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Scottish Terrier

scottishterrier

A Playful Dog

Devoted, Feisty, Tough

Scottish Terriers are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Scottish Terriers, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Scottish Terrier and some can be quite irritating! 

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where the Scottish Terrier came from, which health conditions are a risk to them and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:10" Weight:18-22 lb Lifespan:11-13 years

Size
1

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
2

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Scottish Terriers are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions. They are athletic dogs that excel at dog sports like agility and Earthdog.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly. Twice a year stripping or clipping is also required for their wiry double coat.

Dental: Scottish Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Scottish Terriers are charming and playful dogs that enjoy ball games. They are self-assured and opinionated. With a patient and consistent leader, they make a devoted and affectionate companion.

Positive Traits:

  • Confident and self-reliant

  • Good watchdog with a loud bark

  • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • Loving and loyal to her owners

  • Agile, sturdy, and muscular

Negative Traits:

  • Does not tolerate harsh reprimands or negative-reinforcement training

  • Likely to attack other small animals, including cats

  • Suspicious of strangers

  • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

  • Likes to dig

  • Determined and has a mind of her own


Whether you are considering adding a new Scottish Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Scottish Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Scottish Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Scottish Terrier could encounter:

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Distichiasis

Persistent Pupillary Membrane

Bleeding Disorders

The Scottish Terrier originated in Scotland and was virtually unknown outside of their homeland until the late 1870s. Scotties were bred for vermin control on farms and for hunting badgers or foxes. They are the only dog breed that has lived in the White House alongside three Presidents. Scotties are hardy terriers, spirited and feisty. They are not recommended for homes with small children or with other animals.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Scottish Terrier shows signs of the following:

  • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Unplanned pregnancy can be dangerous

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping”

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Pain when opening the mouth or chewing


  • Care

    Routine Care: Scottish Terriers are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions. They are athletic dogs that excel at dog sports like agility and Earthdog.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly. Twice a year stripping or clipping is also required for their wiry double coat.

    Dental: Scottish Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Scottish Terriers are charming and playful dogs that enjoy ball games. They are self-assured and opinionated. With a patient and consistent leader, they make a devoted and affectionate companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Confident and self-reliant

    • Good watchdog with a loud bark

    • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • Loving and loyal to her owners

    • Agile, sturdy, and muscular

    Negative Traits:

    • Does not tolerate harsh reprimands or negative-reinforcement training

    • Likely to attack other small animals, including cats

    • Suspicious of strangers

    • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    • Likes to dig

    • Determined and has a mind of her own


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Scottish Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Scottish Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Scottish Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Scottish Terrier could encounter:

    Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Distichiasis

    Persistent Pupillary Membrane

    Bleeding Disorders

  • History

    The Scottish Terrier originated in Scotland and was virtually unknown outside of their homeland until the late 1870s. Scotties were bred for vermin control on farms and for hunting badgers or foxes. They are the only dog breed that has lived in the White House alongside three Presidents. Scotties are hardy terriers, spirited and feisty. They are not recommended for homes with small children or with other animals.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Scottish Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Unplanned pregnancy can be dangerous

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping”

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Pain when opening the mouth or chewing


Scottish Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Scottish Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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