The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a dog originated on the borders of Scotland in the 1700s. It was originally bred as a skilled hunter, they were especially good at hunting otters and badgers. They were used to go hunt these animals in their underground dens.
There is a debate about the breeds ancestry. Some believe, that they may have been a type of Border Terrier, which would suggest that they are also related to Bedlington Terriers as well. Other says, that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a cross of a Scottish and Skye Terrier. Most likely, they are somehow related to all short legged terriers of Scotland, which include Skye, Cairn, West Highland White and Scottish Terrier.
One of the unique facts about this breed is, that it is probably the only dog breed in the world named after a fictional character. It is from a novel Guy Mannering by dog-lover Sir Walter Scott. In this novel, there is a farmer named Dandie Dinmont owns six small terriers. Which is why these 6 dogs came to be known as Dandie Dinmont's terriers.
The Dandie comes in two color variations with specific names. The first one is pepper, which ranges from dark blueish black to very light silvery gray. The second one is mustard, which are shades of golden brown, with the head appearing to be almost white. It is common that the legs have darker color than the body.
Even though they are i would say calmer and gentler than majority of other terriers, they still have the typical terrier personality traits. Which means that you should be prepared for an independent and lets say stubborn dog, that has higher prey drive and chasing instinct and that likes to bark and dig. BTW, Dandies have surprisingly deep and loud bark. Dandies are also naturally reserved with strangers, which makes them good watchdogs.
On the other hand, Dandie Dinmont Terrier is not only a skilled hunter, but also a great family companion. It is a very affectionate, friendly, devoted and playful breed, that enjoyes company of older kids. It is definitely one of the most docile breed of all the terriers. Overall, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier makes a great family companion.
This is a shortlegged dog with long body. The average height is between 8-11 inches which is 20-28 cm and weight is typically between 18-24 pounds, which is 8-11 kgs. Because of their unique body, older Dandies might have problems with climbing the stairs, as the dog's short legs make climbing difficult.
Sadly, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a very rare dog breed. In fact, in 2006 the Kennel Club recognised the Dandie Dinmont Terrier as one of the rarest dog breeds native to the British Isles and they are listed as vulnerable Brittish breed. The dog is not on the verge of extinction, but it is estimated, that only three hundred purebred puppies are born each year worldwide.
Great fact about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is, that this breed sheds only very little. But even though they are not big shedders, they need regular brushing, lets say once or twice a week, to prevent matting. Overall, the maintanance and grooming is not hard with this breed. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
The average Dandie Dinmont Terriers lifespan is between 12-15 years. Due to the breed's elongated body, they can suffer from back problems, for example from intervertebral disc disease. They can also suffer from Cushings disease, glaucoma or portosystemic shunt.