The Bedlington Terrier, also known as the Rodberry or Rothbury Terrier, the Northumberland Fox Terrier, the North Counties Terrier, the Gypsy Dog or simply the Bedlington, comes from a small mining village in the county of Northumberland, England. This lamb-like dog, with its pear-shaped head and arched back, looks like nothing else in the canine world. While the Bedlington’s body type and coat do not resemble that of the typical terrier, their personalities do. Bedlingtons have boundless energy and are intelligent, tenacious, friendly and bold. They are terrific family dogs and form strong bonds with their human companions. Despite its wooly cuteness, this is a tough breed with a strong work ethic – a terrier through and through. The Bedlington Terrier was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and is a member of the Terrier Group.
The average male Bedlington stands 16½ inches at the withers, and the preferred height for females is 15½ inches at the withers. Dogs under 16 or over 17½ inches, and bitches under 15 or over 16½ inches, are seriously faulted under the American breed standard. Their weight is to be proportionate to their height, typically within the range of 17 to 23 pounds. Unlike most terriers, this breed has a distinctive mixture of hard and soft hair that is curly and crisp to the touch but not wiry. Although Bedlingtons do not shed much, they still require frequent brushing and trimming, and it is best to bathe them on a regular basis because their unique coat tends to attract dust and dirt. Bedlington Terriers come in two colors - liver and blue – with one not given preference over the other. Early in the breed’s history, the better specimens were liver colored. Today, the blue color predominates.