Showsight Presents - The Scottish Terrier


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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


THE SCOTTISH TERRIER CLUB OF AMERICA invites you to join us in fellowship as we work to preserve our beloved breed. The versatility of the Scottish Terrier is second to none. Whether performing in agility, earthdog, barn hunt, conformation, or obedience these dogs are smart, loyal, and determined. Scottish Terriers own YOU. And that's why we love them! WE HAVEMEMBERS FROMAROUND THEWORLD who are united by their respect and love for the Scottish Terrier. Please check out our website for information on breeding, health, competition events, rescue and ways to get involved in the breed and the club. We have many activities sponsored by our national and regional clubs and would welcome getting to know you. We gather regularly for grooming clinics, health testing and stan- dard seminars, performance and conformation events, and always have fun doing it.

Please visit our website for information on many topics, including breeder listings and upcoming events. WE LOOK FORWARD TOMEETING YOU!


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.


BY KATHI BROWN & MARIANNE MELUCCI SCOTTISH TERRIER: Coat and Color M ore is often made about color, less so regarding the coat itself. As more judges from other Groups begin to judge our breed, it bears reminding that the coat

identified the variety of Scottish Terrier as, “Steel or iron grey, black brindle, brown brindle, grey brindle, black, sandy and wheaten. White markings are objectionable and can be allowed only on the chest and that to a slight extent only.” The American Standard (1947-1993) con- tinued to recognize coat color as “steel or iron grey, brin- dle or grizzled, black, sandy or wheaten.” In 1993, the color was changed, dropping the grizzle and changing to Black, Wheaten or Brindle of any color. The colors were presumably listed alphabetically. A suggestion would be an additional line be added stating that “no color is preferred.” However, it is critical that the original colors identified in the earlier standard not be penalized in any way, and that colors, though rarer today, still may and do occur and are acceptable. While grizzle is very com- mon, most within the breed refer to it as a brindle, and is most certainly included. Personally, being in the breed as an owner, breeder, exhibitor, and judge for more than 45 years, I revel in the colors that may be seen in the Scottish Terrier and which are glorious in their variety. There are many combinations that can and do occur. The Scottish Terrier can be solid or brindled, darker or lighter, black, sandy, red, rich reddish wheaten or paler. It can have a dark mask visible on the brindles. (The solid black may also have a mask, though it is indistinguish- able on the dog.) Brindles may appear in varying depths of color and shades (red, silver, etc.) Wheaten can appear in any variation from cream through deeper red. As the coat is worked, and the dog ages, shadings may change. Shading on the wheaten is very common as the length and age of the stripped coat and undercoat may influ- ence the color. Even a black dog is not just black, but occurs in many tones. Often a few white hairs may be found on the body coat of a black dog, with no penalty. Some owners will pluck these, whereas others will leave them as evidence for the discerning judge that the dog was not artificially colored. White is still allowable to a slight extent (size of a quarter) on the chest. On the chin, you may find lighter hairs, which breeders refer to as a milk beard. Upon closer examination of these, one will find that the white is often a dilute grizzle. Infrequently, black and tan markings have been known to occur in the breed. Solid reds and sandies are rare.

itself is of greater importance and emphasis. The present standard scale of points adopted in 1993 has removed color and has the highest weight as “coat.” It is important to remember:

“It is seldom a good dog can be a bad color.” –A.G. Cowley-Albourne Kennels What color is a Scottish Terrier? For the novice and the unfamiliar, the color black might be an answer. Longtime breeders and knowledgeable Terrier judges are well aware that the breed has a coat of many colors, textures, and shades. It is critical to the understanding of the Scottish Terrier that the coat, not the color, is of greater importance. Historically, the Scot has always been a multi-colored breed. In the early 1880s, Captain Mackie visited the Highlands to view and record information about Scot- tish Terriers. It was, and is still, a purposeful breed and each regional gamekeeper selected and bred dogs for their gameness and ability to rid the area of vermin. Mackie recorded dogs of many colors; red, brindle, fawn, grizzly, black, and sandy. The reports described coats “as hard as any would want” and specifically “rough-coated.” By the year 1880, a committee was formed to describe the breed characteristics, and the only mention of color was “white marking objectionable.” Reports were made that red brindle with a black mask was highly desirable. The first English Standard (1887) was more detailed and



