How much should a Scottish Terrier weigh?

According to the AKC, a well-balanced Scottish Terrier dog should weigh from 19 to 22 pounds (8.6 to 10 kilos) and a bitch from 18 to 21 pounds (8.2 to 9.5 kilos).

Bridget tips the scales at 27 pounds (12.3 kilos).

While I occasionally see a small male Scottie downtown, he looks kind of scrawny to me. And as I write these words, it’s just coming back to me that Bridget’s breeder said American Scotties were smaller than Candian dogs.

Maybe we’ve just bred a bunch of lumberjack dogs here in the frozen north.

56 thoughts on “How much should a Scottish Terrier weigh?

  1. Weight is one of 3 numbers to consider with dogs. How tall is she at the shoulder and how long is she from the collar to the base of the tail? If those figures are also above average, her weight should be above average. How fit is she is more important that how much she weighs. Can she run, play hard, walk a good distance without giving up or getting out of breath? When you look down at her does she have a nip in at the waist? Ditto from the side..should nip up after the rib cage. Paul Bunyon was a big guy…but what a 6-pack from all that axe swinging. Makes a gal want to swoon.

  2. Macintosh varies between 12 and 12.8 kilos. He is solid muscle and his vet says he is in great shape. If he was 10 kilos I’d think there was something seriously wrong with him!

  3. Artie is the “fat” one — about 29 to 30 pounds, depending on his mood, etc. He’s a “long” Scottie, but also thick.

    Simon is closer to the average — 20-22 pounds depending. He’s also a rescue.

  4. Cambria weighs about 19lbs. She honestly could probably stand to lose a pound, because you can’t feel her ribs without really trying (she does however have a nice tucked waist). But she’s a very healthy dog so I don’t worry about it too much.

  5. I have also wondered about the weight standard for scotties – I had heard that there was a difference in size between American and British scotties – I assumed that because all of my scotties have been in the 26-33 pound range (but not overweight) that American scotties were the bigger ones. I’ve also heard that you can tell the difference between an American and British scottie by the way they eat/drink – if they sit while drinking vs. stand – of course I have never been able to determine which goes with which. Maybe these are just scottie gossip – anybody know?
    Julie – owner of jumbo scotties

    1. Im in the uk and I have a huge male scottish terrier who is only 7 months old and alrady weighs 30 pounds but is not fat. He hasnt stopped growing yet so will be enourmous.

  6. My 15 month female Scottie is 22lbs and you can somewhat feel her ribs. I’m guessing she’s a healthy weight. She’s solid as a brick too so I think, like people, muscle weighs more than fat, etc. so you need to take that into consideration. She spends her days running around with our Lab.

  7. My two rescue Scotties have very different builds, and weigh 9kg and 13kg. The bigger guy was 15.4kg when he first came to us, but with a sensible diet and plenty of excercise is now a much healthier weight with a waist. The little fella is just much more petite and has recently been mistaken for a lady Scottie!

  8. Finnigan weighs about 22 pounds (10 kilos). He’s at a bout 8 months now, and slightly longer than average. He eats like a cow, but seems to retain a curve to his waist.

  9. My male scottie has just had the snip and one thing the vet warned me about was weight gain. Has anyone any info/advice about this? Thank you

    1. I live in Paris, France and have an eight-month old female Scottie named Rosie. I had her spayed when she was just under six months old and was told by the vet I had to be careful about not feeding her too much because, from now on, she would gain weight easily. In France, many brand name dog foods sell dry food for sterilized dogs – no kidding. I expect it is similar to “Lite” dog food, though we have that over here as well.

  10. When we adopted Angus he was six months old and 20 lbs. He is now 2years old and weighs 30-34 — he loves to eat! However, he is solid, healthy, and loves to run and walk so I’m not as worried as I was at first. He sits when he eats which I find amusing. I have never had a dog do that. I didn’t know there was a difference between American Scotties and other countries. Americans are known to be overweight so maybe it carries over to their dogs?

  11. Okay, I’m feeling better about Bridget’s chunkiness. She gets lots of exercise and is energetic, but is just very concerned about eating.

