This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The Dandie Binmont breed of terriers, now so much celebrated, was originally bred by a farmer of the name of James Davidson at Hindalee, in Roxburghshire, who, it is generally believed, got his dogs from the head of Coquet Water. There was also a good strain at Ned Dunn's at Whitelee, near the Carter Bar.
Those who have investigated the subject are inclined to think that the Dandie Dinmont is a cross between the Scotch terrier and the otterhound, or, as I believe, the Welsh harrier, which is iden-tical with the latter.
Fig. 12. - DANDIE DINMONTS, DOCTOR AND TIT-MUMPS.
The most celebrated strains are those belonging to the Duke of Buccleugh (presented by James Davidson); Stoddart, of Selkirk; Frain, of the Trows; McDougall, of Cessford; F. Somners, of Kelso; Sir G. Douglass, of Springwood Park; Dr. Brown, of Melrose; J. Aitken, of Edinburgh; and Hugh Purves, of Leaderfoot, who is the principal hand in having kept up the breed. So much were the Dandies in vogue some years ago, that Mr. Bradshaw Smith, of Dumfriesshire, bought up every good dog he could lay his hands on, and as a consequence his breed is now well known,
The Dandie is represented by two colors of hair, which is sometimes rather hard, but not long; one entirely a reddish brown, and called the "mustard," the other grey or bluish-grey on the back, and tan or light brown on the legs," and called the "pepper;" both have the silky hair on the forehead. The legs are short, the body long, shoulder low, back slightly curved, head large, jaws long and tapered to the muzzle, which is not sharp; ears large and hanging close to the head; eyes full, bright, and intelligent; tail straight and carried erect, with a slight curve over the back (boundlike); the weight, 18 to 24 lbs., varying according to the strain, but the original Dandie was a heavy dog. Occasionally in a litter there may be some with the short, folding ear of a bull-terrier, and also with some greater length of the legs; these are not approved of by fanciers, but nevertheless are pure, showing a tendency to cast back. Sir W. Scott, I believe, preferred the small ear.
The following letter from Mr. E. Bradshaw Smith to the Editor of the "London Field" is of interest:
"Sir - If not trespassing too much on your valuable space I may here be allowed to show how I first became possessed of this historic breed.
"During my residence in Roxburghshire my fancy was greatly taken by several specimens I saw of this game little animal. In 1841, I bought the first Dandie I ever possessed, and since that date I have no hesitation in stating that more Dandie Dinmonts have passed through my hands than through those of any half dozen of fanciers. I feel myself competent, therefore, to give a decided opinion on the article penned by 'Stonehenge,' although it be at variance with his remarks.
"In the first place, it seems to me an entire mistake on his part that the Dandie Dinmont of the present day is longer in the body than formerly. My observation tends rather in the opposite direction.
"Secondly, a strong characteristic of the breed has ever bee tenacity of purpose, and I have only known two of my dogs which could be taught at command to leave the trail of either fox or raft bit; certainly it would be a hopeless task to prevent a Dandle Din-mont from engaging with a fox were an opportunity to offer. I consider the animal as naturally good-tempered, but when once roused, he is ready to seize hold of anything within reach. When I first kept these dogs, I was ignorant of their extremely excitable nature, and had many killed from time to time in fights, either in the kennels or at the entrance of rabbit holes; in short, when once their blood is fairly up they become utterly unmanageable. On this account, for years past (though I keep a number) I do not allow more than one dog and one bitch in a kennel, but sometimes a dog and two bitches if very harmonious. The first I had worried, many years ago, was a beautiful little fellow 14 lb. weight, bred by Mr. Kerss (Bowhill), from a sister of Stoddart's old Dandie and his own old Pepper. He was killed in the night time by another of my dogs, to my great annoyance.
When I mentioned the circumstance to Mr. Kerss, he informed me that during the time the little animal belonged to him, he had worried some of his, amongst the number a Newfoundland pup six months old. Yet it is by no means always the most excitable and pugnacious animal that stands the severe test, viz., to face alone two badgers at once, and fasten upon one of them while the other in turn attacks him, as I have known very many do. For my part, I prefer the dog who encounters his antagonist coolly and without any fuss.
"In conclusion, I annex a list of the kennels I purchased, viz., that of Mr. Somner (including hi3 crack dog Shem), those of Messrs. Purves, Frain, M'Dougald (including his famous Old Mayday), J. Stoddart (who sold to me his celebrated Old Dandie), and many other Dandies from Mr. Milne, of Faldonside, bred from his famous Old Jenny, from Mr. Jas. Kerss (Bowhill), and likewise from the Haining, near Selkirk. From these ancestors my dogs are purely and lineally descended.
"Apologizing for having occupied so much of your columns,
"E. Bradshaw Smith.
The illustration is a portrait of Mr. Locke's Doctor, which has been established as one of the favorites of the various experts employed to judge this breed, and, as I think, deservedly, until the last Brighton show, where naturally enough the immediate descendants of Shamrock had the best of it under the fiat of his owner.