Scottish Terrier Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Scottish Terrier Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

The Scottish terrier is a small dog breed from Scotland that sports a medium-length wiry coat with its trademark beard and longer hair around the legs and lower body. The coat typically comes in black but can be seen in wheaten and brindle patterns as well. Scotties have a sturdy build and short legs, serving as vermin exterminators.

Scottish Terriers are super friendly, fun-loving, and playful as puppies. While their friendliness level remains the same, they mature into fearless and independent dogs that are exceptionally loyal to their owners.

The average weight of Scotties is 21 pounds, and their average height is 10 inches. Scotties have 2 to 5 puppies per litter once a year, and their lifespan is 11 to 15 years. The Scottish Terrier is known by other names such as Scottie, Aberdeen Terrier, and Scotsman. The fourth Earl of Dumbarton nicknamed the Scottish Terrier “little diehard” due to its persistence and its stubborn nature.

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Scottish Terriers?

The Scottish Terrier is an independent, confident companion of high spirits, a solidly compact dog of vivid personality. Scotties have a dignified, almost-human character. The well-known Scottie silhouette is a short-legged but substantial terrier with distinctive furnishings at the beard, legs, and lower body. 

The wiry topcoat and soft, dense undercoat coat can be black, wheaten yellow, or brindle-striped. Bright, piercing eyes, and erect ears and tail, convey keen alertness, a hallmark of Britain’s terrier breeds. 

The Scottie working style has been described as efficient and businesslike, and their aloofness toward strangers makes them excellent watchdogs. Their hunting instinct remains strong, which can complicate life for the neighbor’s cat, and Scotties are known to be cantankerous around other dogs. This bold and clever Scotsman enjoys brisk walks and upbeat play.

Scottish Terrier Breed Traits

Scottish Terrier Information


Males and Females 10 inches


Males and Females  19 to 23 pounds

Relation with family

Affectionate, Friendly, Intelligent 

Relation with children

Playful but need socialization

Relation with other dogs

Good but territorial

Shedding level


Drooling level


Coat type 


Coat length

Undercoat – dense medium-length soft water-proof

Outer coat – coarse, medium-length

Coat grooming frequency

Brushing once or twice per week

Reaction to strangers


Playfulness level


Adaptability level


Openness to strangers

Friendly but Wary 

Trainability level

High but stubborn

Energy level


Barking level


Mental stimulation needs level



12 -15 years 

How Does the Scottish Terrier Interact with Family?

Scotties love children and play with them, but they have little patience with young kids, and parents must never leave younger children and Scottish Terriers without supervision. These dogs bond closely with all family members, and although they are protective of everyone in the family, Scotties tend to favor one or even two family members. 

The Scottish Terrier is happy inside or outside but will be happier with you than alone. A secure place in a home with human companionship and understanding is essential to his well-being, as well as his happiness. 

Scotties must be in fenced yards – they have a powerful hunting instinct and will go after anything they consider prey, including a dog much larger than they are. It is important to note that hamsters or other small pets in the home will not be safe.

When your Aberdeenie is done with his activity for the day, he’s a calm housedog. Though they are pretty loyal to their favorite humans, they tend to be spunky, confident, and somewhat independent dogs. They are an excellent choice as a family dog and get along with other pets when socialized early. 

How Does the Scottish Terrier Interact with Other Dogs?

Scotties do not naturally trust strangers, so early socialization is important for getting them used to visitors and other dogs. Dog parks aren’t the best place for a Scottish Terrier because they’re always on the lookout for bad guys and have no issues picking fights with other dogs

However, their high prey drive means that cats and other small pets are likely to be problematic as a general rule. But if your Scottish Terrier is introduced correctly at a young age, he can live well with felines and other furry friends.

How are Scottish Terriers with Older People?

Most seniors don’t prefer dogs that require extensive exercise. Some may have limited mobility, and some simply may want to spend more time relaxing. Scottish Terriers are good for both. Due to short legs, their bodies are not built for jogging, hiking, and long walks, and they are happy with moderate walks and indoor playtime.

How are Scottish Terriers with Children?

Although Scottish Terriers are good at interacting with children, some of this breed’s traits involve interaction with children. Scotties have a resource guarding trait. It is also sometimes called food guarding or possession aggression, and it is a relatively normal behavior in Scottish Terriers. It means that the dogs are exceptionally protective of their food and even their toys. They hate sharing, and children must learn not to interfere while their Scottie eats and never grab the dog’s toys. 

