How often do you walk your Scottish Terrier?

afternoon walk
afternoon walk by _missmoss_, on Flickr

Bridget goes out for a long one-hour walk first thing in the morning.

Then, she has a 20-minute walk in the late or mid-afternoon.

Finally, she has a pre-bedtime walk, the length of which depends mainly on the weather. If it’s nice out, she’ll get 15 minutes. If it’s horrible, she’ll get three.

Bridget cannot walk off-leash as she’s a bolter so unless we go to the fenced in dog park, she’s on her leash all the time.

Her walks are nowhere near as scenic as the South African Scottie in the photo.

71 thoughts on “How often do you walk your Scottish Terrier?

  1. My Scotties generally get about an hour a day of structured on-leash walking. But I also have a fairly large pen for them where I allow them to go and play twice a day if weather permits. I take them on three 20 minute walks – morning, noon and late afternoon and then a quick out the door and back in right before bedtime.

    1. Just read all the comments and for you city-people who think that folks that live in the country never walk their dogs – you are wrong. I live in the middle of 120 acre farm and I walk my dogs just as vigilantly on leash as I would in the city.

  2. Our girl gets a long walk every evening about 6:00 or so for about an hour with our labrador in the State Park by our house. She walks pretty far as I would imagine one stride for our lab would be at minimum 2 or 3 for our scottie. She keeps up every step of the way and always tries to stay in the lead!

  3. It varies a little bit with me – Captain is a year old now, and can take quite long walks. generally one walk a day, two very rarely. Average about 1 and half hours, sometimes over 2 hours, and very rarely a short half hour. He does a lot of running about on the walk with other dogs, and quite often we have a play time in the evening. he prefers tug games, but can be persuaded to fetch a ball or tug toy if he has an opportunity to chew or worry it.

  4. My boys get a 20 min walk early in the morning, another right before I leave the house for work, another around 4:00 when dad comes home, and about an hour walk around 7:00 in the evening.

  5. Well, let’s see. I walk in the morning, again in the late afternoon and then again before bedtime. I’m off leash a lot, but right right back on it if there are scooters, skateboarders or LOUD trucks around!

    Roodles, Stuart

  6. Gosh you are so good….my girls I am sorry to say don’t get near as much as any of the dogs above. They are 11 and 10 years old and during the winter months living in Michigan it can be few and far between. When spring rolls around we usually do a 1/2 hour morning walk before breakfast and then again in the evening and we carry this on through summer and fall. My main problem is I have a Scottie around 23 lbs and a Westie around 12.5lbs so I have a lopsided disadvantage before we start along with age and a few help issues I do as best I can.
    Scottie loves to play tug and fetch and romp around and of course get excited and bark……they occasionally go to a doggy day care for a day of FUN with other dogs and people who love them dearly.
    I hope they are happy with this and never complain. Yesterday we had a nice 45 minute walk and thoroughly enjoyed it. Both my girls are/could be bolters love to chase squirrels, birds blowing leaves etc etc so they are always on a leash.
    I hope I am not the ONLY Scottie/Westie owner who doesn’t have a 3/4 time a day regime.

    1. I should clarify that the early morning walk is something of an amble with stops at Starbucks and radio on the ipod. It’s not by any means a power walk.

      And absolutely yes, if we had a huge backyard and Bridget had a canine companion, I would be less vigilant than I am.

    2. I also have a “lopsided” situation — Angus (my Scottie) is 34 lbs vs. my Westie’s (Ozzie) 20 lbs, not to mention that Angus is built like a bulldog and is very strong! I walk them on a double leash and that can be a bit of a challenge itself!
      We do not have a fenced in yard so walking is a must.

  7. Sheena, I’m with you – I feel I’m slighting my girl by her only getting the hour walk in the evenings. I’m hoping that most of the people posting all these multiples walks are city dwellers and that’s why they walk them so much. We are not in the city and she runs around in the yard too, if she so desires. Anywah, Sheena, let’s hope that’s the case….. ; )

  8. Piper gets three walks per day normally, one to the bakery in the morning (about 1km), a longer one in the park in the afternoon (about 2.5km) and a short one in the evening before bed. On agility days she gets an extra one with her agility group of about 3-4km through the woods. She is off lead in the park and with the group so she covers a fair bit more distance than we do.

