Scottish Terrier Breed Information and Buying advice

Scottish Terrier

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Scottish Terrier?

Quick Scottish Terrier Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Terrier (4/8)
Yes (1/2)

Why Scottish Terriers are great

The distinctive and easily recognisable Scottish Terrier is a wonderful family pet that is gentle, playful and loyal. Scotties are dignified, reserved characters with good (if not slightly feisty) natures. These highly adaptable dogs have an independent side to their characters meaning they can handle being left alone for short periods of time. Some highlights:
  1. Great for first-time owners
  2. Quick learners
  3. Affectionate companions
  4. Good with children

Things to consider when looking at Scottish Terriers for Sale

There are a few characteristics that are important to consider when deciding if a Scottish Terrier is a perfect dog for your home and lifestyle. Scottish Terriers have high prey drives and are also known to love digging, they will make light work of digging up your garden and flower beds. Some downsides to the Scottish Terrier:
  1. Can be stubborn
  2. High maintenance coat
  3. Tend to bark a lot

History of Scottish Terriers

Although there are no written records of the history of Scottish Terriers until the end of the 18th century, they are believed to be the oldest terrier breed originating from Scotland. The Scottish Terriers were part of a group of Highland breeds that were used to hunt vermin. These working dogs would dig out and kill vermin on farms and today’s terriers still have this high prey drive and hunting instinct. Up until the 1870’s the Scottish Terriers were grouped under Skye Terriers and were shown in that class until a standard for the Scottish Terrier was written at the end of the nineteenth century. The Skye Terrier was then split into four breeds; Skye Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Cairn Terrier and West Highland White Terrier. During the 1930’s the breed was one of the most popular in the UK and was also growing in popularity in the USA. This popularity surged after the Second World War and the breed has even lived in the White House (three times!). Scottish Terriers were first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1884. The breed has also featured in films including Disney’s animated movie Lady and the Tramp. Scotties remain popular today both as a family pet and a show dog.  


Scottish Terriers are iconic little dogs, they are robust, well-balanced and dignified. The recognisable silhouette of the Scottie is frequently used on decorations and ornaments. The breed has a long head, short legs and large paws that are perfect for digging. A Scotties warm and weather-resistant coat is often clipped so the beard, eyebrows, legs and the underside of the body has longer hair than the rest of the terrier.  

How big is the Scottish Terrier?

A fully grown Scottish Terrier is 25 – 28cm at the withers.  

How heavy is a Scottish Terrier?

An adult Scottish terrier weighs between 8 – 10kg.  

What Colour is the Scottish Terrier?

Scottish Terriers are usually black, brindle or wheaten. They may also have white or silver hairs sprinkled throughout their coat.  


The Scottie is an alert, efficient hunter that is known for being feisty and fearless. They are independent and can be stubborn but are devoted and affectionate towards their family. Scottish Terriers thrive in a home environment, don’t be fooled, they are softies underneath that serious exterior.  

Do Scottish Terriers make good guard dogs?

Yes, Scottish Terriers are very alert and will bark to alert you of strangers. They are not aggressive and will keep their distance while barking but very little gets past these dogs unnoticed.  

Do Scottish Terriers bark a lot?

Generally, yes, Scotties seem to like the sound of their own voice a little too much and tend to bark a lot. Training can put a stop to this behaviour.  

Are Scottish Terriers easy to train?

As intelligent dogs, Scottish Terriers are fast learners and are easy to train. However, they also pick up bad habits quickly and can become bored of too much repetition so training sessions should be short but firm and consistent.  

Are Scottish Terriers playful?

Yes, Scotties can be very playful. They love to entertain and particularly enjoy playing fetch, tug of war and other interactive games with their family.  

Are Scottish Terriers good with children?

Scottish Terriers are great with children, although it is important that meetings between younger children and Scotties are supervised as the interactions can become overexcited and boisterous.  

Are Scottish Terriers good with other pets?

Scotties can be territorial and will stand their ground against other dogs. They generally prefer doing their own thing and will chase smaller animals such as cats so it is best to keep your Scottish Terrier away from smaller pets and animals.  

Can I leave a Scottish Terrier Alone?

Yes, they can be left alone for short periods of time. However, Scotties do not like to be alone for a long time as this can cause separation anxiety and lead to destructive behaviours.  

Do Scottish Terriers like water?

Most Scottish Terriers enjoy swimming, particularly when the weather is warm.  


How long do Scottish Terriers live?

The average life span of a Scottish Terrier is 13 – 14 years.  

How much exercise does a Scottish Terrier need?

Scotties are high energy dogs that require at least 1 hour of walking each day. They also enjoy playing so time in a secure garden is great too.  

What are Scottish Terriers Common health issues?

There’s a number of health problems that are common for Scottish Terriers including:
  • Scottie cramp
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Craniomandibular Osteopathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Cushing’s syndrome


How much space do I need for a Scottish Terrier?

Scotties are very adaptable and are more than happy to live in an apartment as long as they go for daily walks. Scotties are known for digging up flowerbeds and lawns so this is something to be aware of if you have a garden.  

What should I feed my Scottish Terrier?

When you bring your Scottish Terrier puppy home it is important to feed them according to the breeder’s feeding schedule to avoid causing an upset stomach. Any changes made to a dog’s diet must be made gradually. As a rough guide, an adult Scottie weighing 8.5kg can be fed between 120 – 140g of high quality dog food each day.  

How much grooming do Scottish Terriers need?

A Scotties double coat requires daily brushing to prevent knots from forming. They also require professional grooming every 2 to 3 months to keep their coats trimmed and looking good.  

Do Scottish Terriers shed?

Yes, Scotties shed a small amount throughout the year and will shed more in Spring and Autumn.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Scottish Terrier?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £900 for a well-bred Scottish Terrier puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £60 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Scottish Terrier Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Scottish Terrier puppy buying advice:
  1. Scottish Terriers are popular dogs so there are a lot of online adverts for puppies, always choose a reputable breeder with a proven track record and ensure they are able to provide you with the relevant paperwork.
  2. Do not buy extra small Scottish Terriers as they often suffer from serious health issues.
  3. Do not buy a Scottish Terrier with a docked tail as this is an illegal procedure (unless permission was granted from the appropriate authorities and there is proof of this).
  4. Avoid scams by never paying for a puppy you have only seen online, meet the breeder in person and make sure they are genuine.

Other reading, Adopting Scottish Terrier Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article:    

If you continue to use the site you are agreeing to the privacy policy of this site.

Allow all