As with every breed, you should always teach children how and when to approach and touch dogs. And always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s eating or sleeping or trying to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

The earlier you socialize your Scottish Terrier with kids, the better they will be around kids later. You can get a Scottish Terrier if you don’t have kids now, but make sure you train it to behave around smaller kids and babies to prepare your pup for any new arrivals later.

How are Scottish Terriers with Neighbors or Guests?

Scottish Terriers are not welcoming to strangers, and their families’ relationship with neighbors and guests will determine their friendliness or lack thereof. However, if neighbors and guests are frequent visitors, your Scottie might learn to accept them as members of the family.

What are the Physical Traits of the Scottish Terrier?

The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built dog of good bone and substance. His head is long in proportion to his size. He has a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set, cobby body hung between short, heavy legs. These characteristics, joined with his very special keen, piercing, “varminty” expression, and his erect ears and tail are salient features of the breed. The Scottish Terrier’s bold, confident, dignified aspect exemplifies power in a small package.


Trait information




Males and Females  19 to 23 pounds


Males and Females 10 inches


Long in proportion to the overall length and size of the dog.


Almond-shaped set well apart on the head


Small, prick, and pointed set well up on the skull 


Slight tapering on the muzzle with a length similar to the skull





Exercise Needs



11 to 15 years


Undercoat – dense medium-length soft water-proof

Outer coat – coarse, medium-length

Coat color

Black, wheaten, or brindle of any color




Short forelegs turn in slightly, muscular hindquarters

How to Feed a Scottish Terrier?

Your Scottish Terrier’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Scottish Terrier’s diet on a small breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as your Scottish Terrier grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Scottish Terrier from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

Despite the Scottie’s small size, it is an agile breed that needs food containing animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

However, your Scottish Terrier’s daily portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and of course, the brand and formula of food it eats. Feed your Scottie food formulated for a small breed with recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages.

The Scottish Terrier’s daily cups of food should be spread over 2 to 3 meals per day. Feeding Scotties several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

An example of premium food specially formulated for Scotties and its benefits is listed below: 

The best dog food for Scottish Terriers is Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food with Wholesome Grains, High Protein Dog Food.

It has a high protein content from turkey and chicken and fiber from healthy grains like barley, oatmeal, and quinoa. The poultry ingredients also function as excellent sources of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for mobile joints, and there’s taurine for eye and heart health.

Below is a list of the benefits offered by the 4 Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food recipes in this range:

  • Protein-Packed: With responsibly sourced real meat as the first ingredient, these recipes are packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles in small breed dogs.
  • Omegas 3 and 6: Naturally occurring omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits help support immune health.
  • Probiotics: Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics are included to support your dog’s digestive health.

When Scotties are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Wellness CORE is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a Scottish Terrier Puppy Eat? 

The Scottish Terrier is a small breed whose puppies need high-quality puppy food formulated for a small breed dog like the Scottish Terrier. It is essential not to feed puppies all their food at once, and they should have it spread over the day. When Scottish Terrier puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Scottish Terrier puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for small-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Scotties should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • The exceptions are Scotties with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests Scottish Terriers Should Take?

Any purebred or mixed-breed dog can inherit mutated gene(s) from one or both parents that may predispose him to a particular disease. Scotties are fortunate to have relatively few serious genetic problems, and responsible breeders work hard to minimize these problems in their breeding stock. The following genetic disorders have been reported in Scotties.

Below is a list of tests Scottish Terrier breeders can do to ensure their puppies are perfect specimens of the breed.

DNA Tests cover 7 main categories

  • Musculoskeletal and Dental
  • Haemolymphatic
  • Skin and Immune
  • Urogenital
  • Metabolic and Endocrine
  • Ophthalmological
  • Neurological

Other tests and Xrays: Hip and Elbow Evaluation, Patella Check, General Health Check, including Heart, Vaccines, Fleas, and Worms.

What are the common health problems of Scottish Terriers?

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. The Scottish Terrier breed is predisposed to several health conditions, some of which can be identified through DNA tests. However, even healthy Scotties should have regular veterinarian checkups. Owners should ensure the following list of health conditions are monitored throughout the dog’s life.