  9. Thank You Carol that makes me feel better, I’m just not as young as I used to be either hahaha…Rick I think that’s great what you do with Piper. My husband and I in our early days used to do flyball with our Doberman and Airedale…long gone are those days but I love to watch the agility and think it’s great.
    Would have loved to do agilitybut too late now!!

  10. My two scotties (Mary – 6 yrs. and Hannah – 13 yrs) and my 8 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Frank) – don’t ever get walked. We have a 3/4 acre back and side yard – — all fenced with lots of trees/bushes – squirrels, etc. to chase – and by the time they get finished out there they’re ready to come back inside and chase our two kittens !!! thankfully that lets “Mom” off the hook for walking.

  11. We walk for about an hour in the morning. And half an hour in the evenings. In Autumn, Winter and Spring we usually fit in one or two other two walks mid day.

    We also have access to the house and back garden during the day. BUT apparently the contract–that I don’t remember signing–stipulates that if it is raining, NO walk.

  12. Our Scottish Terriers, Amelia (age 4) and Marcella (age 9mos) usually get walked for half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night. Then we take them into the dog park to search for old and new friends. Plus we have a fenced in yard where they can be outside if they like. We mostly walk for good health and fun. Usually my husband will get home and check his email and what not. The girls will show up in the computer room doorway and stare at him. They start to get antsy and then he yells for me. “I think they’re ready” he yells. It’s a very predictable routine that only the rain can squash.

    1. I chuckled out loud over your description of the girls showing up in the computer room doorway and staring at your husband, and then him yelling to you that they’re ready. My Echo, especially, watches when I’m getting ready for a walk (this means I’m replacing slippers for shoes or boots) and if I’m moving closer to the basket that holds their harness and leash. He even jumps up at the end table where the basket sit, as if to emphasize his eagerness. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think Scotties have more personality than any other type of dog–or, terriers, at the very least.

      1. Gloria, definitely Scotties for character every time. I meet a lot of regular dogwalkers,Captain is the only Scottie around the area, and quite a few people tell me that Captain is their favourite of all the other dogs because he has such character. A few weeks ago I was sitting near a small hill and Captain was on top, rolling energetically, when he accidentally slid down. He enjoyed the experience so much that he kept climbing back up and rolling down again. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was obviously deliberate because he had to work his little body and legs quite energetically to achieve the result. Wish I’d had my camera with me.

      2. Yes mine are exceptionally good at recognizing the walk indicators, especially Marcella my Black Scotty. If I pick up my ankle weights, I have a Black Scotty on my tail. If a snowsuit is ruffled, I have a Black Scotty on my tail. If I change from jammies directly to jeans, I have a Black Scotty on my tail.

  13. I walk my two scotties, Echo & Chloe, once a day, either in the morning or in the afternoon when I get home from work. In the summer I try to walk them early in the morning before it gets too hot. We walk about 2 miles, approximately 35-40 minutes. I want to increase the time this summer. We have a fenced yard and doggie door so they can go in and out all day long, so maybe there is less need for 2 or 3 walks per day. I was surprised that I walked them in weather as low as between 10 degrees and 20 degrees this winter. Echo especially looks forward to the walks. It’s a rare day when we don’t go out. We made one trip to the dog park–they both loved it, especially Echo. The one problem we had was not having an exit strategy for Echo. Chloe tired out and came over to me. My husband had to lunge at Echo on one of the times he raced past us. I really want to take him back, but we have to figure out how to get him to go home with us.

  14. Let me just say that when We walk, it’s no power walk. I amble along. I meander along. I poke along. I sniff, dawdle and tawdle. I The only time I get anywhere near a power walk is when We take Our trips to the beach and I run – RUN not walk – along the ocean several times a day. I did scoot along after a chipmunk this morning…

    Roo Roo! Stuart

    1. Stuart,

      Your walks sounds like Tartan’s! He dawdles and sniffs at every tree and blade of grass. I try to do a power walk with him, but he reminds me it’s his walk hence I’m the one being led. However if a squirrel is nearby, he RUNS in full hunting mode. This morning he chased two of them up a palm tree. Normally, after seeing a squirrel, he struts about the neighborhood so I’m able to walk past a couple of trees before he begins the sniffing again. If he’s not ready to go home, I usually get my ankles attacked or lately the exagerated emphasis of his butt sitting down in the middle of the sidewalk. When at the ocean…he runs and plays tag with me and explores the beautiful California coastline.

