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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Scottish Terrier

Under a weather-proof wire-haired coat, the Scottish Terrier is a small and compact, yet powerful dog. Their prominent eyebrows, full beard and moustache combined with sharply pricked ears gives this terrier an alert, business-like appearance.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Scottish Terrier breed can suffer from: 
- Patellar luxation
- Von Willebrand's disease¹ which is where a dog produces insufficient or faulty clotting factors which can result in uncontrolled bleeding. 
- Scottie cramp which is a hereditary disorder which causes the muscles in the legs to temporarily cramp.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

¹P. J. Venta, 'Mutation causing von Willebrand's disease in Scottish Terriers', 2008, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 8.5–10.5kg
Height: 25–28cm
Colours: Black, and all shades of wheaten or brindle
Size: Small
Kennel Club Group: Terrier


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 1/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5
Black and white Scottish Terriers sitting next to each other


Scottish Terriers are frequently described as bold, lion-hearted, loyal and serious, but also dour, aloof, and reserved. Whilst primarily a companion and show dog today, the Scottish Terrier is very much a terrier, with all the feist and independent spirit one should expect.

With kind, patient training and motivation, the Scottie can be a cheerful, loyal and affectionate family friend to those they live with and knows well, but don’t expect them to be gushing and effusive with strangers.

Scottish Terrier plying with the children

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Scotland

Although known as the Scottish Terrier since 1879, the Scottie has had several earlier names, including the Aberdeen Terrier, the Hard-Coated Scotch Terrier and the Die-Hard or Wire-Haired Terrier.

Descended from the ancestral Highland Terrier, and closely related to the West Highland White Terrier, the Scottish Terrier was a working dog, bred to go to ground and take on any pest necessary. Their short legged, powerful muscular build and hard coat meant they were excellent in this role.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Scottish Terriers have in the past been popular with royalty and Presidents. King James V1 of Scotland was a huge fan in the 17th Century, sending six Scotties to France as a gift. Queen Victoria had a favourite Scottie, Laddie and President Roosevelt had a Scottie called Murray the Outlaw of Falahill or Fala for short, and Eleanor Roosevelt had Meggie, during their time in the White House.
  • The first mention of a Scottish Terrier was by Bishop John Lesley in his book ‘History of Scotland from 1436 to 1561’. He described them as a ‘dog of low height, which creeping into subterraneous burrows, routs out foxes, badgers, martins and wild cats from their lurking places and dens’.
  • Due to their bravery, there’s a legend that the Scottish Terrier descended from bears instead of dogs.
  • When Scottish Terriers get extremely excited, they may experience something called the ‘Scottie Cramp’, this is a neurological disorder which makes their muscles tense up.
  • The Scottie is the most popular Monopoly piece!