The Scottish Terrier, also called “Scottie,” is a small breed of dog with a large personality. They typically weigh between nine and eleven kilos and have an outer coat that needs to be brushed daily. In addition to daily brushing, you should take your Scottish Terrier to the groomer once or twice a year for a thorough cleaning.
The Scottish Terrier was made famous in the Disney animated film “Lady and the Tramp.” However, they were originally raised to hunt foxes and badgers. Hence their fondness for digging and chasing other animals. Having a healthy Scottie requires you to provide them with proper socialization starting when they are a puppy. Otherwise, they can become defensive and distrustful of new people entering your home.
The Scottish Terrier is a very playful dog and is very good with children, making them a great family pet. They are somewhat energetic dogs and require at least two walks a day. This loyal and brilliant dog will surely become your best friend, always sticking by your side.
Scottish Terries tend to be stubborn dogs which makes it somewhat difficult to train them. However, with patience and continued positive reinforcement, they are eager to learn. In addition to their brilliance, they have tremendous hearing and are able to recognize your footsteps before you even enter the door to your home. They love chasing animals and will always keep your house free of any pests that may wander in.
History Of The Scottish Terrier
The origins of the Scottish Terrier are not entirely clear. What we do know is that it is a very ancient race. It was described by Pliny the Elder back in 55 BC. during the Roman invasion of Great Britain, but it was not until the early 1800s that two breeds of terrier were spoken of; the Scottish Rough-Haired Terrier and the English Smooth-Haired Terrier.
In the 17th century, James I of England gifted the French monarch with Scotties that were the forerunners of the current Scottish Terrier. By the end of the 19th century, terriers had been divided into four breeds:
- Scottish Terrier
- Skye Terrier
- White Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
Characteristics Of The Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers have hunted animals such as badgers for hundreds of years, hence their passion for digging. You may want to consider providing your Scottie with an area to dig in as not to fight their natural instincts.
They tend to be reserved when it comes to strangers; however, this can be overcome through proper socialization, starting when they are a puppy. If you are an athlete or avid runner, this may not be the dog for you as its short legs do not allow it to run very fast; it would much rather enjoy a nice walk with you.
Scottish Terriers tend to have a habit of barking at anything that may alert them. So, educate your dog will if you are living in an apartment or have neighbors, or your dog will spend its whole day barking at every noise it hears. Regardless of their barking, they make perfect dogs for small houses and apartments due to their small size.
Scottish Terriers are very intelligent animals that are also somewhat stubborn. They tend to be reserved with everyone except those who are members of their household. Outside of the home, their hunting instincts tend to kick in, and it is hard to get them to pay attention. In addition, Scottish Terriers love your company and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time; they will develop separation anxiety.
Common Health Issues of The Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers are generally very healthy dogs that only suffer from a few health problems that can develop later on in their lives. These are the most common health issues:
Scottie’s cramp: Sometimes, when Scotties are stressed or overstimulated, their spine arches, and as a result, their hind legs flex significantly. This may cause them to temporarily lose mobility or walk awkwardly. After a while, they will be back to normal. This health occurrence does not pose a significant risk to the animal, nor does it cause degenerative disease. It typically does not require any additional treatment except in extreme cases.
Von Willebrand disease: This is a disease that Scottish Terriers can inherit. This disease prevents their blood from clotting properly and can manifest itself in the form of nosebleeds or gum sores. Currently, there is no cure for this disease, so it is important to watch your Scottie closely.
Craniomandibular osteopathy: This is another inherited disease that causes malformations in the skull bones during the first year of the Scottish Terrier’s life. Symptoms tend to appear between four and eight months of age. This disease causes the jaw of your Scottish Terrier to become inflamed and unable to close. Currently, there is no treatment for this disease other than anti-inflammatories and analgesics.
Caring For Your Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers love to go on walks; however, they do not enjoy running as their legs are very small. So, when you take your Scottish Terrier on a walk, be sure to keep a leisurely pace. Extended periods of vigorous exercise can lead to hip and joint problems within your Scottish Terrier.
Be very careful with your Scottish Terrier and the swimming pool. This breed loves water but cannot swim! They weigh a lot and have very short legs making it very difficult for them to stay above water. That is why you have to be attentive to possible accidents in the pool. It is recommended if you have a swimming pool to place a fence around it to prevent your Scottie from falling in.
These dogs tend to run off and chase small mammals and birds that cross their path. And a Scottie, when chasing an animal, does not look at anything else.
Your Scottish Terrier will require two meals a day that consists of high-quality ingredients made for small dog breeds. The daily amount of food depends on your pet’s size, age, metabolism, and activity level. It is best to consult a veterinarian or specialized store for the recommended amount of food for your dog.
Scottish Terriers tend to be white, black, or gray and have a thick double coat that consists of a long, hard, and strong exterior with a soft and dense undercoat. Be sure to brush its double coat every day to prevent it from becoming matted and entangled with debris. If you want your Scottie to sport short hair, you will need to take it to the dog groomer every two months. But if you want your Scottie to have long hair, two or three cuts a year will do.
Another thing, Scottish Terriers are very prone to catching fleas due to their thick double coat; be especially watchful every time your brush your dog. Also, remember to check and clean its ears regularly and cut its nails every two weeks. Additionally, be sure to brush your Scotties teeth two to three times a week to prevent dental disease from developing.