The Dandie Dinmont’s silhouette is unmistakable. A “low rider,” the Dandie’s outline is a gentle rollercoaster ride of curves. The low-at-the-shoulder topline has a slight downward curve and corresponding arch over the loins, while an ever so slight gradual drop appears from the top of the loins to the root of his wagging apparatus, and even the tail resembles the short curved-blade sword called a scimitar.
The Dandie’s head is especially unique to the breed. This is not a small head, and indeed, it should fill the hand of the person evaluating the dog. The characteristic topknot makes some judges reluctant to “muss things up,” but seasoned exhibitors are glad of the person who wants to feel what’s under the grooming, and what’s under the grooming is a broad and strong skull with a well domed forehead and a well defined stop. Staring back at a judge from beneath that soft, silky-haired topknot are a pair of large, round, and bright eyes. They’ll make you forget all about Bette Davis eyes.
With regards to breed numbers, the Dandie is in a critical state. Only 91 puppies were registered in all of 2016 in Britain, its land of origin, and those aren’t healthy enough numbers to sustain the breed for the long haul. If you’re looking for a new canine companion, look into the Dandie Dinmont. If the breed is a good fit, you’ll be helping save an ancient and venerable breed.
Image: “Dandie Dinmont Eyes” by Leisa Temple