Country of Origin: Scotland
  • Activity Level: high
  • Grooming Level: high
  • Trainability: moderate
  • Adaptability: high
  • Kid/Pet Friendly: sometimes
  • Average Size: Small
  • Average Lifespan: 11-13 years
  • Prey Drive: high
  • Watchdog: very alert
  • Registered?: aca, akc
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Scottish Terrier Breed Profile

Overview
Temperament
Adaptability
Owner Experience
Health
Coat Colors
Grooming
Activity Level
Size
Life Span

The Scottish Terrier, nicknamed the “Scotland Kid” and also known as the Aberdeen Terrier, is one sturdy and valiant terrier. A popular choice over the years at the Westminster Kennel Club Show, last winning Best in Show in 2010, the hypoallergenic Scottish Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1885. One of five terrier breeds originating from Scotland (Cairn, Skye, Dandie Dinmont, and West Highland), the history of this dog breed is a long one although not fully traceable.

The Scottie has left a mark in pop culture as well. The dog breed has been the “First Dog” of the United States twice, once for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and again for Ronald Reagan. And, how can we forget his role in an all-time favorite Disney Film, playing Jock in Lady and the Tramp?

The Scottish Terrier is the definition of a fearless little sparkplug. Small in stature but large in voice and heart, they will be an alert and effective watchdog and surely ward off intruders or even startle the occasional Fed Ex man. The Scottie will love your kids, family, and friends and be a loyal companion.

They are generally friendly with other dogs, but will have no issues giving a random cat a good chase – it’s just what Terriers do. The Scottish Terrier can be a bit stubborn and feisty at times, and is known to be one of the most determined breeds out there when he focuses in on something.

The Scottish Terrier is very versatile in terms of how much space they need. One one hand, being a high energy terrier, they are very happy with a large yard and home to roam about. That being said, with proper exercise, they can adapt well to apartment living because of their smaller size.

Scottish Terriers are indifferent when it comes to climate, being okay with warm or cool, but, like all dogs, are vulnerable to extremes of either. They are not a dog that will like long lengths of alone time, and this could lead to anxious or destructive behavior.

The Scottish Terrier is not recommended if you are a novice dog owner, unless you intend to invest time into obedience training. Highly intelligent, if you can get by their stubborn side, you will find the Scottie very receptive to training with its master. Be aware that the Scottish Terrier takes both praise and criticism very much to heart, so be careful not to let frustration get the best of you because the Scottie will know it.

The health of the Scottish Terrier is generally good. Some things to be aware of is that they do seem a bit more likely to develop some forms of cancer than other purebreds. Some other health concerns are Patellar Luxation and Von Willebrand’s disease, both of which can be minimized by selective breeding.

The Scottish Terrier most often has a Black coat, but can also come in Brindle and Wheaten colors.

It is important to groom your Scottish Terrier early and often. Brushing and clipping will be a big part of the grooming process. However, make sure not to trim his coat too short if you wish to be in line with the breed standard.

Flea and tick treatments are important with all breeds, but Scotties tend to be more sensitive to them. If your Scottish Terrier happens to get fleas, it is even more likely to lead to skin irritation and skin chewing with this dog breed. Tooth brushing and nail trimming are also recommended.

The Scottie is a high energy Terrier. They excel at competitive agility, and are great athletes despite their short legs and small stature. They need regular exercise to be well adapted and well behaved.

The Scottish Terrier generally stands 9-10 inches tall at the shoulders, and will weigh between 17 and 23 pounds.

11 to 13 years