The Bedlington Terrier may look like a lamb in its shorn state but has the heart of a lion. The Bedlington is agile and graceful and is certainly one of the fastest of the terrier dog breeds. This terrier’s coat is a mixture of hard and soft hair with a tendency to curl. The Bedlington’s trimmed head is pear-shaped, with a narrow skull, and no stop – with a continuous line from crown to nose. This terrier can be blue, sandy or liver or any of these colours with tan markings. The dog’s ears and tail are not docked. Bedlington’s run and move with a light springy trot. Male terriers are l6 to 17 inches and female terriers are 15 to 16 inches tall at shoulder height. Bedlingtons normally weigh between 18 to 23 pounds.
Bedlington Terriers are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Herding Dog Group.
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While the origin of the breed is somewhat obscure, it is thought to have been developed in 18th century Northumberland England for hunting rats and badgers. In the early 19th century, breeders in the Northumberland town of Bedlington incorporated some Whippet bloodlines to increase its speed for racing. Bedlingtons evolved to be good watchdogs and companion dogs. The Bedlington was ranked 127th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Bedlingtons are playful and cheerful but less rowdy and calmer indoors than many of the terrier breeds. Once outside these terriers change from docile into fun-loving, fast and energetic dogs. These dogs love companionship and games but can be jealous of children and other pets. Unless Bedlingtons are raised with children and socialized early with other animals, they are probably better off with an older active couple with no grandchildren. The Bedlington barks a lot and makes a good watchdog as it is suspicious of strangers. Early socialization and obedience training will help the Bedlington overcome its timidity. Bedlingtons can be very stubborn and love to dig in the back yard. First-time dog owners who are firm and patient will do very well with this breed.
Bedlingtons like a fenced yard where they can romp and play. These terriers don’t need long exercise sessions. However they will adapt to apartment living if they get plenty of exercise. Keep these terriers on-leash when exercising as they will chase cats and other small animals when the opportunity arises.
These dogs require regular brushing at least twice per week and professional clipping every six weeks. It will be a lot cheaper if the Bedlington’s owner learns how to do the clipping and scissoring. Many dog owners opt for a slightly shaggier coat that is easier to maintain.
Bedlingtons have a long life expectancy of from 14 to 17 years. Common health problems include hereditary liver (Copper toxicosis) and kidney disease and thyroid problems. Information on these genetic diseases can be found in our article Hereditary Diseases in Dogs.
Article type: xdogbreed