Bad Puppy! Training your Scottish Terrier

A reader writes:

Hello, i found your page by searching “how to deal with a scottie”, since my scottie is very aggressive and she is barely 2 months old. I have an 8 month westie and it’s unbelievable how mean my scottie is with her. She’s also aggressive when i try to cuddle or pet her. Please help me by giving me some advice on how to train her. She bites people and my westie all the time and she really bites HARD, she even made a family member bleed, but we still love her 🙂
Thank you so much 🙂

Scottie News replies:

Please don’t call your Scottish Terrier puppy mean and aggressive. An eight-week-old puppy can no more be mean than an eight-week-old baby can. Your puppy is just spirited and, from the sounds of it, more of a handful than your last puppy. While some very young kids and puppies are more difficult than others, it’s important to remember that they aren’t doing it on purpose so  “mean” isn’t really an accurate description. Whether you’re a parent or dog owner, you need to find ways to get through. Here are some past suggestion on training biting Scottish Terrier puppies. Please be sure to read the many helpful comments too and see what might work in your situation. Alas, there’s no one miracle solution so you might have to try several different techniques. Good luck.

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And for even more visit Scottie News’ special Puppies section.

7 thoughts on “Bad Puppy! Training your Scottish Terrier

  1. Oh dear, good luck to the reader! I wonder where she got the puppy from, a reputable breeder would probably be willing to give advice on this kind of issue… Personally our current 2 were mouthy/slightly nippy when puppies, but just working with them to take your hands away and leave them when they nipped and say “kissy-kissy” or something & praise /treat when they licked hands instead seemed to eventually work. Being mean with the other dog is trying to assert dominance and once they’ve sorted out a pecking order it could get better … you could always look for a personal trainer who can help.

  2. Of course a puppy is not trying to “dominate” the older dog. Please read the statment paper of the american veternary society about the “dominance” topic if you don’t believe me.:
    I’m animal psychologist and dog trainer, but it’s very difficult to give a serious advice when I can not see the situation. But it’s for sure true, what have been said, that the dog is not “mean”. Maybe he had a bad socialisation or he is stressed with the new situation. I would have to observe the dog and ask you a lot of question to really help you. For sure, you need help now and from a good therapist. Because there are a lot of anti-scientific, autodidactic dog trainers with horrible aversive methods around, who would make the problem a lot worser. If you like, you could send me an email to and I will try to find you a good professional dog therapist in your region.

  3. Is she being really aggressive? Or is she just over playful? All puppies nip and like babies, everything goes in the mouth, that is how they first explore the world.. When Captain was a puppy, I used to say ouch very loud if he nipped too hard, he would then stop and become very apologetic, they don’t realise they are hurting you. If that doesnt work, maybe, a little time out each time, for just a minute. When Captain started being too aggressive with other dogs – I would say ‘No’ firmly and hold his muzzle for a few seconds, looking into his eyes. Having said that, it’s possible your puppy has deeper problems, if it was not socialized well from the beginning or moved from the litter to soon, so seek advice from your vet, also.

  4. I expect that it is just a bit of rough and tumble between the two dogs, if the younger dog goes beyond the pale the westie will correct her.

    As far as cuddling goes, Scotties don’t do that really, if they rest their head on your leg when sitting on the couch, consider it an honour.

  5. You have a great approach with how people should “view” their dogs, I have a very similar approach with my training system – Love, Praise & Affection is the key!

    You have to expect the dogs to be full of energy and work with that to effectively training them!

  6. Our beloved 12 year old scottie passed away recently and we ended up getting two female 7 week old litter mates. I have had them for one week and they are very attached to each other. Does anyone have any advice on raising two puppies at the same time? I have had them in the same crate but realize that I need to separate them. One is more attentive to people and the other only seems to see her sister.

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