Preparing Your Home for Your new Scottish Terrier

The following is an excerpt from "The Complete Guide to Scottish Terriers" by Tracey Squaire. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.

Author Credit: Tracey Squaire

Helping Your Current Pets and Children Adapt

If you already have pets and children in your household, good! You can start socializing your Scottish Terrier early. Scottish Terriers aren’t known to get along with other animals and with children, but teaching your animals and children how to respectfully interact with each other can help change that.

Scottish terrier senior
Photo Courtesy – Carol White

Before bringing home your Scottish Terrier, make sure everyone in your home not only knows that someone new is coming but also knows how to interact with that someone new. For instance, if you have other pets, bring something home that smells like your new Scottie to get the old pets used to the scent of the new dog. If your pets are the excitable or intrusive type, consider leashing them for the initial meeting; Scottish Terriers aren’t afraid to show their annoyance, but no puppy deserves to be overwhelmed its first day in a new home. The same goes for children: make sure they know the rules about interacting with animals respectfully. Warn them that even if they’re used to other dogs, the Scottie won’t take poking or prodding lightly.

Your current pets may become territorial during the first meeting, so before you bring home the new pup, put anyway anything that belongs specifically to any of the current pets including beds, favorite toys, and food/water bowls. Make sure the space you plan to introduce the animals in is clean and open enough so no one feels confined or too close. You may even consider introducing the animals in a neutral area outside or away from the home.

Children should know that a new puppy isn’t a plaything, it’s a living being. Teach your children to be calm and patient in their interactions with the new dog, and warn them that they may need to wait until the new dog has adjusted to his new environment before approaching. Your Scottish Terrier should be allowed to approach his new family members in his own time.

It may be wise to share the history of the Scottish Terrier with any children in the household. They may find it interesting, and stories of fierce Scottie warriors may serve as all the warning you need to ensure everyone remains respectful around this small-game hunter.

Dangerous Things that Dogs Might Eat

There are many foods that are dangerous for dogs to consume for various reasons. Though dogs are made to eat meat, the way humans store meat may lead to illnesses. Many natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts can cause negative reactions if consumed. Additionally, many of the chemicals in the foods we eat are harmful to dogs. To keep your dog safe and healthy, keep the following food products away from your Scottish Terrier.

Food Leads to
Chocolate Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, uncontrolled urination (potentially fatal)
Macadamia nuts Lethargy, vomiting, fever, tremors
Food items containing the sweetener Xylitol (diet foods, store-bought baked goods, candy, gum, etc.) Liver failure, vomiting, increased heart rate, seizures
Onions, garlic, other alliums Anemia, potentially fatal
Grapes and raisins Kidney failure, lethargy, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea
Anything containing nutmeg (pies, cakes, cookies) Increased heart rate, dry mouth, seizures, stomach pain, disorientation
All parts of the avocado plant including the fruit, bark, stems, and leaves Vomiting and diarrhea; fatal in large quantities
Mishandled raw meat Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain
Lemons and limes Vomiting, diarrhea
Chicken bones Bleeding, vomiting, drooling, moving oddly


Dogs may also get into some of the things we drink. Your Scottish Terrier should drink nothing but water (unless approved by your veterinarian), but the following drinks can be harmful to your Scottie.

Drinks Leads to
Coffee and tea Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, uncontrolled urination, potentially fatal
Any caffeinated soft drink Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea,
Alcohol Lethargy, vomiting, shortness of breath/panting
Saltwater Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures

Other Household Dangers

Food and drinks are harder to keep away from our animals, especially since they can be sneaky, but there are other household dangerous that can harm your Scottie if not properly stored or put out of reach. These items include medications of any kind for any species, pesticides or insecticides, fertilizers, antifreeze, deicer, oil, paint, paint thinner, batteries, power cords, bleach, and other household cleaners. These items are all around our homes, and it’s important to keep them out of reach of your dog.

Preparing a Space for Your Dog Inside

Before you bring home your new Scottish Terrier, be sure to prepare a space inside that he can call his own, especially if there are already other pets in the home who have marked their territory.

