should be low.



In the home, the Bedlington would need to be trained to get along with cats and other pets. In terms of other dogs, there can be difficulties if the pack hierarchy is in question, but once the Bedlington establishes itself as dominant, there should be no more problems. Strangers will be announced and repelled if unwelcome, but once accepted into the house by the master, will be given a friendly reception. Bedlingtons do make good watchdogs, as they will be quite courageous once roused. In general, they will be fairly placid if they are receiving a regular amount of mental and physical stimulation. They can adapt to life in a flat if given adequate exercise. They are good with children. Generally, the Bedlington will bond strongly with one family member


Intelligence The Bedlington owner should remain aware that this is a wolf in lamb’s clothing and should arrange to socialise it with other dogs and a variety of different people at an early age, in order to avoid problems with aggression. Once good social skills are established, this is a lively, loyal and rewarding companion. This is an intelligent breed but it does have a mind of its own. One must convince the dog that it wants to do what you want it to do. Force would never work with this breed, as it can be more stubborn than most humans. Coercion, such as with positive reinforcement training, is a more efficient method of getting a Bedlington to co-operate.
Energy Medium
Suitability for Children Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Overall Exercise Requirement Two long walks a day are adequate to keep the Bedlington Terrier in shape. They excel in games that involve running, jumping and retrieval. They must be kept mentally stimulated to avoid behavioural problems developing.
Suitability as a Guard Dog High
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression High
Other Animal Compatibility Low



Grooming can be somewhat demanding with the Bedlington. The coat should be brushed for about 5 minutes a day and a comb should be run through it at least once a week. About every two months, the dog will need a trim. This can be done by a professional groomer as it is an unusual cut. The other option is to learn the trim yourself from a breeder. Show grooming demands that there be no more than one inch of coat anywhere on the body so this would be even more time consuming.


Grooming Requirements Once A Week
Amount of Hair Shed None

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