We are so fortunate to have the following articles by the well-known and distinquished Kathi Brown, publized below, with permission.
Photograph of Kathi Browne
Scottish Terriers 8-13
Short Story: Mendel to Genome
When organisms, including dogs, produce offspring the young usually look similar to their parents. For thousands of years this fact was known based upon observation. People used common sense to choose and breed plants and animals with desirable characteristics for specific purposes. Most are familiar with the groundbreaking studies of Gregor Mendel into breeding and heredity. Through his careful observations and detailed record-keeping he was able to document multiple generations with specific traits. Early dog breeders used similar observations in creating our breeds and recorded these observations to create our standards. Breeding to produce these desired characteristics has required dedication, careful observation and detailed record keeping over generations similar to the processes of Mendel. Our Scottish Terriers were bred for the attributes necessary for controlling vermin in a rigorous climate and terrain. They were required to be fearless with immense power for their size. Structurally, it is a compact, sturdy beastie, with a long head and short-legs.
As with many breeds we are continuously breeding to improve fronts and this is especially true with our big dog that is low to the ground. Although most often seen today with ample furnishings the Scot’s short-legs must be capable of supporting and moving this sturdy dog. No one contests that this is a short-legged terrier. The debate has been if it is a dwarf breed similar to others which recognize themselves as such. One characteristic of the shortened leg length has been the structure and shape of the long bones, with the growth plates calcifying early and creating the short bones of the legs. The observations of Mendel, in the mid-1800s, gave a functional model for heredity but he knew nothing about the biochemical and physical processes. Although extracted from a cell nucleus in 1869 it was not until the 1950s that the structure of DNA was studied in detail and then in the 1990s that we launched genome projects including the mapping of the canine genome. The science of genetics and the scientific information available to us has expanded and deepened exponentially. This now provides all breeders with more information that we can use to understand and improve our dogs. One article published in ‘Science Magazine’ describes replicated studies of the “expressed Fgf4 retrogene which is associated with a short-legged phenotype (what you see) in dogs and specifically mentions the Scottish Terrier. While there is great variation in breeds of dogs there are also a number of similarities, in this case the short legs of many breeds. The study first did a genome analysis and comparison between the short-limbed (Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Basset Hound and Dachshund) and the control breeds not exhibiting the trait (Collie, Whippet and German Shepherd). Specific sites on canine chromosome 18 were identified for the dwarf breeds and found to be homozygous (existing on both of the chromosome pairs). This was consistent across all the three previously mentioned dwarf breeds. Following this scientific determination, additional tests and analysis were done to compare the identified location of the base sequences and identified loci on Chromosome 18 with other short-legged breeds. The study specifically analyzed the Dachshund and Scottish Terrier. This substantiated complete alignment at 100% to growth factor Fgf4 for chondrodysplasia. The studies suggest a long evolutionary history of short-legged canines and subsequent breed development in many different countries for specific purposes although they may not share a recent common ancestry. As Breeders and owners of the Scottish Terrier we can utilize the observations and nformation to improve our breeding programs while recognizing what science has contributed to assist us. We should recognize the early shortening of our long bones (big dog on short legs), recognize our standards attempt to clarify these points and invest ourselves in keeping detailed observations throughout our breeding programs.
What Color is a Scottish Terrier?
For the novice and the unfamiliar the color black might be an answer. Longtime breeders and knowledgeable
terrier judges are well aware that the breed has a coat of many colors, textures and shades. Although this
article focuses upon and presents illustrations of some of these colors it is critical to the understanding of the
Scottish Terrier that the coat not the color is of greater importance.
Historically the Scot has always been a multi-colored breed. Mackie in the early 1880’s visited the highlands
to view and record information about Scottish Terriers. It was and is still a purposeful breed and each
regional gamekeeper selected and bred dogs for their gameness and ability to rid the area of vermin.
Captain Mackie recorded dogs of many colors; red, brindle, fawn, grizzly, black, and sandy. The reports
described coats “as hard as any would want” and specifically “rough-coated”. By the year 1880 a
committee formed to describe the breed characteristics and the only mention of color was, “white marking
objectionable”. The first English Standard (1887) was more detailed and identified a variety of shades
of Scottish Terrier as, “Steel or iron grey, black brindle, brown brindle, grey brindle, black, sandy and
wheaten. White markings are objectionable and can only be allowed on the chest and to a small extent.”
