The Scottish Terrier originated in the highlands of Scotland and is believed to be Scotland’s oldest breed of dog. In those far off days, hunters kept packs of small terriers to rid the land of vermin. Dogs were selected for their gameness and hunting ability. Appearance mattered little to the practical Scotsman. All he required was that his dogs be fearless enough to attack any prey; small enough to fight their way back out; and hardy enough to withstand a rough life and rigorous climate. These were the attributes deemed essential in the early hunting terriers and they are still the attributes we look for today.
For hundreds of years they were Scotland’s own terriers, but sometime in the late 1800’s, enough foundation stock had been brought south of the border to warrant a breed name and distinct classes for them at English shows. The first Standard by which they were judged was drawn up in England in 1880, and the first breed club devoted to their interests was the Scottish Terrier Club of England, founded in 1883.
All present day Scotties stem from a single bitch, Splinter 11, and two sires, Ch. Alister, born 1885, and Ch. Dundee, born 1882. From these three are descended all the show champions on both sides of the Atlantic, first through the two great sires of the 1930’s, Eng. Ch. Albourne Barty and Eng. Ch. Heather Necessity, and later through the famous “3Bs” of the ‘1960’s, Chs. Bardene Boy Blue, Bardene Bingo and Bardene Bobby Dazzler.
Scotties came to these shores in the early 1890’s but it was not until the years between World War I and World War II that the breed saw any significant popularity. By 1936, Scotties were the third most popular breed in the United States. Although they did not permanently stay in fashion, they continue to enjoy a steady popularity with a large segment of the dog-owning public.