The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small breed of dog that is part of the terrier family. They are known for having a pile of hair on the top of their head, which is referred to as a "top-knot". They have a long body; in fact, they are longer than they are tall. Their legs, however, are short and muscular. They have a large head with a strong forehead, black nose and teeth that appear to be large for this size of dog. Their ears, which are 3 to 4 inches long, are wide and tapered. The hazel eyes have a very lively but gentle expression to them. The tail is thick at the base and gets thicker for a couple inches until it tapers off for a total length of 8 to 10 inches. It curves upward. The dewclaws of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier are usually removed when they are a couple days old.
Unlike many small dogs, the Dandie Dinmont does not yap. They also do not shed, which makes them excellent housedogs and companions. The Dandie is a lively and friendly dog to have around. For many years, they have come close to becoming extinct. In the United Kingdom, they are considered endangered. One unique characteristic of this dog is that they are the only dog to be named after a fictional character.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier has two coats of hair, an undercoat, which is soft and silky, and an overcoat that is more stiff and harsh. The hair on the upper ears and top of the head is longer as well as soft and silky, though.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier comes in two different colors: either pepper or mustard. The puppies that are mustard are dark brown when they are born and then they lighten to different shades of red when they are full-grown. The pepper puppies are black and tan when they're born but have a silver gene. The "top knot" on the pepper dogs is silver and cream Colored on the mustard Dandies.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier got its origin in the 17th century when it was used to track otter and badger in Scotland and England. They got their name from the jolly farmer, Dandie Dinmont, in the novel Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott. It was also the farmer, Dandie, which called the colors of the dog "pepper and mustard" after the names of his dogs.
In the 1870s, Dandie lovers formed a club called the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club, which is one of the oldest pedigree clubs in the world. The American Kennel Club in 1888 and the United Kennel Club recognized them as a breed in 1918.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a very lively, friendly and affectionate dog. There is nothing they enjoy more than running around having fun. They make the perfect companion dog for adults or children. Unlike many small dogs, the Dandie loves small children provided they have been raised with them.
They are very independent with a mind of their own. However, they are also intelligent and bond very closely with their family. Some of the males tend to be dominant and should not be kept with other males, especially if they are not neutered. They may get along with cats that they have grown up with, but tend to not get along with any other animals. Because they were bred to hunt, they have a tendency to chase smaller animals.
Dandie Dinmont terriers are generally a healthy breed of dog with few problems. However, they are prone to developing epilepsy and glaucoma.
The terriers that experience seizures may have experienced some stress or trauma or they may occur for no apparent reason. You vet can recommend medication to help if this health problem develops.
The Dandie should be tested for glaucoma, as this is a hereditary problem and may lead to blindness.
The Dandie Dinmont need to be groomed on a regular basis. If they are going to be in shows, they will need professional grooming regularly as well as trimming to remove the dead hair. Even if they are not being shown, they will need it done at least twice a year. In case, many owners choose to go with the low-maintenance puppy cut. They do not shed so that is one problem you will not have to deal with. Because of the silkiness of their hair, it will easily become matted, especially with the topknot.
Of course, in the case of show dogs, this regimen can take a few hours per day to maintain show-appearance. However, most owners of companion Dandies will have them trimmed into a puppy cut that is much easier to maintain.
Because of their ears being so long, they should be regularly checked for wax, which may be a sign of an ear infection or yeast infection. Wiping them with a moist cotton ball and thoroughly drying them is usually sufficient. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly so they are not accidentally snagged and ripped. The dog should have this done from the time they are small puppies so they get used to the routine.
The Dandie Dinmont is an energetic dog that loves running around. They do not need long walks for exercise, but they do need exercise on a daily basis. Small dogs such as the Dandie tend to become hyperactive and often get into mischief when they do not get enough exercise.
If the Dandie is kept in a pen, they will enjoy the running loose time they will get but still want time with their owner. They enjoy playing games with small toys and balls. They have a lot of energy and will go for a long time before getting tired.
It is important to have them on a leash when you take them for a walk because they were bred to hunt small vermin. If they see a small animal, they will chase after it.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers may seem like they are difficult to train, mostly because they are very intelligent. The problem is that they're intelligent enough to realize that they don't want to do the things you're teaching them to do unless they feel it's in their best interest.
They require a lot of patience and positive reinforcement. This is one dog that will not respond to scolding or negativity in their training. It's important to make the training sessions fun for the Dandie, even if that means using treats for good behaviour and sessions. Housebreaking the Dandie is most successful when done with the use of a crate. Because they are so little, it's important to remember they cannot hold it inside as long as a larger dog, especially when they are small puppies.
Dandies have been bred to hunt underground animals and many compete in Earth Dog trials. The dog will go into a "false" hole in the ground to chase a rat or mouse that is caged. The dogs are not given a score. Either they complete the phase and go onto the next or they do not. The dog is in no danger of being bit by the vermin and they seem to love this training.