The Scottish Terrier: A Complete Guide

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If you are in the market for a dog that comes with a stubborn, independent nature, but also very sensitive when it comes to praising and blaming, the Scottish Terrier could be the right breed for you.

These dogs are highly intelligent and fun to be around with, and, the fact that they are Terriers, makes them great when it comes to keeping an eye on the home and the family.

Due to his short legs, you can’t expect him to run marathons, but he will always be up for a walk around the block, or to a nearby dog park.

He can be good with kids that are older and who know how to behave around them, but when it comes to toddlers, this is where he draws the line.

However, these dogs are quite popular all over the world and finding a puppy that is healthy and with a great genetic heritage can be tricky, considering that many owners are turning into “breeder” and that their litters are in most cases low-quality.

So, to help you in your search for the perfect puppy, we’ve decided to jump in with our Scottish Terrier guide.

In this guide, you will learn all the important things you should consider when buying a puppy, as well as get more familiar with the breed itself so that you know what to expect when you do buy the puppy.

Let’s start with the things you should be aware of before buying the puppy.

The Scottish Terrier Puppies – Before You Buy…

A black Scottish Terrier lying down
Scottish Terriers can be excellent family dogs.

As with any other dog breed, before you set your mind on buying a puppy, you need to know that there are certain questions you should first have the answers to.

For example, do you know if the puppy price range suits your budget?

What price are the Scottish Terrier puppies?

The average price of a Scottish Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder, including all the necessary paperwork (health clearances for the parents, vaccine proof for the pup, and medical history), is around $800.

However, if you want a premium-quality puppy with the breeding rights and assurance that he will do well at dog shows, the price will go up to $1000 or even higher, depending on the breeder and in which state you buy the puppy.

How to find reputable Scottish Terrier breeders?

Finding a reputable breeder is extremely important if you want your puppy to be healthy and with an exceptional genetic heritage.

However, this is not an easy process if you don’t know what to look for and which red flags to pay attention to.

But don’t worry, we have your back and we will tell you what to do so that you are sure you are dealing with a reputable breeder that stands behind his dogs.


  • Ask for health clearances for the pup’s parents right from the start
  • Ask to meet see the pup’s parents so that you can see how they behave and get an idea of the temperament your puppy comes with, suits you
  • Ask the breeder to tell you everything he knows about the breed and to give you advice about what to feed the puppy with, when and how much to feed it, and how to take proper mental and physical care of your puppy
  • Pay attention to how the dogs and pups react to the breeder and if they love being around him
  • Pay attention if the breeder has more than one or two available litters at the same time because if he has more, you are probably dealing with a puppy mill
  • Ask the breeder to connect you with other people who purchased puppies from him so that you can see how happy they are now


  • Buy the puppy from a breeder that doesn’t have any medical history or the health clearances for the pup’s parents
  • Buy the puppy from a breeder that doesn’t seem that interested in the breed and about finding a good home for the puppies
  • Buy the puppy if the breeder doesn’t ask you about you’re your lifestyle and doesn’t seem to care if you can fit the puppy into your daily routines
  • Buy the puppy from a breeder from whom the dogs seem afraid and unwilling to approach

Okay, now you are equipped with all the necessary knowledge for finding a reputable breeder that has plenty of experience behind him.

It’s time to move forward and see what it looks like when you are living with a Scottish Terrier puppy.

3 Little-known facts about the Scottish Terrier puppies

A Scottish Terrier sitting in a car
Scottish Terriers are feisty and agile dogs.

In this part of the guide, you will get an insight into some lesser-known facts about the Scottish Terrier pups, and know what to expect when you welcome him into your home.

  • They are hunters

These dogs were originally bred to be hunters and find prey that hides in the ground.

So, don’t be surprised if your puppy starts digging in your yard, as his instincts are telling him that there’s a mole down there somewhere.

  • They are suspicious of strangers

If not properly socialized from the start, your Scottish Terrier puppy will grow up into an adult dog that is extremely suspicious of everyone and will bark and attack every other dog he comes across.

  • They have high energy levels

These small dogs are only small in size, but their energy levels are quite high.

They are working dogs inside, and they have plenty of energy that needs to be burned off, and they demand plenty of mental stimulation each day.

So, exercise and mind games will be on the menu each day, several times a day.

Physical Traits of the Scottish Terrier

This is the section where we get “physical” and see how big these dogs get.

Also, we will see what weight range to expect, so that you know if you should allow him to sit in your lap or not.

