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This page will give information to help you decide if a Scottish Terrier is the right dog for you and/or
your family. Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us via phone, email, or facebook.
Most folks can tell a Scottie just by looking - and they're usually depicted with a Scottish burr
in the cartoons that portray them, or draped in plaid to show their heritage. In real life, they are active and affectionate
dogs who are devoted to the people that love them.
- "Scottish Terriers are a big dog personality in a small package, loyal, courageous. energetic,
non-shedding companions looking to own a family."
- "They can be stubborn and independent, but also very sensitive."
- "Scottish terriers love adventure and they need exercise."
Life Span 13-14 years
inches (male or female)
Male Weight 19-22 pounds
Female Weight 18-21 pounds
Litter Size 3-5 puppies
Recognized by AKC,CKC, APRI, UKC
colors vary from dark gray to
blue-black. Occasionally, you will
see wheaten or brindle colors, but
this is more rare.
Hair Length Long (and it is hair, NOT
Living Area Scotties are a good
indoor dog that
also enjoys playing outdoors. They
can survive very well in a small
apartment. They prefer cooler
temperatures, but can adapt
almost anywhere. Scotties have
a weather-resistant outer coat that
gives them protection in diverse
The Scottish Terrier (also known as the Aberdeen Terrier), popularly called the Scottie, is
one of five breeds of terrier that originated in Scotland, the other four being the modern Skye, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, and
West Highland White Terrier. Scotties are an independent and rugged breed with a wiry outer coat and a soft dense undercoat.
The First Earl of Dumbarton nicknamed the breed "the diehard." The modern breed is said to be able to trace its lineage back
to a single female, named Splinter II.
They are a small breed of Terrier with a distinctive shape and have had many roles in popular
culture. They have been owned by a variety of celebrities, including the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, whose Scottie "Fala" is included with FDR in a statue in Washington, DC, as well as the 43rd President George W.
Bush. They are also well known for being a playing piece in the board game Monopoly. Described as a territorial, feisty dog,
they can make a good watchdog and tend to be very loyal to their family. Healthwise, Scottish Terriers can be more prone to
bleeding disorders, joint disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and cancer than some other breeds of dog and there is
a condition named after the breed called Scottie cramp. They are also one of the more successful dog breeds at the Westminster
Kennel Club Dog Show with a recent best in show in 2010.
|A Scotch Terrier, published in 1859
Initial grouping of several of the highland terriers (including the Scottie) under the generic
name Skye terriers caused some confusion in the breed’s lineage. There is disagreement over whether the Skye terriers
mentioned in early 16th century records actually descended from forerunners of the Scottie or vice versa. It is certain, however,
that Scotties and West Highland White Terriers are closely related — both their forefathers originated from the Blackmount
region of Perthshire and the Moor of Rannoch. Scotties were originally bred to hunt and kill vermin on farms and to hunt badgers
and foxes in the Highlands of Scotland.
The actual origin of a breed as old as the Scottish Terrier is obscure and undocumented.
The first written records about a dog of similar description to the Scottish Terrier dates from 1436, when Don Leslie described
them in his book The History of Scotland 1436-1561. Two hundred years later, Sir Joshua Reynolds painted a portrait of a young
girl caressing a dog similar in appearance to the modern-day Scottie. King James VI of Scotland was an important historical
figure featuring in the Scottish Terrier's history. In the 17th century, when King James VI became James I of England, he
sent six terriers — thought to be forerunners of the Scottish terrier — to a French monarch as a gift. His love
and adoration for the breed increased their popularity throughout the world.
Many dog writers after the early 19th century seem to agree that there were two varieties
of terrier existing in Britain at the time — a rough-haired so-called Scotch Terrier and a smooth-haired English Terrier.
Thomas Brown, in his Biological Sketches and Authentic Anecdotes of Dogs (1829), states that "the Scotch terrier is certainly
the purest in point of breed and the (smooth) English seems to have been produced by a cross from him". Brown went on to describe
the Scotch Terrier as "low in stature, with a strong muscular body, short stout legs, a head large in proportion to the body"
and was "generally of a sandy colour or black" with a "long, matted and hard" coat. Although the Scotch Terrier described
here is more generic than specific to a breed, it asserts the existence of a small, hard, rough-coated terrier developed for
hunting small game in the Scottish Highlands in the early 19th century; a description that shares characteristics with what
was once known as the Aberdeen Terrier and is today known as the Scottish Terrier. In addition, the paintings of Sir Edwin
Landseer and an 1835 lithograph entitled "Scottish Terriers at Work on a Cairn in the West Highlands" both depict Scottie-type
terriers very similar to those described in the first Scottish Terrier Standard.
|Ch. Bapton Norman, a popular sire from 1914.
