With his pear-shaped head, arched back, and curly coat, the Bedlington Terrier looks like a little lamb. The head has no stop, descending in an unbroken line from crown to nose. The thick double coat is a mixture of soft and harsher hairs, and comes in blue, sandy, or liver. The dog might have tan markings over the eyes and on the legs, chest, and rear. The back is arched over the loin, and the tail is fairly long and tapering. The Bedlington has a unique springy gait, particularly when moving slowly.
The Bedlington Terrier was originally named the Rothbury Terrier after the district of Rothbury on the English Border. Gypsy nailmakers in Rothbury prized the breed as a hunter of various game, including badger. In about 1825, a Rothbury dog was mated to a Bedlington bitch. Joseph Ainsley produced the first dogs known as Bedlington Terriers. Whippet was probably introduced along the way to make the breed faster and more sporting. Other sources mention the Dandie Dinmont Terrier as a possible contributor to the breed. The resulting agile terrier was used to hunt badger, rats, otter, fox, and rabbits. The Bedlington was first exhibited as a separate breed in 1877.