  15. Thanks everyone, this has been illuminating. My scot, Dougan – 2yrs, is about to become an apartment dog. He’s lived in a suburban house with large fenced yard for the last two years, so it’ll be an adjustment. I’m really nervous about how he’ll deal with the switch. I expect that we’ll become 2/3 walks per day people, plus a daily trip to the dog park (since we’ll live walking distance from the best one in town).

    1. My very first scottie was a male named Mac. We lived in an apartment the first 5 years of his life, so we were subjected to daily walks. What we found is that he quickly learned to “delay” doing his business so he could stay out longer. That was really annoying in the cold weather.

    2. Will you have a balcony with a view? Bridget’s first home had a balcony overlooking the street and she loved to sit out there. When she was first introduced to a small backyard at age, she didn’t know what to do with it and clearly missed her balcony view of the street and passersby. Sometimes we would hitch her to the porch so she could enjoy the urban action.

      Eventually she adapted to the backyard but this usually just meant sitting like a statue for hours waiting for the local raccoons to show up.

  16. I’m a city dweller. My wee Scottie lassie gets 45-60 minutes of walk in the morning and 60-120 minutes of walking in the evening, depending on the evening. We walk all year long, no matter what the weather. Our shorter walks tend to be in the heat as we both prefer cooler weather.

  17. During the weekdays, Tartan gets a walk in the morning before work, a longer one when I come home from work (about an hour) and then a quick one before bed. Weekends are different though. Since we live in CA near the beach, a street lined with boutique shops, and a park we spend our afternoons out most of the time.

  18. My boys get out for an hour power walk every morning. If they don’t come to the stable with me for a day’s work, they get another half hour walk (sometimes including a swim in the bay) or a 20 minute bike/run when we get home in the evening before dinner. They also have a large fenced in yard for the late night potty breaks and chasing squirrels.

  19. This question has been so interesting to read everyone’s responses….what I would love to know is the area where the Scottie’s and their owners live as to weather conditions etc….
    Just wondered where are these Scottie’s are doing their walking.

    1. Sheena we walk our Scotties in a local park. We walk them on a blacktop path around a huge pond. They frequently run loose and look for little varmits around the pond and in the areas of tall grass. The dog park is right beside this path and pond so we can see when dogs leave and arrive.

      We were out in light snow to almost Blizzard conditions this winter, they loved it. At night or when visibility is low, we put blue blinking lights on their collars or leash them. The hot weather is something we don’t walk in. We either go early or late but almost never in the heat of the day. Amelia, the 4 year old, loves to swim in the pool and play with the squirtgun. We hope 9 month old Marcella will do the same.

    2. We live in Kansas City, Mo. Humid in the summer (so good to walk early in the morning). The past 2 winters have been brutal–lots of snow and cold, and snow that stayed on the ground for weeks. We get some rain, too, and cloudy days. The sunny days are really enjoyable. I’ve been amazed at what I’ve endured in order to get them their daily walk. Echo, especially, looks so disappointed if we don’t go. Chloe enjoys the walks but is okay with staying home, too. Echo has so much energy that it’s beneficial to all of us if he gets to work some of it off in the walk–otherwise he’s bouncing off the walls by banging one of his toy balls into the walls. They also seem invigorated by cold winter weather. They love the snow and plummeting temperatures. They actually seem to slow down a bit when it gets much warmer.

    3. Sheena I live in the suburbs 12 miles from london, uk, I am lucky that there is a lot of green belt close by. Just across the road from me there is a lovely big park and meadows with a woods and a river. It is our regular place, and we meet lots of friends out with their owners. There are also other beauty spots not more than 20 minutes drive away, and we often go to a big woods with a lake, that is about a 2 hour walk round. Brighton is not far from us, Captain was born there, and we go to the seaside too, but it is a very stony beach. Captain loves the snow, but when we had the first fall, it was so deep, he just sank in it and I had to wait for it to harden before he could come out..

