Bedlington Terrier: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The bedlington terrier dog breed has among its characteristics a very special one. It looks a lot like a sheep or lamb. Do not be fooled by their sweet appearance, has a character brave, energetic and intelligent. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the bedlington terrier.

Character of the Bedlington Terrier breed

The Bedlington terrier can be misleading. Its delicate and sweet appearance, similar to that of a lamb, does not correspond to its energetic, courageous and fierce character , typical of almost all terriers.

It is an animal with a fiery and very brave behaviour, with great self-confidence and very intelligent. Its hunting instinct is very keen, but it is affectionate and noble in nature.

Thanks to its good temperament, it adapts well to almost any type of life and family. It can be a perfect dog to live in the city, as much as it enjoys the outdoor life of the country.

Well-behaved, the Bedlington terrier is a very affectionate and affectionate dog that blends seamlessly into family life. It is a perfect companion animal. Its relationship with children is extraordinary, as is the case with the Boston terrier.

You must be careful to educate the smallest of the house about the needs and characteristics of your dog, and about how to take care of it without causing stress or inflicting any harm on it.

In any case, and despite the fact that it is a very safe breed, it is always recommended that a responsible adult supervise the relationship between children and dogs.

With strangers and people outside its family nucleus, it is also generally friendly and trusting. However, that does not mean that it is a good guardian, since it knows how to alert its owner to any unexpected presence.

In relation to the other dogs, its behaviour is good as long as there are no hierarchy problems.

Many times its harmless appearance can be misleading, but the truth is that in case of conflict this animal becomes a fierce fighter capable of fighting to the death.

  • Energy: high level. You need to do a lot of exercise, as you are very restless and active. It loves the practice of any sport.
  • Temperament: active, courageous and fiery, it is a very confident dog. At home it is cheerful, affectionate and very friendly.
  • Adaptability: Although it prefers life in the country, it can easily adapt to the city, as long as it is allowed to do a lot of exercise.
  • Sociability: It gets along well with the family, but you have to know how to assert yourself with authority, as you can try to occupy the hierarchical position of its owner if you detect signs of weakness in them.
  • Health: You tend to suffer from liver, joint or skin problems.
  • Longevity: very high. It usually exceeds 15 years.
  • Utility: versatile. Hunting dog, it is a good guardian and an excellent family pet.
  • Use: hunting, guarding and company.

Characteristics of the Bedlington Terrier breed

The Bedlington Terrier is an unmistakable breed due to its physical characteristics and its peculiar appearance. Generally emphasized by the traditional arrangement to which it is subjected, which reminds many people of a little sheep.

Despite what you might think from its delicate appearance, far from being a luxury dog ​​that adorns the rooms in which it lives, the Bedlington terrier is a sports dog. Selected for hunting vermin and rodents both on the surface and in the mining galleries of Northumberland, its land of origin.

Its characteristic morphology, so different from that of other terriers, is inherited from the whippet dog. One of its most famous ancestors, from whom it has inherited not only its body proportions , but also an extraordinary speed of movement. This allows you to even hunt some of their game by chasing them out of their burrows.

The Bedlington Terrier is characterized by its muscular anatomy and no signs of weakness. It is an agile and graceful dog, without a rough appearance. Their fur is abundant, bulky and with a tendency to curl, it is soft and fluffy. Also, as it does not shed, it is suitable for many people who are allergic to dog hair.

Regarding the colors of the bedlington, they can be found in blue, liver or sand, with or without tan spots.

Bedlington Terrier breed standard

Let’s now see in more detail what the bedlington terrier looks like and the breed standard:

