THE only dog breed to have ever originated in the Borders was celebrated throughout the weekend.

And on Sunday a bronze statue of the original Dandie Dinmont, Ginger, was unveiled at the Haining House in Selkirk exactly 175 years after it was born.

The Queen’s sculptor in Scotland, Alexander Stoddart, admitted the Sir Walter Scott connection with the breed was part of the attraction for him taking the commission.

He said: “The commission is part of a campaign to maintain the breed of dog.

“There is a strong link with Sir Walter Scott and that was part of the attraction for me.

“I’ve always wanted to do work connected to Sir Walter Scott and you don’t get commissions for statues of the man these days so this was a great and a rare opportunity.

“I have always admired the work of William Brodie, who made two important animal works, Greyfriars Bobby and the Ram at Moffat.

“Those are both serious works and I hope Old Ginger will be viewed similarly.”

Old Ginger was born at The Haining in 1842 – the son of a dog which was caught in a trap at Bowhill.

The breed gained fame after being featured in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering.

The ancestry of every Dandie Dinmont in the world today can be traced back to Old Ginger.

Throughout the weekend around 150 people from 14 different countries enjoyed the three-day Dandie Dinmont Festival in and around Selkirk.

Paul Keevil, who was UK coordinator of the festival, told the Border Telegraph: “We were hoping for 80 to 90 dogs but we have 125, which is the largest ever gathering of Dandie Dinmont terriers.

“We are acknowledging the history of this special breed – there was a dog born at the Haining in 1842 and every Dandie Dinmont in the world can be traced back to that dog.

“We are hoping we can drive the breed forward as the last two years have seen the lowest number of Dandie Dinmonts being registered and we hope an event like this can reverse that trend.”

Throughout the three days the assembled Dandie Dinmonts enjoyed a fashion show at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, a walk through the grounds of Bowhill, and were piped through the streets of Selkirk to reach the Haining.

A commemorative plaque was unveiled at the Fleece Hotel ahead of the statue being unveiled at the Haining as well as the opening of a Dandie Discovery Centre.

Michelle Ballantyne, chair of the board of trustees for The Haining Charitable Trust, added:

"The Haining Trustees are delighted to welcome such a unique canine event to the estate.

“It has been a wonderful weekend of celebration and Old Ginger’s home provided a fantastic backdrop for his 175th birthday celebrations."