Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a low to the ground hunter that specializes in eradicating various small furry creatures. These feisty dogs are excellent at their job, but are also great companions for those wanting a dignified and loving confidant.

They prance about their show-stopping plumage, enhanced by their winning personalities. You can expect a fine companion for both an active and sedentary lifestyle in this breed. Read on to learn more about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

Description of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

This breed may be small, but the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is much hardier than he appears. Able to work tough days on the job, these dogs are sturdy but also great for city living.

They are easily recognizable by the silky white coif of hair on their heads, long and hanging ears, round eyes, and long, low torsos. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a very angular body, formed from many curved lines coming together. His beautiful shape gives way to an even gait, which is great for chasing after unwanted critters or balls!

Historians first document these dogs in the 1700s, naming them after a fictional character in a book by Sir Walter Scott. They were a favorite among royalty, which is no surprise given their proud and noble demeanor.

The body of the Dandie features a combination of hard and soft hair that is about two inches long, and giving them a crisp-feeling coat. Strands of silky soft hair form the topknot on their heads. They come in two shades: pepper or mustard. Pepper ranges from bluish black to light grey, and mustard ranges from reddish brown to a light fawn.

Life Expectancy and Size

There are few breeds that come as close to excellent health as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. These dogs live an average of 12 – 15 years and are often quite healthy. Working with a reputable breeder is the best practice for getting a healthy puppy.

The Dandie has a low body and so they don’t stand that tall, only 8 – 11 inches, but what they lack in height they make up for in length, and end up weighing around 18 – 24 pounds.

Protective Ability

Though fairly small, the Dandie is a fiercely loyal and protective breed. They are watchful over their families and wary of strangers who have not been introduced.


The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a smart and eager dog. They learn quickly but often have streaks of terrier independence, so it is important to be patient and consistent with training.

Positive, rewards-based training is the best approach for this breed. Using things like treats and games are a great way to motivate your dog. Just be sure to use treats in moderation as your dog can easily become overweight.

Training your Dandie to take direction from you is an important step. They are fearless and tend to think they can take on the world, so it is in both of your best interests that they learn to listen.

Energy Level

These cheerful dogs do not tend to be as energetic as other terriers, but they still enjoy a good “rough and tumble.” They are a great choice for those who enjoy nice walks and backyard playtime with their pup.

More sedentary families will find a very adaptable and loving companion in the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Because of their lower exercise needs and easygoing energy, they are a great choice for city dwellers and less active people.

What Living with a Dandie Dinmont Terrier is Like

This is an all-around kind breed.

These dogs do well with children and other dogs they have been raised with. They are quite entertaining to watch when they are on the trail of some little rodent. But when they aren’t chasing around prey they love chasing after balls or curling up next to you on the couch.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is quite agreeable and happy pretty much anywhere. They can be both energetic and relaxed, making them a great dog for most people.

Care of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

These versatile dogs do well anywhere so long as they receive affection and playtime from you.

Environmental Needs

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is adaptable to most weather and does well in moderate climates. Just be sure to monitor them in extreme temperatures, as they are prone to overheating or getting too cold.

Exercise Needs

These dogs need moderate exercise to keep them fit and happy. A few nice walks and backyard playtime are great ways to get your dog moving and bond with him.

Be sure to keep your dog on leash or fenced in when outside because they will be quick to dart after prey. You can’t remove their instincts, but you can keep them from running off.

Since the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has such short legs he is not the best companion for joggers and bikers. While they are fast and agile dogs, they do best when walking or just running around a fenced in backyard.

Shedding and Grooming

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier sheds very little but they require some special maintenance to keep their beautiful coats looking their best. Hand stripping a few times a year is a must, and daily brushing removes mats.

This breed sheds very little.

Regular nail trimming and ear cleaning are also essential parts of any dog’s hygiene routine.

Ideal Home Environment

These dogs do best in a home where they receive plenty of affection. Families will find a smart and loving companion in this breed. They are protective over their loved ones and make good watchdogs.

Health Concerns

The Dandie comes about as close to perfect health as possible. They suffer from few genetic issues but, in rare instances, contract lymphoma. The best course of action to keep you pup healthy is to regularly take him to the vet for check-ups.

Behavior Problems

These dogs are prey motivated and will be quick to scamper off after a squirrel if the opportunity presents itself. Be sure to keep your dog fenced in or on leach to keep him safe.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a bold breed that doesn’t tend to back down. Proper socialization and training will make sure you dog grows up to be a well-mannered pup.