November 19, 2019

Breed Profile: Scottish Terrier

by Alisha Corsi

Scottish Terriers, or Scotties, are a highland breed of terrier originating in Scotland. They are known for their distinctive beards and eyebrows. Beloved by Scottish and English royalty for centuries, the Scottie only recently made their American debut in the 1890’s, but quickly became a favorite of American presidents as well. Scotties are the only breed who have lived in the White House three times, with Presidents Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and George W. Bush. Former First Dog Barney Bush, who only recently lost his battle with lymphoma, was one of two Scotties who spent 8 years in the White House with President Bush. And Fala Roosevelt was so famous that he is the only pet to ever be memorialized in a statue in Washington, D.C. with his famous pet parent!

FDR and his beloved Fala

Physical Traits

Size & Weight: Scotties are small, compact dogs, standing at 10-11 inches at the shoulders, and weighing between 19-23 pounds.

Coat & Color: Scotties have hard, wiry outer coats with soft, dense undercoats. Their coats can be any color except for white, although dark brown to black is most common.

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


Scotties are small, hardy, loveable dogs with big personalities. Nicknamed “Diehard” for their endless determination, Scotties are independent and self-assured. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t love people—Scotties are charming dogs who make loving, gentle members of the family. They have a strong desire for approval, and don’t respond well to harsh words or punishment, so it’s best to use positive reinforcement when training.

Something to Bark About: Scotties have won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show a total of nine times, second only to the Wire Fox Terrier. And they’re are not just favorites of world leaders and world-class dog shows—recently fans of the classic Monopoly board game voted the Scottie dog game piece the most popular of the original tokens!



  • If you’re looking for a dog that will reward your love with a lifetime of devotion, this is the dog for you! Scotties are known for becoming fiercely attached to the select few people they bond with.
  • Scotties shed little to none.
  • Scotties make great watch dogs, family pets, and companions—the total package (Not to mention they’re quite handsome)!


  • Because of their spirited nature they require regular exercise. They should always be walked on a leash, as their chase instinct is strong.
  • Because they were originally bred to hunt vermin, Scotties are natural-born diggers and so they should be monitored if let outdoors.
  • Scotties can be stubborn, and need to be trained and socialized from a young age.

To adopt a Scottish Terrier of your own, please visit The Scottish Terrier Club of Greater New York, Inc. for more information.



Speak Your Mind