Scottish Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

Scottish Terrier Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Scottish Terrier General Appearance: The Scottish Terrier is a small, compact, short-legged, sturdily-built dog of good bone and substance. His head is long in proportion to his size. He has a hard, wiry, weather-resistant coat and a thick-set, cobby body which is hung between short, heavy legs. These characteristics, joined with his very special keen, piercing, "varminty" expression, and his erect ears and tail are salient features of the breed. The Scottish Terrier's bold, confident, dignified aspect exemplifies power in a small package. Size, Proportion, Substance: The Scottish Terrier should have a thick body and heavy bone. The principal objective must be symmetry and balance without exaggeration. Equal consideration shall be given to height, weight, length of back and length of head. Height at withers for either sex should be about 10 inches. The length of back from withers to set-on of tail should be approximately 11 inches. Generally, a well-balanced Scottish Terrier dog should weigh from 19 to 22 pounds and a bitch from 18 to 21 pounds. Head: The head should be long in proportion to the overall length and size of the dog. In profile, the skull and muzzle should give the appearance of two parallel planes. The skull should be long and of medium width, slightly domed and covered with short, hard hair. In profile, the skull should appear flat. There should be a slight but definite stop between the skull and muzzle at eye level, allowing the eyes to be set in under the brow, contributing to proper Scottish Terrier expression. The skull should be smooth with no prominences or depressions and the cheeks should be flat and clean. The muzzle should be approximately equal to the length of skull with only a slight taper to the nose. The muzzle should be well filled in under the eye, with no evidence of snippiness. A correct Scottish Terrier muzzle should fill an average man's hand. The nose should be black, regardless of coat color, and of good size, projecting somewhat over the mouth and giving the impression that the upper jaw is longer than the lower. The teeth should be large and evenly spaced, having either a scissor or level bite , the former preferred. The jaw should be square, level and powerful. Undershot or overshot bites should be penalized. The eyes should be set wide apart and well in under the brow. They should be small, bright and piercing, and almond-shaped not round. The color should be dark brown or nearly black, the darker the better. The ears should be small, prick, set well up on the skull and pointed, but never cut. They should be covered with short velvety hair. From the front, the outer edge of the ear should form a straight line up from the side of the skull. The use, size, shape and placement of the ear and its erect carriage are major elements of the keen, alert, intelligent Scottish Terrier expression. Neck, Topline, Body: The neck should be moderately short, strong, thick and muscular, blending smoothly into well laid back shoulders. The neck must never be so short as to appear clumsy. The body should be moderately short with ribs extending well back into a short, strong loin, deep flanks and very muscular hindquarters. The ribs should be well sprung out from the spine, forming a broad, strong back, then curving down and inward to form a deep body that would be nearly heart-shaped if viewed in cross-section. The topline of the back should be firm and level. The chest should be broad, very deep and well let down between the forelegs. The

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forechest should extend well in front of the legs and drop well down into the brisket. The chest should not be flat or concave, and the brisket should nicely fill an average man's slightly-cupped hand. The lowest point of the brisket should be such that an average man's fist would fit under it with little or no overhead clearance. The tail should be about seven inches long and never cut. It should be set on high and carried erectly, either vertical or with a slight curve forward, but not over the back. The tail should be thick at the base, tapering gradually to a point and covered with short, hard hair. Forequarters: The shoulders should be well laid back and moderately well knit at the withers. The forelegs should be very heavy in bone, straight or slightly bent with elbows close to the body, and set in under the shoulder blade with a definite forechest in front of them. Scottish Terriers should not be out at the elbows. The forefeet should be larger than the hind feet, round, thick and compact with strong nails. The front feet should point straight ahead, but a slight "toeing out" is acceptable. Dew claws may be removed. Hindquarters: The thighs should be very muscular and powerful for the size of the dog with the stifles well bent and the legs straight from hock to heel. Hocks should be well let down and parallel to each other. Coat: The Scottish Terrier should have a broken coat. It is a hard, wiry outer coat with a soft, dense undercoat. The coat should be trimmed and blended into the furnishings to give a distinct Scottish Terrier outline. The dog should be presented with sufficient coat so that the texture and density may be determined. The longer coat on the beard, legs and lower body may be slightly softer than the body coat but should not be or appear fluffy. Color: Black, wheaten or brindle of any color. Many black and brindle dogs have sprinklings of white or silver hairs in their coats which are normal and not to be penalized. White can be allowed only on the chest and chin and that to a slight extent only. Gait: The gait of the Scottish Terrier is very characteristic of the breed. It is not the square trot or walk desirable in the long-legged breeds. The forelegs do not move in exact parallel planes; rather, in reaching out, the forelegs incline slightly inward because of the deep broad forechest. Movement should be free, agile and coordinated with powerful drive from the rear and good reach in front. The action of the rear legs should be square and true and, at the trot, both the hocks and stifles should be flexed with a vigorous motion. When the dog is in motion, the back should remain firm and level. Temperament: The Scottish Terrier should be alert and spirited but also stable and steady- going. He is a determined and thoughtful dog whose "heads up, tails up" attitude in the ring should convey both fire and control. The Scottish Terrier, while loving and gentle with people, can be aggressive with other dogs. He should exude ruggedness and power, living up to his nickname, the "Diehard." Penalties: Soft coat; curly coat; round, protruding or light eyes; overshot or undershot jaws; obviously oversize or undersize; shyness or timidity; upright shoulders; lack of reach in front or drive in rear; stiff or stilted movement; movement too wide or too close in rear; too narrow in

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front or rear; out at the elbow; lack of bone and substance; low set tail; lack of pigment in the nose; coarse head; and failure to show with head and tail up are faults to be penalized. No judge should put to Winners or Best of Breed any Scottish Terrier not showing real terrier character in the ring.

