These few poetic and descriptive words, penned by arguably Scotland's greatest ever storyteller Sir Walter Scott, introduced the word to the breed we now know as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier:
"He evolved from the Scottish hillside, the grey mists forming his body, a bunch of lichen his topknot, crooked juniper stems his forelegs and a wet bromble is nose".
The Dandie DinmontTerrier's roots can be tracked back to the area around Coquet Water in Northumberland. The family William "Piper" Allen was long known to have purebreed and courageous small terriers. Piper Allen was born in 1704. It is said that he had 8-10 of these small terriers. He died in 1870 and the breed fostering of Allen and others continued for generations and are the strain of today's Dandie Dinmont Terrier. There are several different theories as to the origin of the Dandie, but nobody actually knows the truth.
The breed got its name after a charater in Sir Walte Scott's novel "Guy Mannering" published in 1804. Scott tells about some small rugged hunting terriers, owned by an old farmer his met called Dandie Dinmont, who lived in the Cheviot Hills in the mountainous borderland between England and Scotland. The old farmer had only 2 names for his dogs. Pepper (bluich black) and Mustard (rich golden brown).
The novel was a bestseller and the damand for dogs of the type described increased rapidly. The farmes of the Cheviot Hills tehrefore made mass production in thime for these dogs and every wiry, short-legged and noble terrier types was called a Dandie Dinmont Terrier. But since the original hunting terriers did not lend themselves particularly well as a companion dog, the interest decreased rather quickly. Serious breeders, however, continued work on improving the breed, so the result today is a charming, affectionate and for the breed unusually calm dog, and at the same time looks quite characteristic. It is a short-legged dog that is almost twice as wide as it is high. The head is large with a lot of hair and beard, and eyes are large, dark and vibrant.
Body - long, strong and flexible ribs well sprung and round, chest well developed and let well down between the forelegs; the back rather low at the shoulder having a slight downward curve and a corresponding arch over the loins. The coat is a mixture of soft and contrary hair, and the breed is available in two colors, namely pepper and mustard. Shoulder height is 8 to 11 inches from top of the shoulder.
Wirehaired Dachshound : For approx hundred years ago (around 1878) some breeders took address to bredd the Wirehaired Dashhund again. This included crossing the blood of foreign breeds like Schnauzer and Dandie Dinmont Terrier.
Royalties such as Queen Victoria, King Albert and Queen Fabriola of Belgium and the autor Agathe Christie had Dandies. The Danish autor Karen Blixen's last dog, which she got when she was in her final years living at Rungstedlund, was a Dandie Dinmont called Pepper, as in Sir Walter Scott's novel. A pepper Dandie bred by Baroness Bille Brahe Selby from Roenning Soegaard in Fyn, Denmark.
The English "Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of 1875" is the second oldest dog breed club in the world.
A little about todays Dandie Dinmont-terrier
A Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a happy family dog who might sometimes forget he is a terrier. He is an independent, highly intelligent, determinded and persistent, sensitive, affectionated and dignified dog. A phlematic dog too.
The breed is distinctive in appearance as it is long and with short legs but strongly built. Most people think he is "screwed" strangely together, bet the Dandie eyes, probably nobody will ever forget, as they are big, round with a warm, dark haxel color. Although in some way he may seem somewhat arrogang and has a good ability to be noticed.
When there is children around, life is good. Playing, not wild or violent, but just running around and last but no least to be cuddled. When he becomes tired he prefer a quiet place.
The Dandie is easy to live with and socialize with other dogs as well as cots. He is easy to carry everywhere and usually have no problems with driving. The Dandies is easy to train and at home he will lie down and relax, but as soon as you are ready to go, he will come to the door. You can take him on the training field when he has reach his adulthood, as well as participate in agility, but at his own pace.
He is the gentleman of the terriers, but also the clown with the dignity of a King.