Scottish Terrier - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Scottish Terrier


Scottish Terriers, like his other terrier cousins, are fearless, loyal and often clownish. They are discriminating when it comes to making friends, so don't expect your Scottie to cozy up to all of your friends, but when you've made friends with a Scottie, he's your friend for life. They have excellent memories and if they meet a person one time and like them, a Scottie can recognize that person years later. They are stoic animals, and it is often hard to tell what they are thinking so they can break out into mischief without warning. Scotties are not for everyone, as their discriminating taste sometimes means they only really like one member of the household, but those who love the Scottish Terrier say these dogs bring laughter and light wherever they go.

Activity Requirements

Scotties can adjust to any living arrangement, be it a small apartment or a sprawling estate. They need to be exercised daily, but a brisk walk around the neighborhood will cover their activity requirement. If you have a fenced yard, your Scottie will entertain himself by chasing squirrels, birds and butterflies. They do not have the athleticism or endurance to jog or take long hikes, however, so they are well suited for a more “indoorsy” family.


Scottish Terriers are not for softies who are prone to bend the rules. Scotties have very high self esteem and assume themselves to be the leader of the house. Training should begin early and should be conducted with excited praise and lots of treats in order to keep him interested. Harsh discipline will cause a Scottie to simply disregard you and your rules. Absolute consistency is a must in order to raise a well behaved Scottish Terrier, as they see rule-bending as an open invitation to take over.

Scotties should be socialized from an early age to accept visitors into his home. While all Scotties are discriminating, if not properly socialized, they can become overly suspicious of strangers, which can be difficult to live with.

Behavioral Traits

Like other terriers, Scotties bark. They will bark when someone is approaching or simply walking in front of your house. They will bark at dogs, cats, birds, squirrels, bikes and cars. Apartment dwellers should consider this before adopting, as noisy dogs can alienate neighbors.

They also have a strong desire to chase, so they don't do well in homes with cats or other small animals. Outdoors, Scotties should be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard at all times, both his safety and the safety of other animals.

Scotties can be dog aggressive. They can do just fine living with another dog, as long as they are raised together, but strange dogs can expect to be greeted with a lot of barking and grousing, and they aren't afraid to pick fights with larger dogs.

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