Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed Complete Information

Bedlington Terriers are affectionate with their owners and are popular because of their fun personalities.

Other Names: Rothbury Terrier, Rodbery Terrier, Rothbury’s Lamb

Country Of Origin: England

Dog Group: Terrier

Size: Small

Recommended For: Families, couples, single owners

Maintenance Level: Moderate

Lifespan: 12-14 years

Temperament: Spirited, intelligent, affectionate


Good For the First-Time Owner: No

Good With Children: Yes

Good With Other Animals: No

Good With Strangers: Yes

Good For Apartments: Yes

Exercise Requirements: Daily walking

Can Live In Hot Weather: Yes

Can Live In Cold Weather: Yes

Can Tolerate Being Left Alone: Yes

Grooming: Moderate

Trainability: Moderate

Breed Overview:

The Bedlington Terrier is a breed of dog originating in Britain and was originally used for hunting rats and mice.

Bedlington Terriers are:

  • Popular as a show dog,
  •  Used in racing.
  • Very athletic dog,
  • Strong swimmers.
  • Good with children
  • Known to be good family dogs.

 Colors: Liver, blue and tan, blue, sandy,  or any of these with tan markings

 Height: Males – 16-17.5 inches, Females – 15-16.5 inches

 Weight: 17-23lbs (both males and females)

Personality And Temperament:

Bedlington Terriers are brilliant dogs and have great characters.  They’re very bold and will be quick to assert their authority.

Their use as a vermin hunting dog means they’re clever and independent.

The breed is highly trainable, and its intelligence means it can learn a wide range of commands with reasonable ease.

Puppy obedience training should begin as soon as possible, and owners will need to be firm and authoritative if they want to teach the difficult dog tricks.

Also, the breed’s intelligence means they can be quite stubborn if they want to be.

They’re a very playful breed and are unlikely to be aggressive around kids. However, their small size does mean that they’re not as resilient as larger breeds.

So, owners should be careful around small children, particularly before both the dog and child have been taught proper behavior.

In terms of exercise, the Rothbury Terrier needs plenty of it.

The breed is very energetic and is perfectly happy to spend most of the day running around.

Owners should walk them for between 1 and 2 hours a day, and provide plenty of mental stimulation at home too.

Bedlington Terriers are very smart, so appreciate having something to occupy their mind.

Although the breed needs plenty of exercises, Bedlington Terriers are suitable for keeping in an apartment as long as you provide adequate training.

Owners will have to make sure they provide plenty of things for the dog to do. Make sure they keep barking to a minimum as Bedlington Terrier’s bark is described as sounding like a machine gun-which is obviously not ideal for apartment living.

Bedlington Terriers aren’t suitable for first-time owners for several reasons:

  • The first is the need for a strong will when training, which many new owners will lack.
  • The second is the breed’s grooming needs, which aren’t massive, but probably more than a first-time owner is willing to handle.

Also, Bedlington Terriers tend to bolt when out walking, which they generally consider being playing.

A Bedlington Terrier’s relationship with other dogs will vary, but the general rule is that they can be wary or jealous of other dogs.

Similarly, the breed enjoys chasing small pets, and should not be kept in a house with pet rodents.

Although Bedlington Terriers can be jealous of other dogs, they’re generally fine around other pets in the home.

Because the breed originates in England, it prefers milder and colder climates to hot ones. Its coat is thick and curly, but can easily be trimmed in the summer to help keep the dog cool.

Owners in hot areas should be careful with exercising, though, as the breed loves to run around and can overheat.

However, Bedlington Terriers love to swim, which is an excellent way of keeping them cool.

Bedlington Terriers are generally excellent around strangers but can be protective of their property.

When out walking, the breed will happily run up to people and want to play with them, but will be wary around strangers at home.

This can be overcome with early socialization and proper training.

The breed can be left alone for more extended periods and doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety like some other breeds.

Owners should begin crate training at a young age to make being left alone easier to deal with, particularly if the dog is an only pet.

