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Scottish Terrier Dog Breed Profile

Scottish Terrier

Other Names
Aberdeen Terrier, Scottie 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Scottish Terrier is, of course, a member of the terrier group and is still used today as a vermin controller, companion and show dog. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
Whilst it is relatively cheap to feed Scotties, owners must watch out for overfeeding as excessive weight can lead to back problems. 
Other Expenses
Puppies will cost around £500 - £650. 
9 - 15 years
The average lifespan of a Scottie is 13 to 14 years, although some can reach their late teens. 
Average Litter Size
Litter sizes can vary from 1 to 7 puppies, although the normal is 4 to 5. 
General Physical Description
Despite their small size, Scotties give the impression of being strong and powerful dogs. They have a hard and wire-haired outer coat with a soft dense undercoat and prominent eyebrows and moustaches. For being such short-legged dogs, Scotties are surprisingly agile and active, moving with a smooth, level gait.
Height Min Max
Bitch 25cm (10") 28cm (11")
Dog 25cm (10") 28cm (11")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 8kg (18lbs) 10kg (22lbs)
Dog 8kg (18lbs) 10kg (22lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Both dogs and bitches measure between 25 to 28cms at the withers and weigh between 8 to 10kgs. 
The Scottie is a hardy little dog with a high tolerance level to pain and a strong resistance to disease. 'Scottie Cramp', a hyperkinetic disorder, is specific to the breed: intermittent spasms in the limbs, back and tail cause the muscles to become rigid 
Common Ailments

Various Carcinomas in older dogs  
Susceptibility To Illness
Until 1859 no mention of this breed was recorded, and yet in that year, Scotties where exhibited as a pure breed, albeit under the name of 'Aberdeen Terrier', the area in which they were mostly bred. It is certain, however, that the West Highland White and Scotties are closely related, both their forefathers originating from the Blackmount region of Perthshire and the Moor of Rannoch. These dogs were used to extract vermin from rocks, rats from under the earth and other pests from barns. Capt. Gordon Murray and S E Shirley were responsible for setting the type in 1879 and three years later the Scottish Terrier Club was established. 
Scotties, for all their loyalties to their owners, are independent dogs and can, therefore, be quite difficult to obedience and house train. Training needs to based on mutual respect. They are highly intelligent and courageous.< 
Show Characteristics
Their heads should be long without being out of proportion to the size of the dog, with a slight but distinct stop. Their noses are large. Their teeth should be large with a perfect, regular scissor bite. Their eyes should almond-shaped and dark brown, set well apart with a keen, intelligent expression. Their ears should be neat, pointed and erect and set on top of the skull not too closely together. The neck should be long and muscular, set into long sloping shoulders. Their topline should be proportionately short and level, with a fairly broad chest. The front legs should be well boned and straight. Their hind legs are remarkably powerful for their size with big, wide buttocks, deep thighs and well bent stifles. Their feet should be a good size and well padded with close-knit and well-arched toes. The tail should be of moderate length, upright or with a slight bend. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
0 - 20 minutes per day.
Scotties are undemanding in their exercise requirements and will readily adapt to the given circumstances. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
Scotties think they are large dogs and have the boldness and courage to match. To outsiders Scotties appear somewhat morose and serious but to their family and friends they are affectionate and cheerful. Children must be taught that these dogs are not toys and to give them the respect they deserve. They will get along well with other household animals. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming must begin at an early age and stepped up during the changeover to adult coat. Scottish Terriers need to be professionally stripped three to four times a year, the chest, legs and head being clipped. Between these sessions, the hair should be regularly brushed and combed, especially around the mouth where particles of food can gather on the beard and moustache areas. 
Scotties come in grey, grizzled black, very dark brindle and wheaten but only the latter three are recognised by the Kennel Club. 
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies