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Are Scottish Terriers Hypoallergenic? Vet-Reviewed Health Facts

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

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Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed, there are some breeds that are more allergy-friendly than others. Low-shedding dogs are popular choices for dog allergy sufferers because they may help minimize allergic reactions. So, Scottish Terriers aren’t completely hypoallergenic, but they can still be a considerable breed for allergy sufferers because of their low-shedding coat.

However, there are many other factors to consider before bringing home a Scottish Terrier. Here’s what you need to know about this breed and what life with one could look like.

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The Cause of Dog Allergies

Contrary to popular belief, dog allergies aren’t triggered by dog hair. People have allergic reactions to certain proteins found in dog dander, saliva, and urine. Dogs that shed heavily tend to trigger allergies more frequently because their hair can carry these proteins along with other allergens, like dust and pollen.

Why Scottish Terriers Aren’t 100% Hypoallergenic

Scottish Terriers are low-shedding dogs, so they can minimize the spread of allergens in your home. Despite being low-shedding dogs, Scottish Terriers require a moderate amount of grooming. In general, terriers have double coats that consist of a wiry topcoat and a soft and dense undercoat. A Scottish Terrier’s wiry topcoat requires hand-stripping, which involves pulling out loose and dead hairs to encourage healthy growth for new hair. Most Scottish Terriers can get by with monthly hand-stripping, while some may require it more frequently.

Not keeping up with proper grooming can easily lead to skin and coat issues, which can then contribute to exacerbating allergy symptoms. So, it’s important to be prepared to meet a Scottish Terrier’s grooming demands before bringing one home. Along with seeing increased shedding in your home, a Scottish Terrier can get mats and tangles in their coat and experience skin irritation and inflammation if they’re not groomed properly.

scottish terrier
Image Credit: Ondrej Prosicky, Shutterstock

Are Scottish Terriers the Right Breed for You?

Although the Scottish Terrier is a highly recognizable breed, these dogs aren’t typically recommended for first-time dog owners. They tend to have independent temperaments and can be challenging to train. It’s important to be well-informed about dog behavior and training techniques to encourage Scottish Terriers to engage in obedience training.

Scottish Terriers also have a loud bark and can be quite vocal. So, unless they’re trained to refrain from barking, they can become noisy apartment neighbors. They’re also quite active and enjoy running around off-leash, so they often do best living in single-family homes with fully fenced yards.

Scottish Terriers may not be the cuddliest dogs, but they’re still highly loyal. They usually develop strong bonds with one or two people in their families, and they love being a part of the action. They’re also alert and intelligent and can become good watchdogs.

Overall, Scottish Terriers do best with experienced dog owners that have the time to invest in solid obedience training. They’re active and lively and will appreciate going on daily walks and being able to run around freely outdoors. Prospective owners must also be ready to commit to a moderate grooming regimen that includes regular hand-stripping and weekly brushing.

scottish terrier
Image Credit: Plotitsyna NiNa, Shutterstock

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Scottish Terriers are low-shedding dogs, and they can be allergy-friendly pets if their grooming needs are met consistently. However, there are many other factors to consider before bringing home a Scottish Terrier. Scottish Terriers aren’t typically recommended for first-time dog owners or apartment dwellers. So, make sure to get to know this breed and its specific needs, and don’t hesitate to get to know other dog breeds, especially if you’re a novice dog owner. There are many allergy-friendly dog breeds that are also well-suited for first-time dog owners.

Featured Image Credit: LaresaPerlman, Pixabay

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