Although he looks like a weak, almost toy-like dog, the Bedlington Terrier is actually an extremely strong, speedy dog with lots of attitude but a gentle nature. Named after the urban district of Bedlingtonshire in Northern England, the Bedlington has been so called for over one hundred and fifty years. Before that he was known as the Northumberland Fox Terrier and Rothbury Terrier. The Bedlington terrier is affectionate and loyal to his owner, extremely intelligent and easy to train. Although often compared in appearance to a lamb, with his light "fluffy" coat, hanging ears and docile expression, he is very athletic and every inch a terrier bred for gameness, speed and courage.
The Bedlington is very hardy, tough and high-spirited, adapts to nearly any climate and will eat almost anything. A keen hunter and first-class water dog, he is usually quiet indoors and gentle with his family. The lamb-like appearance of the Bedlington is not easily achieved. His coat consists of a mixture of hard and soft hairs that stand out from the body. It takes regular, skillful trimming to get the desired look.
Bedlington Terrier Breed Outline
Country of Origin: Great Britain
FCI Classification: Group 3: Terriers; Section 1: Large and medium-sized Terriers
(without working trial); AKC Classification: Terrier Group
Size: Medium (15-16 inches at shoulders, with slight variation both in males (above 16 inches) and females (below 15 inches))
Colors: Blue, blue-and-tan, liver, liver-and-tan, sandy, or sandy-and-tan. The colors of newborn puppies lighten as the dogs mature.
Litter Size: 3-6
Life Span: 11-12 years
Grooming Requirements: His thick, linty, non-shedding coat requires removal of dead hair. Comb weekly or twice a week to prevent matting.
Personality: High-spirited, confident, intelligent, affectionate, curious and even-tempered.
Social skills: Of all the terriers, the Bedlington is perhaps the most belligerent. He is quite jealous of other dogs in the house, will fight on the smallest provocation and is best as the sole pet in the house.
Suitability for Children: Usually very kind to children. However, the Bedlington's jealousy makes him less suitable for homes with small active children than other more docile terrier breeds.
Exercise Needs: The Bedlington is a very active breed and should be walked early in the day and also allowed to run free.
Train Ability: Bedlingtons are very easy to train.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Copper-associated hepatitis (CHA), Retinal Dysplasia, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Progressive retinal atrophy (CERF certification required), Renal Dysplasia