ABOUT US

Mucklewags is a small, home-based kennel that has been producing Scottish Terriers since 2000, and is located in south central Ontario, about an hour from Toronto.

We don’t breed for show. Our breeding priorities are, in a nutshell, health and happiness in family pets. We’re more concerned with a robust, loving dog than a dog with perfectly sized ears, and a tail that’s less than six inches in length. For example: one of our favourite girls flattened her ears whenever she got excited or affectionate. It was adorable, but it doesn't "conform" to the ideal breed standard. However, she was a dear sweet girl who loved our children to distraction, and we thought she was drop dead gorgeous, too. Her puppies were delights, and we were so grateful to have her as part of our kennel.

Our breeding priorities may differ from other Ontario Scottie breeders, but we let our dogs (and their families!) speak for themselves: pictures, testimonials and references are always available, and people who visit our kennel have the chance to meet and play with our dogs, particularly the parents of puppies for sale.

ABOUT SCOTTIES

Scotties are special dogs for many reasons.  We like to describe them as big dogs in little dog packages: our Scotties have that nobility and gentleness that “big dog people” so value in their pets.  They will have their energetic moments, particularly when new people come around, or when playing ball or chasing squirrels, but you’re just as likely to see them snoozing on the couch or cuddling on a lap.  They are not, by any means, yappy terriers, and they can have a decidedly stoic streak.  They’re excellent guard dogs on the vocal front, but none of our dogs are excessive barkers.  Once they’ve alerted you to a “threat” (a car pulling into the driveway, a doorbell, etc.) and you thank them or give them an enthusiastic “okay!” they usually stop pretty quickly.  We’ve sold many dogs to apartment and condo-dwellers and it’s worked out perfectly well.

A Scottie will run trails with you; walk briskly at your heels on a sidewalk; spend a lazy Sunday morning in bed reading the paper with you; or curl up on your lap while you both watch TV – they’re highly adaptable, versatile dogs.

Short, muscular dogs like Scotties are protected from the hip problems that plague bigger dogs.  This is a definite bonus, especially since they live, on average, such long lives.

Many people also appreciate Scotties because they don’t shed any more than humans do; they’re low-dander, so you’ll find that they’re easier on allergies than many other breeds, and easier to keep clean.

We’ve read that Scotties are known to dig, but none of ours have really proven this characteristic past their puppy years.  Individual dogs in every breed can be prone to digging; as with so many other traits, much depends on your dog’s unique personality and its training.

Some descriptions of Scotties in books and on websites call them “scrappy.”  We have our doubts about this.  It’s true that most Scotties won’t back down in a fight, even when provoked by a much bigger dog, but our dogs have always approached visitors with friendly excitement, not a “scrappy” mentality.   And when our pups come back as adults to board with us, we’ve found that with some careful introductions and monitoring in the beginning, dogs that have never met before and are in a new place can still get along and become part of the pack. 

It’s heartbreaking to see so many breed guides in print and on the web label Scotties as “difficult to train” and “bad with children” – these kinds of comments are certainly NOT representative of the experiences we’ve had with our wonderful brood, and the feedback we’ve gotten from our clients.

Scottie Health

A little internet research will yield several sites that go into this stuff in more detail, but here are a few key points:

VonWillebrand’s Disease (vWD) is essentially a bleeding disease.  When looking for a Scottie breeder, make sure to verify that the dogs have been genetically tested to see whether or not they’re carriers of vWD.  Our dogs have, of course, been tested and cleared.

Scottie Cramp (SC) is a much more complicated (and less serious) affair than vWD: in layman’s terms, it means that when the dog is excited or exercising, messages from its brain to its back end can get garbled, resulting in anything from a little hop in the gait to a full-on “cramp” that stops the dog until it passes (in seconds or minutes).  There is no genetic test for SC, and it has been estimated that up to 90% of Scotties have it.  However, in the vast majority of cases it is so mild that it is unnoticeable, and even the few serious cases aren’t painful for the dog.  This is the only real downside to the breed: there is a very slight chance that your dog might have a serious case of SC.  In 15 years we've bred over 150 puppies, and had only one such dog, Clementine.  Oddly enough, she only cramped when on a leash and around other dogs at the same time.  In the garden, off leash, and in the house, her mobility was normal, and she was a lovely-tempered charmer who made an excellent companion.  In her case, we took her back from the people who bought her, as they were avid walkers, and gave them a puppy from our next litter, and placed Clementine in a home with a big backyard which offered an alternative to walks. 