Scottish terrier upside down
Photo Courtesy – Catherine Moats

Your Scottie needs a place for his kennel (if you choose to use a kennel), a place for his toys, and a place outside of his kennel to relax. Additionally, if you’re bringing home a puppy who isn’t yet house-trained, you will need a place to put newspaper or puppy pads.

A good place to put a dog’s kennel when first bringing it home is somewhere near where the rest of the family spends a lot of time. Dogs are social animals and want to feel as if they’re part of the pack. If you put the kennel somewhere far away from the family’s daily activities, your Scottie may feel isolated and alone. If your Scottie does seem overwhelmed when you first bring him home, place his kennel in a closed-off area such as a bedroom or laundry room, but make sure he has free access to enter and leave that area.

Puppy pads and newspapers should also go inside of laundry rooms or in an appropriate corner in the public area. Wherever you place these items must be somewhere easily and quickly accessible; puppy pads allow you to train your puppy to eliminate in appropriate areas.

Toys should be in a few different areas. If you don’t make a plan for your Scottie’s toys, they will sit where he leaves them after playtime. I personally prefer an open storage container that my dog can retrieve toys from at will. This container is in our main living area, but I also store toys inside of his kennel which is in one of the bedrooms. Dogs don’t just live in one area, and their toys will travel as they do, but having one or two places in your home you know you can store toys will keep your home clean and your dog feeling as if he belongs. Trust me when I say that it will please your pup to see a container out in the open full of HIS stuff and covered in HIS scent.

Lastly, your Scottish Terrier needs somewhere outside of his kennel to live and be a dog. Dogs will often find a favorite place in your home for themselves, but if your dog is contending with other pets for prime real estate, you may consider outlining a specific area for your pup by placing a blanket with his scent along with some toys in the designated area. Scottish Terriers like to be near windows and other places they can observe their territories, so keep that in mind when hunting for the perfect relaxation station in your home.

Preparing Outside Spaces

Outside spaces are just as important as inside spaces, maybe even more so for Scotties. Inside of your home, your Scottie may feel more confident that all is well within his territory, but outside, he may be more on alert and, therefore, more likely to cause problems outside.

Scottish terrier puppy
Photo Courtesy – Emily Ashworth

It is an absolute must to have a fenced yard if you plan to leave your Scottie outside unattended for any amount of time. Electric fences are not a safe option for this breed not only because other animals are not deterred by this technology but also because Scottish Terriers are fearless enough to run right through the border of an electric fence in order to chase a perceived intruder or hunt down small neighborhood animals. Many owners have, unfortunately, discovered this lesson for themselves after discovering their beloved friend missing or injured after escaping the yard.

With your yard safely fenced, you’ll easily be able to outline different areas for your Scottie to perform various activities. The first area you need to outline is a potty area. I don’t recommend letting your pup have free rein to eliminate anywhere in the yard, not even if the yard goes unused by the rest of the family. It’s much more sanitary if your dog uses one area to do his business. Outline this area before you bring your pup home because you’ll be walking or carrying him there during his housebreaking period.

Scottish Terriers love to dig, so it’s a good idea to assign an area where that’s permitted. If you don’t make appropriate digging areas clear, your Scottie may dig up your garden or dig under your gate. There are many creative options for dog digging areas, depending on your preferences.

\It’s a good idea to outline a play area as well, especially if your family uses the yard often and you have stored items you don’t want your pup to get into. This play area should have some sort of shade and access to clean water since your pup is sure to work up a thirst while digging or running around.

Be sure that your Scottish Terrier doesn’t have access to the feces of other animals. Some dogs will eat cat feces if given the chance, and the feces of any animal, wild or domesticated, may pass on parasites or other diseases that can infect your dog just through contact. The same is true of any animal carcasses that your Scottie either discovers or creates himself. If your yard borders on any kind of wilderness, you may need to take further precautions like treating your yard for pests or pushing back the wilderness to keep wild animals away.

To read more from "The Complete Guide to Scottish Terriers" by Tracey Squaire, or purchase on Amazon, visit the link below:

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