The American Standard (1947) continued to recognize coat color as “steel or iron grey, brindle or
grizzled, black sandy or wheaten.” In 1993 the color was changed dropping the grizzle and changing
to Black, Wheaten or Brindle of any color. However it is critical that the original colors identified in
the earlier standard not be penalized in anyway and that colors, although rarer today, still may and
do occur and are acceptable.
Recently, there have been situations in several breeds with unlisted and unacceptable color
s being shown. The AKC and affected breed clubs have advised judges to penalize accordingly
or excuse for lack of merit. Long-time breeders and judges of the Scottish Terrier are
cognizant that our beloved breed has many coat colors. Our Scottish Terriers are still producing
the colors described in the breed history and these should not be faulted or penalized.
While this article presents the phonotypical manifestations within the Scottish Terrier it should
be noted that genotypically there are many combinations that can and do occur. The basic
understanding of dominant and recessive genes is far too simple in predicating the coat color
in the Scottish Terrier. Color is polygenic and Little in his “The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs”
suggests nine genes that can combine and influence its expression within the breed. A
visibly black appearing dog may breed as a true black and produce black pups or in fact
my produce brindle offspring as a result of carrying a brindle allele. The Scottish Terrier
can be solid or brindled, darker or lighter, black, sandy, red, rich reddish wheaten or
paler. It can have a dark mask visible on the brindles (although the solid black may
also have a mask it is indistinguishable on the dog), brindles may appear in varying
depths of color and shades (red, silver, brown, etc.). Wheaten can appear in any variation
from cream through deeper red. Shading on the wheaten is very common as the length
and age of the stripped coat and undercoat may influence the color. Even a black dog
is not just black but occurs in many tones and shades. White is still allowable to a
slight extent on the chest and on the chin which breeders refer to as a milk beard.
Upon closer examination of these areas one will find that the white is often a dilute
brindle. Often a few white hairs may be found on the body coat with no penalty.
Some owners will pluck these and others will leave them as evidence that the dog
was not artificially colored for the discerning judge. Infrequently black and tan
markings have been known to occur in the breed. Solid reds and sandies are rare
The color descriptions and pictures illustrate the variety that may be seen in the
Scottish Terrier and are glorious in their variety.
Which color is preferred? No color is preferred over another! An examination
of the suggested scale of points clearly conveys the percentage valuing of color in
the Scottish Terrier as ZERO. The coat itself however is a salient feature of the
breed. Look for, value and reward the Scot that carries the double coat that insulates
his sturdy body. Feel the soft dense undercoat and rub the topcoat between your
fingers determining its hard, wiry, weather resistant texture essential for the dog’s
original purpose. Now reward the coat not the color. The Scottish Terrier is one of
the most instantaneously recognized silhouettes, but the dog himself is much more
than a cutout or licorice flavored dog candy. It may be easier to see the outline on
a solid dog. The lighter shades may appear larger. Breeders and judges both should
select the best Scottish Terrier. Any selective breeding that focuses upon a
characteristic over time may produce the desired traits. Color alone is far too simple
and may be to the detriment of selecting the best dog and breeding for other critical
components. We all need to choose the best dog of ANY color.
Scottish Terriers 5-13
Building a Healthy Future
The Scottish Terrier Club of America’s Health Trust Fund is dedicated to education for all Scottie owners and the funding of
important research projects. I am pleased to turn over this Gazette column this month to Marcia Dawson. Marcia is a
retired veterinarian, member of the Health Trust, the STCA Board of Directors, a breeder and exhibitor for over 25 years.
Marcia is a presence at our clinics at specialties helping us chip, test and register our dogs. She shares information and
updates and how we can all participate in the betterment of the breed. The Scottish Terrier is a sturdy, healthy breed.
Conscientious Scottie breeders and owners are determined to maintain and improve our beloved “Diehard”, and we
are leading the way to ensure a healthy future. Historically, Scottie breeders have been at the forefront of funding
important health research. Among our early successes, the discovery of the vWD gene led to the development of a
simple DNA test that has all but eliminated vWD from breeding stock. Since its inception in 1994, the STCA’s Health
Trust Fund (HTF) has funded countless research projects, often in partnership with the AKC’s Canine Health Foundation.
