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Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed Information

The Bedlington Terrier is a devoted friend and keen traveler with a dose of healthy selfishness and a decent supply of good nature. The breed is recommended as companions when you want to have a terrier, but there is no desire to acquire a stubborn dominant, controlled exclusively by hunting instincts. Bedlingtons are moderately frisky, but not aggressive, ready to obey a stronger leader, but not dissolve in him, like to drive small animals, but do not get into a rage and are able to curb their own anger. And these pussies also have a standard glossy appearance, so with such a pet, you will definitely not get lost in the crowd.

Brief Information

  • Breed name: Bedlington Terrier
  • Country of origin: UK
  • Weight: 8-10 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): about 41 cm
  • Life Expectancy: 11-16 Years

Key Facts

  • Despite the fact that modern Bedlington Terriers predominantly show dogs and city companions, the breed has not lost its hunting instincts.
  • To make the Bedlington look as effective as possible, it will have to be cut every two months, which is not easy to do in the absence of a grooming experience.
  • The breed loves to bark, so dogs make good watchmen who can warn the owner in time about the presence of strangers in the house.
  • Typical terrier traits of Bedlingtons are not as pronounced as those of their congeners in the group, although they are not averse to “steer” instead of the owner, as well as to drive small animals.
  • The breed is considered rare, so in domestic kennels the choice of puppies is small, and their prices are quite high.
  • The Bedlington Terrier is the ideal dog for cleanliness perfectionists. Shedding in representatives of this family is very moderate, in addition, their hair does not fall out, which means it does not stick to carpets and clothes.
  • The Bedlingtons have mediocre learning ability and ranked 39th on Stanley Coren’s list of the most intellectually advanced breeds.


The first Bedlingtons appeared in the northern counties of England in the 18th century. Then the breed was known as the Rotbery Terrier, and gypsies and roaming circus troupes were engaged in breeding of its representatives. The ancestors of today’s Bedlingtons did not look very presentable, but they showed amazing prowess, providing gypsy families with rabbit stews all year round. The animals were also attracted to work by English slaughters. The dogs were lowered into the mine to deal with the hordes of rats and mice that lived inside and destroyed the meager meals of the hard workers.

In the 19th century, British Esquires began to acquire Rothber Terriers. One of the first to do this was William Allan and Edward Donkin, who lived in the vicinity of Northumberland and contained many breeding individuals in their possessions, which were crossed with other breeds. As for the modern name, it came to the terriers in 1825, when the Northumberland dogs took part in a demonstration hunt in the vicinity of the city of Bedlington.

Since 1859, the breed won dog shows, and the offspring of its representatives were registered in the studbooks of Northumberland County. Already in 1893, the Bedlingtons had their own national club, and four years later a separate standard was written for them. Further – more: the descendants of the Rotbery Terriers went to conquer North America, where they were warmly received and even registered with the AKC. By the way, in the era of the “stormy 20s” in the United States, the pedigree lines of Colonel Guggenheim and William Rockefeller, who raised the first American Bedlington champions, became especially famous.

Bedlington Terrier Breed Standard

The modern Bedlington Terrier is a glamorous fashion model with indescribable plasticity of movements and noble grace of the silhouette. Having tied up with a working profession in the last century, this charming woman quickly transformed into a frequenter of exhibitions and an elegant companion, with whom he is not ashamed to appear at a social gathering. Wool plays an important role in the bedlington’s aristocratic image. Fluffy, forming stylish rings on the face, it resembles a whimsical mix of “fur coats” of a lamb and a poodle.

Sexual dimorphism in the breed is pronounced. Bitches are shorter and generally more graceful than males. Male representatives have a more textured appearance and pumped up figures, but at the same time retain the natural grace and lightness of the type. The height range of dogs at the withers is from 37 to 45 cm, weight varies from 8 to 10 kg.

A light space chic Bedlington Terriers are given a haircut with smooth transitions. Thanks to this technique, the head of the dog acquires an emphatically ovoid shape, reminiscent of the skull of an alien creature.

