How Much Exercise Do Scottish Terriers Need? [11 Ways to Tire Out a Scottie] is reader-supported. If you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Ensuring your dog receives sufficient exercise is crucial for maintaining their happiness, health, and good behavior. This holds particularly true for energetic breeds such as Scottish Terriers.

A lack of exercise can result in health issues, increased misbehavior, and excessive barking among Scotties.

Scottish Terriers generally need about 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. While younger Scottie puppies may require slightly more activity, older Scottish Terriers will benefit from a bit less exercise to accommodate their age and energy levels.

I’ll go over some of the benefits of exercise for your Scottie, as well as 11 ideas for activities you can try to get your dog moving.

Benefits of Exercise for Your Scottish Terrier

There are numerous benefits to engaging your Scottish Terrier in regular exercise. Not only does it contribute to their overall well-being, but it also fosters a stronger bond between you and your dog.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Maintaining physical health and fitness: Regular exercise helps prevent obesity, ensuring your Scottie stays in good shape. It also boosts heart health, strengthens muscles and bones, and improves coordination and balance.
  • Reducing stress levels: Consistent exercise routines contribute to lower stress levels in your dog, leading to a calmer and better-behaved companion.
  • Enhancing mental stimulation: Exercise provides mental challenges and enrichment for your Scottie, keeping their mind sharp and engaged.
  • Strengthening the immune system: Physical activity helps to bolster your dog’s immune system, making them more resilient against illness.
  • Promoting socialization: Exercise sessions, especially those that involve interaction with other dogs, help improve your Scottie’s social skills and confidence.
  • Fostering a stronger bond: Spending time together during exercise sessions creates opportunities for bonding and deepens the connection between you and your dog.

By incorporating regular exercise into your Scottish Terrier’s routine, you can significantly enhance their overall quality of life and strengthen the relationship you share.

Scottish Terrier chasing a ball

11 Ways to Tire Out Your Scottish Terrier

From taking walks in the park to training for competitions, there are many ways for you to help your Scottie get the exercise they need. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog. And a happy dog is a better behaved dog.

Make sure to mix it up. Trying new exercise activities will keep things fun for both you and your Scottie.

Taking Your Scottie for a Walk

Taking walks is an easy way to exercise your Scottie daily. Ensure they are well-trained to walk on a leash for a pleasant experience.

Before starting, gather the necessary equipment, including a well-fitted collar or harness and a sturdy leash. Patience and positive reinforcement are essential for leash training.

Begin practicing in low-distraction areas and gradually increase the challenge as your dog becomes more comfortable. Throughout the process, stay calm, patient, and encouraging.

Two walks a day of 20 to 30 minutes each is a good starting point for exercising with your Scottish Terrier.

Playing Fetch

Fetch is an excellent exercise for Scottish Terriers. They naturally enjoy chasing objects, making it an ideal activity.

Choose a toy your Scottie is interested in and begin by playing together. Toss the toy a short distance, encouraging them to fetch and bring it back.

Praise and treat them when they return the toy. If not, keep practicing. For Scotties, extra small KONG Air Dog tennis balls are a suitable option due to their size.

This fun and interactive game not only provides physical exercise but also strengthens the bond between you and your Scottie.

Tug of War

Tug of war is a universally loved game for dogs, and Scottish Terriers are no exception. Contrary to some beliefs, this enjoyable pastime is a natural and harmless activity that doesn’t encourage aggressive behavior.

Engaging in tug of war with your Scottie offers multiple benefits, such as enhancing their cardiovascular health, increasing their strength, and improving coordination.

To start playing tug of war with your Scottie, choose a small rope toy that they can comfortably grip with their teeth. This will ensure a safe and enjoyable game for both of you.


Teaching your Scottie to catch a frisbee can be a highly enjoyable activity. It’s important to start slowly and build up to advanced tricks over time, so they don’t lose confidence and interest.

Once your dog is at comfortable with chasing a flying disc, experiment with different tosses and distances to challenge them. As they master the basics, you can introduce more challenging moves or simply continue throwing the disc for their enjoyment.

