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Grooming of the Dandie, weekly pet maintenance of Dandies


The Dandie is not a 'wash-and-wear' breed. If you don't enjoy brushing and combing, trimming and bathing your dog on a regular basis, then the Dandie is not for you.

For Dandie devotees, no amount of work detracts from the sheer pleasure of being owned by one of the great character of the canine world.


Owning some of the tools of the trade makes the coat work easier. Whether you're grooming your beloved pet or learning to put your Dandie in a show trim, it is immensely easier if you have the proper equipment to do the job right.

Here's some of the equipment you should consider owning:

•  grooming table- if you are tall, you can also purchase 'leg extenders' which will make working at the table much easier on your back.

•  grooming arm that attaches to the grooming table, and a noose in which to put the dog's head to hold him still while you're grooming

•  soft wire slicker bush /for the body coat/

•  pin brush for the topknot

•  medium tooth metal comb

•  fine-tooth metal comb

•  several stripping knives whit varying width teeth

•  white groom chalk, either loose chalk or a block of chalk

•  toe nail clipper and styptic powder to stop any bleeding

•  thinning shears

•  straight scissors

•  blaster


Weekly pet maintenance of Dandies

Once or twice a week brush the coat. Start whit the body and tail, using the soft wire slicker brush, always brushing in the direction the coat grows.

Brush each leg, being sure to do the armpit of the forelegs where hair tangles the most, and the underbody as well.

Than using the medium-tooth comb go through the body, legs and tail and repeat again using the fine-tooth comb, being sure to comb right down to the skin.

For the head, use the pin brush and brush the topknot in all directions.

If there is a mat in the topknot, use the medium-tooth comb and your fingers to carefully work the mat out.

Use the wire slicker brush for the beard and then the medium comb.



Always brush and comb your dog, and trim his nails before bathing him. Dandie Puppies often require a bath once a week due to their inherent desire to go to ground and play in the dirt.

Adult Dandies usually require a bath every two to three weeks unless they too have been on a hunting expedition and become especially grubby and smelly.



Once week trim the toenails. Many Dandies are foot-sensitive and make a big fuss about having their nails clipped back. Ignore the dog's protests, this is a necessary part of grooming for any dog and eventually the dog learns to accept it.

For those few dogs who make it almost impossible to trim their nails, some owners find success using an electric pet nail grinder, which uses a special sandpaper disc and grind the nails back.


The Dandie coat

The Dandie coat does not shed. The Dandie may bring plenty of dirt and dander into the house but he does not drop his coat.

Mother Nature intended for it to be pulled and, no, it does not hurt him to have his coat plucked.

Any Dandie claiming that it hurts is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.


Dandies get their colour from the tips of the individual hair shafts. Each dog is different but generally the colour portion of the hair shaft is about a half-inch in length. In order to have a dog who has colour to his coat, obviously mustard or pepper, the coat must be pulled out.

The new coat coming in gives them their colour.

As the coat grows longer the dark colour is on the end of the hair shafts and the rest of the hair shaft is lighter coloured, creamy in the mustard dog and silvery in the pepper dog.

The coat is a mixture of approximately two-third crisp outer coat to approximately one-third soft undercoat.

When the coat is approaching the preferred 2 inches in length, it is at that point that the crisp coat will hang in tufts, over the shorter lighter coloured undercoat, giving the unique "pencilled" appearance the standard describes.

A Dandie whose coat has been clippered all over will have little coloured and will be either creamy coloured if he's a mustard or silvery coloured if he is a pepper.

Many Dandie fanciers enjoy the time spent grooming their dog. They find it relaxing and therapeutic, a time to sit quietly working on their dog, much like some people enjoy knitting, crocheting or wood-working.

Plucking and trimming a Dandie well, however, takes time, experience and expertise. It is almost a lost art, so please don't be discouraged if your Dandies do not look as well-groomed as some of those pictured in this book.

Whit time you'll improve and your Dandie will look like the Dandie he is, and that should be your goal.


Dandie Dinmont Terrier book by Betty-Anne Stenmark