Scale of Points Skull Muzzle Eyes Ears Neck Chest Body Legs and Feet Tail

5 5 5 10

5 5

15 10 5

Coat Size General Appearance Total

15 10 10 100

Approved October 12, 1993 Effective November 30, 1993

terrier scottish JUDGING THE SCOTTISH TERRIER “His commanding presence, his un fl inching gaze, his deep rooted conviction that he is his own man; these are the attributes of the adult Scottish Terrier of a proper type. Once witnessed, this attitude is hard to forget.” - Evelyn Kirk 1996

BY KATHI BROWN Illustrations by Darle Heck

T he silhouette of the Scottish Terrier is one of the most recog- nizable in dogdom. As a judge, we go well beyond and are able to recognize, compare, and contrast specimens according to the salient features and disposition of the breed. The Scottish Terrier is in all aspects a small, sturdy dog of serious purpose that will fearlessly go to earth after badger and other prey. Scottish Terriers should enter the ring with con fi dence, owning the ground they stand upon. Many are busybodies and may resist the handlers’ e ff orts to face in the predetermined, proper direction. Each dog should con- vey the belief that he is the best, regardless of your judgment. Stand back and assess each entry. Although many handlers will kneel and stack their dogs, your eye should seek a small, compact, muscular dog of good bone and sub- stance, with a head that is long in proportion to its size. Check for a smooth fl ow of neck into shoulder, level topline, a pronounced forechest, and rump extending beyond the tail—the tail is NOT the end of a Scottish Terrier! Move to the front of the line looking for a varminty expression and also for the proper width of each dog.

Science has been described as ever lurch- ing after exactitude, and every time it appears within our grasp it takes another step away toward in fi nity. In essence, the more closely you examine something, the more you learn about it, but also the more questions emerge. Many years ago, I wrote an article to describe judging my breed. Th is rewrite has been informed by my own experiences and the pertinent questions of other judges, who are lifelong learners, as they engage in judging the “Diehard.” I have also attempted to add more of the “why” in addition to the “how” of judging the Scottish Terrier. - Kathi Brown



Th e dog goes around the ring covering ground even with short legs, reaching out with its front feet almost to the point of its nose, and powerfully pushing with its rear, showing good extension of the rear foot. Do not misconstrue lots of quick little steps for e ff ective reach and drive. Ears may fold back while in motion, but the tail is carried up. Recheck for a level topline while on the move. Judges should be sure to avail themselves of two major opportunities to evaluate the Scottish Terrier; table examination and free-standing. Th e fi rst is a breed-speci fi c examination on the table, which can con fi rm or change your initial opinion. Skillful grooming can both enhance the dog and camou fl age problems. Hands on the dog will uncover where hair is fi lling holes. Check the proportion and height of the dog (10" at the withers) with your hands. Th e Scottie at work must be small enough to invade dens and small burrows without being trapped by his own height and bulk. Stand back and take a minute to carefully observe expression. Th e ears con- tribute greatly to proper expression, being “set well up on the skull” forming a straight line up from the side. Th ey are relatively small and mobile, thus you

will want to check these again when on the ground and alert. I often check the ear set both from the front and behind the dog, where it cannot be hidden by grooming. Th e correct expression once seen is hard to miss again. Th e Scot will generally look down his nose at you with a penetrating gaze letting you know that he is in charge. Th is is described as “var- minty” and should NEVER be sweet, appealing or cute. Th e eye set (deep with fi ll under the eye), shape (almond), and color (dark) are critical components of expression. “ Th e head should be long in proportion to the overall length and size of the dog.” Th e length is well-balanced. It should not be achieved by over re fi nement of the skull or by an unbalanced, elon- gated muzzle. Th e standard is clear that the skull is of medium width, giving the impression of narrowness



