The Dandie Dinmont Terrier originated sometime around 1700 in the Cheviot Hills between England and Scotland. The breed was created to work on farms as an exterminator of vermin such as otters, badgers, and rodents. In 1815 Sir Walter Scott, a renowned Scottish novelist, wrote Guy Mannering, a novel in which a character named Dandie Dinmont keeps a pack of pepper and mustard-colored terriers. Dandie Dinmont’s character was based on the real-life James Davidson, who’s 6 terriers are considered by some to be the founding members of the breed. This is how to Dandie Dinmont Terriers received their unique name.
Originally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888, today the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is ranked number 176 in popularity of the 193 AKC-recognized breeds and categorized in the Terrier Group.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DANDIE DINMONT TERRIERS
What characteristics define the Dandie Dinmont Terrier? Read on to discover what physical attributes and personality traits make the Dandie Dinmont Terrier such a unique breed.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are easily identified by their long torso, short stature and large head covered with long, silky white hair. Dandies have long, hanging ears tipped with feathering and big, round eyes. The coat is crisp, with hair at least 2 inches long, and may present as Mustard (reddish brown to pale fawn) or Pepper (bluish black to silvery gray) in coloration, according to the AKC.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are built to go to ground, so they should weigh no more 24 lbs (ideally 18-24), standing 8-11 inches high at the withers (top of the shoulder).
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are typical terriers in some respects: independent, intelligent, and bold, with a lot of personality mixed in. They are affectionate with people they know and slightly aloof with strangers. Unlike many terrier breeds, Dandies are not typically “barkers.” Though they will bark an alarm, they do not bark incessantly, though when they do their bark is deep and loud for such a small dog. Dandies are also not as high-strung as many terrier breeds, nor do they seem to exhibit the “Napoleon Complex” many terriers are famous for. This is not to say that Dandies will back down from a fight if they are pushed too far; Dandies may not start a fight but they will finish it.
Dandies are gentle with children and thoroughly enjoy a family setting, whether it be on a country farm or adapting to city life.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a life expectancy of 12-15 years.
CARING FOR A DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER
Understanding and maintaining a Dandie Dinmont Terrier’s particular needs will lead to a longer, healthier life for your dog and a more enjoyable partnership for both dog and owner. Read on to learn more about the nutrition, exercise, training, and health requirements of a thriving Dandie Dinmont Terrier to ascertain whether this is the right breed for you.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers thrive on high-quality dog food specially formulated for small breeds to promote a healthy weight. Whether commercial or manually prepared, diets should be appropriately tailored to an individual based on age (puppy, senior, etc) and activity level. Many dog foods have serving suggestions on their packaging, but monitoring food intake and body condition, as well as consulting with your veterinarian, are all simple ways to make sure your dog is receiving the nutrition he or she requires.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers do best exercising 30 minutes, twice each day to maintain optimum health, whether its a brisk walk or a play session in the backyard. Dandies are built long and low, so they are not a fit jogging partner. This breed was bred to hunt and will not hesitate to dart after prey, so a Dandie should always be leashed or in a securely-fenced area when outside.
Like all terriers, Dandies are intelligent, adaptable, and stubborn. This leads to a willful, confident companion who may take a little more training with an equally-stubborn human. Like all dogs, training and socialization during puppyhood are essential to a well-rounded pup. Puppy classes are a great way to start training and socializing a new puppy early on. At a minimum, your Dandie Dinmont Terrier should learn basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come. Training a Dandie works best with a focus on positive reinforcement. Consistent training and patience are key to successfully raising a well-behaved Dandie Dinmont Terrier.
Due to their strong familial ties, Dandie Dinmont Terriers left alone for long periods of time can resort to undesirable behaviors. Some of these behaviors can be mitigated by providing access to puzzles and interactive toys.
Although no breed is completely disease-free, Dandie Dinmont Terriers come pretty close. A few individuals have developed lymphoma, but otherwise, the breed is not known for any common ailments.
Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly, as their length and proximity to the ground can sometimes lead to infections. Brush teeth regularly using a toothpaste specifically designed for dogs. Make sure to take your Dandie to the vet for regular checkups and your dog should live a long, healthy life.
This breed’s coat does not shed but does require daily grooming with a dog brush to avoid matting. Your Dandie’s coat should be groomed to remove dead hair a few times each year. This can be done by hand or using a special stripping tool. Long hair can be “plucked” using thumb and forefinger periodically to maintain a groomed appearance.
Other breeds similar to the Black Russian Terrier include: