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Adopt a Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis



Area of origin:

border of Scotland and England

Original function:

otter and badger hunting

Average size of male:

Ht: 8-11, Wt: 18-24

Average size of female:

Ht: 8-11, Wt: 18-24

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Dandie Dinmont Terrier Dog Temperament

The Dandie Dinmont is no "dandified" dog; she is rough-and-tumble and ready for the hunt. Yet she functions well as a dignified house pet, affectionate but not doting. She is a loyal companion suitable for people of all ages, but she does need daily exercise to keep her from becoming frustrated. She is intelligent and very independent. Some dig.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Dog Care

The Dandie enjoys the chance to hunt around and explore in a safe area and needs a moderate walk to stay in condition. She does best as an indoor/outdoor dog, and should sleep inside. Her coat needs combing twice weekly, plus regular scissoring and shaping. Shaping for show dogs is done on an almost continual (but light) basis; that for pets can be done by stripping or clipping about four times a year.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: intervertebral disc disease
Minor concerns: shoulder and elbow luxation
Occasionally seen: patellar luxation, otitis externa
Suggested tests: (elbow)
Life span: 11-13 years

Interested in the history of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier dog breed?

The Dandie Dinmont terrier stands out as a most unusual terrier in appearance, yet her roots are as quintessentially terrier as any. She first appeared as a distinct type of terrier in the 18th century around the border country of Scotland and England. Here they were owned by farmers and gypsies and valued for drawing and killing otters, badgers and foxes. At one time, they were known as Catcleugh, Hindlee or pepper and mustard terriers. The most well-known of these dogs were owned by James Davidson, who named almost all his dogs either Pepper or Mustard along with some identifying adjective. Davidson and his dogs are believed by some to have been the models for Sir Walter Scott's characters of Dandie Dinmont and his dogs in Guy Mannering, published in 1814. The dogs became known as Dandie Dinmont's terriers. A letter written by James Davidson proclaimed that all Dandies descended from two of his dogs named Tarr and Pepper. At one time the breed was included in the general family of Scotch terriers, which encompassed several short-legged terriers now recognized as distinct breeds. The Dandie was recognized separately from this group in 1873. The Dandie Dinmont has never been extremely popular, and remains one of the lesser-known terriers. An old Scottish saying says, "A Dandie looks at you as though he's forgotten more than you will ever know."

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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