its strength that fi lls a man’s hand, and for a punishing, strong underjaw. Check for the proper equal proportion of skull to muz- zle, placing your thumb into the stop to determine if the correct “slight but de fi nite stop” is present, rather than cut-in by groom- ing. Feel under the hair to determine that there is true fi ll below the dark, almond, wide-set eyes. Although slightly domed, the skull should appear fl at and the planes, viewed from the side, parallel. While at the front of the dog, I bring my cupped open hand on the chest feeling for the required forechest and prosternum. Th is procedure is stated within the standard. It is important to feel for the forechest as it is often covered by careful grooming. Th en drop your palm straight down between the legs to ascertain the relative straightness and width of the forelegs. Move to the side, running your hand down the strong “mod- erately short” neck, across the shoulders and body to recon fi rm a smooth transition into the “well laid back and moderately well knit” shoulders speci fi ed in the standard. It is important to check for an upper arm approximately the same length as the shoulder blade, bringing the elbow next to the body below the widest point of the rib and well back on the dog. Judges should feel for the chest, which is described as “broad, very deep and well let down between the forelegs.” It is a heart-shaped (not slab-sided or barrel- shaped) chest in cross section, tapering to a point and dropping down BELOW the elbow. Th e standard is clear that the “lowest point of the brisket should be such that an average man’s fi st would fi t under it with little or no overhead clearance.” To properly exam- ine a dog according to the standard, the judge should therefore measure width and depth by actually placing his fi st under the dog. I prefer to do this measure from the side just behind the front leg at the deepest rib. If you are tall enough to do so from the front, make sure that you do not place your face in the dog’s and go back to the lowest point under the brisket. Continue along the ribs which should be “well back into a short, strong loin, deep [in] fl anks…” Th e inverse carrot tail is set-on high and carried proudly. Check behind the tail for the point of ischium and the broad, muscular hindquarters with a well-bent sti fl e allowing for the breed to spring from rock to rock as well as to pull the vermin out of its den. Th e length from hock to heel is short and perpendicular to the ground. A Scot’s coat is critical to the climate of the country of origin and to the work it needs to accomplish. Th is is a double-coated breed with a HARD, wiry topcoat covering its dense, soft under- coat. Check the texture by rubbing the top hair between your thumb and index fi nger, then pick it up, looking for the requisite undercoat. Th e dog’s jacket should blend smoothly into its furnish- ings. Th e furnishings should never resemble a billowy skirt. Th e preparation and presentation of the Scottish Terrier takes skill, dedication, and time on behalf of the owner and should be careful- ly evaluated and respected. Never rake the jacket backward toward the head. Scottish Terriers come in coats of many colors (except white)—all are equal; none preferred. White is allowed ONLY on the chest and chin, and this to a slight extent. Th e dog will most often shake himself out once again, get- ting comfortable before moving. Going away, the rear movement should be straight and true with good fl ex at the hock. Th e pads of the rear feet should turn up toward you. When judging front gait, the forelegs are not exactly parallel to each other; there is a slight turn in as they reach out around the deep chest of the dog. Th e Illustrated Guide to the Scottish Terrier states, “It is important to note that a dog that is higher in leg will appear to move better in a generic sense. Th is is not desirable and is at the expense of

due to its cleanness of skull and overall length. Th is skull should be clean; not cheeky or coarse, which would detract from the neces- sary strong, powerful bite. Th e bite is level or scissors with LARGE teeth capable of encountering and disposing of quarry. When I approach the dog on the table for hands-on examina- tion, I generally speak to the handler, “good morning” or “good afternoon.” Th is is not to be a congenial person, but to elicit a response from the handler which will indicate to the dog that I am an acceptable person about to examine him. Reach out, cupping the head underneath the muzzle at the same time to determine



Scottish Terrier type.” Th e Scottish Terrier is a “short-legged” breed. To infer that he can be too short-legged is far too simplistic. Th e entire harmony of parts is critical on a small dog measuring ten inches at the shoulder, yet a big dog in body. Too many are lacking the essential heart-shaped chest and the desired angulation that are essential to function and movement. From the side, the dog car- ries a level topline. Th e reach from the front and the extension and powerful drive from the rear should be evident. Th e standard states clearly, “No judge should put to Winners or Best of Breed any Scottish Terrier not showing real Terrier charac- ter in the ring.” A Scottie is never timid, and one with its tail down should not be your choice. What then is true Terrier temperament? While structurally the breed is a big dog on short legs, it is a big- ger dog in his mind as well; self-con fi dent, sturdy on the ground which is “all his,” and more than willing and capable of dispatching vermin in its den. Th is is displayed by the carriage of his tail, head and ears. It is helpful that you as a judge view the dog standing on his own rather than being poked and prodded into a predetermined stance. Sparring is useful to have the Scottish Terrier show himself. Judges should use the spar judiciously. You need not spar every dog. When pulling dogs to be sparred, make sure you set speci fi c guide- lines to be followed. Dogs already exhibiting feisty behavior may not be necessary to engage with others. I generally spar two dogs under consideration and am thoughtful regarding those I need to see. It is not necessary to have the dogs cause a ruckus (although this may occur), but only to collect themselves and stand boldly, four-square. I would o ff er all judges a few suggestions: • Always move the Scottish Terrier prior to table examination. Th is is a breed that in temperament needs to “get the kinks out” and assess the ring on his terms. • Never reach down and examine the dog while on “his” ground; if you need to check the dog, request it to be re-tabled. • Remember this breed is digni fi ed, self-con fi dent yet sensitive, and they do not easily tolerate intimacy from strangers. So do NOT baby-talk, grab and hold his beard, pound on him or become nose-to-nose with him. • Provide shade on hot days for this generally dark, double-coated breed. • Control the ring, separating overly feisty dogs, and control the spar.

