Bedlington Terrier

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Bedlington Terrier

Named after the mining town of Bedlington where they were first bred, the Bedlington Terriers is a graceful terrier in sheep’s clothing, they were originally bred to hunt vermin and later used in dog racing numerous dog sports, as well as in conformation shows and as a companion dog.

Other Names Rothbury Terrier, Rodbery Terrier, Rothbury’s Lamb
Color Blue, Blue & Tan, Liver, Liver & Tan, Sandy, Sandy & Tan
Height Males: 16 to 17.5 inches. Females: 15 to 16.5 inches.
Weight Males: 17-23 pounds. Females: 17-23 pounds.
Life Span 11-16 years
Personality Loyal, Charming, Frollicking
Exercise Energetic
Popularity #151
Groom Needs 2-3 Times a Week
Kids Friendly Yes with supervision
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog Yes
Litter Size 3-6

Bedlington Terrier Pictures

Bedlington Terrier Video


You can be forgiven for thinking the dog standing in the field is a lamb because that is just what he looks like, this strange-looking Bedlington terrier. He’s a rare gem, too, active and bold and needs plenty of exercise to hold him back from being too mischievous and bored! He is about 16 inches at the shoulders and weighs around 23 pounds. He has a medium-length coat of both soft and hard hair which comes in colors such as blue with tan or without tan, sandy color with or without tan, liver with or without tan. Note that this dog’s coat requires a lot of care, from regular brushing to clipping and trimming every few months. The breed is notably characterized by strange pear-shaped, tufted head, curly coat like a sheep, and an arched back. He is a fierce fighter and won’t back down to a challenge. Even though he has a friendly appearance, he can be quite unwelcoming to other pets. The Bedlington needs a garden, as they are fond of barking, chasing, and digging, and are swift runners. Being feisty and really observant of their surroundings, they will alarm their owners to strange visitors or activities; making excellent watchdogs.

Living with Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington’s coat doesn’t need to be stripped, unlike many other terrier breeds. But their coat grows very quickly and requires to be trimmed every six to eight weeks to maintain its look. The owner needs to comb the dog at least once a week, and it is better to take him to a professional groomer for his lam clip or you can do this by yourself. 

It is suggested to use a gentle shampoo for monthly baths, and rinse well to prevent skin irritation. And check and clean the ears with a gentle and dog-friendly cleanser every week for signs of infection, irritation, or wax buildup. Trim the nails regularly is helpful to prevent painful splitting, cracking, or breaking a nail.

Like most Terriers, Bedlingtons have a fair amount of energy and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are energetic, but not rambunctious or mischievous. Exercise your dog at least 30 minutes on a daily basis is suggested. A couple of walks each day and a longer adventure at least once a week will suffice. Also, this breed enjoys playing fetch but afterward, they are happy to just curl up on the couch with his family. Besides, they have the instinct to chase small animals despite their lamb-like looks, so a fenced yard is required for them and they should be on a leash for all walks. And they also enjoy participating in agility, obedience, tracking, and earthdog competitions.

Generally, it is recommended to feed the Bedlington Terrier with one to one and a half cups of high-quality dry dog food every day, divided into two meals. And there should be clean and fresh water at all times. More importantly, the food amount should depend on the dog’s weight, size, age, and activity level. 

Some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food is safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian.

The Bedlington Terriers are prone to the following health conditions: renal dysplasia, skin allergies, patellar luxation, eye concerns, hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder), copper toxicosis, etc. 

Major concerns: copper toxicosis

Minor concerns: renal cortical hypoplasia, retinal dysplasia, distichiasis

Occasionally seen: patellar luxation

Suggested tests:

Cardiac Exam

Patella Evaluation

Copper Toxicosis DNA Test

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Total Annual Cost: $2674

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Bedlington Terriers are both intelligent and eager to please, but they can be stubborn sometimes. They can learn basic obedience with ease under the positive reinforcement, such as using praise and food as rewards would be much more successful. Never use harsh correction when training this breed because they are sensitive and may become timid or snappy in response. And it is recommended to start early socialization and puppy training for this dog, puppies would be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. Besides, they excel in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.


The Bedlington terrier originates from England – he appeared in the parish of Bedlington in Northumberland, England in the early 19th century. 

Back in the day, he was bred to kill rats, badgers, and other vermin.

He was originally known as the Rothbury Terrier, after a district on the English coast. Lord Rothbury had an estate in Bedlington and he loved the Bedlington’s and the name eventually stuck. 

This breed was adored by the gypsy nail makers – and they would use this dog as a hunter of foxes, hares, badgers and rats. 

Around 1825, a Rothbury dog was mated to a Bedlington bitch and this is what produced the Bedlington terrier. It is believed that the Otterhound and the Dandie Dinmont terrier were also part of the mix that contributed to the genes of the breed.

Over time, the elite began to welcome this dog into their homes, valuing them as first-class well-behaved companions. 

By 1880 the Bedlingtons had arrived in America and the first Bedlington registered in the country was Tynesider II, in 1993. 

The Bedlington terrier was inducted by the American Kennel Club in 1967 – he is larger in stature than his earlier counterparts.

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: Bedlington Terrier Rescue

Breed Club Rescue Link: