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BaxterBoo Blog
March 20, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Dandie Dinmont Terrier

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  • Height: 8"- 11”
  • Weight: 18-24 pounds
  • Historical function: Otter and badger hunter
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification: Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Show Dog

Physical Characteristics:

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is longer than it is tall, and low to the ground. The topknot is fluffy and round when in a show cut. It has long ears, which is unusual for a terrier breed. The coat can be found in mustard (light fawn to red) or pepper (dark blue-black through to a light silvery gray.) Puppies are born dark brown for the mustard color and black for the pepper color. The topknot is silkier and lighter in color than the rest of the body. 

History of the Breed:

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier was developed dating back to the 1700s in the border regions between Scotland and England as an otter and badger hunter. They were also used to eradicate rodents. In 1814, Sir Walter Scott wrote about the breed in his famous novel "Guy Mannering." In the book there was a character named Dandie Dinmont, and that is where the breed got its name. The Dandie Dinmont has been put on the list of Vulnerable Native Breeds as one of the rarest dog breeds native to the British Isles.


The Dandie Dinmont is a friendly and courageous breed that doesn't know it is a small dog. It is intelligent and cheerful. Do not trust this breed with pet rodents due to their hunting instincts. Will do okay with cats provided they are raised with them. This is one of the most docile terrier breeds. This dog is a gifted digger, so monitor your fence line.

  • Best suited for: Families with older children and people with allergies.
  • Preferred living conditions: This adaptable dog can thrive in an urban or rural setting provided they get a daily walk.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: This dog requires regular brushing and professional coat stripping twice yearly. Does not shed.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: Generally healthy. May be prone to back problems due to their elongated spine. Some are reported to have glaucoma and epilepsy.

Breed Club Links: Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America Perfect Pairings: We recommend harnesses to protect that long spine.

Have any stories about a Dandie Dinmont Terrier? Please share!

Featured photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Show cut photo from Westminster Dog Show 2013 courtesy of Steven Donahue / See Spot Run Photography.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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