In the 19th century, the Highlands of Scotland, including the Isle of Skye, were abundant with
terriers originally known by the generic term "short-haired" or "little Skye terriers." Towards the end of the 19th century,
it was decided to separate these Scottish terriers and develop pure bloodlines and specific breeds. Originally, the breeds
were separated into two categories – Dandie Dinmont Terriers and Skye Terriers (not the Skye Terrier known today, but
a generic name for a large group of terriers with differing traits all said to originate from the Isle of Skye). The Birmingham
England dog show of 1860 was the first to offer classes for these groups of terriers. They continued to be exhibited in generic
groups for several years and these groups included the ancestors of today's Scottish Terrier. Recorded history and the initial
development of the breed started in the late 1870s with the development of dog shows. The exhibition and judging of dogs required
comparison to a breed standard and thus the appearance and temperament of the Scottie was written down for the first time.
Eventually, the Skye Terriers were further divided into what are known today as the Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, West Highland
White Terrier and Cairn Terrier.
While fanciers sought to identify and standardize the breed and its description through
the late 19th century, the Scottish terrier was known by many different names: the Highland, the Cairn, Diehard, and most
often, the Aberdeen Terrier — named because of the abundant number of the dogs in the area and because a J.A. Adamson
of Aberdeen successfully exhibited his dogs during the 1870s. Roger Rough, a dog owned by Adamson, Tartan, a dog owned by
Mr Paynton Piggott, Bon Accord, owned by Messrs Ludlow and Bromfield, and Splinter II owned by Mr Ludlow, were early winners
of dog exhibitions and are the four dogs from which all Scottish Terrier pedigrees ultimately began. It is often said that
all present day Scotties stem from a single bitch, Splinter II, and two sires. In her book, The New Scottish Terrier, Cindy
Cooke refers to Splinter II as the "foundation matron of the modern Scottish Terrier." Cooke goes on to say "For whatever
reason, early breeders line bred on this bitch to the virtual exclusion of all others. Mated to Tartan, she produced Worry,
the dam of four champions. Rambler, her son by Bonaccord, sired the two founding sires of the breed, Ch. Dundee (out of Worry)
and Ch. Alistair (out of a Dundee daughter)" Show champions on both sides of the Atlantic descend from Splinter and her sires.
Captain Gordon Murray and S.E. Shirley were responsible for setting the type in 1879. Shortly
afterwards, in 1879, Scotties were for the first time exhibited at Alexander Palace in England, while the following year they
began to be classified in much the same way as is done today. The first written standard of the breed was drafted by J.B.
Morrison and D.J. Thomson Gray and appeared in Vero Shaw's Illustrated Book of The Dog, published in 1880; it was extremely
influential in setting both breed type and name. The standard described the breed's colouring as "Grey, Grizzle or Brindle",
as the typically Black colouring of Scotties did not become fashionable or favored until the 20th century.
|Scottish Terrier circa 1915
In 1881 the "Scottish Terrier Club of England" was founded, being the first club dedicated to
the breed. The club secretary, H.J. Ludlow, is responsible for greatly popularizing the breed in the southern parts of Great
Britain. The "Scottish Terrier Club of Scotland" was not founded until 1888, seven years after the English club. Following
the formation of the English and Scottish clubs there followed several years of disagreement regarding the breed's official
standard. The issue was finally settled by a revised standard in 1930, which was based on four prepotent dogs. The dogs were
Robert and James Chapman's Heather Necessity, Albourne Barty, bred by AG Cowley, Albourne Annie Laurie, bred by Miss Wijk
and Miss Wijk's Marksman of Docken (the litter brother of Annie Laurie). These four dogs and their offspring modified the
look of the Scottie, particularly the length of the head, closeness to the ground and the squareness of body. Their subsequent
success in the show ring led to them becoming highly sought after by the British public and breeders. As such, the modified
standard completely revolutionized the breed. This new standard was subsequently recognised by the Kennel Club UK circa 1930.
were introduced to America in the early 1890s but it was not until the years between World War I and World War II that the
breed became popular. TheScottish Terrier Club of America (STCA) was formed in 1900 and a standard written in 1925. The Scottish
Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1934. By 1936, Scotties were the third most popular breed in the United
States. Although they did not permanently stay in fashion, they continue to enjoy a steady popularity with a large segment
of the dog-owning public across the world. The STCA founded its Health Trust Fund (HTF) in 1995 which supports research on
health issues in the breed.
Scottish Terriers have won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show a total
of nine times - more than any other breed except for the Wire Fox Terrier. These victories began in 1911 with a win by Ch.
