The Dandie Dinmont terrier originated in the Scotland–England border in the 1600s. It was bred to hunt badgers and is thought to be a descendant of the Border terrier and the dachshund. The Dandie Dinmont is a small terrier dog that weighs 18–24 pounds and stands 20–28 centimetres at the withers. This dog breed has a funny appearance with its distinctive ‘poof’ hair on its head. The Dandie Dinmont is smart and fond of children, which makes it a great breed for families.
Are you thinking of getting a Dandie Dinmont terrier? Here is a brief background of this unique-looking terrier dog.
Origins of the Dandie Dinmont terrier can be traced back to the dogs bred in the border country of Scotland and England during the 1600s. This dog breed was developed as a result of crossing a local terrier-type breed (presumably the Border terrier) with the dachshund. The name was derived from one of the characters in Sir Walter Scott's novel, Guy Mannering, which was published in 1814.
The Dandie Dinmont terrier was originally bred to hunt badgers and otters. Later in 1875, it was promoted to a companion dog. On the same year, the first club was established to promote the breed and has helped catapult the Dandie Dinmont to fame.
Appearance and Grooming
The Dandie Dinmont terrier is a unique terrier dog with a body that is longer than it is tall. This small breed stands 20–28 centimetres at the withers and weighs 18–24 pounds. It has a large and strong head, sporting a broad skull that narrows down towards the eyes. It has a well-domed forehead covered in silky hair. Its head wears a beautiful ‘poof’ of silky topknot hairs and ear feathering. Its eyes are rich dark hazel, full and round that show their soft and wise expression. Ears are droopy and are set well back on a Dandie Dinmont's head.
The Dandie boasts of a double coat comprised of a soft, downy, and linty undercoat and a crisp topcoat that is about two inches long. The coat comes in two distinctive colours: mustard and pepper. The mustard-coloured Dandie Dinmont is reddish brown to pale fawn with a creamy white, silky topknot. The pepper-coloured Dandie Dinmont is dark bluish black to a light silvery grey with a silvery topknot hair. For Dandie puppies, daily combing is required to avoid matting, whilst older Dandies will have to be hand-stripped by a professional groomer at least twice a year. Don't forget to trim hairs on top of its muzzle, the corners of the eyes, ears, legs, underbody, and between the footpads. The rest is basic grooming such as dental, ear, and nail care.
Temperament and Intelligence
The Dandie Dinmont terrier is devoted to its families, but it can also be independent and persistent, tenacious and bold, typical of a terrier. It is affectionate, but it is aloof around strangers. It rarely barks and only does so when necessary. Although a loving dog breed, the Dandie is also stubborn, so it needs to be with an assertive and patient owner who knows how to train this type of dog.
The Dandie is considered calmer (not snappy) than most of its terrier breed cousins, so it makes an excellent companion for children. However, make sure that interaction is still supervised to avoid any incidents. It also gets along well with other household pets, especially if they were raised together. The downside of having a Dandie Dinmont terrier for a pet dog is it does not do well when left on its own for longer periods of time. It is better suited for households where one person stays at home.
Nutrition and Feeding
A typical serving for an adult Dandie Dinmont terrier is 1–1.5 cups of premium-quality dry dog food per day. There are numerous factors to consider when choosing the right diet for your dog. These include its age, size, build, level of activity, and metabolism.
Typical calorie needs of an adult Dandie Dinmont terrier per day:
- Senior and less active: up to 590 calories daily
- Typical adult: up to 660 calories daily
- Physically active/working dog: up to 730 calories daily
As a responsible dog owner, it is your choice what to feed your dog. However, it is highly recommended to work with your veterinarian and/or breeder to determine your Dandie Dinmont's nutritional requirement and frequency of meals. This breed is prone to obesity, so make sure that you monitor its food intake.
Health and Exercise
The Dandie Dinmont terrier can live up to thirteen years if given the proper love and care. It is a generally healthy dog, but like any breed, it is predisposed to health conditions. These health issues may include glaucoma, cheyletiella yasguri mites, epilepsy, and spinal problems.
To keep your Dandie Dinmont healthy and strong, make sure you give it the right amount of exercise. The Dandie should be regularly walked for twenty to thirty minutes. It is also best if it can play in a securely fenced yard.
Cost of Ownership
If your heart is set on buying a Dandie Dinmont Terrier puppy, you may have to contact a breeder in advance as this is a rare breed in the UK. Very few Dandie puppies are registered per year, so you may have to be on a waiting list to ever get one. The cost for a well-bred Kennel Club registered pedigree puppy can be anything from £850 up to £1200. Having your dog insured is recommended as it can offset some medical bills in case it suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. The monthly premium for a pet insurance with time-limited cover is about £22 while a lifetime cover can cost £42 a month.
Feeding your Dandie high quality dog food can set you back £20-£30 a month. You also need to factor in basic dog accessories such as leads, collars, crates, bed, and toys, which can have a combined initial cost of £200. To ensure that it always stays healthy, your dog should visit a vet regularly. It needs routine veterinary consultations, annual boosters, and vaccinations, which can go up to as much as £800 a year.
On average, you will be spending an estimated £50–£80 a month to care for a Dandie Dinmont Terrier There can be a slight difference in the estimation depending on the type of pet insurance you choose.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Highlights
- The Dandie Dinmont terrier is a sociable, independent, and tenacious dog breed, typical of its terrier lineage.
- It is affectionate with its family, but quite reserved with strangers.
- It does not bark much and only does so when necessary.
- An overweight Dandie will surely suffer from back problems, so proper diet is needed.
- The Dandie Dinmont terrier has a stubborn streak, which makes training a bit challenging.
- It is a rare breed, so buying a Dandie may be difficult and you might have to be on a wait list.
Are you sure the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.
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