Scottish terrier on green fresh grass

The Scottish Terrier: thinking of getting a Scottish Terrier? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Scottish Terriers are introverts. They’re highly selective about who they become friends with but, once they’ve accepted you, will make incredibly loyal and loving companions indeed.

Place of origin: The Scottish Highlands

How big do Scottish Terriers get? 25 – 28cm

How heavy are Scottish Terriers? 8 – 10kg

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Colour: Black, Brindle, Wheaten


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Scottish Terrier need?

Scotties are fairly active and will need at least one decent-sized walk every day.

As traditional hunters, they may become distracted by other animals that they mistake for prey, so it’s a good idea to walk your Scottie on the lead until you get to an area that’s nice and remote. Because of their suitability to walking on the lead and their modest exercise requirements, Scotties are suited to life in a flat/apartment or urbanised area.

Make sure you don’t leave your Scottie alone in the garden. They’re typical terriers, meaning they love to dig! Scotties are also bad swimmers (despite their fondness for water) so be careful when walking them near lakes or other large bodies of water.

Training: how to train a Scottish Terrier

Scotties are fairly serious-natured. They’re also independent, meaning they’re not the easiest dogs to train.

Use positive reinforcement and reward based training; begin when your Scottie is young and be patient all the while.

The more quality time you spend with your Scottie, the closer you’ll inevitably become. Once they get to know their owners, Scotties become very loyal pets.

scottish terrier on grass on sunny day

Grooming: do Scottish Terriers shed?

Scottish Terriers don’t moult much, but they do need a lot of grooming. To keep their dense, wiry fur in good condition, you’ll need to brush them every day.

Your Scottie’s coat will need regular clipping too. The frequency will depend on whether you plan to keep their fur long or short, but even longhaired Scotties will need their coat trimming a few times every year.

Scotties have sensitive skin that can easily dry out, leading to skin conditions. Because of this, aim only to bathe them when they really need it i.e. if they’ve rolled through something smelly.

Complete your Scottie’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Scottish Terrier temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Scotties like to attach themselves to 1-2 people and will thrive in the company of their owners.

They’re naturally wary of strangers, so it’s very important to socialise your Scottie as best you can when they’re young. Their overall sociability will depend a lot on this.

Despite their serious nature, Scotties tend to get along quite well with children; just be sure that children know how to conduct themselves around dogs – a Scottie won’t react too kindly to having their tail pulled.

Scotties are the ideal companions for individuals/couples with a laidback lifestyle. So long as they get their regular exercise, they’ll be perfectly fine living in a flat/apartment too.

Cost of owning a Scottish Terrier

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Scottish Terrier, remember to take into account:

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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