The HTF continues to oversee current studies and to report progress updates, all the while investigating new projects
that potentially hold value for our breed. And now in 2013, promising developments in research on CMO, CA and Scottie
Cramp are on the horizon. Now more than ever, Scottie owners and breeders have the ability to track important
health issues in the breed with open registries through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The mission of
the OFA is to reduce health issues in dogs and other companion species by encouraging testing, maintaining databases,
disseminating information and supporting research. Six years ago, the STCA surged ahead of many other breed clubs
by establishing the criteria to enter Scotties into the OFA’s elite CHIC Registry. The criteria include a vWD test, a patella
exam, and either thyroid testing or an eye exam through CERF or the new Eye Certification Registry (ECR). CHIC
certification goes to any Scottie completing the required tests, whether the results are normal, abnormal, clear, carrier
or affected. Additionally, health clinics sponsored by the HTF during the Montgomery County National Specialty weekend
as well as at Rotating Specialties provide the opportunity for discounted or free testing to help breeders fulfill the
CHIC requirements. As a result, responsible breeders have listed 1304 Scotties on the OFA registry so far, with 196
Scotties having achieved their CHIC numbers in this fully searchable site. The STCA’s website also provides a wealth
of information to help responsible breeders make informed decisions. A review of the STCA website activity for the
past year reveals that a sizeable proportion of visitors are seeking information on health, pedigrees and breeding
information. The STCA Health Library, the Pedigree database, and in-depth breed pages are all excellent resources
for those researching the breed. Another important website tool is the STCA’s CA (Cerebellar Abiotrophy) database,
which is maintained by the HTF and updated as new cases are diagnosed. The database serves to record and track
a disease spread, as well as to assist in pedigree risk analysis for proposed breedings. Clearly, the STCA is meeting
the challenge to educate and guide breeders who take advantage of these valuable tools. The future looks bright
indeed for our Scotties thanks to responsible Scottie breeders and owners who continue to support research,
who insist on testing and registering their breeding stock, and who make the health of the breed a top priority.
My sincere appreciation to Marcia Dawson for this column as well as her contribution to the health of the Scottish Terrier.
Scottish Terriers 2-13
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Every dog has four feet. They have a purpose. Scottish Terriers, as efficient dispatchers of vermin, use their feet
to get from place to place and to dig out whatever vermin has gone in a hole. The standard has one line that
specifically addresses the structure of the feet. It states “The forefeet should be larger than the hind feet, round,
thick and compact with strong nails.” Other terrier standards indicate a specific shape to the foot such as ‘cat feet’
for the Airedale and Bull Terriers or the ‘hare foot’ of the Bedlington. Scottish Terrier feet are round and compact.
They are not thin, splayed or elongated. Flat or splayed feet are better suited for making pizza than covering
rough terrain and powerful digging. Thick pads absorb shock, increase endurance and provide traction. The nails
are thick and strong for digging but should not be so long as to hit the ground. The importance of canine feet
has recently been addressed in an article published in the CHF Discoveries related to postural rehabilitation.
The article identified that essential information is transmitted to the dog through the feet. The dog is hard
wired to interpret information received from the feet registering changes in weight bearing and support which
can effect posture, structure and movement. Knowing that feet are important we need to make them a
consideration in our breeding programs and we also need to take care of them. Careful trimming of the foot
should include cutting hair between the pads which helps the foot to remain tight and to touch the ground.
Breeders should be especially careful to trim the hair and nails of young puppies as they begin to stand and
move. The Scottish Terriers’ strong nails enable the digging required of this go to ground breed. These nails
need to be kept in good trim however this maintenance can strain the patience of dog and owner alike. Owners
should get dogs accustomed to having their feet touched and examined frequently. Look at the nail carefully
under well-lit conditions to identify and differentiate the nail and the quick. With black nails and black
quicks look to see the slightly chalky white line around the quick. Cutting or grinding the nails should
be parallel to the quick and not across it. I do the nails every two weeks. Proper tools are necessary.
