Breeds 101

Dandie Dinmont Terrier


Curiously named after a country gentleman Dandie Dinmont, a character in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Guy Mannering 1814, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is an interesting combination of unusual but dignified appearance and hunting prowess.

Paintings show that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier was owned by aristocracy for centuries before it was named. It may have its ancient origins in the gypsies’ dogs of southern Scotland.

Overflowing with confidence for such a small dog, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier would take on otters, badgers, and foxes without hesitation; Although the Dandie Dinmont has retained its strong hunting instincts, the breed has somewhat “retired”, instead serving as a loyal family pet and companion.

Despite the variety of hypotheses as to whether the Dandie Dinmont originates from the Skye, Bedlington, or old-type Scottish Terriers, or the Otterhound or a basset breed from Flanders, one fact is indisputable; This is a docile breed, although its bark is deep and massive, and when aroused, it is willing to fight.

Neither quarrelsome nor snappy, it is an easygoing house dog, thriving on the companionship of both adults and children; The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is also very loyal, and is a good guard dog.

Although it enjoys vigorous exercise, it is quite content playing in the house or back garden. Sadly, its long back and short legs predispose it to rather painful invertebral problems.


Medium to small; 8 to 11 inches, 18 to 244 pounds.


Pepper or mustard.


Intelligent, independent, bold, affectionate with family but reserved with strangers; aggressive to other dogs; good with children if raised with them.

Energy level:

Moderately high.

Best owner:

Active, confident owner in a suburban or rural home.


Daily exercise (walk or exploring in a safe area); leash; secure fencing; obedience training; brushing two times a week and scissoring and shaping.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.