Tickle Em Jock and include recent victories such as in 1995 when Ch. Gaelforce Post Script (Peggy Sue) won, and in 2010 with
a victory by Ch. Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot.
|Heather Necessity (circa 1929)
|One of the most important Scotties from Europe...
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Scroll down for more detailed info.
The Scottish Terrier is a strong, sturdy, compact little dog that has it's own unique and distinctive
profile and shape. This short, heavy-legged little dog has a weather-resistant coat, good bone structure and thickset
body. The Scottie has small, almond-shaped, black or dark brown eyes, sharply pricked ears, and LARGE teeth and
nose. Their big paws, sturdy legs, muscular body and neck make them excellent diggers, which is something they love
to do. No fence can hold this small dog if it decides to dig an escape route - so they require loving, consistent, firm
training to prevent this. They should ALWAYS be on a leash or fenced, because they will run after other
dogs, squirrels, birds, leaves... anything that moves.
Three Presidents have owned Scotties while in the White House (Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower,
and George W. Bush). Other famous Scotties include 'Jock' from the movie 'Lady and the Tramp', and the official
mascot of Carnegie Mellon University - see our "Famous Scottie Owners" page for more !!
Scottish Terriers have compact coats that are wiry, stiff, and harsh with a soft undercoat to protect
them from harsh weather conditions. With beard-like hair on their face and their back, tail, ears, and head trimmed
close, these dogs have a distinctive, adorable look. Show dogs have their hair 'stripped', which maintains the
wiry coat. Normally, pet owners have their Scotties clippered, which softens their coat to a velvety-smooth feel.
Blue-black is the most common color, followed by very dark brindle. Red Brindle and Wheat-colors are also acceptabe,
but are much rarer.
Scotties require socialization and training at a very young age. Dogs that experience new
sights, sounds, places, people and situations, grow up to be well adjusted and not overly aggressive or shy. Always
use positive training methods and keep the training sessions fun, short, and positive. Avoid negative enforcement, such
as raising your voice, because the Scottish Terrier will become very stubborn. Rewarding your Scotties with prise or
food treats works well. Scotties adjust to country, city or life in the suburbs and can live in small apartments or
large homes, as long as they receive sufficient exercise. We recommend that your Scottie attend puppy classes to begin
the process of learning what is expected of him/her.
Scotties are territorial, alert, quick moving and feisty, perhaps even more so than other terrier breeds. The breed is
known to be independent and self-assured, playful, intelligent and has been nicknamed the 'Diehard' because of its rugged
nature and endless determination. The 'Diehard' nickname was originally given to it in the 19th century by George, the fourth
Earl of Dumbarton. The Earl had a famous pack of Scottish Terriers, so brave that they were named “Diehards”.
They were supposed to have inspired the name of his Regiment, The Royal Scots, "Dumbarton’s Diehards".
Scotties, while being described as very loving, have also been described as stubborn. They are sometimes described as an
aloof breed, although it has been noted that they tend to be very loyal to their family and are known to attach themselves
to one or two people.
It has been suggested that the Scottish Terrier can make a good watchdog due to its tendency to bark only when necessary
and because it is typically reserved with strangers, although this is not always the case. They have been described as a fearless
breed that may be aggressive around other dogs unless introduced at an early age. Scottish Terriers were originally bred to
hunt and fight badgers. Therefore, the Scottie is prone to dig as well as chase small vermin, such as squirrels, rats, and
The Scotties long, wiry, harsh coat requires brushing regularly once every week or two to help prevent
mats and tangles, and to remove dead or loose hair and dander. Have your Scottie professionally trimmed two or
three times per year to keep the dog looking his/her best. The hair on the Scottie's face is brushed forward and
slightly trimmed, while the hair on the back is trimmed short. The hair on the lower body is left long and almost resembles
a skirt. Show dogs require hand stripping, which is a grooming method where they pull the hair our instead of clippering
it. As the new hair grows in after stripping, it has a wiry look and feel. Clippering is great for family
pets, as it is less expensive, and can be done yourself. When Scotties are clippered, their hair becomes velvety
Like all dogs, Scotties do require exercise, but will get a large percentage if what's needed by
playing indoors with family members. These little terriers love games such as hide-and-seek, catch, or running
around playing in the house, or in a secure, fenced outdoor area. They also enjoy daily walks, which gives them
exercise and will keep them from becoming overweight. Scotties, like most terriers, do not have an 'Off' switch.
They will play with you as long as you will play with them.
If you still want to see more info, click the link below to go to the American Kennel Club (AKC)
AKC Scottish Terrier Breed Standard
|Barney, the Scottish Terrier belonging to former President George W. Bush, on the presidential stand
|Fala at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the only Presidential dog so honored.
"I love all dogs, but I only sleep with Scotties...."
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The picturesque Ohio River Valley
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