The Kennel Club Educational Trust has agreed a grant of £20,000 towards the creation of the new Dandie Dinmont Terrier Discovery Centre and a bronze statue at The Haining, Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is one of the breeds on the Kennel Club’s vulnerable native breeds list, and will be celebrated at the new centre, which will promote all of the native dog breeds on the list due to their low annual puppy registration figures.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed of dog named after a fictional character and sees fewer than 100 Kennel Club puppy registrations a year. With less than 300 being bred worldwide each year, there is a real fear that it is only a matter of time until the breed disappears altogether.
The new Discovery Centre will educate the visiting public, tourists and dog lovers about the breed, as well as tell the stories of the nine other dog breeds which have the Dandie in their heritage; the 13 breeds of Scottish origin and all of the Kennel Club’s 28 vulnerable native breeds.
Paul Keevil, the UK Coordinator of the Dandie Dinmont Discovery Centre Project, said: “’Old Ginger’ was born at The Haining in 1842 and as the ‘father’ of the breed, it can be considered the birthplace of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Every Dandie in the world today goes back ultimately to Old Ginger. Uniquely, the actual kennels he was born in and the kennel run still exist in the grounds of The Haining.
“It is exciting for us that the trustees of The Haining are not only allowing us to open the Dandie Discovery Centre on this important landmark, but are also making the entire Haining Estate dog friendly. Alexander Stoddart, the Queen’s sculptor for Scotland has been commissioned to produce a bronze statue of Old Ginger, which will be unveiled on June 4th 2017, his 175th birthday.”
Mike Macbeth, President of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of Canada and international co-ordinator for the project said: “Selkirk and the Scottish Borders are the ancestral home of the Dandie Dinmont. It is therefore appropriate that the Discovery Centre be located in the actual kennel where the father of the breed was born. But the restoration of Old Ginger’s kennel was unlikely without funding from the Kennel Club. Those of us in the international Dandie community are grateful for the Kennel Club Educational Trust’s support for the Dandie Dinmont Discovery Centre.”
Gerald King, Chairman of the Kennel Club Educational Trust said: “The Kennel Club Educational Trust is delighted to be able to support this valuable new initiative. Paul and Mike have given so much to the promotion and protection of this wonderful, loving, family dog, as well as support to other vulnerable native breeds in the UK. With their dedication to the breed and all the work they have done, it is hoped it will go some way to safeguarding the long term future of this charming breed.”
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Discovery Centre and sculpture will be unveiled at the culmination of a three day international gathering of over 150 breed enthusiasts from 11 different nations on the 4th June 2017 at The Haining, Selkirk, Scotland.