    I feel that to give her any less food than she currently eats would be cruel given her hearty appetite.

    I’ve never seen a dog who sits down to eat but have seen some who lie down.

  12. Fergie, our Scottie, weighs in at about 25 pounds. I think if she were too much smaller she’d look funny. In my mind, Scotties tend to be thick dogs and I think she’s adorable!

  13. OMG – I thought Duncan was a SToUS (a scottish terrier of unusual size). His average weight is 27 pounds. He’s a big little guy. I was a little alarmed at how fast he grew from a pup because the ST’s I’d always seen ring side seemed small. Now I see he’s not so unusual.

  14. Our Scottie, Jock, is a whopping 33 pounds, and is severely overweight considering his smaller build. He is epileptic and takes phenobarbs daily, which increases his appetite *and* his weight. He was just put on a diet by his vet today, we’re hoping he’ll lose 10 pounds or so. He gets out of breath really easily and has trouble climbing up on the couch now.

    1. What type of diet did you scottie have for losing weight. My female Nottie is 30 pounds. Her mother weighed 16 and her dad weighed 18. She is very much over weight and I need to try something to assist her in losing weight.

      1. Hi Shawn, we are now the proud owners of two wonderful Scotties. The oldest one is Bonnie who is eight now,and at one time she got all the way up to 32lbs. The vet told us she should only weigh 18lbs, but another vet told us that if she was a European Scottie then she would be much smaller, but American Scotties are much larger, even so she was overweight . What has been the very best “diet” for Bonnie is her new sister, Lucy. Lucy is just over six months old and has brought out the puppy in Bonnie! In just three months Bonnie has gone from being 32lbs to a very svelt 23lbs. She has also cut herself down on her food intake. She eats about a cup of kibble at lunch time then at dinner time she has about half a cup of wet food and another cup of kibble. She seems much happier and has much more energy. I often think that she has just set her own agenda and in order to keep up with Lucy, it meant losing weight. Hope this helps and you will enjoy your Scottie as much as we do ours.

  15. Why are show scotties so wee? Mac is a monster compared to them. Even his tail and ears are twice the size. He is bigger than all the measurements given in the kennel club breed standards but is still the most handsome boy!

    ps I think Canadian scotties need an extra layer of blubber to keep them warm.

  16. Oh geeze… my daughter’s male Scottie, Colin was 38lbs and just a big guy… perfectly healthy. His litter mate, my Scottie girl, Gwen was about 24 and petite and dainty… their other littermate, Maggie is about 32 and all three are trim and fit.

    Colin was more typical of his British grandfather. ans when I was last in UK, the Scotties there did seem to be a bit bigger, sturdier, as were the Cairns as well.

  17. I have 7 month old Scottie weighing in at 30 lbs. I been so worried. He is active, runs, walks a lot and given very very few people food. Is this abnormal?He looks good, i think but is my first scottie. Worried Mom

  18. Scotties, like many terriers and smaller breeds, mature early. It’s not uncommon to find terriers under a year in the show ring along with their adult counterparts. Duncan was structurally big by six months and weighed 24 pounds. Between seven months and fifteen months he only gained three pounds and now at three he’s steady at 27lb. Karen, read the first posting here…all other measurement being proportional – your Scottie may just be large.

  19. This is interesting….I was surprised that Briget is 27 pounds.
    Duncan will be 3 yr. old in Feb. and he ranges between 20 and 21 pounds. Now my Brie, the Cockapoo, I do believe the poor girl has a weight problem and is a bit higher than the 15 pounds she should be….just proof the poor females tend to carry more weight.

  20. Dash weighs about 26lbs, he’s 9 months and seems a little overweight, specially after grooming but then I remember these are heavy boned dogs so I guess I don’t have to worry. The vet also says he’s healthy and perfectly fit.
    Remember that neutered males and spayed females have a tendency to gain weight.


  21. My Scottie boy Radley is coming up for 19 wks and weighs 21lbs, I too was worried but he is solid and very fit and active, no fat at all !!
    My first Scottie was female and very petite, this dog is a monster in comparison 😉

  22. I found a purebred Scottie through craigslist in my city and unlike my other Scotties who weigh less than 22 lbs, this new guy is 29 lbs. He's a beautiful dog with a great personality but I've never seen a Scottie this big. I found this blog and it's interesting to hear of other people with giant Scotties!

