Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 8 - 11 inches.

Weight: 18 - 24 lbs.

Life Span: 11 -14 years.

Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: Medium - High. They are happiest when they are busy.

Watch-dog: Medium. They announce visitors, but do not always become aggressive.

Guard-dog: Medium. Dandie Dinmonts are not afraid of a fight.


Description: The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an enigmatic fellow who requires a special owner, as they are loving and stubborn at the same time. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are playful and intelligent companions who, deep down inside, have a true terrier spirit. When aroused, the Dandie can be a veritable demon who will tackle a fox or other small vermin. The peaceful personality denies his inner ratting instinct in his outward appearance. A Dandie Dinmont Terrier thrives on human companionship and should not be left alone. They are friendly, easygoing house dogs. They do not instigate fights, but are unafraid of them. They can be used as guard dogs, despite their size, they are willing to fight off unwelcome guests. For a terrier, this breed is quite docile, and does not retain the mentality that all things caught should be killed. They are extremely loyal, affectionate pets. Dandie Dinmonts enjoy a lot of exercise, and are content with just playing. Some are aggressive towards strange dogs, and they also like to dig, as most terriers do. They can be independent and reserved with strangers, but affable and dignified with family.

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Other Names: Dandie Dinmont's Terrier

Colors: Pepper (from bluish black to pale silvery gray) or mustard (from reddish brown to pale fawn).

Coat: Soft, linty undercoat and harder topcoat, not wiry and feeling crisp to the hand. They have a soft topknot on the head.

Temperament: andie Dinmont Terriers are independent, lively, and affectionate towards their owners. They are friendly, but not always obedient. They can be independent, and are happiest when busy. They have quite a docile and peaceful attitude for terriers. They are bold, unafraid, but not instigating in fights. They remain dignified, even in play. They are very loyal, and can be used as a guard dog. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are playful, intelligent and happy with any attention it receives.

With Children: Yes, gets along well with children who are older than 10. Young children are not suggested for this breed.

With Pets: Yes, friendly with dogs, good with cats when raised together; rodents incite hunting drive.

Special Skills: Hunting dog and family pet.

Care and Training: Regular grooming of the Dandie Dinmont Terriers coat should be done with a pin brush. Loose hair if left will soon mat. Long hours of regular exercise will keep the Dandie Dinmont Terrier healthy and well adjusted. Special attention should be paid to the soft topknot on the head. They have a tendency to dig and crawl under fences and training should begin at a young age to discourage this type of behavior. Training of puppies should be sympathetic, never harsh, as they are a sensitive breed. A play session or walk every day is good exercise for this breed.

Learning Rate: High. But they are not always obedient. They excel in tracking and agility.

Special Needs: Grooming.

Living Environment: Apartment is ok, home with a backyard and lots of human companionship is better. The best owner for this breed would be would a family or individual who lives in the city or the country. This breed is very adaptable to most living situations. They have a loud and deep bark.

Health Issues: Intervertebral disc disease and glaucoma. Other health concerns include lens luxation.

History: The Dandie Dinmont Terrier's origins are from the border of England and Scotland where they claims ancestry with the Bedlington Terrier, Skye Terrier, Otterhound and English Terrier. Their name goes back to the 1600s, when a man named Willie "Piper" Allan kept and raised Dandie Dinmont Terriers until his death in 1704. Despite large amounts offered to him, he never sold his terriers. His children and grandchildren continued the trend, only rarely giving away a Dandie to a friend as a gift or as a favor. When a farmer named James Davidson obtained a pair and decided to breed them, the otter terrier and other breeds were meshed into the mix of the breed now known as the Dandie Dinmont. At this time, there was no record, no title or pedigree concerning the breed's name, and they had simply been called Catcleugh, Hindlee, or Pepper and Mustard Terriers, after the colors of Davidson's dogs. Soon a man named Walter Scott who was traveling through found this breed and adopted a few. He soon went on to write the novel "Guy Mannering" in 1814, which popularized the breed. In the story, a character named "Dandie Dinmont" kept a pack of these dogs, just as "Piper" Allan had. Although the likeness of the two was similar, the author later denied the claim that the character in fiction was written about Allan. Nevertheless, the breed went on to be known as Dandie Dinmont's Terriers. In the 1840s, King Louis Phillipe of France obtained a pair of Dandie Dinmonts. In 1867, when the breed was first shown at the Birmingham Dog Show, the judge refused to acknowledge the breed with a prize, remarking that they were "just a bunch of mongrels." Developed for hunting small game like badgers and foxes, Dandie Dinmonts were also used by poacher and gypsies. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier was particularly good at tracking otters. To this day, the breed is used as a companion.

First Registered by the AKC: 1886

AKC Group: Terrier

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC