Scottish Terrier Overview
The Scottish Terrier or “Scottie” is one of the most iconic and well-known dog breeds. They were kept in the Highlands of Scotland by hunters and used to go after game on the ground. Their ancestry is unknown, but it is likely that this breed hails from similar lines as the West Highland White Terrier and the Cairn Terrier.
Scottish Terrier Characteristics
The all-black Scottie dog is the most typical look, with a medium length coat and ears and short tail that both prick upward. The Scottie also features a stylish beard, giving him a comical look. The breed is short-legged and long-bodied, allowing them to dig close to the ground and go after their prey.
Scottish Terrier Temperament
Scotties are full of personality. They are smart, brave and dignified. Playful as a puppy, they become purposeful and very loyal as they grow up. Scotties may be feisty toward others, which may manifest as aggression toward other dogs and pets. They need lots of socialization or else instincts will kick in and they may hunt other pets as prey.
Scottish Terrier Care
The Scottish Terrier lives on average 12 to 14 years but suffers from a myriad of genetic health disorders. These include bladder cancer, cerebellar abiotrophy, craniomandibular (jaw) osteopathy, Cushing’s Disease, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, cataracts, liver shunts and clotting disorders. Scotties also are prone to Scottie Cramp, a disease that causes spasms and hyperflexion of the legs.
Scottish Terrier Coat
Regular grooming involves brushing or combing weekly. The breed also requires trimming or stripping of the coat every few months by an owner or professional groomer. This will help keep the longish coat, called the “jacket”, smooth and shiny.
Scottish Terrier Training
Scotties are smart and independent and may dominate an owner without much training experience. Early socialization and setting of house rules are important in keeping the high-spirited Scottie in line and minding his manners.
Scottish Terrier Activity
Scotties are natural hunters and enjoy scouting out and chasing game when they can. Daily walks, play time and any exercise activities with the family are a great way to keep the Scottie active. Failure to keep him physically and mentally satisfied may result in a number of holes appearing in the garden.