Th e Illustrated Guide to the Scottish Terrier may be obtained from the Secretary of the STCA and contains a single-page quick check of the key elements of the breed for your judge’s book. Read Lovely Fire by Mrs. Evelyn Kirk as printed in the Septem- ber 1977 AKC Gazette . ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kathi Brown is a breeder, exhibitor and AKC judge. She serves as Judges’ Education Coordinator for the Scottish Terrier Club of America. She is a member of the Standard Review Committee as well as the committee that produced the Illustrated Guide to the Scottish Terrier. Kathi has written numerous articles on the Scottish Terrier. She has judged many Specialties and Terrier Group shows, including the Scottish Terrier National Specialty in Canada and in the US. Her limited “Blueberry Hill” breeding program has yielded top-quality Scottish Terriers for 45 years. Her dogs include many Best in Show and National Specialty winners as well as three years as number one in the Breed. She is Past President of Ladies’ Dog Club, the Scottish Terrier Club of America, New England Terrier Club, and the Scottish Terrier Club of New England. Professionally, Kathi is an education consultant working with states, districts and colleges, providing professional development on learner and outcome-based instruction.



O ver the years, breeders have discussed the fact that the Scottish Terrier is a dwarf breed. We now have undeni- able proof of his dwarf status. In 2009, a study was done by geneticist Heidi Parker and colleagues at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Maryland. They compared 76 different dog breeds looking for genetic differ- ences in dogs of different leg lengths. They found the mutation of a single gene and traced it to one mutational event in the canine genome that occurred early in the evolution of domestic dogs possi- bly as far back as 30,000 years ago. This mutation is responsible for short legs in 19 breeds, suggesting that most short- legged dogs share a common ancestor. The event was a DNA insertion that dou- bled the FgF4 gene for growth factor pro- tein causing overproduction. Scientists think that the second copy of the gene, an incomplete version of the original, is a retrogene and that it is sending sig- nals at the wrong time. As these breeds develop, the growth plates of their limb bones calcify and close early, stunting growth and leading to a type of dwarf- ism called chondrodysplasia. The study has linked 19 modern breeds including Scotties, Corgis, Dachshunds, Pekingese and Basset Hounds, all of which have short legs. Throughout history, humans have valued these dogs for their unique structure. In the Scottie, it was the abil- ity to follow vermin into the ground and either rout the pests or kill them underground. It was very advantageous to have a big dog with short legs to do battle with some of the more ferocious vermin. The larger head and jaw size allowed more strength of muzzle and bigger teeth. The heavier bone is harder to damage, more muscle allowed for more strength. A chest very deep and well let down between the forelegs allowed the dog to dig underground by resting on his brisket and placing the line of travel of the elbow above the

brisket, freeing the leg to move in the hole and allowed good heart and lung capacity. Stifles well bent and thighs very muscular allowed the dog to pull the vermin out of the hole backwards, added to digging power and gave a bet- ter ability to spring. We have reference to dwarf charac- teristics in our breed standard, where in almost every sentence the stan- dard describes a bigger dog with short legs. The Scottish Terrier standard has described a dog that is very compact, well muscled and powerful, giving the impression of immense power in a small size. It goes on to say that both forelegs and hind legs should be short and very heavy in bone in proportion to the size of the dog. The body to be moderately short and well ribbed up, the chest broad, very deep and well let down between the forelegs. Stifles well bent and thighs very muscular. Many of you are familiar with dwarf breeds in other groups and understand that structure. Think of them when

judging a Scottie—you would not put up a long legged, narrow Basset or Cor- gi nor one that is straight in shoulder, short in upper arm with no fore chest, so don’t put it up in a Scottie. Look for a 45 degree lay back, a long scapula with good length of upper arm which sets the front leg well back under the dog. Look for a pronounced fore chest, like the keel of a ship or as described by one of our famous breeders the “chest of a duchess”. Expect the chest to be broad, with body between the front legs (body dropped between the legs). This clearly means that the front is not narrow, the legs are not close together. The brisket is below the elbow, it is about 4" from the ground which is the size of an aver- age mans fist. This breed is not compact when looked at from his outside measure- ments, in fact, he is decidedly rectangu- lar. His pronounced fore chest and the pronounced shelf behind his tail add to his overall length. So, how does this equate with the “compact” wording


in the standard. Compactness is seen in the view from withers to set on of tail. The Scapula is long and laid back at a true 45 degrees while the tail is set high on a broad, flat croup. He is long ribbed with a short loin and combined these traits appear to visually shorten the dog, while allowing him to main- tain the structure necessary for a go to ground breed. Why am I stressing this? Because our breed is changing and we are seeing generic dogs winning in the all-breed ring. We see dogs that are too tall, too narrow, with steep shoulders and upright upper arms placing in groups. These dogs have minimal or non-existent fore chest and frequently have low tail sets with no rear shelf. They lack dwarf char- acteristics and are so far removed from type that they may as well be another breed. They may go around the ring quickly, but they are not correct. The illustrated guide for the STCA has a final pull out page designed to fit in your judges book. It describes the six key priorities of the breed in the order in which the club wants you to rank them. If you do nothing more, understanding these six priorities will allow you to do a better job with this breed. 1st Temperament because the stan- dard has an effective elimination for shy dogs. 2nd Low to ground because nothing else matters if he is not a dwarf. 3rd Heavy bone and substance basi- cally the same as above. 4th Long, clean, powerful head and jaws with big teeth because he was a badger dog and we think it’s pretty. 5th Hard wiry double coat, because he lived in Scotland and worked the briars and burrows 6th Gait, because it is breed specific and related to his dwarf structure. Now let’s look at the details always remembering what the priorities are. SO WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR? As your class enters the ring, look for an outline, this is a classic outline breed. The head and tail are up, the head is long for the size of the body, the neck is arched, the dog looks compact from withers to set on of tail. There is a pronounced fore chest and there is a rear shelf (look for dog behind the tail).