  • Head
    The Bedlington Terrier has a narrow, round skull of good depth and no pronounced stop. The top of the head is covered by a fluffy white crest cap. The line going to the nose from the back of the head is straight, without bulges and depressions.
  • Nose
    The lobe is black or brown, depending on the color of the coat. The nostrils are well defined and large.
  • Lips, jaws, teeth
    The dog’s lips fit snugly against the long, narrow jaws. The teeth are large and strong, closing in the correct “scissors”.
  • Eyes
    The Bedlington Terrier’s shiny small eyes are set deep. An obligatory nuance is an angular incision of the eyelids, which makes the eyes look triangular. The color of the iris directly depends on the shade of the coat. In individuals of blue color, dark eyes, in tan-blue – brown-amber, in dogs of liver and sand colors – a light nut shade.
  • Ears
    The bedlington ear canal is of medium size, very thin, resembling a walnut leaf in outline. The ears are set low and lowered along the cheekbones. The skin is covered on the outside with a short, velvety coat and has neat, fringed tassels at the ear tips.
  • Neck
    The low-set neck of the Bedlington Terrier is free from bruising, is good length and widens at the shoulders.
  • Housing
    The body of the dog is muscular, flexible, in length exceeding the height of the animal at the withers. A distinctive feature of the silhouette is an arched back with a domed curve in the lumbar region. The Bedlington Terrier’s chest is deep with flat ribs. The lower abdomen and groin line are well tucked up.
  • Limbs
    Forelegs without curvature, but the distance between them at chest level is greater than at paws. The shoulders of the representatives of the breed are flattened, set obliquely; pastern slightly sloping. The hind legs of the Bedlington Terrier are more muscular and longer than the front. Hock joint well defined, without eversion. Long hare legs with plump, tightly compressed toe pads look impressive. In a calm environment, the Bedlington Terrier moves with a springy mincing step, but if necessary, it can accelerate to a swinging gallop.
  • Tail
    Bedlington’s tail is of normal length and curved. It is strong at the base, blending smoothly into a thin tip. A prerequisite is that the tail should not be carried higher than the back.
  • Wool
    The silky, dense coat does not adhere tightly to the skin, but does not bristle to the sides. In addition, the hair can curl into rings, which is especially noticeable in the area of ​​the face and head.
  • Color
    Standard suits: blue, tan blue, liver and sand (with or without tan).

Disqualifying Vices

Serious disadvantages of Bedlington Terriers are:

  • cryptorchidism;
  • non-standard color and structure of the coat;
  • brown lobe, lips and eyelids with blue or tan coat;
  • overshot or undershot mouth;
  • depigmented skin of the eyelids, nose, lips.
    Behavioral deviations from the norm are also sufficient grounds for disqualification. If the animal behaves in a cowardly or aggressive manner, it will not be allowed into the ring.


Under the angelic appearance of Bedlington, there is a classic “terrier” dog, periodically trying on the crown of the leader and terrorizing small pussies in the mood. And yet, decades of exhibition breeding were not in vain, therefore, the breed has hunting instincts, of course, but not in such an aggravated state, as, for example, in jagd terriers. The Bedlington Terrier can be called a master of transformation. This stylish handsome man transforms with equal success both into an intelligent kind-hearted person and into a cunning egoist who fiercely defends his own position.

Bedlingtons do not tend to show aggression towards a person, but sometimes a pet is able to make a test “bite” if the owner has overstepped the boundaries of what is permissible and planned an execution such as a routine vaccination or clipping. The Bedlington Terrier integrates into the society of other dogs without any problems, but this does not mean that he is ready to serve in the pack. On the contrary, this comrade will certainly respond to every provocation on the part of his fellow tribesmen, not forgetting to use proprietary evasions and sudden nibbles on the “rear” in the fight.

At home, Bedlington is practically a goodie. He is moderately playful, not sticky and always in a good mood. The breed will not turn the apartment upside down either, although its representatives are distinguished by increased energy. But it is sacred for the Bedlington Terrier to be jealous of the owner of the cats for the Bedlington Terrier, therefore, in the presence of a dog with purrs, it is better not to be tender once again. If there are children in the house, the dog is ready to take this fact for granted, but only on the terms of a polite neighborhood. If little mischief-makers regularly take out the animal, causing him discomfort, the Bedlington Terrier can fight back. Keep this in mind and try to limit communication between the pet and the children, if the latter see a living toy in the four-legged creature.

