It is an age-old question that comes up ever so often and something I've often wondered myself: are Scottish Terriers good with kids? With their stubborn character and strong-willed nature, you'd think the answer would be a certain "no" - and that's been the word on the street (and nowadays, the Internet). I'm not convinced the answer is quite so black-and-white. There a number of variables that determine whether Scottish Terriers will be good with kids and having watched my Scottie crew interact with children for the first time over the last year, my experience confirms it.
|Mr. K and my niece (future Scottie Mom, for sure!)|
First, it is important to know not all Scotties are alike. So, what works for my Scottie crew may not work for yours. If you have experience with Scottish Terriers and children, I welcome you to contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below. My goal in sharing these experiences is to help current, future and potential Scottie Moms and Dads make an informed decision when considering to expand the family - whether they are wanting to introduce a fur or human child.
I wondered for years how my Scottish Terriers would react to young children and it wasn't until my niece (and future Scottie Mom!) arrived that I got to see how very differently each interacted with her. Heather immediately took to her as if the child were her own. Mr. K kept his distance with a watchful eye before fully accepting this newbie into his circle. Nibbles and Pudley are still figuring it out, mostly going about their own way and only paying attention to her when she lets out a loud squeal - to which they respond with coordinated head tilts that only make my niece laugh more.
Heather, by far, was the most tolerant of the Scottie crew with my niece. She let my niece pull on her beard on several occasions (while we immediately set to work to loosen her grip on the hairs). Heather responded to my niece bopping her on the bottom by turning around and walking back to her with a smile looking to nuzzle her head against my niece's tummy. Mr. K also has let other children bop him on the head without issue but I know his tolerance would wear thin after repeated offenses. The key is knowing your Scottie and their limits. It is equally important to know the child and to make sure you're fostering a culture of mutual respect.
With my niece and her family living four hours away, the Scottie crew only sees her once per month. This slower than usual period of integration may prove especially helpful for Nibbles and Pudley who are still learning to be comfortable around adults visiting the Scottie House. Each time we visit, Mr. K appears more comfortable around this tiny human. He even rolled over for belly rubs and allowed her to hold his toy. Though their bond isn't as strong as what my niece and Heather had, I'm confident there is a budding relationship there. All they need is a little patience and to take baby steps.
I'm also a firm believer that our beloved Scotties adopt to the environment around them. If you're overly anxious or nervous about the Scottie dog being around a child, the Scottish Terrier will be, too. However, if you've eased them into the experience of being around a child and feel cautiously optimistic that all will go well then they, too, will feel good about the situation and will exercise that same caution around tiny humans. Now, it is your turn to share your experience with Scottie dogs and children. Would you say that Scottish Terriers are good with kids?