Photo by © luna caprese

Dandie Dinmont Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: Scotland
Pepper, mustard
Size: Small
Type of Owner:
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Tends to be dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a long, low-stationed working dog with a curved outline. The body is sturdy and flexible, with well-sprung ribs. The short legs are muscular. The broad head is in good proportion to the dog's size. It's covered with a distinctive silky top-knot. The muzzle is deep and strong, with a defined stop. The moderately large nose is black. The teeth are relatively large for the dog's size; the teeth should meet in a scissor bite. The large round eyes are rich dark hazel. The ears are set wide apart and low. They hang close to the cheeks and are three to four inches in length. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to a point; it is carried with an upward curve like a scimitar.
The weight is 18 to 24 pounds, the height is 8 to 11 inches.


Dandie Dinmont Terriers are affectionate and fun-loving, which makes them great companion dogs. Lively, determined, bold and intelligent, but they can be stubborn at times. Because of their hunting nature, Dandies should not be trusted with non-canine pets. They can, however, get along with cats if raised with them from puppyhood. Protective of home and family. Good watchdogs. Good with all considerate children, including babies as long as they are raised with them from puppyhood. Do not baby the dog, otherwise it can develop so called "small dog syndrome" (snapping, barking, aggression, possessiveness, and so on). If consistent and firm human leadership is provided, the dog's behaviour should never be a problem. Make sure the dog gets a sufficient amount of daily exercise for the body and mind.

Coat and grooming

The coat should be about two inches long with a "crispy" texture. This effect is due to a mixture of about 2/3 hardish hair with about 1/3 soft hair. The hair on the underpart of the body is softer than on the top. The head and ears are covered with very soft and silky hair. The coat requires daily brushing and stripping twice a year. Shedding is very little, if any.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers come in two colours: pepper and mustard. The pepper ranges from dark bluish black to a light silvery grey. The mustard varies from a reddish brown to a pale fawn. Adult pepper Dandies have the same colouring as the salt-and-pepper Schnauzer.


Dandie Dinmont Terriers are naturally healthy and robust. Older dogs can suffer from hypothyroidism. Some lines are prone to glaucoma and epilepsy. Dogs that do not get enough exercise can have back problems.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a moderately long lifespan - 12 to 15 years.

Other interesting facts

The Dandie Dinmont was first recorded as a distinct breed in 1700s. It has been popular ever since. Originally bred to go to ground, this dog was well known for its skills in catching otters and badgers.