Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed Information – Appearance, Temperament, History, and More

The Bedlington terrier is a breed that’s full of grace and charm. Upon first glance, it may seem a bit strange, as it’s a dog that looks like a sheep. However, this pup makes a wonderful companion. It’s a great watchdog that’s filled with energy and love. Characterized by curly, non-shedding fur, they’re also ideal for anyone with allergies.

Getting the name from a mining area in England, they were first bred for hunting rats underground. Therefore, they have an enthusiastic side to them, lithe to their feet and quick to the chase. Lively, fun, and athletic, this animal runs with incredible speed. If you’re interested in an active pet that likes kids and adults, this terrier is for you!

Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed Pictures


What Does a Bedlington Terrier Look Like

Unique dog breeds with arched backs like this small curly terrier tend to stand out. Couple this with a pear-shaped head, curvy tail, and tasseled ears, and it’s definitely a puppy that draws attention. But their fur is in a league of its own. A one-of-a-kind mix of soft and rough hair, it feels thick and rich, but not harsh or uninviting.

A Bedlington doesn’t shed much, so it’s a great hypoallergenic friend. When trimmed, especially for show, it’s best to keep the body’s fur short and the legs’ slightly longer. Trimming, however, is an important part of this pup’s beauty regimen. Though, you should leave the face and head alone for the most part. This allows the tight curls to take center stage.

Colors include a fun palette and a tuft of hair on the head that’s lighter than other fur. White, blue, sandy, and tan are a few of the hues this animal displays. However, some can be bi-colored. An interesting feature of the breed is how puppies are dark when they’re born but lighten with maturity.


Are terriers good with kids? Yes, the Bedlington terrier personality is great for all ages. They have a friendly and sweet temperament, which makes them wonderful for adoption. A willful companion, they equally love being a snuggly couch potato or wildly running around outside.

They’ll give chase to small animals, though. However, this behavior is typically reserved for the outdoors, and will get along well with house pets, including cats. Fighting is uncommon.

Living Needs

How big is a Bedlington terrier? Thanks to its small size, this puppy is nice for any type of home. It’s a good apartment dog, as it fits well and doesn’t make a lot of noise. But it also works wonderfully in a busy household or on a farm. This is one of the most adaptable pets a person or family can choose.

Great for little kids all the way through seniors, this lamb dog breed is adorable and accommodating. Full of charm, they’re always the center of attention because of their curious nature and cute behavior. They are equal parts gentle companion and a funny clown. Loving, caring, fun, and loyal, what more could you ask for in an animal’s personality?

Bedlington Terrier

Yet, it’s important to remember that this breed was created to chase rats and other small critters. Therefore, early socialization is a must. Then they’ll get along great with other housemates! Crate training goes quite well with this terrier. Supervision around unfamiliar canines is critical, as they don’t want to fight, but they won’t back down from anything.

It’s best to keep your pup on a leash, as it might be a bit scrappy around other dogs. But they also like to run free and have a good time. Both organized and informal activities are ideal. Hiking through the woods, swimming, a simple walk, and agility contests are all smart exercise choices.


How to Take Care of a Bedlington Terrier

A nice feature of this fluffy terrier is that it doesn’t need a bath all that much. In fact, bathing will make its fur coarse. Staining around the eyes might occur, but keep the cleaning to a minimum. This isn’t to say that this hypoallergenic dog doesn’t need maintenance, though.

Ungroomed, their curls can be a mess. This unique hair needs frequent care in order to keep it in good shape. It is best to leave the cutting to an expert, as this fur is difficult to manage. Keeping it short and manageable is ideal. Every six to eight weeks, this pup will need a trim. Otherwise, it can become very hard to deal with, even for a professional.

Brushing or combing the dog should happen once or twice per week. Other upkeep measures include:

  • Watching for abnormal changes in coat or skin
  • Frequent nail trimmings, usually when the feet click on the floor

Regular teeth brushing for a healthy mouth

How to Train a Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington terrier is relatively simple to train. With their willingness to learn and eagerness to gain reward, you can’t go wrong with this breed. They seek out some sort of satisfaction, so treats, toys, positive tones, and playtime are all things they crave. As long as the rewards exist, this pup will pick up most tasks with ease.

One way to stave off their propensity for going after small animals is through constructive deterrence. Teaching the dog to observe its potential prey, look away, then earn affirmation, is what gets the job done. In no time, its mind will condition itself to associate positivity with refraining from giving chase. This will help in the household, on daily walks, or anywhere else you go.

Barking is another way to get your puppy under control. It’s fairly easy to teach a terrier how to communicate through other means. Instead of rewarding them for barking, say, when they need to go outside, reward them for calm behavior. Show them that docility is a favorable personality trait.


How Long do Bedlington Terrier Live

Their lifespan is quite long for a dog. They can live a healthy 11-16 years or more with the proper care.

Bedlington Terrier Health Issues

All animals have a susceptibility to certain medical conditions. This gypsy dog breed is no exception. Coming from a long line of certain use and purpose, they picked up some health matters along the way. All breeders should keep on top of things when it comes to exams, tests, and health records for adoption.

Problems with the liver, heart, and knees aren’t fully uncommon. Though, most of these are treatable with regular checkups. Eye examinations are important as well. This terrier has a predisposition to a number of vision complications, so regular screening is a must.

A few other diseases also seem to creep up for this pup. They’re not specific to the breed, but they’re not out of the ordinary either. These include pancreas trouble, seizures, skin allergies, and hormone malfunctions. It isn’t a given that they’ll have any of them, but it’s just something to be aware of.


How Much Should a Bedlington Terrier Eat

To keep a healthy weight, go with two meals. Don’t feed them more than 1.5 cups of dry food daily.


Where is the Bedlington terrier from? This sheep-looking dog has origins from long ago. Their roots trace all the way back to 1782, near Bedlington, England. The oldest non-broken pedigree of all terriers, they have a rich mix of characteristics. After a period of around 40 years, the dog was finally given its official name.

They rank high among odd-looking dogs. However, these puppies weren’t made for their cute and soft lamb looks. Instead, they were desired for the hunt. With their high speed, courage, loyalty, and strength, they proved themselves as ideal companions for an outing. But hunting was only one of their perceived images. They were made for much more.

Bedlington Terrier

Though filled with grace and charm, these little ones showed they were deadly with rats, mice, and other vermin. Their ideal size gave them the ability to seek out pests in small areas, particularly mines. But because of their talent and looks, others began to take notice.

The elite class in Britain saw a great worth in this fluffy head dog. Not only did they like its stylish presence, but they took note of its loyal and loving nature. These pups soon became all the rage in English manors and estates. In no time, they were the stars of dog shows around the country.

In 1877, a national club formed in England to recognize this Bedlington dog. Under ten years later, the American Kennel Club (AKC) made this canine its 25th breed. The AKC terrier group has had a true and constant following from that point until today.

Fun Facts About Bedlington Terriers

  • Both puppies and full-grown dogs need exercise, or they’ll become bored and get into trouble.
  • The Bedlington terrier’s personality responds well to training, as long as it isn’t harsh.
  • A fence is important to keep this fast puppy safe and to prevent it from going after small animals.

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