Scottish Terrier Breed Information

Scottish Terriers are a member of the ‘Terrier’ breed group. Dogs in the Terrier group were originally bred for hunting vermin. They are hardy, brave dogs bred to pursue the likes of foxes, badgers and rats (to name a few) above and below ground.

Scottish Terriers, or ‘Scotties’ as they’re more affectionately known, are quite bold, determined dogs. Although they can be independent, they’re loyal and devoted to their family and get on well with other pets.

Scotties need daily grooming and will require stripping and clipping by a professional groomer every two-three months.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Scottish Terriers are prone to include:

  • Deafness
  • Von Willebrand's disease – deficiency in blood platelet function resulting in excessive bleeding.
  • Scottie cramp – periodic cramping of the muscles, usually brought on by excitement
  • Luxating patellas – the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place.
  • Scotties have quite large shoulders relative to their smaller hind quarters and pelvic bones. This can mean they have problems giving birth naturally.
  • Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
  • Cardiomyopathy – enlarged heart due to degeneration of the heart muscle.
  • Cushing's syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism) - hormonal disorder which results in the production off too much cortisol.
  • Cataracts – opacity of the lens of the eye – giving a ‘cloudy’ appearance.
  • Lens luxation – dislocation of the lens of the eye.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

Scotties need around an hour of exercise daily. Scotties can be stubborn so will need patience and commitment when training – for more information on training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Scottish Terrier are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Scottish Terrier with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Scottish Terriers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Scottish Terrier with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train
 
How much exercise
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-14 years
Size Medium
Coat length Long
Possible health problems Deafness, Von Willebrand’s disease, Scottie cramp, Luxating patellas (the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place)
Average price £500-£800
Estimated cost over lifetime £23,300-£27,000
Average weight Male: 8.5kg-10kg. Female: 8kg-9.5kg
Breed group Terrier
Minimum garden size Medium

Not sure if the Scottish Terrier is the right pet for you?