The exact origin of the Bedlington Terrier is uncertain, but it is believed that they traveled with gypsies ridding towns of vermin and could be related to the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. It is also thought that the Whippet was incorporated into the lineage to increase the breed's speed and agility. Regardless of early origins, the Bedlington Terrier was developed in England for the purpose of hunting, particularly catching vermin, rabbits, foxes, and otters. Their abilities to catch vermin caught the attention of Lord Rothbury who used the dogs in his estate located in Bedlington, the city that the breed is named after. Originally, the name of the breed was Rothbury Terrier, named after Lord Rothbury himself.
At first glance, Bedlington Terriers seem to have almost a "llama-shape" with their pronounced necks and rounded backs. The unique features of the breed are their almost "rabbit-like" hind legs, "lamb-like" appearance, and distinctive coat of both hard and soft hair that stands well out from the body to offer good protection. Bedlington Terrier puppies are born dark but will lighten to a pale blue, liver, or sandy color as they mature. Also known for their endurance and stamina, they can work for extended periods of time without becoming tired. The small, almond-shaped eyes of the breed come in a few colors depending on the coat and they have triangular-shaped ears that are long enough to reach the corner of the mouth when pulled forward. They have a strong muzzle with a black or brown nose and the tail of the Bedlington Terrier is "scimitar-shaped."
The Bedlington Terrier is great for individuals who can handle a lively animal that is full of personality. They tend to be alert, energetic, and courageous. Considered to be highly intelligent, these smart dogs can also have a mind of their own and can become easily distracted. Positive reinforcement with praise and treats is the way to have an obedient Bedlington Terrier companion. Although friendly and gentle, they can make a great watchdog that will alert their families to unfamiliar sounds or strangers getting too close for comfort. Bedlingtons are more relaxed and require fewer amounts of physical exercise and mental stimulation than many other terriers, but they do have a natural inclination to dig, bark, chase cats or small animals, and should be monitored outdoors if not leashed or confined within a fenced yard. They are a cheerful and affectionate breed that generally gets along just fine with children and can also do well with other dogs. With a big heart and lovable temperament, the Bedlington is a true terrier that makes a wonderful playmate for children and will also make a great cuddle partner.