West Highland White Terrier Complete Profile

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West Highland White Terrier Complete Profile
by Dooziedog.com
West Highland White Terrier
Key Facts:

Size: Small
Height: About 28 cm (11 inches)
Weight: 7 – 10 kg (15 – 22 lb)
Life Span: 13 years
Grooming: Medium
Exercise: Undemanding
Feeding: Easy
Temperament: Active & friendly
Country of Origin: Scotland
AKC Group: Terrier
Other Names: Westie

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Sturdy, confident and compact.
Colour: Always pure white.
Coat: The outer coat is wiry, flat, straight and about 5cm (2 inches) in length. The under coat is dense, soft and short.
Tail: Straight, carried high and about 13-15 cm (5-6 in) in length.
Ears: Small, erect and covered with short, velvety hair.
Body: The body is compact with a deep chest and level back. The ribs are well arched and the shoulders are sloping.

Happy, affectionate, extroverted, agile, alert and lively. West Highland White Terriers are extremely confident little dogs that can be cunning and ingenious but also stubborn and independent. They are straightforward to train, but Westies can be persistently naughty and their handler needs to remain consistent and not give in to their charming nature. These dogs are excellent playmates for children as they can withstand rough play. Some Westies may be dominant towards other dogs, but this largely depends on their social upbringing. To prevent them from chasing cats when they are fully grown they need to learn to tolerate them during puppyhood.

The coat should be hand-plucked two to three times a year and shouldn’t be washed frequently. When the coat gets dirty, it is best to let the hair dry and then brush the dirt out. Westies do need a trim every now and then to keep them looking tidy, along with regular brushing. The advantage with this breed is that they don’t have the typical dog odour.

Westies love playing with balls and toys and frolicking in the garden or backyard. They need regular exercise and are keen diggers. They are likely to wander off and need to be kept in a well fenced area.

It is believed that the West Highland White Terrier evolved from blends of the Scottish Terrier, Cairn Terrier and Dandie Dinmont. They were originally bred to hunt vermin. In the late 1800s there was a strain of white Scottish Terriers who were owned by Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch (they were known as Poltalloch Terriers), which were very similar to the West Highland White Terriers that we know today. The first recognized show for the West Highland White Terrier was held in London in 1907.

Additional Comments:

Westies are steadily growing in popularity and it’s no wonder, as they are a handy size to pick up, love people, are generally calmer than other terriers and make delightful and entertaining family companions.


About the Author

This article provided courtesy of http://www.dooziedog.com/dog_breeds/west_highland_white_terrier/

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4 Responses

  1. Jackie Lentz
    | Reply

    I think for all the dogs you need to tell how much they shed. This is a very important factor to me and other people who want a dog but just don’t want the pet hair. My family has told me no dog, unless it barley sheds. Please reply and tell me how much the West Highland Terrier sheds.


  2. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    I would hate to see a pet being adopted (or purchased) and returned shortly after – just because he/she sheds its fur. All animals shed somewhat, including Humans. I know some other breeds (like our Papillon dogs) do shed a lot – but, there isn’t any external grooming costs except for what we do ourselves (brushing, combing, etc)

    Here are some links to other sites that discuss this breed:

  3. Ineke
    | Reply

    I would love to have an adult Westie (4-6 yrs) but I have three ageing cats and I presume that is going to be a problem. I recently had a young Kelpie/Chihuahua cross who gave my cats hell (although she only wanted to play with them). I got so stressed about it that I found her a new home with a friend who also has a kelpie cross and the two are excellent together. It upset me greatly because I believe pets are for life. However she is very happy. Any suggestions to my predicament?

  4. Christie
    | Reply

    Thanks for the post, I love Westies. They’re really lively and sweet. My grandma had one named Happy when I was little. Whenever I went to my grandma’s house, Happy and I would be inseparable the whole time. They’re still one of my favorite breeds.

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