According to some accounts, the breed was used by gypsies and poachers to catch game on the land of the gentry.
The "gypsy dog" came to the attention of Lord Rothbury of the town of Bedlington in Northumberland County. He became such an enthusiast of the little dog that the breed became known as Rothbury's Terrier (or Rothbury's Lamb).
It shares certain similarities, and therefore possibly common ancestry, with the Dandie Dinmont, Kerry Blue, and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. Its arched back hints that the Whippet may have also been used to add speed and litheness to the breed's performance ability.
The first dog to be called a "Bedlington Terrier" was whelped in 1825. The dog was Ainsley's Piper, who started to hunt at 8 months and continued to bring down the most ferocious of otters and badgers even in his blind and toothless old age.
Joseph Ainsley of Bedlington owned the first dog known to be called a Bedlington Terrier.
The breed was originally bred in England for hunting.