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Scottish Terrier Information

Description of a Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier or more affectionately known as the Scottie, is a short legged, very compact and sturdy dog that is best known for its profile. The head has a pronounced beard and eyebrows with a noticeable stop. The sharp, alert ears that make the dog look attentive at all times. The almond shaped eyes are dark and alert looking with a look of wisdom and intelligence. The long, flat back is supported by sturdy short legs and ends in a gently curved medium length tail. The coat may be either black, wheaten or brindle and is very water resistant and easy to keep.

Temperament of a Scottish Terrier

The Scottie is a very determined dog that never seems to let its smaller size interfere with what it wants to do. An excellent natural watchdog the breed is also very protective of its family, often without considering the fact that it is a small dog. They are easy to train but can be somewhat stubborn and aloof at times, especially with non-family members. The Scottie should never be punished as it can become snappy and aggressive if treated harshly. They love to please and will work well for positive praise. They can be dog-aggressive if not properly socialized, but with the right training will make excellent companion dogs. The breed is not suited to small children as they may see the child's actions as threatening. Older children are ideal for a Scottie as the dog has lots of energy and loves to run and romp and particularly loves to chase balls. They are a people dog and tend to engage in destructive behaviors when left alone. The breed is known for digging.

The Scottish Terrier Grooming & Shedding

The Scottie requires grooming with a stiff bristle brush or comb every three days or so. They do shed somewhat seasonally but it is not as noticeable as some of the other terrier breeds. The hair is usually left long and hangs down the side of the dog like a skirt.  The hair around the eyes and mouth should be trimmed, and the rest of the hair on the face should be shaped.

History of the Scottish Terrier 

Most of the modern terrier breeds all came from the same type of dog, bred on the Isle of Skye. The modern Scottish Terrier was designated as different from the rest of the group of Terriers, then called Skye Terriers, in the middle 1800s. When first developed the breed was called the Aberdeen Terrier, named for the city where many of the dogs were from. Later, in about 1860, the breed was first shown, but the breed standard was not completely developed until 1880. The breed became very popular in the United States when President Franklin Roosevelt brought his Scottie Fala to the White House. The loyal and loving dog was pictured in most portraits of the President, and was even buried beside him.

Health Issues for a Scottish Terrier

  • Major Concerns: CMO (craniomandibular osteopathy), von Willebrand's Disease
  • Minor Concerns: Scottie cramp, intervertebral disc disease, difficult whelping
  • Occasionally seen: flea allergies
  • Suggested tests: DNA




10-11 inches (25-28 kg)


19-23 pounds (8½-10½kg)


12-15 years







Young Children


Need exercise space

No – with regular walks and runs

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