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Scottish Terrier (Scottish terrier) – All the information about this brave little breed

Terrier escocés (Scottish terrier) – Toda la información sobre esta pequeña y valiente raza

Lobo Azul |

Within the terriers we find an enormous diversity of breeds, with animals of various sizes and all with something in common such as their energy and their hunting instinct.

This Scottish terrier or Scottish Terrier is one of the members of the best-known group , as its appearance attracts a lot of attention and several North American presidents have had one, which has made them very famous dogs.

  • Size : small, about 15 to 35 cm at the withers.
  • Weight : 3 to 10 kilos.
  • Hair type : medium length, very thick and hard.
  • Character : independent as a good hunter, but attached to his people.
  • Health : robust, although with a large number of diseases to which they are very prone.
  • Life expectancy : 12 to 14 years.

Origin of the Scottish Terrier

The origins are confusing, but what is known for sure is that the Scottish is one of the terriers that were born in Scotland and hence its name, which leaves no room for doubt.

There are written records dating back to 1436 that speak of a dog similar to the Scottish terrier, when it is described in a book called “The History of Scotland 1436-1561”.

If we move forward two centuries we come across the first graphic proof of its existence, since the English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds made a portrait of a young woman caressing a dog very similar to the current Scottish terrier.

In 1829, in a book called "Biological Notes and Authentic Anecdotes of Dogs" its author says that there is a short Scottish terrier with a muscular body, a large head in relation to the trunk and short legs.

Already in 1881, the first club of the breed was founded in England and in 1930 the definitive standard was set, becoming popular among the general British public because it was a dog that attended a lot of exhibitions.

Origin of the Scottish terrier or Scottish Terrier

Characteristics of the Scottish Terrier

The main characteristic of this breed is its head, which immediately attracts attention because it is disproportionate to the body, being too large for such a small dog.

What gives the head its appearance is the very long snout . This is seen much better in dogs with light coats such as wheat, which is accepted although it is less visible than black.

If we take him to the hairdresser regularly, his beards also stand out a lot, especially if they are black specimens, and the same goes for his characteristic haircut, very short on top and long on the bottom, which makes it reach the ground.

Its legs are also typical of the breed and contribute to making it unique, since they are very short and with the hair it seems that the animal barely takes off a few centimeters from the ground.

We should not be fooled by their “lap dog” appearance, since although they are a perfect companion animal, the truth is that they are very strong dogs, with great muscles that can endure very long walks through the countryside, tiring us out beforehand. that they.

What is the personality of the Scottish Terrier like?

This breed is characterized by being very independent, but affectionate with its people . This means that he does not approach strangers easily and only allows his family members to touch him.

Therefore, it can be a good pet for those dog lovers who do not want their pet to be always on top of them, something that also helps them to be left alone without feeling bad.

It is very rare, if not impossible, for him to show aggression towards people, even if he does not know them at all, so he is not one of those dogs that can bite a child in a park or someone who was running.

With other animals, its personality changes completely and the Scottish terrier becomes a kind of demon that will try to attack every small animal it sees.

We must not forget that for centuries it has been a hunting dog, which was dedicated to exterminating all types of vermin, especially if they dug burrows, so if it sees a mole, a mouse in the park or in the field it will try to hunt it down. by all means.

This also goes for cats, especially when they are small, so if we bring a kitten home we will have to be extremely careful so that it does not hurt it.

We can educate him from a young age and socialize him, making him see other animals and scolding him if he tries to attack them, but it will be difficult to overcome his hunting instinct.

His bravery is very close to recklessness, so you have to take precautions when you come across large dogs, as it is possible that he will try to attack them without realizing that he has everything to lose.

Scottish Terrier Health

Health is one of the weak points of the breed , and although it is not a fragile dog, there are a series of diseases that attack it with great frequency and some are even specific to the breed.

The reason is not well known, but cancer is one of the pathologies that affects the Scottish terrier. In fact, these dogs are very prone to suffering from them in their most diverse forms, attacking them when they are older.

Another condition that is associated with this curious animal is Van Willebrand disease . It is a type of hemophilia, so if our pet gets a wound it will take time to close and may bleed from the nose frequently.

Almost all Scottish Terriers have it in what is known as grade I , which is not serious. If it appears with grade II or III, the problem is already more serious and can have a fatal outcome.

Such a long snout is also the cause of occasional visits to the vet, since they can suffer from conditions related to it. One of the most common is known as Scotty's jaw.

What happens here is that the lower part grows more than the upper part, although luckily this stops when the terrier becomes an adult and does not usually require any action on our part.

You also have to be especially careful with your skin, because allergies are common and can cause itching, wounds and even hair loss.

