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Is a Scottish Terrier Right For You?

Is a Scottish Terrier right for you?

If you’re looking for a spirited sidekick with an attitude problem, the Scottish Terrier might be the dog for you!

These short little spitfires are like any proper Scot and have fiery tempers.

The independent and spunky Scottish Terrier can be hard to train, but they’re worth the effort. Scotties are intelligent and dignified, and form strong and loyal bonds with their owners.

Some facts about the Scottish Terrier breed.

· Scottish Terriers are ideal for allergy sufferers

· Low-shedding, Scottish Terriers hardly shed any fur.

· Low-Drooling

· About Average when it comes to grooming needs

· Their small size means that they are great for apartment complexes.

· Make excellent watchdogs

· Extremely intelligent

If you’re a first time Scottish Terrier owner, here is what to look out for.

Here’s what to watch out for :

  • They’re not a good choice for first-time

dog owners.

  • You absolutely have to socialize them and train them for obedience when they’re puppies, or you run the risk that they’ll be aggressive with other dogs when they’re older.

  • Scotties are in the “challenging to train” dog category. They’re super stubborn, very independent, and will hold it against you if you lose your temper. They have a mind of their own, for sure.

  • I should probably add that you can’t trust a Scottish Terrier off-leash, either.

  • Because of their philosophy — the best defense is a good offense — these guys really aren’t great dog park puppies. They need a lot of exercise though, so you need to have other ways of satisfying their drive.

  • They treat all house guests as potential robbers and murderers. Scotties allow a guest to enter their home, but they will eye them suspiciously the entire time. Honestly, they have kind of dark, satirical personalities.

  • Scottish Terriers are intelligent, but they can be kind of like cats. They know what you want, but they’re just declining the invitation to do it. And, because they’re really smart, you still have to find ways to challenge their brain, or they will get bored and make their own games….at your expense.

  • Scotties are NOT great with crates. You should teach them to deal with it, but you can’t just leave a Scottie crated for hours on end.

  • You know the expression sink or swim? Scotties sink, they don’t swim.….like, in a literal sense.

  • Scottish Terriers love to dig, so say goodbye to that beautiful tomato garden you just planted.

The Scottish Terrier

Schulte Scottish Terriers on a bench.


Scottie / Aberdeen Terrier




10 inches


(male) 19 – 22 pounds

(female) 18 – 21 pounds


12 years


Intelligent, spirited, confident, independent, loyal, energetic, stubborn, dignified, aloof, affectionate, playful


Black, brindle, wheaten, silver/black/red brindle


Medium, wiry, double coat

How much grooming?

Medium / low maintenance — weekly brushing needed, hand stripping preferred

How much shedding

Very low

Dander levels


Saliva–Drooling and licking frequency?


Energy levels

High-energy breed

How much exercise do they need?

20 – 40 minute brisk walk daily

Health problems

Prone to deafness, cataracts, Cushing’s disease

Good for apartment?

Yes — but needs daily time outdoors too

Suitable for kids?

Better with children over 7 years old

How much do they bark?


Can they be left alone?

Happy to be alone for 4 – 8 hours


Clever and independent


Can be difficult to train — stubborn at times

How popular as a pet?

Popular (Ranked 58th in AKC’s most popular breeds list)

Any other important facts?

Scottish Terriers were originally bred as ‘ratters.’ Scotties would also go up against badgers and other large vermin.

As loyal pets today, Scottish Terriers still have a strong prey drive and will chase after small animals if given the chance.


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