Scottish Terrier

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Average size and lifespan

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Height: 0ft 9in - 0ft 10in
Weight: 18-22lbs
Lifespan: 11 - 13 Years


  • Affection4/5
  • Kid-Friendly4/5
  • Stranger-Friendly3/5
  • Dog-Friendly3/5
  • Barking Amount3/5


  • Grooming Difficulty3/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train3/5
  • Can Be Alone3/5
  • Exercise Need3/5


  • Cold Tolerance4/5
  • Heat Tolerance4/5
  • Apartment-Friendly4/5

Scottish Terrier Information

Scottish TerrierThe Scottish Terrier, or Scottie as he’s affectionately called, has a distinct look that’s easily recognizable: compact body, short legs, long head, piercing eyes, upright ears, shaggy coat (in black, brindle or wheaten) and adorable “beard.”

The Scottie’s unique appearance is coupled with a bold, dignified personality. Obedience training is a must to ensure you have a well-behaved pup. You’ll find he can be reserved at times and very spirited in other instances.

Scottish Terrier History

Scotties were first bred to work the Highlands of Scotland, killing vermin on farms and hunting badgers and foxes. It’s unclear when the breed originated, but similar looking dogs date back to 1436. It’s often noted as the oldest variety of dogs indigenous to Britain.

The breed spread due to England’s King James I, who was Scottish, giving the dogs as gifts to other important European leaders. President Franklin Roosevelt had a Scottie named Fala who was his companion during World War II.

Scottish Terrier Training & Temperament

Scotties have an independent attitude and are smart. This means it’s best to train in short sessions and add unique elements to your methods. They’ll require some persistence in training.

scottish terrier - scottie breed photo

Scottish Terrier Exercise

Scotties need a good amount of exercise such as a walk and some fetch. They don’t need a ton of space for their playtime so they can still work well as an apartment dog.

Scottish Terrier Grooming

The Scottie has a wiry outer coat with a soft undercoat. These dogs need a good amount of grooming. The ideal method involves a technique called stripping, which is pulling out loose hairs with a stripping knife or by hand. These dogs can also be brushed and be clipped if you’re not concerned with maintaining the show breed standard. Clipped dogs will have a softer/duller coat, but require less effort. The dog should be bathed only when necessary as it can dry their skin.

Scottish Terrier Health

A good breeder can make you aware of any possible conditions in their line of Scotties. These are typically bred out of a good line of dogs, but common issues can include Von Willerbrand’s disease (a blood disorder that is untreatable, but can possible not present issues), or Craniomandibular osteopathy (a bone growth issue that shows up between 4-8 months of age and can require pain relievers).


All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Scottish Terriers be apartment dogs?

The Scottish Terriers does fine in apartments. They don't need lots of spaces so they should adapt well to apartment-living.

Can Scottish Terriers be left alone?

While Scottish Terriers prefer to be around their owners, they can do fairly well when left alone if necessary.

Are Scottish Terriers good with kids?

Scottish Terriers do well with kids. As with any dog they should be monitored closely, they're unlikely to become aggressive.

Are Scottish Terriers friendly with strangers?

Although Scottish Terriers can take a bit to warm up to a stranger, they are mostly friendly with others.

Do Scottish Terriers get along with other dogs?

Although Scottish Terriers will mostly get along with other dogs, they may have some issues. They can typically be dealt with by socializing them with other dogs.

Do Scottish Terriers bark a lot?

As far as dogs go, Scottish Terriers bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.

Do Scottish Terriers shed a lot?

Scottish Terriers shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Scottish Terriers need a lot of grooming?

Although Scottish Terriers require a medium amount of maintenance to keep their coats healthy. Simple tasks like brushing and bathing will suit this breed.

Do Scottish Terriers need a lot of exercise?

A Scottish Terrier will need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. You'll need to plan some basic walks or fetch during the day.

Are Scottish Terriers easy to train?

Although Scottish Terriers can be a challenge to train, they can be taught with some dedicated work or by hiring some training help.

Can Scottish Terriers handle cold weather?

Scottish Terriers do well in cold weather. You may need to protect their paws, but they'll do well in colder climates.

Can Scottish Terriers handle hot weather?

Scottish Terriers do well in hot climates and can stay out longer without overheating.

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