He has been described as a battleship sitting low in the water with a prow, a keel and a stern. Look for him to be about 10" tall, low to the ground, broad and substantial. The Scottish Terrier is a multum in parvo dog—a lot of dog in a small package. And he is an attitude breed. He should own the ground he walks on— he is a confident dog. He should flow smoothly around the ring in expecta- tion that everything and everyone will move aside for him. He is also highly intelligent and easily bored with an elimination for shyness, which is why he is also the most frequently sparred Terrier. He is not a wind up toy, he doesn’t have the boisterous high energy of some of the other Terriers; he is dig- nified and proud, indifferent to strang- ers. An aloof, independent breed that tends to like his own people. Don’t stare down the Scottie—he doesn’t like it. When you get him on the table, take a look at the side view. Note the proportions of head to neck to back. This is a breed of extremes, there is nothing moderate about a Scottie. His head is long for his body, his neck is strong and nicely arched. He has a true 45 degree lay back with a long scapula which sets the withers further back on the dog than normally expected. His tail is set high on a broad, flat croup. There is bum behind the tail, we call it a rear shelf. But, he looks compact from withers to set on of tail. His upper arm is approximately equal, bringing the elbow under the with- ers. This sets the front leg well back under the dog and adds to the appear- ance of a pronounced fore chest. You realize that this dog is actually longer than you thought when you look at his outside measure from pro sternum

to ischium, the fore chest and rear shelf have added to his overall length without taking away your impression of compactness.

How to Judge the Scottish Terrier


Approaching from the front, look for a well-balanced, quality head. Approach the head by placing hands underneath the muzzle and skull. Check the eyes for correct almond shape and expres- sion. Feel the bones at the side of the head. These bones should be flat and clean, with no curves. Feel that the top of the skull is nearly flat or slight- ly domed, not apple shaped. Compare the length of skull from occiput to stop and muzzle from stop to the end of the


nose to determine that they are equal. Look at the planes, of skull and muzzle, are they parallel? Feel through the hair to make sure the skull is not dropping off behind. When you run your hands up to the side of the cheekbones, you should be able to go straight up to the ear. Look for small ears, well placed on the head so that when viewed from the front they are not set too wide. The eyes should be well apart, small, dark and almond-shaped. Put your thumb between the eyes. There should be a slight stop. Put your hand beneath the eye and around the muzzle to see that it is well filled under the eye. You should find a good, wide mouth with a strong, square jaw. Note that the bite is scis- sors or level neither being undershot nor overshot. And remember this is a badger dog, weak muzzles, lack of fill under the eye, bite faults, small teeth would be fatal flaws for this breed. EXAMINATION OF THE BODY In checking the front end, run your hands down the neck which should flow gradually and smoothly into the shoulders. The shoulder blade should be well laid back. The upper arm should be of almost equal length and set at an approximate right angle to the shoulder blade. Elbows should be tucked in so that when you move your hands down the leg from the shoulder, you don’t feel the elbow sticking out. Please note that there will be roominess between the elbow and the rib, if the rib is correctly heart shaped. Encircle the leg to feel for adequate bone. Cup the fore chest with your hand to ensure that it is well-filled and

Examination of the Head

extends forward. Drop your hand palm up between the front legs to ensure proper width of chest. Then place your fist under the chest. A correct brisket will just touch the top of an average man’s fist. The US standard describes the fore chest and how to assess depth and width very well. Individuals with small hands must be reminded to make allow- ances for the smaller size of their hands. Ribs should be heart-shaped in cross section, well sprung and deep. A Scot- tish Terrier should not be short-ribbed, the rib comes all the way back to a short, broad and muscular loin (roughly a three-finger width). Look for very muscular thighs and well bent stifles. The angulation in the rear should match the angulation in the front, giving the dog a very broad thigh, almost too much to fit your hand around. Hocks should be short in length and parallel to each other. When you lift the coat to feel texture, you do not want to see skin. The dog should have a dense undercoat with a

hard, tight topcoat. Furnishings should also have harsh texture and should not be excessive. Our standard mentions seven colors, they are steel or iron grey, brindled or grizzled, black, sandy or wheaten. But basically any color but white is what you need to remember, color is irrelevant to us. We say, no good Scottie can come in a bad color. If you prefer one color over another, please get over it. Far more important to us is the texture, it is a hard, wiry and dense double coat. GAIT When the dog is coming toward you, you want to see two front feet, inclin- ing slightly inward around a broad, powerful fore chest. Going away, you want to see the dog moving true behind with the whole back foot pad turning straight up. From the side, you want to see reach in front and extension behind. The top line should remain level both standing and on the move. Tail should he erect. Movement should be efficient despite short legs and breadth of chest.

Slab sided, narrow front.

Barrel rib, round/wide front.

Acceptable rib and front leg.

Average man’s cupped hand should fit under the chest and drop down between the legs.

Average man’s fist should fit under the brisket with little or no clearance.


