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Complete Guide to the Scottish Terrier Dog Breed, Did You Know This About Them?

Updated: 3 days ago





Scotish Terrier
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The Scottish Terrier has a fascinating history that dates back several centuries in the Highlands of Scotland. As their name suggests, these Scottish dogs are also known as "Aberdeen Terriers," named in recognition of the Scottish city of Aberdeen where they were bred, or simply as "Scotties" in reference to their nationality.





first images of scottish terrier

The Scottish Terrier breed was originally bred as hunting dogs. Did you know that the breed name "Terrier" comes from the word "terra" (earth), emphasizing that they are dogs trained to dig in the earth searching for rabbits, badgers, and foxes? So yes, they have a tendency to dig holes in the garden, which shouldn't surprise you; they are just following their instincts. In the 1500s, they were described as low-height dogs that crawled through underground burrows. For many centuries, Scotland bred short-legged dogs that could crawl inside dens and bushes to drive out vermin of all types and sizes.


First scottish terrier at a kennel club



The breed standard began to take shape in the 19th century. Although the history of their origins is not very clear, the first club for this breed was founded in England in 1881, the Scottish Terrier Club of England, followed by the Scottish Terrier Club of Scotland in 1888.






Physical Characteristics

  • Size: Small to medium, generally between 25 and 28 cm in height.

  • Weight: Between 8 and 10 kg.

  • Coat: Rough, double-layered, with a hard outer layer and a soft inner layer.

  • Color: Black, wheaten, or brindle.

  • Small and compact size, designed for underground hunting, with short limbs.




black and white terriers
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Temperament and Personality traits of Scottish terriers

They have a capricious and independent behavior, can be reserved with strangers, and are extremely loyal and affectionate with their families. Very stubborn, they have a strong will, which can make training a challenge, but they are also intelligent and respond well to positive and consistent training methods. Bold and rarely aggressive, they usually like playing alone.



Essential Care for the Scottish Terrier Breed

Feeding:

They tend to be overweight, so it's necessary to prefer high-quality kibble twice a day or a BARF (raw) diet and provide fresh drinking water 24 hours a day.

Exercise

As hunting dogs, mental stimulation games are perfect for developing their instincts. They have a lot of energy and require daily exercise, though in regulated doses. Walks and playtime in the garden are essential to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy fetch and chase games.

Hygiene:

Regular brushing promotes blood circulation, preventing knots or tangles, and strengthens the bond with your dog. It's also recommended to take them to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks for proper trimming.

Dental Health

Dental health is crucial for Scotties. Regular brushing of their teeth and the use of chew toys can help prevent dental diseases.


Common Diseases in Scottish Terriers:

  • Scottish Terrier Cramps: A non-painful condition that affects posture and movement, triggered by stress or extreme excitement, which tenses their muscles.

  • Dermatitis: Also known as atopic dermatitis, this condition can cause itching, redness, and hair loss. It typically affects the paws, abdomen, skin folds, and ears, starting from the first year and progressively increasing. Frequent licking of paws and scratching are common. Maintaining good hygiene and consulting a veterinarian at the first signs of skin problems is essential.

  • Hypothyroidism: Symptoms in Scotties include lethargy, susceptibility to infections, growth delays, and feeding issues. Dental eruption delays, delayed opening of eyes and ear canals, and skin and coat changes are observed. In severe cases, puppies may show neurological symptoms of incoordination and muscle weakness. Early detection is crucial as untreated hypothyroidism can be lethal.

  • Hip Dysplasia: Although less common than in larger breeds, some Scotties may develop hip dysplasia, a condition affecting the hip joint. Maintaining a healthy weight and providing joint supplements can help prevent or alleviate symptoms.


Scottie cramp

A hereditary neurological disorder, primarily affects Scottish terriers but can occasionally be seen in Cesky terriers and other related breeds. The condition is characterized by episodes of muscle hypertonicity triggered by exercise, excitement, or stress. Despite its name, the condition does not involve muscle cramping or pain; instead, it results in ataxia, where the dog loses neurological control over voluntary movements.


Symptoms and Signs

The primary symptoms of Scottie cramp include:

  • Sudden muscle rigidity

  • Arching of the spine

  • High-stepping or "goose-stepping" gait

  • Falling or turning somersaults while running

  • In severe cases, the dog may become immobile or curl into a ball


These episodes typically last between 5 to 20 minutes and can resolve without lasting effects. Importantly, dogs remain fully conscious and do not experience pain during these episodes.


Causes

Scottie cramp is caused by a genetic serotonin deficiency in the central nervous system, which affects motor control. The disorder is inherited as a recessive trait, requiring both parents to carry the gene for an offspring to be affected. It often becomes noticeable in puppies around six to eight weeks of age and can vary in severity among individuals.


Diagnosis

Diagnosing Scottie cramp involves several steps:

  1. Physical Examination: A thorough examination to rule out other conditions like seizures or muscle weakness.

  2. Breed and Family History: Information about the dog's breed and family history is crucial.

  3. Observation: Inducing an episode in the veterinary office or reviewing video recordings of episodes can aid diagnosis.

  4. Methysergide Test: Injecting methysergide can temporarily worsen symptoms, confirming Scottie cramp if the dog reacts predictably.

  5. Electromyography (EMG): Though not always practical, EMG can assess the electrical activity of muscles during episodes.


Treatment and Management

While there is no cure for Scottie cramp, several treatments can help manage symptoms:

  • Medication:

    • Diazepam: Administered to reduce the frequency and severity of episodes.

    • Fluoxetine (Prozac): Increases serotonin levels, helping to prevent stiff muscle symptoms.

    • Sedatives: Drugs like chlorpromazine or acepromazine can help relax muscles.

  • Vitamin E: High doses (above 125 IU/kg) can reduce the frequency of episodes.

  • Dietary Adjustments: A diet high in tryptophan and administering glucose before triggering activities can be beneficial.

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Reducing stress and excitement, providing a calm environment, and avoiding known triggers like strenuous exercise can significantly decrease episode frequency.


Prevention

The only effective prevention method is to avoid breeding dogs known to carry the genetic trait for Scottie cramp. Responsible breeding practices are essential to minimize the incidence of this hereditary condition.


Prognosis

The prognosis for dogs with Scottie cramp is generally good, especially for those with mild symptoms. With appropriate management, affected dogs can lead relatively normal lives despite the lifelong nature of the disorder.

In summary, Scottie cramp is a manageable condition that, with proper care and treatment, allows affected dogs to maintain a good quality of life. Understanding the triggers, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for owners and veterinarians to effectively support dogs with this neurological disorder.

Scottish family
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With a rich history and charming personality, as you can see, they require specific care and attention to maintain their health and well-being. By understanding their history, providing appropriate care, and being aware of common diseases, we can ensure that these noble terriers live a long and happy life as part of our family.


Approximate maintenance costs and prices of a Scottish Terrier


You might be asking about costs and whats the price for a Scottish Terrier

Let me introduce you with a list of costs associated with owning a Scottish Terrier, including expenses, adoption/purchase costs, monthly maintenance, grooming, pet insurance, veterinary and general care:

The estimates are provided separately for the United States and Europe.


United States

Category

Approximate Cost

Frequency

Monthly Approximate Cost

Adoption/Purchase

$300 - $1,000

One-time

N/A

Veterinary Care




- Initial Vaccinations

$75 - $150

One-time

N/A

- Annual Vaccinations

$50 - $100

Annual

$4 - $8

- Deworming

$20 - $50

Quarterly

$7 - $13

- Regular Check-ups

$50 - $100

Bi-annual

$8 - $17

Care Supplies




- Toys

$20 - $50

Annual

$1.7 - $4.2

- Bed and Blankets

$30 - $60

Annual

$2.5 - $5

- Food/Water Bowls

$15 - $30

Annual

$1.2 - $2.5

- Leash and Collar

$15 - $40

Annual

$1.2 - $3.3

Food




- Dry or Wet Food

$50 - $100

Monthly

$50 - $100

Grooming




- Haircut

$40 - $80

Bi-monthly

$20 - $40

- Grooming Products

$20 - $40

Quarterly

$7 - $13

Vet Visits




- Emergencies/Specialist

$100 - $300

Occasional

$8 - $25

Pet Insurance

$30 - $60

Monthly

$30 - $60

Total Monthly Approximate Cost: $140 - $300

Europe

Category

Approximate Cost

Frequency

Monthly Approximate Cost

Adoption/Purchase

€200 - €800

One-time

N/A

Veterinary Care




- Initial Vaccinations

€50 - €100

One-time

N/A

- Annual Vaccinations

€30 - €60

Annual

€2.5 - €5

- Deworming

€10 - €30

Quarterly

€3.3 - €8

- Regular Check-ups

€30 - €60

Bi-annual

€5 - €10

Care Supplies




- Toys

€10 - €30

Annual

€0.8 - €2.5

- Bed and Blankets

€20 - €50

Annual

€1.7 - €4.2

- Food/Water Bowls

€10 - €20

Annual

€0.8 - €1.7

- Leash and Collar

€10 - €30

Annual

€0.8 - €2.5

Food




- Dry or Wet Food

€30 - €70

Monthly

€30 - €70

Grooming




- Haircut

€30 - €60

Bi-monthly

€15 - €30

- Grooming Products

€10 - €20

Quarterly

€3.3 - €6.7

Vet Visits




- Emergencies/Specialist

€50 - €200

Occasional

€4 - €17

Pet Insurance

€20 - €50

Monthly

€20 - €50

Total Monthly Approximate Cost: €95 - €200


Additional Information:

  1. Adoption/Purchase:

  • Adoption costs in the US typically range from $300 to $500, depending on the shelter or rescue organization.

  • Purchasing from a breeder can cost between $500 and $1,000 in the US, and €200 to €800 in Europe.

  1. Pet Insurance:

  • Pet insurance can cover emergency vet visits, illnesses, and sometimes preventive care. Costs vary based on coverage and provider.


These costs are estimates and may vary. It is recommended to consult local veterinarians and suppliers for more accurate budgets.


Famous Scotties and Recognized Brands with Scottie Logos:



Black & white scotch whisky

They are often present as logos or images on Scottish whisky products, such as "Scotch Whisky" or the well-known "Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky." According to history, James Buchanan was inspired to create the brand after participating in a dog show in 1890. It is also common to use the name "Whisky" for Scotties, referencing Scotland.




Fala roosevelt

FALA, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's dog, was featured in a film by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about a typical day in the White House and is also represented in a monument in Washington D.C.





President George W. Bush owned two black Scottish Terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. Barney starred in nine films produced by the White House, including "Barney Cam VII: A Red, White, and Blue Christmas."


References:

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