An adorable white and brown Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

8 - 11"
18 - 24 lbs
Life Expectancy
13 - 14 years
Area of Origin
Great Britain
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an intelligent and energetic companion whose distinctive look has made them one of the most recognizable British dog breeds. They originated along the southern border of Scotland, and are known for their large, hazel eyes, long, low-set bodies, and poufy, helmet-like hair. They were bred to hunt rodents, otters, and badgers, and their double hair coat prevents water from penetrating, allowing for more efficient hunting in water. Like all terriers, they are smart and independent, but they also love companionship. They get along well with dogs and have a special affection for children. However, they can be wary of strangers and will alert the family with a deep, booming bark. The Dandie requires daily exercise, but are not built for extensive walks or hikes. They thrive in both a country or city setting, and are perfectly suited for those in need of a laid-back, but affectionate, little terrier.
Energy Level
Friendliness to dogs
Friendliness to strangers
exercise requirements
affection level
friendliness to other pets
Grooming Requirements

Where Are Dandie Dinmont Terriers From?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier has been traced back to 18th century Scotland and England. They were originally owned by farmers and hunters along the border and were known to hunt rodents and other small mammals. James Davidson, a border farmer and breeder, was known for developing the breed, and is famous amongst terrier enthusiasts for owning the “Immortal Six” terriers, which acted as ancestors of many breed variations today.

Throughout his travels, Sir Walter Scott stumbled upon the breed and is said to have based a Guy Mannering character (known as Dandie Dinmont) on Davidson. From that moment forward, Davidson’s famous dogs were known as Dandie Dinmont Terriers. The breed was also owned by King Louis Philippe in 19th century France, and made their way into famous paintings by Richard Ansdell and Sir Edwin Landseer.

Many believe the breed developed their long backs due to crossbreeding with Dachshunds, but there’s no definitive proof to back this theory. A breed club was formed in their honor in 1867, and they were recognized by the American Kennel Club 19 years later.

Caring for a Dandie Dinmont Terrier

What Kind of Diet Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

Keeping a Dandie Dinmont Terrier lean and trim is essential to avoid any potential back issues. This means that monitoring caloric intake is essential, as is a high-quality, age and breed-appropriate diet.

How Much Grooming Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

Dandies require daily brushing and occasional plucking of long hairs to prevent mats from forming. They do not shed, but require stripping of their dead hair with a special grooming tool at least twice yearly. Their ears should be checked regularly to monitor for infections.

Are Dandie Dinmont Terriers Healthy Dogs?

Are Dandie Dinmont Terriers Healthy Dogs?

The Dandie is relatively healthy with only a few breed-related issues. They can develop intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), which is a result of herniated disks along the thoracolumbar spine. This can cause minor to severe pain or even paralysis of the hind legs.

Dandies can also develop glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye), which can be extremely painful. Monitor your pet closely for squinting, vision loss, or pain and seek veterinary assistance if noted. They can also develop corneal ulcers and ear infections.

Routine examinations by a veterinarian are recommended to catch any problems early. Their life span is 13 to 14 years.

Dandie Dinmont Terriers are predisposed to: intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and ear infections.

How Much Training Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

How Much Training Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

Like most independent and smart breeds, they require early training. They can be stubborn, so persistent, positive training methods are recommended.

These dogs are eager to please, making them excellent at obedience training.

How Much Exercise Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

How Much Exercise Does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier Need?

Like all terriers, they require daily exercise to sustain their high-energy level. However, their low-slung bodies are not meant for long, strenuous walks. They are also heat intolerant and could overheat if overexerted.

Dandies enjoy playing fetch and short walks, and have the intelligence and athleticism for agility training.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Dandie Dinmont Terrier?

Why Are Dandie Dinmont Terriers So Low to the Ground?
The low-set body and athletic build of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is designed for ground-level rodent hunting. Their bodies are long and heads are large with soft, poufy hair. They stand 8 to 11 inches tall and weigh 18 to 24 pounds.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Head
Dandies’ heads are large and muscular. They have expressive, hazel eyes, and wide-set ears that hang low on the skull. They also have long muzzles and large noses that are perfect for hunting.
Are Dandie Dinmont Terriers Athletic?
Yes, despite their diminutive size, Dandie Dinmont Terriers are built for the hunt and surprisingly flexible, boasting sturdy bodies and well-developed chests.
Do Dandie Dinmont Terriers Have Tail
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have relatively long tails for their size, which are thicker at the base and tapered to a point. They carry their tails just above the hind end, and curve them upward like the blade of a sword.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier Front Legs
The breed’s forelimbs are short, wide set, and muscular. Their front feet are pointed slightly outward. Dewclaws are commonly removed.
What Colors Are Common for Dandie Dinmont Terriers?
Dandies are typically white with pepper or mustard coloring.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier Back Legs
Dandie hindlimbs are slightly longer than those in the front. Thighs are muscular, and hind feet are much smaller than the front feet.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Facts

The Dandie is the only breed named after a fictional character that is recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Members of this rare breed were famously adored by Queen Victoria and novelist Agatha Christie.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a "Vulnerable Native Breed," meaning that there are fewer than 300 puppies within the United Kingdom.

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