  23. You're lucky to have gotten a dog on Craigslist. They usually remove pet posts pronto.

    And speaking of giant Scotties, I saw one on the street today. Large, shaggy, not wanting to budge and barking at a baby stroller.

    100% Scottie.

  24. Update on Angus… since I posted on this subject last year, we have put Angus on a sensible, but healthy, eating routine. In the morning, he gets one-half cup of his regular dog food mixed with green beans, lettuce, carrots, mixed vegies, or whatever other vegies I have on hand (except of course forbidden types), and then again in the evening. We bought him a "break-fast" bowl (the kind that is supposed to slow down the eating) and it helps a little bit. Anyway, he gets the amount of food he should but with lots of extra "treats" (aka vegies) that do not promote weight gain and are healthy. He is now showing a waistline but I do not know what he weighs. Will know that in January. Ozzie (my Westie) on the other hand, sometimes will only eat the vegies…

  25. Oh – I've got a big Scottie story for you all! My "baby" Jack, was 54 lbs. at adulthood! He was from a breeder in CO, who told us he was a "European" Scottie. He was the sweetest dog ever and had a great Scottie "Arrooo" that could be heard anywhere. Sadly, we lost him to liver failure in Oct 2009 at the age of 12 1/2. We miss him terribly, as does our American Scottie, Arnie (he'll be 10 tomorrow). Anyone with information on larger/European Scotties, PLEASE email Thank you!!!!

    1. We got a Wheaten Scottie in January (now 9 mo.) and she weighs 17 lbs. We were told she is a European Scottie and is smaller than US Scots. She’s precious, precocious and a typical Scottie, not afraid of anything. In comparison to all of our other Scotties she is smaller.

  26. We have (had) three male Scotties. Hearty (Braveheart) had diabetes and weighed 42 pounds and is not fat; he was just a big lovable guy. Unfortunately he drowned in our pool last week and it has shredded our hearts. His brothers (Willie & Riley) both weigh around 30 pounds and are in terrific shape.

  27. That must be really hard to have drowned in your pool – I take it is not fenced in…………….too bad.
    I have a girl Nessie who is 9 in December and weighs around 22/23 lbs. She had weighed as much as 28lb but a change in diet has slimmed her down some. She looks leaner too because she has a little longer body than some I have seen….no matter what she is the love of my life along with her cohort Ailsa a West Highland Terrier who turned 10 in October and she is on the lighter side @ 12lbs and has never varied much from that – weird – she is small too never did fill out pudgie in the body hahaha

  28. The Doogster (Dougan) is 16 months and weighs in at 21 lbs (he’s totally within the standard measurements). But I can also empathize with people who own giant scotties. I tease my parents all the time because their Scottie, Sprocket, weighs much closer to 30 lbs. So we measured Sprox and found that he’s about a Scott and a half, so in that case he’s right where he should be. Unfortunately, when the two go out together, Doogster gets mistaken for a lady because he’s the littler. Poor guy.

  29. My mother’s female 4 year old Scottie who was the runt of the litter weighs 12.7 pounds when I took her to the vet yesterday. That is one pound more than this time last year. The vet reassured me that she isn’t overweight. I was interested to see weight of other scotties. Strange that she weighs so much less than the average. She is healthy and loves to play and run around.

  30. We have a male Scottish Terrier named “Laddie”
    who is 8 and half years old. We have had home since
    a puppy.
    He is a wonderful, good natured, soccer playing, happy member of
    our family.
    Scotties are the perfect specimen of a dog!

