Bedlington Terrier

Originally a small dog bred to hunt vermin, the Bedlington Terrier is now groomed for show ring presence especially due to their lamb-like appearance. The Bedlington Terrier is a fast, active breed, and is also used in dog racing and other numerous dog sports. One should not be fooled by their cute appearance; they could easily take a dog of their weight.

Bedlington Terrier Breed Information

Developed in the village of Bedlington in Northumberland, Bedlington Terrier was the favorite companion of northern miners to hunt vermin. The Bedlington Terrier was originally called Rodbury Terriers, Rothbury Terriers, or Rothbury's Lambs due to Lord of Rothbury’s particular fondness for this breed. Gypsies and poachers also used it to hunt and track prey, hence leading the Bedlington to be also named as gypsy dog. It was renamed as Bedlington Terrier in 1825 after the Bedlington Mining Shire. Otterhound and Dandie Dinmont Terrier are supposed contributors to the present day Bedlington Terrier. They joined the show ring in mid eighteenth century and were registered by AKC in 1886, ranking 128th among the recognized breeds.
The Bedlington Terrier is extremely active, and is known for being very quick. Despite its looks, the Bedlington Terrier is extremely stubborn, and rarely backs down from a fight. It is also known for being an exceptional swimmer, and can easily keep pace with a horse due to its high endurance level. While it can be intensely jealous of other dogs, this breed is good with children, and is generally gentle and mild around humans.
  • Activity level: 3/5 (quite fast)
  • Intelligence level: 3/5 (intelligent)
  • Curiosity: 2/5 (mildly curious)
  • Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
  • Vocal: 4/5 (can be vocal)
A bit resembling a sheep or a lamb, the Bedlington Terrier is unique in appearance. Its body is muscular, deep-chested and markedly flexible. The Bedlington is longer than it is taller, and has well muscled hindquarters. Its coat is rugged and short.
  • Fur: Dark color at birth fades as they mature. Blue, liver or sandy colour is common with tanned points. Coat could be described as shaggy and rugged and sometimes a mix of soft and hard hair.
  • Eyes: Almond-shaped eyes are small in size and set deep.
  • Body structure: Back is arched with body longer than it is wide. Longer back legs with straight front legs. Low- set tail is tapers to the end.
  • Facial features: Rounded head with no stop, strong muzzle and low set ears give them their unique sheep like appearance.
  • Weight: The average weight for the Bedlington Terrier is 7.7-10 kg.
Health and Care
Eye problems such as epiphora, retinal dysplasia, and cataracts are more common in this breed than other. Bedlington Terrier is also prone to reproductive diseases and heart murmur. Kidney problems and copper toxicosis are other health issues. Distichiasis if occurs can be treated surgically. Ocular examinations with ophthalmoscope help to diagnose eye-related issues, whereas heart murmurs may be diagnosed by x-rays scans, MRI scans and echocardiography. Kidney problems may be diagnosed by urinalysis, blood profiling and urine culture. The Bedlington Terrier does not shed much and show dogs have hair trimmed to an inch long with hair longer on the legs. It needs to be combed once a week. To acquire its unique sheep like look a professional groomer should be hired and face must be hand-scissored. Dental hygiene is very vital and it should be brushed twice or thrice a week. Nails should also be trimmed at least once a month. Grooming should be made a positive experience with praise and food rewards. Surprisingly, frequent bathing is not required to avoid lankness for the coat.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely. Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at
Bedlington Terrier Breeders: