Bedlington Terrier

bedlington terrier

This small/medium-sized long-legged terrier is easily recognised. He has a narrow skull and a lamb-like coat, which comes in blue, liver or sandy, with or without tan. Adult males and females measure between 38-43cm and weigh between 8-10kg.

bedlington terrier
  • Category size: Small
  • Grooming requirements: Daily
bedlington terrier
  • Shedding: None
  • Allergies: Yes
  • Noise: Not too noisy
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Terrier
bedlington terrier
  • Alone: 1 to 3 hours
  • Other pets: Low
  • Stability as a guard: High


Originally bred from a combination of local terriers with an outcross to Whippets, miners in the Rothbury area of Northumberland developed the Bedlington Terrier dog breed 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. Alternative names it was known by are 'The Rothbury Terrier' and 'The Gypsy Dog' (due to its assistance with poaching).


The Bedlington Terrier breed needs to be trained to get along with cats and other pets. Strangers will be announced and repelled if unwelcome, but once accepted into the house by the owner, will be given a friendly reception. Bedlington Terriers 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.


The Bedlington Terrier dog breedcan suffer from an inherited liver disease ('copper storage disease'). A DNA test is available, and so all breeding dogs should be tested. As with many other breeds, they can also suffer hereditary eye disorders and so eye testing of breeding dogs is recommended.


The Bedlington Terrier needs at least an hour's daily exercise. They excel in games that involve running, jumping and retrieval - including agility. They must be kept mentally stimulated to avoid behavioural problems developing.


Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.


Grooming can be somewhat demanding with the Bedlington Terrier. The coat should be brushed for about five 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.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information