Scottish Terrier Mobile

Scottish Terrier

Affectionately called the “Scottie,” the Scottish Terrier is a compact, sturdy vermin hunter noted for having short legs and a shaggy beard. Charming and gentle, he takes pride in being a beloved pet and loves to be near his human companions. The playful, spirited Scottish Terrier needs plenty of leashed walks or fenced exercise. His hard, dense coat requires brushing twice a week and clipping every other month.

DID YOU KNOW? Breeder John Naylor imported the first two Scotties, “Tam Glen” and “Bonnie Belle,” in 1883 to the U.S. The Scottish Terrier is the only breed to live in the White House under three presidents. Franklin D. Roosevelt owned a male named “Fala,” Dwight D. Eisenhower had two Scotties called “Caacie” and “Telek,” and George W. Bush owned a male named “Barney.” King James VI was a big fan of the Scottish Terrier, thus the breed became popular in Scotland during his reign.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Aberdeen Terrier, Scottie

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children, Not hypoallergenic, Suitable for apartment living
  • Size: Small
  • Height: 25 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: Males – 9 to 10 kilograms, Females – 8 to 9.5 kilograms
  • Coat: Wiry, medium
  • Energy: Medium
  • Colour: Black, black brindle, brindle, red brindle, silver brindle, or wheaten
  • Activities: Conformation, Agility, Hunting, Earthdog Trials
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 8.5–10.5kg
Height: 25–28cm
Colours: Black, and all shades of wheaten or brindle
Size: Small
Kennel Club Group: Terrier


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 1/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5


Scottish Terriers are frequently described as bold, lion-hearted, loyal and serious, but also dour, aloof, and reserved. Whilst primarily a companion and show dog today, the Scottish Terrier is very much a terrier, with all the feist and independent spirit one should expect.

With kind, patient training and motivation, the Scottie can be a cheerful, loyal and affectionate family friend to those they live with and knows well, but don’t expect them to be gushing and effusive with strangers.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Scotland

Although known as the Scottish Terrier since 1879, the Scottie has had several earlier names, including the Aberdeen Terrier, the Hard-Coated Scotch Terrier and the Die-Hard or Wire-Haired Terrier.

Descended from the ancestral Highland Terrier, and closely related to the West Highland White Terrier, the Scottish Terrier was a working dog, bred to go to ground and take on any pest necessary. Their short legged, powerful muscular build and hard coat meant they were excellent in this role.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Scottish Terriers

Training Scottish Terriers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • Scottish Terriers have in the past been popular with royalty and Presidents. King James V1 of Scotland was a huge fan in the 17th Century, sending six Scotties to France as a gift. Queen Victoria had a favourite Scottie, Laddie and President Roosevelt had a Scottie called Murray the Outlaw of Falahill or Fala for short, and Eleanor Roosevelt had Meggie, during their time in the White House.
  • The first mention of a Scottish Terrier was by Bishop John Lesley in his book ‘History of Scotland from 1436 to 1561’. He described them as a ‘dog of low height, which creeping into subterraneous burrows, routs out foxes, badgers, martins and wild cats from their lurking places and dens’.
  • Due to their bravery, there’s a legend that the Scottish Terrier descended from bears instead of dogs.
  • When Scottish Terriers get extremely excited, they may experience something called the ‘Scottie Cramp’, this is a neurological disorder which makes their muscles tense up.
  • The Scottie is the most popular Monopoly piece!

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