Dog Breeds 101: Dandie Dinmont Terrier

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Dog Breeds 101 – Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under GNU

A proud member of the terrier family, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a purely Scottish breed which has a long body, short legs and a distinctive knot of hair on the head. Its head is large and domed-shaped; the eyes are dark and low set and the ears are long and fringed at the tips. Generally, they are 8 to 11 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 18 to 24 pounds. The breed has an average life span of 12 to 15 years. Unfortunately, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier breed is becoming rare nowadays. [1]

The breed originated in the Cheviot Hills, the area between England and Scotland, where they hunted otters and badgers. The dogs were specifically developed to adapt well in that specific terrain and quarry. [2] The breed remained unknown outside of the borders until the novel Guy Mannering, written by Sir Walter Scott, was published in 1815. The author spent time in the area while writing the book and he created a character by the name of “Dandie Dinmont”, a farmer who owned terriers called Pepper and Mustard. Dinmont is said to be based on the real life farmer and terrier owner Mr. James Davidson. Davidson bred his terriers and recorded all of the breeding process. He is considered to be the father of the breed. The dogs became known as Dandie Dinmont Terriers sometime in the middle 1800s. It is the only dog breed named after a fictional character. [3]

Dandies have the typical terrier temperament: independent, bold, tenacious and intelligent. Their independent nature creates some problems during training. They are very loving to their families but they tend to be wary of strangers. Unlike most of their terrier cousins, Dandies are not very vocal and only bark when they really have to. Due to their calm demeanor, they are hailed as the “gentlemen” of the Terrier group. [2]

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