    • Scottie cramp. Dogs with this condition react to stress — even common stress, such as exercise — with changes in how they move and run. Their legs fly out to the side, the back sometimes arches, facial and neck muscle spasms may occur, and the most severely affected dogs may fall. Scottie cramp is considered a neurological disorder. It’s not painful, nor is the dog actually experiencing cramps. Some dogs adapt to the condition and start to avoid the stresses that trigger it, and their lives are almost normal. Severely affected dogs may require medication, but this is rare.
    • Cataracts cause the eye(s) of the dog will have a cloudy appearance. Cataracts usually occur in old age and can be treated by surgically removing the cataract.
  • Patellar luxation occurs when the dog patella (kneecap), which normally sits on the groove of the femur (thighbone), shifts out of alignment. When luxation of the patella occurs, your dog may experience intermittent hind limb “skipping,” lameness, or a locking up of the limb at an odd angle.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease is a serious platelet disorder affecting blood clotting in Scotties and other breeds.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a progressive degenerative disease affecting the retina, leading to blindness.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion – often known as ‘bloat’, is A life-threatening disorder that happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted.  To protect your pup from GDV, feed your dog smaller meals throughout the day and wait an hour before and after mealtimes before exercising.
  • Craniomandibular osteopathy affects several skull bones. While a puppy is growing, the skull bones become irregularly enlarged. The symptoms usually appear between four and eight months of age. 
  • Hypothyroidism is insufficient production of thyroid hormone, causing hair loss, dry skin and coat, and susceptibility to other skin diseases in Scotties.

You can minimize the chances of serious health concerns in a Scottish Terrier by purchasing a Scottie from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices and screening for common diseases and conditions. Scottie cramp

Are Scottish Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Yes, Scottish Terriers are hypoallergenic. The reason Scotties are hypoallergenic is because they barely shed, and they don’t drool much either. Their beards can get dirty, though. Usually, dog allergy people are actually allergic to drool or dander, not the hair, so Scottish Terriers are less likely to cause flare-ups

However, each person is unique, so you need to meet the Scottie in person. Even then, individual dogs can be different too. Lastly, you’ve got to make sure to keep up with a Scottish Terrier’s grooming, or they might start to bother your allergies. If you’re allergic to Scottish Terriers, you might consider checking out Schnauzers instead.

What is the Exercise Need of a Scottish Terrier?

Consistent with their terrier lineage, Scotties are natural hunters who require a decent amount of exercise to stay trim and healthy. However, one advantage they have over other dogs in their group is that they don’t necessarily rely on running and outdoor activity to burn that energy off. If you’ve got a length of rope, a Scottie is more than happy to play tug-of-war with you for as long as you can hold out.

The Scottish Terrier needs a moderate amount of exercise, or around 30 minutes, every single day. Fortunately, this dog does not require a lot of space. While a yard or park is always welcome to stretch its legs, the Scottish Terrier will enjoy playing with balls and toys around the home. It should also be taken on short walks or jogs while on a leash, at least for a little bit each day.

What are the nutritional needs of Scottish Terriers?

The nutritional needs of a Scottish Terrier include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Scottie are listed below.

  • Protein: Scotties need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for Scotties’ health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Scottish Terrier’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Scotties need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Scottiegan sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, that too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Scottish Terrier puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Scotties by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of an Aberdeenie.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Scotties are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Scottish Terrier’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Scotties.

What is the Shedding Level of Scottish Terriers?

Scottish Terriers shed minimally, which supports the advice for people who have allergy problems to choose a Scottie as a canine companion.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of Scottish Terriers?

The Scottish Terrier has two coats. The topcoat, or overcoat, should be hard and wiry; the bottom coat, or undercoat, should be soft and dense. Because his hair just keeps growing, he doesn’t shed as much as short-coated breeds. Scotty skin dries out quickly, so don’t bathe until necessary. Overbathing will strip Scotties of their protective oils and destroy their coat’s water resistance.

Your Scottish Terrier should be clipped every two months if you aim to keep his hair short; you can do it yourself or go to a groomer. If you keep the hair long, trim it several times a year.

Coat grooming is essential for various reasons, as listed below.

  • Grooming gives your dog a healthy look and promotes hygiene. 
  • Proper grooming lowers the risk of skin infections.
  • Grooming promotes the growth and development of a lustrous and shiny coat.
  • Grooming allows you to check for fleas and take early preventive and treatment measures.
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of ear infections since you can check the ears and wipe them dry after grooming regularly.
  • While grooming, you can check the skin folds for any skin problems and alert the vet before they worsen.
  • Grooming boosts the bond between you and your Scottish Terrier Dog.

