The Scottish Terrier, often called the "Scottie," is best recognized for its distinctive profile and hard, wiry, weather-resistant outer coat in a black, brindle or wheaten color. Its beard, eyebrows, legs and lower body furnishings are traditionally shaggy. Like many breeds in the Terrier Group, Scotties are small yet strong and known as fast, alert and playful dogs. The Scottish Terrier is the only breed of dog that has lived in the White House three times, with Presidents Roosevelt and George W. Bush.
A Look Back
Naturally a "digger" at heart, the Scottie was originally bred to hunt and kill vermin on farms. The breed was virtually unknown outside of the highlands until the late 1870s when English Army Captain W. W. Mackie imported to England the first dogs described as "Scottish Terriers." It would be another two decades before the English dog world settled on a breed standard that distinguished the Scottish Terrier from the other highland breeds. Scotties were introduced to America in the 1890’s. The Scottish Terrier Club of America was incorporated in 1898 and joined AKC in 1900 as a parent club. Now, more than 100 years later, the Scottie continues to remain a common fixture in American households today.
Right Breed for You?
Scotties thrive as house pets and are gentle, loving members of their families. Their spirited natures require obedience training, and they need regular exercise (on leash, as the chase instinct is strong). The Scottie coat requires regular brushing and clipping to maintain the characteristic breed outline.
Training should start as soon as you bring your new puppy home. Scotties require consistency, boundaries, positive reinforcement and loads of patience. Don’t encourage behaviors in your puppy that you won’t accept from an adult, such as chasing or biting hands or feet, jumping up, getting on furniture, digging or barking. Behaviors that seem cute now may not be so adorable when your puppy is a full-grown Scottie! Never, ever punish your Scottie puppy after calling him to you, for any reason; Scotties have long memories and next time you want your puppy to come to you, he’ll ignore you. Use a crate to assist with house training, but remember that puppies can only hold their bladders for a few hours at a time before needing relief. The STCA encourages Scottie owners to participate in activities such as agility, flyball, earthdog (terrier hunt tests), rally obedience and much more, because Scotties can learn anything if you are consistent and positive. Since Scotties don’t respond well to punishment- or correction-based training, the best type of training class for your puppy will be one based on positive reinforcement. You can find training clubs in your area at the AKC website (Training Resources) and may want to enquire about positive reinforcement trainers.
The official Breed Standard for the Scottish Terrier was developed by the STCA in accordance with AKC guidelines. The current version was submitted to the AKC and approved on October 12, 1993. The most frequent use of the standard is by AKC judges when evaluating dogs in the conformation ring. The standard is also used by Scottie breeders to evaluate their own breeding program.
How To Meet A Scottie
Here is a link to an article in the May, 2014, Volume 131, Number 5 issue of the AKC Gazette titled How To Meet A Scottie written by Kathleen J. Ferris. In this article Kathleen describes how people should and should not approach Scotties and does so from three perspectives: Owners, breeders, and judges. A nice little article. Take a look.