MORE than 50 Dandie Dinmont dogs have gathered at a Scots estate to celebrate the breed which is in threat of extinction.

Every single one of the world's population of the terriers can be traced back to a pair bred at Haining House in the Borders town of Selkirk.

The dogs and their owners came from eight different countries as part of an event to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott's second novel Guy Mannering in February 1815 in which the author gave the name to the breed

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The two-day get-together is also an effort to save the wee Scottish terrier from extinction.

It has been revealed the pedigree originated in a dog called Old Ginger.k

Scott's best-selling tale of smugglers, which sold out in its first 24 hours, first introduced the tough but friendly Liddesdale farmer Dandie Dinmont, whose

temperament matched those of his six "Pepper and Mustard Terriers", which, like many of Scott's fictions, were based on historical fact.

The little Border terriers had been bred for poaching, and hunting badgers and foxes, since at least 1770, when Thomas Gainsborough painted the earliest-known image of a "Dandie-like" dog, at the foot of Henry, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch.

Today the group will visit Abbotsford House, Sir Walter's home in Melrose.