how tall is a scottish terrier
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Scottish terriers are often described as a big dog in a little dog‘s body. They are feisty, independent, and sometimes excitable. As adults, their behavior can become moody. Some Scotties take to only one person. Scotties can be aggressive with other pets and stubborn about training.
The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built terrier of good bone and substance. They have a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set, cobby body which is hung between short, heavy legs.
An independent and stubborn character, the Scottish Terrier dog breed is also quite sensitive to praise and blame. Independent, intelligent, and hilarious in their dignified seriousness, they’re a true terrier, which makes them an excellent watchdog.
Although these are purebred dogs, you may still find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if this is the breed for you.
Thanks to those incredibly short legs, your Scottie isn’t going to train for a marathon with you—heck, they won’t even go jogging with you—but they’re a perfect walking companion, especially if you appreciate their vocal approach to bicycles and squirrels. Despite their size, they don’t yap:
they have a powerful bark that can scare the wits out of the unsuspecting burglar or delivery person. They totally rock at agility and earthdog trials. You’ll enjoy a rodent-free yard with one of these dogs around, but watch out for the holes they’ve dug.
DogTime recommends this carrier for traveling with your small Scottish Terrier. You should also pick up this dog brush and massager for your long-haired pup!
Scottish Terrier Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits
a scottish terrier appearance
As one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, Scotties have had a long time to work out the kinks. As such, one of the hallmarks of the breed is the almost assembly-line consistency to their look.
Scotties are, almost to the dog, 10 inches high. In fact, this height is so assured, that the AKC breed standard doesn’t even list a range for them: Scotties are 10 inches.
Just as consistent is their coloration. The vast majority of Scotties will be black. Brindle Scotties are also somewhat common, with wheaton (a kind of golden yellow/white) being a rare third option. Whatever color, Scotties’ coats consist of a hard, wiry topcoat layered over a thick, soft undercoat.
For decades, the Scottie was among the five most popular breeds, both in the U.S. and abroad. Today, though their popularity has waned, the AKC still ranks them as the 57th most popular breed. So clearly, these little guys bring a lot to the table.
Like all terriers, Scottish terriers were originally bred to be hunters. But while many dogs their size were created to hunt rats or foxes, Scotties were galavanting over the Highlands in search of badgers.
What does that mean for you? As with most terrier breeds, Scotties are highly intelligent. But unlike most other terriers, they can also be highly independent, bordering on aloof when it comes to training.
One of the traits Scottish farmers looked for in a good Scottie was a dog that was clever enough to figure things out for himself.
This means that, while your Scottie will certainly understand what you’re asking of him, getting him to actually follow through will require a firm hand, combined with lots and lots of patience.
Scotties train well in small bursts, says Dennis Riordan, DVM, of the Riordan Pet Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. “[Plan for] 10 or 15 minutes of doing something,” he says. If you’re leash training, for example, “You’re walking to the end of the driveway and back,” he says.
Scotties also respond best to sessions that are varied; doing the same thing over and over is likely to bore them. They are smart enough to quickly pick up voice commands and inflections in tone, and can understand when you’re frustrated or upset. Training will require patience and consistent rewarding of good behavior.
Scotties are not naturally trusting of strangers, so early socialization is important for getting them used to visitors and other dogs. However, their high prey drive means, as a general rule, cats are likely to be problematic.
Consistent with their terrier lineage, Scotties are natural hunters who require a decent amount of exercise to stay trim and healthy.
They adapt to apartment living very well, love families and other dogs if they have been properly socialized as pups, and are more than happy to play tug in the house or accompany you on walks.
Scotties will do well in family households and have the intelligence and adaptability to even work well with less active seniors. But a Scottie is not a great fit for households with toddlers or small children, due to his natural tendency to stand up for himself, which means a sharp poke or a pulled ear could translate into a bite in return.
“They’re headstrong, stubborn dogs, not always the nicest kid dogs,” Riordan says. “There are exceptions for sure, but I wouldn’t normally recommend them as family dogs.
Scotties will be fine to a point, but if a kid gets too rough or touches their tails, they’ll nip. There’s a lower bite trigger to them.”
As mentioned above, cats will always be a hard sell, even to pups, thanks to their single-focused prey drive. Exceptions to every rule always exist, but if you get a Scottie banking on getting lucky, you’re likely to be disappointed.
For homes with yards, fences are a requirement. That tenacious prey drive means he’ll not only rid your yard of squirrels and other small animals, but he’ll also chase them right out into the street, if allowed. He’s even been known to completely ignore the shock and run right through electric fences if he’s on a chase.
Scotties also enjoy digging.
First, the good news: Scotties are extremely rare shedders and are considered hypoallergenic, meaning they’ll be great for people with allergies or adverse reactions to dander or pet fur.
However, that trademark coat of theirs is going to require a decent amount of care to keep it looking good. Their coarse, wiry topcoat will need to be brushed two or three times a week to keep it straight and tangle-free. Additionally, their thick, soft undercoat will need to be treated regularly as well, preferably through hand-stripping.
Although doing so will make the undercoat show through the topcoat more and give your Scottie a fluffier appearance.
Once again, this is an area where the Scottish terrier’s long breed history works in its favor. Just as their size and appearance has become rock-solid over the years, so has the dog’s bill of health. Scotties are a fantastically healthy breed, as the Scottish Terrier Club of America’s hilariously short health statement will attest.
The most common problems for the breed are von Willebrand’s disease (a disorder that can affect clotting), craniomandibular osteopathy (an enlargement of bones in the head), and patellar luxation (loose kneecaps).
Riordan also recommends getting your Scottie screened for some basic cancers, as they can be hereditary in the breed. “Bone cancer and lymph-node cancer,” he says. “As well as mast-cell tumors—skin cancers—and oral cancer.”
When discussing the history of a breed as old as the Scottish terrier, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Famous English breeder and author Rawdon B. Lee (1845–1908) once wrote that Scotties were “the oldest variety of the canine race indigenous to Britain.”
The first written records of dogs matching a traditional Scottie’s description date to the 15th century, as Don Leslie described small, wire-haired terriers in “The History of Scotland 1436–1561.” By the 17th century, when the Scottish-born King James I of England ascended to the throne, he was known for sending Scotties to fellow monarchs as gifts.
- It is said all modern Scottish terriers can trace their lineage back to a single female, Splinter II, owned by a Mr. H.J. Ludlow. He bred her with two males named Roger Rough and Tartan in the 1870s and gave birth to a whole breed.
- Arguably the most famous Scottie in history is Fala, owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Roosevelt wasn’t the only powerful Scottie owner: The breed was also a favorite of Queen Victoria, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Jackie Kennedy.
- The Scottie was forever immortalized in pewter in 1942, when the dog was included as one of the game pieces in Monopoly. It remains the fourth longest-serving token in the box, behind the battleship, top hat, and racecar.
- The curmudgeonly Scottie, Jock, was one of the most memorable characters from the 1955 Disney film, Lady and the Tramp. The dog was voiced by famed Disney voice actor Bill Thompson.
- In addition to their long-running popularity as pets, Scotties are the second-winningest dog at the Westminster Dog Show, taking home the Best in Show prize eight times, most recently in 2010.