Our Canadian standard describes the movement well. “Gait: The gait of the Scottish Ter- rier is peculiarly its own and is very characteristic of the breed. It is not the square trot or walk that is desirable in the long-legged breeds. The forelegs do not move in exact parallel planes— rather in reaching out incline slightly inward. This is due to the shortness of leg and width of chest. The action of the rear legs should be square and true and at the trot both the hocks and stifles should be flexed with a vigorous motion.” So, what does this mean? Let’s start with the easy parts, when the dog is moving away from you he moves true. His hocks are parallel and move straight forward with good flexion of hock. Scottie roll gives no excuses for toeing in or out on the rear. From the side, the dog should have good reach in front and good drive behind. But, do not expect the foot front foot to come to the end of the nose. The head is long and the leg is short, therefore, he will have good reach for his breed.

Now the tricky part, the part of Scottie movement that is most often misunderstood. Coming at you from the front is where the Scottie Roll is and it only occurs in properly constructed Scotties. The fore chest must be pronounced, it must be wide, the upper arm must be correct, setting the leg back under the dog, the shoulder must be laid back correctly. The rib must be heart shaped. If all these parts are correct, you will see a slight moment of suspension as the short foreleg comes around the broad, deep chest. The forelegs do not move in exact parallel planes—rather in reaching out incline slightly inward. This is due to the shortness of leg and width of chest. If a Scottie is coming at you absolute- ly straight and true on the front, there is something wrong with his construc- tion. If a Scottie is going away from you and he is not straight and true in the rear, there is something wrong with his construction. For some reason, in the current show ring, judges are doing it back- wards. They’re rewarding open-hocked

Scotties who come at them true and faulting Scotties who have a slight

incline on the front. TEMPERAMENT

“No judge shall put to Winners or Best of Breed any Scottish Terrier not showing real Terrier character in the ring.” Note: The final words of our breed standard indicate the degree of impor- tance that breeders place on tem- perament. The question on hand then becomes, “What is the definition of true Terrier temperament?” “First tempera- ment, the Scottie has to be fearless, not quarrelsome, but unafraid of man or beast” (Marvin 1982, 164). “Many judges who are not acquaint- ed with the Scottie will turn down the better dog because the tail is not carried stiffly. This is not right. He is a dour dog that will not show if the urge is not there. This does not demonstrate shyness, for which the requirement was incorpo- rated, but rather a true Scotch tempera- ment which refuses to do that which the dog does not want to do. It is believed that judges who know the breed can


detect shyness in the dog’s eye and this should be the criterion rather than the inflexible turndown on showmanship” (Marvin 1982, 167). “He is a king, a laird, a chief and will meet you as friend and equal, but not as servant or menial. His allegiance, his loyalty and his trust must be gained by fair and sympathetic treatment...” (Penn-Bull 1983, 98). The Scottie is bigger than he looks in mind and body. He, by nature, is a cou- rageous dog that possesses a keen hunt- ing instinct. Being highly intelligent, he is both strong willed and loyal to his owners. The Scottie does not respect just anyone and barely tolerates atten- tion from strangers. It has been quoted that Scottish Terrier owners must be confident enough to love a dog that feels openly superior to them. Judges may see one or more Scot- tie Terrier idiosyncrasies in the ring: stopping or backing up to assess the situation, the “Scottie Shake”, disliking their muzzle clamped, boredom from excessive waiting or repetition or act- ing dour or aloof (even in a spar). The old English standard has these words, “The dog should look willing to go any- where and do anything.” It is because of this distinct temperament that you can often see the Scottie at his best when sparring. PURPOSE OF SPARRING Sparring is to see real Terrier char- acter which is a confident and digni- fied attitude with no sign of shyness or timidity. What one should see is a confident, dignified, tough dog who won’t back down from a challenge. When spar- ring, the dog should collect himself and appear on full alert, tail and ears up with excitement. He boldly stands four- square and protects his space. He may stare down his opposition or look away, as if to give the other dogs the opportu- nity to leave with their dignity intact. If the other dogs don’t back down,

he may start a ruckus, but he should return to control when asked to do so by his handler. Sparring should never make a Scottie uncontrollable. After sparring, a Scottie should walk away with an air of strength and firmness to signify confidently that he has asserted his superiority like a gentleman. GUIDELINES FOR SPARRING • Not all dogs have to be sparred to determine attitude. • Separate overly feisty dogs early. • Split large classes. • Announce your guidelines to exhibitors. • Do not allow handlers to use other dogs as bait. • Sufficient time should be allowed for dogs to notice each other. • Sparring puppies with adult dogs should be avoided. • Control your ring. Direct handlers to maintain distance between dogs. • Spar 2-3 dogs being considered. • Be confident about the sparring process. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Darle Heck’s parents raised and showed Scotties; she has been show- ing Scotties since she was a child. Darle has produced top-ranked, Best in Show and Best in Specialty Show Scotties in Canada, the US and around the world. She has judged Scottish Terrier National Specialties in numerous countries, including Canada and the US at their National Rotating and Montgomery County. Darle is a breed mentor for the Scot- tish Terrier Club of America and is on their standards committee and their education committee. She has illus- trated and co-authored the illustrated guides for the Scottish Terrier Club of America, the Canadian Scottish Ter- rier Club and the Australian Scottish Terrier Club. In addition, Darle has published many articles on Scotties in many different publications.

