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Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 8-11”
Weight: 18-24 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Dandie Dinmont Terrier in the following colors:

  • Mustard
  • Pepper

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 12-15 years
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a very healthy breed, although there are a few potential problems anyone who owns this breed should be aware of.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier’s long back is easily injured, making him prone to spinal problems. Support his back when picking him up, and do not allow him to jump from high places.

Cheyletiella yasguri mites may also be an issue for some Dandies. These mites cause scaliness, itchiness, redness, and occasional swelling in some areas. This breed may also experience epilepsy, so see your veterinarian if your dog has seizures.

For the most part, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier experiences very few health problems, and their average lifespan is 12-15 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is one of the most intelligent terrier breeds, and he is reserved and calm in comparison to other terriers. He is also affectionate, lively, independent, and proud. He is very calm indoors, but can be bold and determined outdoors. He is sometimes called “the gentleman of the terriers.”

Although the Dandie Dinmont Terrier was originally bred to hunt otters and badgers, he is now generally used as a companion dog. He can live in an apartment, although he may prefer a yard to play in. If he does live in an apartment, ensure that you take him on at least two 20-30 minute walks daily. Your Dandie may enjoy playing some games, but he is not built for jogging or running, especially not for long distances. They like companionship and should be indoor dogs, though playing outside in a securely fenced area is perfectly fine. They do love digging, so be sure your fence is not easy to escape. You also may need to give them a designated digging area or supervise outdoor play if you do not want holes in your yard. Like all terriers, the Dandie is likely to chase cats and other small animals, so keep him on a leash if you are in an unsecured area outdoors.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is fond of children and is playful and affectionate towards them. He gets along especially well with both children and other pets if brought up with them. He is polite and courteous to strangers, but not affectionate or particularly outgoing. They are not automatically aggressive with other dogs, but they will not back down from a challenge initiated by another dog, even if the dog is much bigger than they are. Dandie Dinmont Terriers make excellent watch dogs. They have a loud, deep bark that they will use to alert their family if needed. Fortunately, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier does not bark with the same frequency of others terriers, and he can be taught a “Quiet!” command relatively easily.

Dandie Dinmont Terriers are incredibly smart, and they will learn tasks quickly if they are interested in learning them. However, they get bored and impatient with repetitive exercises or commands. For best results, try to make training fun for your Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Keep sessions short, upbeat, and varied. Do not repeat the same exercises over and over or do exercises in the same order each time. They are also independent thinkers who can be a bit stubborn at times, so make it clear that you are in charge by being firm and consistent with your rules and expectations. At the same time, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is both sensitive and proud, so do not use harsh training techniques that will only make him shut down. Once your Dandie Dinmont Terrier is properly motivated, his cleverness will allow him to learn very quickly and be quite trainable. Crate training is recommended for this breed, so begin crate training your Dandie Dinmont Terrier as soon as you bring him home. This will aid in housetraining, and it will also give the Dandie a comfortable, secure place in the home.


The Dandie Dinmont Terrier sheds very little, but he still needs to be brushed 2-3 times weekly to prevent tangles and mats from developing. You will need to pick the dead hairs out of his coat every two months or so to encourage new hair growth, but a groomer can perform this task for you. If you are planning to show your Dandie Dinmont Terrier, you will need to strip his coat more frequently.

Bathe your Dandie as needed, and trim his toenails when they get long enough to touch the floor. Check his ears regularly for signs of infection like redness, odor, and tenderness. Also ensure that there is not an excess buildup of wax, dirt, or debris in his ears. Brush his teeth at least 2-3 times weekly to maintain healthy gums and prevent bad breath. Daily brushing is even better.


The average Dandie Dinmont Terrier should consume 1-1.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food each day. Of course, the correct type and amount of food for your individual dog will depend on factors like metabolism, activity level, weight, and age.

Carefully monitor the weight and eating habits of your Dandie Dinmont Terrier. If he becomes overweight, he may develop back problems.

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The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a very rare breed, with less than 100 puppies registered in the United States annually, and it may be difficult to locate a reputable breeder. Once you do find a breeder, you may be placed on a waiting list and have to wait several months for a litter of puppies to be born.

However, once you do manage to track down a Dandie Dinmont Terrier, expect to pay $1,300-$1,500. If you choose to go the adoption route, adoption fees could cost up to $175.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Dandie Dinmont Terrier ranks a 2.5. He tends to be extremely healthy, typically gets along well with people and other animals, and makes an excellent companion and watchdog. However, he can be somewhat challenging to train and is high maintenance when it comes to grooming. He is also a rare breed and tough to find.


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