If you're planning to present your Scottish Terrier for competition in a dog show, there are many things that you'll need to be aware of. Even though you may think that your Scottie is the cutest thing in the world (and he might very well be), the people judging the show are going to be using much different criteria to make their decisions, some of which the average person would definitely tend to overlook. By following the points in this article, you'll learn just what the judges are looking for and be able to ensure that your Scottie's best features stand out and come across for everyone to enjoy.
The first step to winning any dog show is to make sure that your Scottish Terrier's registration is in order. In particular, he or she will need to be registered with the specific organization that's hosting the show, whether it's the American Kennel Club or some other faction. Generally, the breeder is responsible for registration at birth, but don't take this for granted just because it looks right on paper. Make some phone calls and get everything confirmed as early as you can.
In addition, make sure that your Scottie is completely current on all inoculations and has a clean bill of health. This is for two reasons: the first is that the main idea of a dog show is to present as "perfect" an example of a breed as possible, and perhaps more importantly, the second is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases between your Scottie and the dozens of other dogs that he or she will be coming into close contact with.
Look up the showing organization's breed standards for your Scottie to know exactly what it is that the judges will be looking for. In general with Scotties, one of the most important things is a properly groomed and shaped coat. This means one that is free from tangles and mats, and also retains the sweeping, bold silhouette that the Scottie is known for. If done properly, it should accent his low to the ground stature and powerful hindquarters. Right behind the coat in importance is probably the Scottie's overall demeanor; judges will look for a Scottie that's alert and that seems sturdy. He should be somewhat aggressive when he pushes forward but show control all at the same time, demonstrating the idea behind his nickname, "the Diehard".
Even if your Scottie is a prime specimen of the breed, that won't matter if he or she is improperly trained and attempts to snap at one of the judges when they touch his sensitive ears or feet! As such, be prepared to spend a lot of time training your Scottie. It's highly recommended to attend professional training courses to teach your Scottie the specific commands and handling principles that he or she will need to display in the show ring.
Showing a dog can be a challenging but very rewarding experience for both you and the animal. With a breed that presents as many unique demands as the Scottie, the rewards you stand to gain are that much higher. Good luck!