The Bedlington Terrier came to be from the country of Northumberland, England and was originally known as the Rothbury Terrier, named after the district of Rothbury. Around 1825 the breed was renamed the Bedlington Terrier after the Bedlington Mining Shire. It was the pride of the Shire for its hunting of foxes, hares and badgers. It was also used in the mines to eradicate vermin. The dogs tenacity unfortunately gave it a place in the fighting pits serving as entertainment and gaming. The first Bedlington Terrier club was formed in 1877, and was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1948.
The Bedlington Terrier is often described as looking like a lamb, because of its woolly looking coat and the shape of its head. The eyes are small and deep set on a pear shaped head that is narrow, but deep and rounded. The ears are low set and triangular with rounded tips. The chest is full and the back arched. The back legs are longer than the front legs. Bedlingtons have a dense double coat of a mixture of hard and soft hair standing out from the skin. Bedlingtons will normally stand around 41 centimetres at the withers and weigh between 8 and 10 kilograms. Males are usually slightly larger than females.
The Bedlington Terrier is a good family companion and is affectionate with children. They are loyal but will become stubborn and highly strung if they consider their owner meek and submissive. They’re obsessive diggers and extremely fast runners, as far as this is concerned they are in the same league as the Whippet.
Their coats shed little or no hair, but needs regular grooming and requires specialised clipping every six weeks. It is thinned and kept close to the body to accentuate its shape. The ears are shaved closely leaving a tassel on the ends. This breed should be brushed weekly and have its ear cleaned at the same time.
This dog has a long life expectancy of around 12 to 16 years. There are some Bedlington Terriers who have bee known to live even longer. They are generally a healthy breed but can suffer from eye problems and they are also susceptible to a genetic disease, Copper Toxicosis, which can case liver failure. Genetic testing is now possible so if you are keen on having a dog of this breed ensure pups have been tested for this before you adopt one.