Dog breeds

10 of the most iconic Scottish dog breeds at the start of Crufts

Scotland has given the world not only amazing food and drink, famous sayings and of course some of its most famous actors and singers, but also some truly lovable dog breeds.

Cute pooches, loyal lapdogs, skilled hounds and mighty hounds have all called Scotland home at some point.

With more and more people buying (and rescuing) these wonderful pets, there is more interest in dog breeds than ever before.

If you want a breed that pays homage to your Scottish heritage, look no further.

Here are ten of the most iconic Scottish dog breeds you can give a home to.

1. Scottish Terrier

Hamish the Scottish Terrier took part in the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

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Found on everything from shortbread boxes to Monopoly boards, Scottie dogs are arguably the most recognizable Scottish breed.

Loyal but fiercely independent, these little terriers are well-loved and even played a starring role in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

2. West Highland Terrier

Iconic Scottish Dog Breeds
A cheeky little Westie playing in the grass

The Westie is another hugely popular Scottish breed that has appeared on TV shows like Hamish Macbeth.

Friendly and boisterous, they are fiercely loyal and are known to be excellent companions for the elderly.

Easily trained, they were originally bred to hunt rats, but the little terrier with a big personality has become one of Scotland’s most popular breeds.

3. Golden retriever

Scottish dog breeds
These adorable Golden Retriever puppies are only a week old.

One of the most recognizable dog breeds, Golden Retrievers were originally bred in Scotland.

Playful and intelligent, they were originally bred to be the perfect hunting dog by Sir Dudley Courts Marjoribanks at his Scottish estate of Guisichan.

Officially recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1911, they have since become one of the most popular breeds in the world.

4. Gordon Setter

Scottish dog breeds
The Gordon Setter is a popular hunting breed.

Part of the setter family, Gordon Setters were originally bred to hunt pheasant and quail named after their popularity at Gordon’s Castle Kennel.

Known for their black and tan coats, they have earned a reputation as an intelligent, dignified breed that makes excellent family pets.

5. Bearded Collie

The ever popular Bearded Collie.
The ever popular Bearded Collie.

Bred to herd sheep and cattle in all weathers and all terrains – especially useful in Scotland – Bearded Collies are described as quick-witted and lively.

Athletic dogs, they make great pets for active families.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Gorgeous Shetland Sheepdogs.
Gorgeous Shetland Sheepdogs.

Another popular herding dog, the Shetland Sheepdog (also known as the Sheltie) is a hardy breed originally bred on the islands that give it its name.

Excited and eager to please, they often develop strong bonds with their family and are extremely loyal and loving.

7. Skye Burrow

The most famous Skye Terrier was Greyfriars Bobby.
The most famous Skye Terrier was Greyfriars Bobby.

The most famous of the breed that gave us Greyfriars Bobby, Skye Terriers are medium-sized terriers originally from the Isle of Skye.

Originally bred to rid farms and crofts of nuisances like badgers, otters and foxes, they became a favorite of Queen Victoria, leading to their growing popularity in the UK.

Their long hair and short legs give them a playful appearance that makes them highly sought after as pets.

8. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

The Dandie Dinmont is a lesser known Scottish breed that has grown in popularity in recent years.
The Dandie Dinmont is a lesser known Scottish breed that has grown in popularity in recent years.

Perhaps the least known of the Scottish breeds, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier is nicknamed the “gentlemen of the terrier breed”.

Their elegant appearance and coif of hair on their heads earned them the name of a fictional character from Sir Walter Scott’s book, Guy Mannering.

Originally from the Borders, this is one of the rarest Scottish breeds.

9. The Scottish Hound

Scottish dog breeds
Scottish Deer Hounds Misty and Millie cut striking tricks as they explore woodland.

Originally bred to hunt red deer, the Scottish Deer Hound was known as the “Royal Hound of Scotland” and is the largest of the Scottish breeds.

A constant companion to chieftains and even kings, the Deer Hound is a loyal breed known for its tough exterior and laid-back nature.

Happy to watch the world go by, they are excellent companions who make rewarding pets, however, they need more space than the average dog and are particularly suited to the Scottish climate.

10. Border Terrier

An adorable Border Terrier dog
A cute Border Terrier

As we’ve shown, Scotland has an array of terrier breeds, which are perfect for hunting agile prey over a variety of terrain types, such as wild haggis.

Famous for their loyalty and irascible nature, they are energetic and make ideal companions and love nothing more than long walks with their owners.

Naturally curious, their rough coats and hilarious facial expressions make for endless entertainment.

They are named after the border between Scotland and England where they originated.

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