Since hard frisbees can be tough on a dog’s mouth, I recommend the KONG rubber flying disc, which is a safer and more comfortable alternative.


While Scottish Terriers may not be ideal long-distance running companions, they do enjoy running and can keep up for shorter distances.

Their short legs and body structure are designed for digging rather than running, so it’s essential to be mindful of their limitations.

When running with your Scottie, pay close attention to their stamina and avoid overworking them. Keep the distances short and manageable, and monitor their comfort level throughout your run.

Agility Training

Dog agility training can strengthen your bond with your Scottie and provide a fun shared activity. The training involves various obstacles and exercises for your dog to complete.

Common obstacles include tunnels, jumps, weave poles, and teeter totters. Overcoming these challenges builds your dog’s confidence and deepens the connection between you and your pet.

If agility is something that appeals to you, there are agility training kits available for use in parks or right in your own backyard.


While not typically considered water dogs, some Scottish Terriers may enjoy swimming if exposed to water at a young age. It’s important to note that their body structure is not designed for swimming like other breeds.

Although Scotties can swim, it’s important to exercise extra caution when your dog is around water. Be aware of their comfort level and monitor them closely to ensure their safety.

Earthdog Competition Training

Earthdog training is a popular activity for Scottish Terriers. It involves training your dog to hunt and dig after prey, such as rats or other small animals.

The training process involves setting up a simulated underground hunting environment with tunnels and obstacles. Your Scottie must then locate the target animal and “work” it to the surface.

This activity provides mental stimulation for your dog, as well as an opportunity to engage in their natural hunting instincts. It can also help to build confidence and obedience skills.

If you are interested, check out the book Earthdog Ins & Outs by Jo Ann Frier-Murza to get started.

Dog Park

Taking your Scottie to the dog park can provide an opportunity for them to socialize and play with other dogs. However, it’s important to monitor them closely during playtime.

Scottish Terriers can be a bit prickly with other dogs, so it’s essential to ensure they’re comfortable and safe in the dog park environment. Spayed and neutered Scotties are more likely to do well with other dogs.

Introduce your Scottie to other dogs gradually and always supervise their interactions. Keep an eye out for signs of discomfort or aggression, and remove your dog from the situation if necessary.

When done safely, taking your Scottie to the dog park can be a fun and healthy exercise option that promotes socialization and provides mental stimulation.

Doggy Daycare

Another option to socialize your Scottie while also getting them some exercise is to sign up for a doggy daycare. Don’t worry, they don’t have to go every day. Most daycares will allow you to drop off your dog as needed.

In a daycare setting, your Scottie can play and interact with other dogs while being supervised by trained professionals. This can help them learn social skills and reduce anxiety when around other dogs.

When selecting a daycare, ensure that it is a safe and reputable facility. Consider factors such as the daycare’s cleanliness, safety measures, and staff qualifications.

Mental Exercise

Mental exercise is crucial for your Scottie’s well-being, just like physical exercise. Most of the above physical activities also provide mental stimulation, but there are easy ways to give your dog additional mental exercise.

You can hide your dog’s favorite treats around the house or yard for them to search and “hunt” for. This simple game can challenge their brain and provide a fun activity.

If you’re away from home, you can leave your Scottie with a treat toy filled with their favorite treats. The challenge of getting the treats out will give them mental stimulation and keep them occupied.

Scottish Terrier Exercise Final Thoughts

In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of Scottish Terriers. From taking walks and playing fetch to agility training and Earthdog competitions, there are many ways to help your Scottie get the exercise they need.

It’s important to mix things up and provide both physical and mental stimulation. By doing so, you’ll not only improve your dog’s quality of life, but you’ll also have a more well behaved dog on your hands.

Kevin William

Kevin grew up with a female West Highland White Terrier named Murphy who was always by his side. Kevin currently lives in New York state with his family including a Labrabull (Labrador Retriever Pit Bull) named Lily.

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