Bedlington Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: Males: 16 - 17.5 inches; Females: 15-16.5 inches.

Weight: 17 - 23 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years

Litter Size: 3 - 6

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: High.

Watch-dog: High, a good alarm dog.

Guard-dog: Low.


Description: In full show trim the Bedlington Terrier looks more like a shorn lamb than a dog. They are rather quiet dog suitable for family life, easy to train and usually adores children. Bedlington Terriers will make a loyal companion who is affectionate and able to adapt to every mood of their owner. They come in blue and liver colors, with blue becoming the more popular of the two. Bedlington Terriers have thick fur that sticks out from its body, a nice tuck up and a prominent topknot of hair on the top of its head. Ears also wield tassels of fur on the ends. The Bedlington Terrier's tail is whip like in appearance. Bedlington Terriers have the longest traceable ancestry of all the terriers. Being true to the terrier group, they are lovable and full of fun, but are fierce when provoked.

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Other Names: Rothbury Terrier, Gypsy Dog, Northumberland Fox Terrier, Rodbury

Colors: Blue, blue and tan, liver, liver and tan, sandy, sandy and tan. Can be any of those colors with or without tan.

Coat: Thick and linty; a mixture of hard and soft hair that is curly. Hair is medium length.

Temperament: Bedlingtons are generally mild, but can be alert, and when alert they are full of energy. Also affectionate, friendly, can recognize moods, independent and mostly quiet house dogs. Can be belligerent when provoked by other dogs.

With Children: Yes, the Bedlington loves children.

With Pets: Good, although wary of new dogs.

Special Skills: In the past, they were used to kill rodents and hunt. Today, they are a family pet. Easy to train, chiefly quiet, and they don't shed.

Care and Training: Regular trimming every four to six weeks by a professional groomer is required to maintain their peculiar lamblike appearance. They are a non-shedding breed. Brush the Bedlington Terrier's coat regularly and clean and pluck the insides of their ears. Bedlington Terriers need plenty of exercise. Keep them on a leash as they are fast runners and will give chase to a cat if given the opportunity. Stubborn at times, they are relatively easy to train.

Learning Rate: High, attentive and eager to please.

Living Environment: A home with a big fenced yard and a family who will give plenty attention to them. Bedlington Terriers need daily walks and play sessions to keep them fit and content. A quiet dog inside the house, they still need to release energy every so often. They do not need a huge amount of space, as they can be content as long as they are played with.

Health Issues: Liver problems, hereditary kidney diseases and eye problems such as retinal dysplasia. Possible health concerns include copper toxicosis, juvenile cataracts and renal hypoplasia.

History: Formerly known as the Rodbury, Rothbury or Northumberland Fox Terrier. Bedlington Terriers evolved from Northumberland, England where they were used to hunt vermin such as badgers, foxes, weasels and otter. At the time, the Bedlington Terrier was known for being a tough ratting dog that would fight to the death if necessary. These days, the Bedlington has become more of a companion, which has made its popularity spread, but reduced its fighting usefulness to almost nil. It is believed that the Bedlington Terrier was crossed with Whippet blood to produce their speed, agility and graceful movement. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier also played a role in the dog's ancestry, as one of the breed's "forefathers" was listed as both Dandie Dinmont and Bedlington Terrier. A popular dog with poachers, they earned the nickname of Gypsy Dog. Today, Bedlington Terriers are kept for their lovable nature, and are known to fight for affection when they get jealous.

First Registered by the AKC: 1886

AKC Group: Terrier

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC