Let's talk Bedlington Terriers

A dog with a spring in their step who’s also a comfy couch companion? The Bedlington Terrier embodies the best of both worlds and is a wonder to look at, too. This very English breed is reserved yet not; challenge them to a race and they’ll be off like the wind, stallion-esque in their physicality. Protective of family, and friendly with both humans and animals, the playful Bedlington Terrier also likes to be the centre of attention, not a bad trait by any stretch.

Official name: Bedlington Terrier

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

Origins: England

Black and white side view of a Bedlington Terrier
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Very high
Suited to apartment living?  Medium
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *: High Family pet? *
 Compatibility with other pets Low
Can stay alone?* Medium

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

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Illustration of a Bedlington Terrier
38 - 44 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
8 - 10 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
38 - 44 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
8 - 10 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 10 months
 Adult age:  10 months to 8 years
 Mature age:  8 to 12 years
 Senior age:  From 12 years

A Bedlington Terrier running in a field


Get to know the Bedlington Terrier

All you need to know about the breed

Impressive, multifaceted, and alluring. Such is the Bedlington Terrier, who possesses an elongated head crowned with fur, a doleful gaze, an arched back, and – no other way to describe them – tasseled ears. Few breeds can strike such a pose, and it’s just the beginning of their many admirable characteristics.

Add on keen intelligence, a playful demeanour, and a dog that adores their family—and are very protective of them to boot. Expect great behaviour around children too, once trained; in fact, the Bedlington Terrier likes to be in the middle of it all. With a Terrier’s soul, how could they be anything else?

Although they started life as a sporting dog and pursuer of vermin, today the Bedlington Terrier is more often seen in the show ring than the field, proudly displaying that classy coat and regal head of theirs. They’ll chase small animals though so make sure to train them young with fellow pets, or make introductions if they come in midstream.

Very spirited, the Bedlington Terrier will run at the speed of light, but ironically, they aren’t high energy. They need moderate daily exercise, after which they’ll engage in one of their favourite activities of all: Curling up on the couch right next to you.

Two Bedlington Terriers running through a field


2 facts about Bedlington Terriers

1. I shed you not

One of the best traits about the Bedlington Terrier – and there are many – is that they hardly shed at all. Their curly, slightly crispy coat is given to losing very little hair. Keeping them combed or brushed weekly should be enough to rid them of dead hair and keep those curls looking prim and proper.

2. A coiffure with a purpose

Poodle-esque with their white curled coat, the Bedlington Terrier is distinguished by a style for a reason: Bred to rat out vermin, the “fall” on their head helped to protect them from a predator’s sharp teeth and claws, with the tassels on their ears offering a distraction, since if grabbed would give only a mouthful of fuzz. Over time, the coat stuck, by breeders who wanted to emphasise the dog’s lovely arched back, a look like no other.


History of the breed

The Bedlington Terrier came to prominence in the early 1800s in the Northumberland mining shire of Bedlington, England. A renowned ratter, the breed became known for their skill in catching vermin, especially in the coal mines of the area, and miners took to racing them as well. They garnered a fan in Lord Rothbury, a Bedlington resident, and for a while were known by the name of Rothbury’s Terriers.

By the middle of the century, Bedlington Terriers had become prominent show dogs, prized for their intriguing appearance, and had scaled the social ranks to be a dog of the elite, valued for their picture-perfect qualities.

The very arched back of the Bedlington Terrier is said to come from breeding them with the Whippet, also done to increase their stamina and speed.

The Bedlington Terrier was the 25th dog registered by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

Black and white portrait of a sitting Bedlington Terrier


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Bedlington Terriers

1. Ears

Triangular ears set low hanging flat on cheek, rounded and furry tips.

2. Coat

Signature curly coat composed of hard and soft hair, “crispy” but not wiry.

3. Body

Graceful, well-defined body with arched back.

A Bedlington Terrier adult and a puppy stood in front of long grass


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Bedlington Terrier
Groomed Bedlington Terrier stood on tarmac


Caring for your Bedlington Terrier

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The all-white curly fur and that engaging topper give the famed Bedlington Terrier breed the look of a gentle lamb. It is known to be “crispy” in parts, not wiry, and is easily maintained. Their hair grows fast so trims at least every two months are in order, with twice-weekly brushing to keep them looking good. The best part about the coat: Hardly any shedding.
Exercise for the Bedlington Terrier is quite something.  They’re said to run like the wind with a fast and graceful gait. Give them plenty of time and room to stretch their long legs with twice-daily walks, or more if you’re inclined.
Training your Bedlington Terrier shouldn’t be an issue as this is a breed that aims to please. Although a tad stubborn, it’s nothing that can’t be headed off with very early socialisation and puppy training classes. Using praise and positive reinforcement – even treats, taken from their recommended daily kibble portion – will help bring out the best in the breed as well.


All about Bedlington Terriers

The Bedlington Terrier may give off a look of quiet sophistication but this agile, athletic breed is not quite ‘calm’. They will gladly fly through a field at lightning speed, albeit at a very graceful gallop. Terriers are known to be peppy although this variety is decidedly less hyper than their Terrier relations but still spirited all the same.

Choosing the right dog for your family is important, since owning a dog is a long-term commitment and knowing what to expect when children are around is vital. Bedlington Terriers consistently rank high on lists of family-friendly dogs, for their upbeat and almost jokester demeanour (in a canine way!) as well as their affection for humans. 



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/