Scottish Terrier Dog Breed Traits & Facts

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*The Scottish Terrier is a short, but fiercely feisty little dog , considered to be the father of all terriers in Great Britain. This breed was designed to hunt vermin. This pup is not recommended for multi-pet households with rabbits, mice, or guineapigs. This breed is strong-willed . and highly independent . It’s not the most suitable choice for owners who are new to dog ownership or have limited time to train their dogs.

Before you commit to any breed of dog, it is important to know what you can expect after they have arrived in your home. We will discuss everything from the charismatic personality of the Scottish Terrier to grooming, training and exercising. Continue reading to learn if the Scottish Terrier might be the right breed for you and your lifestyle.

Scottish Terrier Dog

Breed History

The Scottish Terrier breed was created for hunting rats, badgers and foxes while keeping his master’s yard or entire farm free of vermin. He was a strong, agile, but short-legged earthdog because of his terrier nature and strong frame. He also served as a watchdog, alerting his human pack to any incoming visitors. In the 19th century, a famous group of Scotties and their master soldiers were nicknamed the ‘Dumbarton Diehards. ‘ Their courage was reflected in this nickname.

Although he is thought to be one of the oldest indigenous British canine breeds, he only made his way to American in 1883. He was entered in the American Kennel Studbook two years later with Prince Charlie, a fine Scottie Scottie. He is still used to flush prey from the ground on ranches but he is now more well-known as a family dog. He is often seen living the Riley life and taking in all the attention.

President Franklin Roosevelt was also a fan of the breed and had Fala, a Sottish companion. In Lady and the Tramp (1979), the Scottish character Jock immortalized the breed. Jock won the hearts of dog lovers all over the globe and has enjoyed a growing popularity ever since. He is consistently ranked in the top 60 dog breeds in America, and he isn’t going anywhere soon.


The Scottish Terrier is both a terrier and a terrier in name. You can expect some terrier characteristics, including the fact that this dog is very full of personality. This dog doesn’t hide behind the sofa. He is the life and soul of the party and an deigned and proud family member. He is a serious dog who has a serious presence. *)Scotties can also be protective dogs. Be careful when it comes to humans and animals intruding on your property. Third after the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler, the Scottish Terrier is one of the top barkers. He isn’t yappy, however. He has an imposing bark which will scare off even the most powerful of creatures. If you’re looking for a furry, four-legged alarm system, this is the one!

His skepticism of strangers causes him to be aloof and makes him not the most social of dogs. Although he is affectionate towards his family, he doesn’t show it too often. He is not a fussy dog . when he’s busy. He is a great choice for dog lovers who don’t like dogs that are too demanding or intrusive.

His independence renders him a headstrong dog who doesn’t follow direction well. The Scottie is not a loyal dog. Scotties don’t make great first-time dog because of their independence. He needs an experienced owner who is able to manage independent dogs. Although he may be small, he is strong and willful.

His terrier spirit, work energy and love for his family make him lots of fun . The Scottie is a great choice for families looking for canine entertainment and a friend to play in the yard. The Scottie will be happy to play outside for hours with any type of furry rodent, and he will even enjoy a bucket filled with toys, not your shoes.

Size & Appearance

The Scottish Terrier breed standard describes him as “a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built dog of good bone and substance.” To put it into perspective, at only 10 inches tall, he is approximately the same height as the well-known Corgi. He only weighs between 18 and 22 pounds. Although he is well built, his long coat often makes him appear oddly shaped.

The Scottie’s long, curving head is a contrast to his rest of the body. His long beard makes it look longer. His ears are small, but tall and straight. His ears, which are placed high on his skull contribute to his forever awake appearance . His eyes are small, piercing and set well in his head. His short beard covers his mouth with a square, fleshy nose. The Scottish Terrier has short legs and a medium-long tail that stands out.

Coat & Colors

The thick double-coated Scottish Terrier coat has two layers .. His undercoat feels soft and his outer coat is stiff and wet. Although it may appear shiny and smooth, this is due to good grooming. His hair will grow long and should be blended if you want to keep it that way. Keep his legs, underbelly and beard long.

These pups don’t shed a lot. Some people would say they are Hypoallergenic. While there are no truly Hypoallergenic dogs, the Scottie doesn’t shed nearly as much as other breeds, making them a great option for potential dog owners with pet allergies.

Many people believe that the Scottish Terrier is limited to black. This is incorrect. Yes, the black coat color is the most popular, but he also has the option of brindle and wheaten. The brindle color can have either red or blue undertones. The wheaten color, which is similar to wheat color, is a creamy colour. His nose, lips, and other features should be black, regardless of the color of his coat.

