Dandie Dinmont Terriers are small, sturdy dogs with very unique features. The broad head of the Dandie is covered in a soft, silken topknot that contrasts with the crisp hair on the body. They have strong foreheads with a well defined stop and sport dark black noses. Dandies are short, but very muscular. Their teeth, which should meet in a scissor bite, appear almost too large for the size of the small dog. They have round, wide-set eyes that are expressive and usually hazel in color. The ears of a Dandie are three to four inches, pendant in shape and taper to a point. Their tails measure anywhere from 8 to 10 inches and is carried up and outward from the body. They come in unique colorings or either mustard or pepper, all with white or silvery topknots.
Size and Weight
Dandie Dinmont Terriers stand anywhere from 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and should weigh between 18 and 24 pounds. The correct proportion is more important in the show ring than actual height and weight, and the length from the top of the dog's shoulders to the root of his tail should be only one to two inches less than two times the height.
Coat and Color
The coat and color of the Dandie Dinmont is part of what makes the breed unique. The topcoat is crisp while the undercoat is downy soft and acts as a weatherproofing agent. Their topknots, on the other hand feel soft and silken. Dandies come in shades of mustard and pepper. The mustard Dandies can be any shade from reddish brown to pale fawn, all with a white topknot. Peppered Dandies range from blue-black to light gray, all with a silver topknot.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers do not shed too much, but their loose and dead hair from the undercoat can get trapped beneath the topcoat, so regular brushing is necessary to remove the hair and prevent mats. The Dandie coat requires stripping twice per year, a process that involves removing dead hair by hand in order to promote new coat growth. Some owners cut the hair, but cutting changes the texture of the coat, which will disqualify a Dandie in the show ring. Many Dandie Dinmont owners prefer to use the services of a professional groomer, as regular clipping is needed to keep the face, ears, legs and feet looking neat.
The Dandie's ears should be checked weekly for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the dog's ears only with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser. Brushing the teeth weekly will keep tartar from building up and will promote good overall health. Dandies can be prone to bad teeth later in life, so the earlier the dog is put on an oral hygiene regimen, the better.