Scottish Terrier

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Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier has short leg and relative heavy bone which leave people the impression of great power in a small package. As a true terrier, the Scottish Terrier is sensitive to blame and praise with independence, intelligence, which makes them a good watchdog. And their terrier persistence has earned the breed the nickname “the Diehard.”

Other Names Aberdeen Terrier
Color Black, Brindle, Black Brindle, Red Brindle, Silver Brindle, Wheaten
Height Males: 10-11 inches. Females: 10-11 inches.
Weight Males: 19-22 pounds. Females: 18-21 pounds.
Life Span 12 years
Personality Confident, Independent, Spirited
Exercise Regular Exercise
Popularity #56
Groom Needs Occasional Shedding
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 1-6

Scottish Terrier Pictures

Scottish Terrier Video


The Scottish Terrier is a distinct and well-recognized dog breed with erect ears and generous furnishings on the beards. They have a sturdy frame fixed between their short and heavy legs. The Scottish Terrier has a double coat with different textures to each layer. While the outer coat is hard and wiry, the inner coat is soft and dense. The color varieties of this breed include black, brindle, and wheaten.

Their aloofness to strangers makes them remarkable watchdogs– combined with their tough and persistent attitude, Scottish Terriers have retained attributes of their hunting ancestors. They are small but highly confident with a diminutive shoulder height of nearly 10 inches for both males and females. Both sexes weigh in the range of 18-22 pounds by standards and they have an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

Living with Scottish Terrier

With double coat, wiry outer layer and soft, dense undercoat, the Scottish Terriers require regularly scheduled grooming, weekly for a pet and daily for a show dog. This should be started from his puppyhood to make them get used to the process. He doesn’t shed as much as short-coated breeds because his hair just keeps growing. 

The dog’s skin dries out quickly, so don’t bathe unless necessary. Periodic baths is acceptable with a good-quality moisturizing shampoo.

Clipped coats can be kept on a six- to eight-week schedule. You can do it yourself or go to a groomer. And weekly brushing and comb-out will keep the Scottie’s coat tangle free and the skin healthy.

Stripping the dog with stripping knives or by hand can help pull out loose hairs.

Dogs are touchy about their feet, so you should handle his paws frequently, and look inside his mouth and ears. Trim nails regularly if he doesn’t wear them down naturally.

Being active but easy to become destructive of they get bored or underexercised. So they require a minimum of 1 hour’s exercise a day and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy well-rounded dogs, but only in a safe environment taking care when they are around other dogs. Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.

The breed loves agility and other activities that require bursts of speed, such as running, but they do not have the stamina for long runs or strenuous activity. 

As a hunter, he has to be leashed when take a walk outside or exercise in fenced areas with a high prey drive to run and chase. The dog also likes to roam around a back garden so they can really let off steam.

He likes water but can’t swim, for he is easy to sink with heavy body and short legs.

Scottish Terriers will enjoy a lot of foods as do most dogs, especially meat and meat-flavored kibble. Such kind of diet that mixes with vegetables is a good choice, but you’d better to ask for a veterinarian before you make any food decisions regarding the breed. How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.

You should make a feeding schedule if you want to breed a Scottie puppy and persist to feed the same food to make it routine for the puppy. You can also change a puppy’s diet very gradually and make sure that they don’t develop any digestive upsets. If they do have, you should put them back on their original diet and check the vet.

Known to be fussy eaters, the older dogs should be fed with good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements twice a day. Watch out your dog’s calories consumption and weight to keep it from being overweight.

Scottish Terriers may guard their food. Children should never be allowed to touch or remove food while a Scottie or any dog is eating.

The Scottish Terriers are generally healthy, but sometimes they may meet some health conditions, such as von Willebrand’s disease, cushing’s disease, craniomandibular osteopathy, patellar luxation, several varieties of cancer and eye concerns, Scottie cramp, etc.

Scottie cramp is the most common problem that this breed experienced. It is not noticeable when it walks or is at rest, but its gait starts to change when the dog gets excited by something such as hunting, food, or a breeding situation. Most dogs never need treatment, although a few relatively inexpensive treatments have been found to have some effects. The condition is present from birth, but it does not worsen with age.

The STCA is currently working with veterinarians to develop treatments and screening tests for many of these health conditions to help reduce their occurrences.

Total Annual Cost: $2311.2

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

The Scottish Terriers are not ideal as sporting dogs, and they are a bit hard to train with stubborn, headstrong and self-sufficient nature. So the breeder needs great consistency, persistence and positive reinforcement when train the dog. 

Early socialization with people and other dogs is vital to develop a well-behaved adult Scottie.

With high prey drive and love of the dirt, the Earthdog training is suitable for the dog well. Being athletic , the agility training may be a good fit for the Scottie, but advanced obedience and tricks are not areas for which Scottish Terriers deem their time worthy.

Crate training at his young age is a good way to make sure that your breed doesn’t have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn’t, but you should never stick your Scottie in a crate all day long.

Scottish Terriers can do best with training sessions which will not last more than 15 minutes at a time. And do not repeat the same training all the time. This breed is a thinker, and if they get bored, they will not respond.


Once known as the Aberdeen Terrier and the Highland Terrier, amongst other discrete names, the Scottish Terrier hails from an old tradition of hunting and springing dogs of Scotland. They had probably only become popular on a global scale during the time of King James VI of Scotland, who later because King James I of England in the 17th century. King James was reputed to have a striking fondness for Scottish Terriers, so much that it was documented that he sent them as gifts to a French monarch of the time.

The precise ancestry of this breed is hazy and wasn’t properly documented. What there are on the subject consist of paintings and writings of old, depicting features or facts that alluded to the modern-day Scottish Terrier. Although it isn’t clear what breed of dogs they originated from, it is accepted as fact that the Scottish Terrier shares a common origin with the West Highland White Terriers, both of which have ancestors from the Blackmount region of Perthshire and the Moor of Rannoch.

The Scottish Terrier was initially used for hunting vermin on the farm and springing foxes and badgers in the wild. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the Scottish Terrier found its place as a breed name in the registry. The Highlands of Scotland, including the region of the Isle of Skye, were popular with terriers of a kind generically recognized as Shorthaired Terriers or Little Skye Terriers, at that time. They weren’t distinctly grouped into breeds till around the 1870s when these terriers made their way to dog shows, then they were classified into three categories; Skye Terrier, Cairn Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and Scottish Terrier.

The first breed standard for the Scottish Terrier was drafted in 1880. They were introduced into America in the 1890s but only became popular in World War I. The club breed in America was founded in 1900.

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