Exercise Requirements

The Scottish Terrier is a lively dog that has a history of ratting. He needs to be accompanied by a family that can give him at least one hours of exercise each day .. He isn’t a lapdog despite his short legs. After his mind and body are sufficiently stimulated, he will only accept cuddles.

Many owners assume that their small dog doesn’t require a lot of attention. However, they are surprised to discover a spoiled and unhappy puppy. His family must be able to exercise him in all seasons .. If you don’t meet his exercise requirements, this breed will destroy everything.

His experience in ratting means that he is a natural predator of small furries. His extremely low prey drive , is something he will not let go of, no matter how much training. He will climb trees and hide in holes to find rodents, no matter what you do. We recommend that you keep this wild canine on a leash for your safety and ours.

This is an independent breed that doesn’t need constant companionship. This is great news for dog owners who don’t like dogs that are super needy. He’ll be happy to let you do your own thing. He is not suitable for homes with young children or toddlers. He can get cranky if he , is pulled and poked. Young children don’t get it. Please, only older families!

Living Conditions

His petite frame makes him well-suited for apartment living , as long as he gets enough exercise. He is equally at home in large homes. However, he needs to have access to a yard that is Scottie-proof. You need to have high fences and locked gates. He is a determined, strong-willed and tenacious terrier who will escape any way that it takes to catch that squirrel.

The Scottish Terrier isn’t the most polite puppy .. He will be happy with his own company, and will only play when it is convenient for him. If you are a multi-dog household, he will probably do well if brought into your family as a puppy. If you already have a Scottie, and want to introduce a new dog to the family, he may not be as happy. He may be less friendly with other pets like cats or rats.


The Scottish Terrier is an independent breed and is not easy to train ,. This is why only experienced dog owners should take him on. First-time dog owners might be put off canines forever with his strong-willed (read extremely stubborn) demeanor. For those who are willing to take on this challenge, however, it is a rewarding experience for them. Although the Scottie is an unusual breed, he has strong fans who love his breed.

*For independent dogs, it is important to start training early. While a good breeder will begin the process early, it is up to you to continue it. Register your Scottie puppy in puppy obedience courses . as soon as possible. He may not be completely obedient but he may just listen half the time if you teach him the basics early. *Headstrong dogs will never give up and allow their pets to be naughty. The best tip for training Scotties is not to let them. He’ll be able to remember what you did once he does it again. Be persistent in your training and follow-up on all commands. It is important that all members of the family agree to follow the rules. Dad shouldn’t be allowed to sit on the couch with mom.

All dogs need socialization. However, this is a crucial aspect of training the Scottie. He will be unfriendly and grumpy if he doesn’t get it. As soon as possible, mix him with other dogs. You’ll teach him that dogs don’t pose a threat to him and increase your chances of him becoming a friend. To increase his confidence , mix him with other people, sights, sounds and situations.


The Scottish Terrier is a healthy breed . But he still needs caring for if you want him to live to his expected lifespan of 12 years. You can take care of him by giving him high-quality nutrition and exercising him. Working with reliable breeders can also increase your chances of having healthy Scotties. We’ll go into more detail about this later.

The Scottie breed is susceptible to certain health issues more than other purebred dogs. While you should not ignore other health issues, there are some that you need to be aware of. These conditions are most common in the breed:

Von Willebrand’s Disease

*This is an inherited condition that causes blood to stop clotting due to a deficiency in clotting proteins. This condition can lead to death in Scotties who have suffered from severe bleeding. Von Willebrand’s disease is not fatal for most dogs. However, they require regular medication to maintain their blood health. Breeding dogs with this disease is not a good idea. Make sure you get health certificates.

Patella Luxation

This is a common condition in small dog breeds such as the Scottie. It causes dislocation and affects his kneecaps. This painful condition usually affects the rear leg and requires surgery.

Scottie Cramp

This is a unique condition in the Scottie breed. Although it is common, it is not serious. It can cause cramping and is just a nuisance. This can happen at any time in his life, but it is most common during stressful situations like exercise, fighting, and mating. Scottie cramp is likely to cause your Scottie to arch his back, stretch his legs, and freeze, or to become unable to walk for a short time.


The Scottish Terrier will consume between one and one-half cups daily of high-quality kibble. The Scottie does not seem to be as greedy as other dogs. However, you must be careful not to allow your Scottie to eat fatty foods or toxic substances. Your Scottie’s age, activity level, and size will determine how much food he needs. For more information, please refer to the package instructions.

Always feed your dog the highest quality food you can afford. High-quality kibbles can provide a balanced diet that meets all his nutritional needs. A balanced diet will include real and named meats, fish and meats as well as fish and fish meals. It is important to eat healthy carbohydrates like potatoes, grains, and prebiotic fibers such as chicory root and pumpkin. His immunity can be boosted by vitamins and minerals.