A top-quality Scottie show coat is the result of good genetics, prop- er grooming, and diligent overall care and conditioning of the dog. Our standard states that the Scottish Terrier should have a broken coat. It is a hard, wiry outer coat with a soft, dense under coat. The coat should be trimmed and blended into the furnish- ings 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. The importance of a proper coat cannot be overstressed. Both the harsh, wiry jacket and dense undercoat are essentials of Scot- tish Terrier breed type as they contribute to the protection of the dog at work, as well as during harsh weather conditions. The Scottie is a double-coated Terrier with a soft, dense undercoat that is difficult to part sufficiently to see the skin. The dog must be shown in a long enough coat to determine texture. The coat should not be clipped down or blown-out, but should present a generally broken-haired look over the body. The jacket should lie close and tight around a muscular body. Furnishings should appear longer and feel softer, but not so long as to drag on the ground. You should always be able to see daylight under the dog. There are excellent coats in all acceptable colors. There are also, at the other extreme, poor coat qualities in all colors. The better the quality of the coat, the easier it is to work and maintain. Determining what your ideal coat length should be varies on the type of dog you have. Large dogs can carry a shorter coat, whereas smaller dogs might look better carrying a longer coat. Building a coat, or letting it get thicker, gives the smaller dog the impression of more body and size. On the other hand, too much coat on a small dog can create a “fur ball” look—something you should avoid. Planning is an important aspect to consider first when groom- ing and conditioning your show coat. Before you start, ask your- self these questions: 1. When is the dog to be in “top condition” for showing? 2. What kind of coat quality is going to be worked? 3. Is it an adult coat or puppy coat? 4. Will the coat be “rolled?” 5. What is the condition of the furnishings? 6. What kind of time schedule is going to be available? The standard states that the coat should be timed and blended into the furnishings to give a distinct Scottish Terrier outline. The following is excerpted from the Scottish Terrier Club of America‘s award winning “Guide to Grooming The Scottish Terrier.” Judges not familiar with broken coated Terriers should avail themselves of an opportunity to examine the coat first-hand. It would be extreme- ly helpful for those judges as well as owners to personally engage in hand-stripping at least a portion of the jacket. –Kathi Brown Show Coat the

I have encountered some individuals who have expressed preferences on color. This should have no bear- ing on the overall selection of a good Scottish Terrier. Our breed has no disqualifications, nor any penalty for color. One should be aware of a few additional color specif- ics. The nose of the Scottish Terrier is black. A wheaten with dark rims and shading around the eye may appear to have larger eyes. Masking on brindles may or may not occur. Those without masks and/or with lighter shading on the skull and cheek may appear to have a courser head than in fact. The lighter shaded dogs may appear larger. Which color is preferred? No color is preferred over another! An examination of the suggested scale of points clearly conveys the percentage valuing of color in the Scottish Terrier as ZERO. Conversely, the coat itself is a salient feature of the breed. Terrier folk are extremely particular and proud of proper coats. The importance of coat cannot be over- stressed. The harsh, wiry topcoat and dense insulating undercoat are essentials of the Scottish Terrier. Without the coat, the Scot could not be functional for the weather or terrain in which he works. This coat is meticulously conditioned and presented. Owners and handlers spend many months and hours plucking the coat to perfection. Judges should seek the soft, dense undercoat and rub the topcoat between their fingers to determine its hard, wiry, weather-resistant texture, essential for the dog’s original purpose. Judges should spend the time and take proper care in evaluation of coat. It must be double. Nev- er rake against the direction of growth; it is insulting to the dog and the individual who spent time and effort to prepare. Look for, value, and reward the Scot that carries the double coat that insulates his sturdy body. Determin- ing the hard, wiry, weather-resistant texture of the coat is essential for the dog’s original purpose. Now, reward the coat—not the color! The Scottish Terrier has one of the most instanta- neously recognizable silhouettes. It may be easier to see the outline on a solid dog, thinking perhaps it is prefera- ble; not so. Judges should be able to see the outline regard- less of color. Breeders and judges both should select the best Scottish Terrier. Color alone is far too simple. We all need to choose the best dog of ANY color. –Kathi Brown “Judges should seek the soft, dense undercoat and rub the topcoat between their fingers to determine its hard, wiry, weather-resistant texture, essential for the dog’s original purpose.”



