The true ancestry of the Bedlington Terrier is unknown, with popular theory suggesting its descendants were the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Dandy Dinmont and Kerry Blue. Its name derives from the village in Northumberland where it was first bred. Traditionally utilised in hunting badgers and otters, the Bedlington Terrier was efficient and dependable, earning a reputation as a formidable ratter in the Victorian period. During this time, the Bedlington was frequently raced against the Whippet for entertainment and features in Victorian portraiture alongside figures of the nobility.
Compact and lean, the Bedlington Terrier is often likened to a lamb, possessing as gentle a temperament as one. Easily recognised for its 'linty' double coat, comprising both hard and soft hair, and common in colour variations of sand, liver, blue and tan. With a tendency to curl on the head and face, the Bedlington requires regular bathing and grooming. Its distinctive appearance, usually with shaved ears and a Mohawk-type head style is easily identifiable as belonging to the Bedlington Terrier.
Particularly devoted to children, the Bedlington Terrier is the ideal breed choice for families, displaying a quiet perceptiveness, gentle temperament and fun-loving sociability that makes a great addition to the home. The Bedlington is both intelligent and curious and will typically get along well with other house pets such as cats and dogs. On average, a healthy Bedlington Terrier will weigh 8-10 kg, with a life expectancy of 12-14 years when cared for accordingly, although it is not uncommon for a Bedlington to outlive this expectancy.
Prone to various genetic complaints, the Bedlington Terrier can suffer with an inherited liver ailment, known as Copper Storage Disease. Hereditary kidney disease in also common with the breed, as well as thyroid and optical problems, including cataracts and retinal disease.