How To Groom A Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers are renowned for their hard, wiry appearance furnished with traditionally shaggy beard, eyebrows, legs, and lower body. Often nicknamed “Scotties,” these small, short-legged dogs typically show up in black, wheaten yellow, and brindle coat colors. Having had their roots in the highlands of Scotland, Scottish Terriers were raised in order to hunt vermin in the countryside.

Scottish Terriers were also beloved by US presidents, having lived in the White House during the Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and George W. Bush presidencies. For those of you wanting to know how to groom a Scottish Terrier, here are the steps that you can take to do so.

The Process Of How To Groom A Scottish Terrier

1. Brush Your Scottish Terrier

(Photo courtesy of Elise Carroll via Wikimedia)

Your Scottish Terrier has a double coating. The hard and wiry top coat is what you see on your Scottish Terrier. Beneath that is the soft and dense undercoat.

So, given the types of coating that your Scottish Terrier has, you will want a good brush that can effectively penetrate your dog’s coating without scratching his/her skin. The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is a popular brush that will help you get the brushing job done.

Once you have got the brush, start out by brushing your Scottish Terrier’s eyebrows and beard forward. Next, brush in the direction of hair growth from the back of your Scottish Terrier’s head to his/her tail, making sure to cover every part of the body in between.

Scottish Terriers don’t really shed their hair at all. So, loose hair isn’t the concern here. Your main worry is getting rid of mats which can cause skin pain for your Scottish Terrier if left alone in the coating.

So, you will want to brush your Scottish Terrier regularly in order to remove all the mats from the coating. Doing it once a week should be enough for your Scottish Terrier.

2. Brush Your Scottish Terrier’s Teeth

As is the case with any other dogs, brushing your Scottish Terrier’s teeth is an important part of grooming. Brushing your dog’s teeth will prevent tartar from gathering on the teeth which can lead to their decay if not taken care of.

At a minimum, you should be brushing your Scottish Terrier’s teeth a few times per week. As for which toothpaste to use, I would go with the Virbac toothpaste as veterinarians often recommend it for brushing a dog’s teeth.

3. Bathe Your Scottish Terrier

You only want to be bathing your Scottish Terrier as needed as bathing the dog too often will dry out his/her skin. In the event that your Scottish Terrier needs a bath, you want to make sure that you are using a shampoo that is designed to keep the dog’s skin moisturized during the bath.

You will also want a shampoo that is designed with your Scottish Terrier’s wiry coating in mind in order to best preserve the way that the wiry coating looks.

With these things in mind, you will want the Isle of Dogs Coature No. 33 Dog Shampoo as that is one of the best shampoos I can find for Scottish Terriers. Now, place your Scottish Terrier into the bathtub and use a cup full of warm water to get the dog all wet.

Once the dog is all wet, thoroughly apply the shampoo. Make sure that you account for every part of your Scottish Terrier’s body, but be careful not to get the shampoo into the dog’s eyes as that can be irritating for him/her.

Rinse your Scottish Terrier’s body until there are no more leftover shampoo within the coating. Proceed to towel dry your Scottish Terrier and then re-brush his/her coating in order to prevent the hair from getting all tangled up.

4. Trim Your Scottish Terrier’s Hair

(Photo courtesy of Elise Carroll via Wikimedia)

When it comes to trimming your Scottish Terrier’s hair, you want to strike a balance of making the dog’s hair shorter while still leaving in place the hard, wiry coating that Scottish Terriers are well known for.

That is because if you strip your Scottish Terrier of his/her hard and wire top coat, the soft and dense undercoat will take over which can make it difficult for the hard and wiry coating to grow back.

So, with that in mind, let’s make sure that you have the items for trimming your Scottish Terrier’s hair. You will want a powerful clipper that can handle just about any kind of coating and so I recommend that you get the Andis UltraEdge Super Detachable Blade Clipper AGC2.

This clipper stays cool for a long period of time during use which is remarkable given all of that power. The clipper is also quiet too which should put a dog at ease if the noise of a clipper spooks him/her.

This clipper comes packed with the #10 blade. But, for trimming most of your Scottish Terrier’s body, you will want either a #4 or #5 blade. That way, you can cut your Scottish Terrier’s hair while still leaving his/her hard, wiry top coat intact.

When it comes to the back of your Scottish Terrier’s ears, a #30 blade is ideal for trimming them. You can head here to purchase these blades for use with the clipper.

Now, start with trimming your Scottish Terrier’s head first, trimming from the eyebrows down to just in front of the ears and from the chin down to the chest. Don’t forget about the back of the ears.

With your Scottish Terrier’s head done, proceed to trim the back, sides, and legs in the direction of hair growth. You probably already know that, but it’s still worth noting anyways, be careful around your dog’s genitals and anus as these are incredibly sensitive areas.

5. Clean Out Your Scottish Terrier’s Ears

Your Scottish Terrier’s ears are vulnerable to wax buildup which can result in ear infection if left alone. So, cleaning your Scottish Terrier’s ears isn’t something that can be ignored. So, keep an eye on the dog’s ears and when they look dirty, clean them out.

You will want to use the Virbac ear cleaner as that is what veterinarians often recommend for use with a dog’s ears. Apply the ear cleaner to cotton balls and use them to clean out your Scottish Terrier’s ears.

6. Clip Your Scottish Terrier’s Nails

Your Scottish Terrier needs to have his/her nails clipped in order to keep them short. Leaving the nails too long can cause pain for your dog’s paws, especially when he/she is walking.

So, when you start to hear the clicking sound as your Scottish Terrier is walking, that indicates that it is time for you to clip his/her nails. You can use a nail clipper like Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip for your dog’s nails.

As you are clipping your Scottish Terrier’s nails, be careful not to cut the quick which is the thin vein that runs through each of your dog’s nails. Clipping these can easily lead to bleeding.

Concluding How To Groom A Scottish Terrier

These are the steps that you can take for how to groom a Scottish Terrier. If your Scottish Terrier isn’t at ease with being groomed, this post will help you get the dog comfortable with grooming.

What are your thoughts? Have you groomed a Scottish Terrier before? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom A Scottish Terrier”

  1. Great advice here, thanks. I don’t have a Scottish Terrier but I do have a Maltipoo. And some of the grooming problems are the same. The biggest one was his hair growing over his eyes. Also trimming the nails tends to freak me out as I don’t want to hurt him. So far we have been taking him to the local vet/ grooming service for these things. And while it doesn’t cost much it is a pain tanking him there. So I might pluck up the courage and start doing it myself. Also, I have never considered brushing his teeth, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. 



    • You are welcome. You can clip your dog’s nails yourself. Just watch out for the quick as you don’t want to clip that part of the nails. As for brushing your dog’s teeth, I am glad that this post has brought this to your attention. 

      Also, if you are worried about your dog reacting negatively to being groomed, you may want to read this post for some things that you can do to put him/her at ease with being groomed.

  2. I have never heard of a Scottish terrier before. Can it be found anywhere? Also, how much do you think it would cost to breed a Scottish terrier. I want to buy a dog so I will look into it. I am sure that it will be an amazing breed to have in my house. Thank you so much for this information. 

    • You are so welcome. As for how much it will cost you to buy a Scottish Terrier, that will depend on how you plan to buy one. If you are buying a Scottish Terrier via an adoption, you can expect to pay around $300. But, if you are buying a Scottish Terrier directly from a breeder, you should expect to pay much more – around $800 to $2,000. I hope that answers your question.

      As for where you can find a Scottish Terrier to buy, I would head here as this is probably the best place where you can find one to buy. So, I hope that helps.


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