Your dog should be calm during grooming. Short walks before the grooming session could calm your Scottish Terrier enough to make the grooming process the ideal time for bonding with your furry friend. You can also give your Aberdeenie its favorite treat to munch on while you groom him. Grooming must be enjoyable and a stress-free process for your Scottie.

What is the Drooling Level of Scottish Terriers?

As a Scottiegan owner, you could expect to find a below-average tendency to drool. However, drooling is a natural process,  and the primary triggers of drooling are listed below, which, in Scotties, will increase drooling levels. In the event of unusual excessive drooling, a trip to the vet is recommended.

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus.
  • Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva.
  • A foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling. 
  • Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Excessive heat, especially during summer
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling.
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes dogs pant and breathe with open mouths, thus causing drooling.
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool.
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male Scottish Terrier spots a female Scottish Terrier in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male.

What is the Coat Type of the Scottish Terrier?

The Scottish Terrier’s coat combines two different layers: a coarse, wiry outer layer and a dense, soft lower layer

What is the Coat Lenght of the Scottish Terrier?  

A Scottish Terrier undercoat is short and dense, and the outer layer’s length depends on the owner’s choice to trim it or leave it long. The Scottie’s hair continues to grow instead of shedding, and Scottie owners have the option. However, the Aberdeenie typically has short hair on the ears, head, and legs. The body has medium hair and longer, thicker hair in the ruff, backs, thighs, and tail’s underside.

What are the Coat Colors of Scottish Terriers?

The coats of Scottish Terriers can be black, wheaten, or any shades of brindle. Many black and brindle dogs have sprinklings of white or silver hairs in their coats which are normal and not penalized in show dogs. White can be allowed only on the chest and chin and only slightly.

What are the Social Traits of the Scottish Terrier Breed?

Though extremely loyal and attached to their people, Scotties will want to do things on their terms. They are unlike most dogs because of this singular trait. Some Scotties like to sit in your lap, but often as not, they just want to be nearby, but not too nearby. The Scottie may be happier laying near your feet than on your lap as a faithful pub dog would.

  • Elderly-friendly: Scottish Terriers are super friendly, fun-loving, and playful as puppies. While their friendliness level remains the same, they mature into fearless and independent dogs that are exceptionally loyal to their owners. Here are some reasons why Scottish Terriers could be good for seniors and retirees.
  • Children-friendly: Brought up with children who respect his independent nature and his rights as a living personality, the Scottie will adjust to their activities and may appoint himself as their guardian. However, his basic dignity makes him tend to shun rough and tumble games. Scotties do not like being startled and will not put up with clumsy petting, cuddling, hair pulling, or teasing.
  • Family-friendly: The Scottish Terrier is intelligent and becomes very devoted to one or two family members. However, their entire family is essential, and they want to be a significant part of it. Adult Scottish Terriers can bite or snap at people, including their families, and they need firm owners to hold Alpha status in the household. Playing games, especially fetch, with their family is one of these short-legged furry friends.
  • Pet-friendly: Properly managed, a Scottie may fit in with other animals. But this is an essential consideration because a Scottie has natural prey instincts and will fight to the end to protect himself if set upon by another animal.

How Do Scottish Terriers Interact with Strangers?

Aim to expose your Scottie to different people and other dogs from a young age. This can help to reduce their territorial and vigilant nature around strangers. However, even a well-socialized Scottie might never overcome its distrust of strangers.

Is the Scottish Terrier Playful?

Scottish Terriers keep their families guessing. They can be hardheaded, serious, energetic, and introverted one day and sweet, playful, placid, and tolerant on another day. When they feel playful, they will enjoy playing with children, parents, grandparents, and other pets. However, sometimes, they want nothing more than a lap to curl up and sleep. 

Are Scottish Terriers Protective?

The Scottie takes his job as home protector very seriously and will alert you to any newcomers. He has a big-dog bark, which he may use to scare away potential intruders. 

What is the Adaptability Level of Scottish Terriers?

One of the upsides of having been bred to be such independent dogs is that Scotties don’t have a ton in the way of living requirements. They adapt to apartment living very well, love families and other dogs (if they have been adequately socialized as pups), and are more than happy to play in the house or accompany you on walks.

What are the Personality Traits of Scottish Terriers?

The Scottish Terrier has a strong, independent, and memorable personality that some have described as almost-human-like. The Scottie’s confident and tenacious demeanor seems to misrepresent its miniature size. This makes them surprisingly good watchdogs. When a stranger approaches the home, the Aberdeenie may bark and alert its owner. But unless adequately trained from an early age, they can be a little distrustful of and aggressive toward strangers. 

