Pups either come in a black and silver coat (pepper) that resembles a schnauzer or a reddish yellow colour that is usually called "mustard" though not often as yellow as the name might imply.
10-12 inches (25-30cm)
20-24 pounds (9-11kg)
8-10 inches (20-25cm)
18-22 pounds (8-10kg)
Since Dandie Dinmont terriers are so small, they are very well-suited to apartment living. They are very likely to consider themselves one of the "pack" and are very likely to get up on furniture just as you might. Thankfully they don't shed, so there will be little trace of the transgression other than a nice warm patch on the chair they just vacated when you arrive home. Be sure they have step stools so they don't injure their long backs while jumping down.
Their coats are a bit fussy and may become hopelessly matted on the head and haunches when running around in rural settings unless they'e groomed on a daily basis. On the other hand, they are ideally suited to running around in the woods all day after quarry, so any Dandie with such wide-ranging living quarters will surely be a tired and happy dog that will have no problem with a brushing whatsoever. Many people who live in such areas keep their dogs' hair cut short.
This dog is long and short, like a dachshund, but with the face and temperament of a terrier. Originally bred in southern Scotland, this breed has been the scourge of vermin for several hundred years while being a happy and fun loving delight for human companions.
Dandies tend to be rather feisty little dogs with a love of chasing things and begging for affection from human "pack mates." They make particularly good companion animals for apartment living, since they're small, don't shed and aren't "yippy." They have relatively few congenital problems and are usually easy for most people, including children, to get along with.
The coat is usually kept close on the body with the characteristic topknot of silky fur on their heads. Most pups are white or light coloured (often called mustard colouring) or dark and silver (usually called pepper by breeders and enthusiasts).
The Dandie has been an official breed since the late 19th century, but likely existed in the current form for about two hundred years before, specializing in otter and badger control. They were then further refinements to the breed when they began being used as mousers by gypsy caravans. Though the breed is not one of antiquity, it has one of the oldest breed clubs. It is, in fact, the only recognized breed of dog that is named for a fictional character.
Dandies are well suited to modern life, there are very few of these dogs still in existence. They've gone through a decline in popularity and are now even considered among endangered "livestock" in the UK. However, since there has been a registrar for over a hundred years, it is apparent what breeding lines are known for specific ailments. A reputable breeder should be able to give you plenty of information about your new Dandie pup's lineage.
The Dandie Dinmont coat is actually a combination coat that includes a rough over coat and a very silky undercoat that is also evident on their heads. The hair on the head is usually kept somewhat long and may obscure the eyes if left too long between trimmings.
They do not shed and will require regular grooming to keep even a puppy cut in shape, partly because of the topknot on their heads.
It is thought the Dandie Dinmont terrier is the descendent of the now extinct Scotch Terrier (not to be confused with the Scottish Terrier that is a completely different dog) that was something like the Yorkshire, Cairn or Silky terriers of today.
The breed was first mentioned in the 17th century as one of several breeds that showed promise as vermin control.
The modern Dandie Dinmont terriers are named for a character in a very popular Sir Walter Scott novel of the early 19th century. At that time, they were primarily being bred by British Gypsies and used for hunting rodents and, were uniquely suited to these situations where they could be confined to relatively small quarters and then let loose to hunt down rats when the caravan stopped. When dog breeding became fashionable in the mid to late 19th century, many hobbyists began keeping Dandies and they were rather popular into the 20th century.
Additionally, the breed has since been used to hunt down skunks, otters and even badger. As such, they are stupidly fearless and are known for their pluck. They continue to be used for hunting rodents, though most are now kept as companion animals. There are very few of these dogs remaining and are considered endangered in Great Britian.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier makes a very good companion dog for most small houses and apartments. They are loving and affectionate and will bond closely with family members.
They are intelligent and somewhat wilful at times, though fun loving and playful. While they are eager to please, if there is something that requires their attention, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to call them off. Generally, they do not take to obedience readily, and must be very carefully trained from puppy-hood to reliably respond to all but the most simple of commands.
Like many small dogs, Dandie Dinmont terriers are dogs that seem unaware of their small stature. They will take on any challenge or take off after just about anything that moves in their field of vision. During show trails they may compete in obedience or Earth Dog exercises.
Since Dandies are so plucky, they also have a tendency to bark quite a bit. Their chest cavities are large, so they have a much deeper bark than you might expect from such a small dog. They do not back down from a fight and should be very carefully socialized with other people and dogs from a very young age.
The Dandie Dinmont is a natural hunter of all small creatures that scuttle about, so they are not to be trusted with any cats they've not been raised with or any other small pets such as ferrets or rabbits.