With the adult, is the end result of stripping to be a predetermined specialty show, a particular show circuit, or general maintenance? Which- ever your goal, stripping too soon or too late will destroy the entire pur- pose. Make the time to select the date or range of dates in which the dog is to be in top show coat. Obviously, counting back from that selected time will allow an adequate growing period. The fact that coat growing rates vary should also be considered. There are few, if any, shortcuts to good grooming techniques. If used, shortcuts may provide an adequate result for the moment, but they do not hold up over a long period of time and should only be used as a last resort. Always remember, stripping will bring in color and quality whereas clippering or scissoring will eventually take it away. A top-quality coat in excellent condition can only be kept in that manner by the use of proper grooming methods and dedication to the grooming and conditioning pro- cess. Good planning and follow-through are essential. “A top-quality coat in excellent condition can only be kept in that manner by the use of proper grooming methods and dedication to the grooming and conditioning process.”



“Guide to Grooming the Scottish Terrier,” published by the Scottish Terrier Club of America c. 2010. Manual Development Committee of M. Melucci, C. Stephens, R. McConnell, and L.A. Warner. Illustrations by Darle Heck.


MARIANNE MELUCCI Marianne found her first pet Scottie in 1992 and trained him for a CD title and therapy dog work. She started learning to groom and show in the conformation ring in 1998. In 2001, she established FireHeart Scottish Terriers and has finished many breeder/owner-handled and owner-handled champions, which include Specialty winners, All-Breed Group and Best-in-Show winners. Invitational Awards include: • 2002 AKC/Eukanuba Best of Breed • 2003 Westminster Kennel Club Best of Opposite • 2005 AKC/Eukanuba Best of Breed/Bred-By Exhibitor Group Third • 2006 Westminster Kennel Club Best of Opposite • 2011 AKC/Eukanuba Best of Opposite Sex/Best Bred-By Exhibitor Marianne was the recipient of the 2003, 2004 and 2005 Deblin Back Talk

Award for a total of 13 Owner-Handled Specialty Best of Breed wins. In 2014, at the MCKC All-Terrier Show, she showed one of her homebred Champions to Best in Show Owner-Handled. She has also earned titles on many of her champions in agility, obedience and earthdog. Marianne judged the 2012 Scottish Terrier Club of New York Match Show, Sweepstakes for the Scottish Terrier Club of Greater Houston 2010 Specialty, and the Scottish Terrier Club of Northern Ohio 2011 Specialty. She mentored the winner of the 2008 STCA Best Junior Showmanship Award. Marianne has given several grooming seminars and was the Chairman for the redesign of the STCA Guide to Grooming the Scottish Terrier that won the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Medallion for excellence in National Club Publications. The work on the Grooming Manual also earned her two STCA Service Awards: the 2010 Sterling Silver Medallion and the 2011 Anstaam Achievement Award. Marianne also chaired the creation of the grooming manual video companion piece, which won the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Medallion in 2017.



by KATHLEEN FERRIS, Illustration by Darle Heck

T he front of the Scottish Terri- er is important to understand and appreciate correctly. The breed is a short-legged dog with a deep chest. Upon examination you will find almost equal dimensions of length of measurement from point of withers to elbow and then elbow to ground. If the shoulder layback and assembly into the upper arm has the correct angulation it will create a pro- nounced prosternum. When added with a proper shelf off the rear it visu- ally creates a rectangular shape in a dog with a compact cobby body. We have a breed specific examina- tion of the front that we like to see our judges perform. As you approach the dog and finish examining the head you drop your hand down the front of the dog and find that a proper chest will fill the cup of your hand. Typically, this will be your left hand as you move your right hand to the point of withers where the shoulder blades join at the base of their moderate neck. You should notice that there is good distance between your hands. You then drop the left hand to the ground to check spacing and straightness of the front legs. With your right hand still on the point of withers you can feel/check the angulation of the shoulder blade to the upper arms which should be “well laid back and moderately well knit.” You will note that the elbow is in line with and under the point of withers. Remember as low as he is, the resultant reach for this low stationed dog can only be achieved by the proper front with equal length of well laid back shoulder and upper arm. In continuing your examination remember that the standard states the “lowest point of the brisket should be such that and average man’s fist would

