The Bedlington Terrier originated in the a small village near Rothbury, Bedlington, hence its other name as a Rothbury Terrier.
It was used by gypsies and poachers to catch game on the land of the gentry, his ability to make a quick kill along with speed and endurance would have served poachers well. It is these points that brought the breed to the attention of the gentry, so much so that they hired the very dogs that were stealing their game to rid their estates of vermin.
The terrier soon became a favourite of the coal miners not only were they used to rid the mines of rats, but were also used for sport, racing not only other Bedlingtons but the faster Whippet, often with the Bedlington coming out winner.
There is no certainty of the breeds which lead to the Bedlington, however it shares similarities with the Dandie Dinmont, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and the Kerry Blue. The arched back may also have derived from the Whippet to add speed and litheness to the breeds performance.
A gentleman named Joseph Aynsley from the town of Bedlington in Northumberland bred the first dog named a Bedlington Terrier, Aynsley’s Piper, this gave the breed its start. Piper first hunted at 8 months and continued to bring down the most dangerous of badgers and otters even in his blind and toothless old age.
In the early 1900s the breed started to be bred as a companion dog which with newer methods of trimming gave the breed the appearance of a lamb, but underneath the baby face beats the heart of a true terrier.