Scottish Terrier ~ Breed Profile - Puppy Tales

Scottish Terrier ~ Breed Profile

Are you planning to add a dog to your household and wondering what breed to choose? Are you looking for an intelligent, bold, and active breed who is also friendly and comical? If you answered yes, then a Scottish Terrier is your ultimate dog.

Scottish Terrier is a friendly, adaptable, playful, and loyal dog. He is suitable for families with children and other pets.  The Scottish Terrier is very protective of his family. He makes an excellent watchdog that loudly barks when he sees strangers at the door.

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Characteristics & Traits of Scottish Terrier

Life Expectancy: 11- 13 years


  • Height: 25-28cm (10 inches)
  • Weight: 8.5-10.5kg (18 to 22 pounds)
  • Colours: Black, Brindle, Wheaten

Care / Grooming Requirements:


Scotties have a weather-proof wire-haired coat. The topcoat is hard and wiry while the undercoat is soft and dense.


Scottish Terrier requires regular grooming to keep them tidy and healthy.

  • A weekly brushing will keep the Scottie’s coat tangle free and healthy.
  • Over-bathing is not recommended for Scottiss. When giving them a bath, use a good quality canine shampoo and conditioner.
  • Brush your Scottish terrier’s teeth at least two to three times a week to maintain good oral health.
  • Check their nails from time to time to make sure their nails don’t grow too long and trim them regularly.
  • Your Scottie’s eyes should be clear with no redness or discharge.
  • Ears should smell good with no exceptional amount of wax.
  • Grooming their face and beard and checking between toes for foreign bodies should be done twice a week.
  • Instead of continuous shedding, the Scotties shed occasionally, just a few times a year. They don’t leave a trail of fur wherever they go.

Shedding: Scottish Terriers are extremely low shedders and are considered hypoallergenic. The hair of Scotties just keeps growing, so they don’t shed as much as other dogs.

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History of the Scottish Terrier

Country of Origin: Scotland

History: The first known mention of the dog was by Bishop John Lesley in his book History of Scotland from 1436 to 1561. As he describes them, they are a “dog of low height, which creeping into subterraneous burrows, routs out foxes, badgers, martins, and wild cats from their lurking places and dens. Scotties were originally bred to hunt prey like rats, badgers, and foxes. They are descended from the ancestral Highland Terrier, and closely related to the West Highland White Terrier.

Dog Group/Type: Terrier Group

Other Names: Aberdeen Terrier, Scottie

Temperament / Personality

  • A Scottie is an affectionate companion. If socialized properly in puppyhood, this breed makes a superb family dog.
  • Scotties are playful dogs and they enjoy spending time and playing with their human companions.
  • Scottish Terriers can be willful, dominant, and have an independent mind of their own. They must be taught at an early age that they are not the rulers of the world.
  • Scottish Terriers are reliable watchdogs and have a loud alert bark. They take pride in protecting their family.
  • These dogs have a high potential for digging and are born diggers.
  • Scotties have a high prey drive and when tempted they are single-minded in the pursuit of their prey. They will eagerly chase the neighbour’s cat or a squirrel at a park.

Celebrity Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier has lived in the White House more than three times.

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt was renowned for owning a Scottish Terrier named Fala, a gift from his distant cousin. The President loved Fala so much that he rarely went anywhere without him. Roosevelt had several Scotties before Fala, including Duffy and Mr. Duffy.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt had a Scottish Terrier named Meggie when the family entered the White House in 1933.
  • President George W. Bush has owned two black Scotties, Barney and Miss Beazley. Barney starred in nine films produced by the White House.
  • Actress Tatum O’Neal owned a Scottish Terrier. She was so devastated by her dog’s death that she relapsed into drugs.
  • Hitler got two Scottish Terriers for his fiancé, Eva Braun
  • Other famous people who are known to have owned Scotties include: Queen Victoria, Eva Braun, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ed Whitfield, Rudyard Kipling, Gilbert Chesterton and President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński.

Living / Exercise Requirements

Scottish Terriers need exercise to stay fit and healthy. You can meet their exercise requirements by:

  • Taking them for a walk
  • Play fetch
  • Giving them a safe area to dig
  • Scent-based games
  • Free play in a fenced yard or dog park

Scotties are intelligent dogs and can be easily trained by using positive reinforcement techniques. They can learn tasks and tricks very quickly.

Behavioural issues may stem if they do not get exercise and mental stimulation. Despite being intelligent, Scotties are highly independent and that makes them difficult to train. Early socialization is important for getting your Scottish Terrier used to visitors and other dogs.

Your Scottish Terrier’s diet should be healthy and include all nutrients. If your Scottie is on commercial dog food, it must be safe, affordable, and made with high-quality ingredients. The ideal diet for your Scottish Terrier will also depend on their age, weight, health, physical activity level, and budget.

Health Issues

If you own or are planning to have a Scottish Terrier, you need to be aware of his health concerns. The common health issues seen in this breed are:

  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Scottie cramp
  • Craniomandibular osteopathic
  • Patellar luxation

Special Talents

  • Scotties have short legs and compact body. They give the impression of great power in a small package.
  • Their terrier persistence has earned Scotties the nickname ‘the Diehard.’
  • Scottish Terriers are gentle, loving, and affectionate dogs. They have great affection for family and are still ready to defend and protect them.
  • Scottish Terriers are low shedders and are perfect for allergy sufferers. This gives another reason for making them an ideal indoor dog.
  • They adapt to apartment living very well, love families and other dogs if they have been properly socialized.
  • Scotties are intelligent and too smart to forget anything.
  • They are terriers, so they love to dig.

Scottish Terrier Fun Facts

  • Consistent with their terrier lineage, Scotties are natural hunters. Cats will always be a hard sell, even to Scottie puppies.
  • The most famous Scottie in history is Fala, owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • The Scottish Terrier, Jock, was one of the most memorable characters from the 1955 Disney movie, ‘Lady and the Tramp.’ The Scottie was voiced by famed voice actor Bill Thompson.
  • King James VI of Scotland was a huge fan of the Scottish terrier in the 17th century and helped popularize them in Europe. He even sent six Scotties to France as a gift.
  • The Scottie has been one of the most beloved game pieces in Monopoly since its introduction in the 1950s. In fact, it received the most votes in a recent competition to determine which pieces would get to stay a part of the set.
  • Most modern-day Scotties can trace their lineage back to one female named Splinter II. She was owned by J. H. Ludlow, founder of the Scottish Terrier Club of England. She’s considered the mother of the breed.

Your Scottish Terrier

So, the Scottish Terrier can make great family pets in the right household. If you have the time for a beautiful Scottish Terrier they will definitely be your best pal!

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We’d love to photograph them in the studio or on location and hear some personal stories about life with these pawsome dogs!

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