Finally, it is possible that our Scottish terrier will never get sick, since they are very tough dogs, but the possibility of having a condition like the one we have seen is higher than in other breeds.

Scottish terrier health

Do you need special care?

The Scottish Terrier 's hair is going to give us a lot of work , since we have to spend a lot of time maintaining it, at least four times a week.

Each of the sessions must be dedicated to combing it well and separating its layers of hair, thus avoiding tangling and knotting, at which point we will have to cut corners and we will destroy its aesthetics.

In addition, at least three times a year you have to go to the dog groomer to have your hair cut and shaped, a visit that we can take advantage of so they can teach us how to comb it and recommend what type of comb we should use.

Beards also require attention, in this case daily. When he eats, he stains them and will get them wet when drinking water, so it is a good idea to dry and clean them with a paper napkin at least once a day.

It may seem like you have to be on top of him at all hours, but once we get used to it it doesn't take us more than 15 minutes and it's time we spend with him and that we take advantage of to play.

As for where he has to live, he will be happy in the outdoor garden, but we cannot leave him alone all day because in the end he will feel abandoned and will start with one of his favorite entertainments, which is digging holes in the garden.

They will always have this tendency, so you have to be careful with the fence, as it is possible that they escape by going under it after making a huge hole if we give them the necessary time.

In fact, we may have to create an area with dirt so that he can spend time making holes , teaching him that he can only dig in that area that will be for him.

How does the Scottish Terrier interact with other dogs?

The Scottish Terrier interacts poorly, especially if both are males . Furthermore, before we said that he was very brave and that can put us in more than one problem, since he is not afraid of facing dogs of a much larger size.

His relationship with other dogs is also conditioned by his jaw, which can also give us some annoyance, because he is a hunting dog and has a very strong mouth.

This behavior must be avoided by working on socialization when he is very young. If from a puppy we surround him with other dogs to play with and try to make the experience positive, he will always be more permissive.

If he attacks dogs in his path anyway, we will have to contact a professional, and we can also talk to the veterinarian about the possibility of neutering him.

With a female we will avoid many of these problems, but the character of the Scottish terrier is still there and instead of attacking males it can repeat this behavior with females, so you have to work the same as with males.

What should I take into account when raising them?

The first thing is to get to know them, since although the Scottish Terrier is a striking breed, the truth is that they are not seen much on our streets. Therefore, a breeder should attend as many exhibitions as possible, in order to become familiar with the breed.

We have already seen that health can be a problem, so it should always come before a bigger head or a nice jaw.

This means that we must choose animals free of hereditary diseases , and it is better if we ensure that their parents and grandparents are also “clean”, something that can now be known thanks to DNA tests.

Raising dogs responsibly is never lucrative, but in the case of the Scottish terrier it is even less so, especially since you will have to go to the vet from time to time for a small condition such as an allergy.

In Spain there is an official club, which is where they can best help us if we want to start breeding. There we can meet expert breeders and we will have litters available in order to buy our first dogs, thus starting this beautiful hobby.


The Scottish Terrier or Scottish Terrier is one of those dogs that causes people walking down the street to turn their heads, since it is a very striking and pretty dog. In fact, he is usually funny, although he is not a toy dog, the kind that needs to be kept warm on cold days.

Its past as a vermin exterminator dog is attenuated by decades of selection, but it is still there and we should never forget it. It is not unusual to have other pets such as cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and perhaps this breed is not the best in order to live with them.

If we do not have other animals, it is a dog suitable for beginners and can live in the city, even in the smallest apartments , as it will have enough with the exercise that we provide it with going out and playing with it inside the house.

You will have to be careful with other dogs, as they tend to be aggressive and do not tolerate them very well. This will improve with a good socialization job, but their instincts will always be there and we must remain attentive to the signals they give us.

Expenses will be another thing to take into account. Their allergies may force us to give them a hypoallergenic feed , which is more expensive than normal, and their health problems will make us visit the vet often.

You will also have to take into account the expenses at the hairdresser, which you must go to several times a year if we want you to look in your best clothes, since your hair is not easy to handle by people who do not have knowledge.

Despite everything, we recommend it, especially when due to its size it can be the perfect companion in the city, an independent animal that will not always be asking for attention and that we can leave alone without problems.

The countryside will be the ideal companion for our Scottish Terrier , whether we go on sporadic outings or if we live in a rural area , where he will enjoy looking for vermin and can even help us keep rodent pests under control, as he will not hesitate to eliminate everything. whoever sees

Of course, we will have to be careful, since we do not want this behavior to be reproduced in nature, since here it can be very harmful if we go through the same area every day and we give it total freedom to do what it wants.

Here we must remember instinct, which means that if it smells an animal that interests it, it may escape and run away, without us being able to catch it until a long time later.

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