Scottish Terriers’ relationship with other dogs can be contentious, and sometimes their hunting instinct will take over and cause them to chase smaller animals. That is why the socialization of puppies is crucial to it as a puppy to avoid these behaviors. 

Fortunately, the Scottish Terrier doesn’t require too much space, so they are happy to live in apartments and houses without any problems. Scotties are different than many dogs – which is one reason you will find their owners so attached. They are independent and strong-willed, sometimes aloof, and undoubtedly intelligent. At the same time, they are sensitive and can be very attached to their owners.

What is the Scottish Terrier Temperament?

The Scottish Terrier is brave, lovable, alert, and tough, and they are excellent watchdogs. They tend to be stubborn, so firm training should begin as soon as possible. The Scottie is known to challenge family members who have not established a “pecking order” in which the canine understands that the family member is the authority. 

The Scottie is described as a small dog in a big dog’s body that can go anywhere and do anything. He is sporty and loves to play ball games. However, it is recommended that one does not play wrestling games or tug-of-war with a Scottie. They could respond aggressively.

The Scottie can and will develop Small Dog Syndrome – a condition in which the dog believes he is the leader over his humans. This is a human-induced behavior, usually the result of giving in and allowing the Scottie behavior that larger dogs would never get away with.

Scotties are generally good with children; however, children must also be firm with the Scottish Terrier. It is often with children that the Scottie develops Small Dog Syndrome. All family members should be firm with the Scottie. As long as he clearly knows the rules of the home, the Scottish Terrier will be a wonderful family pet.

Can Scottish Terriers be Aggressive?

Scottish terriers with proper training and socialization are typically not aggressive. But they can become territorial, especially around other dogs. And they are fearless enough to defend themselves as they see fit.

Can Scottish Terriers be Dangerous?

Like any other animal, a Scottish Terrier will become aggressive if they are scared or defend themselves or their families. However, unsocialized Scotties left without supervision in the same room or area as small children could lead to dangerous circumstances.

Do Scottish Terriers Ever Attack?

Scotties are more standoffish than aggressive or ready to attach people they don’t know. If they weren’t properly socialized as pups, they could be aggressive towards other dogs. But for the most part, Scotties stand their ground and won’t go on the offensive unless directly provoked or they sense immediate danger to themselves or their family.

Can Scottish Terriers Kill Humans?

No, Scotties are not likely to kill humans, and no record of such deaths could be found. However, some unfortunate circumstances could drive any dog to attack violently. Events that could cause a violent attack include attacks on their human families, protecting their safety, and mistreatment by their owners. Whatever the circumstances, the serious provocation must be present to trigger a violent attack by an Aberdeenie, with minimal chances of launching fatal attacks.

Do Scottish Terriers cope with being left alone?

Scotties are dependent upon being with people. It may seem strange, given their independent personality, but they like to be around their family. It is neither fair nor healthy to leave a Scottie penned up, crated, or on his own in the home all day regularly.

Can I leave my Scottish Terrier at home?

While Scotties may be left alone for four to eight hours during the day, this highly social canine thrives on family interaction. Their high energy level means the Scottie requires plenty of exercise throughout the day. However, boredom and separation anxiety can be avoided if only one person can remain home with the Scottie.

Can Scottish Terriers be left alone for 8 hours?

Scotties need company, and they do not enjoy spending time alone for many hours and may develop separation anxiety. It is unsafe for many reasons to leave a Scottie out in the yard during the family’s absence. It may be a good idea to create a way for the Scottie to come in and out of the house but are safely protected or confined while outside.

Reputable breeders may not sell a Scottie to people who plan to leave the dog outside or a dog that will be tied. Like humans, dogs can feel lonely and sad when spending time alone. If there is no other way, getting a dog walker or a sitter for a part of the day could prevent separation anxiety in your precious Scottie. 

How to Train a Scottish Terrier?

As with most terrier breeds, Scotties are highly intelligent. But they can also be highly independent, bordering on aloof when training. One of the traits Scottish farmers looked for in a good terrier was a clever dog to figure things out for himself. This means that, while your Scottie will undoubtedly understand what you’re asking of him, getting him actually to follow through will require lots and lots of patience.

Scotties train well if they focus on something for no more than 10 to 15 minutes. For example, walk to the end of the driveway and back a few times if you’re leash training. Too many repetitions will bore your Scottie, so vary training sessions to keep the dog interested. 

