Updated 31-07-2023

Bedlington Terrier Characteristics, Facts & Traits

Bedlington terriers were originally bred to be vermin killers and hunting companions. Today's Bedlington are top-notch in the ring and on the trail. Due to outstanding hunting instincts, a keen sense of smell and the will to go to ground, they are rarely used in the field despite their excellent hunting abilities.

The Bedlington terrier enjoys being the centre of attention since he is affectionate and energetic. To be honest, they may even prefer to live as the only pet in the home. Their keen sense of intuition makes them superb watchdogs for their owners despite the fact that they are amiable to most people. As long as they get lots of exercise and affection, they're a great choice for both small and large homes.

See the next section for further information on the Bedlington terrier breed.


  • Inflexible Bedlington are not without their faults, though.
  • Early interaction with other animals is essential in order to avoid future issues.
  • When a Bedlington terrier is bored, he or she is more likely to get into mischief.
  • If confronted by another canine, males can be aggressive combatants.
  • It is not difficult to train Bedlington, despite the fact that they are incredibly intelligent. Harsh techniques of training have little effect on them.
  • Maintaining the coat and preventing matting requires weekly grooming for Bedlington.
  • Bedlingtons can be one-person dogs.
  • Bedlingtons are terriers and like to dig.
  • A fenced yard is required for Bedlington. They'll go after other animals and run like the wind.
  • Never purchase a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy canine. To ensure that her breeding dogs are free of genetic disorders that they could pass on to the puppies and have sound temperaments, find a reliable breeder who performs genetic testing on her dogs.


Social Appearance 


A little dog isn't inherently better for an apartment than a larger one, contrary to popular opinion. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. You may also get a great dog kennel here to give your pet a little more privacy in your home.

Sensitivity Level

The faintest whiff of filth is enough to make some dogs flee, but this isn't true for all canines. When it comes to handling loud noises, an aggressive owner, and an unpredictability in their routine, "easy-going," "tolerant," and "resilient" dogs are more equipped. When it comes to your personal life, do you host a lot of parties, have small children, or otherwise lead a frantic existence? It's best to go with an animal that isn't too delicate.


As long as you don't instruct them not to strain on the leash, you'll find that vigorous dogs conduct all of their activities with tremendous vigour: they eat and drink with large mouthfuls, and even strain on the leash (unless you teach them not to). When it comes to manners, these dynamos require extensive training and may not be the greatest choice for a family with children or someone who is older or feeble. On the other hand, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

There are certain dogs that are always looking for a game, while there are others that are more stoic and reserved. Think about how many games of fetch or tag your dog will need to play each day, as well as if you have children or other canines who can act as playmates for it.

Personality Appearance


Sheep herder dogs, for example, need to exercise their bodies in the same way that working dogs, such as those trained for jobs requiring judgement and intellect, such as police dogs, need. If they do not receive enough cerebral stimulation, they may resort to self-employment such as digging and chewing. It's a great way to give a dog a cerebral workout through activities like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

High-energy dogs are always ready to take action. Because they were initially bred for a specific purpose, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals, they have the stamina to put in a long day's work. Animals like this need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to run around, leap, and investigate any new sights or smells they come across.

If your dog isn't very energetic, resting is their favourite mode of entertainment. You should consider your own level of activity and lifestyle before deciding on a dog, and if you find a playful, energetic dog exhilarating or frustrating.

Easy To Train

Easy-to-teach dogs are more competent at learning fast and easy how to associate a stimulus (such the phrase "sit") with an action (such as sitting) and a reward (such as a treat). Other dogs require more time, patience, and repetition to learn.

You'll need to utilize incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

There are certain breeds that remain distant and independent, while others form deep bonds with one individual and are uninterested in others; while still others demonstrate their love for the entire family. There are several factors that contribute to a dog's ability to create a close link with a human, not only the type of breed.


Having a blasé attitude about screaming, running youngsters, and being gentle with children are all characteristics of a dog that is good with children. Some of the names on the list may come as a shock to you: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, being little, sensitive, and prone to snapping, aren't always the most family-friendly of dogs.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two completely different things. People-friendly dogs can be aggressive or domineering against their canine counterparts. Some dogs would rather play than fight, and yet others would flee in terror. It's not just a genetic issue. Puppies who were raised in close proximity to their littermates and mother for at least the first six to eight weeks of their lives are more likely to develop good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

In order to keep a dog in the house, you'll have to cope with dog hair all over your clothes and in your house. However, the amount of shedding varies greatly among dog breeds. It's possible for dogs to shed all year long or only a few times a year, and it's also possible for certain dogs to shed both ways or very little. If you're a neat freak, go for a breed that doesn't shed much, or adjust your standards. Keeping your home a little cleaner is easy with the help of a good de-shedding device.

