AKC Group: Terrier
Originally known as the “Rothbury” or “Rodbery Terrier” from a female that settled in with a family from Rothbury. These terriers hunted rodents underground and worked alongside Foxhounds. Bedlingtons were used to develop the Kerry Blue Terrier.
Size: 15 to 17 inches; 17 to 23 pounds.
Color: Blue, sandy or liver; may have tan points or not. Bedlington puppies are born dark and lighten to their adult color by their first birthday.
Life span: 12 to 17 years.
Health problems: Liver problems, specifically copper toxicosis or copper storage disease. These are genetic diseases that allow copper to build up in the liver to cause cirrhosis or death. Responsible breeders are careful to breed lines without the disease, but, if you take on a Bedlington, have him checked by your vet as an early warning sign.
Bedlington Terrier look like lambs. They have a pear-shaped head that is narrow, but deep and rounded. The muzzle is strong. The almond-shaped eyes are small. Low-set ears are triangular with rounded tips. Chests are deep with an arched back. The back legs are longer than the front. Tails are low set and taper to a point. Their dewclaws are usually removed. They have thick double coats with their long hairs and short hairs mingling all over their bodies.
Bedlingtons are graceful, lithe dogs with a mild and gentle disposition. When aroused, Bedlingtons are extremely alert and full of energy. They can gallop at great speeds. Bedlingtons are known for being one of the calmest of terriers. Smart and attentive, they are one of the most reliable terriers. They are adept at problem-solving and make a loyal companion for families.
Bedlingtons are incredibly affectionate and deeply devoted dogs. Cheerful, playful and lively, a Bedlington can get along with cats or other dogs (no domineering or threatening companion dogs please). They tolerate strangers well. They even make adequate watchdogs. When challenged, a Bedlington is a frightening dog to behold.
Your Bedlington requires specialized clipping every six weeks. If you can’t afford that much on a groomer, you’d better learn how to groom him yourself. His coat needs to be thinned and clipped lose to his head and body. Shave the ears close. The legs can be left slightly longer. Regular brushing is essential as is regular ear cleaning. An occasional bath will keep your Bedlington’s coat from becoming lank. Bedlingtons are considered good for allergy sufferers.