10 Things You Didn’t Know about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmond Terrier is a Scottish breed with a well-earned reputation for toughness. In modern times, it is considered to be a Vulnerable Native Breed because of the low number of puppies that are registered on an annual basis. Something that can be considered serious cause for concern by those who are interested in this particular breed. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Dandie Dinmont Terrier:

1. True Terrier

There are some breeds that are called terriers, but can’t be considered true members of that particular kind of dog. However, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier isn’t one of them, seeing as how it was bred to hunt burrowing animals.

2. Bred to Hunt Badgers and Otters

To be exact, the Dandie Dinmott Terrier was bred for the purpose of hunting badgers and otters. Both of these animals are formidable fighters, particularly when they have been cornered. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that Dandie Dinmott Terrier pack a lot of fighting spirit for such small dogs.

3. Named for a Walter Scott Character

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is named for a character in Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering, who was a farmer with a lot of terriers named either Mustard or Pepper. Some people believe that the character was based to some extent on James Davidson, who is the man credited with having brought the Dandie Dinmont Terrier into existence.

4. Came Into Existence on the Anglo-Scottish Border

It is interesting to note that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is believed to have come into existence on the Anglo-Scottish border, which had a very rough reputation because of the raids that would be carried out on a semi-regular basis by both sides. Even now, this past can be seen in some of the traditions that are maintained by the local residents.

5. Very Distinctive Appearance

Dandie Dinmont Terriers tend to be very recognizable. This is because they have a very long body mounted on top of short legs, thus making for a very striking profile. On top of this, the breed possesses what can look like a topknot of hair on the top of its head.

6. More Prone to Spinal Issues

Unfortunately, the very long body is one of the reasons that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has higher chances of getting spinal issues such as intervertebral discs slipping out of place. In the worst case scenario, it is possible for such incidences of spinal disc herniation to cause paralysis in addition to a loss of bladder and bowel control.

7. More Prone to Canine Cancer

On a related note, Dandie Dinmont Terriers are also more prone to canine cancer than most breeds. Their chances aren’t much higher than that of most breeds out there, but it is nonetheless something that their owners need to watch out for. Due to this, interested individuals might want to read up on this particular problem so that they will be prepared to pick up on potential signs for concern.

8. Tough But Undemanding

Generally speaking, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier’s temperament can be summed up as tough but undemanding. Its toughness makes it capable of handling a wide range of tasks entrusted to it, while its undemanding nature makes it an excellent choice of canine companion for people who are unenthusiastic about having to cater to the various needs of one of the more demanding breeds out there.

9. Shouldn’t Be Trusted with Smaller Animals

Dandie Dinmont Terriers can be taught to get along with cats so long as they have received the proper socialization from a young age. However, they should not be trusted with anything smaller than that. Simply put, they have the instincts of a terrier, meaning that it is best not to take unnecessary chances.

10. Can Be Trusted with Older Children

With that said, Dandie Dinmont Terriers can be great with older children. This is because older children can be taught the right ways to handle small dogs such as Dandie Dinmont Terriers, which is important for preventing the children from upsetting the dogs and thus causing them to lash out. For that matter, it should be mentioned that rough handling by people who don’t know what they are doing can pose a risk to a small dog’s well-being because of their size.


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