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7 Best Scottish Dog Breeds

Embark on a canine adventure as we explore the charm of Scotland through its beloved dog breeds. From the majestic Scottish Deerhound to the spirited Cairn Terrier, our guide unveils the 7 best Scottish dog breeds that capture the essence of this picturesque land. Discover the unique traits, temperaments, and historical significance of each breed, providing insights for both dog enthusiasts and potential pet owners. Whether you’re drawn to the regal elegance of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier or the boundless energy of the Border Collie, Scotland’s canine companions have tales to tell. Join us on this journey through the rugged landscapes and rich history that have shaped these remarkable breeds.

7 Best Scottish Dog Breeds

1. Scottish Deerhound: Majestic Elegance and Gentle Giants

The Scottish Deerhound, often referred to as the “gentle giant,” is a breed known for its majestic appearance and amiable nature. Standing impressively tall with a wiry coat, these hounds were historically bred for deer coursing by Scottish nobility. Despite their size, Deerhounds are surprisingly gentle and affectionate, making them excellent companions.

Renowned for their graceful demeanor, they possess a dignified charm that complements their loyalty. Their adaptable and calm temperament makes them suitable for families, and their athletic build ensures they thrive in active lifestyles. Embracing a Scottish Deerhound into your home brings not only regal beauty but also a loving and devoted friend.

Also Read: Independent Dog Breeds

2. Border Collie: The Brilliant Herding Dynamo

The Border Collie, a highly intelligent and agile breed, is celebrated for its exceptional herding abilities. Originating from the border regions of Scotland, these dogs are renowned for their keen intelligence, unwavering work ethic, and remarkable agility. Their striking appearance, with a medium-sized, well-proportioned body and expressive eyes, adds to their appeal.

Border Collies excel in various canine sports and activities due to their quick learning and problem-solving skills. Their loyalty and energetic nature make them ideal companions for active individuals and families alike. Whether engaging in herding trials or enjoying outdoor adventures, the Border Collie stands out as one of the most versatile and beloved Scottish breeds.

3. Cairn Terrier: Spirited Charm in a Compact Package

The Cairn Terrier, a small yet spirited breed, embodies the charm and tenacity characteristic of Scottish terriers. Recognizable for their wiry coat and perky ears, Cairns are known for their lively personalities and courage. Originally bred for hunting rodents in the rocky Scottish Highlands, these terriers are feisty, alert, and make excellent watchdogs. Despite their compact size, Cairn Terriers are robust and full of energy, making them suitable for various living environments.

Their friendly disposition and affectionate nature endear them to families, and their adaptability ensures they thrive in both urban and rural settings. Welcoming a Cairn Terrier into your home brings a delightful blend of playfulness and loyalty, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a small yet resilient Scottish companion.

4. West Highland White Terrier: The Charming and Confident “Westie”

The West Highland White Terrier, affectionately known as the “Westie,” is a charming and confident Scottish breed that has captured the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide. Recognizable by their crisp, white double coat and perky ears, Westies exude a sense of charisma and determination. Originally bred for hunting small game in the rugged terrains of Scotland, these terriers are robust, bold, and possess a friendly demeanor.

Their compact size and lively personality make them well-suited for both city living and country environments. Westies are known for their adaptability, making them delightful companions for families and individuals alike. With their spirited nature and affectionate disposition, the West Highland White Terrier brings joy and companionship to households seeking a vivacious Scottish breed.

5. Shetland Sheepdog: The Intelligent and Graceful Herder

The Shetland Sheepdog, often referred to as the “Sheltie,” is a versatile and intelligent herding breed originating from the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Admired for their striking appearance, Shelties possess a luxurious double coat, a distinctive mane, and an expressive face. These dogs are known for their agility, intelligence, and keen sense of loyalty to their owners. Originally bred to assist in herding and guarding livestock, Shelties thrive in environments that engage their sharp minds and provide opportunities for regular exercise.

Their gentle disposition and affectionate nature make them wonderful family companions, particularly for households with children. Shetland Sheepdogs excel in various dog sports and obedience training, showcasing their adaptability and eagerness to please. Bringing a Sheltie into your home means welcoming a devoted, intelligent companion that effortlessly combines elegance with a strong work ethic.

6. Dandie Dinmont Terrier: Rare Elegance and Endearing Personality

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, named after a character in Sir Walter Scott’s novels, is a unique and rare breed originating from the Scottish Borders. Renowned for their distinctive appearance, Dandies have a long body, pendulous ears, and a topknot of hair on their heads. This terrier breed is characterized by its friendly and dignified personality, making them delightful companions. Originally bred for hunting vermin, Dandies are tenacious, courageous, and possess a gentle nature.

Their moderate size and adaptable disposition make them suitable for various living situations, from apartments to rural homes. Dandie Dinmont Terriers form strong bonds with their families and enjoy being involved in daily activities. Welcoming a Dandie into your home brings not only rare elegance but also a devoted friend with a distinctive character, making them a captivating addition to the world of Scottish dog breeds.

Also Read: Dogs with the Strongest Bite

7. Golden Retriever: Scottish Hospitality in a Friendly Canine Companion

The Golden Retriever, although not originally from Scotland, has become an honorary member of the Scottish dog family, embodying the warmth and hospitality of the Scottish spirit. Recognized for their luscious golden coats, friendly demeanor, and intelligence, Golden Retrievers have won the hearts of dog lovers globally. Originally bred for retrieving game in the Scottish Highlands, these dogs are known for their friendly nature, patience, and eagerness to please. Their adaptable and sociable temperament makes them excellent family pets, therapy dogs, and loyal companions.

Golden Retrievers thrive in environments that allow them to engage in regular exercise and social interactions. Their gentle disposition, coupled with a love for human companionship, makes them a perfect embodiment of the welcoming Scottish spirit. Welcoming a Golden Retriever into your home means embracing a friendly and affectionate companion that mirrors the hospitable essence of Scotland.


Our exploration of the “7 Best Scottish Dog Breeds,” it’s evident that these canine companions embody the spirit and resilience of Scotland. Whether you’re seeking a devoted family pet or a faithful working partner, these breeds offer a blend of history, charm, and unwavering loyalty. As you consider welcoming a Scottish breed into your home, embrace the joy, adventure, and companionship they bring, connecting you to the heart of Scotland’s rich canine heritage.


What makes Scottish dog breeds stand out?

diverse terrains. From the Shetland Sheepdog’s herding prowess to the West Highland White Terrier’s tenacity, each breed reflects the unique qualities required to thrive in Scotland’s challenging environments.

Are Scottish dog breeds suitable for families?

Absolutely! Many Scottish dog breeds, such as the Golden Retriever and the Bearded Collie, are known for their friendly nature and adaptability, making them excellent family companions. Their loyalty, intelligence, and gentle disposition make them well-suited for households with children.

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