Bedlington Terrier

Table of Contents

The Bedlington Terrier, with its distinctive lamb-like appearance, is a remarkable blend of elegance, charm, and athleticism. Originating from the mining town of Bedlington in Northumberland, England, this breed was initially developed to catch rats within mines. However, its graceful demeanor and curly, wooly coat soon captured the hearts of the gentry, transforming it from a miner’s aid to a beloved companion among the nobility. Beneath its gentle exterior, the Bedlington is spirited and agile, making it both a delightful family pet and an enthusiastic playmate.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

11 to 16 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level

Very Low

Best For

The Bedlington Terrier, often reminiscent of a gentle lamb with its curly coat, is a testament to the perfect blend of sophistication, allure, and vigor. So, which environment or pet owner truly complements this unique breed? By understanding the inherent traits and requirements of the Bedlington, prospective pet enthusiasts can gauge if it’s the ideal match for their home and lifestyle.

The Bedlington Terrier dog breed is best for:

  1. Families with Children: Their gentle demeanor combined with a zest for play makes Bedlington Terriers wonderful companions for children of all ages.

  2. Active Individuals: Those who cherish morning jogs or long evening walks will find an eager companion in the Bedlington, given their high energy levels and love for the outdoors.

  3. Allergy Sufferers: The Bedlington’s unique wooly coat is hypoallergenic, making it a potential match for individuals prone to pet allergies. Say goodbye to sneezing and hello to cuddles!

  4. Smaller Living Spaces: Their adaptable nature and medium size mean that Bedlingtons can comfortably fit into apartments and smaller homes without feeling cramped.

For those considering adding a new furry member to their family, the Bedlington Terrier offers not just looks, but a personality that can brighten up any household.

Bedlington Terrier's Traits

Breed Characteristics

When it comes to the traits of a Bedlington Terrier, they’ve been ranked on a scale from 1 paw (minimal) to 5 paws (maximum) based on assessments from various pet professionals, encompassing a dog trainer, a vet, and a behaviorist. It’s vital to understand that while breeds have common characteristics, every dog is unique, and there can be variations even within the same breed.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Characteristics

The Bedlington Terrier’s visage is one of immediate distinction, bearing an uncanny resemblance to a lamb. Their soft, curly coat feels almost woolly to the touch and is a hallmark of their breed. This coat can present in various colors, from blue to sandy and liver, sometimes even a combination of these shades, giving each Bedlington a unique aesthetic charm.

Their body, while appearing delicate, is a fusion of strength and agility. Characterized by a slender, streamlined frame, the Bedlington boasts a distinctive arched back, hinting at its swiftness and dexterity. This physique, coupled with their tapered legs, allows them to move with a graceful, yet purposeful gait.

1. Ears
The ears are set low, hanging close to the cheek, and have a triangular shape. The tips are rounded and covered in short, fine hair.
2. Eyes
Set deep into their head, their eyes are almond-shaped and come in varying shades depending on the coat color, lending them an alert and keen expression.
3. Nose
Moderate in size and typically black or liver-colored, harmonizing with its coat, and adds to its unique facial expression.
4. Head
The breed’s head is rounded with no stop, and it narrows slightly to the nose. The top of the skull is accentuated by a topknot of soft hair.
5. Coat
One of the most iconic characteristics of the Bedlington Terrier is its fleece-like coat. This wooly texture gives it a lamb-like appearance, making it unique among dog breeds. The coat can come in various colors, including blue, liver, and sandy.
6. Build
The Bedlington Terrier has a lithe and graceful build. Its body is slightly longer than it is tall, giving it an athletic yet elegant silhouette.
7. Tail
The tail is set low, moderate in length, and tapers to a point. It’s carried low, emphasizing the breed’s balanced and proportioned appearance.
8. Weight
Male: 17 to 23 pounds (7.7 to 10.4 kg)
Female: 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9.1 kg)

Bedlington Terriers Temperament

The Bedlington Terrier is an intriguing mix of contrasts when it comes to temperament. At heart, they’re lively and playful dogs, brimming with energy and a zest for life. Their days are often filled with bursts of playfulness, and they relish any opportunity to indulge in a game or frolic in the garden. Their spirited nature makes them a hit, especially with children, and they often become the life of any family gathering or event.

But there’s a softer side to the Bedlington as well. They’re deeply affectionate creatures, forming tight-knit bonds with their human companions. Their loyalty is unmatched, and they often seek out moments of closeness, whether it’s curling up beside you on a couch or following you around the house. However, like any terrier, they have a touch of independence and can sometimes display a stubborn streak. Yet, with proper training and socialization, they’re adaptable and can fit seamlessly into various household dynamics. Their dual nature, both playful and loving, makes them a cherished pet for many.

