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Scottish Terrier >> About Breed


"Once a Scottie, always a Scottie", the old saying goes. Those who once let a Scottish Terrier into their home and heart stay as loyal admirers of this breed for their entire lives, and often end up owning two Scotties! This is the basis of another old riddle: "What is more beautiful than a Scottie?", where the answer is: "Two Scotties!"

Without a doubt, it is sometimes hard to have a dog and give up travel to exotic countries and suchlike, but dogs bring us so much enjoyment that they are hard to compare to anything else.

This is the second text that I write about this wonderful breed, led this time by a goal to share this love of Scottish Terriers with you and to bring closer to you these wonderful creatures with which I share so much of my free time and enjoyment. This is a story about dogs whose past is not entirely certain. However, it is known that they have a long and exciting past, and the resulting dogs can be regarded as antiquities in modern cynology.

Let's start the way many tales do… Once upon a time, there was a dog, described as very similar to the modern Scottish Terrier. Since then, 120 years have passed. It happened in Scotland, a poor land of hills and fields, where there was often not even enough food for the inhabitants, who were wary of strangers, hard working and somewhat eccentric.

One rainy day, when the sky joined the earth, a man in a kilt and a raincoat wondered the hills, his breath condensing on the chilly spring morning. Behind him, one on each side, walked two small dogs, muscular and short-haired, one black and one brindle. Their sharp eyes tracked every move in the forest as they faithfully followed their master. Their highly raised ears carefully listened to the life of nature.

Suddenly, there was a rustling noise - a grey rabbit started the run of its life! Both terriers rushed after him, to a hole which the rabbit entered with lightning speed. The bitch entered after him, and under the earth there was a muted noise of a fight, then a scream and then… silence. Shortly afterwards, the bitch, completely muddy, came backwards out of the hole, dragging the rabbit in her mouth to put before her owner. The man gratefully took the catch, and a smile like the flow of a mountain stream graced his face. Today, his family would not go hungry. Without a word he stroked the bitch and patted her head. In silence, the company slowly returned home…

Early breeding in the United Kingdom

The first written records about Scottish Terriers date from 1436, when Don Leslie described them in his book "The History of Scotland 1436-1561". One example that this breed was loved by all, from peasants to royalty, is given by king James VI of Scotland (later to become James I of England), who in the 17th century sent six such terriers to France as a royal gift.

From the records of some betting agencies in 1809 it can be seen that a very popular pastime was to bet on the speed with which terriers, including our Scottie, could kill rats. Hence, a Scottie named Billy is recorded, who in just five minutes killed one hundred rats. In his book "A History of British Quadrupeds" from 1837, Thomas Bell informs us that there are two sorts of terriers in the world: English and Scottish. English Terriers are long-legged and black, while Scottish Terriers are short-legged and come in several colours. In 1861 the breed was officially shown in an exhibition for the first time, while in 1873 J A Adamsan from Aberdeen left a record of the breed in Scotland, for which the breed was named "Aberdeen Terrier". Shortly afterwards, in 1879, Scotties were for the first time exhibited at Alexander Palace in England, while the following year they were classified in the same way as we do today. Jame B Morrison in 1880 gives the first standards of the breed in the "Livestock Journal", to be used by breeders, exhibitors and judges.

The "Scottish Terrier Club of England", founded in 1881, was the first club dedicated to the breed. The club secretary, H J Ludlow, greatly popularises the breed in the southern parts of Great Britain, while the "Scottish Terrier Club of Scotland" is founded only in 1888. This was followed by years of differences and arguments over the standards of the breed between the clubs in England and Scotland, which were finally settled by a revised standard in 1930, which was subsequently recognised by Kennel Club UK.

The first famous kennels appeared after World War I, consisting of names such as "Ems", "Bapton" and "Albourne". Special mention goes to Miss Betty Penn-Bull, a truly unique person on the cynological scene, who dedicated her whole life to Scottish Terriers, until her death in 2001. During World War II there was a general hiatus in the breeding of dogs, including Scottish Terriers, and of dog exhibitions. The priorities during the war were obtaining food and the evacuation of dogs, while breeding was very much on the sidelines. After the war, few breeding dogs survived: from a pre-war annual record of 5000 registered Scotties, the number fell to less than 1000, but that was enough to make a new beginning. This period gave rise to kennels such as "Reanda", which gave 31 champions, "Gaywyn" owned by Muriel Owen, some of whose descendants are now in Croatia, "Brio", "Stuan", "Tamzin", "Mayson" and many others.

In Croatia

The breeding of Scottish Terriers in Croatia also has a tradition, started by Prof. Josip Skavic and his kennel "Melscot" in 1979. His endless love and enthusiasm for this breed led him to pioneer this breed in Croatian cynology, to introduce and popularise these dogs in Croatia and to write an excellent review article in the "Terijer" magazine in 1994, which included an excellent description of the standards of the breed.

His kennel was initially comprised of dogs imported from the UK, e.g. Ambassador and Anne-Marie from the kennel "Gaywyn", Hallmark from the kennel "Rannoch", a pair of males from the kennel "Mayson", and finally Rinaldo from Dan Ericson, the owner of the prestigious Swedish kennel "Raglan". These sired a large number of puppies in 68 matings, which had a number of successes at exhibitions in Croatia and throughout the world. Of these, the pride of the owners were Melscot Ares Kir (world champion), Melscot Alfred (Fred, European champion) and Melscot Tip Top (young world vice-champion). Since then, love of Scotties has become deeply rooted in Croatia (e.g. "Hilscot" kennel of Mrs. Matijevic).

The war years in Croatia also lowered the once imposing number of Scotties seen at exhibitions to just a few imported representatives of the breed. After the war, the popularity of the breed again increased. Notable among these are the international champion Halifax Rich of Honour, owned by Mrs. Petres, and his numerous children, who are now champions of Croatia, Slovenia (Apolon) and Yugoslavia (Jilly). Very promising is also a young brindle bitch, Hocus Pocus of Black Power, the young champion of Croatia and the Mediterranean champion, as well as Lilly Marlen Invisible Touch.

Choosing a Scottish Terrier

The decision to get a Scottish Terrier must be made by the whole family, because all of them will have to take care of the new member of the household. Whether it will be male or female, black or brindle or wheaten, is unimportant if it's the only dog in your house.

If you already have a different breed, it is best to take a dog of the same sex and you will have a pair which understand each other really well and have great fun together.

The male Scottish Terrier is gentle towards females and ignorant towards puppies, although he can be dominant towards other males. As a father, he isn't attentive, unlike the female. The bitch is more devoted and gentle. If you already have one, I'd like you to enable her to at least once have puppies, since this is a special experience that should not be avoided by early sterilisation. The broods of small dog breeds are smaller, they are difficult to fertilise and even harder to give birth, which often happens by Caesarean section. All this makes their prices higher than those of large dogs. However, when choosing a puppy its sex should be the last thing you ask about. If you want a good Scottish Terrier, make sure the family trees of the parents are good and ask the breeder about the health and behaviour of its ancestors. Examine the puppies well and only take one that is healthy and happy, and you will find a new dimension in your life.

This pocket Hercules is an ideal choice for people with a happy and balanced nature, with a good bit of patience and a lot of tolerance, who can understand his personality and accept his nature. Many statistics say that this is the most beautiful breed in the world, but with a high cost. This is the dog of the upper classes and the high society. Once you come to love him, that love will last until the end of his or your life.


Blanka Petres Kennel, "PETSCOTT",
Kennel Petscott



Brundo 2006