What to consider...

Before owning any pet, it is important to recognize the responsibilities involved ensuring it has a happy healthy existence. Some questions which should come to mind include:

  • What behavior or temperament can I expect of the pet?
  • What can I expect for grooming and maintaining the coat?
  • Will this pet get along with the rest of my pets?
  • Does this pet require a lot of direct interaction and attention?
  • What are the costs associated with responsible nutrition and healthcare?
  • What can I expect for costs associated with vet care?

Scottish Terriers may be a smaller breed of dog, but they certainly do not know it. Sometimes, people purchase Scottish Terriers not knowing that they can actually be quite high maintenance. Scottish Terriers typically have a fiery personality.. Its not uncommon to see them alert to wild animals and activities around their surroundings. They will display a focused interest in the activity of other animals in their surroundings. And while kicking up grass behind them, growling, and perhaps barking they express to the world around them that "This is my territory!"  They can be great with children, if the children respect their boundaries. Scotties do not appreciate children laying on them or sticking their face nose to nose with the Scottie.  Scottish Terriers can be very territorial as well, even with their own pack.  For example, I have witnessed my Scottish Terrier "Dexter" take his ball over to a Boxer and drop the ball deliberately in front of the Boxer, just to give reason to attack him for being close to his ball. And to that point, Scottish terriers also require a good pack leader and discipline. If a Scottish terrier is introduced to other pets (such as cats) at an early age, they may co-exist fine.  They learn to adapt to one another.  But typically it would not be a good outcome to introduce an adult Scottish terrier with an adult cat, if they did not grow up together.

Scottish Terriers do require constant grooming including toe nails. The popular appearance of the Scottish Terrier with a tight coat,long beautiful furnishings, pointing ears, stallion like head with flowing beard , does not come naturally. The standard Scottish terrier coat is a protective 2 layer coat, which can grow long and shaggy and get matted if not kept up with at least every 1-2 weeks. The show coat requires meticulous pulling of loose undercoat, which can take hours to keep maintained. Alternatively, you can have a groomer clipper the coat, but this will affect the coat in a way that would be difficult to recover if you plan to show your dog. I generally clipper the dog after they have retired from the show ring for convenience. In the image below, you can see what the clipped coat looks like. Obviously it is not a preferred coat, but is much easier on the dog and less time consuming.

"Candy Kiss"

This is CH. Eglantine Candy Kiss as a puppy.  This was one of our early grooming sessions at the home of my good friend and mentor Donna Winslow

The Scottish Terrier: Is this the right dog breed for you?

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