fit under it with little or no overhead clearance”. In order to determine cor- rect depth of chest you will be making a fist. This continues the breed specific examine to discover that the chest is “broad, very deep and well let down between the forelegs”. The key phrase is an average man’s fist. For myself that means spreading my fingers slightly to adjust for size difference. You then slide your fist from behind the front leg/elbow under the lowest point of the dogs’ chest. In a mature Scottie your fist should barely if at all go under that point. If you have easy clearance than you must re-evaluate the height or structure of the dog. Puppies should be considered for their proportionality, since a well-developed chest may not appear until three-four years of age.

When judging this breed you should always have the impression of a big dog in a little body especially during your examination an adult Scottish Ter- rier. This particular feeling is especially noted when going over their distinctive front. As a final note as much as that prosternum will fill the cup of your hand, so should the rear shelf behind the tail. A favorite saying in the breed is the “the tail should never be the end of this dog.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kathleen Ferris is a second generation breeder of Scottish Terriers since 1972. She was also a Professional Handler and now is an AKC licensed Judge. She serves on the STCA Board and is a Parent Club Breed Mentor.

Shoulders: well-knit and laid back. 90° angle Fore Chest: broad, deep, hangs between front legs Ribcage: heart shaped, well-sprung, protruding brisket Legs: thick boned, straight or slightly bent, front paws larger




W hen Carolyn and I brought home our first Scottie puppy, it began our quest for more information. Neither of us came from show dog families; yes, we had dogs, mixed breeds, but not Scottish Terri- ers. Being teachers, we began pursu- ing “books”—books filled with infor- mation about Scottish Terriers, from the simple “owners’ manuals” to the in-depth studies of the breed by noted American and English breeders. There was always a “war” as who got to read “The Bagpiper” first. That was then, 1969. When I became involved with the Standards Review Committee, I felt a need to go back to that time, bringing to the forefront some factual informa- tion that could be valuable to me in my charge of guiding a committee in devel- oping a good standard for our breed. Information I wanted to share with our membership. If the reader has not read about my beginnings in the breed previously

printed in The Bagpiper , I may, later, share that part of my involvement again as it is not unlike anyone getting started today. I certainly did not enter the world of Scottish Terriers with any degree of knowledge about the breed. All I have done is pass through the school of “hard knocks” and consumed all I could from my wonderful all-breed and Scottie mentors and friends I have made through the years. The portion of this writing shares information about type and size from the origins of the breed. At this point, I chose only to use books written prior to the standard revision in 1993. While I am using drawings from some of my sources; I am also using a few draw- ings from two of the “illustrated” stan- dards prepared by the Scottish Terrier Club of America— Clarification and Amplification of the Scottish Terrier Standard (1980) later referred to as the “Red Book” and A Study of the Scottish Terrier (1999) referred to as the “Plaid Book”. There are excellent current

breed books that will be mentioned in a later part of my article plus the third illustrated standard booklet recently published by the Scottish Terrier Club of America.


Foraging back in time, I found that Scotties in the early years were smaller, leggier dogs than the Scotties of today. I would ask the reader to take note of the year referenced in the following. Dr. William Bruette in his book, The Scottish Terrier , published in 1934, states that the Scottie was originally a long bodied dog. “There is a tendency at this time to breed them shorter than is desirable despite the fact that the American standard says only moderate- ly short and well ribbed up with strong loin, deep flanks and muscular hind- quarters” (Bruette, 1934, p. 88). Bruette continues by referring to the “Morrison Standard, published in 1880, drawn by men who were familiar with

Illustration 2: Edwin Megargee’s vision of correct Scottish Terrier type. In Edwin Megargee’s pictorial conception (Bruette, 1934, p. 95) of what in his mind is the ideal Scottie, he comments, “The body, ‘Moderately short and well ribbed’ bodies are more often too long than too short, but they can be too short. Megargee continues, “A nice balance between body and head is what is desired. While no hard and fast rules as to the proportion can be laid down, one and three quarters to two head lengths from the point of the shoulder to the rear end, is a desirable body length (Bruette, 1934, p.101).