As for the famous Terrier obstinacy, she did not bypass the Bedlingtons. Well, in order to get acquainted with this character trait of a dog, it is enough to shout at it well or infringe on its rights and established habits. The dog will respond to such a “universal injustice” with moderate disobedience, or even secretly planned revenge. The rest of the Bedlington Terrier is a moderately calm and friendly companion who loves joint outings and road trips. Yes, sometimes he is not averse to loosen a neighbor’s flower bed and demonstrate the sharpness of his teeth on the upholstery, but all this is more out of boredom and idleness than out of harm.

Education and Training

It is important from the very beginning to answer yourself the question: for what purpose was the dog acquired? If this is a representative of the working lines, with whom a full-fledged hunt is planned, then the educational process will have to be combined with training elements. By the way, once having awakened hunting instincts in a Bedlington Terrier, it will not work to pacify them, so either do not start hunting with the breed at all, or do it on an ongoing basis. The owners of exhibition pets will additionally have to learn the basics of handling (exhibition demonstration of an animal), or entrust this matter to a specialist who will teach the dog a ring stance and correct movements.

Homework can be combined with trips to training grounds, but such lessons should not be mutually exclusive. Remember, the dog is obliged to obey commands in any situation, not just when the figure of a professional trainer is hanging over it. It is also better to use walks to practice the basic skills from the OKD course. True, before starting outdoor activities, the pet should be given the opportunity to run and let off steam.

Otherwise, Bedlington Terriers are trained according to the same scheme as the rest of the group, that is, they make it clear that domination over the owner will not work. The command given by the person must be executed without fail. Obedience lessons should be started from the age of two months, when the puppy is ready to master the requirements “To me!” and “Location!” At four months, you can enter more complex commands “Near!” and “Sit!” By the way, about the last command: experts do not recommend introducing it into the skills of show dogs, since in the ring animals are exhibited exclusively in a standing position.

In the first year of life, Bedlington Terriers are the most active and go for pranks, so get ready to hide wires, expensive shoes, and also cover upholstered furniture. It is better to replace all these objects with toys that the dog will bite, gnaw and scratch. If the pet has made a mistake, you cannot shout at him. Bedlington Terriers agree to recognize the leader of the pack in the owner, but do not tolerate hysterical abuse. A strict tone is enough for the puppy to realize the mistake. And of course, no retroactive punishments – animals are simply not able to realize their expediency.

Care and Maintenance

It is permissible to walk the dog in any weather – for one and a half to two hours of walking in parks and squares, the animal will not freeze. If you want to maintain a presentable appearance of the ward, buy a protective overalls for the off-season. Despite the fact that bedlingtons are neat from birth, even they are not immune from dirty splashes flying from under car wheels. However, the measure must be observed here as well. Prolonged wearing of waterproof clothing is fraught with the formation of woolen mats on the dog’s body, which do not decorate it at all.

Hygiene and Grooming

In Bedlington Terriers, abundant hair grows not only along the body, but also in the ear funnel. In this regard, once a week, the ear canal needs to be cleared of secretions, simultaneously plucking hairs that interfere with natural ventilation and accumulate sulfuric secretions. The most convenient way to remove hair from the ear is to pluck it by hand or with tweezers. If the dog is overreacting to “epilation”, it is permissible to use scissors with rounded edges.

Once a month, a Bedlington Terrier should trim its nails with a clipper or any other nail clipper. If this is not done, the claw plate will bend inward, interfering with walking and distorting the position of the legs, which is especially detrimental to show pets. It is wiser for owners who walk with animals on roads sprinkled with reagents to shoe their wards in special waterproof socks. Otherwise, Bedlington will have to heal the cracked skin of the pads after each such exit. As an alternative to walking socks, it is allowed to use protective waxes and balms for paws such as “Let’s walk!”, “Vedinol”. These products prevent the absorption of chemical compounds into the skin, protecting it from flaking and cracking.

The teeth of the breed are healthy, so for the prevention of plaque and calculus, it is enough to give your pet a solid treat like dried beef ears, cartilage or dry fortified croquettes. Good results are given by lubricating the teeth with fresh tomato juice and cleaning with a zoo, but the dog is taught to such procedures from puppyhood.

There is no seasonal molt in Bedlington Terriers. The hair is gradually renewed throughout the year, so the main pet care is to periodically comb the body with a rubber mitten or brush to avoid tangles. Puppies under one year old need to be combed out more often, since they have a more intense molt. Junior wool changes to adult, and therefore falls off faster. In addition, from the age of three months, Bedlington Terriers are cut. If you do not plan to trust this procedure to a groomer, get a hairdressing scissors, a hair clipper and a slicker brush. The last tool will come in handy for combing the dog’s lush hair before clipping and scissoring.