  31. I adopted my sons scotty when he moved and could not take him along and i have fallen in love with this sweet, friendly,querky little guy and wolud now feel lost without him beside me his name is pete

  32. My daughters scottie weighs 36 lbs. We have her on a diet with lo cal food and are walking her. She is not losing any. She is 5 yrs. old and named Sadie Rae. Roger

  33. I have a male Scottie(Elvis) that will be turning one year old in a couple of weeks. I am
    concerned about having him neutered because of weight gain. He weighs 19 pounds now. The reason for my concern is due to having a male Scottie in the past that I had
    neutered and he gained so much weight and totally lost interest in walking. He changed so much as far as his energy level. I would not have had him neutered because he was eleven years old but was advised by his vet to have it done. I still grieve over this because his quality of life changed so much. Please advise. EM

    1. Hi Ellen,

      I think the problem stemmed from having an older dog neutered. And, who knows, something could have gone wrong with the surgery. Frankly, I’m surprised the vet recommended neutering an older dog, but maybe there were other reasons I’m not aware of.

      Please do not beat yourself up over this.

      Re Elvis, it is true, dogs tend to gain weight after neutering so I would just monitor is food intake. He’ll probably need a few days to recover and then get back to his normal energetic self.


  34. We have an adorable 5 year old female Scottie named Bonnie (she’s a “bonnie wee lass”). I took her to the Vet yesterday and she weighed in at 31.0 lbs. Needless to say the Vet put her on a diet and said she should weigh no more than 18.0 lbs! This is going to be very hard on all of us, as Bonnie loves to eat. She only gets dog food, Nutro Weight Management wet and dry. She is extremely healthy, she loves to go for walks and runs and plays – yes, she is what I would call stocky, but I wouldn’t call her fat. After reading all of your letters I don’t feel so bad about Bonnie, but we will try the special diet food, and I will be very happy if she gets down to about 25.0 lbs.

  35. Please look into putting your dog on a raw diet. According to what your vet told you and what your dog weighs, your dog is seriously overweight. There’s a raw food yahoo group which I read like the Bible every day for almost a year before I got the nerve to put my Scottie on raw and it’s amazing and frightening to realize how brainwashed I was by the dog food companies.

    One of the many benefits is my dog is hardly ever “hungry”. I feed her half her food in the morning and half at night. Her weight is perfect at 18 lbs so I feed her about 7 oz of raw food, including organ meat and bone.

    There are companies out there that you can buy this diet from although I’ve found it expensive and most of them put fruits and vegetables into their food. In any event, it’s still better than the crap in a bag.

    In any event, best of luck getting the old girl trimmed down. If you keep feeding her what you’re feeding her, just cut back about half and she should drop the pounds in no time.

    1. Thanks a million for your advice. When you say raw are you talking any kind of meat and do you grind it up, like hamburger, or just feed it in chunks? I have given Bonnie pieces of chicken, cooked, and that seemed to upset her tummy. I was also told, somewhere down the line, that a dog should never be given pork, as they find it hard to digest – is that wrong as well? The Vet has put her on Hills Metabolic food and she gets half a cup in the morning with a third of a cup of the dried food and then the same thing at night. I’m going to try this for a couple of weeks and then take her in for a weight check. Like you, I am feeling brainwashed and I just want to do what is best for our girl!

  36. I have a 17 week old little treasure Molly, I just weighed her she is only 7lbs. Is this normal she will be 6 months on the 19 of June

  37. I was a bit worried until reading these letters.My Scottie Hamish is 33lbs.He is only 9 months old.He is a big guy,nearly all muscle.I still think he is slightly overweight so will be watching his diet in future.He has no trouble running about with my westie all day,although not quite as fast.

  38. I have come to the conclusion that what your dog should weigh depends on the Vet you take your dog too. We were told by our last Vet that Bonnie should only weigh 18lbs. We did everything to try and get her weight down. We recently moved across town and so changed Vet. I was fully expecting this new Vet to start ranting on about her weight, so when he never mentioned it, I asked him. Bonnie weighs just about 32lbs. He said she was just fine! Scotties are naturally stocky dogs and if she only weighed 18lbs he would think we were starving her! He explained that she is not a European Scottie, and that US Scotties are naturally a larger breed. Go figure!!! She is the love of our lives and a joy to be around. As long as she is happy, so are we.

    1. I feel some vets want you to starve dogs. If I feed Bridget less than a certain amount per day, she is extremely unhappy and follows me around all day trying to get me into the kitchen.