How to Care for a Bedlington Terriers

Caring for a Bedlington Terrier requires a mix of attentive grooming, proper training, and ensuring their physical and mental well-being. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you provide the best care for your Bedlington Terrier:

Grooming a Bedlington Terrier is crucial, not only for maintaining its distinctive appearance but also for its health and comfort. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Coat Care:

  • Texture & Frequency: The Bedlington’s curly and woolly coat requires consistent attention to keep it in top shape. Brushing should be done at least once a week to prevent tangles and matting.
  • Trimming: This breed’s coat grows relatively quickly, so a professional trim every 6-8 weeks is recommended. The trimming should accentuate the breed’s unique lamb-like appearance, with special attention to the head and ears.
  • Bathing: Bathing can be done monthly or when the dog gets dirty. Using a mild, dog-specific shampoo will help maintain the natural oils in the coat and prevent skin irritation.

2. Ears: Due to their folded nature, the ears of a Bedlington can trap dirt, moisture, and debris.

  • Cleaning: Regularly check the ears for any signs of dirt, wax buildup, or infection. Use a vet-recommended ear cleaner and a cotton ball to gently clean them.
  • Monitoring: Be on the lookout for any signs of discomfort, itching, or foul odor, as these might indicate an ear infection.

3. Eyes:

  • Wiping: The eyes should be gently wiped with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge and ensure they remain clean.
  • Checking: Regularly inspect the eyes for any signs of redness, irritation, or cloudiness.

4. Teeth:

  • Brushing: Dental health is paramount. Brush your Bedlington’s teeth several times a week using dog-specific toothpaste.
  • Dental Checks: Regular vet checks will help identify any dental issues early on.

5. Nails:

  • Trimming: Their nails grow quickly, so they should be trimmed every 3-4 weeks using a dog nail clipper. If you’re unsure about trimming, seeking professional help is advised.
  • Monitoring: Overgrown nails can cause discomfort or lead to infections.

6. Skin: Regularly check the skin for any signs of irritation, rashes, or parasites. Any unusual lumps, bumps, or areas of sensitivity should be checked by a vet.

Incorporating these grooming practices into a routine ensures that your Bedlington Terrier not only looks its best but also remains healthy and comfortable. It’s also a great bonding activity between the owner and the pet!

Training a Bedlington Terrier, like any breed, is essential for ensuring a well-behaved and harmonious household companion. With their spirited and sometimes independent nature, here are some tips and considerations for training a Bedlington:

1. Start Early: Begin training as soon as you bring your Bedlington puppy home. Early socialization with various people, animals, and environments will help shape a well-adjusted adult dog.

2. Positive Reinforcement: Bedlingtons respond best to positive reinforcement methods. Praise, treats, and play are excellent rewards for good behavior. Avoid harsh corrections, as these can make the dog fearful or even more stubborn.

3. Consistency is Key: Ensure all family members are on the same page regarding commands and rules. Consistency in commands and expectations helps prevent confusion for the dog.

4. Address Prey Drive: Being terriers, Bedlingtons have a natural prey drive. It’s crucial to teach them a solid “recall” command and always supervise them in open areas, as they might chase after small animals.

5. Enroll in Puppy Classes: Puppy training classes provide an excellent foundation for basic obedience and offer a controlled environment for socialization.

6. Mental Stimulation: Bedlingtons are intelligent dogs that thrive when mentally challenged. Incorporate puzzle toys, hide-and-seek games, and training sessions that make them think.

7. Handle With Care: Regularly handle your Bedlington’s paws, ears, and mouth from a young age. This makes future grooming and vet visits much easier and less stressful.

8. Avoid Repetition: Vary the training sessions to keep them engaging. Repetitive tasks can bore a Bedlington, reducing the effectiveness of the training.

9. Address Unwanted Behaviors: If your Bedlington develops habits like excessive barking, digging, or chewing, address these behaviors early on. Redirecting their energy to appropriate outlets, like toys or play sessions, can help.

10. Reinforce Training: Even after formal training is over, continue to reinforce the commands and behaviors you’ve taught. Regularly revisiting these commands keeps them fresh in the dog’s mind and reinforces your role as the leader.

Remember, patience and understanding are crucial when training a Bedlington Terrier. Celebrate small victories, and don’t get disheartened by setbacks. With time and consistent effort, you’ll have a well-trained and loyal companion in your Bedlington Terrier.