Illustration 1. Dundee: A noted Scottish Terrier of his day (1880s).


Illustration 3: Proportions demonstrating correct symmetry/balance on Megargee’s vision of correct Scottish Terrier type.

Illustration 4: Correct proportions applied to the Scottish Terrier outline found in the first illustrated standard of the Scottish Terrier.

Illustration 5: A Tauskey photograph, appearing in the first illustrated STCA standard, reflecting proportions of a well-balanced Scottish Terrier

Illustration 6: Two Scottish Terrier silhouettes taken from the “plaid” illustrated standard booklet. Both outlines display proportions.


Author’s Note: Please note, if the drawing of Dundee (pg. 1) makes the assumption that he is 10 inches tall at the withers, the length is measured from the point of the shoulder (not the withers) to the root of tail, 15 inches. Bruette continues his reference to a written standard, (Bruette, 1934, p. 93), for the amateur, he will learn more quickly by being shown a picture than he would by a lengthy description, no matter how carefully it may be written. Megargee concludes, “I feel that the thing that should be dwelt on and emphasized in studying a Scottish ter- rier, is balance, or if you prefer, sym- metry. A dog may be almost perfect in every section, taken part by part, but because of a lack of harmony in balance between these parts may be only a fair specimen (Bruette, 1934, p. 108). The Scottish Terrier Club of England standard, adopted in 1933, describes

the Scottie in working form, set the dog’s weight at from sixteen-seventeen pounds, bitches at from fourteen-fifteen pounds. The latest English standard declares the ideal weight in hard show condition to be from 17-21 pounds” (Bruette, 1934, p. 91). John Marvin charts the measure- ment of Dundee illustrated above (Bru- ette,1934, p. 33), a well-known Scottie of the 1880’s, in his book, The New Complete Scottish Terrier (Marvin, 1982, p. 32). Occipital bone to eye—5" Inner corner of eye to nose—3" Shoulder to root of tail—15" Length of tail—7"

the Scottish Terrier as a “thick-set dog”. In referring to the body of the Scottish Terrier, the back is proportionately short and very muscular.” The ideal weight ranges from 17 pounds to 21 pounds. There is no mention of height. This standard does make references to the Scottish Terrier having “short legs” (Bruette, 1934, p. 81). Interestingly, the Morrison standard refers to a thick-set, compact, short- coated, active terrier, standing about nine and a half inches high, with body of moderate length and averaging about sixteen to seventeen pounds weight for dogs and two pounds less for bitches. (Bruette, 1934, p. 79). Dorothy Caspersz remarks that the more important clauses of the Morrison standard were ”’muscular form’, ‘teeth level’, ‘eyes well sunk in the head’, ‘great strength’, ‘forelegs short and straight’ and ‘thighs well developed and

Round muzzle—7 ¼ " Round skull—11 ¾ " Round chest—17 ¹ ⁄ 8 "

Round loin—15" Round arm—5" Height—10"


Illustration 7: Six Scottish Terrier dog outlines depicting head to body length proportions.








