The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small terrier-type breed of Scottish origin. It has a very long narrow body with short legs similar to a weasel, a curving topline, large expressive eyes and a distinctive silky topknot perched on the top of the head. It has pendulous ears set well back on the head that hangs close to the cheeks with a very slight projection at the base that tapers to a point. The ears typically measure 7.5-10 cms and are of the same colour as the body coat, which comes in two colours: pepper or mustard. In a pepper dog, the ears are covered with soft, straight, dark hair while a mustard dog’s ears have the same mustard colour but a bit darker. The ears also have a thin feathering of light hair with the same colour as the topknot. However, this feature only appears when the dog reaches the age of two years. The body of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is long and muscular with a well-developed chest. The neck is equally muscular, having developed from hunting larger animals. The hind legs are longer than the front legs. It has a rather short tail that’s thick at the root and tapers off to a point and normally carried a little above the body level. The weatherproof coat ranges from dark bluish black to light silvery grey (pepper) and from reddish brown to pale fawn (mustard). Both colours are adorned with a profuse silvery white topknot. The average height of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is between 20-28cms at withers with an ideal weight of 8-11kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
During the 17th century, the ancestors of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier were hunting dogs sent to ground to hunt badgers, rabbits, foxes and otters in the border county of Scotland and England. The early development of the breed is attributed to the Border Terrier-type (or Scottish Terrier and Skye Terrier cross) dogs owned by Willie Allan of Holystone in Northumberland during the 18th century. These dogs were well-known for hunting otters in the area but were relatively unknown outside of the borders until 1815 when novelist Sir Walter Scott published “Guy Mannering” after spending time in the area. In his novel, Sir Walter included a fictional character named “Dandie Dinmont” who owned terrier-type dogs named “Pepper” and “Mustard”. Incidentally, the “Dandie Dinmont” character was partially based on the real life farmer Mr. James Davidson who also owned terrier-type dogs aptly named “Pepper” and “Mustard” after the colour of their coats. Coincidentally, these dogs are descended from various sources including the dogs of Willie Allan. Davidson kept a meticulous record of his breeding and is widely accepted as the father of the modern Dandie Dinmont Terrier. When local readers of the novel recognised that the fictional character was James Davidson, they teased him by calling him “Dandie Dinmont”, and from this name came about the name of the breed.
Today, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be rarely seen working in the field, but still makes an excellent companion dog. It is highly intelligent, determined, sensitive, affectionate and dignified, gentle with children and a good watchdog. It is relatively quiet compared to other breeds of terrier but it is very independent-minded. It is notorious for digging, owing to its natural instinct to go after small game that burrows below the ground. It can be trained to get along well with cats, especially if it is socialised with other animals at an early age. However, being a hunting terrier with a strong prey drive, it cannot be trusted with small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, rats and similar pets.
Even with a calm nature, the Dandie still needs to be trained for obedience. Although quite intelligent, this breed sometimes has a stubborn streak which can make training a challenge. Training should start as early as possible in the life of the dog to be successful later on in some of the critical areas of training such coming to heel, stopping to bark when commanded, potty training, and being calm towards strangers. The best training method is consistent, motivational, positive reinforcement techniques and never harsh training which will only make the Dandie more stubborn. Good behaviour should be rewarded with praise or food treats.
Grooming requirements vary depending on the owner and whether the dog is utilized as a working dog or as a house companion dog. In general, brushing the crisp topcoat and soft undercoat on a weekly basis to get rid of loose dead hairs is mandatory. Brushing not only brings the coat to a pristine condition but also promotes good blood circulation. The coat will also need to be hand-stripped every six months to encourage the growth of new hairs.
The Dandie Dinmont is generally a healthy breed with no known serious health problems mainly because of responsible breeding. However, minor health issues affect the breed like all other dogs. The long narrow body profile of the Dandie Dinmont makes it prone to spinal problems like spinal disc herniation which can lead to paralysis in its most severe form. Hypothyroidism, primary closed angle glaucoma and Cushing’s syndrome are also known issues in some dogs. It is also has a higher risk of developing canine cancer compared to other dogs. Given the proper care, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier can live between the ages of 11 to 13 years.
This breed is fairly inactive indoors and needs a moderate amount of exercise which makes him a suitable breed for an owner who lives in either a city or countryside home. A quick walk around the corner on a leash will give the Dandie his required daily exercise. It will also enjoy playing in the garden provided that the garden is well-secured because its instinct to chase prey might kick in anytime.
Like most terrier breeds, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is not great with small children. It has a strict territorial instinct and toddlers can get bitten if they invaded its territory. Older children who knows how to handle a dog properly will go quite along well with the breed. The Dandie Dinmont is not inclined to bark in a sharp, shrill way compared to other terriers, but it is one of the most dog-aggressive breeds, particularly of the same sex. His original purpose to hunt small animals makes him unsafe with rabbits, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs and other similar pets.