They are smart enough to pick up voice commands and inflections in tone quickly and can understand when you’re frustrated or upset. Training will require patience and consistent rewarding of good behavior, and treats will definitely come in handy.

Scotties are highly intelligent but willful, stubborn, and obstinate, so training them is tricky. Below is a list of a few tools to help the process.

  • Praise good behavior by making a fuss. Your Scottish Terrier will know if you fake it.
  • Time your commands wisely because corrections after the fact will confuse your Aberdeenie.
  • Be consistent and persistent. Never let it slip because your Scottie will learn to obey only sometimes.
  • Be the pack leader, be firm but show happiness while training your Scottie.
  • Making your Scottish Terrier sit and wait for your command to start eating will confirm your status as pack leader.
  • Training your Aberdeenie with love in your heart will avoid your Scottish Terrier from seeing training as punishment but as a bonding experience instead.

How Frequently does a Scottish Terrier Bark?

Scotties are an observant breed that will bark when necessary to warn off trespassers. Instinctively loyal, trustworthy, alert, and protective, Scotties take their job as protectors of the household seriously. 

Scotties are protective of their turf and usually bark if they sense anyone or anything they see as a threat. It may include mail carriers, messengers, and passing dogs and cats.

Unlike other small dogs, Scotties don’t yap; they have a powerful big-dog bark that can scare the wits out of the unsuspecting burglar or delivery person. The startling barks make Scotties excellent and alert watchdogs.  

Most dogs have different-sounding barks for different purposes, and after all, that is the only way canines can have their say.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • Scotties hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • Boredom and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your Scottish Terrier barks to alert you of approaching danger.
  • Alarm barking can save you from danger. Some say Scotties are smart enough to recognize the footsteps of intruders even before they can see them.
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a Scottish Terrier feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The Scottish Terrier uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your Scottish Terrier is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercise sessions. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 
  • Even though Scotties are not typically nuisance barkers, knowing their language might come in handy. However, if your Scottish Terrier is the exception to the rule, below are some positive and negative motivators that might help to change your canine companion’s barking habits.
  • Whenever your Scottiegan starts barking, command him to be quiet and if your Scottish Terrier obeys, reward him with his favorite treat or toy. If he disobeys your command, withdraw some benefits like not giving him his favorite toy.
  • Engage Scottish Terrier in her favorite activity or exercise. Tired Scotties might sleep while you are away.
  • Look for attractive toys that would keep your Scottish Terrier busy while you are away.
  • Continuous barking might call for a visit to the vet.

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Scottish Terrier?

Constant stimulation throughout the day is required to keep your Scottish Terrier happy. Brain games are a great and easy way to stimulate his mind, so be sure to rotate a few of these games throughout the week to keep him occupied.

Scotties are smart and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. The playful and intelligent nature of Scotties further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your Scottish Terrier, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for more extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. Scotties who are Six years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety
  • Frequent accidents
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns
  • Low interest in physical activities
  • Poor social skills

What are the Breed Standards of Scottish Terrier?

The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdy-built dog of good bone and substance. His head is long in proportion to his size. He has a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set body hung between short, heavy legs. These characteristics, joined with his unique keen, piercing expression and erect ears and tail, are salient features of the breed. The Scottish Terrier’s bold, confident, dignified aspect exemplifies power in a small package.

Breed Standards 

Scottish Terrier Breed Information 


Black, wheaten, or brindle of any color. Many black and brindle dogs have sprinklings of white or silver hairs in their coats which are normal and not to be penalized. White can be allowed only on the chest and chin and that to a slight extent only.


Scotties are classified as a small breed


They should be small, bright, and piercing, and almond-shaped not round. The color should be dark brown or nearly black, the darker the better.

Average Weight 

20 pounds

Average Height

10 inches high at the withers

Average lifespan 

Scottish Terrier Dogs have a lifespan of 12 years and rarely 15 years

What is the General Information about Scottish Terrier?

The breed’s stubbornness often translates into bravery. In the nineteenth century, a military man, George the fourth Earl of Dumbarton, had a famous pack of Scotties. These dogs were so brave in battle that they were nicknamed “diehards.” George’s regiment, the Royal Scots, were called “Dumbarton’s Diehards” after the Scotties’ persistence and bravery.

The Scottish Terrier breed’s popularity peaked in the ’30s and ’40s, and several public figures owned Scottish Terriers. Including Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, and even Hitler got two Scottish Terriers for his fiancé, Eva Braun. Scotties were further honored when it was turned into a Monopoly playing piece.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottie, Fala, died in 1952, seven years after the President’s death, she was buried near Roosevelt in Hyde Park. She is also included as part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial statue in Washington D.C., making her the only presidential pet so honored.

