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The Scottish Terrier – Pros and Cons of Having One

Scottish Terrier: the pros and cons


The Scottish Terrier – Pros and Cons of Having One

The Scottish Terrier – the pros and cons of this breed as a domestic dog – Remember Lilli’s Whiskey dog ​​and the Wanderer? He was a nice Scottish Terrier, a dog that has so many pros and cons to keep in mind when we choose him.

Scottish Terrier: the pros and cons (Flickr photo)

This cute dog, playful and daring, but also dignified, is an independent version of Terrier dogs. The Scottish terrier, better known as the Scottish Terrier, is a small, intelligent and friendly guard dog that we certainly remember in the cartoon Lady and the Tramp, with the character of Whiskey. But like all dog breeds, this one also has its pros and cons. And if we are looking for a dog to give a little bit of love to a furry four-legged, we must keep these characteristics in mind, in order to best choose our faithful companion.

The Scottish Terrier

black terrier
A strong character with an adorable miniature look. (Pinterest photo)

The Scottish Terrier is a bold, confident and dignified-looking dog that gives the idea of great strength in a small hairy package. A determined and thoughtful dog, with a controlled but at the same time powerful and crackling attitude. As a puppy he is friendly and playful, but as an adult he becomes bold and jaunty while remaining stable and – as mentioned – dignified.

It is a terrier, a dog bred for hunting wild animals, but compared to most dogs of these breeds it is more independent. He is firmly self-sufficient and fearless – sometimes even a little serious and short-tempered. Just like the cartoon character, right?

The Scottish Terrier is content with daily walks, e not suitable for long distance running or jogging. Nonetheless, it will chase squirrels and squirrels with insane enthusiasm. Loyal to its owner (some are dogs that bond with one person) and reserved with strangers, the Scottish Terrier is an intimidating watchdog. He should be socialized with many people at an early age and should not be allowed to become brusque. It can be tough on other dogs.

Training is a challenge, since no race has greater self-esteem or a stronger will than this. This is not a dog for permissive owners! Firm and consistent leadership is imperative, and obedience training should be based on praise and food, as this Scottish terrier is proud, sensitive and can easily be offended. He may be retaliated or “go on strike” if he is put under pressure, or if he is handled abruptly or teased.

The main positive and negative sides

Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terrier as a puppy (Flickr photo)

The pros:

  • It is a “big dog with short legs”, that is, it has a body that almost touches the ground, but with a robust body, heavy bone structure and a strong temperament.
  • He is bold and cheeky, but also calmer and more dignified than most other terriers.
  • It only requires a moderate exercise.
  • It can be a determined watchdog, which barks surprisingly deeply.
  • It does not lose hair excessively.

The cons:

  • Among terriers, it is one of the most strong-willed and independent.
  • He can be suspicious and unfriendly towards strangers in some situations, or when he is not socialized enough.
  • It can become aggressive towards other animals: has a stalker instinct.
  • Regular brushing, nail cutting and shearing are essential

His character

Scottish black dog
The Scottish terrier is a demanding but adorable dog. (Photo Flickr)

It must be borne in mind that the inheritance of his character is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits, such as size or shedding of hair. Even temperament and behavior are shaped by his maturity and training. Some negative traits of a dog can be avoided choosing an adult dog from an animal shelter, a kennel or through volunteers.

When we take an adult dog, we can easily see what awaits us, and many adult Scottish Terriers immediately show that they have no negative characteristics. If instead we want a puppy, we can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, there is usually no telling if a puppy has inherited bad temper (or health problems) until he grows up.

The downsides of his character can be the following:

Strongly independent

Scottish Terriers must be taught at an early age that they are not the rulers of the world. Hardness, which makes them suitable for killing pests, can become frustrating when we try to teach them something. Terriers are stubborn and dominant (they want to be the boss) and ask for a great deal of training. We must show them, through absolute consistency, that we are firm and constant.

In other words, we need to teach your Scottish Terrier to respect us. A dog who respects us will do what we say, and stop doing what he is doing when we say “No!”

Defensive reactions

guitar dog
A stubborn but faithful dog, trained for hunting. (Photo Flickr)

It is not recommended to take a terrier with young children. Many terriers do not tolerate absurdities from small life forms that they consider less important than themselves. Many terriers react quickly to teasing, and even to the normal awkwardness that young children have (an accidental pull of the ears or mustache, or step on their tail or paw). Many terriers are owners of their food and toys, and will defend them from all visitors, including children.

Abrupt towards strangers

Unfriendly by nature, Scottish Terriers need extensive exposure to people, and unusual sounds and images. Otherwise, their natural caution can become mistrust, which will easily lead them to bite. Obedience instructors and behavior consultants see many Scottish Terriers who are really bad.

Health problems

From bleeding disorders to joint disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergies and skin conditionsScottish Terriers have many risks when we talk about the health department.

Aggression to other animals

Scottish Terrier dogs
This breed can be aggressive. (Photo Flickr)

Like all terriers, Scottish Terriers can be tough on other same-sex dogs. They are a certain miniature force to deal with, if they decide to start or accept a challenge to fight. This means very common scuffles and battles, at the park and at home if there are other dogs.

And because of their hunting past, most terriers have a strong instinct to chase and catch small fleeing creatures. This could cause conflict if they live with a cat. It could be much worse than that if we have a pet rabbit or a hamster!


Scottish Terriers require recurring fingernails and sprouts of the hair (it only takes a few months to be late already), to keep their hair short and free of knots. But we certainly shouldn’t expect our Scottish Terrier to look like show dogs, which can be seen in movies or on TV: that particular aspect requires hours of work by expert groomers.

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