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Bedlington Terriers: Your Guide to Graceful Charm

bedlington terrier

The Bedlington Terrier stands out as an enigmatic and charming breed in the world of canine companions. With its distinctive lamblike appearance and spirited personality, it’s no wonder these dogs have captured the hearts of many. This comprehensive guide aims to uncover the mysteries surrounding Bedlington Terriers, from their historical origins to their care and unique attributes. 

bedlington terrier

A Brief Overview of Bedlington Terriers

Before delving deeper into the fascinating world of Bedlington Terriers, let’s start with a brief overview of the breed. Known for their lamblike appearance, these terriers may seem gentle, but they possess all the classic terrier traits – intelligence, curiosity, and spirited nature. Their unique combination of charm and terrier tenacity makes them truly exceptional companions.

The Historical Tapestry of Bedlington Terriers

To understand the Bedlington Terrier, we must first explore its historical roots. While the breed’s exact origin remains unsurprising, one theory suggests that they accompanied Romani travelers, aiding game poaching. Over time, their exceptional skills in ridding the land of vermin drew the attention of local squires, who acquired these dogs for themselves.

Lord Rothbury, whose estate was located in Bedlington, Northumberland, played a significant role in the breed’s development. While they were initially referred to as Rothbury terriers, Bedlington eventually stuck. The first dog officially recognized as a Bedlington Terrier was Ainsley’s Piper in 1825, renowned for his badger-hunting prowess even in his twilight years.

There’s speculation that the breed might have incorporated Whippet genes to enhance their speed and agility. Additionally, Bedlington Terriers share common ancestry with other breeds like the Dandie Dinmont, Soft-Coated Wheaten, and Kerry Blue Terriers.

Bedlington Terrier Size and Personality

Bedlington Terriers exhibit a distinct blend of physical characteristics and temperament. Males typically stand around 16 inches at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller at 15 inches. Their weight, ranging from 17 to 23 pounds, is proportionate to their height. In terms of personality, Bedlington Terriers are alert, energetic, and highly intelligent. They relish being the center of attention and are known for their entertaining antics. While they can be playful and energetic playmates for children, they are best suited for homes with older kids. Like all dogs, they thrive with proper socialization, which helps them develop into well-rounded companions.

Living with a Bedlington Terrier: What to Expect

Bringing a Bedlington Terriers into your home comes with certain expectations. These dogs thrive on exercise and mental stimulation, making regular walks and engaging activities essential. Their adaptable nature allows them to match your activity level, whether a leisurely walk or an energetic game of fetch. Bedlington Terriers possess hunting instincts, including pointing, retrieving, tracking, and burrowing after den animals. Despite their hunting prowess, they have moderate energy levels and can be content with lounging on the couch after exercise.

Early socialization is key for families with other pets to ensure harmonious coexistence. Bedlingtons can get along well with other dogs, especially when raised together. However, they may not back down from a fight and can be fierce fighters when aroused, particularly against dogs of the same sex.

bedlington terriers

Training Your Bedlington Terrier: A Unique Challenge

Bedlington Terriers are intelligent dogs, which can make training an intriguing endeavor. Their intelligence, however, also means that they are moderately easy to train. To get the best results, it’s essential to persuade them that obeying your commands benefits them or aligns with their interests. Positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards work best with this breed. Avoid harsh words and physical force, as they can trigger stubbornness and create a battle of wills. Despite their training challenges, Bedlington Terriers have excelled in obedience competitions and shine in agility rings, showcasing their speed, grace, and enthusiasm.

Bedlington Terrier Health and Grooming

As responsible pet parents, being aware of common health concerns associated with Bedlington Terriers is crucial. While not all individuals will experience these issues, understanding them is vital. Copper Toxicosis is a hereditary disease resulting from the liver’s failure to expel dietary copper, leading to a dangerous buildup in the body. Patellarluxation, a kneecap dislocation, can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Distichiasis involves the growth of an additional row of eyelashes that irritate the eye. Renal Cortical Hypoplasia affects kidney development and can lead to kidney failure. Retinal Dysplasia, a developmental malformation of the retina, usually doesn’t affect vision but should be monitored.

In terms of grooming, Bedlington Terriers have a unique coat that requires attention. Their distinctive blend of harsh and soft hair doesn’t shed much but tends to curl, especially on the head and face. Unlike many terrier breeds, their coat doesn’t need to be stripped. Regular combing and occasional professional grooming sessions keep their appearance pristine.

Feeding Your Bedlington Terrier

Proper nutrition is essential to keep your Bedlington Terrier healthy and thriving. A recommended daily amount of 1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into two meals, is typically suitable. Adjust the portion based on your dog’s size, age, activity level, and metabolism. Measuring your Bedlington’s food and feeding him twice daily rather than free-feeding helps maintain his ideal weight. Monitoring his body condition by checking for a visible waistline and feeling his ribs without pressing hard ensures that he remains in good shape.


In conclusion, Bedlington Terriers are a captivating breed known for their distinctive appearance and spirited personality. Whether you’re considering bringing one into your home or are intrigued by its unique charm, these dogs have left an indelible mark in the world of canine companions. Understanding their history, care requirements, and special traits will only deepen your appreciation for these graceful and enigmatic dogs.


What is the origin of the Bedlington Terrier breed?

Bedlington Terriers are believed to have originated in the north of England. Their exact ancestry is a bit unclear, but they likely have roots in terrier breeds and might have been used by Romani travelers for game poaching.

What is the typical size and weight of a Bedlington Terrier?

Adult males usually stand around 16 inches at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller at 15 inches. Their weight typically ranges from 17 to 23 pounds.

Do Bedlington Terriers get along with children and other pets?

Bedlingtons can be energetic playmates for children when raised with them. However, they may not tolerate rough handling and should be supervised around young children. They can get along with other dogs if properly socialized, but they might not back down from a fight.

Are Bedlington Terriers easy to train?

Bedlington Terriers are intelligent but can also be stubborn. They respond best to positive reinforcement training methods, such as praise, play, and food rewards. Harsh training techniques should be avoided.

What grooming requirements do Bedlington Terriers have?

Bedlingtons have a unique coat that requires regular combing to prevent matting. Professional grooming sessions may also be necessary to maintain their distinctive appearance. Unlike many terrier breeds, their coat doesn’t need to be stripped.

What are the common health concerns for Bedlington Terriers?

Some common health issues in this breed include Copper Toxicosis, Patellar Luxation, Distichiasis, Renal Cortical Hypoplasia, and Retinal Dysplasia. Responsible breeders should conduct health screenings to reduce the risk of these conditions.

Where can I find a reputable Bedlington Terrier breeder?

To find a responsible breeder, look for those who conduct health tests on their breeding dogs to ensure genetic health. Avoid purchasing puppies from puppy mills, pet stores, or irresponsible breeders. Reputable breed clubs and online resources can help you locate ethical breeders.

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