As one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, Scotties have had a long time to work out the kinks. One of the hallmarks of the breed is the almost assembly-line consistency to their look. Scotties are, almost to the dog, 10 inches high. In fact, this height is so assured that the breed standard doesn’t even list a range for them: Scotties are 10 inches tall at the withers.

Can a Scottish Terrier swim?

Scottish Terriers like water but can’t swim, which is a nasty conflict. A Scottie sinks like a stone because of his short legs and heavy body. Scotties and uncovered swimming pools are a disaster waiting to happen, which is why Scottie Rescue groups prefer not to place them in homes with pools.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Scottish Terrier?

A purebred Scottish Terrier’s price can range between $1,400 and $2,000. Lower prices are generally available within shelters and rescues, but puppies can cost as much as $3,800 from top breeders. 

If you want to bring a Scottish Terrier home, you should not rush. The only “purebreds” available upon request are not the real thing and are likely bred on puppy farms. The more realistic way is to put your name on a waiting list, and while you’re waiting, learn as much as you can about this giant dog in the cutest little dog body.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or make irrational promises to promote the dogs. Be especially suspicious when you are offered a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. 

Scottish Terrier puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, making the Scottish Terrier a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a beautiful companion dog.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Scottish Terrier puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available like AberdeenieCA is recognized by the AKC, UKC, and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential Scottish Terrier owners in touch with reputable breeders. 

  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International)
  • United Kennel Club (International)
  • The Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • American Kennel Club Market Place
  • Club Espanol De Terriers
  • Canadian Scottish Terrier Club
  • Canada Kennel Club
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • International Canine Association
  • New Zealand Kennel Club
  • Australian National Kennel Council
  • The Scottish Terrier Club of America – STCA is pleased to offer a list of Breeder Referrals of club members across the US
  • Woburn Scottish Terriers Chicago, Illinois
  • PJ Scots Moss Landing, California
  • KinRoss Scottish Terriers Springfield, Illinois
  • Deghall Scottish Terriers Howell, Michigan
  • CerScots Scottish Terriers Ludington, Michigan
  • Hopel Popel Scottish Terriers Russell, Massachusetts

If you manage to track down Scottish Terrier breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Scottish Terrier puppies are often peppy and playful, all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes. 

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

You might find a Scottish Terrier puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, but not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of Scotties may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Scottish Terrier is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Scottish Terriers?

There are millions of homeless dogs worldwide; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a Scottish Terrier can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter. If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the National Scottish Terrier Rescue website. A Scottish Terrier rescue group is an excellent idea if you want to adopt an older dog or even a Scottish Terrier mix.

Scottish Terrier mixes may be available for adoption in shelters and rescues. If you want to adopt an AKC registered or a mixed breed Scottish Terrier, the best first step is to contact shelters and breed-specific rescues to let them know you’re interested.

Below is a list of several Scottish Terrier mixes.

  • Bascottie (Scottish Terrier x Basset Hound mix)
  • Sceagle (Scottish Terrier x Beagle mix)
  • Scotchon (Scottish Terrier x Bichon Frise mix)
  • Scobo Terrier (Scottish Terrier x Boston Terrier mix)
  • Bushland Terrier (Scottish Terrier x Cairn Terrier mix)
  • Cavottish (Scottish Terrier x Cavalier King Charles mix)

Scottish Terrier mixes adopted from a shelter may share physical characteristics of the breed, but their temperament may not match the breed standard. Shelters and rescues attempt to determine each dog’s personality through a series of evaluations; even if the dog’s temperament does not follow the breed standard, you can get the dog that suits your home. 

The adoption fee for a Scottish Terrier from a rescue group or animal shelter will probably be between $150 and $200. Most dogs from rescue groups and shelters will be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and vetted before adoption

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any Scottish Terriers or related mixes available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a list of registered rescue centers and kennel clubs to reach out to for guidance.

  • Canada Guide To Dogs (National Scottish Terrier Rescue, Inc.)
  • Canada Scottish Terrier Dog Rescue Group
  •  US Scottish Terrier Club’s rescue network
  • The Scottish Terrier National Rescue Trust
  • Scottie RescueMe USA All States
  • Scottie Kingdom Rescue
  • Scottish Terrier Club of America Rescue Organization
  • Canadian Canine Registry
  • Club Espanol De Terriers

Facebook is another resource for dog rescue or adoption in your area. You can also search for adoptable Scotties online through reliable websites such as


What is the History of the Scottish Terrier?

