Bedlington Terrier Breed Information and Breed Notes

Bedlington Terriers  were primarily employed by gypsies to aid them in illegal poaching as they were highly prized for their ferocity, being more than capable of taking down foxes and even badgers.

This ferocity, coupled with a determined tenacity also made them highly prized dog fighters because Bedlington Terriers invariably fought their opponents to the death.

Bedlington Terrier Temperament:

During the late 1900’s with dog fighting now illegal in England, crossbreeding efforts were made to mitigate the breed’s natural viciousness.

Todays breed, whilst still retaining some of their ancestors aggressive streak, have been greatly augmented with many positive traits; for example a powerful devotion to the human family they accept as their pack.

They love to play with children and will happily cuddle up on the sofa afterwards. They are great with dogs that they are brought up with but can become aggressive with unfamiliar ones.

Another aspect of the Bedlington Terrier temperament is that they are very vocal and make excellent watchdogs. They will bark warnings at strangers and will bark their greetings to friends and family alike .To avoid this enthusiastic barking turning into a dog behavioral problem it goes without saying that training and full socialization is a must, especially if they are living in close proximity to other people.

Bedlingtons do not like to be left alone for any length of time, they're very much the people dog and can become destructive if they get bored or lonely.

Children:Bedlington Terriers are very good with children, provided that they get to know them early on.

Other Animals: May kill small pets or injure cats unless raised with them.

Grooming: Despite the complicated, tangled appearance of the Bedlington Terrier's coat, grooming is surprisingly simple. Save for a brushing once or twice a week, they only require a full trimming and grooming once every six weeks. Bedlingtons are a non allergic dog breed as they don’t, as a rule, shed .

Protection level: Feisty, tenacious and easily aroused the Bedlington Terrier makes a very good watch dog and they will protect their family group or territory with vigour.

Training: Bedlington Terriers are exceedingly playful, intelligent, and cheerful dogs. They enjoy chasing games above all (as any good ratter would), and their ability to learn new skills quickly makes them a joy to train. Being Terriers however and having a mind of their own training can be a challenge for inexperienced owners.


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Bedlington Terrier Temperament, Dog Breed Information and Guide.

Bedlington Terrier


Generally a healthy breed but some Bedlington strains  do suffer from the hereditary disease of copper toxicosis which is often fatal so be sure to have your dog tested and only buy from a reputable breeder. Ensuring you have adequate pet insurance will of course always bring extra peace of mind regards the well being of your furry friend.


This is an active breed but  will normally manage quite well on a good daily walk, they are quite well suited to apartment living. If given the option however your Bedlington  will happily accompany you on more vigorous outdoor pursuits like jogging or hiking.

If you think you would like a Bedlington Terrier, firstly make sure you read our great advice on how to choose the right dog for your lifestyle and what to look for in a reputable breeder. For more information, why not visit this breeds national club or learn more about different  types of small dog breeds.

Comparable Breeds

whippet Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier


Bedlington Terrier temperament Bedlington Terrier temperament

Allergy Sufferers

Do You Have A Bedlington Terrier? We would love love to hear your story - Tell us why they are your favourite breed. Do You Have A Related Question? - Just ask and we will be happy to help .


 The American Kennel Club and Others

The Bedlington Terrier Temperament is Spirited,Affectionate,Confident,and Courageous

The Bedlington Terrier may look soft, meek and lamb like, but don’t let looks fool you as they are anything but! Not only do they have all the feisty and tenacious qualities of a terrier, but also a history that is murky, sinister and dark. Bedlington's have been known as savage fighters for at least one hundred years, and their skill as ratters and even game hunters have been prized by all manner of people, from small farmers to itinerant poachers.

The Bedlington was known originally as the "Rothbury Terrier" or "Gypsy Dog", after a group of itinerant  gypsy nail makers based in Rothbury, Nothumberland; a place which even today is a landscape of bleak unforgiving moorland  and isolated insular villages in north eastern England.


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© 2010-2015 Choosing-A-Dog-Made-Easy. All rights Reserved.Not intended to replace professional opinion or recommendation. Always consult your vet for advice about the medical condition of your pet.

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Older Children


Ease Of Training

Novice Owners

Breed Popularity

Breed Health




Other Dogs

Shedding Amount

 Younger Children


Active Lifestyle


Apartment Living

Cats Or Small Pets

How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.

How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your  home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily  a sign of how aggressive the breed is.

Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.

Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.

 Breed Stats At A Glance:  1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst

Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds  however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!

A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner  than others.

Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.

Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.

A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot  so think of your neighbours!

Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.

Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.

Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.

How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and  bathing etc.

All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.

How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most  intolerance. Intact  males generally are more problematic with other intact  males

Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.

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