Ensuring a proper diet and nutrition for your Bedlington Terrier is foundational for its overall health and well-being. These elegant, curly-coated terriers require a balanced diet to maintain their vitality, shiny coat, and athletic prowess. Here’s a human-crafted guide to navigate the dietary needs of a Bedlington Terrier:

1. High-Quality Commercial Dog Food: Selecting a premium brand dog food, preferably one specifically formulated for medium-sized breeds or terriers, is a good starting point. Always look at the ingredient list – the first few ingredients should be whole proteins like chicken, lamb, or fish.

2. Protein is Essential: Bedlingtons are energetic and require a good protein source. Whether it’s from commercial food, lean meats, or a combination, ensure they’re getting enough protein to sustain their energy levels.

3. Healthy Fats: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for a shiny coat and healthy skin. Sources include fish oil, flaxseed, and certain high-quality dog foods.

4. Limit Fillers: Avoid dog foods packed with fillers like corn, soy, and wheat. These can lead to unnecessary weight gain and offer little nutritional value.

5. Fresh Water: Always ensure your Bedlington has access to fresh, clean water. Hydration is as crucial for dogs as it is for us humans.

6. Homemade Meals & Treats: If you opt to prepare homemade meals, consult with a veterinarian or pet nutritionist to ensure it’s balanced. The same goes for treats – while occasional fruits like blueberries or apples can be good, always check if they’re safe for canine consumption.

7. Moderation with Treats: While it’s tempting to spoil our pets, treats should only constitute a small portion of their diet. Opt for healthier treat choices and avoid those high in salt, sugar, or artificial additives.

8. Monitor Weight: Regularly check your Bedlington’s weight. Adjust their food intake if they’re gaining or losing too much weight. Remember, a lean Bedlington is typically a healthy one!

9. Dietary Changes: When switching foods, do it gradually over a week. This helps prevent digestive upsets. Introduce the new food by mixing it with the old in increasing proportions.

10. Be Wary of Toxic Foods: Certain human foods are toxic to dogs, such as chocolates, grapes, onions, and xylitol (a sweetener). Always keep such items out of their reach and be knowledgeable about what’s safe and what’s not.

In conclusion, the diet and nutrition of your Bedlington Terrier play a pivotal role in its health, longevity, and happiness. Regular vet check-ups can further provide personalized dietary recommendations. As always, love and attention to detail will ensure your furry companion thrives!

Exercising your dog is fundamental for their physical health, mental well-being, and overall happiness. When it comes to the Bedlington Terrier, a breed known for its lively nature and nimbleness, ensuring they get the right amount and type of exercise is particularly important. Here’s a guide tailored for the Bedlington Terrier’s exercise needs:

1. Daily Walks: A Bedlington thrives on regular walks. Ideally, two walks a day – one in the morning and another in the evening – will help burn off energy and keep them content. These don’t always have to be long hikes; a brisk 20-30 minute stroll often suffices.

2. Play Sessions: Bedlingtons are playful dogs. Engage them in games like fetch, tug-of-war, or even hide and seek. These games stimulate their mind as much as their body, offering a comprehensive workout.

3. Off-Leash Time: If you have a secured yard or access to a dog park, allowing your Bedlington some off-leash time can be beneficial. They love to run, and this gives them a chance to sprint and play freely. However, be cautious of their terrier instincts; they might chase after small animals.

4. Agility Training: Thanks to their agility and intelligence, Bedlingtons excel in agility courses. Navigating through tunnels, weaving poles, and jumping hoops provide both physical and mental stimulation.

5. Swimming: Many Bedlingtons enjoy water. If yours does, swimming can be a great low-impact exercise, especially suitable for older dogs or those with joint issues.

6. Mental Exercise: Don’t forget that exercise isn’t just about physical activity. Puzzle toys, training sessions, and scent games can provide much-needed mental stimulation.

7. Socialization: Arranging playdates with other friendly dogs or visiting dog parks can be a great way for your Bedlington to socialize and play. It’s also a chance for them to learn and practice good doggy manners.

8. Monitoring & Adjustments: Always monitor your dog during exercise to ensure they’re not overexerting themselves, especially in hot weather. Be prepared to adjust the exercise routine based on their age, health, and energy levels.

9. Consistency: Like humans, dogs benefit from a consistent exercise routine. Try to keep their activity levels relatively stable day-to-day, adjusting only as needed.

