A Scotsman’s Best Friend: Scottish Dog Breeds

Ah, man’s best friend – in Scotland, cù, or dog. Almost universally, dogs are the most beloved pets humankind can have (we don’t always deserve puppers and their love), and in Scotland, this is no different.

There are many breeds of dogs that originated in the highlands and lowlands of beloved Scotland. As we turn our attention to celebrating these Scottish dog breeds, you are invited to check out all the fantastic Scottish cù accessories we have from our family to yours.

A diagram of the many dog breeds that originated in Scotland.

The Terrier Family

Skye Terrier

A portrait of a Skye Terrier. They are a Scottish dog breed.

Its short stature with long and shiny locks are certainly recognizable among dog enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the precious dogs from the Isle of Skye are endangered. For 400 years, they have worked as hunters, especially for the nobility during the 1800s.

West Highland White Terrier

A portrait of a West Highland Terrier.

The feisty and fun-loving “Westie” is a beloved member of Scotland’s terrier family. Shrouded in several versions of different tales, ultimately, the Malcolm family decided a white version of Westie was needed and bred to create the Westie we know and love today.

This pup’s distinctive white coat, small frame, and perky ears will bring a smile to any dog lover’s face!

Scottish Terrier

A portrait of a Scottish Terrier

Named for the country for which they are so beloved, these ball chasers are what most people envision when they think of “dogs of Scotland.” If fetch is your thing, a Scottie is your dog. We love to picture what doggos would sound like if they were human, and you can’t imagine a Scottie sounding any other way than with a thick Scottish burr.

One can also not help but envision the perfect red plaid tartan round the good boy’s neck when talking about your wee Scottie. Your handsome guy will look braw wearing one of our bandana collars. When he barks with this on, you won’t be able to miss the burr!

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

A portrait of a Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Any Dandie owner will tell you they are indeed dandy! Born of the border, this Scottish dog breed is highly recognizable from its unique body shape. Dachshund-like in length with a sweet and fringy head, this cù is one of the more docile terriers.

Border Terrier

A portrait of a Border Terrier

Bred on Scotland and England’s border to join in the excitement and activity of the fox hunt, border terriers are agile, small dogs. Their intelligence is bigger than their stature, and they love to have a great deal of stimulation as a result. Their neat and rough coat allows them to be hypoallergenic, allowing many dog lovers with allergies to take a deep breath.

Cairn Terrier

A portrait of a Cairn Terrier

Our final terrier breed developed their long coat as a result of their environment in the Highlands. Darting quickly between the Scottish cairns, these working dogs love to play and are relatively brave. Their loyal and keen nature makes them protective, which is why Dorothy had the best of companions in Toto.

The Collie Family

Rough Collie

A portrait of a Rough Collie dog

What a lass that Lassie was! One of the most famous collies of all time was a Rough collie. When this herder is not busy saving Timmy from the well, they can be found herding ANYTHING they can in all the open space you can afford to give them!

Bearded Collie

A portrait of a Bearded Collie. A Bearded Collie is a Scottish Dog breed

Beardies are high maintenance shepherds – that are worth every bit of the maintenance. They are sweet, snuggly, soft, and will keep you active in play. When you can manage to look into their fur-covered eyes, you will see nothing but love and affection.

Border Collie

A portrait of a Border Collie

Shepherding across the hills on the border of Scotland and Wales, you would be most likely to have one of the most intelligent of dog breeds: the Border collie. These medium dogs are wonderful companions if you lead a very physically active lifestyle. Border collies live their best lives when they can be actively engaged in play and are free to exercise.

When you’re out playing with her, make sure you allow your dear to fetch herself a fetching bone. Her bonnie bark will be filled with glee while playing with her very own tartan toy!

Other Amazing Scottish Dog Breeds

Golden Retrievers

A portrait of a Golden Retriever doing the trick for "shake"

Bet you didn’t know the most popular family dogs on the planet originated from Scotland. Golden retrievers were trained in the 1800s to retrieve the kill of smaller prey because they are so very gentle – especially for their size. Training these beautiful pups comes as a straightforward task, which is part of what makes them fantastic family pets and wonderful assistance companions.

Gordon Setter

A portrait of a Gordon Setter, a Scottish dog breed.

A beautiful black and tan (big) baby, the Gordon setter is one of those dogs that is a forever puppy. No matter what stage in life a Gordon setter is, their youthful bounciness and hyperactivity remain. Even in the early 1800s, the Duke of Gordon recognized how beloved this breed would become.

Scottish Deerhound

A Scottish Deerhound

The winner at the 2020 National Dog Show is the oldest originating doggos on our list. On ancient pottery can be found the depiction of this large, regal, and gentle breed. Like many large breeds dogs like the Irish Wolfhound or the Great Dane, these gentle giants insist on thinking they are lap dogs and have no problem snuggling right on top of you while you’re watching TV.

But be careful – make sure they get their daily dose of exercise, or they will get bored very easily. And you do not want a bored Scottish Deerhound! While you’re out with your walks, showing off your Westminster winner, make sure you’ve got him outfitted with his Scottish leash to show off your homeland pride!

Shetland Sheepdog

A Shetland Sheep Dog

The Shetland Islands gifted the world with these beautiful pups: Shelties. Looking at a picture of one, it would be easy to confuse these sweet dogs with a Rough collie. While they look very similar and need regular maintenance like one, they are much smaller than the Rough collie – they only grow to be an average of 10 inches tall!

Match Your Best Friend in Tartan

Homespun 2-Inch Tartan Dog Collar and Leash Set from The Celtic Croft

Every good Scottish dog needs an excellent tartan to call their own while living the ruff life. We love sharing our most comfortable and warm tartans with our fur family, just like our human ones.

Check out all of our dog accessories, and get your pup the best tartan collars, leashes, and toys around!

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