Bathing Scottish Terriers

You can blow-dry your Scottie before letting him outdoors.

You can blow-dry your Scottie before letting him outdoors.

Long, luxuriant hair and a low-set body provide a perfect combination for picking up grime and dirt. A Scottish terrier sometimes needs a bath on top of regular grooming. But because of his unusual coat, the bathing technique is not exactly the same as for other breeds.

Assemble everything you need: the brush and comb you normally use for grooming, doggie shampoo, doggie conditioner and several towels. You might also need a large plastic jug, and a hairdryer can be useful.

Brush your Scottie’s coat and comb it through, making sure that no tangles remain. Once a tangle gets wet, it because extremely difficult to remove.

Run the shower for a few minutes to ensure that it is producing lukewarm water. If you do not have a detachable shower attachment, it might be better to wash him in a large bowl such as a baby bath or the tub, in which case you’ll need the jug.

Dampen his fur with the aid of the shower attachment or jug. Dampen his beard as well but avoid getting water into his eyes or ears.

Massage shampoo into his fur, starting at the back of the head and finishing at his tail. Don’t forget his belly and legs.

Rinse out the shampoo until the water runs clear. Carefully rub a tiny bit more of shampoo into his beard, if it has been left long, and rinse immediately, making sure that the suds don’t go into his mouth.

Dampen his fur again, massage conditioner into the fur and rinse.

Lift him out of the shower or tub, stand back and wait until he has had a good shake. Rub him gently with one of the towels. Comb through his fur again. Dry his hair with the hairdryer set to its coolest setting. Hold it several inches from his body

Items you will need

  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Metal comb
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog conditioner
  • Towels
  • Large plastic jug
  • Hairdryer


  • If your Scottie is not used to a hairdryer, you might need to spend time getting him accustomed to it. The first time, turn it on but don’t bring it too close to him. Reward him with a treat. Repeat over a few weeks, bringing the dryer closer each time and leaving it on for longer. Encourage him to associate it with an enjoyable experience through using a lot of treats and a lot of petting. If it seems that he will never get used to it, don’t force it. Just towel-dry him thoroughly after baths and keep him inside until his fur is completely dry.

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About the Author

Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

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