Drowning may not seem like a breed-specific health issue, but pools are a big risk to Scotties – especially Scottie pups.  They love the water and they love swimming, but they’re notoriously bad at it.  Scots in the water must be closely supervised, and Scots in a pool or other abruptly deep water should be avoided at all costs.  If you have a pool or pond, it must be securely fenced in before you get a Scottie, and your family must be committed to keeping things secure.  We speak from experience on this: we sold a puppy to a family with a pool and pond, both fenced in, but their 10 week old puppy found a way in and drowned – this is heartbreaking for both owner and breeder.  Scottie drownings in pools are such a problem that the American Kennel Club sends a warning about them to everyone who registers a Scot.  Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t take your Scottie with you to the cottage!  We’ve had our Scots at the lake, and they’ve been fine because the waterfront has been very gradual and shallow.  As long as they have the option to swim back when they (quickly) get tired, they can enjoy the cottage lifestyle along with you.  Pools don’t usually provide this option.  (Scottie-sized life jackets are more and more available these days – dogs who spend a lot of time around the water should no doubt have one.)

Some say that Cushing’s Syndrome is a Scottie health issue, but according to the American Kennel Club website: “It is, as yet, unknown whether there is an inherited predisposition to Cushing's Syndrome in Scottish Terriers.”  We’ve had no experience with it.

Our dogs come with a 1 year health guarantee against any medical condition supported in writing by a licenced verterinarian which causes chronic pain and suffering and/or threatens the life of the dog that can in no way be caused by diet or lifestyle.

Buying a Puppy

We ask $2000 CAD for our puppies, which includes their first shots, deworming, CKC registration, a vet check, and a microchip.  Breeding Scotties is not really a money-making enterprise, and it’s certainly not how we make our income.  Most of them require C-sections which range in cost from $900 to $2500, depending on the circumstances, and limit a female’s number of possible litters.  (You can blame the late-Victorians for this:  fanciers decided that Scotties should look as though they could fight a badger in its warren, so when faced with the choice of breeding a dog that looked muscular from the front or the back, they picked the front. Over the years, this had a predictable effect on pelvis size.) And for all that, Scotties usually have very small litters (1-5 pups), and yet live long past their breeding years.  Compare this, for instance, to a Lab, which can breed for 6-7 of its 9 years, and have as many as 10 pups in a litter (and a roomy pelvis with which to deliver them!).  And of course there are the puppy expenses such as deworming, first shots, microchipping, and registration, all of which can cost as much as 85.00 per puppy.  So it comes as little surprise that Scotties can be hard to find.  The big irony is that in Scotland, home of the Scottie, the breed is very rare.  This is why we started our kennel: we love Scottish terriers and want to see them continue despite the expenses and complications associated with their breeding.  We think they’re worth the extra cost and trouble.  We also try to provide the best possible life for our dogs – they have good food, lots of room to run and play, and they live in the house with us.  In order to give them this lifestyle, however, we incur greater costs and don’t get the monetary benefits of running a larger operation.  The good news on the cost front is that you’ll get a lot of life and love from a Scottie – they live an average 11 years, and we’ve heard of many who’ve lived beyond that, to 14 years old.  You can pay the same amount for an Irish Wolfhound, for example, and only get 7 years of companionship, so a Scottie looks a right bargain from this perspective.  From a purely economical standpoint, you’ll also save money on food for a Scottie versus a larger dog!

Most people know about the dangers of pet store puppy sales, but let us reiterate here that one should never support this trade!  Many pet store dogs come from puppy mills – even those with CKC papers.  A word on CKC papers: they do NOT mean you’re getting a healthy dog!  Due diligence is always the best route to finding a good breeder.

