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The Scottish Terrier is a sturdy little dog with short legs; the way it is groomed can make it look even shorter.
Some are prone to Scottie Cramp (a movement problem), Von Willebrand's disease, flea allergy, skin and jaw problems.
Regular brushing of the harsh, wiry coat is important and extra care should be taken when the dog is shedding. An independent and stubborn character, the Scottish Terrier dog breed is also quite sensitive to praise and blame.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make — plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise.
Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart.
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blase attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space.
Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies.
Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals.
A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. As the gruff friend of an animated cocker spaniel, who portrayed loyalty and protectiveness when he told an equally animated Tramp to take a walk without the Lady, the Scottish Terrier Jock evoked an image that generations of children have enjoyed. A Scottie enjoys digging holes throughout your backyard, and he doesn't grasp that you might not like it. Scottish Terriers can be difficult to train because they were bred to work apart from their owner, without needing direction. Today the Scottish Terrier enjoys the title of family dog, but he is in essence a working dog and is much happier with a job to do, even if it's just simple tricks.
There are Scottish Terriers that can be hardheaded, serious, energetic, and introverted — and some that can be sweet, playful, placid, and tolerant of everyone. There is no denying that this brave and jaunty little aristocrat of the dog world is loved, respected, and adored for all his idiosyncrasies. Originally bred for hunting and following prey to ground, the Scottish Terrier is designed to dig, and he still has that drive today. Scottish Terriers tend to be aloof with strangers and can be aggressive to other dogs if they are not properly socialized when young.
In terms of his size and exercise needs, the Scottie is adaptable to various types of dwellings, including apartments. HistoryDespite being an old breed, the Scottish Terrier's history is somewhat obscure and undocumented. The Old Scotch Terrier is believed to be one of the oldest breeds in Scotland and the foundation dog for all of today's terrier breeds. If we fast-forward from the first few centuries to 1436, we find a description, in Don Leslie's book A History of Scotland, of a small dog similar in form to the Scottish Terrier. Somewhat earlier, in the seventeenth century, James I of England sent several dogs to France as a present to the French monarch. PersonalityThe Scottish Terrier's character and personality are a bit like the lonely moors of his homeland. It's important, actually critical, to take your Scottie to socialization classes starting when he's a puppy.
HealthScottish Terriers are generally healthy, but like all breeds of dogs, they're prone to certain conditions and diseases. Scottie cramp is a common disorder in Scottish Terriers and is considered harmless to the breed. Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Scottie doesn't have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn't.
Note: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.
For more on feeding your Scottish, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog. Coat Color And GroomingWhile many people think of them as black, Scottish Terriers can also be grey or steel, brindle, or wheaten. Many believe that the Scottish Terrier is easy to maintain, but in reality the breed needs a great deal of grooming. A variety of tools are used for brushing a Scottish Terrier: a stiff brush, a hound glove, a wide-toothed comb for the beard, and scissors for trimming.
Your Scottish Terrier should be clipped every two months if your aim is to keep his hair short; you can do it yourself or go to a groomer.


Brush your Scottie's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Start grooming when your dog is young, and make it a positive experience filled with praise and rewards to lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult. Children And Other PetsHe's so good with children that he's been called a nanny — but, like any terrier, the Scottie will react poorly to his tail or hair being pulled, and he's not well suited to the noise and movements of toddlers and very young children. Rescue GroupsScottish Terriers are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one.
Independent, intelligent, and hilarious in his dignified seriousness, he's a true terrier, which makes him an excellent watchdog. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls).
Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave.
However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all.
If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk.
Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people.
When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog. Disney's Lady and the Tramp is a time-cherished animated movie that caused many people to fall in love with the Scottie. His independence and intelligence have drawn many dog lovers to the breed, but others find the Scottie's aloofness less than endearing. In the nineteenth century a military man, George the fourth Earl of Dumbarton, had a famous pack of Scotties.
Having a dog that is more partner than servant can be a wonderful experience — but it's not for everyone.
They were bred as working dogs and have lots of drive and intelligence that needs to be channelled. With his short legs, a short walk around your block can feel like a long-distance marathon to the Scottish Terrier.
Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
The Scottie's origin is believed to date back to a dog that was described by Pliny the Elder in 55 B.C. By the early 1800s, many writers wrote of two separate terrier breeds in Britain, the Scottish Terrier (distinguished by its rough hair) and the English Terrier (identified by its smooth hair).
By the end of the century, the dogs had been separated into two different groups, the Dandie Dinmont Terriers and the Skye Terriers (although the latter was a fairly generic name given to all terriers that came from the Isle of Skye). The symptoms of Scottie cramp occur only when the dog is stressed or overstimulated, such as during exercise, mating, or fights. The wheaten ones look a bit like West Highland White Terriers, which isn't surprising given their intertwined history. Show dogs are groomed with a technique called stripping, in which loose hairs are pulled out. Although he's not a sparring dog, if he wants to start a fight or responds to another dog's challenge, it can be a real problem. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. Stoic and aristocratic, he is easily recognized and is plastered on everything that can be decorated, including clothing, photographs, pictures, cards, and ornaments.


