VCA Animal Hospitals

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Basic Scottish Terrier Information

  • Lifespan: 11 - 13 years
  • Height: 10 - 10 inches
  • Weight: 18 - 22 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Scottish Terriers

Scottish Terrier Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Scottish Terrier History

  • Scottish terriers were used by highland farmers to catch vermin.
  • The history of the Scottish terrier is confused by the use of the term Scotch terrier to refer to any terrier from Scotland. Even with the advent of dog shows, the different terriers were shown together as Scotch terriers.
  • In 1881 the Scotch terriers were divided into Dandie Dinmont and Skye terriers, with the present-day Scottish terriers in the Skye terrier group. By the end of that year the Skye terrier group was subdivided into Skye and hard-haired terriers, with Scotties in the latter. Eventually the hard-haired terriers were again divided into three breeds, which would be come the Scottish, West Highland white and Cairn terriers.
  • For a time the breed was called the Aberdeen terrier, because of its popularity in that region.
  • The first documented Scotty came to America in 1883.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt had a Scotty named Fala, and Fala was largely responsible for the breed's soaring popularity after World War II. Fala was Roosevelt's constant companion, and is buried at his side.
  • Scotties were a favorite image in advertising and fashion for many years.
  • The breed remains one of the more popular and recognizable terriers.

Scottish Terrier Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a spirited and fun-loving companion.
  • Playful and good with children.
  • Fearless, clever, curious, and often mischievous.
  • Fairly outgoing toward strangers.
  • Feisty and sometimes argumentative around other dogs.
  • May chase other household pets, but can learn to get along with cats. Rodents are a poor choice of housemate, however.
  • Surprisingly sensitive.
  • Independent and stubborn. Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
  • Learns quickly and is eager to please, but also bores quickly, and may come up with its own ideas.
  • Many like to dig.

Scottish Terrier Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a lively and alert housedog.
  • Its exercise needs can be met with a long walk or short run, along with a vigorous game. They also need a chance to sniff and explore in a safe place or on leash.
  • They tend to go off hunting and may not come when called.
  • Some Scotties do well at dog parks, while others don't. It depends on the individual dog's feistiness.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.

Scottish Terrier Grooming

  • Coat is harsh and straight.
  • The coat needs combing once or twice weekly.
  • Shaping of the coat by plucking out dead hairs every three months is required to keep it tidy looking. Professional clipping makes coat maintenance easier.
  • Shedding is below averag

Suggested Scottish Terrier Nutritional Needs

  • Scottish terriers tend to stay in good weight or be slightly overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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