History & Overview
The Bedlington Terrier belongs to terrier dog group. 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.
Although many terriers were originally kept on farms, often as rat catchers, they have made a transition to household pets quite readily; to the extent that a number of them rank among the best-known breeds in the world. Their alert and curious nature, and their tendency to explore underground, means that they are more inclined to dig than other breeds, and they have an alarming tendency to disappear down rabbit holes when out for a walk. As a result, they are not true lapdogs, although they do make loyal companions.
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.
Terriers are usually lively, alert, and extremely plucky. They do not always get on well together, however, and enjoy every opportunity to run around on their own.
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.
At A Glance
Country of Origin:
FCI Classification: Group 3: Terriers; Section 1: Large and medium-sized Terriers (without working trial)
AKC Classification: Terrier Group
Medium (15 – 16 inches at shoulders, with slight variation both in males (above 16 inches) and females (below 15 inches)
Blue, blue-and-tan, liver, liver-and-tan, sandy, or sandy-and-tan. The colors of newborn puppies lighten as the dogs mature.
3 – 6
11 – 12 years
His thick, linty, non-shedding coat requires removal of dead hair. Comb weekly or twice a week to prevent matting.
High-spirited, confident, intelligent, affectionate, curious and even-tempered.
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.
The Bedlington is a very active breed and should be walked early in the day and also allowed to run free.
Bedlingtons are very easy to train.