The Scottish Terrier is a small, spunky terrier originating from Scotland. However, there's nothing small about this breed's heart. When a Scottie chooses an owner, this dog will devote itself completely to that person. This breed has some very unique characteristics and it is definitely not the right breed for everybody. You should be sure that you can handle caring for a Scottish Terrier before you add one of these special little dogs to your home.
- Scottish Terrier puppies can be quite nippy and more than a bit bossy. If you don't train your puppy to obey you when he is young, you will have problems later. However, while the Scottie needs a firm hand, you should be careful not to yell at him or punish him physically. This breed is actually quite sensitive and cannot handle rough treatment. If you do yell at your Scottie, he will probably start ignoring you and he will spend a lot of time sulking in his bed.
- Scottish Terriers, like most terriers, love to dig. Your Scottie would be happy to excavate a ten foot deep ditch for you, so if you have lush gardens, be sure that you can fence off an area of the yard so that your dog can exercise without destroying the landscaping.
- Unlike many other dog breeds, the Scottish Terrier is quite independent and self-reliant. If you want a dog that plasters himself to your side, you may not want a Scottie. However, this doesn't mean that your Scottie doesn't want to spend some time with you. He just has some things he wants to do on his own, like rearranging his toy basket or patrolling the yard.
- Scotties are serious chewers when they are puppies. Be prepared to spend a substantial amount of money on chew toys. Of course, even a well-stocked toy basket will not stop most Scottish Terrier puppies from literally chewing on the house. Luckily, this behavior rarely lasts longer than the first year of your Scottie's life.
- Scottish Terriers do not have high maintenance coats, but they still need to be groomed at least twice a week. Regular grooming reduces the amount of shedding and helps keep your dog looking tidy. If you don't brush the loose hair from your Scottie's coat a few times a week, you may notice that he is swallowing hair when he licks himself and then getting sick.
- While the Scottie is a fairly healthy breed overall, there are some genetic problems and diseases you should be aware of. These problems only affect about three to six percent of the Scottish Terrier population and include bad knees, Demodectic mange, contact dermatitis, Hashimoto's disease, epilepsy and Scottie cramp.
Finally, don't forget that just because these little dogs may seem a bit surly at times, this doesn't mean that they'll be happy spending most of the day alone. No dog enjoys spending 10 to 12 hours a day in an empty house. If you won't be home for long periods of time, a Scottie may not seem quite as upset as other breeds, but he will still be unhappy.