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
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.
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.
no awa' tae bide awa'. Haste ye back"