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BaxterBoo Blog
February 2, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Bedlington Terrier

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  • Height: 15"-17”
  • Weight: 18-23 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunting, vermin controller, pit fighter
  • Modern function: Companion, sporting dog
  • AKC classification: Terrier

Physical Characteristics:

The Bedlington Terrier does resemble a lamb with its pear-shaped head and low-set rounded ears. The chest is deep and the back is curved. It has a thick, double coat of a mixture of hard and soft hair that sheds very little and, therefore, are considered good for people with allergies. Colors come in blue, sandy, liver, blue and tan, sandy and tan, and liver and tan.

History of the Breed:

The Bedlington was originally called the Rothbury Terrier, named after the district of Rothbury located on the English border. It was renamed the Bedlington as it was the favored dog of the Bedlington mining district. Its spunky, terrier personality was employed to reduce vermin in the mines, for hunting, racing, and for fighting.


While not exactly a wolf in sheep's clothing, the Bedlington Terrier is a little powerhouse. They are cheerful, friendly, and make good family pets, but use caution around other dogs, and socialize early with cats for best results. They are very fast both in water and on land and need to be kept on a leash. Prone to barking, so this needs to be minimized with training.

  • Best suited for: They are fairly active indoors, but can tolerate apartment living if sufficiently exercised.
  • Preferred living conditions: Bedlingtons need plenty of exercise including space to run and, because of their intelligent nature, they need plenty of mental stimulation and enjoy learning new commands and tricks. Can tolerate other pets if raised with them, but introducing new ones can be problematic.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Bedlingtons shed very little but need to be groomed regularly (every six weeks) to maintain their coat. 
  • Exercise needs: A daily walk will keep this active dog healthy and well behaved.
  • Life expectancy: 11-16 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to copper toxicosis, which is a severe copper storage liver disease.

Breed Club Links:  Bedlington Terrier Club of America Perfect Pairings: 

Have any stories about a Bedlington Terrier? Please share!

Bedlington Terrier photo courtesy of Pet Adviser.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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