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Dandie Dinmont Terrier

This iconic Scot even has its own tartan

The breed was developed in the border Counties and Scotland and gained its present name after the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Guy Mannering”. In the novel Scott modelled the character Dandie Dinmont on a neighbouring farmer who owned terriers which were called Pepper and Mustard. Local readers of the novel recognised the farmer James Davidson and teased him with the nickname Dandie Dinmont and from that the terriers and all similar to them took their name. Furthermore, the colour of Davidson’s terriers Mustard (sandy/brown) and Pepper (blue/grey) became the accepted descriptions of the recognised colours of the breed. In February 2015 the Duke of Buccleuch, (who is chief of Clan Scott) gave his blessing for the breed to adopt the Black and White (private) Sir Walter Scott tartan, making the Dandie Dinmont the only breed with permission to wear an official Scottish Clan Tartan.

The Dandie Dinmont terrier is friendly, playful and devoted. Not a pack animal by nature, this dog will usually bond to one person, although they can fit in nicely as a member of a family. The Dandie is an alert watchdog and, while not high strung or noisy, gives a surprisingly loud bark. They can get along with other dogs and cats, but these dogs do have a high prey drive and may not be able to resist chasing and killing small animals. Although very loving, the Dandie Dinmont terrier can be somewhat stubborn and needs an assertive and patient trainer. This breed is not at all snappy, however, and makes an excellent companion for children. Dandie Dinmont Terriers are also sensitive, affectionate, and devoted to his loved ones, making him a most rewarding companion. This dog is also calmer than most other terrier breeds. Dandies enjoy romping and cuddling with kids, but aren’t as hyper as some small dogs. This breed is unfortunately very rare and it would be heartbreaking if these little cuties disappeared from the world, let’s hope that never happens. Spread the word about this breed!

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKTerrier
Bred For Hunting Otters and Badgers
Rare BreedYes
Country of OriginScotland, UK
TemperamentIntelligent, Affectionate, Sensitive
Exercise NeededUp to 1 hour a day
Size of Home NeededSmall
Height at Withers – Females20 – 28 cm / 8 – 11 in
Height at Withers – Males20 – 28 cm / 8 – 11 in
Grooming2 – 3 times a week
ColourMustard, Pepper,
Life Span12 – 15 years
  • This breed enjoys dog sports such as agility, earth-dog trials, flyball, hiking, retrieving, tracking, frisbee, musical freestyle, and competitive obedience.
  • The Dandie was bred to hunt, and even the best trained will dart away given the chance to chase what they perceive as prey. 
  • As they have elongated body they are very much prone to spinal problems.
  • With only about 100 Kennel Club puppy registrations a year, the Dandie Dinmont terrier has been put on its list of vulnerable native breeds – they are a rare breed indeed.
  • While the Dandie generally is a hardy breed, it may have issue climbing stairs because of their short legs.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Dandie Dinmont Terriers.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Dandie Dinmont Terriers, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Dandie Dinmont Terrier breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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