Meet our boys, MacNish and Fred

1st Jun, 2017

Written by Sarah Allan


I was desperate for a Scottie-type dog and was lucky enough to find MacNish through Scottish Terrier Rescue’s Facebook page. He’d been at the Nigel SPCA for about 4 months already after having been found in an abandoned house. They estimated him to be around a year old, although our vet put him closer to two years old.

This pitch-black little terrier jumped straight up and down in his enclosure to get a good look at us as we approached. He was a gentle soul, not interested in the food I’d brought him; all he wanted was loves and cuddles. We’d been living in a complex and had just had transfer of a house go through. I’d promised my husband that I’d wait until we’d settled in before getting a dog but, there and then, I booked and paid for MacNish’s sterilisation and, the day we moved in, I took him home.

MacNish is my soulmate in dog form; he knows what I’m thinking and follows me around like a little shadow. He often just lies and gazes at me, and loves to fall asleep cuddled up in my arms. He’s extremely smart and always a bundle of near-hysterical energy – typical terrier! He gets completely taken over by his nose and can spend hours sniffing everything. I’m convinced that he came from a family where there were children, as he loves them. He also trusts people completely, which is quite sad considering he was abandoned – but their loss is my gain.


We met Fred, a handsome six-month-old unclaimed stray, when we met MacNish. Although we’d wanted one boy and one girl, we couldn’t get Fred out of our minds. So, two weeks after we took MacNish home, Fred joined our family.

Fred has the softest fur imaginable and is an exceptionally gentle, soulful dog. He can be quite scared of new things, but with training he continues to become more confident. It’s amazing to watch him blossom. He’s completely food obsessed – thank goodness, because when he decides he doesn’t want to get off the bed at night to make space for the humans, food is the only thing that can lure him off. Fred is great at suddenly “forgetting” he understands English and will stare blankly at you if he doesn’t want to do something. His favourite thing to do is lie in the sun, especially in the mornings, no matter how hot the weather is. He also loves to chew and eat things he shouldn’t; we always know he’s up to something when he’s too quiet!

Unfortunately, Fred suffers from hip and elbow dysplasia and arthritis and he’s already undergone major corrective surgery at about three years of age for this. Nevertheless, he has a strong “work ethic” and really wants to do agility obstacles as soon as he gets to dog school (whereas MacNish just wants to sniff where all the other dogs have been).

I wanted to get MacNish and Fred MuttMix-tested mostly out of curiosity. I was, of course, convinced that MacNish would have some Scottish Terrier in him, although I didn’t know how much as he doesn’t have the body of a Scottie at all. I was also sure that there might be some Cairns Terrier in him but, because this is not a breed on MuttMix’s database, this remains unknown.

MacNish came back as being mostly Schnauzer, with Boston Terrier, Chinese Crested and Papillon making up the rest! This was unexpected although, knowing it now, he definitely has the right type of build and temperament – and, as we always knew, the tenacious terrier attitude!

I expected Fred to have Basset Hound, Retriever and Beagle in him. I was surprised that he didn’t have any Beagle but not at all surprised that his main component is Basset Hound. Thankfully he also has the Retriever in him, which I believe is what gives him his will to work. He also apparently has Rat Terrier and Malamute in him, which I cannot see!

I thank my lucky stars every day for these two boys who complete my family.

MacNish’s and Fred’s MuttMix results:


Level 2 Schnauzer
Level 3 Chinese Crested
Level 4 Boston Terrier
Level 4 Papillon


Level 2 Basset Hound
Level 4 Rat Terrier
Level 4 Alaskan Malamute
Level 5 Flat-Coated Retriever
Level 5 Labrador Retriever

Dominique from MuttMix says…

MacNish and Fred are perfect examples of combinations of breeds mimicking the features of other breeds as well as displaying how a breed may be present in the DNA but not seen in the physical attributes – those breeds usually play a role in the personality and health issues and are just as important as the physical features (if not more).