    4. Living in Canada, we’re no strangers to snow and it doesn’t really pose any dog walking problems.

      Rain, on the other hand, means drastically reduced walks. I often think that if I had the right rain gear, just like I have the right snow gear, I wouldn’t be such a wuss about rain. But then, I never get around to buying rain outfits.

      And, no, Bridget does not wear a coat.

      The angriest I’ve ever seen her is when I tried to put a dog boot on her as salt does seem to bother her feet. Never tried that again.

    5. Angus and Ozzie are from Pittsburgh. We also walk every day no matter the weather … it can be bitter cold, icy, snowing, hot, humid, raining, you name it we walk in it. The only time Angus won’t go is if it is thundering. He does not like thunder. Ozzie doesn’t care what the weather is like, he goes for his walk.

    6. I’m sorry Sheena, the direct location of my walks is Kenton, Ohio. We are in the North West part of Ohio.

  20. I live in Ayr, Scotland which is on the coast. These comments are great, it’s nice to know that scotties all over the world still have similar personalities! Macintosh is walked twice a day, 40 mins in the morning and an hour in the evening. He prefers cold weather, the colder the better. He generally snuffles along like a snail or goes flat out at cheetah pace. And as we live in Robert Burns country and have lots of tourists we constantly get stopped for photo ops!

    1. This used to happen to my little blonde niece in NIagara on the Lake. The Japanese tourists couldn’t get enough of her.

      1. Okay you are talking about a two-legged blonde niece in Niagara on the Lake and not a four-legged wheaten… right? Actually, I guess both would encourage photographs. : )

  21. Our Holly is 5 years old going on 6 so she is full of fun and run. She is always on a leash unless she is in our fenced in back yard. I leave for work at about 5 AM so there is no “early” morning walk. She gets a couple of walks a day as she demands and always goes out when I get home from work, and at least one more before bed time. I am hoping she will socialize a little more with the new neighbor dog so they can play together, the new neighbor is a Jack Russel. Everyone have a Scottie day. Anyone on amateur radio? Perhpas a meet on the air and talk of scotties then. Call for K3AK.

      1. AnnB,

        You are correct Skype did not kill amateur radio. There are still millions of us in the world today.

  22. I hope this isn’t too off topic but… is your Scottie naughty when meeting other dogs on walks ONLY if she/he is on a leash? Ours acts like she would rip them apart (she’s a pussy cat really and I don’t think she’d do anything) when we encounter other people with dogs on the paths in the park we walk. But, when she’s free and not on a leash she’s not like that. It’s very odd and I wondered if she was the only one like that. She’s got several good “doggie” friends too and lives with another dog so it’s not like she dislikes all dogs, etc. Just curious. Thanks folks.

    1. Carol,

      Holly is not very well socialized and that may be our fault. She makes a lot of noise when meeting other dogs but she has the fastest wagging tail you ever saw. We never take her out off leash, she will run and chase anything, she almost caught a rabbit the other day.

      1. Sounds a little like my Nessie, she is not as social as my Westie Ailsa who absolutely loves everyone and would go off with them too….Nessie is a much more discerning person and tentative when meeting strangers but really very very friendly as you say tails wags off her….she LOVES children and especially babies can’t get enough of them go figure all kisses etc.
        She does make lots of noise at other dogs but really it is a greeting because her whole back end just goes nuts!!!!!!!!

    2. Yes, my older Wheaten Scotty, Amelia, makes lots of noise on the leash and sometimes through the dog park fence. I give her a pinch on the side like Cesar does and she stops. I do believe Scotty noises are alarming to other dog owners so I want her to pipe down. She is usually very good with other dogs. She dislikes the big dogs hovering over top of her and will turn around and lunge at them, lol. I’m worried a big guy will take offense, pick her up and shake her. We try to keep a good eye when they are around other dogs. So far so good. The leashes always seem to amp things up for us.

