Photo by © Sofie Karman

Bedlington Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: United Kingdom
Colors: Blue, sandy, liver, dark brown/black, sable
Size: Small
Type of Owner: Novice
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Tends to be dog-aggressive
Dominance: Low
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

The Bedlington Terrier is a graceful dog with a recognizable lamb-like appearance. The body is lithe, muscular, and well-balanced, with no sign of coarseness or weakness. The head is pear-shaped and narrow but deep and rounded at the same time. It descends in an unbroken line from crown to nose. The muzzle is strong with no stop. The almond-shaped eyes are small, deep-set and bright, with no tendency to tear or water. The teeth meet in a level or scissor bite. The low set ears are triangular with rounded tips. The chest is deep and the back is arched. The front legs are slightly shorter than the back ones. The tail is set low, thick at the base and tapering to a fine point. The Bedlington has a unique springy gait, especially when it moves slowly.
These dogs usually weigh 17 to 23 pounds.


Bedlington Terriers are known to have a good nature and mild manners. But even though they look like lambs, they have the heart of a lion. Once outdoors and excited, they change from docile couch potatoes to fearless explorers. Like all true terriers, Bedlingtons are self-confident and somewhat bold. They are very playful and loyal to family members. A Bedlington's perfect environment includes access to a safe area where it can play, dodge and gallop at the breathtaking speed.
Loving and affectionate, Bedlington Terriers are good with considerate children, particularly those within their own family. These dogs tend to be slightly more reserved with strangers, but they are not considered overly shy or aggressive. An early socialization is required. Like many terriers, the Bedlington likes to bark and chase smaller animals. If your Bedlington is expected to live with other dogs or cats, a good introduction at the puppyhood is very important. True to its terrier nature, Bedlingtons can be a bit willful, so training and exercise are important to raise a happy and obedient companion.

Coat and grooming

Bedlingtons have a very distinctive mixture of hard and soft hair standing well off the skin. It is crisp to the touch but not wiry, with a tendency to curl. The hair on the legs is slightly longer. Shedding is extremely little in this breed. The coat requires daily grooming and clipping every six weeks.
The possible colors are blue, sandy, liver, dark brown/black, sable. The pattern can be solid or with tan markings that may appear over the eyes, on the chest, legs and under the tail.
Bedlington Terriers have a pear-shaped head that descends in an unbroken line from crown to nose.

Photo by © Bill Storey


Bedlington Terriers may have a serious inherited liver problem known as Copper Storage Disease. They are also prone to hereditary kidney disease, PRA, thyroid problems and eye problems, such as cataracts and retinal disease.
An average lifespan is 10 to 12 years. Some individuals can live up to 17 years.

Other interesting facts

- Bedlingtons are considered good for allergy sufferers.
- The breed is rather difficult to find.