Bedlington Terrier looks like a stuffed toy, but this dog breed is a game little hunter. In England, the breed was used to kill badgers, foxes, and other vermin. Named for the mining village where the breed was popular, this dog did not reach the public’s attention until the late 1800s when the National Bedlington Terrier Club (England) was formed.
Bedlington Terriers stand 15.5 to 16.5 inches tall and weigh 17 to 25 pounds. They have narrow heads crowned by a topknot of coat, which is lighter in color than the rest of the coat and tapers down the face to just behind the nose. The eyes are small, and the ears are triangular and hang flat. The chest is deep, and the back arches to the hips. The coat has a mixture of both hard and soft hairs and has a tendency to curl. It may be blue, sandy, or liver-colored, with or without tan markings.
The Bedlington Terrier breed can be a challenge to learn to groom, and most pet owners would do well to ask their dog’s breeder to show them how. The topknot on the face must be shaped, and the coat must be trimmed on the body. Show dogs can have no more than 1 inch of coat on the body, although the legs can have a slightly longer coat.
Bedlington Terriers are not as active as many other terriers. A good walk morning and night, with a playtime in between, will keep most of these dogs happy. If allowed to run off leash, they must be in a safe, fenced-in yard. These dogs can be enthusiastic hunters and will chase rabbits, squirrels, or running cats.
Training should begin early so that dog and owner can bond and the Bedlington Terrier can be socialized to other dogs. Training is often a challenge, so the owner should be patient and keep the training structured yet fun. The Bedlington Terrier is a scrappy little dog, yet she enjoys the comforts of home, too. She can be dog-aggressive, especially to dogs of the same sex. She can be good with cats but cannot be trusted not to chase them. Health concerns include copper toxicosis, eye problems, and kidney disease.