The clipper must be sharp. Scottie nails are very thick and strong and dull blades can pinch and cause
discomfort. If your dog tolerates a grinding system be sure to clear the area of hair around the nail that
can get caught in the grinder. How do you know when the nails are too long? There are a number of
signals including hearing them click on the floor and seeing toes that are pushed up or twisted by the
long nails. Frequency of care will actually make it easier on the dog and you will be more skilled trimming
them. Of course, i you can always make an appointment with a vet or groomer. Proper foot and nail care
is important for the showdog or pet.
Scottish Terriers 2-13
This article was first printed in the September 1990 American Kennel Club Gazette and has been reprinted in a number of breed magazines other than Scottish Terriers. She has presented numerous workshops on “How to Pick a Stud Dog and Other Games of Chance” from which this article is distilled. Kathi has long practiced what she preaches and had continuing success especially in recent years. Marg add what you want here…
CHOOSING THE PROPER STUD DOG
By Kathi Brown
Choosing the proper stud dog for a Scottish Terrier bitch is one of the most important decisions
a breeder can make. First, we must critically, and as objectively as possible, assess the
dam-to-be. A realistic analysis of her pedigree, conformation, temperament and health is
essential in determining both if she should be bred at all and to whom. The presence of a
uterus and an ability to whelp large litters should not be the only criteria. Not to breed is
often the best choice.
New breeders often rely on a mentor in making a stud selection. Often, your bitch’s breeder
is one’s first advisor. This is especially advantageous if he or she is a successful breeder
of high quality dogs over a number of generations. The knowledgeable mentor can provide
essential, honest information about your bitch’s ancestry. Often this individual will also
convey the principles of breeding, which eventually leads to the weaning of the novice by
encouraging the ability to make an intelligent choice.
Choosing a stud must be both a visual and mental process. Some will breed to a particular
animal on looks alone, while others extol the strict analysis of a pedigree. It is in the
balance of factors, the weighing of information that most consistently yields the best
decisions. Certainly, we must have a correct mental image of our breed and the ability
to judge specimens form breeding in relation to that picture. In this sense, a breeder
is a “visionary” with the desire to improve each subsequent generation. We must also
strive to obtain the necessary scientific knowledge on which we base our decisions.
Some might be put off by the language of genetics: the terminology fro Allele to Zygote
often obliterates the underlying concepts which assist a guide us. If we accept the
premise that, in breeding we are trying to increase the predictability of a particular litter,
then it becomes obvious that we must rely on the science of genetics. We want to
increase the likelihood of positive occurrences and reduce the chance of negative
consequences in structure, health and temperament.
I suggest that instead of the basic skill of the three R’s, we as breeders increase our
knowledge base in the three P’s. The first, a homophone “Pea” refers to the principles
of genetic inheritance presented by Mendel in the 1860’s which were based upon his
observations and breeding of peas and other plants. His experiments showed that
inheritance is particular and traits resegregate upon further breeding rather than the
previously held thought that each parent contributes equally to the offspring and these
traits are blended. . The terminology associated with how these paired traits (alleles)
are manifested include the often and well-explained dominant, recessive, incomplete
dominance and multi-factorial. It is necessary for all serious breeders to seek an
understanding of these findings through study. Although many publications are
extremely technical and difficult, there are available publications which can be read
and understood. Discussions among and between breeders of various levels of
experience are beneficial in clarifying concepts and the development of clear thinking.
The second “P” refers to the Pedigree as a potential guide for breeders. Once we can
learn to read past the red lines of those achieving championship status or the wins of
individual great dogs, one can begin to assess the likelihood of receiving genetic
material from a particular ancestor. I was amused at a breeder who kept citing the
existence of one particular dog in the sixth generation of a pedigree as a strong reason
for breeding to that stud. Given that all dogs transmit their genetic material on
seventy-eight chromosomes which are in thirty-nine pairs, it is a simple matter of
applying mathematics and “Probability” to the pedigree analysis to determine the
average chromosomes a puppy might receive from an ancestor.
Number of Potential Ancestors
Average Chromosomes from Each Ancestor
Odds Against Receiving Even 1 Chromosome
19 or 20
9 or 10
4 or 5
2 or 3
1 or 2
50 Ancestors Unrepresented
4 to 3
8 to 3
5 to 1
10 to 1
The third “P” of probability is extremely important in assessing the breeding potential of a stud
dog or brood bitch. Applying the logic of this branch of mathematics to the pedigree analysis
with knowledge of genetic principles helps us make the best choices for our bitches as well
as for the future of our breed. One commonly held belief seems be regarding the genetic
similarity of litter brothers and sisters. I am continuously amazed at the number of breeders
who state something along the lines of, “Why not breed to the litter brother of the Champion
Greatscot So-and-So; they have the same parents and, therefore the same genes?”