Key Elements of the Scottish Terrier Type

TEMPERAMENT Shows true terrier temperament, no shyness or timidity. LOW TO GROUND Deep brisket ending below the elbow. Compact from withers to tail, however, longer from point of chest to point of rump. Obvious fore chest and obvious rear shelf add to length.


For the size of the dog.

LONG HEAD In proportion to the size of dog, skull medium width, good fill under eye, good strength of muzzle with sizable teeth.

HARSH OUTER COAT & DENSE UNDERCOAT To protect dog from injury to inclement weather. MOVEMENT Gait is unique to the breed with forelegs that incline slightly on accel- eration while rear legs move true. A correctly built Scottish Terrier should cover ground well despite his short legs.



By Various Authors

From Kathi Brown T

around before examination allowing them to peruse the area and calm themselves. Th is is a breed that is groomed, stripped, conditioned and generally well presented. Th e exhibitors have usually spent numerous hours, weeks and months preparing the proper hand-stripped coat for your examination. I am careful that my hands-on examination respects the dog and the time spent. Th e coat is an important breed feature. It is functional and critical to the dog and related to the climate of the country of origin and the work it needs to accomplish. Th is is a dou- ble-coated breed with a HARD, wiry top- coat covering its dense soft undercoat. As an exhibitor, I learned to groom the dogs and to actually enjoy the hours plucking hair, raking undercoat, brushing, blend- ing and presenting a broken-coated ter- rier. I check the texture by rubbing the top hair (not fur) just in front of the tail between my thumb and index fi nger. I pick up the coat and check for the prereq- uisite, insulating undercoat. I replace any lifted hairs, never rake the coat backwards and even smooth lifted brows. Proper hard coats are relished and rewarded. Skillful grooming enhances this breed and can camou fl age problems. Th e exami- nation on the table and subsequent view- ing of the free standing dog are essential to the proper evaluation of this breed. I stand back and take the few minutes to view the dog on the table both from the side and front of the dog before proceeding with my hands-on examination. I take a minute to observe the expression. Th e correct expres- sion once seen is hard to forget. Th e Scot will look down his big black nose at you with a penetrating, gaze letting you know he is in charge. It is described as ‘varminty’ and should NEVER be sweet, appealing or cute. Reaching out, I cup the head under- neath the muzzle and feel its strength that

he silhouette of the Scottish Terrier is one of the most recogniz- able in dogdom. As a judge we go well beyond and are able

to recognize, compare and contrast speci- mens according to the salient features and disposition of the breed. Judging my breed is a special delight and experience. No matter the weather, time of day or state of exhaustion when the Scots enter the ring I am excited to view the dogs. An impor- tant criterion in judging is a deep under- standing and appreciation of the unique structure and temperament that makes the Scottish Terrier. Th is is a breed with a pur- pose, small, sturdy and fearless in going to earth after badger and other prey. Scottish Terriers enter the ring with con fi dence owning the ground they stand upon. Many are busybodies and often resist they handler’s e ff orts to set them up and even face in the proper direction. Th ey are independent and self-assured and are certain that they are the best regard- less of your judgment. Often they will ver- balize that belief, and your ring may not be a quiet one. I assess the dogs initially looking for the essentials that are in the fi rst paragraph of our standard. In general appearance this is a compact, muscular dog of good bone and substance with a head that is long in proportion its size. I look for a smooth fl ow of neck into shoul- der, level topline, a de fi nite pronounced forechest and rump extending beyond the tail. Th e tail is NOT the end of a Scot- tish Terrier. A preliminary examination is made of the dogs from the front and top to check proper expression and width of the dog. I never bring a Scottie directly to the table. Th is is a busy breed. It is useful to let the breed (even single entry classes) gait

fi lls my hand and the punishing, strong under jaw. Th e teeth are big and provide the dog with a strong grasp of the badger while the moderately short, strong neck can shake, snap and dispatch its prey. I check for the proper EQUAL proportion of skull to muzzle and check for the slight but de fi nite stop. I feel under the hair to determine that there is true fi ll below the dark, almond, wide-set eyes. Th e cheeks are clean, and the ears are small and set up on the head. All together the proper head and expression provide a window into the determined working nature of the breed and can thrill the appreciative judge. Th e Scottish Terrier is a big dog on short legs. Moving to the side of the dog, I enjoy running my hand smoothly down the strong moderately short neck across the shoulders and body recon fi rming a smooth transition into the “well laid back and moderately well knit” shoulders. As a breeder and judge it is critical to check for actual layback of shoulder (not hair) and especially for an upper arm that is approx- imately the same length as the shoulder blade bringing the elbow next to the body and below the widest point of the rib. Th e chest is broad and deep. It is heart- shaped (not slab-sided or barrel-shaped) and drops BELOW the elbow. I feel for the forechest (prosternum) that is well in front of the dog and check the depth of brisket from the side of the dog. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6-: t

