Dandie Dinmont Terrier was bred from selected specimens of the rough native terrier in the Border country between England and Scotland during the late 17th century. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier dog breed was popular among the gypsies and was used by farmers to kill vermin. With its short legs it was able to go to ground hunting badgers and otter. In 1814 Sir Walter Scott wrote about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier dog breed in is famous novel “Guy Mannering”. In the book there was a character named Dandie Dinmont, and that is where the breed got it’s name.
The shape of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is quite unlike the average terrier. From the rounded dome of the head and the huge expressive eyes to the gentle curve of the body – there are no straight lines. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is low to the ground and longer than he is tall. The large head has a topknot that is in proportion to the body. The skull is broad between the ears, gradually tapering to the eyes. The muzzle is deep, with a well defined stop. The large teeth meet in a scissors bite. The moderately, large nose and the lips are dark in color. The large, round, wide-set eyes come in dark hazel with dark eye rims. The legs are short with the back legs being a little longer than the front legs.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier coat colors are of two types. Pepper (dark bluish black to a light silvery gray) or Mustard (reddish brown to a pale fawn). Mustard Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies are born with a dark brown coat which lightens into varying shades of red when it reaches an adult. Pepper Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies are born black and tan, that silvers later in life. Pepper coats have a silver topknot and mustard color coats have a cream colored topknot.
The Dandie Dinmont makes a great companion dog, affectionate and happy-go-lucky. Lively, bold, brave, independent and intelligent. Because of this terrier’s hunting instincts, it should not be trusted with non-canine pets, such as hamsters, rabbits, pet mice and guinea pigs. It will be okay with cats that it is raised with from puppyhood. They are not difficult to train, if you are firm and consistent.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier makes a good watch dog, but needs to be told, after getting your attention with the first warning bark, it is time to be quiet and let you handle the rest. Because of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier breeds small size, a lot of Dandie Dinmont Terriers develop Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors, where the dog believes he is king of the home. Led to believe they own the humans and everything else around them, and do their best to keep and defend what they own.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is good for apartment life. They are fairly active indoors and a small yard will do as long as you take them for daily walks. Likes to chase, be careful when taking them off the leash.
Generally a healthy breed. Some Dandie Dinmont Terriers are prone to glaucoma and epilepsy. Hypothyroidism can occur when the dog is older. Do not overfeed as an overweight dog can have back problems. Life Expectancy is about 12-15 years.