Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed description: Character & Co

Dandie Dinmont Terrier


What is the origin of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be traced back to the 17th century as a distinct breed. The Scottish dog breed originated in the Cheviot Hills, which lie between England and Scotland. Its origin is attributed to the crossbreeding of a Welsh Beagle, an Otterhound, as well as an Old Scottish Rough-coated Terrier. Until the 18th century, he was often kept by tinkers and musicians. Farmers and landowners liked to use the dog breed to hunt hares, badgers, and otters. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier gained fame through the novel "Guy Mannering" published by Sir Walter Scott in 1814. The dog breed is listed by the FCI in Group 3 (Terriers) in Section 2 (Lowland Terriers) under Standard No. 168.

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Alternate Name -
Origin UK
Life expectancy 9 - 15 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level low
FCI group Small sized Terriers
AKC group Terrier Group
KC group Terrier Group

What are typical character traits of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is considered to be courageous and eager to work. He is extremely intelligent, determined and persistent. Nevertheless, he is very affectionate, extremely loyal and usually in a good mood. He wants to be everywhere and is the ideal companion dog for adults. Towards strangers or children, however, he is rather sceptical or reserved. Towards other dogs the Dandie Dinmont is friendly and does not start fights. He is a fearless opponent when upset, but rarely barks without reason. Before acting or responding to commands, he seems to first consider whether obedience is worthwhile. Nevertheless, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be trained with patience and consistency.


What are typical diseases of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier?

The Dandie Dinmont is prone to obesity and joint damage. Chondrodysplasia is manifested by impaired cartilage formation. This can prematurely terminate length growth on the limbs, which in turn can lead to herniated discs. However, genetic conditions such as hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex, hypothyroidism or cataracts are also possible.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breeding?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is not a dog breed that is widely available. Therefore, when buying a puppy, you should take a close look at the kennel to ensure that you get a lot of enjoyment from your dog. You can find an overview of reputable breeders of Dandie Dinmont Terriers on the VDH website.

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  • Head: strong, large, fitting to the size.
  • Neck: very muscular, strong and well developed
  • Shoulder height: 24-28 cm
  • Body: 2.5 cm shorter in length than twice the shoulder height
  • Tail: 20-25 cm, rather thick at the base of the tail.
  • Gait: strong, forward, light step
  • Ideal weight in working condition: 8-11 kg

Appearance and coat of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The distinctive head of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is framed by silky hair. The elongated, low-set, and weasel-shaped body is complemented by an intelligent and understanding eye expression. The weather-resistant coat consists of a soft undercoat and a long, harsh outer coat. The strong legs are short, with the forelegs having about 5 cm of feathering. The top of the tail is also covered with wiry hair, while the underside is abundantly feathered with softer hair. Possible coat colours are

  • pepper-coloured body (blue-black to light silver-grey shading) with silver-white mop of hair,
  • mustard body (reddish-brown to beige shading) with cream mop of hair.

How big does the Dandie Dinmont Terrier grow?

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier can reach a wrist height of 22 to 28 inches.

How much does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier weigh?

The optimal weight for a Dandie Dinmont Terrier is 8 to 11 kg.

How old does a Dandie Dinmont Terrier become?

With proper care and nutrition, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier can live from 9 to 15 years.

Fur length medium
Fur wavy
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail fanned out
Anatomy hefty
Size ♀ 20 - 28 cm
Weight ♀ 7 - 10 kg
Size ♂ 20 - 28 cm
Weight ♂ 8 - 11 kg
Suitable For -


  • Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism is a condition in dogs where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This can lead to a slowed metabolic rate, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss and other symptoms.

  • Cataract

    Cataracts are still one of the most common causes of blindness, even in dogs.

  • Damage to the gait

    Often seen in severely overweight dogs and heavy breeds.

  • Overweight

    Often, unfortunately, the dogs very much under excess weight. But the dogs themselves are never to blame!

  • Disc problems

    Herniated disc in dogs (discopathy). Herniated discs or dachshund paralysis cause dogs severe pain.

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 20.05.2023

American Kennel Club

Accessed on 25.05.2023

United Kennel Club

Accessed on 25.05.2023

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America

Accessed on 25.05.2023

Ross D. Clark DVM (2015). Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Risk Factors of Dandie Dinmont Terriers. Xlibris US.

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