History of the Scottish Terrier Breed
The history of the Scottish Terrier is as murky as a Scottish swamp. Initially all terriers from Scotland were called Scottish terriers, making it difficult to trace the Scottie’s roots. In addition, the present-day Scottish terrier was once lumped with other breeds that came from the Isle of Skye. These terriers were called Skye terriers, not to be confused with the present-day Skye terrier. Regardless of its exact origin, the Scottish terrier was bred as a fierce hunter of foxes and badgers known for going to ground after prey. In the late 1800s, the history of this breed becomes a little clearer. The Scottish city of Aberdeen contained many of the short-legged, wiry terriers that were used to kill vermin. In fact, for a time the breed was known as the Aberdeen terrier. In 1860, the Scottish terrier was first shown, however even into the 1870s, there was immense debate over the exact characteristics of the breed. Finally around 1880, a standard for the breed was determined. In 1883, John Naylr brought the first Scottish terrier to the United States. The first pup registered in America was Dake, born on September 15, 1884. The popularity of the breed rose at a fast pace. Former President Franklin Roosevelt had a Scottie named Fala, The dog was always by his side in life and is fittingly buried beside him in death. The Scottish terrier, still one of the most popular terriers, is the best known and possibly oldest of the Highland terriers.
Size and Appearance of the Scottish Terrier
The Scottish terrier is a small, compact dog with short legs and sturdy build. It has a thick-boned, heavy-set body and is known as a powerful breed in a small size. The Scottie has a long head with erect ears. Its familiar eyebrows and beard lend to its eager expression. This terrier has a soft, tight undercoat with a dense, wiry outer coat. Its fur is typically two inches long and colored in black, wheaten or brindle of any shade.
Scottish Terrier Temperament
This active breed is known to be independent and self-assured. It has been called the Diehard because of its rugged nature and endless determination. Sometimes seen as an aloof breed, it is actually very loyal to its family. It can have a temper, but is also quite sensitive. The Scottish terrier makes a great watchdog due to its tendency to bark and its reserved manner with strangers. It is a fearless breed that may be aggressive around other dogs unless introduced at an early age. The Scottie is prone to dig.
Scottish Terrier Recommended Maintenance
The wire coat of the Scottie needs combed two to three times a week with extra care during its shedding season. It sheds very lightly and will only require a light brushing during this time. Bathe when necessary and shape every three months. This adventurous breed requires moderate exercise, suitably achieved with a walk, an active game or exploring off-leash in a safe area. It can survive outdoors in temperate to warm climates, but does better indoors with access to a fenced yard. The Scottish terrier can enjoy apartment living if given proper exercise. This breed tends to be overbearing if not properly trained. Training should be based on mutual respect for this intelligent breed. Protect your Scottie’s skin, as it has been known to have skin problems and flea allergies.
Scottish Terrier Health
• Life span: 11 – 13 years
• Major concerns: vWD, CMO
• Minor concerns: Scotty cramp, intervertebral disc disease
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: DNA for vWD