Bedlington Terrier breed information
|Average height||41 cm|
|Average weight||8-10 kg|
|Average lifespan||Over 10 years|
|Minimum exercise (per day)||1 hour|
|Minimum cost (per month)||£70|
Bedlington Terriers are active and loving dogs who thrive off company and plenty of things to do! They love to be outdoors and can be good companion dogs for owners who want a lot of company.
Bedlington Terriers are known for being very sweet-natured dogs and their unique, almost lamb-like appearance. They form close bonds with their owners which means that while you’ll have a friend for life in a Bedlington Terrier, they also suffer with separation anxiety so need someone around all the time.
Common health problems in Bedlington Terriers
Bedlington Terriers are sociable and loving dogs who enjoy nothing more than playing outside with their owners. Unfortunately, like so many purebred dogs, they are at risk of certain health problems related to their breed.
There is currently testing and screening for some of the problems Bedlingtons can have. Often, Breed Clubs will also be able to provide advice on what tests your breed may need and where to get these done. If you are thinking of buying a Bedlington Terrier puppy, make sure the parents of your puppy have had the relevant health screening to reduce the chances of your puppy being affected by these upsetting conditions. We’d recommend looking for a Kennel Club Assured Breeder as they meet extra requirements which will benefit your puppy’s health.
Bedlington Terriers are amongst a group of breeds classed as ‘Category Two’ by The Kennel Club. These are breeds of dog that have been highlighted as having ‘points of concern’ – features which, if exaggerated, might affect the breed in the future and cause health and welfare concerns. For Bedlingtons, this is because of possible problems with their feet which are inherited from their parents. While this is not a common condition, it’s worth checking that your dog or puppies parents are unaffected.
Some of the conditions Bedlingtons may develop include:
- Copper toxicosis – a build-up of copper in the liver, which can result in chronic hepatitis. Parents should be tested.
- Various eye conditions.
- Total retinal dysplasia – a condition affecting the eyes causing blindness. Parents of the puppies should be screened for this condition.
- Ear problems such as inflammation and ear infections.
If you want to minimise the risk of your dog getting problems, you can read our advice on choosing a pedigree dog.
Caring for your Bedlington Terrier
Bedlingtons are active and people-orientated dogs who thrive off the company and companionship of their owners. In the right household, they can make loving and sweet-natured pets as long as they’re given plenty of opportunities to play!
As with any dog, Bedlington Terriers adore company. They are a breed known for suffering with separation anxiety when left alone, though, because they form such close bonds with their owners. They ideally suit households where someone is around all the time to play and keep them company.
Bedlington Terriers and barking
Your Bedlington Terrier is likely to make some noise, just like any other dog. How much they bark and vocalise will depend on their personality and training. This said, Bedlingtons are known for liking the sound of their own voices! It’s important to use positive, reward-based training from a young age to try and nip this in the bud. Your Bedlington may still bark if they’re bored or unhappy about something so make sure they always have lots of toys and things to do when you’re busy at home.
If you’re having trouble with excessive noise and barking, we’d recommend getting advice from an accredited behaviourist.
Training and socialisation
Bedlingtons are clever dogs but are known to get bored easily, so positive, reward-based training should start from a young age in short sessions. Try to keep training sessions challenging and varied to keep their minds active. As with any training, consistency is key and it’s important to keep reinforcing the positive behaviours you want in your dog. You may need to be patient at times as they are known for being fairly strong-willed. If you’re a first time owner or don’t have much experience with training, you might benefit from taking your Bedlington along to some accredited training classes.
Bedlington Terriers can be naturally confident dogs, so socialising your dog with a variety of people, experiences and other dogs from a young age will help this confidence to shine through. Generally speaking, Bedlingtons really enjoy the company of their owners and so can often get worried when left alone. Your dog should never be left alone for more than four hours but you might find that your Bedlington can’t cope even with short periods. It’s best to have someone around all day if you have a Bedlington.
As terriers, Bedlingtons have heaps of energy and need lots to keep their minds active, too. They’ll enjoy challenging games and chasing things as they have such a high prey drive.
Your Bedlington Terrier will need a minimum of an hour exercise every day. Ideally, this needs splitting into a few walks across the day with time to sniff around and run off-lead in a secure area. On top of this, your Bedlington will need short, varied training sessions to help them learn new commands (and remember the old!). They will also need free time in a secure garden. Beware – Bedlingtons are diggers!
As Bedlingtons are quick, agile and keen to learn new things, they tend to do well at activities like agility. This is a great opportunity to keep their body and mind active, while helping you bond with your dog. Check online to see if there are any local clubs near you.
On the grooming front, Bedlingtons can be low or high maintenance. They’re not huge shedders, so you probably won’t need the hoover out every day. A weekly brush should help you keep their fur looking nice if you prefer the natural look.
This said, to get the ‘classic’ Bedlington look you will need to get them professionally groomed every six weeks. They’ll still need a regular brush to make sure their fur doesn’t get matted but a lot of owners find keeping their fur shorter helps to keep it in good condition.
