Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated April 6, 2009)
Like most of the Border and Scottish breeds, the origin of the Dandle Dinmont Terrier is somewhat obscure. It is fairly evident that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and the Bedlington Terrier must have had much in common in their early development. It is certain that the names Phoebe and Peachem are prominent in both ancestries. But this fact alone need not be the basis for taking it as incontrovertible proof that both were on the same family tree as these were popular names, possibly because of the fame of each of the dogs.
Stonehenge (J. M. Walsh) wrote that the Dandie Dinmont was the result of crossing the Otterhound and the old and now extinct Scottish Terrier (a breeding often attributed to have played a part in producing many of the Terriers of the north). However, other early authorities have adhered to the now quite universal theory that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier was bred from selected specimens of the native rough-haired Terrier of the Border in the Cheviot Hills between England and Scotland. The old Scottish Terrier did not mean the all-black dog of today but a longer-bodied, supple type. This suppleness was developed in the Dandie Dinmont Terrier by careful breeding to make him more adaptable for going to ground in the hunting of everything from rats to badger and fox.
It was not until 1814 that the fame of the breed extended beyond the Border, but it was first recorded as a distinct type about 1700. In Gainsborough's portrait of Henry, third Duke of Bucdeuch, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier appears, and although this portrait was painted in 1770, the dog is identical to the Dandie Dinmont Terrier of today.
The type now known as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be traced back to 1704. This dog belonged to a tribe of gypsies who wandered about the country with their bagpipes. They became equally as famous for their Terriers as their piping.
Today the hunting prowess of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is not often required. He is credited with being more position. His amiable nature has made him an excellent house pet. There is a great deal of wisdom in that large, domed head.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, unlike other Terriers, has no straight lines. He is long and made up of curves. There are two distinct colors, Pepper and Mustard. The Pepper color ranging from a dark bluish black to a light silvery grey. Mustards vary from a reddish brown to a pale fawn. The intermediate shades of both are desirable. In the coat of a puppy and the coat of a grown dog there is a vast difference, the puppy having a coat quite short and soft, but it gradually takes on the correct texture of crispness, a mixture of hardish and soft hair.
The height of the Dandie Dindon Terrier should be from eight to eleven inches at the shoulder. His length of back should be about fifteen-sixteen inches. The weights for these dogs should be from fourteen pounds to twenty-four.
Additional information on the Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be found at the website for the American Kennel Club.
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