    3. Carol, yes I’ve notice this just lately with Captain, He is one year, one month old now, and has been very well socialised, and also spends time with a dog I look after in the weekends, but just lately he has started to express a lot of growling and barking at other dogs when on the lead, fine off lead. Sometimes I think it is just a ‘hello’ , but
      he can also sound very aggressive and ready to fly. Of course I try to curb his behaviour, because it does, I think, look more aggressive to other dogs and owners than what he probably intends. He is on the lead a little bit more now,every time I see a dog I don’t recognise, as there have been a few attacks lately on dogs by different staffies/crosses. I did wonder if he is perhaps picking up on my tension, and being protective, or maybe it is Scottie behaviour? He is my first Scottie, so would be interesting to hear from other people and how they manage it.

      1. Sonya, thanks for the info. Captain sounds exactly like my Scout! As you said, to other people/dogs she sounds like she’s ready for battle and it can be a little off-putting to them I’m sure, not to mention embarassing to me. You make a good point – maybe they are picking up on our tension because we hunker down on the lead/leash when other people/dogs approach – that may be their signal to dig in. Who knows. In fact, her naughty behavior like this has made our Lab a little more aggessive (only in sound) when on lead now too I guess she just following Scout’s lead. It’s interesting though that when she’s in our yard (we have invisible fence that she totally respects) and people walk but with their dogs she doesn’t even bark at them – just sits there like a statue and watches them pass by. It’s all very odd. Part of their charm I guess.

      2. There might be an answer to this “problem” we have. Do other breeds “spar” their dogs at dog shows? Although I don’t know much about it, I think I understand the sparring enough to say this. If we were at a dog show and the judge asked us to spar our dogs (get close to another leashed Scotty) and the dogs just sat there, they would lose. The judge expects them to act like a Scotty, ready to GO, heads up tails up, RRRR! That might be what we are dealing with. I’m not sure if any other breed spars or did spar their dogs, that would be interesting to know. So I don’t think our little friends are defective or poorly behaved, they are Scotties! Does anyone else know anything about sparring?

        1. I saw “sparring” on Westminster show this year and it was Scottie’s too just their group and the judge had them do this and I think it is in fact just part of the Scottie breed how they are supposed to act. When you think of the Scottie and Westie in particular they were bread to ferret out rabbits all kinds of little creatures….so I know when my Scottie and Westie see squirrels they just want to go get ’em. My Westie gets particularly annoyed with the American Robin it’s as if they bate her hahaha.
          Terriers are barkers for play to say hello in having fun and playtime it’s just their way…….

          1. Sheena, Allison, that is very useful, thanks. Seems to be in the breed that they are vociferous to other dogs. Although, I think this can be exacerberated through our tension as well. It is a fine line to walk, I dont want to squash his Scotty character, but as Carol says it can affect other dogs and owners too. At the agility class, I go to, he seems to be getting a bit of a rep because he is so vocal on the lead, and of course stays on it most of the time there. It is difficult to explain to other owners that he is just being a Scotty, and they tend to draw away. Which is rather hurtful, because I think he just wants to play and interact, albeit with a bit of macho dominance thrown in. I just have to keep explaining then, ‘he is a Scottie, he wont actually bite your dog’. Ibut of course it looks like he will, so cant really blame owners for being wary either.’

          2. I hate it when dog owners ostracize another dog on flimsy evidence.

            The other day I was walking Bridget when two dogs got into a fight. To me, it wasn’t t all clear who started it, but one of the owners was absolutely sure it wasn’t her preshus and got really mad at the other one. Luckily, the accused chose not to fight it out and they both just went their separate ways.

      3. I had a terrible time with Macintosh for a long time. When he was young he would have fought with his own shadow when out and about. Perfect at home but a total terrierist when out and about, always with dogs three times his size. He’s totally calmed down with age and is now only a wee bit tense with male intact dogs.

      4. My husband accuses me of transmitting stress to the dog Sonya. But actually she does it when he’s walking her too, she gets so excited but sometimes she growls first (with people, too). We asked what we could do about it in puppy obedience class and although there was the advice that you could turn and change direction til they stoppped reacting, mainly it was “just keep piling on the treats” (the answer to everything). Naughty us, we didn’t do that and therefore it continues – but our dog is not fat. 🙂

    4. Macintosh was a menace on the lead. He would snarl and lunge at bigger dogs as we were walking to the park but the minute we arrived and he was off his lead he’d be best pals with everyone! He has improved with age (he’s five now).

