Breed Group: Terrier Group
Shoulder Height: 10 in.
Weight: 18-22 lb.
Life Span: 11-13 years
Colors: Black, brindle, red, silver, wheaten
- The Scottish Terrier, also known as the Scottie, is the most popular of the Scottish breeds.
- They were originally developed to kill vermin such as rats and rabbits on farms. As history progressed, however, they were increasingly used in hunting, particularly for badgers and foxes
- The precise origin of the breed is unknown. The first written record of them comes from a description of such a dog seen in the year 1436 in Don Leslie's book The History of Scotland 1436-1561.
The Scottish Terrier has a long history as a hunter, a companion, and a national symbol. Long recognized as the national dog of Scotland, they have seen great popularity in the UK as well as in the United States. Though interest in the breed has dropped, they remain a popular subject of folklore, both old and new.
The distinguishing personality trait of the Scottie is their feisty temperament. They are confident and self-assured, and do best with regular socialization with other dogs from a young age. Another trait they possess is their endless determination — when they see something, they will go after it no matter how impossible it might seem. This, and their purpose as vermin hunters, does lead them to become bad diggers, if not appropriately controlled, and clever problem-solvers. Reports persist of Scotties reaching places no dog should be able to reach.
Beneath their troublesome and stubborn disposition, however, you do have a dog that is quite loyal to his family and is normally not very aggressive. They may become agitated with the sounds and sudden movements of children and this can lead to them being nippy. Leadership and experience are required to make this breed work for you. Without that, the Scottie will walk all over you.
Scotties have thick, wiry coats that require regular brushing and stripping. Give them baths every now and then to keep their long hair clean. Although they are quite active for their size, brisk walks and playtime will give them enough exercise.
Scotties are normally pretty healthy dogs with a long lifespan. However, there are two very serious genetic deficiencies you need to be aware of before taking a chance with this breed.
- Von Willebrand disease, a disease that affects blood clotting and results in bleeding disorders, is a serious issue with Scotties.
- Craniomandibular osteopathy, or CMO, is another condition that prospective owners need to be aware of. This hereditary defect results in abnormal growth of the lower jaw that can make eating painful. It is treatable and most dogs outgrow the condition.
- Scotties are also prone to a unique condition called the "Scottie Cramp," which causes spasms and hyperflexion and hyperextension in the legs. These are usually associated with stress and normally do not last very long and are rarely life-threatening.
- The Scottie is a popular dog choice for Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy.
- Several other rulers in history have kept Scotties, including Queen Victoria and Lech Kaczynski, the former President of Poland.
- Many movie stars keep Scotties, including Julie Andrews and Tatum O'Neal. The latter of them was so depressed by the death of her Scottie that she allegedly relapsed into drugs.
- Scotties play a prominent role in many books such as Coraline.
- A Scottie appears as a playing piece in the Monopoly board game.
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