Scottish Terrier

Country of Origin: Scotland
Weight: Males 19 to 22 pounds, females 18 to 21 pounds
Coat: Double coat is weather resistant, with intensely hard, wiry, close-lying outercoat and short, dense, soft undercoat
Colors: Black, wheaten, brindle of any color
Other Names: Aberdeen Terrier
Registries (With Group): AKC (Terrier); UKC (Terrier)

Origin and History

For centuries, hunters in the Scottish Highlands kept sturdy dogs who were compact and fearless enough to go to ground after quarry. Today, no one is sure which of several terrier types found in the region was the ancestor of what is now called the Scottish Terrier, or "Scottie," although it is likely that the Scottie, Cairn Terrier, and West Highland White Terrier are closely related. It is known, however, that dogs resembling today's Scotties were brought out of Scotland sometime in the late 1870s by a Captain W. W. Mackie. They excelled at killing vermin and badgers on farms. By the 1880s, a breed standard had been set, and the Scottie gained admirers in England, Canada, and the United States.

Personality Profile

Full of character, the Scottie is intelligent, courageous, dignified, and loyal. He is fond of activities that appeal to his hunting instinct—chasing a ball, ridding a toy of its squeaker in a business-like fashion, taking long walks to keep tabs on the neighborhood. His strong instinct to go after quarry may extend to regarding the neighbor's cat or a small pet as prey. Otherwise, though, he is even-tempered and deeply devoted to his family.

Care Requirements


Daily exercise is essential in the form of a brisk walk or lively game.


The Scottish Terrier should be brushed or combed a few times a week, with special attention paid to the shaggy furnishings on his head and the lower parts of his body. His "jacket"—the coat covering his neck, back, rump, and the top half of his shoulders and rib cage—is best maintained if kept fairly short by stripping or clipping every several months. Stripping preserves the hard texture of the outercoat.

Life Span

The average life span of the Scottish Terrier is 12 to 14 years.


The Scottie is clever and has an independent spirit, and he will dominate the household unless taught to mind his manners from an early age. But he also has a strong desire to please, and praise from his owner will help win compliance.

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