The Scottish Terrier is a miniature, short-legged breed with a big personality and self-confidence. It was initially bred in the Scottish Highlands, probably sometime between the 15th and 18th centuries, to hunt and kill vermin and small game. 

Terrier derives from a Latin word that literally means earth dog, perhaps referring to its tendency to hunt along the ground. The Scottish Terrier is also known as the Aberdeen Terrier. It is believed that the first descriptions of these dogs date way back to 1436, with there being two varieties – a rough-haired Scotch Terrier and a smooth-haired English Terrier. 

In 1881 the Scottish Terrier Club of England was founded, with the Scottish Terrier Club of Scotland founded in 1888. The first Scottish Terrier to be registered in the United States was a dog called Dake in 1884. However, according to another source, the first Scottie to be registered by the American Kennel Club in 1885 was a laddie named Prince Charles.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Scottish Terriers?

The prices of Scottie’s range between $1,400 and $2,000. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. 

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $300 to $500, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Scottish Terrier and extras like vaccinations and sterilizations. 

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Scottish Terrier and its well-being before purchasing. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, sterilization, licensing, etc. You can expect to spend about $6,900 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $2,100 a year.  

Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $850. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Scottish Terrier are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Scotties need professional grooming to trim and bathe them every third or fourth month, so remember to add those costs into the maintenance costs for your Scottish Terrier.

How to Name a Scottish Terrier?

Choosing a name for your Scottish Terrier involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Scottish Terrier’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but for your canine companion, only the sound matters. Scottish Terriers respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Scottish Terrier pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Scottish Terrier will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction and yelling or calling your Scottish Terrier. Below is a list of suggestions of names inspired by your Scottish Terrier’s ancestors and famous owners. 

Scottish Terrier Breed Names

In honor of the Scottie’s roots and famous Scottie Owners and 

Scottish Terrier Boy Names

Scottish Terrier Girl Names


The fourth Earl of Dumbarton nicknamed the Scottish Terrier “little diehard,”  because of its iron will and steely determination.



President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s terrier, Fala, was his loyal companion

A Scottie owned by Mrs. Roosevelt



The male of the first pair of Scotties brought to the US by John Naylor in 1883

Bonnie Belle

The female of the first pair of Scotties brought to the US by John Naylor in 1883


The name of Former President George W. Bush’s male Scottie 

Miss Beazley

The name of Former President George W. Bush’s female Scottie 


AKC registered its first Scottish Terrier, Prince Charlie, in 1885


A bagpipes player


The Scottish term for a young man


A Scottish pet name for Margaret

What are the Different Types of Scottish Terriers?

Terriers are a popular group of dogs with various breed types, from tiny companions to large working dogs. They’re diverse in origin, with several terrier breeds coming from multiple different countries. Except for a few, Scottish Terriers are also known for their distinct “terrier” personalities.

The harsh highlands of Scotland have been the birthplace of many dog breeds, and terriers are no exception. Scottish terrier dogs were once bred for hunting and herding, but now they’re better known as loyal household pets.

Below is a list of the different Scottish terriers bred in the highlands of Scotland.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Scottish Terrier?

Scotties may not be too difficult to find, but purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a Scottish Terrier at a rescue center might be equally challenging because they are so popular. However, as wonderful of a dog as the Scottish Terrier may be, they aren’t for everyone. Here are some dogs that are similar to the Scotties.

Below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Australian Terrier – Among the smallest of all terriers, this dog has a very inquisitive, self-confident, and spirited personality. The coarse, wiry hair, especially around the face, is similar to the Scottish Terrier. more about Australian Terrier.
  • Airedale Terrier – As the largest of all terriers, Airedale has earned the nickname of “The King of the Terriers.” Originating from the Airedale Valley in northern England, this breed has earned all the typical hallmarks of a traditional terrier, including the serene self-confidence and fearless attitude. more about Airedale Terrier.
  • American Staffordshire Terrier – The American Staffordshire is a more muscular, short-haired, bull-like variant of the typical terrier breed. Despite its different appearance, this breed still exhibits a similarly intelligent, confident, loyal, and good-natured personality that has endeared the terrier to many owners around the world. A mix of white, black, and tan markings is most common, although more than 80% white is discouraged by breeders. more about American Staffordshire Terrier.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.