For Canadian buyers, we’d caution against getting dogs from the States via only email and/or phone connections.  While they can be found much more cheaply, you probably won’t get the chance to meet the puppy’s parents or see their kennel.  On top of this, you’ll likely have to pay for shipping and even customs when the puppy comes across the border, which can easily add as much as 450.00 to your price tag.  It’s better to be able to meet the breeders, see the dam and sire, and get a feel for the kennel’s conditions. This is not to say, however, that there aren't great Scottie breeders in the States; we have been fortunate enough to deal with a couple of kennels in the States that have provided us with fantastic dogs.

Grooming

Scotties that are pets, not showdogs, have a much easier life, coat-wise. You can keep it short or long, but always brush the furnishings (the skirt and beard) every few days to avoid matting and excess dirt. Again, start this early and do it regularly and your dog will accept it more readily. Right under the legs (the “armpits”) are the most prone to matting – if we can’t be bothered, we just cut off any mats that are resistant to brushing. You can hardly notice, and the dogs have never told us they care much about it.


Nearly all of our Scotties HATE getting their nails cut, but we ignore their drama and get it done – long nails are bad for a dog’s little arches (yes, they have foot arches too!) and once the quick descends to the end of a long nail, it’s very difficult to get those nails to the proper shorter length again. Your vet can help you figure out where the quick is to avoid nicking it, but even if you do, it’s not the end of the world.

We recommend a natural shampoo for washing your dog – right now we use unscented Oneka, which is from our local health food store.


It’s a hassle, and few owners really follow through on it, but brushing your dog’s teeth daily – even weekly – will give it a longer, healthier life. Dogs can and do die of complications from dental decay and gum disease, and less serious cases still can cost several hundred dollars to deal with. The more you do it, the more your dog will get used to it and accept it. Special toothpastes are available, but not necessary. A good brisk brushing works fine.

Diet


We believe strongly that dogs should be on a grain-free diet, so we feed ours a kibble that has a sweet potato base. Scotties should NEVER have wheat, corn or soy. A high protein diet is important. These are good supplements, treats and snacks to add to your dog’s diet: 2% cottage cheese; cooked egg; cooked chicken, beef, or fish; carrots; broccoli; cooked sweet potato; or natural yoghourt. We feed our dogs the way we feed ourselves: as much organic stuff as possible!


Please make sure that any commercially produced treats you give your dog are all natural, and corn and wheat free; there are some good liver jerky treats available in better pet stores. Another thing that many consider important regarding a dog’s health is how much medication and pesticides dogs get. We have our dogs vaccinated at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 1 year, and then not for another seven years. We do not automatically give our dogs flea and heartworm medication such as Revolution, Heartguard, and Advantage, despite the fact that our dogs spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors and around mosquitoes. We’ve never had any problems. Most vets will swear by the necessity of these things, but there are an awful lot of people now – naturopathic vets, for instance – who caution against pumping our pets full of pesticides and unnecessary medications. We respect vets tremendously, and are grateful for the vet who helps us. However, the longer we breed dogs and the more we read about "alternative" vets, the more we think that the traditional veterinary routes are not always the best. Skin issues are most frequently tied to diet and/or reactions to heat, moisture, and/or chemicals.


NEVER give Scotties bones or rawhide – it’s bad for their system, and the Scottie’s jaws are simply too powerful and chew up too much too fast of these types of "treats.” Similarly, dogs shouldn’t have apple seeds, grapes, raisins, onion, tomato or chocolate.


The idea that dogs should only eat dog food is misleading, and largely propagated to keep unhealthy people from giving their dogs unhealthy food. Fruits and veggies are key to a dog’s health, and they make excellent treats that won’t cause weight problems. Our dogs come running to the kitchen as soon as they hear the carrot peeler working! Every night they get something green (cucumber, broccoli), something orange (carrot, sweet potato) and something purple (cabbage, blueberries). You can always jazz things up with some peanut butter if you’re feeling really generous! (Organic peanut butter is best, as regular peanuts are very high in pesticides).


Dogs fed by their owners live, on average, nearly two years longer than dogs whose food stays down all the time. It’s also valuable from a training standpoint if your dog sees you dispensing its food – it helps it know who’s boss (when it doesn’t know who’s boss, it creates all kinds of anxiety and uncertainty).