Although he loves youngsters, he's not suited for homes with babies and toddlers, because it's the Scottie's nature to stand up for himself when prodded and pulled.
Some Scotties know the difference between steps made by a friend or steps made by a stranger, only giving the alert if it's the latter. That's why Scotties generally don't score high in obedience rallies (they're better suited to agility), although there are exceptions.
These dogs were so brave in battle that they were nicknamed "diehards." George's regiment, the Royal Scots, were called "Dumbarton's Diehards" after the dogs.
If you prefer a dog that is eager to please, think twice about living with a Scottish Terrier.
When the Romans invaded Britain, he wrote, "They found, much to their surprise, small dogs that would follow their quarry to the ground." The Romans called the dogs terrarii, which means "workers of the earth" and is derived from terra, the Latin word for earth. The breed was a black or sandy-colored dog that was low in stature, strong, with long hair and small, half-prick ears.
The Scottish Terrier was grouped under the Skye Terriers and shown under that class in the show ring until the 1870s. Left unchecked, that can translate into aggression when the dog is an adult — so start training your Scottie puppy from the moment you bring him home. The dog will appear normal at rest but will exhibit an arching of the spine, overflexing of the rear legs, the front legs may move outward from side to side, and the dog may show a goose-stepping gait. Scotties and uncovered swimming pools are a disaster waiting to happen, which is why Scottie Rescue groups prefer not to place them in homes with pools.
Crate training at a young age will help your Scottie accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. A Scottish Terrier whose coat gets clipped regularly has softer hair (not preferred in the breed standard) and a duller coat color.
Scottish Terriers have large teeth that are close together, which is why his teeth should be cleaned frequently. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility. If you're looking for a dog that's happier sitting at your side then digging holes in your backyard, a Scottie might not be for you. At that time, the standard for the Scottish Terrier was written and, by the end of the nineteenth century, the Skye Terriers had been divided into the four different breeds we know today: the Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and the Cairn Terrier. Some dogs may temporarily loose their ability to walk or run, and those who are severely affected may have trouble walking or running when stressed.
There is no cure, and a blood transfusion from the blood of normal dogs is currently the only treatment. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference--the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl. If you plan to show your Scottie in conformation, avoid clipping as it is difficult to get the hair back into the proper standard condition. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Scottish Terrier rescue organization. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A Scottie doesn't respond much to people who oooh and ahh over him while he's out and about. This is not a progressive disease, and Scottish Terriers live long and healthy lives with this disorder. Scotties are people dogs, and they aren't meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.
This breed is sensitive to correction, therefore if you are firm and confident, the dog should respond to you. Never hit a dog and do not play aggressive games with a terrier such as the Scottie, like wrestling and tug-of-war. The lesions can regress, but a few dogs have permanent problems with using the jaw and eating. It has been described as the dog that can go anywhere and do anything—a big dog in a small dog's body.
Do not allow this dog to develop Small Dog Syndrome,human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. Children need to be taught how to display leadership over the dog or the dog will not be good with them. They are usually not recommended for homes with younger children simply because most owners do not display enough authority over them, and the dogs take over the home. All of the negative behaviors can be reversed if the human changes the way they deal with the dog. The dogs need to be provided with a daily pack walk to reinforce leadership and burn both mental and physical energy.



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