The sire will contribute one of each of his thirty-nine paired chromosomes to the formation
of each sperm. He may send only one from each pair, one through thirty-nine, to fertilize
an egg in which the dam sends one of each of her pair, one through thirty-nine. The
likelihood of any two identical sperm being formed is therefore, mathematically two to the
thirty-ninth power. A book on human genetics states that humans (who have only forty-six
chromosomes in twenty-three pairs) have a chance of a specific chromosome combination
occurring one in 16,777,216 times. With the assistance of a calculator, I find the chance
of two identical sperm or egg cells being formed by a dog or bitch to be 549,755,813,888 to 1.
In light of this calculation, it is clear that littermates carry different chromosomes,
display different characteristics and transmit different genetic material to their subsequent
In order to make the best choices for the betterment of our breed, we all must continue, to
increase our knowledge upon which these choices are based.
As written with permission by Kathi Brown and the AKC Gazette printed in “Pure-Bred Dogs,
The American Kennel Club Gazette, September 1990.
After many years in the breed you have received an invitation to judge a sweepstakes.
Consider this honor the opportunity to better understand our breed and the judging
process. The assignment comes with great responsibility. Judging may not be as simple
as you first envisioned. I strongly suggest that you read and reread the standards and
articles on judging in general. One important document is the AKC booklet “Guidelines for
Conformation Dog Show Judges” which you can find online. Watch the AKC Scottish Terrier
breed video. I suggest viewing it for the first time without the sound and then again with
the descriptions. Did you notice the same breed characteristics and faults? Study the
illustrated standard and watch large classes at a show focusing on what you see about the
dogs and the judging process. Know the essentials of the breed that separate it from all
others and make it a true Scot. Plan to prize the characteristics of type that are hard to
breed. Having the proper ring procedure is a must. Watch and talk to experienced
judges. Never do a hands-on examination of our breed on the ground, especially with
puppies. Ask for an experienced ring steward if this is your first assignment. As a judge
you cannot look at the catalog to determine trophies so ask the steward to lay out
ribbons and trophies. Arrive well before judging and decide where you want the dogs
to line up, where you want the table and where you will gait the dogs. Look at
your judges’ book; find the spaces for all your markings. Turn off your phone. I have
always found it useful to let entries gait around before going to the table. They
can peruse the area and calm themselves. You should approach each pup gently. Gait
and examine all exhibits individually the same way; on the same surface, with the
same care and detail, and with the exact same courtesy. In your judging selections,
stick to your informed vision and ideal of our breed Standard. Plan to be decisive
so you can stay on time. Trust your instincts and impressions and judge dogs on their
virtues. Most of all select the best whole dog! Piecemeal judging is often fault
judging. You will be far happier when the class winners enter the ring for Best in
Sweepstakes if you have judged for virtues and the whole dog. Get first in each
class right. Put the dogs in order before pointing to a placement to avoid confusion.
The judge should deeply know, understand and appreciate the essence of the breed,
inside and out. Reflect on what you know and what you do not. When you realize
what you don’t know you will continue to learn. Too many spend more time on what
they are going to wear than on what they need to know both in content and process.
Study and restudy our breed its history, standard, anatomy and purpose. Finally,
remember to enjoy the day and the breed. May the best dog win.
Originally published in the AKC Gazette August, 2012
Scottish Terriers 11-14
Choosing a Stud Dog
I am completing my term as Gazette Columnist and as I contemplated the subject
for this edition I came to the decision that it needed to be focused upon breeding.
All other facets of our sport begin and end with knowledgeable, thoughtful and
careful breeding. Without breeders there would be no healthy purebred dogs,
without dogs there will be no shows, no trials, no clubs, and no judges. Thus,
this my final column will return to where I started - as a breeder. I am revisiting
my first column for the AKC Gazette was published in September of 1990 and
focused upon breeding and choosing the proper stud dog.