Links


TESTIMONIALS

Angus has such a beautiful coat, I just love the brindle. You can't really tell in his picture but he has a lot of grey. He is such a sweetheart, and he is such a little cuddler. At the end of the day, he is quite happy to sit on my knee, I don't know how well that will work when he is full grown! He is like his mummy cause he loves to have his tummy rubbed and flops down anywhere if he thinks now is a good time. He is an absolute delight, and we love him to pieces!! You breed absolutely sensational dogs -- he is a real treasure! If you are still breeding next year, I would be very interested in buying another one of your dogs.

What do I love about Sara? I could write a book about her! She is my friend and companion; she gets me outside for walks; I love her silly moods; I love the way she looks down her nose at me when she’s not pleased with me; and most of all, I love her for the unconditional love she gives to me. It’s amazing that Sara has a sense of humour and knows when to use it. There are times when she runs madly back and forth through the living room and dining room and then drops at my feet. She follows me upstairs and stays until I go to sleep, and when I sit down she spends most of the time at my feet.

Bonnie is doing very well. The whole neighbourhood thinks she’s just the cat’s paws. She’s so friendly and thinks everybody should love her! My friend Larry has been walking her when I haven’t been able. She adores him and his Westie, McGregor. Bonnie is a ball thief: she’ll steal a ball from any dog without them even noticing, even Labradors (who are kind of stupid), who only stand there and stare at her and sniff her mouth. She just puts her head up in the air and walks away! We counted all the balls in the apartment. There were 32. Larry says he’s counting the silverware before and after she visits!

The boys have settled beautifully together! Hamish is amazing with Duncan...you couldn't have picked a better little guys for all of us. Duncan is so sweet and such an affectionate and happy little guy!

Our family would highly recommend Mucklewags for their devotion to providing dogs where temperament is of the utmost importance. We love our new companion -- Dory is a blessed addition and will be an asset to our family for years to come! Our only regret is not getting another one!

Sterling has grown into such a loving and handsome dog...he has the greatest temperament and loves all other animals.

I recently purchased two puppies from Mucklewags, and I was very impressed with them because they are concerned about who raises one of their puppies and I find this very admirable. When you go to Mucklewags you get to interact with the parents of the puppies to really get a sense of the quality of the breeding lines. I have never owned two dogs at once and they were right when they told me that two dogs are half the work of one. I would strongly recommend anyone who is considering owning a Scottish terrier to go to Mucklewags -- they certainly made me and my family feel more than welcomed. My two puppies Duncan and Murdock are the most gentle little guys with two very different personalities and they certainly bring a lot of love to our household.

I must say that we have had our gal for a year and the only thing I can say is that we are desperate for another! She is perfect -- very much like the scottie I had growing up as a kid, though a fair bit nicer. She is loving and fun and loyal; I'm sure she would follow me off the edge of the world if I asked. I speak for both my partner and I when I say she is absolutely perfect. Not sure if I mentioned it or not but I have run into more than a few people who profess to really know Scotties. One lady from Germany and the president of the local terrier society in particular. Both, and others, have tried to convince me that we should show our girl, and assured me that she would win. Not that I have any interest in that, but it is nice to know.

Sky was one year old on June 2 and is doing very well. She is a wonderful little dog and keeps us amused with her antics. She and Bonnie, our little Westie, are the best of pals and are always getting into mischief together. Boy, does she love her ball and loves to play fetch. She would do this for hours if we let her. Skye is a very affectionate little soul, loves to sit on Mike’s lap and it’s a race between her and Bonnie to see who gets there first when he sits down. He usually ends up with both of them on his lap. She follows me around especially into the kitchen where she will flop down on my feet when I am trying to prepare a meal. I extricate myself, but she is back again as soon as I stand still. We love her to bits and are really happy with her!

Hope your summer is going well. Keep breeding these perfect dogs. We've seen several so-called Scotties this summer that people have bought from a local pet store (must be getting from puppy mills, these are not purebred) One owner had the nerve to ask me why mine were so big. Obviously not knowing a true Scottie has a wide rib cage and weighs 22 to 25 pounds. According to the vet, Sophie and Mae are close to perfect. Mae does have to watch her waistline as she would rather languish in the sun and watch Sophie chase the wind. Sophie does get her to play occasionally. Either way, they love the outdoors and they are the best looking pair of Scotties in Sarnia and Windsor, oh heck, in the world.

