Scottish Terrier

Lifestyle Needs

Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is a small, sturdy little dog, typically alert and ready guard and protect his home and family.  He has a shaggy, medium long coat which will need to be groomed daily and professionally trimmed from time to time.  He is happy to live in any sized house, but being a terrier, would prefer his own garden.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.6% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • The Scottie’s coat is a potential problem if it is not groomed daily.  Dirt and debris which is allowed to accumulate could cause skin problems.
  • His extreme short legs and thick set body mean that he is not able to run with abandon.
  • Dystocia (whelping problems due to large head of the puppies and relatively narrow pelvis  of the mother. High rate of births by C- section (60%)

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

None known

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

  • Von Willebrands Disease Type 3
  • Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO)
  • Primary Lens Luxation

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Atopy (hypersensitivity to pollen and other particles – causes intense itching)
  • Demodicosis (Mange – caused by demodex mites)
  • Cancer: melanoma (nail bed); cutaneous histiocytoma; cutaneous lymphoma; nasal carcinoma; bladder (urothelial carcinoma) ; and others
  • Heart disease: Dilated cardiomyopathy (the heart chambers enlarge, the heart muscles weaken and gradually fail)
  • Malessezia dermatitis
  • Craniomandibular osteopathy (abnormal development of the bones of the face)
  • Muscle cramping (‘Scottie cramp’) (neurological disease characterised by transient  episodes of muscular hypertonicity. Can be induced by excitement or exercise)
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings disease) (excessive production of corticosteroids – usually late onset)
  • Haemophilia (blood clotting disorder)
  • Cataract
  • Lens luxation (displacement of the lens in the eye)
  • Cerebellar abiotrophy (degenerative disease caused by premature loss of brain cells in the cerebellum – affects movement and co-ordination, causes weakness)
  • Myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disease causing weakness) (autoimmune disease)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds