Dandie Dinmont Terrier
It is generally concluded that the first origin
of the Dandie Dinmont is unknown. But this has not stopped the theorists
who, over the years, have proposed some rather bizarre combinations
as the breed's ancestors. The most plausible explanation of the
Dandie's origin is that it was developed from the numerous native
terrier breeds that abounded in the hill country along the border
between Scotland and England, particularly in Coquetdale, an area
of Northumberland famous for its terriers.
What is known is that as far back as the 17th
century these dogs were owned by several families who lived near
Coquetdale and were used to kill badger, fox, and otter. One family
in particular, the Allans, is closely associated with the breed.
Willy "Piper" Allan, the family head who died in 1704,
kept a pack of terriers which, despite handsome offers to buy, he
refused to sell. After Piper's death, two generations of Allans
kept the strain alive, parting with the occasional dog in exchange
for favours received. Presumably a tenant farmer by the name of
James Davidson obtained a pair of the Allan dogs, bred them and
named each according to its colour: "Mustard" or "Pepper,"
varying these names with such adjectives as old, young, big, little
and so on.
Outside of their local area the terriers were
unknown until 1814, when Sir Walter Scott published his novel Guy
Mannering. In it, one of the characters was patterned after Davidson.
Scott called him "Dandie Dinmont" and, like Davidson,
he kept a pack of pepper and mustard terriers. Soon the breed, then
called the "Pepper and Mustard," was very much in demand.
By the time of Davidson's death in 1820 the breed had been renamed
the Dandie Dinmont and they were being extensively bred in farms
along the border as well as in other parts of England.
So much confusion prevailed as to correct breed
points that in 1876 the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club was formed and
a breed standard draughted that, with minor weight changes, remains
the same today.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier was first registered
in Canada in the years 1888- 1889.
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