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Scottish Terrier

Solid and compact, with a high-spirited, confident temperament, the Scottish Terrier is one among the five terrier breeds to have originated in the Scottish Highlands. Like most other terrier breeds, this one was developed to hunt badgers, foxes, and rats. It showed undying determination to complete its work efficiently, which earned it the nickname “Diehard” by George, the 4th Earl of Dumbarton. Grouped as the Skye Terrier, it is among the five terrier Scottish breeds, the others being West Highland White Terrier, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, and Skye Terrier.

Its rugged and shabby yet cute appearance achieved through its cobby body, bright, piercing eyes, and sharp ears, made it a top favorite among the elites as early as the 17th century.  Fala was one of the celebrity Scotties owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who accompanied his master even during World War II.

Coming to the present times, the dog is still noted for its feistiness and loyalty emerging as excellent watchdogs as it barks on sensing danger and remains reserved towards strangers. They could display shades of stubbornness and independence but form a deep bond with their kin, particularly one or two members of the family.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Aberdeen Terrier, Diehard, The Highland, Scottie
  • Colors:Black, black brindle, red brindle, wheaten, silver brindle
  • Life Expectancy:About 12 years
  • Height:10 inches
  • Weight:Male: 19 – 22 pounds; 
    Female: 18 – 21 pounds
  • Temperament:Feisty, Independent, Loyal
  • Good with Kids:Yes
  • Exercise requirements:High
  • Hypoallergenic:Yes
  • Litter Size:1 – 6 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Excessive on sensing danger
  • Health Problems:Autoimmune diseases, bleeding disorder, joint disorder, allergies, cancer, and Scotty cramp
  • Trainability:Difficult
  • Origin:Scotland
Scottish Terrier Dog
Scottish Terrier Puppies

Scottish Terrier’s History: Timeline


    First records of a dog similar to this breed was found


    Six terriers thought as the ancestors of the Scottish Terrier was sent as gifts to the French monarchs by English king James I


    The dog show in England’s Birmingham were the first to offer classes to these terrier groups


    They were exhibited in England’s Alexander Palace


    The breed’s written standard appeared in “Illustrated Book of the Dog” by Vero Shaw


    Marked the foundation of the Scottish Terrier Club


    The Scotties were imported to America


    Registered by the AKC


    Formation of the STCA (Scottish Terrier Club of America)


    The STCA’s breed standard was written


    The UKC recognized it


    The Scotties became the United States’ 3rd most popular breed


    Formation of the Scottish Terrier Club of Greater Drayton


    The Health Trust Fund was founded by the STCA to research on the breed’s health issues


    Became the official mascot of Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania

Aberdeen Terrier
Full Size Scottish Terrier


They are high on energy and need to channelize it well to stay physically and mentally fit. Take these dogs out on one or two 30-minute walks every day. That would not just be enough, though. Also, make way for sufficient playtime in the form of a play-ball session in your yard or garden or anything else.

They would adjust well in your apartment, but there too, you must keep them busy with exciting games. When indoors, you may play tug with their favorite toy, and just watch in amazement at how they live up to their name “diehard”. The Scotties would not rest until they have acquired their plaything from you.

They have a hard, wiry topcoat and a dense, soft undercoat. You need to work a little hard to keep their coat shiny and in good condition. Brush them once or twice a week. Bathe your Scotties when the need arises, using a vet-approved good quality dog shampoo.

 Like most other terriers, hand-stripping of the coat should start since the time they are puppies. You could strip their coat on your own or seek a groomer’s help for the purpose. Also, ensure you brush their teeth twice or thrice a week to prevent tartar buildup.

Cleaning the Scottish Terriers’ eyes and ears to keep a check on infections is also a mandate.

High-quality dry dog food is a mandate to keep the Scottish Terrier in good health. To give them a homemade diet, add a sufficient amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients in a balanced proportion. If you buy your dogs’ kibble from a store, you may consider choosing brands like  Hill’s Science , and Wellness Core  .

Scottish Terriers may display and independent and stubborn behavior, so you should handle these dogs tactfully while training it. They are great thinkers and would get bored if the same thing is presented time and again. So, keep the training sessions short, no more than 15 minutes at a time. Also, introduce creativity to help your Scotties remain hooked on to what is being taught to them.

Teaching them to be obedient should be first on your training checklist, lest it could be difficult to handle their strong-willed attitude as they grow. Basic commands like “No”, and “Stay” must be taught at the earliest. Learning to follow commands well would also make house or potty training a little easier.

Socializing them when young could even help lessen their aggression towards other dogs. You also have to expose your Scotties to various experiences, the good and the bad, so that they may not consider every stranger harmful.

Make the puppies wear a leash to keep their chasing tendencies in check when you take them out.

Scottish Terrier Images
Scottish Terrier Photos


Q. Who is Jock the Scottish Terrier?

Jock presented as a Scottish Terrier is a character in the 1955 animated film Disney “Lady and the Tramp.”

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