dandie dinmont terrier breed information

Dandie Dinmo Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier was developed from the rough native terriers of the England-Scotland borderlands as a hunter for otter and badger, and was first recorded as a distinct type of breed around 1700. His name comes from a character in an 1814 Sir Walter Scott novel, Guy Mannering. In the book, the farmer Dandie Dinmont owns terriers named “Pepper” and “Mustard” after the colors of their coats. The Dinmont character was based on a real-life farmer and terrier owner, Mr. James Davidson, who is known as the father of the modern breed. Uniquely, the Dandie is the only dog breed to be named for a fictional character.

The breed was first registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888 and the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1918. During World War II, many kennels were dispersed and the dogs destroyed, due to the lack of both food and men to care for them. After the war, several kennels began working determinedly to re-establish the breed. Despite their best efforts, in 2006 the Dandie was recognized as one of the rarest dog breeds native to Britain, with less than 300 puppy registrations each year. While his numbers have improved slightly, he remains a rare breed.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier generally weighs 18-24 lbs., and has a long, low body and a tail like a curved sword. The tradition continues today that the breed's allowable coat colors are described as “pepper” (blue-black to silvery gray) and “mustard” (reddish-brown to almost white). He does not shed, but his coat must be stripped about twice a year and brushed regularly.

Like many terriers, the Dandie crams plenty of personality into a small body. He is confident, independent and intelligent, meaning he can learn commands quickly, but may not always choose to obey them! He is equally happy taking a daily walk through the city or romping in a fenced backyard, and can serve as an able guard dog. He is affectionate with his family, including children, but visitors to his home might just as easily get a dismissive sniff as a warm welcome.

Although he is rare, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Dandie Dinmonts are prone to include hip problems such as hip dysplasia; eye conditions such as persistent pupillary membranes, cataracts and corneal dystrophy; thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism; and liver problems such as portosystemic shunts.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Dandie Dinmont Terrier inherits his father’s bad eyes or his mother’s trick knee, you’re protected.

Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

Pet Type