      1. Bridget is not more or less aggressive because of a lead, but one thing that sets her off is exercising dogs. There’s nothing that gets her riled up more than a jogging dog with owner heading her way or a dog accompanying a skateboarder or cyclist. It turns her into a snarling ball of fury.

        1. My Nessie is exactly the same – she is good on lead, but when kids on their bikes or sometimes even a car if it comes whizzing round kind of quickly she starts her barking and I wouldn’t say lunges but certainly tries to make her way toward the action…..the one she doesn’t like with other dogs is if they sneak up at her back end to have a sniff she can turn very quickly and tell them off but no biting or fighting – she has gotten a little more this way and we figure being 10 she is just a little grumpy at times……but I do have to say very happy and well adjusted on her lead out walking…couldn’t do the off lead thing she would be gone after the first thing that moved……………….

      2. Ash, that’s exactly what my Scout does! She lunges and snarls at all dogs, huge 180 lb ones and tiny ones – she doesn’t discriminate and just like MacIntosh if you take her off her lead she’s fine UNLESS the other dogs shows the least little bit of aggressiveness and then it’s game on – she’s in their face. She apparently doesn’t take anyone’s guff! So…. I have to be very careful about the dogs I allow her to interact with. They must be very laid back or I’m always worried she’ll get in their face if they make an type of aggressive posture. Maybe time will help as you mentioned. She just turned 4. But, she’s good with people and kids so I guess that’s what’s the most important and I wouldn’t trade that little fur ball for the world!!

  23. Dolcee (1 1/2 years old) and I go for two walks (45 minutes each) on weekdays — in the morning and again in the evening, depending if we’re in Arizona for the winter (after dark walks when it get too hot) or in Michigan (either before dinner when it gets dark early or after dinner when it stays lght enough). On weekends, we go for longer walks — about 90 minutes in the mornings. And like someone else mentioned, unless it’s raining which is what Michigan has been like for quite a while now, the walks are shortened considerably. And Dolcee lets me know she’s getting cabin fever when she rings her bell at the door just about every 5-10 minutes to say “mom, when can we go outside?”

  24. For those people who responded to me as to their location, country or wherever..thank you it is nice to hear from all over.
    I live in Battle Creek, Michigan. Born and bred in Glasgow Scotland, for the person from Ayr, my husband and I spent our honeymoon 41 years ago in Largs April 3rd – wow talk about cold. When we go home to visit family we always try and make it down that way.
    Ann, we lived in Brantford, Ontario for 14 1/2 years our daughter was born there, before my husband was transferred to Battle Creek.
    Brantford is where we first took up our involvement with dogs our Airedale and got into training, VB (German) and Schutzand with our Rottweiler and Doberman.
    We love all dogs but are always drawn back to our terrier breed and now that I am older the smaller Scottie and Westie suits me best…although the unbalanced weight is an issue for walking never the less I am delighted to be a part of this ongoing conversation……thanks to everyone who has sent in postings/comments

  25. My boy’s walks vary. During weekdays we walk 30min in the morning but he is out in the garden for 1 hour before that running and barking at pigeons. Then we have another a long walk late afternoon including running. During weekends we have a long walk normally going to different commons for at least 2 hrs we get back ready for a nap; and then we have another walk before bed time. He also spends lots of time out in te garden.

  26. Sonya, I second Allison, a lot of people just don’t understand the “terrier” breed so just think how lucky you are to have a Scottie with such wonderful personality and that everyone else should be so lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Stay strong……be proud!!!!

    1. Thanks Guys! feel much better now and feeling very sorry for anyone who doesn’t have a Scottie it must b e a bitter pill to swallow.

  27. ao good to red all the comments, my 3 year old westie/scottie cross girl has started going for other dogs and its reassuring to read all the other comments.
    has any one tried a muzzle on a temporary measure

  28. Sarah, I honestly haven’t to go that route my girls are pretty good although we have a Schnauzer in our neighborhood and she is as honorary as can be and would gladly take a nip at even my most sedate and friendly Westie. Maybe someone can give you more information like maybe from a dog trainer or someone with some behavioral background

  29. 3 times a day and it is like they know what time it is. If I am late am in trouble. They get upset with me.

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