Breed Information Centre

Dandie Dinmont Terrier


Illustration of Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The breed was developed in the border Counties and Scotland and gained its present name after the publication of Sir Walter Scott's novel “Guy Mannering”. In the novel Scott modelled the character Dandie Dinmont on a neighbouring farmer who owned terriers which were called Pepper and Mustard.

Local readers of the novel recognised the farmer James Davidson and teased him with the nickname Dandie Dinmont and from that the terriers and all similar to them took their name. Furthermore, the colour of Davidson's terriers Mustard (sandy/brown) and Pepper (blue/grey) became the accepted descriptions of the recognised colours of the breed.

The unique features of the breed; the weasel like body and curving topline, its coat with silky topknot, and its large expressive eyes have made it increasingly popular in recent years, aided by its wonderful character.

In February 2015 the Duke of Buccleuch, (who is chief of Clan Scott) gave his blessing for the breed to adopt the Black and White (private) Sir Walter Scott tartan, making the Dandie Dinmont the only breed with permission to wear an official Scottish Clan Tartan.

Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Small House
Minimum Garden Size
Over 12 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Terrier Breed Group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

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