In summary, ensuring your Bedlington Terrier receives adequate and varied exercise is key to their well-being. Not only does it keep them physically fit, but it also plays a crucial role in preventing behavioral issues, promoting mental health, and fostering a strong bond between you and your furry companion.

For the Bedlington Terrier, an understanding of their inherent traits and needs is essential when determining their ideal environment. This breed is unique, with a lamb-like appearance and a heart full of energy and affection. Here’s a look into the optimal surroundings and conditions for a Bedlington Terrier:

1. Living Space:
Bedlingtons are adaptable dogs and can thrive in various living situations, from spacious homes with large backyards to smaller apartments. However, regardless of space size, it’s crucial to ensure they get their daily dose of exercise.

2. Fenced Yard:
A secure, fenced yard is ideal for a Bedlington Terrier. It allows them room to roam, play, and indulge their natural curiosity safely. Given their prey drive, a well-enclosed space prevents them from chasing after small animals.

3. Family Setting:
Bedlingtons are incredibly affectionate and generally get along well with children and other pets. However, early socialization is crucial to ensure they’re gentle and well-behaved around kids and other animals.

4. Moderate Climate:
While Bedlington Terriers have a dense, curly coat that provides some protection against the cold, they’re more suited to moderate climates. Extreme heat or cold may require adjustments in their care and activity routines.

5. Stimulating Environment:
A mentally stimulating environment is vital for this intelligent breed. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and regular training sessions can keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

6. Safe Spaces:
While they are social and enjoy family time, Bedlingtons, like all dogs, benefit from having a quiet and comfortable spot to retreat to. This could be a cozy dog bed in a calm corner or a dedicated space in the home.

7. Social Opportunities:
Regular interaction with other dogs, whether in dog parks, on walks, or through playdates, is beneficial for a Bedlington’s social skills and well-being.

8. Nearby Green Spaces:
If you live in an urban environment, proximity to parks or green spaces is beneficial. These areas provide an opportunity for off-leash play and exploration.

9. Calm & Consistent Routine:
Bedlingtons thrive in environments where there’s a consistent routine. Regular feeding times, walks, play sessions, and rest periods help them feel secure and settled.

In conclusion, the ideal environment for a Bedlington Terrier is one that caters to their physical, mental, and emotional needs. While they’re adaptable and can fit into various living situations, they flourish in loving, attentive homes where their unique characteristics and requirements are understood and met.

Bedlington Terriers Health

The Bedlington Terrier, with its distinct curly coat and lamb-like appearance, is a breed that’s cherished by many for its lively spirit and endearing nature. However, like all breeds, the Bedlington has specific health considerations that potential and current owners should be aware of. By understanding these health aspects, you can ensure a long, happy, and healthy life for your furry companion.

1. Genetic Predispositions: Bedlington Terriers, like many purebred dogs, are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. One of the most notable is Copper Toxicosis. This condition involves the dog’s inability to excrete copper, leading to a buildup in the liver, which can be toxic. Regular vet check-ups and appropriate testing can help monitor and manage this condition.

2. Eye Concerns: Some Bedlingtons may develop eye issues, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or cataracts. Regular eye exams can help catch and address these concerns early.

3. Kidney Issues: While not as common, some Bedlingtons have been known to develop kidney problems. A balanced diet, proper hydration, and regular vet check-ups can aid in early detection and treatment.

4. Skin Sensitivities: The curly coat of the Bedlington is beautiful, but it can sometimes hide skin irritations or allergies. Regular grooming and checking their skin can help identify any issues like rashes or hot spots early on.

5. Hip Dysplasia: Although not as prevalent in Bedlingtons as in larger breeds, hip dysplasia can still be a concern. This condition involves a malformation of the hip joint, leading to arthritis and pain. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding excessive strain on their hips during their puppy years can help prevent this.

6. Ear Infections: Their floppy ears are adorable, but they can be prone to ear infections. Regular ear cleaning and ensuring their ears are dry after baths or swimming can help prevent this.

7. Dental Health: Regular dental check-ups, brushing, and dental chews can help prevent dental issues, which are common among many dog breeds, including Bedlingtons.

8. Regular Vet Visits: Routine vet visits, at least once a year, are crucial. These check-ups can help catch potential health issues early on, making them easier to address.

9. Diet & Nutrition: Feeding your Bedlington a balanced, high-quality diet can play a significant role in their overall health, reducing the risk of obesity and associated health problems.

The Bedlington Terrier is a relatively healthy breed, being aware of their specific health concerns and proactively addressing them is essential. With regular care, vet check-ups, and a loving environment, your Bedlington can enjoy a long and vibrant life by your side.

