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Bedlington Terrier… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you already own a Bedlington Terrier, you probably already know this, but once you own one, you’ll get many questions about your Bedlington when you’re “out and about.” Questions like:

What the “heck” is that? Or is that a dog?

And who can blame folks? It’s not like you’ll see a Bedlington Terrier running around the dog park daily! And since he’s going to appear like a friendly and gentle lamb and is generally very friendly with everyone they meet, you’ll have a tough time keeping folks from wanting to know more about your little “lion heart.”

But this does not mean…

That a Bedlington Terrier will be suitable for everyone, which is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what some of the pros and cons of owning a Bedlington Terrier will be. This way, you’ll better understand how owning one will be your “right” move!

Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed Facts

Country of Origin:  England

Original Purpose: Companion Dog and Watch Dog

Height:  15 to 16 inches tall

Weight:  17 to 23 pounds

Life Span: 14 to 16 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Terrier Dogs

Origin of the Bedlington Terrier

While the exact origin of the Bedlington Terrier is a bit of a “mystery,” most folks believe that the Bedlington Terrier was probably brought to England by the Roman Gypsies, who used him to steal food on the estates they passed by. His poaching instincts were legendary!

One might even say…

“He was a “wolf” in sheep’s clothing!”

During this time, the Bedlington Terriers were also used by farmers to get rid of rats and badgers. Remember, even though the Bedlington Terrier looks like a bit of lamb, he is still a terrier, which means he is a fearless hunting machine that is not afraid to take on a challenge!

Lord Rothbury

One of the biggest admirers of these dogs was Lord Rothbury, the squire of the mining town of Bedlington, of the county of Northumberland; in the late 180s, he first “developed” the breed into what first became known as Rothbury Terriers and later eventually became known as Bedlington Terri, ers, which we now have today.

Back in Lord Ruthbury’s day…

These fearless hunters were used to hunt all sorts of game, including:

  • Badgers,
  • Foxes,
  • Rabbits and rats,
  • And even otters!

So, these little guys became pretty valuable for their hunting skills. But that’s not all. It was also during this time that the local “elite” also began to recognize the breed for its “looks” and companionship, ensuring the species would continue for many generations to come and eventually become one of the most “easily” recognizable dog breeds in the world. Finally, the Bedlington Terrier was brought to the United States in the mid-19th century and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (or AKC) in 1886.

Physical Characteristics

To state the obvious, the Bedlington is a very unique dog with a distinct appearance, utterly different from other terriers. This soft-coated dog looks like a lamb from a distance. He has a strange-looking scimitar-like (scimitar = sword) which tapers downwards. You could identify him quickly with his narrow-shaped head with a topknot that is of a much lighter shade than the body.

But is he a lamb or a terrier?

He is not a lamb, although he may look like one. He has a roached back, hare feet, and an arched loin like a lamb. Even his manner of walking or gait is fast and energetic, the same as that of a lamb. His eyes are triangular and always have a kind and polite expression, almost docile.

But in temperament, he is very much a terrier.

You should see him chase away the badgers and vermin from farms. He is very good at that, which is why farmers in the UK like this dog so much.

Personality and Temperament

By temperament, the Bedlington Terrier is intelligent and energetic. He is always alert, making him a perfect watchdog. Plus, he’s a natural entertainer and likes to make people happy with his behavior. He can be a little aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex, which can be a bit of a surprise – as that’s out of character for him.

But like with most breeds…

His behavior will depend on his breeding. If the puppies have been bred or brought up by breeders in a homely environment, Bedlington will likely be more social, friendly, and relaxed around people. However, you should be careful if you have adopted a Bedlington Terrier rescue dog. Rescue dogs may have been through a lot and can get edgy. While we strongly encourage any dog lover to permanently adopt a rescue dog, if you have minor children living in the home, please be sure that any “rescued you’re considering has “grown” up with children around.


It is essential for a Bedlington Terrier. Take him to parks, stores, or dog-friendly places where he can meet other dogs and get used to dealing with strangers. This is an integral part of the Bedlington Terrier training. Also, make sure he gets enough exercise. The Bedlington does not require as much exercise as some dog breeds, but don’t let that excuse you not to take him out on walks!

Potential Health Concerns

The Bedlington Terrier is a purebred dog, which means he will probably be susceptible to more health issues that are hereditary by nature than a “must” probably would. Now, this is not a “unique” problem that only Bedlington Terriers face; this is simply the case that all “purebreds” face.

The good news…

Many conditions that plague Bedlington Terriers can be avoided when you purchase your Bedlington Terrier from a “reputable” breeder who can prove to you that the dog is perfectly healthy and has healthy parents. A good breeder is…

  • Always be honest about health issues a particular puppy may have now or in the future.
  • Willing to guarantee the health of your puppy.
  • And generally only focuses on one particular breed vs. those who offer many different “types” of dogs, which may suggest that they are a “puppy mill.”

In any case, ask the breeder to show the results of a DNA test done on the puppy and certifications from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that the puppy has healthy eyes.

Additional medical conditions…

That your Bedlington Terrier might be at risk for may include:

Finally, have you considered pet Insurance for your Bedlington Terrier? If you buy or adopt a Bedlington puppy, you should take a moment to see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy.

This way…

your puppy develops an illness or suffers from an injury, you won’t be “on your own” to pay the total cost of their care. Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone? Probably not, but until you know what the policy will and won’t cover at the “to be, how will you know if it’s right for you?

For more information about pet insurance policies in your area, we encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article, discussing some of the pros and cons of owning such a policy.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Marian December 15, 2020, 2:29 pm

    Ty for this i nfo. I have always wanted to own one but know now that it would not be wise. Such a shame

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