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Friday, March 24, 2023

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Group: Terriers (Group 2)
Club: Sporting Terrier Club of Victoria Inc (Group 2)
Contact: Ms Margaret Gray
Phone: 0418 410 017

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only dog breed named after a fictional character.  Published in 1814, Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott, featured a character called ‘Dandie Dinmont’ (a farmer from the Borders), along with a vivid description of his pack of pepper and mustard terriers. It is said that the original Dandies were owned by the gypsies who travelled around the Border region and Sir Walter’s encounters with them provided the inspiration for his book.

Dandies were popular throughout the 19th and early 20th century but lost many of their bloodlines during WW2. Today, the breed is considered rare and endangered, with fewer than 300 puppies born worldwide each year. Many breeds descend from the Dandie including the Bedlington Terrier and Australian Terrier.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The average life span is 12 years.

Dignified, persistent, tough.

Dandies are not as busy as other terriers, generally friendly, affectionate, intelligent and tolerant. They are nevertheless a dog with a strong and determined temperament who benefits from kind but firm management, especially when young.

General Breed Description
Dandies are a long and low terrier, with a curvy topline finished by a scimitar-shaped tail. Their legs are short and sturdy and overall they have an athletic, ‘weasely’ build. They have an unusually large head for their size that is topped with a profuse soft silky topnot. Their expression is wise and thoughtful. Dandies come in only two colours, ‘pepper’ (shades of grey) and ‘mustard’ (shades of gold).

They have a very large bark for their size. Although Dandies do not need major exercise, they do need the company of their family to be content.

Coat and Care Requirements
Dandies are non-shedding. Traditionally, for the Show ring, the coat is hand stripped, which gives the coat a crisp and linty texture. Most people who own them as pets brush them weekly and clip the body coat short and leave the head and legs shaped and fluffy 3 or 4 times a year.

Height: 20 to 28cms (8 to 11ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health issues and what health testing the breeder does.

Dandies are eminently trainable and, like all dogs, benefit from a reward-based positive training regime.  The Dandies ‘’butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth’’ expression can deceive the owner into not realising they can have a mind of their own, thus a firm, consistent approach is essential. A well trained Dandie will make an excellent family pet, whether in a family or with an older person.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders