West Highland White Terrier Description
This sturdy, hardy, compact little terrier has a two inch all white coat that is uncurled with a soft, dense undercoat. They have bright, dark, deep-set eyes with a penetrating gaze. The ears are small, pointed and erect, giving the animal an alert ready-for-anything look. The tail is carried jauntily, is about 5-6 inches (12½-15cm.) long and should not be docked. It has a deep chest and muscular limbs. The Westie has a short, closely fitted jaw with scissors bite, a pronounced stop, and slightly convex skull.
West Highland White Terrier Temperament
West Highland White Terriers are game and hardy little terriers, which are easy to train. They are fairly friendly toward strangers and get along well with children. They are lively and extremely self-assured toward other dogs, but will not pick fights with other dogs, if their owners know how to display proper leadership. They may chase a cat for fun, and need to be corrected if they do attempt this. Robust, friendly, cocky and spunky. Westies just love companionship. Despite its size, they make a very good watchdog. These little dogs are easy to travel with. The Westie likes to dig and bark. If a Westie is allowed to become the pack leader, they may snap when irritated and be combative with other dogs. A lack of leadership on the owners part can cause many behavior problems, such as biting, guarding food and furniture. A Westie who has an owner who knows how to display firm, confident, consistent, leadership will not experience these behavioral problems. These problems can be corrected once the owner becomes the dogs true pack leader. Do not allow the Westie to develop Small Dog Syndrome.
West Highland White Terrier Height, Weight
Height: Dogs 10-12 inches (25-30cm.) Bitches 9-11 inches (23-28cm.)
Weight: Dogs 15-22 pounds (7-10kg.) Bitches 13-16 pounds (6-7kg.)
West Highland White Terrier Health Problems
Most are fairly healthy. Some are prone to chronic skin problems, Perthe's disease (hip problems), hernias, liver disease, and jawbone calcification.
West Highland White Terrier Living Conditions
West Highland White Terriers are suitable for people in towns and cities as well as in the country. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
West Highland White Terrier Exercise
These little dogs, need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard.
West Highland White Terrier Life Expectancy
About 15 or more years.
West Highland White Terrier Grooming
The harsh, straight, short-haired double coat is fairly easy to groom and sheds little to no hair. Simply brush regularly with a stiff bristle brush. Brushing should keep the coat clean, so bathe only when necessary. Trim around the ears and eyes with blunt-nosed scissors. The whole coat should be trimmed about every four months and stripped twice a year.
West Highland White Terrier Origin
In the middle of the nineteenth century, it happened that the breeder of the Cairn Terrier in the country of Argyll, Scotland got some white pups in his litters. Those pups were selected and bred to obtain the West Highland White Terrier, which is simply a white Cairn. Westies were originally bred for controlling the population of rats, fox, otter and other vermin. This charming terrier is now mostly a companion dog.
West Highland White Terrier Group
Terrier, AKC Terrier