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Scottish Terrier

Quick facts

Scottish Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: 9 - 10 inches
Weight: Male: 19 - 22 pounds Female: 18 - 21 pounds
Colors: black, brindle, or wheaten
AKC recognized in: 1885

The Scottish Terrier is also known as the Aberdeen Terrier named after the town in Scotland where its breed first began in the 1700s. It earned a nickname, too, which is Scottie. This dog has a head larger in proportion to its body.

Scotties were used for hunting and can chase away squirrels, foxes, rabbits, otters, and badgers. In the 19th century, the fourth Earl of Dumbarton, named George, took a fancy to the Scotties and called this breed the "little diehard".

This dog is barrel-chested and has a muscular body. The circumference around its neck can be 14 inches. Its ears and its tail are erect and it has short legs, although its paws are large and easily adaptable to digging.

Its coat is of two layers where the top coat is long and wiry while the undercoat is soft and dense. Typically, the hair of this dog is trimmed leaving a longer coat on the beard, lower body, eyebrows, and legs. As a matter of fact, the Scottish Terrier is an icon of the board game Monopoly as one of the playing tokens. The West Highland White Terrier and the Scottie are featured in the Black and White whiskey label. American presidents, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush, owned Scottish terriers as well as other famous people like Queen Victoria, Eva Braun, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Actress Tatum O'Neal got so depressed with the death of her Scottie that the actress used drugs for consolation.


Scottish Terrier Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance three paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements two paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two pawa
Watchdog Ability three paws

The Scottie is an agile and feisty dog with a determination that earned it with a reputation as being a "diehard". It has been observed that this dog barks only when necessary, but its apparent calm can actually become misleading. It is known to chase with tenacity and can fight against other dogs. However, it can be trained to avoid trouble, although the trainer needs to be firm and patient. The dog is stubborn and can appear haughty.

It has a pleasing attitude towards people it loves, but can be aloof to strangers. It is an intelligent canine with loyalty towards its owner. Children inside the home should not be too young for the dog might interpret that it has authority over the children. It is better if the owner and his children can be consistently firm and able to discipline the family dog.


The average lifespan of the Scottish Terrier is 11 to 13 years.

While the Scottish Terrier is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - This is a blood disease that causes a deficiency in clotting glycoproteins. This disease is similar to hemophilia in humans.
  • Patellar Luxation - Sometimes called a trick knee, this condition causes the kneecap to pop out of place. This can be caused by obesity, but is typically a congenital defect that can be inherited.
  • Craniomandibular osteopathy - Sometimes called Lion'#8217;s Jaw, this is a condition where extra bone forms along the mandible and skull. This is an inherited condition, typically found in terriers, and as such the dog should not be bred. Symptoms typically show in the first year, and may regress as the dog ages.


Care for a Scottish Terrier is moderately easy. It has two coats, a harsh, wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat. This coat can be brushed daily (or at least once a week) with a stiff brush to remove any loose, dead hair, and to prevent matting.

The topcoat may require a bit more attention to retain its proper appearance, and to maintain the health of the Scottish Terrier's skin and coat. At a minimum, in addition to the weekly brushing, the coat should be stripped (a process of pulling the oldest hairs from the coat using either your fingers or a 'stripping knife') at least twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

Scotties love to go on walks, but running just is not in their nature. make sure you keep her on a leash, because her hunting instincts will have her wandering all over the place if you do not keep her in control.

Scottish Terriers also love the water. Only problem is, their short legs and heavy body means they cannot swim! They will sink like a rock, so keep a watchful eye whenever playing near a body of water.

Visitor Comments

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