Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Guide

Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs

Middle Age: 6 years

Geriatric Age: 12 years

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

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Dandie Dinmont Terrier Background Info and History

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, or Dandie for short, is a small-sized terrier breed that originated on the border of England and Scotland during the 1700s. Dandies were originally bred for groundwork such as hunting vermin. The breed’s name comes from the popular novel Guy Mannering, written in 1814 by Sir Walter Scott. Dandies were first shown in England in 1861 and recognized shortly thereafter by the AKC in 1886.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Temperament and Personality

Dandies possess a wide range of personality traits. They are excellent companion dogs that are affectionate, loyal, and gentle. In the field, however, Dandies are a tenacious breed of terrier that has a strong predatory instinct and are courageous, and bold.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Training Tips

Dandies are an intelligent breed but this can lead to some stubbornness, which can be overcome with a patient owner. They should be trained and socialized from a young age to bring out the best in their personality.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Exercise Needs

Dandies have a moderate energy level that is somewhat lower than other terriers. They will do well with daily activities that can include vigorous play, a couple of daily walks, or a training session.

Lifespan of Dandie Dinmont Terriers

Dandies live between 12-15 years.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Popularity

Dandies, a rare breed, are currently ranked as the 167th most popular AKC registered breed.    

Feeding Requirements of Dandie Dinmont Terriers

Dandies should be fed a high-quality food source consistent with their size and energy requirements. Dandies are prone to obesity, so be sure not to overfeed your pup. The average sized Dandie will require between 1-1.5 cups of dry food a day, split into two meals.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier Grooming

Dandies should be brushed and combed on a daily basis. Their coat should be stripped twice a year to keep it neat and healthy.

Are Dandie Dinmont Terriers Good With Kids?

Dandies are excellent companions for children. They have an exuberant personality and love to play, making them great with children. At the same time, they are gentle and affectionate, allowing them to bond both inside and outside the home.

Common Health Problems of Dandie Dinmont Terriers

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition characterized by a loose fit between the femur and pelvis in the rear hip assembly. The loose fit in this ball-and-socket joint causes the cartilage between these two important bones to wear unevenly.

This uneven wear over time will result in painful arthritis and bone spurs, and can eventually compromise movement in the rear legs. Hip dysplasia can be diagnosed in dogs from a young age during a routine physical examination by a veterinarian. The exact cause of hip dysplasia is unknown, but is believed to have a genetic component and may also be linked to exercise during development, improper nutrition, and trauma.

Patellar Luxation

Canine patellar luxation is a condition where the kneecap (patella) becomes dislocated from the groove it normally resides in on the femur. This dislocation is usually sudden and extremely painful and should be treated immediately. Signs of a dislocated kneecap are a spontaneous onset of lameness during activity, skipping, and unwillingness to put weight on the affected limb.


Glaucoma is a condition that affects both dogs and humans. This condition is caused by a blockage in the eye, which causes fluid to build up rather than be released normally. The buildup of fluid causes the pressure inside the eye to build, resulting in an eye that is larger than normal.

Canine glaucoma can be diagnosed as either primary when it occurs in a normally healthy eye, or secondary when it occurs in an eye as a result of another disease or health condition. Signs of glaucoma are usually an enlarged eye, watery discharge, pain, and blindness. These symptoms can occur rapidly, particularly in secondary glaucoma, so attention should be paid to the eyes on a regular basis. Glaucoma should be treated quickly to reduce the pressure in the eye before blindness occurs.

Other Resources

National Breed Website: Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America

Rescue: The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Rescue League

Health Issues Associated with this Breed: