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Dandie Dinmont Terrier Dog Breeds


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Height at the withers: Males 20 – 28 cm, Females 20 – 28 cm

Average weight: Males 8.2 – 10.9 kg, Females 8.2 – 10.9 kg

The Dandie Dinmont is a very unique looking short-legged dog that boasts a long body and large head that’s accentuated by the way they are clipped. Their heads are big but always in proportion to the rest of a dog’s body. Their skulls are broad but narrower at their eyes. Their foreheads are very domed and their heads are well covered in extremely soft, silky hair. Cheeks taper gradually down to a rather deep and powerful muzzle that boasts a triangular bare area that points back to a dog’s eyes and their noses are black which adds to the Dandie’s overall charming looks.

Their eyes are set wide apart and are a rich dark hazel in colour. They are large and set low with dogs always showing a bright and alert expression in them. Ears are quite droopy and set well back on a dog’s head. They are wide apart and sit low on a dog’s skull, but close to their cheeks. They are broader at the top, but taper to the tips. The skin and cartilage on their ears is very thin and they are covered in soft, straight, darker hair that matches the rest of a dog’s coat colour.

The Dandie Dinmont has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Their teeth are very strong more especially their canines which are quite big for such a small dog. The inside of a Dandie’s mouth is either black or dark coloured. Necks are very well muscled and strong showing a great deal of power and set nicely into a dog’s shoulders which are well laid back. Their front legs are short, but they are extremely powerful being well developed and showing a good amount of bone.

A Dandie’s body is long, yet strong and very flexible with their ribs being well sprung and nicely rounded. Chests are well developed being well let down at the front between a dog’s legs. They are low at the shoulders with their back having a slight curve to the loins before gradually dropping down to the root of the tail. Their backbones are well muscled and strong.

Hindquarters are strong with a dog’s back legs being longer than their front ones. Thighs are well developed and powerful. Feet are nicely rounded and well-padded with their back feet being smaller than their front ones. Tails are short and thick at the base before tapering to the tip. Dogs carry their them in the shape that’s reminiscent of a scimitar.

When it comes to their coat, the Dandie Dinmont boasts having a double coat that consists of a soft and very linty undercoat and a much harder topcoat. The hair is not wiry but rather crispy to the touch. It’s the way the hair lies that makes the Dandie stand out from other breeds because it lies in “pencils”. Their front legs have feathering and the upper parts of their tails are well covered in wiry hair while the underside has softer feathering. Accept breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:

  • Pepper – ranges from a dark bluish/black to a light silvery grey with a profuse silvery/white topknot
  • Mustard – ranges from a reddish brown to a pale fawn colour with a profuse creamy/white topknot

Dogs with either colour have slightly lighter feathering on their front legs while the underside of their tails are lighter than the topsides of them which are darker than the rest of the body.

It is worth noting that the accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration can differ from those set out in the breed standard which are as follows:

  • Pepper – a dog’s coat can be a dark bluish black right through to a light silvery grey colour with intermediate shades being highly desirable with dogs having a profuse topknot that’s silvery white
  • Mustard – a dog’s coat can a reddish brown right through to pale fawn in colour with dogs having a profuse topknot that’s creamy white and their legs as well as their feet being a darker shade than that on a dog’s head

Dandies have feathers on their front legs that are lighter in colour than the hair on the fore part of their legs and are allowed to have a little white on their chests under the UK Kennel Club breed standard. They are also allowed to have white nails although white on a dog’s feet is highly undesirable. The hair under their tails is a lighter colour than on the upperside of it which is darker than the colour found on a dog’s body.


When a Dandie Dinmont Terrier moves, they do so with a strong, free moving and easy stride showing great forward reach and lots of propulsion from behind.


The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog’s overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.

Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline.

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