The protein content should be above 22% during puppyhood and above 18% during adulthood. In his first year, you should feed him puppy kibble that is suitable for small breeds. Omega-fatty acids are essential to healthy puppy development. Puppy kibbles will have more of them to meet his requirements. They are essential for maintaining organ and hair health as well as overall wellbeing. Look out for ingredients such as flaxseeds, fish, eggs, flaxseeds, and oils in the ingredient lists.

While it may be tempting to save money by feeding your Scottie cheaper food, you’ll notice that Scottie has less energy. You will also notice a duller coat and more diseases, among other things. Don’t let him get a cheap kibble. The Scottie is a very fussy dog and will likely refuse to eat anything less than the best.


The Scottish Terrier’s grooming requirements will vary depending on whether you want him maintain an old-fashioned Scottie appearance . If you do or he is a show Scottie you will need to maintain his blended coat. This requires skill and careful styling. Keep his jacket at his topline trimmed and close to his body. The hair should be long around his neck, legs, and underbelly.

Many Scottie owners send their pet to the groomers as it can be tedious. Others learn how to style their coats themselves. His coat needs to be styled approximately once every six to eight week. It is better to have your hair cut by a professional than just clipping your dog’s coat. Because eventually, clipping it with dog hair clippers will result in the loss of the desired harsher outer coat.

He will need brushing at least once a week in order to keep his long hair from getting matted and tangled. The best tool for his hair is a pin brush, so make sure you get one. He sheds less than other double-coated dogs. He sheds light to moderately all year.

The Scottie needs to be bathed at least once every two to three month. Use a shampoo that is specifically made for dogs. It should contain natural ingredients that are gentle on the dog’s skin and wet coat. Two times per week, the Scottie will need to brush his teeth. His small mouth increases the chances of periodontal diseases, so it’s important to keep up with his dental hygiene.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The Scottish Terrier

is not the most common breed of dog, but it is not uncommon. It might be necessary to travel to find an excellent breeder . You can almost certainly expect to be on a waiting-list for a Scottie puppy. An experienced breeder of Scotties will have many years of experience. They will invite you to meet their dogs and provide health certificates to you for your new puppy.

The average price of a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder will be around $1,000 and up. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars . if you’re looking for a Scottie of an award-winning lineage. A great place to start your search for a top-quality breeder is with the AKC’s Scottish Terrier breeder list.

Anything below the average price is a sign they are a poor breeder part a puppy mill . Poor health and appearance are other indicators that a breeder is not of high quality. These breeders don’t screen their puppies for health issues or socialize them. This means that you could get a Scottie with higher chances of developing behavioral and/or disease problems.

Rescues & Shelters

There are many American dogs looking for forever homes. This includes Scottish Terriers. Why not adopt a Scottie instead? Talk to staff at your local rescue shelter to learn more about the adoption process. It is a great thing to do, and it can be cheaper than buying a puppy.

There is also a breed rescue that focuses its efforts on rehoming a particular breed . You are much more likely to find your Scottie love match if you contact them. The Scottish Terrier Club of America lists Scottie rescue organizations state by state, all with contact details. You can also find lots of useful information on their website.

As Family Pets

  • Scottish Terriers are stubborn dogs.
  • Don’t mistake his stubbornness for a lack of intelligence.
  • They do better with experienced dog owners.
  • Their perfect family is one that doesn’t immediately expect an obedient dog.
  • He has lots of energy and needs around one hour of exercise every day.
  • He needs to be socialized well as a puppy.
  • This will help ensure that he doesn’t become too overprotective.
  • The Scottie is a fantastic watchdog who will alert you to visitors.
  • He has a high prey drive and will chase all rodents out of sight.
  • He is suitable for apartment living or large homes, just as long as his yard is secured.
  • The Scottish Terrier isn’t needy and is happy to spend hours alone.
  • He is affectionate with his humans when he wants attention.
  • He doesn’t like to be smothered, so should only be homed with older children.

Final Thoughts

The Scottish Terrier is a special pup that is not suited for every family or dog owner. You should now be able to determine if you are ready to welcome one of these dogs into your home. If you believe you are a good match, it is likely that you will. Many Scottie fans love his quirky personality. He can be stubborn and grumpy.

If you are able to put up with these traits, you will find a loyal dog who enjoys cuddling with humans and having fun. You’ll be the talk in the neighborhood . if you dress him up in a tartan jacket. This is the perfect doggo for anyone who loves all things Scottish, or just wants an independent canine that doesn’t mind taking any rubbish.

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