Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier


Group: Terrier Group

Origin: Great Britain


    – Male: 16.5 inchea (42 cm)
    – Slightly less for a female

Weight: Approximately 17-23 lbs (8-10.5 kg)

Bedlington Terrier
Boulevardier Sireel Prunella
Photo: Sireel

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Breed Profile

The Bedlington Terrier, originally known as the Rothbury Terrier, comes from the North of England and was bred to control vermin. The breed is believed to share the same ancestry as the Dandie Dinmont and thought to be first known towards the end of the 18th century. During this time, he was popular with coal miners who cross bred what was known as the Rothbury with the Whippet which eventually gave him today’s Bedlington appearance. With this cross-breeding, the miners had developed one of the gamest of Terriers — one who was able to swim down an otter, course a rabbit, as well as fight in the pit.

The National Bedlington Terrier Club was formed in 1875 and 20 years later, the first breed standard was written. Since then, the breed has been transformed from the rough-looking working terrier that he once was to an elegant and gentle show dog and companion.

In appearance, the Bedlington is truly unique with his wooly coat, tasseled ears and the arched back of a Sighthound. In temperament as well, the Bedlington is unlike most of his other Terrier counterparts — He is a bit more sensitive and a lot more quiet. However, once aroused, the true Terrier spirit is very much apparent. The Bedlington is well known for his speed and endurance. He excels in obedience and is very easily trained. He loves to play, is graceful, alert, intelligent and entertaining. Overall, the Bedlington is a wonderful and loyal companion for people of all ages.

Health Issues

The most significant hereditary health problem found in the Bedlington Terrier breed is Copper Toxicosis — In Bedlington Terriers it is an inherited defect in the metabolism of copper and known to cause Chronic Hepatitis. It is estimated that 25% of Bedlingtons have this disorder and 50% are carriers. Affected dogs develop a slowly progressive liver disease. This disease can be fatal and initial symptoms may be vague but can include loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, and/or increased drinking and urination. As the disease progresses, signs are more specific to liver failure. The Bedlington can also be affected by Retinal Dysplasia in the detached or geographic form. With this condition, there is an abnormal development of the retina which is present at birth. The disorder can be inherited or acquired from a viral infection.

If you are considering the adoption of a Bedlington Terrier puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Bedlington Terrier, the CHICNote 1 database includes health screenings for the following:

  • Copper Toxicosis;
  • Patellar Luxation; and
  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist at a minimum of one year of age.

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Bedlington Terrier coat is very dark at birth becoming lighter with maturity. The coat is non-shedding but does require frequent combing and needs to be trimmed about every two months.

  • Grooming the Bedlington
  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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