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Breed Standard

FCI and The Kennel Club


It is claimed that the Bedlington can boast a longer traceable pedigree than any other terrier and once was known as the Rothbury Terrier, hailing from the former mining areas of the north of England. His fame spread outside his native region and an association was started for the breed in 1877. A North Country dog, originally his role was to catch rabbits for the family pot, and a sporting dog he still remains.

After being crossbred with several other terrier types and then the Whippet, their characteristic body type was set. The Bedlington was considered the gamest terrier and best vermin killer by the local miners, who are credited with developing the breed.

General Appearance

A graceful, lithe, muscular dog, with no signs of either weakness or coarseness. Whole head pear or wedge-shaped, and expression in repose mild and gentle.


Spirited and game, full of confidence. An intelligent companion with strong sporting instincts.


Good-tempered, having an affectionate nature, dignified, not shy or nervous. Mild in repose but full of courage when roused.

Head and Skull

Skull narrow, but deep and rounded; covered with profuse silky ‘top-knot’ which should be nearly white. Jaw long and tapering. There must be no ‘stop’, the line from occiput to nose end straight and unbroken. Well filled up beneath eye, close fitting lips, without flew. Nostrils large and well defined.


Relatively small and bright. Ideal eye has appearance of being triangular. Blues have a dark eye; blue and tans have a lighter eye with amber lights, livers and sandies have a light hazel eye.


Moderately sized, filbert-shaped, set on low, and hanging flat to cheek. Thin and velvety in texture; covered with short fine hair with fringe of whitish silky hair at tip.


Teeth large and strong. Scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Long and tapering, deep base with no tendency to throatiness. Springs well up from shoulders, and head carried rather high.


Forelegs straight, wider apart at chest than at feet. Pasterns long and slightly sloping without weakness. Shoulders flat and sloping.


Blue, liver, or sandy with or without tan. Darker pigment to be encouraged. Blues and blue and tans must have black noses; liver and sandies must have brown noses.

Excellent pigmentation is demonstrated by GCh First Class Willow Wind The Phoenix "Goetz".


Muscular and markedly flexible. Chest deep and fairly broad. Flat ribbed, deep through brisket which reaches to elbow. Back has natural arch over loin creating a definite tuck-up of underline. Body slightly greater in length than height.


Muscular and moderate length, arched loin with curved topline immediately above loins. Hindlegs have appearance of being longer than forelegs. Hocks strong and well let down, turning neither in nor out. Moderate turn of stifle.


Long hare feet with thick and well closed up pads. Pads sound and free from cracks or horny excrescences.


Moderate length, thick at root, tapering to a point and gracefully curved. Set on low, never carried over back.


Capable of galloping at high speed and have appearance of being able to do so. Action very distinctive, rather mincing, light and springy in slower paces and slight roll when in full stride.


Very distinctive. Thick and linty, standing well out from skin, but not wiry. A distinct tendency to twist, particularly on head and face.


Height: about 41 cms (16 ins) at withers. This allows for slight variation below in the case of a bitch and above in the case of a dog. Weight: 8-10 kgs (18-23 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.