Dandie Dinmont Terrier

  • Overview

    This plucky little terrier can agree with the Queen of Country on one thing: The higher the hair, the closer to God. The Dandie Dinmont is distinguished by the poufy hair on his domed head and the mix of hard and soft fur in his coat.

  • Personality

    Dandie Dinmont Terriers are small, feisty dogs with very typical terrier personalities. Dandies can become jealous of other dogs in the home. These fun-loving dogs are mostly motivated by curiosity and a determination to be part of the action. Their bold, willful personalities mean they tend not to back down from a challenge, even from bigger dogs. They are self-confident, but never bullies. They usually don't start fights or force interaction with other dogs. Be careful to expose your terrier to lots of other dogs while he is still a puppy to avoid aggression or stand-offish behavior. Dandies can be suspicious and reserved around strangers. Their bark is also much bigger than their body, so they make good, if surprising, watch dogs.

    These guys are built for digging. Their hind legs are slightly longer than their front legs, which are turned out at the paws to allow them to dig powerfully. Their unusually curvy shapes and long, arched bags enable them to tunnel with ease, so make sure to supervise their outdoor playtime. Dandies tire easily of repetitive tasks, which causes them to expose their willful and stubborn streaks. They are clever dogs who can take well to training that is fun and filled with praise.

  • Coat Care

    The Dandie Dinmont's coat is a unique mix of hard and soft fur. His coat should have an overall feeling of crispness, but it should never feel wiry or prickly. The Dandie's assortment of textured fur helps give him his characteristic appearance. The puff of hair on the top of his head should be silky and less coarse than the body hair. His ears are coated in short, velvety hair and taper off into bushy fringes at the bottoms. Dandies are available in either pepper or mustard shades. Pepper Dandies are shades of black and silvery gray. Mustard Dandies appear in shades of fawn, cream and reddish brown. The names of the dogs' color classifications come from a book, Guy Mannering, written by Sir Walter Scott. Scott was a proud owner of some unusual-looking long terriers with determined spirits and distinctive colorings. The story features a fictional farmer named Dandie Dinmont. The farmer owned six little terriers, all of whom he called named after their colors, Pepper and Mustard. To this day, the long terriers portrayed in the book are known as Dandie Dinmont Terriers and come with either pepper or mustard colorings. Caring for this breed's coat is of the upmost importance to all good Dandie Dinmont owners.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
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Dandies develop their adult coat after about 18 months. At this point they will need extensive stripping and grooming to ensure that their coat grows in neatly and comfortably. Stripping their coats helps them look healthy, shiny and clean. Without it, they can easily start to look sloppy or dirty. Brush his poufy head and soft underbelly with a pin brush often to help his coat stay shiny and healthy.

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With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but wire-coated dogs can be done with greater frequency, often within a four-to-six week range. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. The coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

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Hair Clipping

The coat should always be kept about 2 inches long. Trimming and clipping is targeted to help balance the mix of soft and coarse hairs, which gives the Dandie's coat its beautiful appearance.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. West Highland Terriers and other small terriers with white coats are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.