Drooling Potential

Drool-prone dogs may leave large, wet slobber stains on your clothing and slobber ropes down your arm when they come over to say hello to you. As long as you don't mind a bit of drool, go for it; but if you're more concerned about cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with an acceptable grade for the amount of saliva it produces.

Easy To Groom

Some dogs may be brushed and go, while others need to be bathed, clipped, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to maintain their health and cleanliness. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Certain types of dogs can get plenty of exercise just by going for a walk in their neighbourhood. Herdsmen and hunters, in particular, must engage in frequent, strenuous activity as part of their training regimens.

If these breeds don't get enough exercise, their pent-up energy may manifest itself in undesired behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. People who enjoy spending time outside or who want to train their dog for a high-intensity canine sport like agility should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


17 to 23 pounds


11 to 16 years


15.5 to 17.5 inches


It's believed that the Bedlington terrier, with its arched back, speed, and agility, was descended from sighthounds like the whippet. This dog's pedigree is also said to include the Dandie Dinmont, Kerry blue, and soft-coated wheaten terriers. They have a delicate, springy gait, but they can also sprint at breakneck speed when necessary.

In spite of their mild appearance, Bedlington have a history of putting their bodies on the line for the greater good. Brave and energetic Bedlington Terriers were born there in the 1800s as working-man dogs for Northumberland mining shire Bedlington. In addition to being a vermin-hunting dog for the Bedlington miners, the Bedlington was a prized hunting dog for animals such as foxes, hares, and badgers.

There was a dog called Piper who was the first Bedlington terrier. Piper, a badger bred in 1825, was believed to continue hunting badgers at the age of 14 despite being practically blind and lacking teeth. Bedlington terriers were once regarded as the most intelligent and agile of all terriers.

They were nicknamed "Gypsy Dogs" because they were commonly used by the Romani wanderers as sly accomplices in their poaching activities. Lord Rothbury of Bedlington identified the "Gypsy Dog" and became so enthusiastic about the breed that the terriers were often referred to as Rothbury's terrier—and, occasionally, Rothbury's lamb.

Also, the Bedlington nail makers had an affinity for this particular breed, and before long, miners and nailers from the county were staking part of their wages on dogfights in which their terriers would compete. Even though the Bedlington terrier has a lamb-like appearance, they have proven to be fearless and unrelenting fighters. The unfortunate reality is that they would fight to the death in these situations. Bedlington were used by miners as fighting dogs, while hunters relied on them as retrievers.

He turned out to be a charmer rather than an aggressive warrior. Bedlingtons were raised by the British aristocracy in manor houses, where they were beloved pets and decorative accents for their opulent, high-style lifestyles, rising from the ashes of coal mines and nail factories.

Only ten years after the National Bedlington Terrier Club of England began in 1877, the American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the breed for the first time. Locals in Bedlington, England, where the Terriers soccer team plays, are still proud of their town's famous export. The community even constructed dog-shaped park benches.

Personality and Temperament

Playful and loyal to its owners, kind to strangers, and devoted to youngsters, the Bedlington is one of the most popular breeds of dog. The dog is a fearless fighter who is never one to back down from a struggle. While the Bedlington appears amiable, it can be apprehensive of cats and other domestic pets unless they are introduced at an early age. Bedlington's favourite pastimes include barking, digging, and chasing one another.

The Bedlington terrier is one of the gentler terrier breeds, both physically and psychologically. This type of dog is friendly, outgoing, and devoted to its family. They like the finer things in life and keep to themselves. Even though Bedlington rarely starts a fight, they are not afraid of other dogs and are capable of a tough fight if necessary. A small animal may cause them to flee if it is outside, but they get along quite fine if it is inside.


Dogs of the Bedlington breed are lean, athletic, and insatiably active. They do have a tendency to bark a lot and can become overly tense if they do not receive enough physical and mental exercise. This breed is active, yet it isn't exceptionally boisterous or malicious in its behaviour.


Generally speaking, Bedlington Terriers are healthy, however like with all breeds, there are health issues to which they are predisposed. If you're considering getting a Bedlington, you should be aware of these diseases.

Copper Toxicosis

The liver's inability to eliminate copper from the body causes this inherited condition, which results in illness and death. Affected dogs must inherit a gene from both parents to be symptomatic, which is an autosomal recessive trait. A person is considered a carrier of a gene if they receive it from only one of their parents. DNA testing has made it possible to identify and eliminate dogs with the disease from the gene pool.

Patellar Luxation

The kneecap (patella) is dislocated, and the condition is also known as "slipped stifles." Injury or genetic predisposition can lead to it (present at birth). It is possible for a patellar luxation to be moderate with no symptoms at all or severe with excruciating pain and a limp. Patellar luxation that is too severe may necessitate surgery.