Piper recently turned 6 months old. She's doing really well, graduated from her puppy training class about a month ago. Actually Piper has been really quick to learn things. She was 95% housebroken by 4 months, and even knew a handful of tricks by then (sit, down, play dead, stand). In fact she learned "jump" within 2 minutes of training! We're constantly amazed at how smart and well behaved she is. You always hear stories of crazy dogs barking and keeping neighbors up all night, well Piper is the opposite she barely makes any noise.

Fergie is very social and loves people and other dogs, and he loves to play and chase your feet. He is great with our 4 year old grandaughter, and is never more than about 6 inches from her. He was that way even when she was very small. Fergie still has a white chin and an absolutely great coat. He has turned out to be a lap dog and loves to lie with us while watching TV. He has a great temperament. Anyone wanting a Scottie puppy could not go wrong with Mucklewags.

I don’t know where the time has gone I can’t believe our wee Bonnie is now 3 and one half.She continues to bring joy to our lives. She has turned out to be a very lovable and loving dog with the occasional wild episode. She enjoys her walks daily and will be very unhappy when the bad weather comes and the walks are curtailed somewhat. When we get snow Richard shovels a running track for her in the back yard so she can
get rid of some of her energy. She is very curious and must know what is going on in the house at all times and also if she is in the porch she is constantly watching the street.
She is quite healthy and has a great appetite including sharing my breakfast toast in the morning. I must admit she gets the bigger share.
We are so glad she is in our lives—as I said before so lovable and so different from our previous scotties who were very aloof.

Hello...just a brief note thanking you for your selective breeding qualities and providing me with my little male Scottie pup. He's just loaded with his own version of Scottie-isms and has proven to be a fast learner. I'm always proud of him and his behaviour around other dogs at the leash free park. He's just turned six months and a couple of his amusing Scottie-isms would include "ducking" his head under bridges while riding on the console in the car and his little "house keeping" habit of putting all his toys back in his puppy bed when we go to sleep. I've owned 4 scotties since '79 and lost my last one unexpectedly and my thanks goes out to you for your support and understanding...
I knew when Keilly arrived the end of July, he was a fantastic little gift...4 lbs @ 8 wks with a 20 lb heart....thanks again for a fantastic little boy!!

I just wanted to keep you a little up-to-date with the progress of Seamus: he truly is a joy around our house. He is getting to be a big boy now -- he was neutered on Dec. 8th and came through that without a hitch. He weighed in at 17.8 lbs. I asked Sandra if he was getting too fat, and she assured me that he was just a muscular puppy!! He is out every day rain or shine for two to three long walks, so he shouldn't be fat!! He has been an absolutely great puppy, very easy to house train, he only had a couple of accidents initially and is now completely house trained. We crate trained him and he now considers the crate his bed. I can give him the run of the house now and he behaves very well...not a chewer at all. I am off on a vacation day today and the girls at my office want me to bring him in for a visit; everyone loves him and he has such a great personality and spirit.

George is over 5 months old now and an incredible addition to our family. We were hesitant to make a commitment to a companion having just lost our long haired dachshund, Tunel – a companion for over 18 years of our lives. I think our family felt a void, a great hole that was left after Tunel died and although no dog can take Tunel’s place, George has created a little niche for himself in our family, stolen our hearts and helped us mend. He is a very different dog from the gentle and refined Tunel: George is a little rascal whose primary goal of the day is to invent new ways to entertain us and be a part of every action in the household (like poking around the bathroom when someone is using it). He is lively, spunky, a little stubborn and very intelligent. He is very young still but has precursors of a great companion – we go for long walks where he positively absorbs everything I say and is eager to explore new places. He loves to sit on the couch while we watch TV and inspect the street outside the window for any suspicious activity – he adapts and accepts our lifestyle and puts his own spin on it. We wanted to thank you for paying so much attention to the way you raise your dogs – we feel that the care you provide to all your dogs allows for a solid beginning and helps the puppies grow to be perfect family pets.

