How to Groom a Scottish Terrier

Bushy eyebrows and beard are noticeable features of the Scottish terrier's coat.
Scottish Terrier image by SMITH from

A spunky, loyal member of the terrier group, the Scottish terrier is well known for its thick, wiry coat and defined eyebrows and beard. The lively little Scottie’s double coat and shaggy fur comes in shades of black, brindle and wheaten. Whether you simply want to keep your Scottie freshly bathed and well groomed, or give his coat show-dog appeal, grooming tips geared specifically to the breed help you keep your little friend looking fabulous.

Step 1

Choose an appropriate location to groom your Scottish terrier. Place your dog on a table, near a strong light source, to give you a better access and view. Grooming your dog in a room with no distractions helps him relax during the process, especially if he has the tendency to stress in such situations.

Step 2

Brush your Scottie's thick double-coat in one direction at least once a week using a pin brush to remove lose fur and prevent hair mats. Pay close attention to the areas around your dog's ears, legs and hindquarters where tangles are likely. Carefully brushing the long fur on the lower portion of his body, also called furnishings, keeps your pet's traditional look in top shape.

Step 3

Comb your dog's fur, including shorter fur around your dog’s feet, ears and tail, with a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles and mats. Dampening the comb with warm water helps it glide through tangles and mats more easily.

Step 4

Bath your Scottie once a month using a tear-free shampoo to avoid causing irritation to sensitive eyes. More frequent baths may be necessary if your pet spends a lot of time playing outdoors. Blot the dog with a soft, thick towel after his bath to remove excess water before blow-drying his coat at a low heat setting. The Scottie's coat is too think to dry properly by using a towel alone. Brush the fur against the grain during blow-drying.

Step 5

Clean your Scottish terrier's teeth using a soft-bristle toothbrush and warm water or a canine toothpaste to prevent plaque from forming on your pet's teeth between professional cleanings.

Step 6

Trim your Scottie's nails as needed with nail clippers designed for use on dogs' nails. As a rule of thumb, trim just the tip portion of the nail that develops into a small "hook." File down rough or sharp areas. Though each dog's nail trimming needs varies depending on activity level, a good way to tell if your Scottish terrier is ready for a trim is if his nails touch the ground. For most Scotties, this will be about every two weeks.


  • Do not tug or pull harshly at mats in your Scottie's coat. This can result in damage to his delicate skin. Allow your groomer to remove stubborn tangles and fur knots.

  • Avoid using toothpaste made for humans on your dog's teeth, as these products are not meant for canines and may make them sick.


  • Take your Scottish terrier to a professional groomer about once every two months for a professional "Scottie" cut. This process can be difficult, especially for beginners. In addition, trimming your dog's fur around delicate areas such his eyes, ears, mouth and hindquarters can be tedious. Your groomer can give you advice on keeping his new cut fresh between routine grooming appointments. Have your groomer trim your Scottie's toenails when you take him for his regular grooming visit if needed.

  • Brush and comb your Scottish terrier before giving him a bath. This will help remove excess hair, and reduce the amount of tangles and fur mats in his coat.

  • It is best to use a blow drying to complete your Scottie's bath, as excessive rubbing with a towel may cause his fur to kink and become tangled.

Items You Will Need

  • Pin brush
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Tear-free shampoo
  • Towel
  • Blow dryer
  • Soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Toenail clippers for dogs
  • Nail file


About the Author

Jennifer Lynn has been writing as a correspondent and reporter since 1991. She has written for numerous newspapers and currently writes as a correspondent for Gannett. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on English from Ohio University, where she also studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Photo Credits