If the dog's oil gland grows an additional row of eyelashes (known as distichia), they grow along the outer edge of the eyelid, and this condition is known as distichia. If your Aussie's eyes are irritated, you may see him squinting or touching them. In order to cure distichiasis surgically, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the extra eyelashes and then remove them. Cry epilation is the medical term for this type of procedure, which is carried out while the patient is asleep.

Renal Cortical Hypoplasia

When the cortex of one or both kidneys develops improperly, this disorder is known as renal fibrosis. The dog's kidneys will fail. Increased thirst and subsequent increases in urination are the first indicators of renal failure. There is no cure for kidney disease; the only treatment is to manage the symptoms and prevent further kidney damage.

Retinal Dysplasia

The dog is born with a retinal abnormality that occurs during the course of its development. Only a small percentage of cases are severe enough to impair one's vision. Veterinary ophthalmologists can do testing on puppies as young as 7 to 12 weeks old to assess whether or not they have the condition. The capacity of a dog to be a friend shouldn't be harmed by retinal dysplasia, but affected dogs shouldn't be bred.

Recommended Health Tests

  1. Cardiac Exam
  2. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  3. Copper Toxicosis DNA Test
  4. Patella Evaluation


High-quality dog food should be fed to the Bedlington terrier, either commercially made or prepared at home with veterinary supervision. A veterinarian should always keep an eye on their calorie intake and weight, as many dogs are prone to gaining weight. As an active dog, this one needs access to fresh water at all times.


Pet owners are often astonished to hear that their Bedlington don't shed much at all due to their coat's unique combination of soft and coarse (but not wiry) hair. Grooming will be required every two months, but since their hair grows so quickly, you can do it yourself using electric clippers and scissors, or you can visit a professional groomer. Once or twice a week, they'll also need to have their hair brushed or combed.

Beddington's, like all dogs, require basic maintenance, such as regular nail trimming, daily brushing of teeth, and periodic examination and cleaning of ears. The tassels on the dog's ears need to be trimmed because of the breed's unusual ear shape and hair distribution.


Because it is a terrier, the Bedlington will need plenty of exercise to keep it healthy on the inside as well as out. If you want to keep your Bedlington happy and healthy, take him on daily walks for at least 30 minutes that are brisk but not too strenuous. Playing catch, taking a long walk, or running in the water are all favourites of this breed, but afterward it's content to curl up on the couch with its family. It's not uncommon for these dogs to participate in agility, tracking and obedience events.


With a temperament like the Bedlington, training and socialisation from an early age are essential for this breed. As a result, aggressive training methods or physical corrections won't work with this breed. A more effective training method is one that relies on positive reinforcement, such as praising the dog for good behaviour and rewarding it with food.

Children and Other Pets

The Bedlington, if raised in a family with children, may be a fun and active playmate. Perhaps appropriate for families with older children, this dog is more suitable. It's important to remember that while a Bedlington will put up with some harsh treatment, he won't comprehend that a child's skin is less durable than another dog's.

To avoid any biting or ear or tail tugging, make sure children know how to approach and touch dogs, and always be on the lookout for any encounters between dogs and small children. Never approach any dog when it is sleeping or eating, and never try to steal the dog's food. A dog and a youngster should never be left alone.

If raised with other dogs, Bedlington can be friendly, but they can be violent with canines of the same sexes. If you get into an argument with one of these dogs, they will not back down. Introducing Bedlington’s to new canine friends, especially other adults of the same sex, should be done cautiously. Male Bedlington, in particular, will not give up on a fight until significant damage has been inflicted. If he's reared with your indoor cat, a Bedlington may be able to get along with him, but he'll be eager to chase any other creatures that he sees out in the wild.


Because Bedlington terrier puppies are so little, you will need to feed them at least four times a day when they first arrive at home. You'll go from three to two meals a day over time. Your puppy's basic obedience and house training will also need to be worked on by you, as will socialisation. Puppy sports like racing or agility can be fun after its old enough and has gone through obedience training.

Dog breeds related to Bedlington Terriers

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Kerry blue terrier, and Whippet are all comparable to the Bedlington terrier breed.

Norfolk terrier

The Norfolk terrier is a small, feisty, intelligent, and lively dog. Because of the Norfolk terrier’s high level of energy and ability to interact well with children, it may be an excellent fit for your family.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier may be a good choice if you want a larger, hypoallergenic terrier. The Airedale Terrier is a fantastic dog for families with children because it sheds very little.


Despite the fact that the Whippet is not a terrier, it is widely believed that it was utilised as a foundation for the Bedlington Terrier. In many ways, Whippets are similar to Bedlington Terriers in that they are friendly, laid-back dogs who also like a healthy amount of physical activity..