  39. I have a 2 year old Scottie companion named Chloe. She came from an amazing and caring breeder in Langley, BC- MacBrechin Kennels- owned by Heather and David Lindberg.
    Chloe has held at 20-21 pounds since she was about 10 months old. She gets 1/2+ cup of dry food plus about a tablespoon of wet food in the morning a slightly smaller amount of just dry food in the evening. She happily helps me enjoy a bit of cheese or the grisly end of a chicken leg occasionally but this is not a regular part of her daily food.
    My daughter is a vet and highly recommends a slightly larger morning feed and a slightly smaller evening feed so this is what I’ve done. I took the recommended amount for her weight and divided it roughly in 2. As she is more likely to get walked and play outside during the day- the larger meal in the morning makes sense. My dog is a beautiful healthy girl, super energetic (her nickname is the Black Tornado) loves walks, all other dogs and any size/age of human! She was spayed at about a year ago and has not gained any weight at all since then. She looks like a brick with feet but she does have a waist.
    I have done a lot of checking into ingredients in dog foods and refuse to buy anything with corn, fillers or sugar in it. Dogs don’t need any of these! Don’t be fooled by all the “natural” labels and ads on TV.
    My first boy – Toby-along with a beautiful blue point Siamese kitten- named Confucius, that was a wedding gift from some crazy friends- became part of my newly married life in 1972 and I have rarely been without a Scottie (or a cat) since. Both Toby and Confucius lived to 14 years old! I’ve owned many other breeds of dogs but since I got my first Scottie- they have consistently been my primary dogs. They have ranged in weight from a my smallest- Tessa at 16 pounds to my biggest Macleod at 28-30 pounds. All of them happy, healthy bundles of joy to our family and friends. Chloe is my 6th Scottie. She has truly helped me heal from the unexpected loss of my beloved husband of 42 years. It’s hard to stay sad when you have a bundle of energy and joy that unreservedly loves you. I can’t imagine life without my Scotties!

  40. I have two questions: How much, and how often, should I feed my 6-month-old Scottie?
    Is it safe to give him uncooked bones, and if so, what kind?

    1. Carole,

      I used to just leave the food out for Bridget when she was a puppy and let her eat at will, but then she started eating too much, which is all too say, “The answer is that it depends.”

      If your Scottie isn’t pudging out, then you can just leave him or her with a dish of food. If the pup is eating everything, then ask your vet what the daily food allowance should be.

      I give my dog uncooked marrow bones (often frozen) and she loves them, and they’re safe.

      The rule is no chicken bones ever and nothing else that splinters.

      Hope that helps.

  41. Hi
    It is so interesting to hear everyone’s comments.
    I have 2 Scotties they are both male and come from the same mother and father but are a year apart.
    I have been told by the vet that Angus who is 18 months old is over weight. He was sterilized at about 6 months of age. He weighs 12.8 kg. He is very active and goes on regular walks
    There are some days that he doesn’t finish his food but will eat it during the day.
    His brother Jock is 2 and a half years old and he weights 9.5 kg. He is much thinner that Angus and I worry sometimes that his back bones look like they are sticking out of his back.
    They eat half a cup of small pellets and half a packet of the pedigree bits of meat in sauce. How do I cut back and give Angus less food. How do I get Jock to “fatten up” a bit. They used to get biscuits as a treat once a day but the vet has told me one biscuit is equivalent to one hamburger and has told me to stop them.

    These are such a special breed of dog and once you own a Scottie you don’t want and other breed.

    Kind regards
    Alison Luppa

  42. My Jamie is a solid 35 lbs. (US) – the vet said he might be 2-3 lbs overweight (we’re working on it) but is just a solid little dog. Where I live I’ve only seen two other Scotties – both nearer the 20 lb. rule. Just more to love (and lift) – ha!

  43. Our Scottie is just one year old and weighs 18.7 pounds. He is pure black and has the sweetest temperament, and everything about him is the polar opposite of our first two Scottish Terriers! They were both Brindle, weighed on average 30-32 pounds, and had the typical Scottie attitude.

    I loved both of them with all my heart, but I have to say it is a pleasure to have a Scottie that doesn’t need a muzzel at the Vets, or be sedated to be groomed. :/

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