Bedlington Terrier Information


The Bedlington Terrier was created in Northumberland but its original name was the Rothbury Terrier named after an area called Rothbury on the Scottish, English Borders. However, around 1825 he was renamed the Bedlington Terrier, in favour to the Bedlington Mining Shire. The Bedlington Terrier started off in life as a prized hunter of Hares, Badgers and the Fox as well as being used by the miners to rid the area of rats, mice and alike.


The Bedlington Terrier can best be described as lamb-like in appearance. His head is somewhat pear-shaped, deep, rounded and narrow – there is no stop. The body is arched and his chest is deep. Ears are low-set, triangular rounding at the tips; eyes are small, almond-shaped and deep-set. His back legs are somewhat longer than his front legs; the low-set tail is thick at the base but gradually tapers towards the end. The Bedlington Terrier has a double thick coat and he comes in colours of solid Liver, Blue, Sandy, and bi-colours of Blue and tan and liver and tan. The Tan will appear over his eyes,, chest, legs and rear.


Bedlington Terrier owners in the UK reported that the most common health issues among living dogs were reproductive, heart murmur, and eye problems such as epiphora, retinal dysplasia, and cataracts. Bedlingtons seem to be more prone to these eye diseases than other breeds. They also have a high incidence of kidney problems. Copper toxicosis occurred among about 5% of living dogs. Inbreeding is a concern, as some dogs “having been bred in and in to a damaging extent.” Excepting these problems, Bedlingtons are generally a very healthy breed.

Copper toxicosis, also known as copper storage disease and copper overload syndrome, is an autosomal recessive disease that is characterized by an accumulation of copper in the liver. It is closely related to Wilson’s disease in humans. Bedlington Terriers are more prone to copper toxicosis than most other dog breeds. Bedlington Terriers are the only breed of dog in which haemolysis has been reported, but there have been no reports of neurological involvement in any dog breed. Studies have shown that in Bedlingtons, the disease is caused by a defective metallothionein that causes cell lysosomes to become saturated with copper. This causes the cell to store copper in the nucleus. There are three varieties of the disease: the Asymptomatic Form occurs when copper accumulates but there are no clinical symptoms of the disorder; the Fulminating Form which is seen mostly in young dogs, causes death in two to three days, and is thought to be caused by stress; and the Chronic Form, which is characterized by an extended period in which liver disease slowly causes the death of the dog. Bedlingtons also have a tendency to accumulate iron in the liver, but not nearly to the extent that they accumulate copper