thick’—all these are qualities as much sought after today as they were seventy years ago. The general outline, as also the weight of the dog, has changed with the years, heads being longer, backs shorter, tails higher placed, bone heavier, to say nothing of the trend of fashion necessitating skillful trimming for show. But fundamentally the unique characteristics of our stout-hearted, harsh-coated popular little dog remain much unaltered.” (Caspersz, 1962, p. 24). Caspersz continues, “Attaining extra shortness of back has sometimes meant sacrificing good ribs. It is much more important that the dog should pos- sess good deep ribs carried well back, with a strong muscular loin, than that he should measure an inch or so less from his withers to his tail. The two virtues are not entirely incompatible in any case, for examples can be found of dogs with good ribs both for depth and length, plus a strong muscular loin and yet withal (sic) short-backed and still agile. Such is the ideal, but exces- sively short bodies on a dog of such low

build, on short legs, are apt to interfere with the fine, free, long-striding gait so typical of the breed.” (Caspersz, 1962, p. 68). John Marvin, in The New Complete Scottish Terrier , references the chang- es in the existing standard by stating that “in 1947 when it was believed that revisions were required to keep abreast of breeding and judging trends.” The revised standard read: “19 to 22 pounds for dogs and 18 to 21 pounds for bitch- es, and the height for both sexes, which was set at about 10 inches and was a far cry from the original 9 to 12 inches of the 1895 standard “(Marvin, 1982, p. 166). Marvin also comments about the Scottish Terrier Club of England stan- dard (1965) in regards to size—larger dogs having a shoulder height of 11 inches as a top limit together with heavier animals to go with the height (Marvin, 1982, p. 168) Marvin continues to comment about the change of today’s Scottish Terrier from the early breed representatives. “He has increased in weight from a

range of 13 to 18 pounds to the pres- ent day figures of 19 to 22 pounds; his ears must be pricked or upright, whereas he could have half-dropped ear in the beginning; his neck has been lengthened from “thick and muscular” to “moderately short, but not so short as to appear clumsy; his body has been remade from one “of moderate length, not so long as a Skye’s to “moderately short”; and his height has been modi- fied from the 9 to 12 inches at the with- ers to a flat 10 inches. He also writes that these changes have made a more attractive dog, but not necessarily added to his working abilities (Marvin, 1982, p. 178) In his early version of his book, The Complete Scottish Terrier , Marvin writes that “In general, the Scottish Ter- rier should offer the keen, sharp appear- ance of an alert dog. He should appear compact and strong, never weedy or light. The standard says he should present an appearance of immense power in a small size and this is an ade- quate description of the dog” (Marvin, 1967, p. 109)


Illustration 8: Six Scottish Terrier bitch outlines depicting head to body length proportions.







Marvin analyzed the four standards, namely the one in force before 1888 through the present and finds devia- tions that have practically made over the breed. First, the body has been shortened with a longer more graceful neck. In fact, the dog is now termed a “short-bodied dog” while his ances- tor was definitely a “long-bodied dog.” Second the weights for the breed have been increased while the height has been reduced. This means that the dog is definitely cobbier, more blocky in appearance than his racier forebear” (Marvin, 1971, p. 166). In his book, This Is The Scottish Ter- rier , Dr. T. Allen Kirk states, “The body of a Scottish Terrier is as distinctive as the head. It is moderately short, measur- ing approximately the same from the withers to the root of the erect tail as does the head from the occiput to the nose” (Kirk, 1966, p. 80). My rather brief walk through the history of the Scottish Terrier and its standard brings to light to the reader that the Scottish Terrier has changed through the years; however, he remains a cobby, compact dog in a balanced package. The total picture is one of symmetry. Nowhere in any of the stan- dards are measured references made to his length of back, only his height and weight are statistically defined. Please remember, there is nothing written in the preceding pages pertaining to the current standard of the Scottish Terrier Club of America. There are many printed sources about the Scottish Terrier. I chose to use these. I found duplicate information in each source I used, often times, some- thing different was revealed. In the

compare in exact measurements—par- ticularly withers and point of shoul- der. To do so would involve a hands-on examination, obviously not available in one dimensional diagrams. Taking each drawing/picture individually, compar- ing the length of head to the length of back and the length of body, one is merely using that particular dog’s or bitch’s proportions. We begin to see the relevance of symmetry and balance with little use of definitive numbers. As Bruette/Megargee commented, emphasis should be placed on symme- try and balance; I’ll let the reader’s eye be the critic. Remember, with these relationships, we are not considering height. We are merely using the rela- tionship between the length of head, the length of back, and the length of body. I’ll merely talk about the origin of the outline illustrating the variety of sources used to develop this sense of correct symmetry and balance. The first drawing to illustrate the two relationships is Megargee’s own pictorial concept of correct Scottish Terrier type. The following outlinewas taken from the STCA’s Clarification and Amplifica- tion of the Scottish Terrier Standard published in 1980 and written by a com- mittee of Robert C. Graham, Miriam Stamm, and Dr. and Mrs. T. Allen Kirk, Jr. The illustrations were drawn by Lori Bush. On the inside cover of this same publication, a copy of a Tausky photo- graph appears. I personally have always admired this Tausky photograph as, to me, this outline epitomizes the “per- fect” specimen. I would have been a

