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Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

This small-sized long-legged terrier is easily recognised - given that they are sometimes described as looking like a cross between a dog and a lamb! They have a narrow skull and a lamb-like coat.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–14 years
Weight: 8–10kg
Height: 38–43cm
Colours: Blue, liver or sandy, with or without tan
Size: Small
Kennel Club group: Terrier


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 5/5


The Bedlington is affectionate and full of fun, being loyal and gentle to their owners. They are however very much a typical terrier, and can be rather reactive as well as acting as an effective watchdog, being quite courageous once roused. In general, they will be fairly placid if they are receiving a regular amount of mental and physical stimulation.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

Originally bred from a combination of local terriers, with an outcross to both Whippets and Dandie Dinmonts, workers in the Rothbury area of Northumberland developed the Bedlington Terrier in the 18th century. A little like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the gentle appearance of the Bedlington Terrier was rather at odds with their tough working natures, and they developed a reputation as a killer of vermin, a poacher's sidekick and a fighter.

They entered the show ring in 1870 and since then their appearance and their natures have changed to give us the dog we have today.

Did You Know?

  • Originally there were two different types of Bedlington Terrier - the ones that made use of the Whippet to give them longer legs designed for chasing rabbits and hare-coursing, and the ones that used the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to give them shorter legs for going to ground. Now the Bedlington is a mixture of both.
  • Bedlington Terriers used to be known as ‘Gypsy Dogs’ as they were used by Romanies for poaching.
  • They’re often referred to as ‘the smartest and quickest’ of the terrier breeds.
  • The first ever Bedlington Terrier was called Piper and was said to still be hunting at the grand age of 14, despite being nearly blind and toothless.
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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