Bedlington Terriers and children
Generally speaking, Bedlington Terriers can be patient and tolerant around children. Their small size and playful nature has made them popular as family pets as they are also adaptable to both city and countryside living as long as they have the space to run and play. This said, you should always supervise your dog with children and vulnerable adults to make sure playtime doesn’t get too boisterous.
Remember to make sure you can recognise your dog’s body language so you can put a stop to any potentially stressful situations before they get worse.
Bedlington Terriers and other pets
Usually, Bedlingtons are fairly sociable when it comes to other dogs. They’re not known for being wary or aggressive, provided they’ve been well-socialised from a young age. Going to puppy socialisation classes can help introduce your Bedlington puppy to a range of other breeds so they are happy to get along with the other dogs they meet later in life.
As long as they have grown up with one, your Bedlington should get along fine with a family cat. If you already have a cat and are thinking of getting a Bedlington, you can read our advice on introducing dogs and cats. However, they do have very strong prey drive so you should never leave your Bedlington unattended with other pets.
Your vet will be able to tell you how much your Bedlington should be eating. You should feed them a good quality, commercially available, complete dog food. We usually recommend splitting their daily allowance into two meals. If you give your dog the occasional treat or use treats for training, remember to take this into account and reduce their daily allowance. Treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake as this can unbalance their diet.
Remember to leave at least an hour after eating and before exercise.
The cost of owning a Bedlington Terrier
You can expect your Bedlington to cost you a minimum of £70 per month after purchase and set-up costs and over £12,000 across their lifetime.
Costs you’ll need to think about include:
Adopting an adult Bedlington Terrier from a rescue centre may be a more cost-effective option, with the added advantage of giving a home to a pet without one – check if the rehoming centre you’re looking at asks for a donation for rehoming.
If instead you’re buying a Bedlington puppy from a breeder, you’ll need to factor in this cost. Beware unusually cheap puppies as they could come from a puppy farm. If you’d like to buy a pedigree puppy, we recommend looking for a Kennel Club Assured breeder. These breeders must do extra health tests and meet high standards.
- Puppy vaccines – if you rescue a dog, reputable centres will often vaccinate them for you. Remember that ongoing booster vaccinations will be needed to continue their immunity.
- Neutering – you should usually arrange for your dog to be neutered at around six months old, though your vet will be able to advise you exactly when is best. Check prices at your local practice as these will depend on your vet and where you live. Some rescue centres will neuter any dogs they rehome, saving you this cost.
- Equipment – including a collar and tags, lead, harness, dog beds, dog bowls, pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrushes, grooming brushes and toys. Keep in mind that all these will need to be replaced with wear or damage or if your dog outgrows or damages them!
- Grooming costs – potentially every six weeks
- Preventive healthcare – budget for routine vet visits to help stop your dog getting ill and catch any problems early. They need annual check-ups, vaccinations and regular flea and worming treatments. Check if your vet offers a health care plan as this can help spread the cost throughout the year.
- Vet bills* or pet insurance – if you don’t have pet insurance and your dog needs veterinary treatment for an injury or illness, costs can rapidly mount up. Check what’s covered and what isn’t when comparing policies.
- Accessories – including lots of poo bags, replacing worn toys and grooming accessories, buying doggy toothpaste and any other extras they might need.
- Training – basic training is very important and dogs can benefit from formal classes. Some dogs may have, or develop, behavioural problems which might need professional management.
- Boarding – you may also need to budget for boarding or dog sitting costs if you are planning to go away from home on holiday.
- Dog walkers/day-care – you might consider a professional dog walker to keep your dog happy and healthy if you’re unable to get out with your dog enough yourself, or to look after them during the day if you need to be out for more than four hours.
* It’s always better to plan ahead and budget or get pet insurance in case your pet gets injured or unwell. If you are having difficulty with veterinary costs, you can check if you are eligible for treatment at PDSA here.
If you’re considering pet insurance, our PDSA Pet Insurance could be a great option for you and it’s quick and easy to get a quote online.
- Bedlingtons are fairly small dogs known for their almost lamb-like looks – but don’t let that fool you! They’re confident, active dogs and have a strong prey drive.
- These dogs just love to dig! Bedlington Terriers are known for being keen diggers, so make sure your garden is secure and you give them lots to keep them occupied.
- Not all of them like water, but Bedlington Terriers have been known to be good swimmers.
- They originated from the small mining town of Bedlington in Northumberland.
Getting a Bedlington Terrier
Do plenty of research before getting a Bedlington Terrier. These brave and active little dogs still have very strong hunting instincts so need plenty of opportunities to run and play. They can make great family pets in the right household and if you have the time for a Bedlington they’ll definitely be your best friend.
There are plenty of rescue centres across the country where you may find a Bedlington. Breed-specific rescues that specialise in Bedlingtons are also out there. You’ll need to ask any rescue centre about the dog’s history to make sure they will be comfortable in your home. Good rescue centres should let you know of any health and behaviour problems.
If you buy from a breeder, make sure your puppy will be well socialised and have all necessary screening tests, health checks and vaccinations. It’s really important that Bedlington Terrier puppies from a breeder get the right early socialisation so always ask the breeder about how they go about this. We recommend looking for a Kennel Club Assured breeder as they meet higher standards. We’ve put together some advice to help you find a good breeder.