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Bedlington Terrier | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Bedlington Terrier

Height: 15 – 16 inches
Weight: 17 – 23 pounds
Lifespan: 14 – 16 years
Colors: White, blue, tan, silver, liver, sandy, and bi-colored
Suitable for: Families with older children, apartments or houses, moderately active people
Temperament: Playful and intelligent. Friendly, alert, and loyal. Happy, affectionate, and stubborn

Have you been looking for a canine companion that looks sweet as a lamb but sports a spunky and independent nature? Look no further than the Bedlington Terrier. This purebred pooch is intelligent, playful, and loves to be in the spotlight. They enjoy being part of the family, romping outside, and cuddling on the couch.

The Bed Terrier has many facets to their personality, and each one will have their unique traits. If you are considering adopting one of these sweet yet fierce furballs, you have come to the right place. With the help of canine experts, owners, and research, we have compiled a detailed overview of this breed you don’t want to miss.

Below, you will find the answers to all your Bedlington Terrier questions. We will share details on their personality, grooming care, training, and health care needs. We have even given you some info on their puppy years, and the best way to go about adopting one of these playful pooches.

Keep scrolling below to find out whether this breed is right for you and your family.


Bedlington Terrier Puppies

Bedlington terrier puppy
Image credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

Like most dogs, the puppy years are the cutest yet most difficult years for the owner. This curly haired little purebred is full of energy, curiosity, and bravery. They are ready to chase, chew, tackle, and get into as much trouble as possible. They are also likely to snooze on your lap, and quickly learn how to make you laugh. Even at a young age, they like to be the center of attention.

The Bedlington Terrier also needs to be socialized early. Exposing them to as many sights, smells, people, and animals as possible is important for their development. You will also want to provide them with a lot of chew toys and playtime. This breed can be destructive as a puppy, so you want to encourage them to gnaw their teeth on toys rather than your shoes.

Before you can bring this snarling little beast home, you need to decide where you are going to adopt them.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Bedlington Terrier

1. The Hunter

The Bedlington Terrier originated as a hunter of vermin and small rodents. They were also a field dog used to fetch and run small prey to ground.

2. The Lamb

The Bedlington Terrier is well known for their remarkable lamb-like appearance. They have been mistaken for the latter on more than one occasion and given many a farmer a start when their gentle lamb lets out a mighty bark.

3. Their Fur

This pure breed has an interesting and unique mix of course and soft fur. It is typically curly on the legs and face and has a crunchy-like feel to it. It also needs to be clipped regularly to keep the lamb-like appearance.

Bedlington terrier laying in grass
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Bedlington Terrier 🧠

This small dog has many qualities that make him a great companion. They are intelligent, spunky, and love to be the center of attention. They know just how to grab the spotlight and keep it! They thrive on learning tricks to keep you entertained and laughing. They are also eager to be part of the family regardless of the activity.

This small canine has a moderate activity level. They will happily follow you on a jog but be just as happy lounging on the couch. They like to snuggle and be affectionate, but they also have an independent nature. This pup is not prone to separation anxiety, and you can leave them alone as long as they have their basic needs met.

Besides that, this pup is very friendly to strangers. They are eager to make friends and show off their tricks. That being said, they are also very astute. The Bed Terrier is a great judge of character. They will let you know when they feel someone is shady, which incidentally, makes them a great guard dog.

Due to their hunting past, this little guy is alert and agile. Though they excel at playing the clown, they can also have a stubborn streak. You will find they are not likely to back down from a fight, either. They may look like a lamb, but they have the nature of a lion.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Bedlington Terrier is a great family dog. They enjoy the normal, daily activity of a busy family. As they are small in stature, they are comfortable in apartments, as well as, houses. If you have a backyard, you will want to keep them on a runner if you don’t have a fence, however, as they will chase smaller animals.

You also want to note that this pooch is better with older children. They will tolerate some abuse from little kids, but they are not shy to shut it down when they have had enough. Though they are unlikely to be aggressive, they know a well-placed nip will stop their ears or tail from being pulled. If you have toddlers, they should be supervised while with your Bed Terrier. You will also need to teach your kids how to interact with the dog.

Single Homes

The Bedlington Terrier also makes a great companion for the single household. As long as they are getting adequate love and exercise, this breed does not require constant attention. They can be left alone for moderate lengths of time. Be sure to leave them plenty of water and play toys, though. Also, make sure they have had food, a bathroom break, and some exercise to keep them from getting bored.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

In general, the Bed Terrier prefers to be the sole pet in the house. As they enjoy the spotlight, they often don’t like to share it. They can also be aggressive to other dogs of the same sex. Dogs of the opposite sex, however, can get along with them fairly well. Keep in mind, they are not likely to start a fight, but they won’t back down from one either. In fact, they can cause quite a bit of damage with their tenaciousness.

That being said, if you bring them up with other dogs or pets, this pup can do very well. As mentioned, early socialization is key. You will need to be mindful of smaller pets and animals, though. The Bed Terrier has a strong prey drive, so they will chase smaller animals whether in the house or the backyard.

Bedlington terrier dog
Image credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Bedlington Terrier:

Now that you have an idea of their personality, we want to go over some of the more practical aspects of owning a Bedlington Terrier. This is where you can decide whether you will physically, financially, and mentally be able to take care of this pup. Although you want to find a pooch that will fit in with your family personality-wise, their actual care is equally important.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The food and diet requirements for this purebred is not too difficult as they don’t have many known allergies or restrictions. You will want to feed them a nutritious meal twice a day. Important components of the food include things like lean protein, healthy fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to support their overall well-being.