Hint, you will let him sit in your lap even when fully-grown, as they are not that big at all

How big is a full-grown Scottish Terrier?

The average height the Scottish Terriers reach goes up to some 12 inches.

As for the weight, the range you can expect, assuming that you are feeding him properly and that he is not overweight, is from 18 to 22 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Scottish Terrier?

The average lifespan of a Scottish Terrier is from 11 to 13 years if you take proper care of him and regularly take him to vet checkups.

But, there are many cases where these dogs lived a few years longer than expected, so it all comes down to genetics.

Either way, be ready for plenty of fun times and tons of happy memories with your faithful bearded companion.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Scottish Terrier

A black Scottish Terrier walking in the grass
Scottish Terrier is a highly intelligent breed.

The Scottish Terrier’s original purpose was badger and fox hunting.

But, as time went by, they started becoming great family dogs and companions, even though they have an opinion on everything.

This is why most people love them for.

They need early socialization because they can be extremely suspicious of strangers.

And, unless you want him snapping at everyone, you will start meeting him with your neighbors right from the start, as well as take him to dog parks so that he can get used to being around other dogs and animals.

A Scotty will do great in apartments, but you will need to take him out for a walk regularly and allow him to satisfy his hunting and digging urges.

Furthermore, he will be happiest when the entire family is around, and even though he loves kids, he will not be tolerant of toddlers and their rough play so it is not a smart thing to leave them alone, without supervision.

As for “yard keeping” you will stop having vermin as soon as your Scottish Terrier is big and strong enough to dig deep and fast.

But, this will also mean that you can say goodbye to your beautiful garden…

Therefore, to make him realize that this is not allowed in the yard, only when you are in the park, you need to start the training early.

But, arm yourself with patience and always have a positive approach as they get easily offended and hold grudges.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to train him, it’s just that you will need more time than you would need with other, more easy-going dog breed.

In the end, the Scottish Terrier can be a great addition to your family, but you just have to remember that this is a stubborn little working dog and that you need to keep him busy all the time.

Scottish Terrier Diet

The Scottish Terriers will do great with dry dog food, but for better development, we recommend a raw diet.

Here is what that diet should consist of:

  • 80% meat, fat, ligaments, sinew
  • 10% edible bone
  • 5% liver
  • 5% other organ meat

As you can see, the diet is based on meat, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give him vegetables and fruits from time to time.

How much Exercise does a Scottish Terrier need?

This breed is known for its high energy levels but when it comes to exercise, they don’t need too much of it. At least not in the way other dog breed exercise.

A light, a 45-minute walk will be just fine if you ask him, but you also have to include a half-an-hour digging and squirrel “hunting” session so that he burns off all of his energy and sleeps like a baby once you are back home.

The Scottish Terrier Health and Conditions

If we’ve learned anything by now is that all Terriers are considered to be healthy, but still, they can suffer from certain health conditions.

The Scottish Terriers are not different, and here are the health issues you should keep in mind:

  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Craniomandibular osteopathy
  • Scottie Cramp

So, when talking to the breeder before purchase, make sure he has health tests clearances for the listed health problems so that you can have peace of mind and enjoy your time with your Scottie instead of being worried about his health all the time

My final thoughts on the Scottish TerrierA Scottish Terrier dog

You have reached the end of our Scottish Terrier guide.

What do you think about this dog now that you have a much wider knowledge about the breed itself?

Are you still interested in becoming a Scottie owner? Having second thoughts?

Read our summary of everything you learned here today, and an informed decision will come on its own.

These feisty and agile dogs have rightfully earned their “Diehard” reputation.

They are determined in everything they do, and they haven’t got a problem in chasing other dogs or animals to the end of the world if needed.

But, if trained properly and with early socialization, these dogs can be polite (relatively) and they can be excellent family dogs, even for families with kids.

Though they will not tolerate babies and toddlers, they will be great companions for older kids who know how to behave around them.

The training process can be a bit complicated since this is a Terrier we are talking about and they are famous for being stubborn.

However, if you have plenty of patience and praise him more than you blame him, he will eventually turn around and start following your lead.

In the end, they love being around people, and love being included in everything the family does, but are very suspicious of strangers, which is not a bad thing since it allows them to be excellent watchdogs.

Okay, now you know everything there is to know about this adorable, feisty little breed. Have you made your decision? Are you going to welcome a Scottish Terrier into your home?

Did our guide help you in making that decision? If so, don’t hesitate to share this guide on social media so that we can help other people realize how great it is to own a dog of this breed.

And, thanks for reading this guide to the end!

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