Bedlington Terrier Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Temperament & Lifespan

The Bedlington Terrier dog is a beautiful and small breed of dog. It is noted for it’s similarity in appearance to the lambs. It is also known by some other names such as Rothbury Terrier, Rodbery Terrier and Rothbury’s Lamb.

The breed was originated and named after the mining town of Bedlington, Northumberland in North East England. It was originally bred to hunt vermin. And the breed has since been used in dog racing, numerous dog sports, as well as in conformation shows and as a companion dog.

The Bedlington Terrier dog is closely related to the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Whippet and Otterhound. The breed is described as a very versatile yet contradictory dog, being both good with children and ‘fit to kill any other dog of it’s weight’.

The Bedlington Terrier dogs have powerful swimming skills, comparable to those of water dogs such as the Newfoundland, and are noted for being very quick and having high endurance.

The breed was originally known as the Rothbury or Rodbury Terrier, the name Bedlington Terrier was not applied to the breed until 1825, but some dogs have pedigrees that can be traced back as far as 1782.

The first dog show with a class for Bedlington Terrier was held in 1870 at Bedlington. Bedlington Terriers shown at early shows were frequently dyed to improve the look of their fur.

In 1948, a Bedlington Terrier known as Rock Ridge Night Rocket won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The breed has a high incidence of copper toxicosis, but with the exception of eye problems, it is mostly free from health complaints.[1]

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Bedlington Terrier Dog Characteristics

The Bedlington Terrier dogs are very beautiful animals, and they are noted for their similarity in appearance to lambs. They have blue, liver or sandy coloration, all three of which may have tan points.

Their fur forms a distinctive top knot on the dog’s head. It is nonshedding and with minimal odor but needs weekly grooming to remove dead hair.

The coat of the Bedlington Terrier dog has been described as shaggy, hard, and rugged in style. And it has also been described as linty in texture, giving the breed the nickname ‘linty-haired terrier’.

The coat is made up of a combination of hard and soft hairs. It is extremely difficult to maintain a “show clip”, even for professionals, and grooming can be quite expensive.

The eyes of the Bedlington Terrier dog are almond-shaped and small, and the lips are close-fitting and lack flews. Their back must be arched, and the body should be slightly longer in length than in height.

The Bedlington Terrier dogs are smaller in size. Their average body height is between 15.5 and 16.5 inches at the withers. And their average live body weight is between 7.7 and 10.4 kg.

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Temperament

The Bedlington Terrier dogs are alert, energetic and intelligent. They are an excellent companion and watchdog. They enjoy being the center of attention and like to entertain their people. They can be aggressive toward other dogs of the same gender and will chase small furry animals.

Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them.

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Like every dog, the Bedlington Terrier dogs also need early socialization. They need exposure to many different people, sights, sounds and experiences, especially when they are young. Socialization helps to ensure that your Bedlington Terrier puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Bedlington Terrier dog is between 14 and 16 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Bedlington Terrier dogs are smaller in size. So, their diet should be formulated for a smaller sized breed with average exercise needs. You can consult with a vet in your area for better recommendation.

Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Bedlington Terrier dogs. Like most other terriers, the Bedlington Terriers also have a fair amount of energy and require regular exercise to stay fit and healthy.

The Bedlington Terrier dogs are energetic, but not rambunctious or mischievous. They love to play fetch or go on a long walk or run, but afterwards they are happy to just curl up on the couch with their family.

They are capable of running at high speeds, so a safely fenced area is important. They are not suited to living outdoors. They are small enough to be appropriate for an apartment as long as they have a safe place to exercise.

Health

The Bedlington Terrier dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

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Their common health problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder), thrombopathia, and certain eye issues. Always keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameBedlington Terrier
Other NamesRothbury Terrier, Rodbery Terrier and Rothbury’s Lamb
Breed SizeSmall
HeightBetween 15.5 and 16.5 inches at the withers
WeightBetween 7.7 and 10.4 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorBlue, liver, or sandy, or any of these with tan points
LifespanBetween 14 and 16 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginEngland