The Scottish Terrier has become, in recent years, one of the most popular breeds for families to own as a pet, a trend that repeats their explosive popularity in the 1930s and 40s. For those who already know and love them, this can only be seen as a good thing, as the Scottish Terrier is one of the most loyal and rewarding breeds of dog that you can own. However, they are a breed with a very unique personality. The jauntiness that gives them their appeal can also manifest in willful behavior that can present some very unexpected challenges, especially if you don't know what you're getting into. Before you bring a Scottie into your home, it pays to do a little research and ask yourself: is this really the right breed for me?
Bear in mind that the Scottish Terrier isn't as little as he looks. They may be built low to the ground and stand no higher than 12 inches, but it would be a grievous error to consider them the same as any other small dog. The Scottish Terrier is often called a "big dog in a small package" because their mass is very solid and almost entirely composed of dense muscle that allows them to hunt, chase, and overtake small animals. Be sure that you can handle such a concern before adopting one.
The Scottish Terrier is a fit and muscular dog by its very nature and breeding history, but that doesn't mean they don't need to exercise. A Scottie might not need as much physical exercise as some of the larger breeds, but you'll definitely want to give them a brisk walk at least once a day. Not only will this help keep them fit, but it'll also keep their high energy levels manageable.
The Scottish Terrier possesses a very willful and independent personality. Training them is a job that demands a lot of attention and patience. If you don't have the time to devote to curbing the more undesirable behaviors that can manifest in some Scotties, you should probably think twice about bringing one into your home.
Scotties are bred to give chase to small animals as part of their hunting background. Therefore, if you have other pets, in particular cats or rodents, this could pose a problem. It's unlikely that a reasonably well-trained Scottie would go so far as to severely injure another pet, but consider that being constantly chased and nipped at probably isn't great for your other pet's mental health.
The Scottish Terrier's coat requires a lot of grooming, including a somewhat extravagant process called hand plucking that will need to be performed two to three times a year. If you can't afford a professional groomer, be sure that you have the time and inclination to do this yourself, or else your Scottie's coat will quickly become matted and tangled.
The Scottish Terrier can be one of the most rewarding breeds to own, but they do come with their own unique challenges. Make sure you're educated about them before you make a decision that could prove to be a bad one for both you and your future pet.