Deciding to breed your Scottish Terrier is one of the most important decisions
you can make and should be made after deep reflection and research. We must
critically and as objectively as possible assess the prospective dam. A realistic
analysis of her pedigree, conformation, temperament and health is essential in
determining both if she should be bred at all and to whom. The presence of a
uterus and an ability to whelp should not be the only criteria. Not to breed may
be the best choice. The second decision is the choice of the proper stud dog.
Your bitch’s breeder is generally one’s first advisor. This is especially
advantageous if he or she is a successful breeder over a number of generations
and can provide essential, honest information about your bitch’s ancestry.
However, the ability to make a choice of stud, to make that choice oneself,
and to make it rationally based upon all available information is essential to being
a successful breeder over time. While we may be familiar with the incidence of
beginner’s luck producing quality offspring, we must be aware that luck is fickle
and generally runs out over a number of generations. Programs based upon
breeding a bitch to today’s big winner and then to the top dog in yearly succession
generally have equally disappointing results. Accepting our responsibility to
make the best stud choice will go a long way in removing the criticism and blame
of that dog for all puppy faults and problems. Remember who chose him! Choosing
a stud must is a visual, tactile and mental process. Some will breed to a dog
on its appearance alone while others extol the strict analysis of pedigree. For
me it has been in the balance of factors and weighing all available information
that consistently yielded the best results. Having a mental image of the breed
and the ability to judge specimens in relation to that picture is critical. In this
sense, a breeder should be a “visionary” with a desire to improve. We must
also strive to obtain the most valid and current scientific knowledge on which
to base our decisions. We cannot be put off by the scientific language but seek
to understand the underlying concepts which can assist and guide our
decision-making. If we accept the premise that in breeding we are trying to
increase the predictability of a particular litter, then it follows that we must rely
on the science of genetics. Breeders want to increase the likelihood of positive
occurrences and reduce the chance of negative consequences in structure
health and temperament. I suggest for breeders that instead of the basic skills
of the three Rs, we increase our knowledge base of the three P’s. The first,
a homophone “Pea” refers the principles of genetic inheritance presented Mendal
in the 1860s as well as the current information offered. His experiments
showed that inheritance is particular and traits resegregate upon further
breeding. Today the genetic sciences have extended and deepened the
information in light of evidence. It is necessary for all serious breeders to
seek an understanding these finding through study. The second ‘P’ refers
to the proper analysis of the pedigree as a potential guide for breeders.
Once we can learn to read past the red lines of those ancestors achieving
championship status or the wins of individual great dogs, one can begin to
assess the likelihood of receiving genetic material from a particular ancestor.
I am amused at breeders who keep citing the existence of one particular
dog in the sixth generation of a pedigree as a strong reason for breeding to
that dog. Given that all dogs transmit only half of their genetic material
(78 total chromosomes in pairs of which they only can transmit 39) it is a
simple matter of applying mathematical statistics and probability to the
pedigree. Thus, the parents both send 39 chromosomes however in the
second generation (f1 grandparents) on average contribute 19 or 20.
Carrying this forward in the sixth generation (f5) the average sent forward
decreases exponentially averaging only 1 or 2 chromosomes. The third “P”
of probability is extremely important in assessing the breeding potential of
a stud dog or breed bitch. Applying the logic of this branch of mathematics
to the pedigree analysis combined with knowledge of genetic principles helps
us make the best choices for our bitches as well as for the future of our breed.
I am amazed at the number of people who state something along the lines of,
“Why not breed to the litter brother of the ‘Ch. Greatscot Walks on Water’.
They have the same parents and therefor the same genes?” The sire
contributes one of each of his thirty-nine paired chromosomes to the formation
of each individual sperm. He may send only one from each pair one through
thirty-nine to fertilize an egg which the dam sends one of each of her pairs
. The likelihood of any two identical sperm being formed is therefore, two
to the thirty-ninth power. By calculating the chance of two identical sperm
or egg cells being formed by a dog or bitch you will find it to be 549,755,813,888
to 1. It is clear that littermates carry different chromosomes, display
different visual characteristics and transmit different genetic material to
their subsequent offspring. In order to make the best choices for the
betterment of our breed, we all must continue to increase our knowledge
upon which these choices are base.