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15 Scottish Dog Breeds

Oliver Jones

The American Kennel Club recognizes just under 200 dog breeds, and there are hundreds more waiting to be accepted. It can be challenging to sort through them all without a good system. Many people like to sort them by size, but dividing by country is another good way, and sometimes it helps to see how the dogs are related. We’ve created a list of 15 Scottish breeds so you can learn more about the breeds from this specific area. For each entry, we’ve included an image as well as a short description so you can learn more about them. We think you will find several breeds that would make great additions to your home.

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Top 15 Scottish Dog Breeds:

1. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Image Credit: Vera Zinkova, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 11–13 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, fun-loving, independent
  • Colors: Grey, brown, silver, tan

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a small dog with a long body and an instantly recognizable topknot of hair on its head. It originally hunted badgers during the 1600s and 1700s. Today it makes a fantastic family pet that’s affectionate, fun-loving, and independent. It usually stands less than 12 inches high and weighs about 20 pounds.


2. Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie
Image Credi: No-longer-here, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Temperament: Active, alert, intelligent
  • Colors: Black, blue, brown, and fawn

The Bearded Collie is a shepherd dog with long hair that often covers its eyes. Children love this breed because of its long hair, and it enjoys attention. It’s an active dog that will spend much of the day running around and is intelligent enough to learn lots of tricks. You will also find this breed in several rescue organizations.


3. Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter
Image credit: Everita Pane, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 12–13 years
  • Temperament: Alert, eager, and loyal
  • Colors: Black and tan, red, tan

The Gordon Setter is the largest of all setters and will often weigh up to 80 pounds and stand 27 inches tall at the shoulder. It started out hunting birds almost 200 years ago, and today it makes an excellent pet. Its alert and eager temperament mean it excels as a watchdog, and it’s fearless in defense of its master. This ancient breed first came to America in 1842.


4. Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier
Image Credit: Plotitsyna NiNa, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 11–13 years
  • Temperament: Independent, feisty, playful
  • Colors: Black, brindle, red

Several celebrities have owned a Scottish Terrier, including several presidents. It’s also a piece in the original Monopoly board game. These are smaller dogs that rarely weigh more than 25 pounds. They are playful but can often be stubborn and even feisty. They are fairly independent and are a good choice if you need to spend time away from home.


5. Cairn Terrier

cairn terrier dog
Image Credit: doctarpa, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 12–17 years
  • Temperament: Fearless, hardy, intelligent
  • Colors: Crème, wheaten, red, grey

The Cairn Terrier is a working dog that used to chase game between the cairns in the Scottish Highlands. It usually stands about a foot tall and is lightweight at about 15 pounds. It has a thick double coat that allows it to withstand cold temperatures. It sheds very little and has a long lifespan. It’s well suited to small apartments and doesn’t require much exercise.


6. Golden Retriever

golden retriever_Shutterstock_Olena Brodetska
Image Credit: Olena Brodetska, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Temperament: Obedient, playful, intelligent
  • Colors: Gold

The Golden Retriever is one of the more popular dogs in America. These dogs love water and will jump at any opportunity to go swimming. They also like to drive in the car and enjoy playing with children. They are quite loyal and often live 10–12 years. They stand about 22 inches tall and weigh about 70 pounds.


7. Rough Collie

rough collie
Image Credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 12–14 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, active, friendly
  • Colors: Sable, blue, tricolor

Many people call the Rough Collie a Long-Haired Collie, and it originated in Scotland. It’s never aggressive or nervous, and it gets along with children and other pets. It also gets along with strangers, but it will be less likely to be shy with early socialization. Many people will recognize this dog breed as Lassie from the old television show of the same name.


8. Smooth Collie

Smooth Collie
Image Credit: 905513, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, responsive, friendly
  • Colors: red, brown, white

The Smooth Collie is a short-haired version of the Rough Collie. It looks quite different without all of the fur, but it is the same in every other way. It usually stands about 22 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 40 pounds. It’s easy to train and is capable of learning a wide range of tricks. It makes a great family pet and is very gentle with children.


9. Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound standing at a beach
Image Credit: Kim Christensen, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 8–10 years
  • Temperament: Dignified, friendly, gentle
  • Colors: Grey, brindle, blue-grey

The Scottish Deerhound is a large hound, similar to the Greyhound, but slightly larger with rough fur. This breed often weighs more than 100 pounds and stands about 30 inches at the shoulders. It’s a gentle and friendly dog that enjoys playing with children who often see it as a small horse. It enjoys being around its master, and you will usually find it at your feet.


10. Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier
Image Credit: Sevostyanaova Tatyana, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Temperament: Fearless, friendly, loyal
  • Colors: Black, blue, cream, fawn

The Skye Terrier is a small long-haired dog that is on the United Kingdom’s endangered species list. It likes to go for long walks and is generally friendly but is also fearless and can easily escalate a fight with another, often much larger, dog. The long hair will require regular combing to keep it free of tangles and knots.


11. Bloodhound

bloodhound
Image Credit: Edoma, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 9–11 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, even-tempered, stubborn
  • Colors: Black and tan, liver and tan, red

The Bloodhound is a popular dog that makes a great family pet due to its extremely friendly nature. Many law enforcement agencies also use it to track prisoners and missing people because of its ability to find and track a scent. At home, it can be stubborn, especially if it finds an animal scent it wants to track. It usually stands a little over 25 inches tall and can weigh well over 100 pounds.


12. Border Terrier

border terrier_Colin Seddon_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, even-tempered, intelligent
  • Colors: Red, grizzle, black and tan, blue and tan

The Border Terrier is a small dog with a rough coat. It’s the 10th most popular dog breed in the United Kingdom and is popular in America as well. It’s even-tempered and rarely gets aggressive toward other people or pets. It makes an excellent watchdog, but it isn’t overly barky. It’s a small dog that rarely gets taller than 12 inches at the shoulders and weighs about 15 pounds.


13. Shetland Sheepdog

Merle Shetland Sheepdog
Image Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 12–13 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, affectionate, gentle
  • Colors: Black and white, blue and white, white and tan

The Shetland Sheepdog is a breed that looks similar to the Rough Collie but is much smaller. It’s a clever and vocal dog that is willing to please, so it’s not hard to train. It usually stands a little over 12 inches tall and often weighs about 20 pounds. It’s available in several colors and has thick fur around the neck. It’s a healthy breed that can sometimes carry the blue-eyed gene.


14. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier
Image Credit: anetapics, Shutterstock
  • Lifespan: 12–17 years
  • Temperament: Happy, smart, loyal
  • Colors: White

The West Highland White Terrier is a small dog that is quick to learn and good with children as long as they don’t handle it roughly. Children often like their long fur and pointy ears and can sometimes pull on them. These dogs are quite healthy and can often live more than a dozen years. They are outgoing and get used to strangers quickly.


15. Border Collie

collie_4924546, Pixabay
Image Credit: 4924546, Pixabay
  • Lifespan: 13–16 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, energetic, alert
  • Colors: Black, red, tricolor

Many lists name the Border Collie the most intelligent dog breed. It has a distinctive white and black color pattern but can also have red and tri-color patterns. It makes a great family pet, but its herding instinct may cause it to nip at ankles. It does not intend to harm you, but it can scare children who aren’t expecting it. It’s a medium-sized dog that often weighs about 40 pounds and stands about 20 inches tall at the shoulders.

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Summary

As you can see, there are quite a few popular dog breeds on this list that all come from Scotland. Many of these breeds make great family pets, including the Bearded Collie, Golden Retriever, and Border Collie. The only breed that will be difficult to find is the Skye Terrier, whose numbers are falling, causing the United Kingdom to list them as endangered.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list and found a few breeds you would like to own. If we have helped you choose your next pet, please share these 15 Scottish dog breeds on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: youngryand, Shutterstock

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.