As a breed judge, the proper examina- tion of my breed is clear as described in the standard. For example, it states “the lowest point of the brisket should be such that an average man’s fi st would fi t under it with little or no overhead clearance” therefore, there is an expectation that we check that by actually placing our fi st under the dog. What a joy to fi nd this depth of chest. I check the length of rib providing the heart, lung capacity and for the breed’s short strong loin essential to support the topline, strength of spine and turning radius with- in a badger hole. Moving to the end of the dog, we fi nd this sturdy dog is equally strong and wide in the beam. Th e tail should never be the end of a Scot. Behind the tail, the point of ischium extends past its set on. Th e rear is broad with muscular hindquarter and a well-bent sti fl e. Th e length from hock to heel should be short and perpendicular to the ground. Th is well developed and a correctly structured rear is necessary to the work of the breed as it drives his short, low, powerful body, moves from rock to rock, and pulls the vermin from its den. Th e tail is accurately described as an inverse carrot. It is properly set on high and car- ried proudly. I generally prefer the tail be approximately the same height as the top of the head, however, more importantly it is a keen bellwether of the disposition of the dog – carried up is con fi dent and proud; wagging side to side is happy to be here; fl icking back and forth a warning to others. Th e proper structure is assessable on the move. Th e overly profuse furnishing on some exhibits can make it di ffi cult to assess proper movement. From the rear, the movement should be straight and true with good fl ex at the hock and the pads of the rear feet should turn up toward you. Th e legs should be well apart and neither turn in at the foot nor out. With good width, low hock to heel and a well bent sti fl e this proper movement is more evi- dent. When the dog returns and we view the front movement, the forelegs are not exactly parallel to one another. You will notice a slight turn in as the legs reach out around the deep chest of the dog. From the side the Scottish Terrier should have both reach and drive. With a well laid

back shoulder and a good length of upper arm it is capable of reaching out while the powerful rear drives forward. Th e topline remains level. It is a pleasure to view the level topline as the dog covers ground like it is on skates. One should never miscon- strue lots of quick little steps for the pleas- ing e ff ective motion of this breed. While the ears may fold back the tail is up. I fi nd it extremely useful, informa- tive and moving to view Scottish Terriers standing on their own rather than being poked and prodded into a predetermined stance. From years as an exhibitor, I have found that some dogs much prefer ‘show- ing themselves’. When the dogs stand naturally, it both enhances their strengths and shows their weaknesses. Th at perfectly primped topline sags and slopes; the struc- turally sound remains steady. Th e desired pronounced forechest and well developed rear behind the tail is evident. Th e tail, ears and expression that helps de fi ne proper temperament is on exhibit. I do spar the dogs and bitches. I do not need to spar every dog and set very speci fi c guidelines to be followed. Standing on their own, holding ground and on full alert is to view the true dog. It is bold, con fi dent, sturdy, strong and digni fi ed. It moves me and my love of the breed to see the dogs sparred and shown correctly. Th ere is a univer- sal deep breath and “oooh’ from ringside when this is viewed. Th e adjectives and descriptors of the Scottish Terrier are to be sought and rewarded in judging the breed. It is small, compact, short-legged, sturdy and of good bone and substance. Th e coat is and essential of the breed being both weather resistant and capable of protection from burrs, bramble and soil. It is double coated with a hard wiry topcoat and soft under- coat. Th e body is cobby, thick-set and hung between short heavy legs. Th e Scot- tish terrier has deep brisket, pronounced forchest and a strong muscular rear. Th e expression is keen and varminty. He is bold, con fi dent and digni fi ed. I evaluate as above and prize the characteristics of type that are hard to breed. Obtaining the ear and eye that contributes to the breeds un fl inching gaze, achieving the proper front and rear especially the proper length

of upper arm and short parallel hock to heel, and the essential coat of almost any color. Most of all the spirit and unique- ness of character that make this a breed that moves me and makes me admire it above all others. Evelyn Kirk put is so very well in her essay on the breed by stating, “His commanding presence, his un fl inching gaze, his deep rooted convic- tion that he is his own man; these are the attributes of the adult Scottish Terrier of proper type. Once witnessed, this attitude is hard to forget.”

BIO Kathi Brown is a breeder-exhibitor and AKC judge of Scottish Terriers and seventeen other terrier breeds.

Kathi serves as Judges’ Education Coordi- nator and “AKC Gazette” Columnist for the Scottish Terrier Club of America. She is a member of the Standard Review Com- mittee well as the committee that produced the “Illustrated Guide to the Scottish Ter- rier”. Kathi has also written numerous articles on the Scottish Terrier. She is AKC Delegate, Show Chairman and Past Presi- dent of Ladies’ Dog Club as well as Past President of the Scottish Terrier Club of America, the New England Terrier Club and the Scottish Terrier Club of New Eng- land as well as serving as the first President Pro-Tem of the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs. Ms. Brown has been a fea- tured speaker on breeding and practical canine genetics for national and regional dog clubs. Her Blueberry Hill Scottish Terriers has yielded top dogs for over forty years. Her dogs have numerous Best in Shows, and Specialties including Best of Breed at the STCA National Specialty at Montgomery County Kennel Club for three of the last ten years including BOB wins from the specials, veterans and puppy classes. In the past decade her homebred, Blueberry Hill dogs have won the Lloyd Memorial Trophy, as the number one Scottish terrier in breed competition, three times as well as three years of awards for All-breed competition. Her dogs have won numerous specialties, groups, and Best in Show awards.

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