The Bedlington

Place of origin:North of England / Scottish Borders
General function:Vermin control
Average life span:12 to 14 years
Age of maturity:18 months
Height at withers:16 inches
Weight:18 to 23 lbs
Is the breed a natural guard?Will give warning
Attitude to strangers:Can be aloof
Does the coat mat?Yes, if not groomed regularly
Does the coat need professional trimming?Not necessarily, but regular trimming and care is required
Family dog?Yes, enjoys company
With other dogs?OK, but be careful
With cats?Watch it
Town or country?Either
Will they live in a kennel?Yes, but prefers house
Does the breed suffer from the cold?Hardy dog
The Bedlington is very sensitive, treat him with dignity.

Questions And Answers about owning a Bedlington Terrier


Q.   Health problems & what they are.

A.   The main thing to be aware of is an inherited disease called Copper Toxicosis. Dogs which are affected by this disease may die prematurely, or become chronically ill. As this is inherited from the parents, it is essential that potential owners ask the breeder about CT, and whether the parents, and/or the puppies have been DNA tested & ask to see the certificates breeders will not mind you enquiring it shows you will be a responsible owner. More information on CT can be found elsewhere on this web site under Copper Toxicosis.

Because of the way the gene that is Responsible for CT is transmitted all reputable breeders have tested their dogs for several generations so should be able to tell you their results with confidence. The newest test, carried out in the UK by the Animal Health Trust is quick, simple, painless and non-invasive, and at just over £50 is well worth investing in to give you peace of mind.

The Kennel Club also advise breeders to have their Bedlingtons eyes tested for Total Retinal Dysplasia as this was a problem many years ago but with selective breeding this is no longer thought to be in the breed.

But any puppies that are registered under the Assured Breeders Scheme both of the parents must have been test "clear" for Total Retinal Dysplasia

Also Cracked Pads (or "footpad Hyperkeratosis) can be found in the breed. This does not seem to be the problem it was many years ago, but you do need to be aware of it. This can be very painful for a dog as large corns and deep cracks appear in the pads of the feet and can make the dog lame. Many years ago breeders decided not to breed with any dog that was affected with this as it was thought that it would more than likely pass it on to their puppies it has now become rare in the breed. More info can be found on the Bedlington Terrier Health Group web site       


Q.     Are Bedlingtons suitable for people with asthma and allergies?


A.    Though it seems that, as with Poodles and Bichons Frises, people with asthma and allergies can tolerate Bedlington hair, but there is still the risk when you're grooming your dog that hair can aggravate your condition. You may be able to visit a Bedlington breeder in your area for a couple of hours to see how you react before you plunge in and buy one, just in the hope that you'll be able to live with it. As it can be distressing having to hand back your beloved pup because of your allergies.

Q. Are they good with other dogs and children ?


A.   Bedlingtons love being with people, and there are very few problems with them living with children but it must be remembered that young children can be rather rough pulling ears and tails and the like while most Bedlingtons will be quite happy with this others will not be so tolerant so a close eye is advisable, after all they are a terrier with teeth to match.

People see this lamb like creature and expect it to be a lap dog which some are but a true Bedlington is a working dog and can walk the moors all day they also love to curl up in front of the fire. They will generally live and play quite happily with other dogs, Bedlingtons will not go looking for a fight but if cornered they will stand their ground and will be very protective of their family.   Although not a yappy dog he will let you know when he hears a noise and when anyone is there whether it is friend or foe. Keeping more than one Bedlington is not usually a problem as they do like company but two dog dogs can be a problem once they start to mature and one wants to be top dog but as long as you let them know that you are the top dog in your house it should not be a problem.


Q. Do they need much grooming & are they easy to train?

A.  They do need a good deal of careful attention to their coats the dead hair needs to be combed through  on a regular basis not just a slick over with a soft brush which will make them look nice and fluffy but hides a great deal of problems, since they don't moult in the way other dogs do, their hair will mat up and this will make them look scruffy and knotted so a good trim about every 8 weeks or so will be needed or the dog will become very uncomfortable and can also make their skin sore, the only way to remove it if they do not receive the attention can be to have it all removed not a pretty sight but it will grow back given time. If grooming is kept up with it can be very pleasurable for the dog they do like the attention. Their ears do need particular attention hair grows well down in to the ear and can cause all sorts of problems so removing this and any wax that is present will eliminate any problems and may be a costly visit to the vets.

The club does produce an Illustrated Standard of the breed which does include a trimming chart and other useful information these can be obtained from the secretary.

As for training Bedlingtons are very intelligent and will usually be very easy to train but can also be very stubborn so you need to be very stern with them or they will soon realise they can train you.



Q. What colours do Bedlingtons come in ?

A. The Kennel Club's breed standard says that Bedlingtons can be blue, Liver or Sandy, with or without tan,    but when you see a litter of puppies for the first time and they are all black or brown depending on their colour you will understandably be confused the mother may be obviously any one of those colours, but seeing puppies can sometimes be a bit of a surprise for first-time owners. The ones with tan will also have brown legs, eyebrows and muzzles this can make them look very appealing the colour will change gradually over a period of time as the puppy's coat grows and develops. The adult coat will not stay exaxtly the same throughout the dog's life a good coat will have some degree of colour depending on whether it is Blue or Liver and changes in the seasons of the year can often apparently affect the coat along with a bitches seasons.
Q. How much do they cost ?
A. This is a matter between the breeder and the purchaser but if you are going to a reputable, responsible breeder who has taken the time to have all the tests for health related problems and also chosen the best stud dog for their bitch, has reared the puppies well and had the puppies Kennel Club registered, insured, vaccinated, wormed etc,  you can expect to pay

    a reasonable amount. It is sometimes remarked that “but we only want a pet" but it costs just as much to produce

     and rear a "pet" puppy as it does a possible Champion and hopefully you will be getting a companion who may

     be with you for 15 or 16 yrs. We'd all like to think that each and every one of our pups goes to a home

     where it will be a much-loved pet and companion first and foremost.



     Q. What about a rescue dog?

     A. The National Bedlington Terrier club has its own rescue scheme “National Bedlington Rescue” with a

      network of caring, dedicated individuals across the length and breadth of the UK who are dedicated to

      the welfare of the Bedlington, and they will be happy to hear from any potential owners

     who feel they might be able to take on a dog which has fallen on hard times. You will find elsewhere on

     this website the contact details for Sheila & Janette they will be pleased to talk to you about this.



The Bedlington Terrier Health Group website is well worth paying a visit it has a wealth of information on all health related matters.