The most distinctive feature of this gutsy terrier is his curly, wooly coat. He is sometimes described as having the head of a lamb and the heart of a lion. This is a dog that was bred to quickly kill not only rats, but also badgers, otters, and foxes.
The Bedlington Terrier appears outwardly to be calmer or milder than some other terriers. He isn't fussy or mischievous, and is independent in his ways. But once excited for play, he makes a quick and speedy playmate for children. He is also loving and has a big heart.
His soft coat is dark in puppyhood, but within a few months lightens dramatically to a pale bluish gray, sandy, or liver. It stands out crisply from his body in a combination of hard and soft hairs, and needs regular, professional grooming to get his clip just right, especially around his head.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: The expression is mild and gentle; the action is springy and full of energy and courage; he is able to gallop at great speeds.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 16 1/2 at the withers; females, 15 1/2. Weight--between 17 to 23 pounds.
The Bedlington Terrier was the coal miners' dog. When these men were not working down in the mines, they loved to race their Bedlingtons. Racing Whippets was also popular. The two breeds are fast runners and have similar, gracefully shaped bodies. Some believe the Bedlington looks like a Whippet in sheep's clothing.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.