Bedlington Terriers are unique and gentle lamb dogs are known for their distinctive appearance and loving nature. With their curly, wool-like coat and graceful demeanor, Bedlington Terriers are sure to turn heads wherever they go. In this article, we will explore the origins, characteristics, and care requirements of Bedlington Terriers, so you can decide if they are the perfect addition to your family. Whether you are a seasoned dog owner or considering getting a pet for the first time, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into these delightful and charming canine companions.

History and Origin

Early Origins

The Bedlington Terrier, often referred to as the “Lamb Dog,” has a fascinating history that dates back several centuries. Although the exact origin of this breed is still debated among experts, it is widely believed to have originated in the town of Bedlington, Northumberland, England.

The early ancestors of Bedlington Terriers were working-class dogs that were primarily bred for their exceptional hunting and vermin control skills. These dogs were adept at catching rats, rabbits, and other small game that plagued the mines and farms in the Bedlington area. Their distinct appearance and unique characteristics made them stand out from other terrier breeds.

Rise in Popularity

As the Bedlington Terriers gained recognition for their hunting abilities, they began to attract the attention of dog enthusiasts and breeders. By the early 19th century, these dogs had gained popularity not only as skilled hunters but also as loyal and affectionate companions.

Their popularity soared further when Joseph Ainsley, a well-known British dog breeder, started refining the breed in the mid-1800s. He aimed to create a more refined and elegant version of the Bedlington Terrier, which resulted in the distinctive appearance we know today. Ainsley’s efforts paid off, and the breed’s popularity surged across England and eventually spread to other parts of the world.

Today’s Bedlington Terriers

In contemporary times, Bedlington Terriers continue to captivate dog lovers with their unique charm and gentle nature. They have transitioned from primarily being working dogs to beloved family pets. Their distinct appearance, resembling a miniature lamb, sets them apart from other terrier breeds.

Bedlington Terriers are known for their intelligence, agility, and playful nature. They make excellent companions for active individuals or families, as they require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Despite their energetic disposition, they are also known to be gentle and affectionate, forming strong bonds with their human family members.

With their hypoallergenic coat and minimal shedding, Bedlington Terriers are particularly well-suited for individuals with allergies. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their distinctive coat, which is usually a mix of crisp and curly hair.

In conclusion, the Bedlington Terrier’s history and origin can be traced back to its humble beginnings as a working-class hunting dog. Over time, their unique characteristics and endearing appearance have propelled them to become beloved family pets. Today, Bedlington Terriers continue to captivate dog enthusiasts with their intelligence, agility, and gentle nature, making them a truly unique breed.

Physical Characteristics


Bedlington Terriers are known for their unique and distinctive appearance. They have a graceful and elegant build, resembling a lamb in many ways. With their arched back and slender body, these dogs possess a charming and gentle demeanor that sets them apart.


One of the most remarkable features of Bedlington Terriers is their soft and curly coat. Similar to the wool of a lamb, their fur is dense and thick, providing excellent insulation and protection. Their curly coat not only adds to their adorable appearance but also serves as a natural barrier against harsh weather conditions.

Size and Weight

Despite their lamb-like appearance, Bedlington Terriers are not as small as one might expect. They are medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 17 to 23 pounds (7.7 to 10.4 kilograms) and standing about 15 to 17.5 inches (38 to 44 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. While they may not be as large as some other breeds, their sturdy build and muscular legs enable them to move with agility and grace.

In conclusion, Bedlington Terriers possess physical characteristics that make them truly unique. Their charming appearance, curly coat, and medium-sized build contribute to their overall appeal as gentle and elegant lamb dogs.

Temperament and Personality

Gentle and Affectionate

Bedlington Terriers are known for their gentle and affectionate nature. These charming dogs have a loving and sweet temperament that makes them ideal companions for families and individuals alike. They are often described as “gentle lamb dogs” due to their soft and loving nature.

Bedlington Terriers enjoy spending time with their human family members and are highly devoted to them. They love to curl up on the couch with their owners, providing them with warmth and comfort. Their affectionate nature makes them great lap dogs and they are always ready to shower their owners with cuddles and kisses.

Intelligent and Trainable

Not only are Bedlington Terriers gentle and affectionate, but they are also highly intelligent and trainable. These dogs are quick learners and excel in obedience training. With proper guidance and positive reinforcement techniques, Bedlington Terriers can easily grasp commands and tricks.

Their intelligence also makes them versatile and capable of participating in various dog sports and activities. They are known to excel in agility, obedience, and even tracking. Bedlington Terriers thrive on mental stimulation, so engaging them in training sessions and providing them with challenging puzzles and toys is essential for their overall well-being.

Good with Children and Other Pets

Bedlington Terriers have a friendly and amiable nature, which makes them great companions for children. They are patient and tolerant, making them suitable for families with young kids. However, it is always important to supervise interactions between dogs and children to ensure mutual respect and safety.

Additionally, Bedlington Terriers are generally good with other pets, including cats and smaller animals. With proper socialization from an early age, they can coexist peacefully with other animals in the household. However, it is important to introduce new pets gradually and monitor their interactions to ensure a harmonious environment.

Bedlington Terriers possess a unique blend of gentle and affectionate temperament, combined with high intelligence and trainability. Their friendly nature makes them excellent companions for families, including children and other pets.

Health and Care

Common Health Issues

Bedlington Terriers are generally considered to be a healthy breed with a relatively low incidence of common health issues. However, like any dog breed, they may be prone to certain conditions that potential owners should be aware of.

One of the most common health issues seen in Bedlington Terriers is copper toxicosis. This is a hereditary condition in which excessive amounts of copper accumulate in the liver, leading to liver damage. Regular monitoring of liver function and a proper diet can help manage this condition.

Another health concern in Bedlington Terriers is patellar luxation, also known as a dislocated kneecap. This condition can cause lameness and discomfort for the dog. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of patellar luxation.

Bedlington Terriers are also at a higher risk of developing certain eye conditions such as cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian can help detect and treat these conditions early on.

Grooming Needs

Despite their unique and lamb-like appearance, Bedlington Terriers have a relatively high maintenance coat that requires regular grooming. Their thick, curly, and woolly coat should be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling.

Bedlington Terriers do not shed much, which makes them a suitable choice for individuals with allergies. However, their coat requires professional grooming every six to eight weeks to maintain its shape and texture.

In addition to regular brushing and grooming, Bedlington Terriers should have their ears checked and cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections. Nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and discomfort.

Exercise Requirements

Although Bedlington Terriers may have a gentle and calm demeanor, they still require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. These dogs have moderate exercise needs and enjoy daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation.

Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day to keep your Bedlington Terrier physically and mentally stimulated. They also enjoy activities such as agility training, obedience training, and interactive play with their owners.

Keep in mind that Bedlington Terriers have a strong prey drive, so it’s important to provide them with a secure and fenced area where they can safely run and play off-leash.

Overall, providing proper care, regular grooming, and fulfilling their exercise requirements will ensure that your Bedlington Terrier remains healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.

Bedlington Terriers are truly unique and gentle dogs that make excellent companions for individuals and families alike. Their distinctive lamb-like appearance and affectionate nature set them apart from other breeds. Despite their energetic and playful disposition, they are also known for their calm and gentle demeanor. Whether you are looking for a loyal and loving pet or a show-stopping dog that will turn heads, the Bedlington Terrier is an exceptional choice. With their intelligence, adaptability, and loving personality, these dogs are sure to bring joy and happiness to any home they become a part of.