Dandie Dinmont Terrier

"The Southern Dandie"

Photo of Dandie Dinmont Terrier


Dogs who were indomitable foes of otters and nasty-tempered badgers were raised in the border area of Scotland and England. One type, particularly spirited, was raised by a family who kept the dogs almost exclusively – perhaps one reason for the breed's rarity.


Dandie Dinmont Terriers are live-wire dogs that enjoy rousing play. Yet they can be as tough as nails when extracting a rodent from its den or when standing up to a challenge. They're happy dogs, self-assured, never submissive. Therefore, they need owners as resolute and invincible as they are. They are devoted and affectionate to family, but tend to blow off those they don't know as being below their station and attention.


Short of leg and long-bodied, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has hanging ears and a pompadour head. He can be pepper (silver to dark gray) or mustard (fawn to a reddish brown). The coat is soft on the pompadour head and crisp on the jacket, ending in a long tail, well-covered with hair. He's strong and sturdy of bone.


Training a terrier takes firmness, balanced with a sense of humor. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier's grit and single-minded resolve make the breed a good prospect for earth dog tests. At these the dog must enter a tunnel to confront a wildly fierce and fortunately (for both animals) caged varmint. They can show their willingness by digging, barking, or growling at the quarry. The tunnels range in difficulty from ten to thirty feet in length.

Grooming & Care

Brushing and combing help minimize shedding. Hand stripping of the coat is necessary for those who wish to exhibit the dog in conformation. Some pet owners elect to trim with a clipper, but this changes the color and texture of the coat. The ears need to be cleaned frequently. Owners with a fenced yard need to sink mesh underground or to plant deep-rooted bushes in order to prevent a dogged determination to dig under the fence.

Health Concerns

Disc disease can be common due to the long back. The possibility of joint problems or glaucoma calls for parents that are certified normal with OFA and CERF.

Famous Dandie Dinmont Terrier

A character called Dandie Dinmont in "Guy Mannering" by Sir Walter Scott was named for his dogs (Pepper and Mustard).

Ideal Owner
Activity LevelModerate
ScheduleFull-time (but no overtime)
Personal StyleConfident
Training StyleFirm
HomeAnything goes with enough exercise
ChildrenOlder kids
ExperienceTerrier experience preferred
Quick Facts
SizeSmall, Medium
GroomingConsider a professional groomer
ExerciseModerate - needs to walk or play every day
TrainingCan be stubborn
TempermentIndependent, Feisty
ChallengesBarks a lot; will chase small animals
Height8 to 11 inches
Weight18 to 24 pounds
Life13 to 15 years
Home AloneFine with lots of exercise first
With KidsFine with older kids
With StrangersProtective
AvailabilityRare and may have a waiting list

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.