The Kennel Club Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Standard
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Published with kind permission from The Kennel Club

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Distinctive head with beautiful silky covering, with large, wise intelligent eyes off setting long, low weasely body. Short strong legs; weatherproof coat.

CHARACTERISTICS - Game, workmanlike terrier

TEMPERAMENT - Independent, highly intelligent, determined, persistant, sensitive, affectionate and dignified.

HEAD AND SKULL - Head strongly made and large, but in proportion to the dog's size, muscles showing extraordinary development especially the maxillary. Skull broad, narrowing towards the eye, measuring about the same from the inner corner of the eye to back of the skull as from ear to ear. Forehead well domed; head covered with very soft silky hair is not confined to a mere topknot. Cheeks gradually tapering towards deep and strongly made muzzle. Muzzle in proportion to skull as three to five. Top of the muzzle has triangular bare patch pointing backwards to eyes from nose about an inch broad. Nose black.

EYES - Rich dark hazel; set wide apart and low, large, bright, full and round, but not protruding

EARS - Pendulous, set well back, apart and low on the skull, hanging close to the cheek, with very slight projection at base, broad at the junction of head and tapering almost to a point, forepart of the ear coming almost straight down from its junction with the head to the tip. Cartilage and skin of the ear very thin. Length of ear from three to four inches. Ears harminise in colour with the body colour. In a pepper dog covered with soft straight dark hair (in some cases almost black). In a mustard dog, hair mustard in colour, a shade darker than the body but not black. Both should have a thin feather of light hair starting about two inches from the tip and of nearly the same colour and texture as the topknot giving the ear the appearance of a distinct point. This may not appear until after the age of two years.

MOUTH - Jaws strong with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Any deviation is highly undesirable. Teeth very strong, especially the canines, which are extraordinary in size for a small dog. Canines fit well against each other, to give the greatest available holding and punishing powers. Inside of the mouth black or dark coloured.

NECK - Very muscular, well developed and strong, showing great power. Well set into the shoulders

FOREQUARTERS - Shoulders well laid back but not heavy. Forelegs short with immense muscular development and bone, set wide apart and chest coming well down between them. Forearms to follow line of chest with feet pointing forward or slightly outward when standing. Bandy legs highly undesirable

BODY - Long, strong and flexible ribs well sprung and round, chest well developed and well let down between forelegs; back rather low at shoulders having a slight downward curve and a corresponding arch over the loins, slight gradual drop from top of loin to root of tail. Backbone well muscled.

HINDQUARTERS - Hindlegs a little longer than forelegs rather wide apart, but not spread out in an unnatural manner, thighs well developed. Stifle angualted, hocks well let down.

FEET - Round and well padded. Hindfeet smaller than forefeet. Nails dark but varying in shade according to colour of body; Flat or open feet highly undesirable.

TAIL - Rather short, from eight to ten inches, rather thick at the root, getting thicker for about 10cm's (4ins) and tapering off to a point.Not twisted or curled in any way but with a curve like a scimitar, the tip, when excited being in a perpendicular line with the root of the tail. Set neither too high nor too low. When not excited is carried gaily a little above the body level.

GAIT/MOVEMENT - Strong straight impulsion from rear, giving a fluent free and easy stride, reaching forward at the front. A stiff stilted hopping or weaving gait highly undesirable

COAT - A very important feature of the breed. Hair should be about 5cms (2ins) long, double coat with soft linty coat underneath and a harder topcoat, not wiry but giving a crisp feel to the hand. The coat should not 'shed' down the back, but should lie in pencils caused by the harder hair coming through the softer undercoat. The forelegs have feathers about 5cm (2ins) long. Upper side of tail covered with wiry hair, underside not so wiry with neat fethering of softer hair.

COLOUR - Pepper or Mustard.
PEPPER Ranges from dark bluish black to a light silvery grey, intermediate shades being preferred. Body colour coming well down the shoulder and hips and gradually merging into colour of legs and feet which varies according to body colour from rich tan to pale fawn. Profuse silver white topknot.
MUSTARD Varies from reddish brown to pale fawn. Profuse creamy white topknot, legs and feet of darker shade than the head.
In both colours feather on forelegs rather lighter than hair on forepart of leg. Some white hair on chest and white nails permissable. White feet undesirable. Hair on underside of tail lighter than on underside of tail lighter than on upperside which should be a darker colour than the body.

SIZE/ WEIGHT - The height at withers should be from 20-28cms (8" to 11"), length from withers to root of tail should not be more than twice the height but preferably 1" to 2" less. Weight 8 - 11 kgs (18 - 24lbs) for dogs in good working condition, the lower weights preferred

FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

NOTE Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descending into the scrotum.

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