Dandie Dinmont Terrier
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, or Dandie, was first bred in the early 17th century as a hunting dog, its main prey being otters and badgers. The variety as it appears today was established in the mid-19th century in the Scotland and England borders (the same place of origin as the Border terrier). The modern breed is a cross between Border, Skye, and Scottish Terriers. It is possible that Dachshund genes were involved in there too, which would explain the Dandie’s long body.
Dandies are feisty, and enjoy energetic and physical play. They match this rough-and-tumble nature with a loving personality. They are very tenacious, a trait that goes back to their origins as a hunting breed. Like most terriers, they love digging and chasing other animals. They are good with children, as long as the child is respectful – something that means they are not suitable for younger kids, who might be tempted annoy the dog. They are thought to be the most docile of the Terrier, and will happily sleep all day at your feet or on your lap if allowed. They are affectionate toward their owners, but not constantly under your feet.Dandies are fine with cats if they are raised with them, but if they see one outside, they'll chase it. They usually give strangers a warm but slightly interrogative welcome. Early socialization will help them learn that strangers are ok. They are wary of strange dogs, and although they rarely start fights, they will stand their ground if they feel threatened and will not back off from a fight that someone else has started. In these situations they definitely forget they are so small!
Training a Dandie takes time, as they are stubborn little Terriers. They will learn eventually, as long as the training is done with patience and consistency. Dandies only bark when they think there is definitely something that needs barking at, and they make good watch dogs. They are slow to mature, both mentally and physically, reaching full size at around two years. They should be walked on a leash, unless they can run around in a safe, enclosed area. They will happily disappear down rabbit or fox holes, and the prey instinct is something that can’t be trained out of them. Regular walks are necessary to prevent boredom, and Dandies have a surprising amount of stamina for their size.
Grooming needs to be carried out frequently and in small doses – brushing twice week is recommended, with a scissoring/shaping session two or three times a year. Shaping for show dogs is continual.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers have a dignified yet tenacious personality and bearing. Calm and polite around the house, they become protective in a home and family setting, and they make good watchdogs. This is a breed that is definitely a big dog in a small body, and the Dandie won't back down from anything and will display a strong independent streak. This tends to make training difficult, but plenty of positive reinforcement will soon help them become obedient.
Dandies can suffer intervertebral disk disease (pressure on spinal cord that can cause paralysis), and eye problems such as glaucoma.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 13 years
- Weight: 18 – 24 pounds
- Height: 8 - 11"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Pest Control Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour
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