Known as “the gentleman of the Terrier world,” the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has the distinction for being the only breed of dog to be named for a fictional character. (Ironically Dandie Dinmont, the dog's namesake is not a gentleman at all, but a jolly farmer in a 19th century novel by Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.)
This well-mannered and confident breed is very rare and weighs about as much as a one-year-old child.
Originally from Border of Scotland and England, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 18-24 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Origin: Border of Scotland and England
Breed Group: Terrier
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 143
AREA OF ORIGIN border of Scotland and England
DATE OF ORIGIN 1700s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION otter and badger hunting
TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 8-11 Weight: 18-24
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 8-11 Weight: 18-24
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Dandie Dinmont Terriers make devoted family dogs and bold, independent explorers out-of-doors. This breed is smart, dignified, and confident.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers do best in single-dog households and play best with supervised children. They're somewhat affectionate toward their chosen people and can get along with other pets given proper socialization. They're often shy with strangers.
WHAT IS DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is a somewhat active breed that needs regular exercise, so plan for daily walks or vigorous games. They make for calm, polite housedogs.
They are very alert and vigilant, but not especially protective. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are somewhat prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER?
These dogs are trainable, but they're also smart and strong-willed. They may be prone to small dog syndrome if left to their own devices. Be patient and consistent while training your pup. Dandie Dinmont Terriers respond well to food, play, and praise rewards. Terriers like the Dandie Dinmont are also prone to digging, so you'll want to keep this dog away from any yard spaces you don't want re-landscaped.
Their strong prey drive makes Dandie Dinmont Terriers poor candidates for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO DANDIE DINMONT TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
The short-to-medium-length single coat of a Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a mixture of hard and soft hair, with a silken topknot on their heads.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers don't shed much, but they do need frequent brushing. You'll probably want to schedule professional grooming once every six months or so.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO DANDIE DINMONT TERRIERS HAVE?
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are usually healthy dogs. Some have been known to develop back problems, eye problems, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE DANDIE DINMONT TERRIERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Dandie Dinmont Terriers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers, but they are infrequent shedders.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Dandie Dinmont Terrier! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER'S BEST DAY?
Digging in your petunias, followed by a longer jaunt around the neighborhood in time to be back for high-tea could suit this pup well. (Just substitute tea for dog-friendly cookies.)
SHOULD I ADOPT A DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER?
Dandie Dinmont Terriers could be a good match for almost any dog owner who doesn't need a their dog to be a long-distance running buddy or a babysitter. They're a good size for apartment living, and their moderate exercise needs should be easy to meet whether you live in a city or on a farm. These dogs make for polite and calm housemates who will enjoy spending time with you but won't need constant attention. Dandie Dinmont Terriers would fit well into a number of different households.
Have you decided that a Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.