A breed with the “look of a lamb and the heart to of a lion,” the Bedlington Terrier is quite a unique dog. Best Bully Sticks is amazed at the distinctive look, attitude and features of this dog that truly puts this dog in a class of its own. BBS thinks you’ll be equally delighted in this friendly but feisty breed.

History & Background: The Bedlington Terrier is named after a mining town, Bedlington, in the county of Northumberland, England where it was first bred. This dog was first called the Rothbury or Rodbery Terrier after an area on the English coast where one of the first ancestors of this breed was kept for studding. This breed was originally used to hunt rodents in the mines and then later for racing. The Bedlington was also used as a hunter for foxes, hares and badgers because of its build for speed. It’s said that the Bedlington could have been the ancestor of the Irish Kerry Blue Terrier. This breed was recognized early on by the AKC in 1886.

Height: Males: average of 16 ½ inches; Females: average of 15 ½ inches

Weight: 17 to 13 pounds

Coat: The Bedlington’s coat is somewhat odd because it is made up of both soft and hard fur. The hair stands away from the body and curls, especially on the head and face. Some say this breed’s coat has a “lint” texture. Even more distinctive is the cut of this terrier. When this dog has been groomed for the show ring, the body coat doesn’t exceed 1 inch, however the face, ears and legs usually have longer hair. Pared with the shape of this terrier’s head, this cut makes the Bedlington look much more like a lamb than a dog.

Color: This terrier has a graying gene that affects the coloring of the dog as it ages. When a Bedlington is born, coloring ranges from black and dark brown then fades as the dog ages to blue, liver and sandy colors, which are the main colorings. Again, these light coloring help give the terrier the look of a lamb. This dog can sometimes sport tan points paired with one of the three main colors.

Appearance: Despite it’s gentle appearance, this lamb-like dog has a powerful body shape and is built for great endurance and speed. In basic looks however, this breed is less like a terrier and more like a sight hound. The Bedlington has a wedge-shaped head, with small but very alert and piercing eyes. The ears are triangular with rounded tips with the distinctive tuft of fine fur at the ends of the ears. The tail is thick at the base and curves down then back up, tapering at the point; much like a scimitar.

The front legs (shoulders, upper and lower legs) on the Bedlington are unique as well, so much so they’re not like any other breed. This dog’s legs are closer together at the feet than at the elbows. This makes for a triangular appearance when viewed from the front and lets the Bedlington turn on a point and crawl in tight places when hunting.

Temperament: Named as one of the most reliable terriers, the Bedlington has an overall good nature. This dog is less rowdy and noisy than it’s other terrier counterparts yet has the fearlessness and energy level of a terrier. That being said, this dog needs plenty of exercise to keep from being overly rambunctious, destructive or high strung. This dog is good with families and children and is a loyal, cheerful and amiable companion. It’s in the Bedlington’s nature to run and chase, so training this dog to come when called is very important.

Health: The Bedlington Terrier is most prone to a liver disease called Copper Storage Disease, or Copper Toxicosis. This is an inherited disease that is caused by excess accumulation of copper in the liver. Other health concerns include heart murmur, thyroid issues, and eye problems, like cataracts and epiphora. The Bedlington Terrier usually lives anywhere between 13-17 years.

Product Suggestions: Best Bully Sticks thinks the Bedlington Terrier needs a toy to match the cuteness of its breed, but is tough enough to withstand this dog’s energy and tenacity. Of course, BBS has the perfect solution: the Chipmunk Wool Dog Toy from A Cheerful Pet. This realistic chipmunk toy will heighten this dog’s hunting instinct while holding up to hours of play. Halo Liv-A-Littles 100% Chicken Breast Protein Treats are great treats for this small dog because not only are they healthy, but they’re just the right size.

Read about more interesting dog breed stories in BBS Breed Spotlight archives!

Do you own or know a Bedlington Terrier? Tell us your favorite Bedlington Terrier story in the comments section!