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Dandie Dinmont Terrier

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Is the Dandie Dinmont Terrier right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Dandie; Hindlee Terrier

The basics:
The low-slung Dandie Dinmont Terrier was developed on the English/Scottish border to hunt vermin. Its long, short-legged body and willingness to dig in meant that it also proved to be good at hunting rabbits, otters, and badgers. The name comes from a character in a popular Sir Walter Scott novel who owned these terriers; indeed, the Dandie Dinmont became the first named terrier breed. (Before that, all terrier breeds were simply called terriers.)

Today, these alert terriers are mostly kept as charming pets rather than ratters. Their short legs prevent them from being as hyper as some of the more popular terriers, but they may still dig or annoy family pets if not properly trained. As with any terrier, you should know how to use positive reinforcement to get the best results from this independent-minded dog.

Appearance / health:
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a working terrier with a long body and relatively shorter legs. Its head is covered with a distinctive silky topknot. The head is large (though proportionate to the body) with a strong forehead, defined stop, and a black nose. The teeth meet in a scissors bite and are large for the size of the dog. The ears are pendant, wide near the head, and tapering almost to a point. The hazel eyes are brilliant and lively, but not protruding, with a gentle, wise expression. The tail, which gets thicker about four inches from the root before tapering, is carried with an upward curve. Its legs are short and muscular. The hind legs are somewhat longer than the forelegs and set rather wide apart, but not in an unnatural manner. The feet are round and well cushioned. Front dewclaws are removed when puppies are three or four days old.

This particular terrier needs regular brushing, preferably with a pin brush. Once or twice a year their dead hair can be plucked out. Overall the breed sheds very little.

Dandie Dinmonts need regular exercise. It does best when it can run off leash in its own yard.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is generally a healthy breed. However, some medical issues are found more commonly than others within the breed. Among those are: hypothyroidism; glaucoma and epilepsy. If a Dandie is overweight, it may contribute to back issues including intervertebral disc disease, or other joint issues.

Behavior / temperament:
Often described as lively and willful, the Dandie Dinmont is an interesting companion. They love to be with their human family and are quite intelligent and independent. Its bold personality makes it a good guard dog as well.

Although Dandie Dinmonts are known to be stubborn, they aren't difficult to train. They are sometimes inclined to disobey, but be careful not to discipline them too harshly as they won't respond to that type of training method. Don't injure their pride and lose their trust. Use reward-based training.

The breed has a bark larger than one might expect looking at its small stature.

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