Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dignified and Captivating!

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier evolved from the rough coated terriers of the Scottish border regions. His exact lineage is not clear-cut, but it is thought that the Bedlington, Scottish and Skye terriers are among his relatives.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier in the grassCourtesy Wikimedia Commons

This Terrier originated in the seventeenth century as a hardy working dog that the farmers used for hunting otter and badger and ridding properties of vermin. His long low structure was ideally suited for the "going to ground" tasks of his working days

The Dandie breed was around for a long time before getting its unusual name, which came from a character in the novel "Guy Mannering" by Sir Walter Scott.

One of the characters in the novel was named, you guessed it: Dandie Dinmont who happened to have some little terrier-type dogs. Ultimately this name flowed down to the breed we know today.

The Dandie Dinmont's appearance bears a strong resemblance to the Skye Terrier, with respect to his short-legged, long body and plentiful coat.

The Dandie also has a most engaging and sweet face, with large expressive eyes, and a silky topknot upon his head. A well-cared-for Dandie can live up to fifteen years.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Puppies

Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies are a unique and somewhat rare breed which makes it very important to locate a reputable breeder if you are interested in obtaining one.

A professional breeder will be dedicated to the preservation of the breed standard, be a member of the AKC as well as the national association for the breed. Both of these associations will be able to direct you to reliable breeders.

Once you have done all your research on the Dandie, including reading the information on this page, prepare a list of questions you want to ask the breeder and especially ask what health screenings they do on the parents and the puppies once they have arrived.

You may also try to get an introduction to the parents of the puppy as this will give you an impression of their personality and temperament. Most breeders would also have records of the puppy's genealogy.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies

Another important inquiry is to establish whether registration with the AKC has been completed - bearing in mind that only puppies whose parents are AKC registered are eligible for registration with this club.

Registration is an important requirement if you are interested in having your puppy participate in AKC events at some future date.

Health Profile

This breed is mostly pretty healthy, but due to the physical characteristics of the Dandie,   they are more vulnerable to back problems affecting the spinal discs.

Keeping their weight under control is advised so as not to increase this potential.

Other conditions that may affect the breed to a minor degree, include:

  • Glaucoma,
  • Epilepsy and
  • Hypothyroidism may occur in older dogs
  • Spinal Disc Herniation aka Slipped Disc


A loyal and loving dog, he still retains much of his hunting instinct, which is expressed in his bold and confident demeanor. These traits, along with a big dog bark, also make him a good watchdog.

He is more docile than other terriers around the home, but very affectionate and does enjoy attention and companionship.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a determined and persistent nature, but he is very bright and amenable to training, which should be carried out in a positive, fair and consistent manner.

Physical Stats and Care

Dandie Dinmont illustration

Height: 8-11 inches
Weight: 18-24 lbs.
Color variations: Pepper - bluish black to silvery gray, and Mustard - reddish brown to pale fawn.

The Dandie has a double coat that is long and crisp and is a mixture of both hard and soft hairs.

Because this dog sheds very little, its coat does require regular brushing to remove dead hair as well as stripping of the coat about twice a year. The stripping is a must for dogs being shown in conformation.

Keeping the teeth clean is also very important to a dog's health. and a regular check of the ears for any adverse conditions and nails for necessary clipping.

Bathe as necessary.

How Active is the Dandie?

Dandies have an active heritage, even though today they are not often used as working dogs.

They are moderately active indoors, but they still like to romp outside and should be given regular walks for their health and mental well-being..

Ideal Living Space

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is not fussy about accommodations. Will easily adapt to life in a suburban family home, or city condo. 

However, they do have a "big" dog bark so that is something to be considered if living with close neighbors.  Terriers tend to be unpredictable about what will set of a bark fest!

Dandie Dinmont With Children?

They have a reputation for being good with children especially if raised with them. The Dandie is calmer in nature than most terriers but still has a prey drive so families with other small pets should keep that in mind.

In any event, supervision of play by an adult is always wise, as play between dogs,  children and other animals can be unpredictable.

Seniors or Less Active Families?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an excellent companion for senior households or the more sedentary owner.

However, regular exercise is still a needed daily event.

Resource for more breed information: Dandie
Dinmont Club Of America

Further Reading

Dandie Dinmont book cover
Dandie Dinmont Terrier Handbook

Resource covers breed history and standard, characteristics, grooming, puppy care, house-training, nutrition and feeding, basic training, health care and the potential disorders that may concern this breed.

Excellent color photos.

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  • Image credits: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bonfire_Buddy.jpg">Bonfirebuddy</a>, creativecommons.org/licenses/CC BY-SA 3.0
  • puppies: pets4homes.co.uk
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