remaining pages, my intent is to relay what I have encountered and learned through the years, taking these same principles and applying them to today’s Scottish Terrier. PAST PROPORTIONS AND HOW THEY APPLY TO THE SCOTTISH TERRIER Having gone back in time to gather accurate facts, I am now going to utilize that information, apply it to a number of different Scottish Terriers and illustrate how much we are on or off track with our current standard, revised in 1993. There are two proportion references (mentioned earlier) that I am going to use to illustrate how those proportions relate to the dogs and bitches we have seen in the ring and continue to see in the ring. 1. Proportion 1: One and three quar- ters to two head lengths from the point of the shoulder to the rear end, is a desirable body length. 2. Proportion 2: The body is moderate- ly short, measuring approximately the same from the withers to the root of the erect tail as does the head from occiput to the nose. I am using drawings from the books I’ve quoted. I am also using illustrations from the STCA’s illustrated standards and outlines taken from a current all- breed magazine (all with permission). And, I will be using three photographs of dogs/bitches randomly selected from those I have bred and/or shown when I was still exhibiting. As they were in my charge, I will not hurt anyone’s feelings if “things don’t work.” Please note that in all of the fol- lowing drawings/pictures, one cannot



and end of the dog obviously includes some furnishings. The final three Scotties illustrated are three actual show photographs of dogs/bitches that I randomly picked from my own dogs. The first photo is a Champion dog shown in the early-to- mid seventies and then two photos of class animals (prior to their Champion- ships). Using the same “rules” of pro- portion, one can quickly note the rela- tionship of the three proportions. In the previous drawings, pho- tos, etc, one can see how this “rule of thumb” easily relates to the reader (or, perhaps, judge), the correct propor- tions of the breed without the utiliza- tion of definitive numbers. Author’s Note : I must comment about two dimensions that have not been included—the length of neck and the height with its relationship to depth of body and length of leg. The neck can be visually evaluated; however, it is rather difficult to evaluate the depth of body and length of leg unless one actu- ally puts his hands on the dog. THE SCOTTISH TERRIER STANDARD COMPARED TO OTHER AKC STANDARDS It is interesting to compare the Scot- tish Terrier standard (current and 1947) to standards of other similar terriers and to other dogs, in general. Some AKC standards have measurable refer- ences to length of head compared to length of neck, and to length of body. Some, not only include the height mea- sured in inches, but the proportions of the body depth compared to the leg length as well as the head and neck lengths measured in inches or percent- ages. The current AKC standard of the Sealyham Terrier reads, “Length of head roughly, three-quarters height at with- ers, or about an inch longer than neck.” The relationship of the body depth to length of leg is stated in the Border Col- lie standard: “...the distance from the wither to the elbow is slightly less than from the elbow to the ground...“ Both examples of standards that reflect the breeds proportions in different ways.