Most breeders prefer the classic bedlington haircut with smooth transitions and a fluffy cap on the head. However, there is also an American technique, when the dog is cut as short as possible, and the hair on the lower part of the tail, cheeks and throat is shaved. Bedlingtons trimmed by this type look very unusual due to translucent skin and a narrow “cap” on the skull. As for the patterns of dog “hairstyles”, they are easy to find on the forums of the breed. However, you will have to use the templates at least four times a year – if you cut the animal less often, there is a risk of getting a hopelessly overgrown pet in untidy mats.

You need to bathe Bedlington Terriers every 2-3 weeks. In addition, after each walk, you will have to wipe the animal’s legs and lower abdomen. To make the coat look shiny and comb better, you need to use conditioners with the shampoo. More frequent bathing is carried out when the task is to grow the coat faster – the use of softening masks and balms, as well as regular brushing, make the hair pliable and stimulate blood circulation. It is also useful to buy talcum powder or baby powder. Over time, the locks near the mouth, under the eyes, tail and on the belly of the dog acquire a brownish undertone, which can be easily neutralized if the coat is treated with talcum powder.

Important: throughout life, especially during pregnancy and lactation of puppies, the coat of the Bedlington Terrier changes its color intensity, becoming darker and sometimes lighter. This is a normal and passing phenomenon that does not need to be dealt with.


The natural Bedlington Terrier menu includes any lean meat, frozen fish fillets, low-fat sour milk products, fruit and vegetable components and cereals (rice). Vitamin complexes and dietary supplements, which are best selected on the recommendation of a veterinarian, will help to make the diet optimally balanced. Quality commercial feeds are often recommended by breeders, from super premium and up. However, it will take some time to find your ideal “drying” manufacturer.

An important nuance: many of the mineral components that make up the finished feed color the wool of Bedlington Terriers, but it is unrealistic to predict in advance how the dog’s body will react to a particular brand.

It is unacceptable to feed your pet with leftovers from your own table. In addition, sweets, smoked meats, legumes and cabbage, raw carrots, nuts, chocolate, buckwheat, sweet fruits, as well as offal (liver, kidneys) are contraindicated for the breed. Tubular bones are also not given to Bedlingtons, as are leafy greens.


The Bedlington Terrier is not the most painful breed, but it does have a predisposition to some health problems. Most often, its representatives suffer from eye diseases (glaucoma, retinal atrophy, distichiasis), protrusion, as well as dysplasia of the hip joints and ectopia of the ureters. The Bedlingtons also have a unique genetic disorder called copper toxicosis. The disease manifests itself at a young age and is caused by excessive accumulation of copper in the liver. In addition, if the pathology is not treated in a timely manner, the case is pumped up by intoxication of the body and death.

As a prevention of toxicosis, it is recommended to revise the pet’s menu and exclude copper-rich foods, as well as industrial feeds in which the copper content exceeds 10 mg / kg. It is better to give distilled and deionized water to Bedlington Terriers with a tendency to disease, and replace animal protein with easily digestible fermented milk (cottage cheese, kefir). In addition, with copper toxicosis, it is useful to introduce multivitamin complexes with vitamin K into the diet.

How to Choose a Puppy

  • Be sure to check with the litter producers. See their pedigrees, as well as genetic copper toxicosis test results, if any. Remember, individuals diagnosed with this ailment are not officially allowed to breed.
  • Choose “girl” if you are not sure of your pedagogical abilities – Bedlington Terrier bitches are more controllable and easier to train.
  • Keep in mind that Bedlington Terrier puppies are born with a dark chocolate or black coat that gets lighter as the animal matures.
  • If parental titles are important, go to dog shows where you can meet champion Bedlington owners and negotiate the purchase of a puppy.
  • Walking through exhibitions and choosing breeding individuals from which you would like to acquire offspring, pay attention to how many Bedlington Terriers are shown in the ring. It’s great if a manufacturer gets a title and an excellent mark during healthy competition. If one or a couple of contestants were exhibited at the event, there is a possibility that the judges overestimated the participants’ marks.
  • Try to get Bedlingtons from monobreed kennels or from breeders specializing in only one breed – this is more likely to get a healthy animal that has been given enough attention.

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