If properly trained, a Bedlington Terrier will be fine to be left alone while its owners are at work.


Bedlington Terriers have short, curly fur that looks very similar to lamb’s wool. This doesn’t require any brushing but does need other specialist care.

Their coat needs to be clipped every 6 to 8 weeks to keep it looking fresh and in good condition. This can be done at home, but many owners prefer to visit a groomer.

Bedlington Terriers are a hypoallergenic breed because they don’t shed. They might shed the odd hair or two, but Bedlington Terriers are suitable for those that suffer from allergies.

Owners should check the dog’s ears and eyes regularly to prevent infection. The breed’s floppy ears are great at catching debris and so should be cleaned weekly.

Similarly, the hair around the dog’s eyes and nose should be trimmed every few weeks, so it doesn’t irritate.

Other than that, owners need to trim the dog’s nails regularly, although this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if the dog gets plenty of exercises.

Their teeth need to brush several times a week, and the dog should be given chew toys specifically for cleaning their teeth.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

 Bedlington Terriers are prone to several genetic health conditions, many of which relate to their eyes.

Common conditions include cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and epiphora. These are all quite easy to spot, and providing they’re caught early enough, are treatable or curable.

Copper toxicosis in Bedlington Terrier is also reported with the breed. It is essentially a condition where the dog is missing the genetic component that removes excess copper from the body.

The disease comes in several forms, one of which has no symptoms, and the other two can be fatal.

Copper toxicosis presents both from birth and in later life, and common symptoms include a green ring around the iris, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Breeders should screen for the condition, and Bedlington Terriers should be tested regularly throughout their lives.


The Bedlington Terrier has long been a favorite dog in northern England, particularly in Northumberland.

They were first known as Rothbury Terriers because the Earl of Rothbury kept them as pets, but they were soon bred in the village of Bedlington, which is where they get their name.

The first Rothbury Terrier was officially mentioned in 1825, but some experts believe they can trace the lineage back to the 1780s.

Bedlington Terriers were initially used for hunting vermin, and could also be found down the mines as companions.

Although the breed wasn’t mentioned until the early 19th century, it can trace its lineage back much further.

It’s believed the breed was first brought to England by Romani gypsies, as it was originally known as the gypsy dog.

As to its history before this point, no one is sure, mainly because people showed very little interest in recording that information.

In the 19th century, Bedlington Terriers were also used for hunting and course racing. It was the go-to racing dog of choice until the Whippet took over later in the century.

However, the Bedlington Terrier remained a popular choice in many other dog sports.

The breed was first shown in 1870, in Bedlington, although the practice of clipping wasn’t practiced back then. In modern competitions, entrants are expected to have clipped their dog’s coat before the show.

Bedlington Terriers become increasingly popular as companion pets throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, quickly overtaking their use as a working dog.

It’s unknown when the breed was introduced to America, but the American Kennel Club recognized it in 1886.

However, this original dog was slightly larger than the one known today.

Did You Know?

Bedlington Terrier Facts & Figures:

  • Bedlington Terriers love to dig, which is a side effect of their use as a hunting dog. Owners should be wary of this, particularly as the dog might use it as a means of escape.
  • Rock Ridge Night Rocket, a Bedlington Terrier, won best in a show at the 1948 Westminster Dog Show and was later written about in LIFE magazine. Twelve years later, one of its grand-dogs was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
  • Bedlington Terriers were regularly used as fighting dogs because of their bold nature and fearlessness. Some people still see them as aggressive, but much of this is usually down to upbringing.
  • The breed is believed to be a wide mix of other breeds, including otterhounds, Wheaton Terriers, and even the poodle to make it hypoallergenic.
  • The breed is one of “The 30 most expensive dog breeds to own”#17 on the list, but If you’re still thinking of getting one, you can adopt from rescue centers or buy from reputable breeders.

You’ll find more British Dog Breeds in the links below:

About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.