Bedlington Terrier: Guide to a Unique Dog Breed

Published February 18, 2021
Two Bedlington Terrier posing in a studio

The Bedlington terrier is one of the fastest breeds of its kind. This dog looks like a miniature version of the Scottish Deerhound. The Bedlington terrier puppy is off the charts adorable, but the coats require a lot of upkeep, so pet parents need to prepare for intense grooming sessions.

Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed

The Bedlington terrier originated in England and was bred in Northumberland, some with pedigrees tracing back to the eighteenth century. The breed is good with children and other dogs, easy to train, and affectionate. A lot of grooming is required, and maintaining the coat is a big commitment.

Origin and History

The breed's original name was the Rothbury or Rodbury terrier until around 1825 and then renamed the Bedlington terrier. This breed is thought to contain bloodlines from the whippet, Scottish terrier, and Dandie Dinmont breeds. With that in mind, this terrier breed hunts rabbits, foxes, and badgers above ground.

Tenacious Terrier

The breed is known as tenacious with a typical terrier spirit, and many pet parents say this dog usually is quiet. What is the most common saying about this breed? The Bedlington terrier has "the look of a lamb but the heart of a lion."

Bedlington Terrier, Portrait of Adult


The Bedlington terrier is affectionate with his family. Bred for endurance and speed, owners must be vigilant about walking this dog on a leash. He is highly intelligent and enjoys games as well as tricks.

Exercise and Places to Dig

The Bedlington terrier needs a place to dig and a safe place to run. He excels at several dog sports and American Kennel Club (AKC) events. The terrier's hunting skills are always "on," and he may excel at activities including earth dog and coursing ability tests.


This breed is typically born dark, and the coat color fades with age. This dog's coat turns into a pale, bluish-gray, blue, sandy, or liver with or without tan markings. The Bedlington's topknot is a preserved characteristic of the breed.

  • Size: Between 16 and 17 inches
  • Weight: Between 18 and 22 pounds
  • Coat colors: The non-shedding coat may be sandy or liver with tan markings.
Bedlington Terrier in the sun


This dog's coat is high-maintenance! Regular grooming is vital, and a breeder or professional groomer may teach a dog owner the skills needed.

Ungroomed Bedlington Terrier

Groomers may teach owners to clip the coats as the breed needs regular trimming. There is a unique clip for show dogs with long hair on the face and legs and tassels on the ears. A pet parent may decide if the show dog appearance is a priority. The unique clip is beautiful!

Health Concerns

This breed is more prone to copper toxicities than most other dog breeds. Many small dogs share similar health issues as this terrier, so pet parents need to talk with the vet during an annual exam about possible concerns. A breeder will conduct a number of tests.

  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Cardiac exam
  • Patella evaluation

Best Diet for a Bedlington Terrier

The best diet for a Bedlington terrier may vary, but all pet parents need to consider food with high-quality ingredients. This active breed may burn a lot of calories if your dog is involved in canine sports. Always talk to your vet about the best diet for your dog. You always want to watch for obesity, so make sure your small breed does not become overweight.

Training Bedlington Terrier with treats

Caring for Your Senior Bedlington Terrier

This breed lives between 14 and 15 years old. This terrier is a generally healthy breed with the potential for a long, happy life! As your terrier ages, visit the vet at least twice a year. Older dogs may experience joint issues due to arthritis or may need lab work.

About the Terrier Group

All terriers are fearless and energetic breeds. The terrier group takes its name from the Latin word terra or soil, referring to the original use of various types of small dogs as hunters of underground dwellers. The Bedlington terrier is part of this wonderful group of dogs.

Businesswoman with dog standing against colleagues

Work With a Reputable Breeder

The American Kennel Club is an excellent resource for pet parents looking for reputable breeders. There are many questions pet parents need to ask a breeder when researching terriers, and the Bedlington terrier is no exception.

About the Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington terrier is a swift and tenacious terrier. Pet parents need to work with a groomer to understand the regular coat trimming requirements and whether the show cut is a priority. The terrier needs at least two daily walks and perhaps involvement in a dog sport, so he does not become bored. The unique look of the Bedlington terrier a lot of fun for dog lovers!

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Bedlington Terrier: Guide to a Unique Dog Breed