One thing to note, however, is this pup is prone to gain weight. Feeding them in the morning and evening is best. Picking their food up when it’s not mealtime will also keep them from overindulging. Additionally, you want to find wholesome treats and snacks. Keep ingredients such as sugar, salt, oils, and artificial ingredients low, as well. It’s equally important to be wary of feeding them table scraps and human food that could make them pack on the pounds. Finally, make sure your pup has easy access to plenty of water at all times.

Speaking with your vet regarding your Bed Terrier’s diet is always helpful. As they grow from puppyhood into adulthood, their dietary needs will change. They may also need specific nutrients and vitamins as they age to keep them healthy and active.

Exercise 🐕

The Bedlington Terrier requires moderate exercise to keep them happy and in shape. A daily 20-minute walk along with a game of fetch is perfect for keeping them healthy. Keep in mind, your class clown is more than happy to lounge on the couch with you all day. You may need to encourage them to get some exercise. This is especially true as they age.

Another area where this pure breed excels is in the show ring. With their intelligence and eagerness to be the center of attention, they are the perfect candidate for agility courses, tricks, and games. Not only will this keep them active, but it also helps with mental stimulation.

Mental activity is important for this breed. Keeping their mind occupied will keep them from being destructive and becoming bored. Canine ennui can lead to depression where a lot of unwanted behaviors can rear their ugly head.

Bedlington terrier sleeping in the grass
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay

Training 🦮

As we have mentioned, this pooch is intelligent and independent. This can make training more of a challenge. It’s important that you keep training sessions fun and short. Positive reinforcement is also key in this scenario. Use treats, games, and praise to let them know when they are doing well.

Another good idea is to encourage games that will teach them the commands you want. This breed will exert their will when they feel it’s necessary. Any shouting, yelling, or swatting your pet will only cause them to become stubborn. Chances are, you will not win in that game, either.

The first thing you should concentrate on is socialization to get your pet used to other people, pets, and places. You also want to concentrate on behavioral and obedience training. The Bedlington Terrier is prone to chase small animals, so you need to ensure they will come and heel.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is next on our care list. Luckily, the Bedlington Terrier is not a heavy shedder. They will need to be combed once or twice a week to keep any tangles at bay. They will also need to be bathed every few months. Be careful not to do so more frequently, however. Bathing too often can strip their fur of its natural oils.

You will also need to clip and trim their fur as needed. You will know it’s time when the curls start to fall in their eyes. Many pet parents find it easier to have a professional groomer accomplish the hair cut, but if you feel comfortable, you can attempt it yourself.

Ears, Nails, and Teeth

Another aspect of your pup’s grooming is their teeth, ears, and nails. Starting with their teeth, you will need to brush them a few times per week, at a minimum, to keep tartar build-up and bad breath manageable. Unfortunately, this breed can have some seriously bad puppy breath, plus tartar build-up and plaque can turn into expensive vet bills. If you can brush their teeth daily, all the better.

You also need to trim their nails every one to two months. As the common rule goes, if you can hear them clicking across the floor, their nails are too long. Using a clipper or buffer is best for this smaller pooch. Again, this is something you can have your groomer or vet do if you feel uncomfortable. Cutting the nails too short can make them bleed, and it’s painful for your pup.

Finally, you want to inspect their ears weekly for signs of mites, redness, and excess wax. You should wipe their ears clean with a canine ear wash and a soft cloth, as well. Keep in mind, grooming rituals should start as early as possible. It will get them used to having their paws and ears touched. Not only that, but it can be a bonding ritual between the two of you as your focus will solely be on them during this time. Always reward with treats and praise.

Health Conditions ❤️

Like many purebred dogs, there are health concerns that plague this breed. It is important to remember, the average cost of veterinarian care for this pup is approximately $3700 throughout their lifetime. Take a look at these possible health conditions below. The serious conditions are more likely to occur than the minor.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • von Willebrand’s disease
  • Eye defects, ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Renal cortical hypoplasia
  • Copper toxicosis
  • Atellar luxation
  • Istichiasis
  • Weight gain

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Male vs Female

There is a lot of speculation regarding whether or not males and females exhibit different personality traits. While some experts argue that they do, others believe it makes no difference. In the case of the Bedlington Terrier, the most notable difference between the two genders has to do with whether or not they have been spayed or neutered.

Females that have not been fixed can be more standoffish especially during their heat cycle. They can also be more protective of their toys and space. Meanwhile, the males can be somewhat more aggressive towards other male dogs when they have not been neutered. They may also be prone to try and escape if they sense a female in heat. It’s important to note that they have an excellent sense of smell!

It is recommended that you have your dog fixed as soon as they are old enough. Not only does it help with the population of unwanted dogs, but doing so can also decrease the likelihood of certain health issues.

Beyond that, each dog is going to have their unique personality. How they behave can be directly related to their genetics, early handling, lifestyle, health, age, and much more. Whether they are a girl or boy may only play a role if they have not been fixed.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, the Bedlington Terrier is a playful, fun, and intelligent companion. They can thrive in apartments or houses, with families or single homes. Though they do better as the solo pet, early socialization can go a long way to making them a social fur-buddy to another pooch.

This canine makes an excellent guard dog. They are friendly, loyal, and affectionate, too. If you are a novice owner or a long-time dog-friend, they are a great companion to have. We hope you have enjoyed this review of the Bedlington Terrier.

Is this pup not the right fit? We encourage you to check out some of our other purebred and designer breed reviews, as well!

Featured Image Credit: Sevostyanova Tatyana, Shutterstock

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