The Scottish Terrier is a compact dog with short legs and a long, bearded face. Their sturdy build is often described as power in a small package. The bushy eyebrows shield the dark, wide-set, piercing eyes. The ears are small, erect, pointed and sit high on the head. The muzzle is large – filling an average man's hand, and ends in a black nose. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The chest of the Scottie is broad, and the topline level. The tail should be about seven inches long, taper from base to tip and point straight up. The harsh coat comes in black, gray, brindle or wheaten.
Size and Weight
Both male and female Scotties should ideally stand at ten inches at the shoulder. Males weigh a bit more, averaging 19 to 22 pounds as compared to the female average from 18 to 21 pounds. Scotties should be ever so slightly longer than they are tall, measuring approximately 11 inches from the back of the withers to the tail.
Coat and Color
The Scottish Terrier sports a thick double coat made up of a hard and wiry topcoat and a soft, dense undercoat. The hair will grow continuously, so they are less prone to shedding than short-coated breeds.
Black is the color that typically comes to mind when visualizing a Scottish Terrier, but they also come in gray, steel, brindle and wheaten. There may be a small, white blaze on the chest, but too much white is considered a fault.
Though Scottish Terriers are small, grooming them can be a large task. House dogs need to be brushed at least once per week, show dogs need to be brushed daily. In order to properly brush a Scottish terrier a stiff brush, hound glove, wide tooth comb (for the face) and scissors are all required. Show dogs need to be stripped twice per year, either by hand or with a stripping knife. Bathing is only required as-needed. They are prone to dry skin and over-bathing can irritate their sensitive bodies.
If the dog's hair is kept short, clipping will be in order once every eight weeks. If the hair is kept long, clipping is only required a few times per year. Bear in mind show dogs should not have short hair, and clipping alters the texture and color of the coat.
Scotties are prone to bad reactions to flea bites and are prone to excessive chewing. Be sure to treat the dog with a veterinarian-approved flea prevention medicine, and use a flea comb regularly.
Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and prevent gum disease. Small dogs are prone to dental problems later in life, so brushing more often will do more good than harm. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally.