Scottish Terrier Dogs

Sporty and playful, Scottish Terriers bring a high-spirited energy to any household. Perfectly at home in apartments, houses or grand estates, Scotties have a distinctive charm that can be both amusing and bewildering at the same time. They are a proud breed, full of happiness, dignity and toughness. Most of all, they love companionship—give your Scottie plenty of that, and it will be your ever-loving pal.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier Pictures

  • Scottish Terrier dog named Smitty (RIP 9-2-13)
  • Scottish Terrier dog named Izzabella SaraBaca
  • Scottish Terrier dog named Rocky
  • Scottish Terrier dog named Buddy
  • Scottish Terrier dog named Crickett
  • Scottish Terrier dog named col. flopsie amusington graham
see Scottish Terrier pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 17.5 - 22 pounds
  • 10 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Retirees
    • City dwellers
    • Outdoorsy types
    • Families

Scottish Terriers on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Friendly
    • Sturdy
    • Protective
    • Active
    • Stable
    • Loyal

What They Are Like to Live With

Don’t be fooled by their size: Scotties make terrific watchdogs. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a more formidable little scrapper. Protective and fearless when their environments are threatened, they also know when to show restraint. They are somewhat reserved with people outside the family circle—some might even call them aloof—but as long as they are properly introduced to new friends they will be perfectly charming.

Things You Should Know

Scotties need exercise, attention and activity to stay physically and mentally sharp. If you leave them in the back yard for hours at a time, you’re asking for trouble: Scottish Terriers love to dig. And when they’re bored, they can get up to all sorts of other mischief. Make sure your Scottie gets plenty of walks, including special times off the leash in a controlled environment.

A healthy Scottish Terrier can live as long as 15 years. Common health issues include epilepsy and von Willebrand disease (a prolonged bleeding disorder). They are also susceptible to something called “Scottie Cramp,” when the muscles randomly lock up. This usually occurs during exercise and can last for a few minutes.

Scotties need to be brushed regularly. During shedding seasons, they should be brushed daily (at least). Scottish Terriers need to be professionally groomed several times a year.

Scottish Terrier History

Bred long and low to follow foxes, rabbits and badgers into their dens, the Scottish Terrier either dates from the 19th century or the 15th century depending on who’s doing the talking. For many years, various terriers including the Skye and Yorkshire were lumped into the “Scottish Terrier” category, angering some purists. To set matters straight, the Scottish Terrier Clubs of England and Scotland were formed in the early 1880s. Today, the Scottish Terrier—along with the West Highland—are considered the oldest of the Highland Terriers.

The Look of a Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers have small, compact, sturdy frames covered in coarse, wiry, weatherproof coats that usually come in black, brindle or wheaten colors. Their long heads have full muzzles, square jaws, pointy ears and widely set eyes. Their intense stare has often been called “varminty.” Scotties have thick necks that slope down to short, cobby bodies with broad chests and short but powerful legs. Their thick, tapered tails are usually carried high.

Talk About Scottish Terriers 

Feisty little packages of devotion

I adore my Scottish Terriers! They are a feisty little package of devotion; always on duty as in Scotland Yard; and they are very intelligent.

Scotties have an attitude of independence, but they can be very affectionate, too. They are very inquisitive, can be stubborn, and my Scotties consider me their staff.

They are prone to some genetic difficulties, and may have allergies and issues with their skin. They are a companion house dog, and they require regular brushing and grooming. I would not recommend this breed for children under 10.

~Sandy D., owner of five Scottish Terriers

Loyal, noble, and loving

Our family dog, Rigby, is a Scottish Terrier, and I honestly believe there is no greater dog in the entire world. He's loyal, loving, and always ready for some playtime. Plus, he is amazing with our 10-month old daughter.

Scotties are just great dogs in general: strong, smart, noble and beautiful. All that Rigby needs to be happy are daily walks, dog food, and lots of family time. I would recommend a Scottie to anyone looking for a great family dog.

~James S., owner of a Scottish Terrier

They own you, not the other way round

I live and have lived with Scottish Terriers for 25 years. Sometimes I wonder why I don't see more of them as I know they are the most loving dogs around. Then I realize that not everyone can deserve a Scottie.

You don't own them, they own you! My Scotties love me and our family, are big dogs in small packages, and have an indestructible devotion to family.

~D.S., owner of a Scottish Terrier

Devoted companion

"Do it my way or the highway" could be our Scotty's motto.

Secure the backyard or find him roaming the neighborhood in search of human friends.

Walk too slow or rest too long on his walk and you could be reprimanded with a sharp bark.

Put him in your bed at night and wake up with a Scotty headpiece.

Wouldn't want it any other way!

~Jim C., owner of a Scottish Terrier