“happy camper” had we been able to breed such a Scottie and, equally as important, been able to groom as well as Mr. Tausky’s talented use of pho- tographic tools enhanced his work. Nevertheless, this Scottish Terrier fills the bill when our two relationships are applied. Moving on, I am picturing two dif- ferent diagrams which appear in the second STCA illustrated standard, A Study of the Scottish Terrier . This pub- lication was prepared by STCA mem- bers: C. Michael Cook, Chair; Sandra Goose Allen; Barbara DeSaye; Evelyn Kirk, and Miriam Stamm. The illustra- tors were Jody Sylvester and Heidi B. Martin. The first diagram is taken from an illustration of the three basic colors of the Scottish Terrier. I have chosen the Wheaten version as lines appear easier to read. The second outline is a silhouette demonstrating neck, topline, and body. Again, both outlines demon- strate correct proportions. Nikki Riggsbee, writer and AKC approved judge, has written an article that appeared in Dogs In Review , Sep- tember 2012. She, along with the editor, Allan Renzik, have given me permission to use the article. If readers have not seen the article in its entirety, it makes for a good and interesting read. The essence of the article is how current breeder/judges and members of the illustrated standard committee priori- tize characteristics of the Scottish Terri- er when they are looking at six outlines of dogs and six outlines of bitches—all of the outlines are from photographs of real dogs so “none is ideal”. I am using the outlines as part of my article per- taining to balance and symmetry . Applying the same principles to the twelve outlines presented in Ms. Riggsbee’s article in Dogs In Review , the outlines fall into the same pattern of symmetry and balance previously described. Please remember that we’re talking “about” measurements, not exact measurements. Note, in particu- lar, the forechest and buttocks of the outlines as the edges of the beginning

Illustration 9: A mature Scottish Terrier male champion (from the 70’s) illustrating symmetry/ balance through correct proportions of head, back, and body length.

Illustration 10: A young Scottish Terrier class dog with proportions illustrating symmetry/balance.

Illustration 11: A young Scottish Terrier bitch reflecting symmetry/balance.

Illustration 12: A modified Scottish Terrier skeleton (displaying two shoulder angles) comparing the measurements of a well laid back shoulder (blue) and a straighter shoulder (yellow).


Illustration 13: The Scottish Terrier skeleton depicting correct proportions. Point 1 illustrating the withers; Point 2 illustrating the point of the shoulder.

Illustration 14. Megargee’s vision of correct Scottish Terrier type measured with today’s standard. The white dot represents where the withers would be if “about 11 inches” were used.

Illustration 15: The Tauskey photograph measured with today’s standard measurements.

Illustration 17: The first “Plaid Book” Scottish Terrier diagram showing today’s measurements and possible wither placement.

Illustration 16: The “Red Book” Scottish Terrier diagram measured with today’s standard measurements.

Illustration 18: The second “Plaid Book” Scottish Terrier diagram showing today’s measurements and possible withers placement.



WITH EYE AND HAND, WHAT WE DO TO MEASURE THE SCOTTISH TERRIER The Scottish Terrier standard of 1947 merely states that the Scottish Terrier’s neck should be “Moderately short”; his body is also described as “Moderately short”. “Both forelegs and hind legs should be short and very heavy in bone in proportion to the size of the dog” describes the relationship of leg length to depth of body. Only in the text of the 1980 Clarification and Amplification of the Scottish Terrier Standard is the use of an average size human hand/an average man’s fist used to determine the correct breadth and depth of chest— a “technique” that should always be utilized in judging the Scottish Ter- rier. The 1993 Scottish Terrier standard

uses While these taller/shorter dogs are not ideal, the “baby should never be thrown out with the bathwater” as their attributes could override their less-than-ideal size providing a positive influence in some breeding programs. the phrase “moderately short” as well; again, utilization of an average size man’s hand/fist is visually demonstrat- ed in A Study of the Scottish Terrier published by the Scottish Terrier Club of America. Along with Megargee’s thinking, precise measurements should not be “laid down”. His version of correct type has been a benchmark since its conception. His guidelines of propor- tion should not only “stand the test of time” but relate correct proportions for dogs/bitches that are above and below

the standard’s ideal size of ten inches. While these taller/shorter dogs are not ideal, the “baby should never be thrown out with the bathwater” as their attri- butes could override their less-than- ideal size providing a positive influence in some breeding programs. Remem- ber, balance and symmetry are of the utmost importance. THE AUTHOR CHALLENGES THE READERS TO HAND- MEASURE THEIR SCOTTISH TERRIERS I was pleasantly surprised to see that these two reference points from “days gone by” applied to every diagram/pho- to I selected. I hope this portion of the article encourages the Scottie breeder/ enthusiast, the next time charges are


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