Dandies come in two basic colors, pepper, and mustard. Breeding requires one of each to mate, to keep the colorings true. Dandies are a stubborn lot, but they enjoy being with their humans, and to please them. This is the way to work with them, is to show them good behavior they do will please you. Never harshly punish a dog, because they do not understand it, and it only confuses them. Praising them will show them what they can do to please you. Soon, you will see that this is all any dogs wants, and that is to please their humans.
As far as intelligence, you will not find a more intelligent breed. Dandies are right up there with Border Collies and the herding breeds. Dandies are far different, though, and Dandies will kill any vermin in your yard. Mine have killed at least six mice and one rat. This is what they were bred for, and so rabies shots are an absolute must for them.
Dandies weigh on average 17 - 24 pounds, although they can reach up to 30 lbs., or more. They are stocky built, and short-legged. They have wonderful brown eyes, a large button nose, and triangular-shaped ears. The tail should be trimmed into a wedge shape, the back shorn close, and the sides longer. I trim my own Dandies, and modify the Dandie cut according to the weather, shorter for summer, and a little longer for winter. Sophie is usually out in the mud and leaves in winter, so the longer sides are trimmed regularly to keep her from getting too matted.
Dandies are hypo-allergenic, and do not easily lose their hair. However, this causes them to mat up severely, so a grooming session every 2-3 weeks is required since the fur grows so quickly. This is why I do my own grooming on them, for it would not take long to break the bank. I have saved thousands of dollars through the years doing it myself, plus it is always done the way I wish.
Dandies and cats generally do not get along. However, we have two cats in addition to the two Dandies. Sophie was raised with the cats, and so she has accepted them as part of the family. Monty, however, was one-year old when we got him, and he did not like cats at all. He begrudgingly gets along with them, only because he knows it pleases me when he leaves them alone. He tolerates them even when they pick on him, and they are fortunate Monty has a mellow temperament.
Every day, it is a good idea to brush a Dandie Dinmont Terrier’s coat with a pin brush, and a bristle brush. This is because this terrier has a semi-coarse overcoat and a very soft undercoat, both of which need to be carefully brushed and have the dead hairs pulled from them. With regular care, this breed of dog hardly sheds at all, so if you want to keep from having them matted over the place, regular brushing is a must. The topknot needs to be smooth, rounded, and fluffed out. This is probably the trickiest part of the grooming, but well worth an extra effort to get it correct.
It is also advisable to use a stripper tool once or twice a year to "strip" out the dead fur of the coat. I have used this tool, and it is time-consuming. Needless to say, this chore gets done less than it should be around here, but it does a marvelous job to bring the strong coloring of the coat back when it grows in again. My Dandies are less than patient with this procedure, but it has to be done slowly and carefully.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are named after the character of Sir Walter Scott's book, Guy Mannering, who owned these dogs in the novel. Dandie Dinmonts come from the border country between Scotland and England. Dandies are few in number these days, and there is an effort ongoing to keep this breed intact, and healthy.