About the breed

Dandies are delightful dogs. Here’s why:

  • D is for… Dignified.
    Dandies are known as the ‘gentlemen’ of terriers.
  • A is for… Affectionate.
    Dandies are a great family pet who always give a warm welcome.
  • N is for… Nice size.
    Dandies are neither too big nor too small.
  • D is for… Determined.
    Dandies know what they want and act deaf when it suits them.
  • I is for… Intelligent.
    Dandies are intelligent and charming, and can wind you round their paw with just one look.
  • E is for… Eyes you could drown in.
    Dandies can see into your heart and soul.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small breed of terrier originating from the border country of England and Scotland. They are named after a character in the novel Guy Mannering written by Sir Walter Scott. It is said that the author modelled Dandie Dinmont on a neighbouring farmer who kept dogs known as Mustard and Pepper Terriers. Their colours – ranging from dark bluish black to silvery grey and reddish brown to pale fawn – and indeed their names became the accepted descriptions of the two recognised colour variants of the breed.

Dandies are distinctive in appearance. They have a long, weaselly body with short, strong legs and a large, strong head with a domed forehead. The breed’s most notable features include its unique topknot and large, expressive eyes. Their double coat – consisting of a soft, silky undercoat and a harder, crisp topcoat – doesn’t shed, making the Dandie a great choice for anyone who’s not overly keen on having dog hair in their home.

Their looks are not the only unique trait. Dandies are also the world’s only breed of dog with their very own official Scottish tartan.

Dandie Dinmont Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, and they’re loyal and devoted to their families. They are intelligent and enjoy learning, but are also independent which can sometimes present as stubbornness. Early socialisation is very important for their development and consistent, positive reinforcement training methods work best with this breed. Adherence to these principles will produce a reliable canine family member.

Physically, they are considered a small dog. On average, they stand about 20–28 cm (8–11 inches) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 8–11 kg (18–24 pounds). They feel at ease equally in town or country and are adaptable to their surroundings.

They are active and require regular exercise – including daily walks, playtime and interactive toys – to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

They also require regular grooming. Their coat needs to be hand-stripped (rather than using clippers) to maintain its crisp, weatherproof texture and colour. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting. Their face may need routine cleaning to keep them free from food debris.

Dandies are generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of around 12–15 years, but like any dog, they can be prone to certain health issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are therefore important for maintaining their overall health.

If you are considering adding a Dandie Dinmont Terrier to your family, we recommend you speak to a reputable breeder, or get in touch with our Puppy or Rescue & Rehome Co-ordinators.