Scottish Terrier


A small to medium sized Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)10-11in (25.5-28cm)
Weight19-23lbs (8.5-10.5kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size3-5
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Scottish Terrier is a small and compact dog. The sturdy body is low to the ground with a fairly broad chest, short legs and a straight or curled tail. The head is long with a large nose, dark brown almond-shaped eyes, high-set erect ears and distinctive bushy eyebrows and beard. The coat is dense and wiry with a softer undercoat, and the colouring can vary but includes black, wheaten or brindle.


Scottish Terriers are bold and charming little dogs that are often nicknamed diehards due to their boundless energy levels and determination. These dogs are easy to love and are very playful and friendly as puppies, with a tendency towards barking and digging, but they tend to grow more dignified with age. Fiercely loyal, they make fine companions and family pets. Scottish Terriers are intelligent little dogs but they can also be quite independent with stubborn and willful streaks, and yet are sensitive to praise and criticism too. As a result they require gentle but assertive training, which itself can be challenging, and owners will need a degree of confidence. Therefore they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training, rather than novices. Housebreaking can also be difficult. Scottish Terriers get along well with older, more considerate children, but will need early socialisation around other pets and may not tolerate other dogs too well. They can be very possessive of food and belongings too. Around strangers they tend to be unsociable and wary, and again early socialisation is required to promote stable and sociable attitudes. Being alert and protective, they do make good watch dogs.

History & Skills

Scottish Terriers originate from Scotland, and in particular Aberdeen, and were originally known as Aberdeen Terriers. One of the oldest of the Terrier breeds, these dogs were originally bred to hunt vermin and den animals such as rabbits, badgers, foxes and otters. These days they retain their hunting skills but are more popular as companions, pets and watchdogs.

Breed Specific Ailments

Scottish Terriers tend to live between 12-15 years and are considered to be a hardy and healthy breed on the whole. Some of the health problems that have been noted include thyroid problems, cancer, allergies, luxating patella, seizures, Von Willebrandís disease and skin infections. They are also prone to Scottie Cramp, which is a type of movement problem.


Scottish Terriers are low shedders that also shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, but may still be suitable for those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are moderate and the wiry coat will need brushing two or three times a week, and more during periods of heavier shedding. The beard will need cleaning on a daily basis for hygiene reasons, and the coat can be clipped every few months to maintain the general shape, or hand stripped for show dogs.

Exercise & Environment

Scottish Terriers are small dogs and so are suitable for smaller homes shuch as apartments. They will still need time outdoors in the form of a daily walk and access to a yard or garden for play and exercise. They prefer cool climates because of their dense coat. Their inquisitive natures mean they have a tendency to chase and wander off, and so they should be walked on a leash and outside areas must be secure.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

Coming soon!

Owners Gallery

Pretty empy right now. If you would like to see you dog here please email a photo to BFD Photos along with your name, your dog's name & age, breed and rough location (please keep image file sizes reasonable!).