The Bedlington Terrier.


In this Holidays 4 Dogs article about different dog breeds, we take a look at the The Bedlington Terrier. This little fellow is an unusual and quirky breed of dog suitable for all sorts of families. Read on to find out more.

Often mistaken for poodles, the Bedlington terrier comes from a tough working background. Originating from Northumberland, the Bedlington was bred as ratting dog. Although you may not think it given their soft, woolly appearance.


Underneath the fluffy, wool coat, these little dogs very much resemble a whippet frame than the terrier. Indeed, they are extremely fast and agile dogs. It is, therefore, unsurprising they became a favourite with coal miners who used them not for vermin control, as well as the sport of racing.

It is thought that the whippet, dandie-dindmont and soft coated wheaten terriers all contribute to the Bedlington’s genetic make-up.

In the 1900’s the dog became popular as a pet and companion dog. During this period they were trimmed to give the coat the effect of a lamb.

Character and temperament.

Breeders and enthusiasts of today describe the dog as having, “the look of a lamb with the heart of a lion”.

Bedlington’s can make excellent family pets, having sweet and happy temperaments. They are calmer and more laid-back than other types of terrier, such as Jack Russell’s or Yorkshire terriers. However, like terriers in general, they do need to be socialised well with people, other dogs and small animals. Their instincts to hunt and chase are still very strong.

They are quite an energetic breed and will take a fair amount of exercise once fully grown. For the family looking for a small but work-man like breed, the Bedlington could easily fit the bill, since they are more robust than they look. Their coat sheds very little but they do require regular clipping to keep the coat manageable and free from matting – usually around every 6 – 8 weeks.


Hemmy making himself at homeUnfortunately, like many other breeds they do suffer from inherited diseases – Copper Storage disease, or Copper Toxicosis. As the name suggests this is typified by an excess of copper in the liver.

When choosing a Bedlington puppy, it is essential to purchase from responsible breeders who have carried out these tests on their stock.

These are gregarious and faithful little dogs which will fit well into many different lifestyles. However, it is important to appreciate and acknowledge their working heritage and instincts and provide these dogs with enough exercise and mental stimulation. While they look cute and fluffy, they are not necessarily couch potatoes.