The Dandie Dinmont Terrier: A Graceful and Distinctive Canine Companion

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier book

When it comes to appearance, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier may be one of the most unusual looking terriers; however, its terrier lineage is as ideal as any other.

The Dandie Dinmont first appeared as a distinct version of a terrier around England and Scotland’s border during the 18th century. During this time, farmers and gypsies mainly owned and used them to hunt and kill badgers, foxes, and otters. Like many different dog breeds, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is no stranger to different names; other names include, Hindlee, Catcleugh, and Pepper and Mustard terriers.

dandie dinmont terrier looking intelligent

James Davidson owned the most famous of this breed; he named many of his dogs by either Pepper or Mustard and some classifying adjectives. Many people believe that Davidson and his dogs are the models for Dandie Dinmont and his dogs in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering, printed in 1814.

James Davidson alleges that all Dinmont terriers are descendants of two of his dogs named Tarr and Pepper. The breed at one time garnered insertion into the general family of Scotch Terriers, which included several short-legged terriers now documented as separate breeds.

In 1873, the terrier gained recognition separately from this group. Unfortunately, they never inherited the type of popularity as other terriers. Currently, they remain one of the least known terriers.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Facts

Someone holding a group of 6 Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies in their arms
Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies

Temperament: Do not let its looks fool you. For instance, this dog is rough and tumble and always up for the hunt. However, it still functions exceptionally well as a loyal, loving companion, affectionate but not doting. It makes an excellent housepet for all ages; however, it requires daily exercise to prevent frustration. This breed is independent and very intelligent. They’re reserved with strangers and show aggression toward dogs that they do not know. Also, be prepared for some digging.

Upkeep: To stay in good condition, the Dandie needs a safe area for the occasional romp as well as a moderate daily walk. Also, Its coat should be combed twice weekly in addition to a customary scissoring and shaping. However, show dogs will need shaping on a regular but light basis. To achieve this, strip and clip your dog about four times yearly. Keep in mind, the Dandie’s coat will lose its customary texture and color when cut.


Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training


Thankfully, there are no major health concerns about this dog. However, there are minor concerns such as intervertebral disk disease and glaucoma. For the most part, this dog is relatively healthy and can live for 11 – 13 years.


Very rare




England and Scotland border

Date of Origin



18 – 25 pounds


8 – 12 inches

cute Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppy out and about enjoying the yard

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is not like the typical terrier. It comprises a series of curves, which ends in a scimitar-shaped tail of modest length. Also, this dog’s design allows it to get down and dirty and chase tough quarry, which is why it is two times as long as tall. Its back legs are longer than its front legs; however, its gait is still free and easy.

Its coat is very distinct and comprises hardish but not wiry hair and some softer hair about 2 inches long. Soft silky hair covers its head, which gives the appearance of a more massive head. The topknot augments Its expression, which is quiet, dignified, determined, and intelligent. Edgings on the lobe tips of the same consistency and color as the topknot improve the look. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dandie Dinmonts rare?

Yes, the dogs are considered a rare breed.

Are Dandie Dinmonts good family dogs?

dog receiving top prize

Yes, they can be good family dogs. They are known to be affectionate, loyal, and friendly towards their family members. However, it’s important to note that they have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for families with small pets. Additionally, they may not tolerate rough handling from young children, so supervision is necessary. Proper socialization, training, and regular exercise are important for their overall well-being and to ensure they are well-behaved family pets.

What is an interesting fact about these dogs?

The Dandie Dinmont is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world.

What kind of coat does the Dandie Dinmont have?

The dogs have a unique double coat consisting of a soft, silky undercoat and a hard, wiry outer coat.

Are these terriers quiet?

The breed is generally known to be quiet dogs.

Are they hypoallergenic?

Yes, they are considered hypoallergenic.

How much can they eat?

The recommended daily amount of food for a Dandie Dinmont is approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup of high-quality dry dog food, divided into two meals. However, the specific amount may vary based on factors such as age, size, activity level, and metabolism. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size for your Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

Do Dandie Dinmonts shed?

Yes, the breed is considered to be low-shedding dogs.

How much are dandie dinmont terrier puppies?

The price of Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies can vary depending on various factors such as the breeder, location, pedigree, and quality of the puppies. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 for a Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppy. However, prices can go higher for show-quality or champion bloodline puppies. It’s always recommended to research and contact multiple breeders to get an accurate price range for Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppies in your area.

Dandie dinmont terrier- how smart?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is considered to be a moderately intelligent breed.

Are poinsettias toxic to dandie dinmont terrier?

Yes, poinsettias are considered toxic to dogs, including Dandie Dinmont Terriers. It is advisable to keep them away from poinsettias to prevent potential poisoning.

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