Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier

12 May 2023

Let’s talk about… Scottish Terriers: what are they?

  • Scottish Terriers, also known as Scotties, are a small and sturdy breed that originated in Scotland.
  • They have a distinctive and dignified appearance with their long, wiry coats and bushy eyebrows.
  • Scottish Terriers were once a favourite breed of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His Scottie named Fala became so popular that it received its own statue in Washington, D.C.
  • These dogs have a strong and compact build, typically reaching a height of 25-28 cm and weighing around 8-10 kg.
  • They have a life expectancy of around 11-13 years.
Scottish Terrier  Exercise Needs 2/5 Grooming Ease 2/5 Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Scottish Terriers like?

  • Scottish Terriers are known for their independent and self-assured nature.
  • They are often described as spirited, feisty, and confident dogs.
  • Despite their small size, they have a bold and determined personality.
  • Scotties are loyal and devoted to their families, but they can be reserved and aloof with strangers.
  • Early socialisation is essential to help them become more comfortable around new people, animals, and different environments.
Angus, the Scottish Terrier

How much exercise do Scottish Terriers need?

  • Scottish Terriers have low/moderate exercise needs and should receive around 30-45 minutes of exercise every day.
  • They enjoy brisk walks, playtime in a securely fenced yard, and interactive games.
  • Mental stimulation is also important for Scotties, as they are intelligent dogs that thrive on problem-solving activities and puzzle toys.
  • It's important to provide them with a balance of physical exercise and mental challenges to keep them happy and fulfilled.
  • Puppies have different exercise requirements compared to adult dogs.
  • They are still developing physically, so their exercise should be appropriate for their age and size.
  • Scottish Terrier puppies can have short play sessions several times a day, allowing them to explore and interact with their environment.
  • However, it's important to avoid excessive exercise that could strain their growing bones and joints.
  • Your vet can advise on the exercise needs of your individual Scottie.
Huxley, the Scottish Terrier

Do Scottish Terriers need a lot of grooming?

  • Scottish Terriers have a dense and wiry double coat that requires regular grooming.
  • They have a harsh outer coat and a soft undercoat.
  • To keep their coat in good condition, they should be brushed at least two to three times a week to remove any loose hair and prevent matting.
  • Their facial hair, including the distinctive eyebrows and beard, may require more frequent attention to keep them clean and tidy.
  • A professional groomer can be beneficial to keep them looking their best.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Logan, the Scottish Terrier

Are Scottish Terriers easy to train?

  • Scottish Terriers are intelligent and can be independent thinkers, which can make training a bit challenging at times.
  • They have a strong will and may test boundaries.
  • However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques, they can be trained effectively.
  • Early socialisation and basic obedience training are important for Scottish Terriers to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and well-rounded dogs.
Maggie, the Scottish Terrier

What do Scottish Terriers eat?

  • Scottish Terriers should be fed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • The amount of food they need depends on factors such as their metabolism, weight, and overall health.
  • Puppies require a specially formulated puppy food to support their growth and development.
  • They should be fed 3-4 times daily until they are 6 months old when it can be reduced to twice daily.
  • As they mature, around 12-18 months of age, they can transition to adult dog food.
  • It's important to monitor their weight and adjust their portions accordingly to prevent obesity.
  • Treats should be given in moderation and as part of their daily calorie intake.
  • Your vet can advise on the best diet for your individual pooch.

Are Scottish Terriers healthy?

Scottish Terriers are generally a healthy breed, but like any dog, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Some common health concerns in Scottish Terriers include:

Bleeding Disorders

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - an issue with platelet function in the bloodstream causing bleeding

Bones and Joints

  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be
  • Scottie Cramp - A condition that causes muscle stiffness and coordination issues


  • Deafness - either very little or no ability to hear


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Primary Lens Luxation - the lens of the eye shifts from its normal position, which results in glaucoma and  inflammation


  • Cushing’s Disease (hyperadrenocorticism) - when the adrenal gland produces too steroid hormone


  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy - a loss of the cells in the cerebellum in the brain which can affect movement and coordination


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation

This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your Scottish Terrier or if you want to discuss further if a Scottish Terrier is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Scottish Terriers

BorrowMyDoggy has 617 Scottish Terrier members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

Terrier Dog Breeds

Airedale Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

Manchester Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Smooth Fox Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Welsh Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

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