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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Origin: Great Britain

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: 8 - 11 inches (Male)

Weight: 18 - 24 pounds (Male)

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Dandie Dinmonts are very smart and independent. These feisty little dogs are often suspicious of strangers and aggressive with other animals. They're sometimes hard to housebreak, and they love to dig and bark.

Dandie Dinmonts are part of the Terrier group. In general, terriers have a very distinctive personality that's unlike any other breed. They're feisty and energetic. Originally bred to hunt and kill vermin, terriers love the chase - don't let your terrier off its leash unless it's in an enclosed area.

Terriers make excellent pets. These tough little canines have an attitude; however, so they usually adapt better to quiet households. Most terriers are usually jealous and snippy around other pets, especially dogs.

While some terriers are good with children, most will snap if provoked. If you want your terrier to be friendly with strangers, you need to accustom it to people at an early age. Terriers are also barkers and diggers.

In terms of health, terriers are very hardy dogs with few health problems. Most live a long time, usually around 15 years. Terriers need to be brushed twice a week and professionally groomed about every three months. While pet terriers are usually clipped, show dogs are stripped, which means the dead hairs are plucked out one by one so the coat color doesn't fade.

Great Britain
Male height: 
8 - 11 inches
Male weight: 
18 - 24 pounds
About two inches long; a mixture of hard and soft hair. Front legs are shorter than hind legs. Tail and ears hang down.
Puppies born black and brown will eventually turn pepper. Puppies usually reach adult color by 18 months. Head and topknot (a tuft of hair on the top of the hand) are creamy white. Some white is allowed on the chest and toenails. Eyes are dark hazel; nose is dark.
Special considerations: 
This breed is susceptible to spinal disc problems. Don't let your Dandie Dinmont jump off of high couches and beds.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier hails from the Scottish - English border country and stems from the same stock as the Border, Lakeland, Bedlington and Welsh Terriers. He was developed as far back as the 1600s as a specialist for otters and badgers. Most of these dogs were kept by a few families in the area, like the Allans. Willie "Piper" Allan, who died in 1704, kept an outstanding pack and refused to sell any, despite handsome offers. His sons and grandsons continued the tradition, occasionally giving a pair to a friend or for favors. A tenant farmer, John Davidson, obtained a pair and bred them. With these and similar breedings, the otter terriers were sprinkled sparingly throughout the area, without specific title or pedigree, when Sir Walter Scott chanced upon them in his travels. He immortalized them in his novel "Guy Mannering" (1814), in which one of the characters, a farmer named Dandie Dinmont (modeled after Davidson), kept this breed. From then on, the breed came to be known as Dandie Dinmont's Terrier.

An affectionate and at times silly dog, the Dandie can also be willful and standoffish. He is reserved with strangers and protective of his home. He can be plucky and determined, and he is intelligent. Socialization is important from puppyhood to help the Dandie Dinmont feel comfortable with people and other animals.
At home: 
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a versatile dog who can live just about anywhere. His size makes him a fine choice for city living, but he is hardy enough for the country. He is relatively active indoors, but with enough time and attention will settle down when you need him to. A small fenced-in yard will suit your Dandie just fine.
he Dandie has moderate exercise requirement - a few walks a day and some playtime are all he needs.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier requires a balanced, high-quality diet to stay healthy.
The independent-minded Dandie Dinmont responds best to positive, motivational training. He needs socialization with children, other animals, and different kinds of adults from an early age if he is to be the confident dog he can be. If he doesn't get it, he can be aggressive or overly shy, as his instincts will tell him to steer clear.
The Dandie won't tolerate ill-behaved children, but those who are kind will be accepted and loved. He doesn't always get along with other pets, so socialization from an early age is essential.
The average life span of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include back problems; epilepsy; glaucoma; hypothyroidism; and primary lens luxation.
Fun fact: 

King Louis Philippe of France owned a pair of Dandies in the 1840s.

Grooming blurb: 
If you want your Dandie to look like a show dog, he will need professional grooming. The combination of soft and coarse hairs must be balanced and professionally maintained, and the distinctive look of his face is best left to a professional to achieve. If you want to groom him at home you'll have to learn how to strip him, clip him and brush him with a pin brush.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.