By Jags Goldie Last updated: 27th October 2022

Bedlington Terrier


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The Bedlington Terrier, named after the English town of Bedlington, is a breed of small, versatile dogs bred for hunting vermin or game. It is a graceful, well-balanced dog characterized by narrow, rounded head, almond-shaped eyes, triangular ears with rounded tips, long, tapering neck, muscular legs, and a low-set tail with thick base and tapering at the tip. Because of its dense fur, the Bedlington Terrier has been compared to a lamb and a Miniature Scottish deerhound.

Bedlington Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesRodbery Terrier, Rothbury Terrier, Rothbury’s Lamb
Coatsoft and hard hair, crisp to the touch, curly
ColorLiver, sandy, blue, tan markings are possible
Breed TypePurebred
Lifespan11-16 years
Weight17-23 lb
HeightFemale: 15-16.5 in
Male: 16-17.5 in
Do they shedNot frequently
TemperamentIntelligent, affectionate, spirited, good-tempered
Litter Size3-6 puppies
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inEngland
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationAKC, ANKC, ACA, ACR, APRI, CKC, CCR, CET, DRA, FCI, NAPR, KCGB, NKC, NZKC, UKC

Video: Bedlington Terrier Puppies Playing


Developed in Northumberland County in the northern part of England, the Bedlington Terrier was used by the Romani and Gypsies for hunting game. Since it was skilled in ridding the mines and estates of badgers and rats, the local squires kept some of these dogs for themselves.

Its hunting skills fascinated Lord Rothbury who had an estate in Bedlington. In 1825, the name Bedlington Terrier was first assigned to Joseph Ainsley’s dog, Piper. It went after badgers at eight months of age and continued to hunt vermin even when it was old and nearly blind.

The Bedlington has similarities in appearance with the Whippet, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Soft Coated Wheaten. It is thought that these breeds may have evolved from a common ancestor.

A group of Bedlington Terriers first participated in a dog show in 1870. In the mid-1870s, the Bedlington Terrier Club was set up in England while in 1886, it was acknowledged by the American Kennel Club.

Mixes and Crosses

Temperament and Behavior

A true terrier by nature, the Bedlington’s personality can be described as watchful, smart, energetic, and inquisitive. Often referred to as a one-person dog, it likes to entertain its people and captures everyone’s attention with its clownish antics. Although it remains calm around guests, it will not hesitate to alert you if it senses anything unusual.

It makes an excellent playmate for kids with whom it has been raised. It can coexist with other dogs if introduced to them during puppyhood. However, adult Bedlingtons are known to be aggressive toward members of the same sex, and so should be cautiously exposed to them.

Like most terriers, the Bedlington likes to dig and chase small animals. It is a lively breed with high stamina, and its swimming speed almost equals to the pace at which it runs on land.



Since it is a hardy, sturdy breed with moderate levels of energy, it needs a fair amount of regular activity. Take your dog for a hike or play a game of fetch in a safely fenced yard. Although it is lively outdoors, it remains calm in the home.


The Bedlington Terrier’s coat is easy to groom as it needs to be combed once or twice a week. You can take help of a professional groomer for clipping its fur and achieve the lamb-like appearance. Basic grooming requirements include occasional nail care and regular dental hygiene.

Health Problems

Some Bedlington Terriers may be affected by health conditions including copper toxicosis, retinal dysplasia, patellar luxation, renal cortical hypoplasia, or distichiasis.


The Bedlington’s intelligence and loyalty to its owner makes training moderately easy.

It needs to be socialized at a young age to lessen its aggression toward other dogs. Gradually expose your pet to other dogs using a method it is comfortable with. You may take it for a leashed walk in public or invite friends to come to your home with their dogs. Reward it with treats and praises once it shows interest in the other dogs.

Getting your dog to stop digging
Since your Bedlington Terrier is a natural digger, you should allow your dog to dig in a specific place in the yard rather than trying to stop it. You may also intensify its activity level and challenge it physically so that it does not feel like digging or jumping.


It needs a nutritious diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You may give your Bedlington about one and a half cups of quality dry food on a daily basis.

Interesting Facts

  • A Bedlington Terrier named “Rock Ridge Night Rocket” won the “best in show” title at a dog show organized by the Westminster Kennel Club in 1948. Later, the dog featured in an issue of LIFE magazine.

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