Speech of Mr. John Roslyn - opening DDTC 125th Anniversary Friday July 21st 2000

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club
and a short History of the Breed

Some three hundred years ago in the beautiful River Coquet Valley in Northumberland, slowly evolved a race of dogs that were to become known as Dandie Dinmont Terriers. They were owned mainly by Border
Tinkers, who sold some to local farmers.


The actual mixture used to produced the breed is lost in the mists of time, some say only the long extinct Scottish Terrier was used, Many say terrier-Otterhound or even Dachshund crosses were used, but many many words were written long ago in such publications as "The Field" and other journals on the subject without anyone agreeing.

By the early 1800's the little terriers were breeding quite true and were known as Pepper or Mustard terriers or by the name of the farm, where they were bred e.g. Hindlee Terrier or Catcleugh Terrier.

They evolved into an excellent working dog, working to fox, otter and even drawing badger as well of despatching common vermin and acting as hunt terriers. Due to the work, they did not have the fine furnishings seen to day and early drawings show this well.

In 1815 Sir Walter Scott wrote his novel Guy Mannering, which featured these pepper and mustard terriers and also a farmer named Dandie Dinmont. The name soon was used for the dogs and James Davidson of Hindlee Farm on the Rule Water( a 1000 acre sheep farm),
was nicknamed "Dandie Dinmont" by his fellow farmers, so we have a quite unique breed, probably the only one in dogdom, named by a literary source.

Sir Walter and Lady Scott had Dandies at Abbotsford as well as several other breeds.

Much work was done by devoted breeders in the 19th century, including Bradshaw-Smith of Blackwoodhouse and Gerald Leatham of Thorp Arch, Wetherby, who incidentally presented a Dandie to Queen Victoria and The Prince of Wales.

In the 1870 's exhibiting dogs was becoming popular, the Kennel Club was formed in 1873 and just after this time moves were made by Dandie enthusiasts, to form a Club, a meeting was held at The Fleece Hotel, Selkirk on 17th November 1875 and The Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Club became a reality. The Club is in fact one of the oldest Canine Breed Clubs in the World.

The first task was to draw up a Breed Standard and the credit for this goes to one William Wardlaw Reed, who smoothed out the many differences and at The Red Lion Hotel, Carlisle in 1876, the standard was agreed and adopted and is very similar to the standard in use to day.

The first Club Show was held in Carlisle in 1877, after this the show was often in conjuction with other shows, until 1928, when the Show returned to the Market Hall, Carlisle, where it stayed (apart from war years, when shows were not held) until 1982, from 1983 it has been held in the Carlisle area often at the Swallow Hilltop Hotel, the venue for this year's show in the 125th Anniversary year.

Quite a number of other Dandie Dinmont Clubs were formed in Scotland, but did not last very long. Apart from The Scottish Dandie Dinmont Terrier Society, which merged with The D.D.T.C. in 1929. To day there are three Clubs serving the breed -The Dandie Dinmont
Terrier Club, The Southern Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club and in Scotland, The Caledonian Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club.

When first formed there were two joint secretaries of the D.D.T.C. William Strachan of Lintlithgow, Scotland and Hugh Dalziel of London well known in dog circles of his day as a writer on Dog matters. A few who have served the Club well as Secretaries are the Rev. Spencer Tiddeman, Mrs. Tibbie Simpson-Shaw (1909-1929), A.D. Lawson
1929-1946 and George Jardine 1946-1971.

In 1885 Charles Cook, a sollicitor in Edinburgh, member of the Club and President of the Scottish Dandie Dinmont terrier Society, wrote the first book on the breed, much prized by owners even to day. Only 200 copies were printed at a price of one guinea. In 1959 John Gordon produced a book on the breed, with much help given by Mrs.
Phyllis Salisbury of the Salismore Dandies, who was probably the greatest breeder of the 20th Century, her breeding and showing spanning over 60 years.

So the Club celebrates its 125th Anniversary this year, with a long weekend of events based in Carlisle, members from around the world, including U.S.A. , Canada, South Africa, Europe and the U.K. are gathering for a welcome on Friday 21st July, a tour of the Dandie Country on Saturday 22nd July, which will include a plaque unveiling
ceremony at The Fleece Hotel, Selkirk to Commemorate the fist meeting of the Club in 1875, The Club Patron Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott D.C.V.O. (direct descendant of Sir Water Scott) will unveil the plaque.

Lunch will be held at The Fleece Hotel, in the afternoon, Dame Jean will conduct the party around Abbotsford - Sir Walter's home. Members will then visit Oxnam Kirk to see the restored tomb of James Davidson (Dandie Dlnmont) and be entertained to afternoon tea by the ladies of Oxnam (who did the same thing in 1975 for the Club Centenary). There will be a chance for members to see Hindlee Farm,
home of Dandie Dinmont on the return to Carlisle for a pre-show dinner at The Swallow Hilltop Hotel.

Many members are dressing in 1875 clothing for the event.

Sunday 23rd July is the Club Championship Show, with over 120 dogs entered and Mrs. Ferelith Somerfield as judge.

On Monday 24th July there will be a chance for members to see the Club Archives displayed at the Swallow Hilltop Hotel.



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