Scottish Terriers (Scotties)

Often referred to as the Aberdeen Terrier, the Scottish Terrier is a short-legged, substantial terrier, with distinctive furnishings at the eyebrow, beard, leg, and skirt.

The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built terrier of good bone and substance. They have a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set body which is hung between short, heavy legs. Scotties are territorial, alert, and quick moving – and need a good daily workout. The breed is known to be independent, self-assured, playful, and intelligent. Sometimes very loving, they can also be stubborn. They are sometimes described as an aloof breed, although it has been noted that they tend to be very loyal to their family and are known to attach themselves to one or two people.

The Scottish Terrier can make a good watchdog due to its tendency to bark only when necessary. They have been described as a fearless breed that may be aggressive around other dogs unless socialised at an early age. Scottish Terriers were originally bred to hunt and fight Eurasian badgers. Therefore, the Scottie is prone to dig as well as chase small mammals, so it is advisable not to keep cats, rabbits, ferrets, or other small, domesticated animals in the home with a Scottie. Scottish Terriers are also not recommended to live with children who are inexperienced with dogs.

The Scottie has been nicknamed the ‘Diehard’ because of its rugged nature and endless determination. The “Diehard” nickname was originally given to it in the 19th century by George, the fourth Earl of Dumbarton. The Earl had a famous pack of Scottish Terriers, so brave that they were named “Diehards”. They were supposed to have inspired the name of his Regiment, The Royal Scots, “Dumbarton’s Diehards”.

  • Coat: double (hard wiry & soft undercoat)
  • Colour: Black, Brindle, Wheaten
  • Lifespan: usually between 11-13 years
  • Height: 8-11″

No swimming

It is not recommended that Scotties swim. They can swim, but not well. They are built like bricks and swim like bricks. Because they are dense dogs and have short legs, they run a high risk of sinking and drowning. They often do drown when exposed to water that is too deep for them. If a Scottish Terrier is around water, life vests can be worn to ensure some level of safety, and close supervision of the Scottie is necessary to keep the dog safe around water.

Interesting facts:

  • A Scottie won best in show twice at Crufts 1929 and 2015.
  • The Scottie is also renowned for being a player token in the popular board game Monopoly.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster novels, Bertie Wooster’s principal antagonist Aunt Agatha has an Aberdeen terrier called Mackintosh.
  • The Scottish Terrier has won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club a record 9 times.
  • A large group of them led out the teams in the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow.
  • The Scottie and the German Shepherd are the only breeds of dog that have lived in the White House more than three times. Fala, president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottie received more mail than many US presidents. The president loved him dearly and rarely went anywhere without him.
  • More recently, President George W. Bush has owned two black Scottish Terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. Barney starred in nine films produced by the White House.