Bedlington Terriers Breed Comparison and Consideration

When contemplating the addition of a new furry family member, understanding breed specifics can be immensely helpful. The Bedlington Terrier, with its distinct look and personality, offers certain attributes that may or may not align with every household’s needs. Here’s a comparative analysis of the Bedlington Terrier against some other popular breeds to help you weigh your options:

Bedlington Terrier vs. Other Popular Breeds:

1. Size & Appearance:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Medium-sized with a unique lamb-like appearance, curly coat, and distinctive arched back.
  • Labrador Retriever: Larger in size, with a short, dense, water-resistant coat and an athletic build.
  • Poodle: Comes in standard, miniature, and toy sizes with a curly or corded hypoallergenic coat.

2. Temperament:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Lively yet gentle, affectionate, and generally good with children and other pets.
  • Golden Retriever: Friendly, intelligent, and devoted. Known for their gentle temperament, especially with kids.
  • Bichon Frise: Cheerful, playful, and great as a companion dog, but can be quite vocal.

3. Exercise Needs:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Requires moderate daily exercise, content with walks, and playtime.
  • Beagle: Energetic, with a strong sense of smell. Needs regular exercise to prevent boredom.
  • Dachshund: Despite their small size, they are active and require regular play sessions and walks.

4. Grooming:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Demands regular grooming sessions to maintain its curly coat and prevent matting.
  • Shih Tzu: Long, flowing coat that requires daily brushing and regular grooming.
  • Chihuahua: Comes in short and long-coat varieties; the latter requires more frequent grooming.

5. Health Considerations:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Prone to conditions like Copper Toxicosis. Regular health check-ups are advised.
  • Siberian Husky: Generally healthy but can have issues like hip dysplasia and cataracts.
  • Boxer: Can suffer from ailments like cardiomyopathy and certain types of cancers.

6. Lifespan & Longevity:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Typically lives between 12-14 years.
  • German Shepherd: Average lifespan ranges from 9-13 years.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Usually lives between 9-15 years, depending on health and care.

7. Training & Intelligence:

  • Bedlington Terrier: Smart and trainable but can have a stubborn streak. Consistency is key.
  • Border Collie: Highly intelligent and often termed as the most trainable breed.
  • Pug: Smart but can be a tad stubborn, making training slightly challenging at times.

In summary, while the Bedlington Terrier offers a unique set of characteristics that make it stand out, it’s essential to weigh these against other breeds based on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and the kind of companion you seek. Consider factors like size, temperament, grooming needs, and health considerations before making an informed choice.


Yes, Bedlington Terriers are known for their affectionate nature and generally get along well with children. However, it’s always recommended to supervise interactions between any dog and young children to ensure safety for both.

To maintain their distinct curly coat and prevent matting, a Bedlington Terrier should be groomed every 6-8 weeks. Regular brushing at home, at least a couple of times a week, is also advised.

Yes, Bedlington Terriers have a genetic predisposition to conditions like Copper Toxicosis. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor and manage this and any other potential health concerns.

Yes, Bedlington Terriers can adapt well to apartment living, given they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Their moderate energy levels and size make them suitable for smaller spaces, but they still appreciate outdoor time.

Generally, Bedlington Terriers can get along with other dogs and pets. However, early socialization is crucial. Due to their terrier heritage, they might have a higher prey drive, so caution is advised around small animals like hamsters or birds.

Bedlington Terriers are intelligent and can be quick learners. However, they may display a stubborn streak occasionally. Consistent training, combined with positive reinforcement techniques, works best for this breed.

While they are not known to be excessive barkers, Bedlington Terriers can be vocal if they sense something amiss or if they’re bored. Proper training and socialization can help manage and reduce unnecessary barking.

Top Takeaways

The Bedlington Terrier is more than just a pet; it’s a statement in the canine world. With a silhouette reminiscent of a lamb, this breed merges grace with grit, embodying a unique juxtaposition of elegance and endurance. Originally from the mining town of Bedlington in Northumberland, England, these dogs were once fierce hunters of vermin but have transitioned gracefully into affectionate companions. Their curly, hypoallergenic coat is a blessing for allergy sufferers, but it’s their spirited yet gentle demeanor that truly captures hearts. Whether in an apartment or a countryside home, the Bedlington Terrier adapts, making them a versatile choice for varied lifestyles.

Top Bedlington Terriers Names

These are the top Bedlington Terriers names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names


Ginger Adam









Male Names











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