Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terrier book

The Bedlington Terrier is considered to be the most unusual member of the terrier group. It is a product of England in the Hanny Hills of Northumberland. Its exact origin is not clear. Breeders developed a strain of game terriers in the late eighteenth century known as Rothbury Terriers.

As the Bedlington Terriers history goes, Joseph Ainsley of Bedlington decided to breed two of his Rothbury Terriers and named their offspring a Bedlington Terrier.

bedlington terrier in all its glory

Occasional crosses to other breeds arguably included the Whippet for its speed and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier for its coat. Unfortunately, there is no documented evidence of such crosses, which lead many breed historians to assert that no such crosses ever existed.

Whether or not the aforementioned crosses ever existed, what came out of it is an agile game terrier proficient in hunting rats, rabbits, badger, fox, and otter. During the 1800s, the Bedlington Terrier stepped into the show ring and the homes of wealthy aristocrats.

bedlington terrier standing in the yard looking to play

For instance, the liver-colored Bedlington enjoyed a great deal of popularity until the blue surpassed it. Many of the breed’s admirers tend to gravitate to its lamb-like appearance. Unfortunately, the emphasis on show trimming ultimately diminished the breed’s popularity as a show dog.

Today, with the advancement and availability of grooming tools and information, the breed regained much of its popularity with the public.

Bedlington Terrier Breed Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training

Weight: 17-23 pounds
Height: Male: 16.5”; female: 15.5”
Popularity: Rare
Family: Terrier
Area of Origin: England
Date of Origin: 1800s
Original Function: Killing, badger, and other vermin
Date of Origin: 1800s
Today’s Function: Earthdog Trials
Other Names: Rothbury Terrier

Bedlington Terrier Temperament and Upkeep

The Bedlington Terrier is considered to be the softer terrier in looks as well as temperament. They’re incredibly compassionate, demonstrative, and loyal. They’re quiet and love comfort.

bedlington terrier puppy laying down with its favorite toy

The Bedlington is not a fighter; however, it will not allow itself to be pushed around by other dogs and will defend itself when pushed. They’re friendly with other pets while in the home but will give chase on the outside.

Bedlington’s need daily exercise within safe confines because of their love for running and chasing. A nice long walk or an enjoyable romp in the park is enough to meet requirements.

Its coat needs combing once or twice a week. Also, its coat will need a scissoring to shape every other month. Shedding hair tends to cling to other hair rather than dropping.


Primary Concerns: Copper toxicosis
Minor concerns: Retina dysplasia, renal cortical hypoplasia, distichiasis
Occasionally seen: Patella luxation
Suggested tests: DNA for copper toxicosis, liver biopsy, eye, knee
Life span: 12-14 years

Form and Function

The Bedlington Terrier is an agile dog with a distinctive silhouette. Its arched loin and racy outline afford it high speed as well as agility. This terrier is considered to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. However, It is unrivaled in its ability to chase and fight agile but robust quarry. Its gait is light and springy. It is a mixture of hard and soft hair standing off the skin, affording excellent protection as well as outstanding appearance.

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