Dougal is a joy. We have two children, ages 10 and 15 that Dougal follows around behind constantly. Rachael can pick Dougal up, cuddle him in her arms, carry him around and he loves it. He would lay for hours on his back if you would only just rub his tummy the whole time. When we got Dougal he was black, he now sports tinges of white/grey around his eyes and moustache, (which we think makes him quite distinguished looking) and he has a bit of copper colouring along his back. Dougal has started to lose his baby teeth now, and I have found a few things that he has chewed while teething that he shouldn't have, but for the most part he's been good. He hasn't nipped or bit at either of the children. Dougal travels well, his first ride home was a 7 hour trip. Just recently we traveled to see my mom and dad who are four and a half hours away and we had no trouble at all. He did his business before we left, and we stopped only once along the way for a leg stretch/water and treat break and he was fine. Scotties are not known for swimming, (or so the books that we've read say) but we live on the water and Dougal has walked into the lake on his own and swam around while the family has been on the dock. He won't venture too far out, maybe to water that is 18 inches deep, but he seems to quite enjoy the swim.

We brought Tara home when she was six weeks old and would fit in the palm of our hand. The first thing she did when we got her home was ask to go out into the garden for a pee! So we knew then we had a great dog. In her groomer’s words: "I have groomed many Scotties and Westies, Tara was a real sweetie and the best behaved of the lot!" Tara is typically demanding of attention, loves watching TV, her favorite program is All Creatures Great And Small, she sits for the full hour. Tara knows every TV advertisement with an animal in it, which we find amazing. When we have company over, Tara likes to join in on the conversation. Last but not least, we have some very young grandchildren and Tara just loves them, occasionally running by and pulling their socks off. We are often asked by people when out walking Tara, "How come you don’t see many Scotties" I have no answer. What great dogs.

I don’t know where the time has gone I can’t believe our wee Bonnie is now 3 and one half. She continues to bring joy to our lives. She has turned out to be a very lovable and loving dog with the occasional wild episode. She enjoys her walks daily and will be very unhappy when the bad weather comes and the walks are curtailed somewhat. When we get snow Richard shovels a running track for her in the back yard so she can get rid of some of her energy. She is very curious and must know what is going on in the house at all times and also if she is in the porch she is constantly watching the street. She is quite healthy and has a great appetite including sharing my breakfast toast in the morning. I must admit she gets the bigger share. We are so glad she is in our lives—as I said before so lovable and so different from our previous Scotties who were very aloof. Will keep in touch.

We are first time dog owners. So, when our kids agreed they would like a Scottish Terrier, we were happy to let them “google” breeders – never thinking we would find one virtually right up the road! After researching Scotties and terriers in general (I think they get a bad rap!), it was with some trepidation we arranged to visit Mucklewags. We were greeted enthusiastically by a lovely young family, and their pack of Scotties! Any apprehensions were quickly put to rest. They answered our “first timer” questions patiently, knowledgably and honestly. It was clear their dogs were well cared for and well loved – not to mention absolutely so cute! I appreciated their philosophy to give their dogs the best they could, to make them part of their family and have happy and healthy pets. It was also a great opportunity to interact with the dogs, to meet and greet with a potential “parent”. They were all well mannered and friendly. And so, 6 months later, we found ourselves visiting again, this time going home with an adorable pup, with a kink in his tail, named MacDuff. As first timers, we e-mailed many a question or a proud update of our latest addition to Mucklewags. Those emails were always answered promptly with words of advice,encouragement and interest. We are also very fortunate to live nearby and so are able to board Duff while on holidays. He LOVES going to Mucklewags, his second family. It is also great peace of mind for us knowing he is safe and well taken care of. Now he is almost a year old – a sturdy, handsome fellow (much like his dad!). Curious and playful, independent and smart, friendly and stubborn, he enjoys chasing squirrels and watching TV! He's also proven a great conversation starter as he proudly struts through the neighbourhood! And certainly part of our family.
I would not hesitate to recommend Mucklewags for their knowledge, their philosophy and their wonderful dogs. We love our Duff!

VIDEO

Who says Scotties aren’t good with kids? This is an 8-year-old intact male sharing some carrot peels with a baby.

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