About Scottish Terriers

About Scottish Terriers

HeatherBee Kennels is a small, home based family business located in Regina, Saskatchewan. With more than 40 years of experience as a breeder, we are delighted to have settled into the world of Scottish Terriers!

For anyone who has not previously shared life with a Scottish Terrier, here is some information about this wonderful breed. Scotties are independent and strong willed, and intelligent and independent thinkers. Despite their independence, they are sensitive and loyal to their owners. Scotties can be challenging to train, not because they are not quick and intelligent, but because they may have a different ‘opinion’, although positive training techniques with the use of clickers are highly effective and enjoyable for both the dog and the owners. Avoid extended periods of training – you will find your Scottie does better with short, positive and fun, lessons.

The Scottish Terrier is happy inside or outside, but this is not a dog unafraid to explore.  Supervised socialization is very important with your Scottie, as early as possible. The dog park is not an ideal location for socialization and HeatherBee Kennels recommends early puppy classes usually offered through your local Kennel and Obedience Club. Another important factor, Scotties often cannot swim although they are likely to be very attracted to water!  Scottish Terriers have dense, heavy little bodies with short legs and a heavy head – they sometimes cannot swim well and can easily drown (and do). Scotties are the proverbial “big dog” in a small package.  They have very little fear and will not back down from challenges.

Here is some more information for you to consider.

  • Personality– Though extremely loyal and attached to their people, Scotties will want to do things on their terms. They are unlike most dogs because of this singular trait. Some Scotties like to sit in your lap, but often as not they just want to be nearby, but not too nearby.  Your Scottie may be happier laying near your feet than on your lap.
  • Appearance – The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built dog of good bone and substance. His head is long in proportion to his size. He has a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set, body which is hung between short, heavy legs. These characteristics, joined with his very special keen, piercing expression, and his erect ears and tail are salient features of the breed. The Scottish Terrier’s bold, confident, dignified aspect exemplifies power in a small package. The Scottish Terrier has a hard, wiry outer coat with a soft, dense undercoat. The coat should be trimmed and blended into the furnishings to give a distinct Scottish Terrier outline. The longer coat on the beard, legs and lower body may be slightly softer than the body coat but should not be or appear fluffy. Black, wheaten or brindle of any colour. Many black and brindle dogs have sprinklings of white or silver hairs in their coats which are normal.
  • Home Alone– It may seem strange, given their independent personality, but  Scottish Terriers like to be close to their people. It is neither fair, nor healthy, to leave a Scottie penned up, crated, or on his own in the home all day on a regular basis. If people are away for long periods arrangements should be made to return, at least every four hours, to tend to the dog’s needs. It is unsafe for many reasons to leave a Scottie out in the yard during the family’s absence. A run where they can come in and out of the house, but are safely protected/confined while outside, may be a good idea. HeatherBee Kennels will not sell a dog that is to be left outside and will not sell a dog that will be tied.
  • Exercise and Play – Scotties need to run, and his favorite games are chasing thrown toys. Your Scottie will thrive on long walks. Favourite toys are those that appeal to their hunting instincts, toys that can be chewed on, shaken, and hidden. I suggest only ‘power chewer’ rated toys because Scotties really are ‘power chewers’!
  • Children–Brought up with children who respect the independent nature of the Scottish Terrier, your Scottie will adjust to their activities and may assume the role of their guardian.  Scotties do not like being startled, and will not put up with clumsy petting, cuddling, hair pulling or teasing, and may shun rough and tumble games. Kindness and respect are important in the way children interact with all animals.
  • Barking– Scotties are protective of their turf and are likely to bark if they sense anyone, or anything, they see as a threat. This may include postmen, deliverymen, as well as passing dogs and cats. Remember, if you yell at your dog to stop barking they will be likely to interpret that as you barking with them! 
  • The Yard-A fence that cannot be jumped over, dug under, or scaled, with a locked gate, is required to protect and secure your Scottish Terrier. Yards must be secure, flowerbeds protected, gates and doors kept locked at all times. Electric fencing will not work.
  • Grooming – While not considered high maintenance, every two to three months your Scottie needs some grooming.  Because they do not shed – this is more than just brushing.  You may need the services of a professional groomer to clip, bathe, clipper, scissor trim the coat, and cut the toenails. The coat can be home brushed regularly.
  • Boredom – Scotties are on their best behaviour when the option to interact with their humans is present. If left alone for long periods, they will seek ways to occupy themselves, sometimes in manners you may not approve of. Scotties are often very successful in Barnhunt and agility activities.
  • Other House Pets – Properly managed, a Scottie may fit in with other animals. But this is an important consideration because a Scottie has natural prey instincts, and will fight to the end to protect himself. Consequently, the puppies at HeatherBee Kennels are well socialized with a number of other dogs from the time they are born. They become loving family members and most people with a HeatherBee puppies do very well if the introduce the pup to other animals with gentle but firm boundaries. Positive rewards all the way!!!
  • Early Spay/Neuter – Recent studies show overwhelmingly that removing a quarter of the dog’s endocrine system might not be in the dog’s best interest – especially prior to reaching the age of sexual maturity and completed bone growth.HeatherBee Kennels recommends postponing spaying and neutering your dog until they have reached the age of sexual maturity, and discussing alternatives to pediatric spay/neutering and complete removal of the reproductive organs with your vet. For a detailed explanation and review of current research supporting our position, please see the article here atDogs Naturally Magazine.