When well socialized, they are rarely aggressive with other dogs except in the case of some intact males. It is recommended that two unaltered males not be allowed to share the same household. Females tend to be far less aggressive. However, it is still vitally important they meet other dogs while puppies so they do not become fearful, as they could become snappy.
Above all, the Dandie is known as a very loving and affectionate dog that will be more than happy to please you as long as he or she isn't busy perusing some game.
Dandie Dinmont terriers are generally a healthy breed and long lived, though there are a few lines of the breed that have congenital Health Problems.
Epilepsy: Some lines of the breed have a tendency for seizures. They may occur as the result of some stimulus or have no apparent cause at all. Most dogs will respond to medication and should be taken to the vet at the first sign of a seizure.
Glaucoma: Older dogs may develop Cataracts. If your dog seems to be displaying any cloudiness in the eyes, contact your vet for an exam.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier's coat is very silky in some parts and can become matted and hopelessly tangled in very short order if they're not regularly groomed. However, with careful management, your dog's coat will remain very warm and water repellent.
Of course, in the case of show dogs, this regimen can take a few hours per day to maintain show-appearance. However, most owners of companion Dandies will have them trimmed into a puppy cut that is much easier to maintain.
Regardless, the trick is to keep upon the task. This will certainly entail brushing at least twice per week and a visit to the groomer for a trim every few months. Owners often find themselves making adjustments to the cut to keep hair out of their eyes. Dead hairs are plucked out once a year.
Their ears are pendulous and should be checked regularly for wax build-up by yourself or the groomer. Cleaning will generally entail taking a gauze pad and very gently wiping around the outside of the ear. Failure to do so can result in some very stinky wax deposits and may encourage mites. Never, ever dig into your dog's ear canal with a q-tip.
Their nails are very often white and can be cut with relative ease. They don't often get enough exercise to wear them down completely. If your dog has dark nails, you'll have to be especially careful to not cut the quick. It is vital to get your puppy used to having his or her paws handled to facilitate nail cutting by yourself of a professional.
A short walk is enough to keep them exercised, though it is important that you do so every day. Because of this, early leash training is very important. Training your Dandie to enjoy being on a lead will make the experience much more pleasant for both of you.
Because they are so small and so inquisitive, it may very well be a good idea to get them a harness rather than just a collar. Even dogs that are trained to walk on a lead will leap after any cats or vermin that it encounters on your walk-often with such ferocity that they can harm themselves on even a short leash.
If you have a yard, they can be allowed outside to play and are not usually very good escape artists. Even dogs that are allowed constant access to a yard will still need walks for mental stimulation just as much as the exercise. Though very few actually hunt anymore, they are ready to do so at a moments notice whether that's what you had in mind or not.
As small as they are, Dandies can also occupy themselves indoors and are very good at chasing balls and other toys. Dogs that receive very regular indoor exercise will still need to get out for their mental health, but may actually get a great deal of the exercise they need from play. As long as the family is in the house, your Dandie will probably want to be there with you.
Dandie Dinmonts are happy to accompany you on longer hikes and will up. They have a great deal of stamina and will keep going as long as you can. Be careful to keep them near you at all times, and don't let them run off, as it can be very difficult to call them back. They should never be let off anywhere near traffic.
Dandie Dinmonts are not particularly interested in your training regimen, so it is vitally important that you are firm, consistent, and make training sessions fun for your Dandie Pup. They love to run around and play-the less they think you're trying to get one over on them, the easier it will be.
Dandies are intelligent, but just intelligent enough to not follow orders blindly. It's not that they won't take training; they just may not trust your judgement. Therefore, it is vitally important that you use positive re-enforcement to assert your position as the alpha. Punitive measures are best kept to a minimum and should be gentle admonishments. Unless you've just caught your dog in the act, there's no point in shouting at them about something they may have done hours ago.
Housebreaking is the most important aspect of training to most new owners of Dandie pups. The trick is to constantly be around when they are small and not allow them access to areas where they can make a mess in the house and you'll never notice it.
Many people have great success with crate training. This will allow your pup the opportunity to have some quiet time in a space he or she can consider his or her own, as well as an opportunity for early housebreaking success that you can work on.
Many terriers and other dogs that were bred to hunt small underground creatures are now being trained up for Earth Dog trials. In these trials, your Dandie will go down a false warren and go after caged animals such as rats or mice. The competitions are not subjectively judged-either they pass on to the next level or not-there are no scores awarded. This can be a wonderful sort of fun training for your dog to get used to your commands with.
Don't give up on your Dandie's training, even if they just don't seem to be getting it. They wouldn't give up on you.