Dandie Dinmont Terriers boast unique looks and an endearing personality that has won the hearts of many. Although the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an ideal companion and family pet, they are a relatively rare breed and are quite uncommon, with less than 100 Dandie Dinmont Terriers bred in the UK every year. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are part of the Terrier group, and were originally bred to hunt vermin, proving themselves to be effective hunters. Today they make fantastic family pets and companions, and although they are quite uncommon and not widely bred, there is a great deal to shout about the breed. Some highlights:
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are loving companions
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are intelligent and easy to train
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a calm demeanour and are not demanding
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are natural watchdogs with a deep bark, considering their size
Some downsides to the Dandie Dinmont Terrier:
Dandie Dinmont Terriers can be wilful and independent
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a high prey drive
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are uncommon, so finding a well-bred puppy may be difficult and command a lot of money
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier hails from the Scottish Borders and can be traced back to the 1600s, when they were commonly kept for hunting otter, fox, polecat and various rodents. Dandie Dinmont Terriers were once commonly known as the ‘mustard & pepper terrier’. A book was published by Sir Walter Scott in 1814 titled ‘Guy Mannering’ which starred the character Dandie Dinmont, who was a farmer on the Scottish Borders and kept terriers who were mustard and pepper in colour. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier breed origins are not fully known; however, it is believed that they were developed by crossing terriers with Otterhounds.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small dog, usually maturing at between 20 – 28cm in height
A healthy and fit Dandie Dinmont Terrier will usually weigh between 8.2 – 10.9kg
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is red and white in colour, referred to as mustard and pepper
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are known to be natural watchdogs and are always alert. They have a deep bark which is surprising considering their size.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers, unlike many other terrier types, are not known to bark a lot. They bark when alerted, which is why they make such great watchdogs.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are intelligent and easy to engage, however, they are known to be wilful and strongly independent at times, so the correct training is required.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a great personality and love to play, thriving when surrounded by human attention.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a reputation for being brilliant with children, making them a great choice for a family pet, although care should be taken around young children to ensure safe play.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers will get along fine with other dogs and will happily live with another dog. However, they tend to chase and have a high prey drive, meaning that they may chase cats and other animals such as rabbits, considering them fair game.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are not usually associated with separation anxiety; they are independent dogs and will be happy to left alone for a short amount of time. However, they adore their owners and will struggle if left for too long in the house alone.
Generally, Dandie Dinmont Terriers love water and are natural swimmers, they will especially take eagerly to the water when the weather is warm. However, care should be taken around deep or dangerous water, in case they jump in and can’t get out easily because of their size.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are generally healthy dogs with a life expectancy of 11 – 13 years
A Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an active dog and requires mental stimulation and exercise to stay happy and healthy. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are a bundle of energy and love to be kept busy, they are not particularly high maintenance but will require about an hour of exercise a day and will be happy to get involved in any outdoor activities.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers may be prone to certain hereditary illnesses, like many breeds, these include Glaucoma, Cushing’s Syndrome and Intervertebral disc disease. For many conditions, screening is available and is recommended.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are not large dogs and don’t require a huge amount of space, although they require ample room to roam and would benefit from an enclosed garden to explore and run in.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are not fussy eaters but require a highly nutritious diet on good quality dog food to thrive. As a guide, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier weighing 9kg may be fed between 116g – 156g depending on activity.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers require a certain amount of regular upkeep to keep their coat healthy; they have a short coat but need to be brushed regularly and would benefit from having their coats clipped every 8 to 12 weeks on average. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are often clipped and groomed with a distinctive ‘poof’ of hair on top of their head.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers don’t shed a great deal, but will shed especially in Spring and Autumn; with regular brushing and trips to the groomers, this won’t be a problem.
As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £850 - £1000 for a well-bred Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £50 - £80 per month
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Dandie Dinmont Terrier Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppy buying advice:
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are not commonly kept dogs, regardless of their suitability as a family pet, and waiting lists are likely when buying a puppy. Finding a well-bred Dandie Dinmont Terrier may be difficult because of this, but it is vital that a reputable breeder is found. Vaccination and hereditary documents should always be available and it’s important that the puppy is seen with the dam.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.dandiederby.com/dandie-dinmont-puppies/ https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/medium-dogs/dandie-dinmont-terrier https://www.puppyfinder.org.uk/terriers/dandie-dinmont-terrier/ https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/dandie-dinmont-terrier https://www.dandierescueleague.com/ https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findarescue/Default.aspx?breed=3066