  • General appearance: muscular, lithe and light, does not denote coarseness but also does not show signs of weakness. Due to its peculiar arrangement, it looks like a sheep.
  • Size: medium.
  • Height at the withers: between 41 and 43 cm for males and between 39 and 41 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 9 and 11 kg for males and between 8 and 10 kg for females.
  • Origin: United Kingdom.
  • Body: it is muscular and flexible.
  • Head: wedge or pear-shaped, characterized by being covered with a silky and abundant tuft of light color, almost white.
  • Skull: narrow, but deep and rounded.
  • Muzzle: it is well full under the eyes and the lips are close together, without hanging lips (lips).
  • Nose: the nostrils are large and well defined. The nose is black in the specimens with a blue coat, or blue and tan, but it appears in a brown tone in those with a liver or sand coat.
  • Eyes: more or less triangular in shape, they are small and slightly sunken. They are very bright and dark in color in the blue specimens, but lighter and with amber flashes in those with a blue and tan mantle. The liver and sand colored specimens have light brown eyes.
  • Ears: set low, of moderate size. They hang flat next to the cheeks, are thin, velvety in texture, and covered in short, smooth hair. The traditional arrangement leaves a very characteristic fringe of silky white fur at the ends that increases the resemblance of this dog to a lamb.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): It practically does not exist, since the line that goes from the occiput to the tip of the nose is straight and without interruptions.
  • Jaws: With a scissor bite, the jaws, which are long, gradually taper forward. They are endowed with large and strong teeth.
  • Neck: deep at the base and without dewlap, it is long and gradually tapers towards the nape of the neck. It rises well from the shoulders, with which the dog has a fairly upright head, with a very elegant demeanour.
  • Chest: it is deep and quite broad, with flat and deep ribs up to the region of the sternum, which descends to the height of the elbows. The bottom line is curved, like the spine.
  • Back: forms a Mural arch that reaches even lower than the kidney area, which is quite arched.
  • Forelimbs: are straight and are further apart at the chest than between the feet. The shoulders are flat and downward. Regarding the forearms and arms, the pasterns are long and quite low, without deviating inwards or outwards.
  • Hind limbs: They are muscular and give the sensation of being longer than the front ones. Its legs are of moderate length. Their hocks are strong and quite low, they are straight, without deviating to the sides.
  • Feet: they are long and oval, the so-called hare’s feet, they are endowed with thick and compact foot pads.
  • Tail: set low, it is thick at the base but tapers little by little as it approaches the tip. It is moderately long and the dog wears it in a delicate curve, never above the back.
  • Hair: dense, smooth and tight, but not hard or coarse. It has a tendency to curl, especially on the face and head. It can appear blue, liver or sand, sometimes with tan spots. It is one of the most distinctive aspects of this breed, attached to the skin, it is soft and has a tendency to curl, especially on the skull and face.
  • Color: the color of the Bedlington terrier generally exists in 3 varieties: blue , black colored and colored sand with potential fire spots color.
  • Movement: the Bedlington temer advances with a very characteristic movement, somewhat affected, light and very flexible. Its gait is generally slow, and when it goes faster it produces a slight sway. It is capable of galloping at high speed.
  • FCI Classification: FCI # 9 GROUP 3 – Terriers. Section 1 – Large and Medium Size Terriers.

Bedlington Terrier puppy

If you are considering the adoption or purchase of a bedlington terrier puppy, there are certain aspects that we think are interesting for you to know in order to make the right decision. From a very young age they are restless and active dogs, both mentally and physically.

It is a type of breed that requires a lot of activity and high amounts of exercise to be a happy, healthy and balanced pet.

Despite this, it is by no means a difficult breed; since it can be perfectly adapted to almost any type of family and life. You can live in an apartment, house or farm in the country.

Of course, their basic requirements must be met, which are: meet their needs for daily exercise and treat it in a uniform, firm but sensitive way to get a good puppy education.

Bedlington Terrier education and training

If you are wondering how to train a Bedlington Terrier, you should know that being restless and very active, both mentally and physically, it is a breed that needs a lot of activity, just like the Airedale terrier. Also, large doses of exercise programmed to be a balanced animal.

The blood of the whippet greyhound runs through its veins and that becomes excellent when you see it running through the field, with its fast and long advance that changes direction very easily.

Although, in this sense, it is important not to let it loose if you are not sure that it will answer the call immediately, no matter how far away it is.

This demand for exercise means that if the action it needs is not provided, behavioural disorders appear immediately.

It can become lazy and sullen, give clear signs of a depressed state or, on the contrary, try to satisfy its needs for activity by themselves, frantically digging holes, barking without stopping or destroying everything in its reach.

Despite all that, it is not considered a difficult breed. It adapts well to almost any type of life and family, and can be a perfect city dog, no matter how much it enjoys life in the country.

The only basic requirements are, on the one hand, to attend to its needs and, on the other, to always observe with them a uniform way of proceeding, following a firm and consistent method of educating, training and managing them.

In fact, this breed can be a good choice for a novice owner, as long as it is willing to face its education seeking the advice or help of more experienced people who show them the way to go, well, even if it is not a dog problematic, it is still a terrier and therefore needs special treatment.

What is important is that the dog does not perceive signs of weakness on the part of its master, since, although it is basically obedient, in these cases it can challenge the authority of its owner by becoming stubborn and disobedient in an attempt to impose its own will. .

Feeding the Bedlington Terrier breed

Regarding how to feed a Bedlington Terrier, it must be borne in mind that due to the great demand for physical exercise and activity that this dog has, its diet must be well balanced and according to these requirements.

It is very important that the dog food we supply contains high quality protein and healthy fats (such as omega 3 and 6). This will protect your skeleton, muscles and joints, as well as your hair.

Like the rest of dog breeds, obesity has become one of the most serious problems for this type of pet. Since your body “is designed” to work every day. If it becomes a sedentary pet, accompanied by an excessive diet, obesity will appear quickly.

Health and diseases of the Bedlington Terrier breed

The Bedlington terrier is, according to statistics, one of the longest-lived dog breeds that exist. It is common to find specimens that are over 15 years old, but dogs that live beyond 20 years have even been documented.

In addition, it is a very healthy animal. However, this does not mean that there are no typical diseases of the breed, some of which are also quite serious.

Such as cuprotoxicosis, a condition characterized by the inability of the liver to process food. So it is stored until it causes intoxication and very serious liver failure.

Other conditions, not as serious or as significant as this, that occur in the Bedlington terrier with a considerable incidence are knee dislocation , the development of a horny bump on the footpads, and some minor skin conditions and allergies. .

But the breed clubs and associations around the world have been fighting hard for a long time to eradicate all these ailments, which reduce the quality of life of this beautiful animal.

Apart from these pathologies, the fundamental thing to have a happy and healthy dog ​​is to provide it with adequate exercise and give it a balanced diet.

Also, regularly monitor their general health by going to the veterinarian’s office periodically. It will be in charge of carrying out all preventive health protocols, from vaccinations and periodic deworming. Including routine checkups for the mouth, eyes, skin and ears.

There are few attentions that this breed demands, and many the satisfactions it brings to its owners, since its vitality, joy and affection are immeasurable.

Specific care of the Bedlington Terrier

Regarding how to care for a Bedlington Terrier, say that if there is a dog breed that one always imagines with its traditional aesthetic arrangement, it is this.

One of the advantages of this dog is that, by not experiencing shedding, it never loses hair. It also does not have it in bad condition, so it can be kept aesthetically perfect at all times.

How to care for the hair of the Bedlington Terrier?

In grooming a Bedlington terrier, as in most other dogs, the first step is to give it a thorough brushing.


For the areas where the hair is shorter, it is recommended to use a metal card, but, instead, it is better to use a brush and a comb in the areas of longer hair, where you must try to leave it with the appropriate volume.

It is important to always brush with a certain degree of humidity, so it is advisable to spray a little water on the coat or apply a specific moisturizing product.


How often should the bedlington terrier be bathed? How are bathing?. When bathing, use a shampoo suitable for the type and color of the dog’s hair. The rinsing must be done thoroughly, trying not to leave any soap residue, as this could cause subsequent allergies or flaking.

Once well rinsed, the excess water is removed by hand, carefully squeezing the hair, and then towels are applied and pressed in the same way. It is important not to shake the hair while it dries if you want to avoid the formation of tangles and knots.

To finish, use a good dryer at a medium temperature, while working the hair with the brush to leave it with the appropriate volume.

Grooming the hair of the Bedlington Terrier breed

First, using the clipper with the right blade, the areas that need to be shorter are shaved: the face, the ears. But, leaving the fringes at the tip intact. Hair that grows between the foot pads is also shaved.

For the tail, the belly and the anal area, the machine is also used, but leaving the hair a little longer. The correct way to use this machine is to always work against the grain, to prevent it from slipping and leaving unsightly marks.

As some dogs have very sensitive skin, in these areas that are almost completely shaved it is recommended to apply a moisturizer immediately after the cut.

The sides of the neck and the shoulder area, up to the elbows, are worked with a number 7 trimming blade . It is then continued along the flank area until reaching the end of the ribs with a number 5 blade .

Subsequently, the scissor work begins, trying to make each part of the body the right length and shape.

It is very important not to leave areas in which a very abrupt transition is noticeable and, in any case, a pumice stone can be used to tone any jump or shear.

Special care should be taken when grooming the upper part of the muzzle and skull, which are the areas that give the Bedlington the typical lamb appearance.

These areas of longer hair are hollowed out with a comb and then trimmed with scissors, first with those for sculpting and then with the smooth ones, which are much more delicate and do not admit mistakes.

The final touch is to shape the classic “earrings”. Previously, when shaving the ears, care must have been taken to keep intact the fringes at the end of the pinna, which are now trimmed with the smooth scissors, leaving a triangular shaped earring.

It is also important to monitor the condition of the ears and clean the ear canal of any excess hair. It is started with the fingers, protected with rubber thimbles and using a drying product.

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