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Scottish Terrier

Published on 28 May 2021

A Scottish terrier standing outside in the purple heather.

The Scottish Terrier or Scottie famously featured on advertising for a famous chunky dog food and is a lovable family favourite. 

The Scottish Terrier (or Aberdeen Terrier) is a Highland Terrier breed that originated in Scotland for the intended purpose of hunting rodents such as rats, badgers, and foxes. They were officially recognised as a breed in 1879 and first arrived in Australia in 1889 to help control rodents on farms. 

Averaging 25cm in height, and ranging from 8 to 10kg in weight, the Scottish Terrier is a small dog. Their colours include black, grey, brindle, wheaten and white. Their life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.

Scottish Terrier Breed Facts & Characteristics



Also known as 

Scottish Terrier/Aberdeen Terrier (“Scottie”)

Bred for

Hunting rodents 


Small; average 25cm in height, 8 to 10kgs in weight

Weight range

8 to 10kgs


Black, brindle, grey, wheaten, white

Life expectancy

12 to 15 years


Double coated with harsh/wiry overcoat


Active, loyal, loving

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Active families

Apartment friendly

Yes, if exercised daily


The Scottish terrier is an active small dog breed with natural hunting aptitude. They are also a loyal, and loving family member with an abundance of character and charm. 

Their working background means they are agile and energetic, and benefit from regular play sessions and chasing activities. They also enjoy getting out and about for daily walks. When they are given plenty of exercise, toys, and activities, they can adapt to small home and apartment living but will also do well with a large backyard to explore. Always be cautious when introducing Scotties to small pets as they may show signs of aggression. 

Early socialisation and training with other dogs, people and animals is very important to ensure good manners later in life and may help curb some of that natural aggression. 


Scottish Terriers have a double layered coat, with a wiry outer layer. The under layer is softer, and requires hand stripping every 6 to 8 weeks at the groomers. Regular brushing is needed to help keep the coat tangle free. Ear cleaning should also be a part of the regular grooming schedule to help keep the ears clean and free from debris to help prevent ear infections. Prevent parasites by ensuring your Scottish Terrier is on flea control all year round and tick prevention if you are in a paralysis tick area. 


When choosing a food for your Scottish Terrier, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. Make sure your pup always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Scottish terrier black and white pair sitting on green grass lawn.

Common health concerns 

Between 2016-2020, Scottish Terriers visited the vet for skin conditions such as allergies and infection, cancer, gastrointestinal conditions such as diarrhoea and vomiting, ear infections and Cushing’s Disease

The five most common reasons for a Scottish Terrier to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data over the 2020 calendar year.

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Skin conditions, including allergies and infections$190$1,533
2Cancer, including carcinoma and bladder cancer$461$2,633
3Gastrointestinal conditions, including canine haemorrhagic gastroenteritis$316$3,191
4Ear infections$151$837
5Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease) $194$553

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

A black Scottish Terrier sitting on green grass in a park.

Most popular Scottish Terrier names

According to PetSure data from 2019-2020, the most popular names for Scottish Terrier were:

Most popular names

  1. Bonnie
  2. Angus
  3. Hamish
  4. Atticus
  5. Barney
  6. Chester
  7. Coco
  8. Daisy
  9. Duke 
  10. Dusty 

Most popular female names  

  1. Bonnie
  2. Coco
  3. Daisy
  4. Isla
  5. Izzy
  6. Lily
  7. Maisie
  8. Miffy
  9. Olive
  10. Pepper 

Most popular male names 

  1. Angus
  2. Hamish
  3. Atticus
  4. Barney
  5. Chester
  6. Duke
  7. Dusty
  8. Fergus
  9. Fluffy
  10. Marty 

Did you know?

The Scottish Terrier has been a well-known game piece in Monopoly since 1950. 

Where can I get a Scottish Terrier?

Even though they are a pure breed of dog, it may be possible to find one via a breed specific rescue organisation. You may also find a perfect small dog for you and your family at your local rescue organisation or shelter who needs a loving home. 


  1. American Kennel Club, Scottish Terriers, accessed on 29/02/2021
  2. Dogs NSW,  Breeds: Scottish Terrier, accessed on 30/03/2021

Terms, conditions, waiting periods, limits and exclusions apply. is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representatives (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 38 607 160 930, AR 1234944 and Pet Culture Pty Ltd ABN 69 644 613 098, AR 001284860. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at .

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

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