Bedlington Terrier dog image

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier originated in the mining county of Northumberland in England. Despite the lamb-like appearance, the Bedlington is all terrier. He is alert and possesses immense energy and courage.

In the 1870s, coal miners came up with a terrier-of-all-work that could swim down an otter, draw a badger, dispatch vermin, run down a rabbit and hold his own in a fight. To add to its swiftness, it was crossed with the Whippet, giving it its present-day conformation. Once known as the Rothbury Terrier, it was eventually renamed the Bedlington Terrier. The Bedlington Terrier dog breed’s gameness and talents caused it to become the poacher’s greatest asset and in some places, it’s still known as the Gypsy Dog. In time, it was adopted by the elite and developed into the stylish pet we see in the show rings today.

Bedlington Terrier dog breed

Bedlington Terrier

General Appearance: A graceful, lithe, well-balanced dog with no sign of coarseness or weakness. Noteworthy for endurance, Bedlington Terriers also gallop at great speed, as their body outline clearly shows.

Bedlington Terrier Temperament: In repose, the expression is mild and gentle, not shy or nervous. Aroused, the dog is particularly alert and full of immense energy and courage.


Height: The preferred Bedlington Terrier dog measures 16-1/2 inches (42 cm) at the withers, the bitch 15-1/2 inches (39 cm). Under 16 inches or over 17-1/2 inches for dogs (40 cm & 45 cm), and under 15 inches or over 16-1/2 inches for bitches (38 cm and 42 cm) are serious faults. Only where comparative superiority of a specimen outside these ranges clearly justifies it, should greater latitude be taken.

Weight: To be proportionate to height, within the range of 17-23 lb. (7-10 kg).

Coat and Colour:

Coat: A very distinctive mixture of hard and soft hair standing well out from the skin. Thick and linty, crisp to the touch but not wiry, having a tendency to curl, especially on the head and face. When in show trim must not exceed 1 inch (3 cm) on the body; hair on legs is slightly longer.

Bedlington Terrier puppies

Bedlington Terrier puppies

Colour: Blue, sandy, liver, blue and tan, sandy and tan, liver and tan. In bicolours the tan markings are found in the legs, chest, under the tail, inside the hindquarters and over each eye. The topknots of all adults should be lighter than the body colour. Patches of darker hair from an injury are not objectionable, as these are only temporary. Darker body pigmentation of all colours is to be encouraged.

Head: Narrow, but deep and rounded. Shorter in skull and longer in jaw. Covered with a profuse topknot which is lighter than the colour of the body, highest at the crown, and tapering gradually to just back of the nose. Muzzle: There must be no stop and the unbroken line from crown to nose end reveals a slender head without cheekiness or snipiness. Strong muzzle well filled up with bone beneath the eye. Nose: Nostrils large and well defined. Blues and blue and tans have black noses. Livers, liver and tans, sandies, sandy and tans have brown noses. Mouth: Jaws long and tapering. Close-fitting lips, no flews. Teeth: Large, strong and white. Level or scissors bite. Lower canines clasp the outer surface of the upper gum just in front of the upper canines. Upper premolars and molars lie outside those of the lower jaws. Eyes: almond shaped, small, bright and well sunk with no tendency to tear or water. Set is oblique and fairly high on the head. Blues have dark eyes; blue and tans, less dark with amber lights; sandies, sandy and tans, light hazel; liver, liver and tans, slightly darker. Eye rims are black in the blue and blue and tans, brown in all other solid and bicolours. Ears: Filbert shaped, triangular with rounded tips. Set on low and hanging flat to the cheek in front with a slight projection at the base. Point of greatest width approximately 3 in (8 cm). Ear tips reach the corners of the mouth. Thin and velvety in texture, covered with fine hair forming a small silky tassel at the tip.

Neck: Long, tapering neck with no throatiness, deep at the base and rising well up front the shoulders. The head is carried high.


Bedlington Terriers

Forequarters: Shoulders flat and sloping with no excessive musculature. Upper and lower arm lithe and muscular. Forelegs are straight and wider apart at the chest than at the feet. Pasterns: slight bend to pasterns which are long and sloping without weakness. Feet: long hare feet with thick, well-closed-up, smooth pads. Dewclaws may be removed.

Body: Muscular and markedly flexible. Topline: The back should be roached and the loin markedly arched. Body slightly greater in length than height. Chest deep, flat-ribbed and deep through the brisket, which reaches to the elbows. Loin, croup, abdomen: the arch over the loin creates a definite tuck-up of the underline.

Hindquarters: Hip bone and upper thigh, lower thigh: well-muscled quarters are also fine and graceful. Hocks strong and well let down, turning neither in nor out. Stifles well angulated. Feet: as in forefeet.

Tail: Set low, scimitar-shaped, thick at the root and tapering to a point which reaches the hock. Not carried over the back or tight to the underbody.

Gait: Unique lightness of movement, springy in the slower paces, not stilted or hackneyed, must not cross, weave or paddle.

Faults: Shyness, nervousness. Dogs over 17-1/2 inches (45 cm) or under 16 inches (40 cm), bitches over 16-1/2 inches (42 cm) or under 15 inches (38 cm); wiry coat; head too wide or lacking correct proportions; cheekiness, snipiness; overshot or undershot; large eyes, too light eyes in blues; ears set high; too short neck, throatiness; steep shoulders, too narrow chest, shallow chest, splayed feet, lack of arch over loin, hocks turning in or out, lack of rear angulation; tail carried over back or tight to the underbody; stilted or hackneyed gait, crossing, weaving or paddling.

Link: Bedlington Terrier club

Bedlington Terrier Dog