Scottish Terriers were bred in Scotland to hunt foxes and rats. They’re best known as confident, spirited and loyal dogs that, as with most terriers, also have an independent streak.
And the good news is, they don’t shed much!
However, they do have a hard, wiry double coat that requires a fair amount of maintenance. So, while you typically won’t notice much hair floating around the home, you will need to dedicate some time to grooming or be prepared to hire someone to do it for you.
Read on to learn more about how much Scotties shed and what they’re like to groom, so you have a better idea of what to expect if you decide to adopt.
Scottish Terrier Shedding – What to Expect!
Scottish Terriers are a low shedding breed.
To help put into perspective what “low shedding” looks like, it basically means you’ll notice some hair floating around the home, but not copious amounts like you would with a German Shedder (AKA German Shepherd).
Overall, Scotties molt about the same amount as a smooth Fox Terrier and other terriers, like the West Highland White Terrier for example. So it’s very manageable with proper grooming.
The other great thing about the Scottish Terrier is that his coat is considered to be less likely to cause allergies than the average dog. Some state that he is “hypoallergenic” but in reality there’s no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog. Because all dogs produce things like dander and saliva, which are actually what trigger allergies in the first place.
Either way, he is generally considered to be more suitable for people with allergies than the average dog. So if you’re looking for a low shedding, low allergenic dog, the Scottie may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
With that being said, this breed is definitely not for people who are looking for a low maintenance, easy to groom dog. Because he’s almost the complete opposite.
Is Grooming Your Scottie Really That Hard?
Scotties are more difficult and time consuming to groom than most dogs.
So if you do decide to adopt one, keep in mind that you will either need to learn how to groom him properly yourself, and be willing to put in the time and effort to maintain his coat, or hire a professional groomer to do it for you.
Either way, he needs regular grooming due to the type of coat he has. Scottish Terriers have a double coat which means they have both an outer layer of hair and an undercoat.
The outer coat is made up of a hard, wiry outer coat that comes in colors like black, brindle and wheaten. And it’s longer around the legs, beard and lower body. The undercoat, however, is soft and dense.
Just how much effort is needed to maintain his coat does depend on how you plan on keep it though. As with most wire-coated breeds, they can either be hand stripped or clipped.
Hand stripping is a type of grooming where the old hair on the coat is plucked (or stripped) by hand or by using a stripping tool. And this is essential if you plan on entering him into the show ring, which most people don’t, but there are other benefits of doing this. Such as maintaining the texture and color of the coat.
The downside to hand stripping is that you’ll need a professional groomer to do this, at least until you learn how to do it properly yourself. And not many groomers do this, so finding someone can be difficult.
Clipping, on the other hand, is much simpler. But you will need to clip his coat every couple months or so, otherwise his wiry coat will just continue growing and becoming matted.
Either way, you will need to brush your Scottie regularly, at least a few times per week. And the reason is because their hair is prone to mats and tangles which can become quite painful if left unchecked. So you will need to brush regularly and thoroughly to maintain his coat and remove any old, dead hairs.
Also, similar to the Airedale Terrier, Scotties have a beard. So, if you keep this long, you will need to brush it more regularly to make sure it doesn’t get tangled and knotted.
What sort of grooming tools do you need?
Unlike most short-coated dogs, you’ll need more than one brush for your Scottie. But if I had to choose just two, a slicker brush and metal comb would probably be it. Together, these work at removing any mats, knots and tangles, and should help you keep his coat in good shape.
You could also use a shedding tool to help remove the loose undercoat fur, but this isn’t necessary, it’s more just something that could save you some time.
Related: Dog Grooming Brush Comparisons
What about bathing him? Scotties don’t need to be bathed very often, and over bathing can cause dryness and skin irritation, which can lead to excessive shedding. However, a good bath every now and then with a high quality dog shampoo that moisturizes his coat is ideal.
Scottish Terriers are low shedding dogs, but it does take more effort to groom them than the average dog. So you will either need to learn the proper techniques so you can do it yourself, or simply book him in for regular grooming sessions.
Scotties make great family companions though, who won’t fill your home with hair, so if you don’t mind the grooming side of things then it won’t take long for you to become a fan.
However, if you’re looking for an even lower shedding terrier, and one that is super easy to groom, then a great alternative breed worth considering is the Boston Terrier.