The Bedlington terrier is an English breed that was originally called the Rothbury terrier. In the early 1800s, it was designed as an all-purpose sports dog. They were bred to be able to swim, retrieve downed game birds, course rabbits, hunt rats and other vermin and compete in fighting pits. They looked somewhat different at the time than they do now and their appearance and temperaments slowly changed as a result of better treatment and breeding programs put together by dog fanciers at the time. The species was first exhibited as a separate breed in 1877 and has been a favorite of dog fanciers thanks to their self-sufficient nature and energetic personalities. Here is a guide on how to identify a Bedlington terrier.
Begin by looking at the dogs general shape and build. Bedlingtons stand about 17 inches high at the shoulder and about a foot higher at the top of the skull. It should weigh anywhere between 18 and 23 pounds. The first impression you should get when your see the dog is that youre looking at a lamb. It should have the tubular body, cocked rear legs, straight forelegs, and non-existent tail of a lamb.2
Look at the dogs fur. It should have a springy coat of white or tan fur that looks and feels like lambs wool. This fur does not shed and is usually very clean and soft. It should cover the dog in a uniform thickness from head to toe.3
Watch how the dog walks. Bedlingtons tend to have a spring in their step reminiscent of a young sheep or lamb.4
Examine the dogs head. Unlike most dogs, the Bedlingtons skull from the tip of the crown to the snout makes a smooth incline. There is no arch or dip indicating the end of the skull and beginning of the muzzle. This is the most telling feature of the species; any dog possessing it will always be a Bedlington terrier.