The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club Breed Standard

Approved 5th September 1876, amended 1877 & 1872 additional paragraphs added 1985.

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Distinctive head with beautiful silky covering, with large, wise intelligent eyes offsetting long, low weaselly body. Short strong legs.

CHARACTERISTICS - Game, workmanlike terrier

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

HEAD - Strongly made and large, not out of proportion to the dogs size, the muscles showing extraordinary development more especially the maxillary.
SKULL - Broad between the ears, gettiing gradually less toward the eyes and measuring about the same from the inner corner of the eye to back of the skull as it does from ear to ear. The forehead well domed. The head is covered with very soft silky hair, which should not be confined to a mere topknot, and the lighter in colour and silkier it is the better.
The CHEEKS starting from the ears proportionately with the skull have a gradual taper toward the muzzle which is deep and strongly made and measure about three inches in length or in proportion to skull as three to five.
The MUZZLE is covered with hair of a little darker shade than the topknot and of the same texture as the feather of the forelegs. The top of the muzzle is generally bare for about an inch from the back part of the nose, the bareness coming to a point toward the eye and being about one inch broad at the nose.
The nose and inside of MOUTH black or dark coloured.
The TEETH very strong, especially the canine, which are of extra ordinary size for such a small dog. The canines fit well into each other, so as to give the greatest available holding and punishing power, and the teeth are level in front, the upper ones very slightly overlapping the under ones. Many of the finest specimens have a 'swine mouth' which is very objectionable, but it is not so great an objection as the protrusion of the upper jaw.

EYES - Set wide apart, large full, round, bright, expressive of great determination, intelligence and dignity; set low and prominent in front of the head; but not protruding; colour a rich dark hazel.

EARS - Pendulous, set well back, wide apart and low down on the skull, hanging close to the cheek, with a very slight projection at the base, broad at the junction of the head and tapering almost to a point, the forepart of the ear tapering very little, the tapering being mostly on the back part, the forepart of the ear coming almost straight down from its junction with the head to the tip. They should harmonise in colour with the body colour. In the case of a pepper dog they are covered with a soft straight brownish hair (in some cases almost black). In the case of the mustard dog the hair should be mustard in colour, a shade darker than the body but not black. All should have a thin feather of light hair starting about two inches from the tip and nearly the same colour and texture of the topknot which gives the ear the appearance of a distinct point. The animal is often nearly one or two years old before the feather is shown. The cartilage and skin of the ear should not be thick, but rather thin. Length of each from three to four inches.

NECK - Very muscular, well developed and strong, showing great power of resistance, being set well into the shoulders

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, with a very slight gradual drop from top of loin to root of tail; both sides of backbone well supplied with muscle.

TAIL - Rather short, say from eight to ten inches, and covered on the upper side with wiry hair of darker hair than that on the body, the hair on the underside being lighter in colour and not so wiry, with a nice feather about two inches long, getting shorter as it nears the tip; rather thick at the root, getting thicker for about four inches then tapering off to a point. It should not be twisted or curled in any way but it should come up with a curve like a scimitar, the tip, when excited being in a perpendicular line with the root of the tail. It should neither be set on too high nor too low. When not excited is carried gaily and a little above the level of the body.

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 are faults to be penalised

LEGS - The forelegs short with immense muscular development and bone, set wide apart the chest coming well down between them. The feet well formed and not flat with very strong brown or dark coloured claws. Bandy legs and flat feet are objectionable. The hair on the forelegs and feet of a pepper dog should be tan varying accordingly to the body colour, from a rich tan to a pale fawn; of a mustard dog they are of a darker shade than its head, which is a creamy white. In both colours there is a nice feather about two inches long, rather lighter in colour than the hair on the fore part of the leg. The hind legs are a little longer than the fore ones and are set rather wide apart but not spread out in an unnatural manner, while the feet are much smaller; the thighs are well developed and the hair of the same colour and texture as the fore ones, but having no feather or dew claws; the whole claws should be dark but claws of all vary in shade according to the colour of the dog's body.

COAT - This is a very important point; the hair should be about two inches long; that from skull to root of tail, a mixture of hardish and soft hair which gives a sort of crisp feel to the hand. The hard should not be wiry, the coat what is termed pily or pencilled. The hair on the under part of the body is lighter in colour and softer than on the top. The skin on the tail accords with the colour of the dog

COLOUR - The colour is pepper or mustard. The pepper ranges form dark bluish black to a light silvery grey, intermediate shades being preferred, the body colour coming well down the shoulders and hips, gradually merging into the leg colour. The mustards vary from reddish brown to pale fawn, the head being a creamy white, the legs and feet of a shade darker then the head. The claws are darker as in other colours (nearly all Dandie Dinmont Terriers have some white on chest and some also have white claws)

SIZE - The height should be from eight to eleven inches at top of shoulder. Length from top of shoulder to root of tail should not be more than twice the dog's height but preferably one or two inches less

WEIGHT - 8 - 11 kgs (18 to 24 lbs) For dogs in good working condition. The lower weights preferred