Eight Dandie Dinmonts signed and dated 'J.Emms/ 88' (lower center) oil on canvas 34 x 50 in. (86.5 x 127 cm.)
Archie Steele of Kelso; Private collection, UK.
Although the ancestry of the breed is unclear, as far back as the seventeenth century, small terriers similar to today's dogs were used by gypsies, farmers and shepherds to keep vermin - ranging from field-mice and rats to the larger otter, fox and polecat, under control.
In spite of their reputation for gameness, there is no written account of the breed having a distinctive name until, in 1814, Sir Walter Scott's novel "Guy Mannering" was published. A character in this book by the name of Dandie Dinmont - a Border farmer and sportsman - owned a number of terriers which were mustard and pepper in colouring.
In real life, James Davidson of Hindlea, near Hawick, also kept similar terriers. He used them mainly for hunting otter, as did other Border families. Scott's story caught the public's imagination, as it was presumed to be based on James Davidson. In fact, this was not so, but it did give the terriers their name.
The first Dandie Dinmont Club was founded in 1876 and the original breed standard was set in the same year.
For a similar work, see William Secord, Dog Painting 1840-1940, col. pl.98, pp. 195.
This group of dandies were prize winning dogs from Archie Steele's kennel. It has been suggested that among the group is Ch. Edenside and Ch. Kelso Dandy.