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The Scottish Terrier was bred by people who wanted a very tough, small dog which could kill the vermin threatening their crops and stock. Fox, badger, rats, stoats and weasels were all fair game for the tenacious little dogs known as terriers. Terriers comes from the word “terra”, meaning earth and these dogs were in the British Isles when the Romans marched through Britain in the fifth century A.D.
Scotties and other short-legged terriers were bred to go to ground, to go into a hole and kill whatever species was in there. The dog must have powerful jaws and plenty of large teeth to grip and the stamina and courage to fight to the finish on its own without direction from the human who controlled it.
Because of this background we can better understand why the Scotty behaves and reacts as it does. Scotties and other terriers are captivated by quick movement; they cannot resist it.  Many Scotties will ignore a cat unless it runs. And they are fast, easily catching mice and rats.  Many Scottie owners report that their Scots present them with “gifts” of dead vermin and expect to be praised for their efforts.
The Scotty is loyal to his master or mistress and almost always to the family. There are a few dogs who will only show affection for one person but they are rare. However he may be aloof or even hostile to strangers for he guards his people and place with a strong will. Some Scotties are unwilling to cuddle or sit on laps for the breed is known for its independence stemming from the ability to work alone. Due to its fighting heritage, the Scot is very courageous and a few will actually pick a fight with a very large dog unless controlled by their human.  Most Scotties will not pick a fight but they will not walk away from one either.
As a pet, the Scotty can be very playful. Males and females have amazing speed and they can make you dizzy tearing around in a house or a yard at a frantic pace.  (This is known as frapping.)  Most love toys and like toys they can chew. Not a few take great delight in shredding paper and then distributing it like packing material in a flurry all over the house.
A Scotty owner has to have a certain tolerance and sense of humor because a Scottie can and will try your patience.  Normally obedient, Scotties can decide not to respond to a command. A good example of this: You and your Scotty are out for a walk where clumps of brush, trees and bushes abound. Your Scotty is in his element, the odors entice him so he is prowling through the field and off the leash but in view. You call him (her) to come. The response may be (a) continue to investigate the field completely ignoring you or (b) peek out from behind a bush and simply stare at you implying that there are still things to investigate in this field and is not ready to come.  If you do not understand Scotties this action may be upsetting, even provoking. The typical Scotty owner will (a) resign himself to waiting for his laddie or lassie to finish the prowling and sniffing or (b) break into laughter at the sheer audacity of this cocky little dog.
Included in this site are some stories from various owners of Scotties which I have chosen to show the character of the breed. To the Scotties and their owners I dedicate this web site.
."We're no awa' tae bide awa'. Haste ye back"
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