Scottish Terrier Breed Standards

Picture taken from

Picture taken from

From the Desk of Sharda Baker

Good day and welcome everyone!

Hello everyone!

This is Sharda again for another Scottish Terrier newsletter. Today we’ll give you the Scottish Terrier Breed Standards in raising a show dog.

The Scottish Terrier has such a distinctive body and head shape.

That it is difficult to mistake this breed for any other breed of dog.

  • They are a very small, compact and study looking dog with short legs and long, wiry coat.
  • Their head appears long in proportion to the body, but is carried very regally and alertly on a short neck.
  • Their face has a very intelligent expression, with the eyes being particularly sharp and bright.
  • Overall the Scottish Terrier should look athletic, and have stout legs and a good bone structure.
  • The height at the withers (shoulders) should be approximately 10 inches, and the length of the back from withers to the front of the tail should be about 11 inches.
  • In essence the Scotties body should form a slightly rectangular shape.
  • Female Scotties should weigh between 18 and 21 pounds, and males should be slightly heavier at 19 to 22 pounds.


  • Scotties can be black, wheaten or brindle.
  • Brindle Scotties may have some white or silver hairs in the coat, but solid white can only occur on the chest and chin. The amount of solid white on the chin and chest should be very slight.



  • The coat is considered to be a broken coat.
  • A hard wiry outer coat covers a soft, dense undercoat.
  • The outer coat should be long on the beard, legs and lower body.
  • The coat should not appear fluffy or soft.


  • The Scottie has a unique gait with the forelegs not being extended fully parallel; rather they are inclined slightly to give the dog additional power and forward drive.
  • The chest is very broad, and this also contributes to the slightly inclined gait on the front legs.
  • The rear legs should provide power and drive, and should remain flexed while the dog is in motion.
  • The back should stay level and flat while the dog is moving.


  • Both the hind legs and the front legs should be thick and well boned. They should not appear delicate, rather should be very stocky and muscular looking.
  • The front legs should be straight with no turning out at the elbows or turning in of the feet.
  • The front feet may be very slightly toed-out, and the front feet will be larger than the back feet.
  • The pads of the feet should be thick and round and the claws should be strong and smooth.
  • Dewclaws may be removed.


  • The topline body should be level, flat and muscular looking.
  • The ribs should extend back into the loin, and the chest should be deep and solid. The ribs should taper towards the centre of the dog, giving a heart-shaped appearance of the skeleton.
  • The chest should extend over the front legs, and give the dog a balanced appearance.
  • The neck is short but balanced with the rest of the dog. It is muscular and blends into the topline over the shoulders.
  • The neck should be in proportion with the skull and the shoulders, and should not hinder the dog’s ability to move or make it look clumsy


  • The tail should be carried high and erect, and should be approximately seven inches long.
  • The tail should never be cut, and should taper from a thick base at the spine to a tip at the top.
  • The tail is covered with short, hard hair.
  • It is acceptable for the tail to be carried slightly forward, but should not be arched over the back.


  • The profile of the Scottie should be such that a line drawn at the back of the head and at the muzzle should give the appearance of being parallel.
  • The head should be in proportion to the body but will be long.
  • The skull is long, and should appear flat in profile. There should be a stop between the skull and the muzzle at the eyes giving a definite brow to the dog.
  • The muzzle should be as long as the skull with only a slight bit of tapering at the nostrils.
  • The nose itself should only be black, no matter what colour coat the Scottie may have.
  • The teeth should be strong and somewhat large, and should be carried in a scissor or level bite. They should not have an overbite or an underbite.
  • The eyes should be set into the brow, almond-shaped, and dark in colour.
  • Light or protruding eyes are not acceptable in the show ring.
  • The ears should be short, carried very erect, and naturally alert.
  • The ears will be covered with very short almost velvet-like hair, and should not be trimmed. The ears should form a straight line up the side of the head.


  • In the show ring the Scottie should be alert, independent and intelligent behaviour could be described as power under control.
  • He should appear rugged and powerful, and should carry himself as a confident dog.
  • Terrier qualities are considered very important in the breed, and docile or timid Scotties will not be considered for best of breed or should not be placed as winners.

I hope you learned a lot from today’s Scottish Terrier Newsletter.

All the best and take care

Sharda Baker