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West Highland White Terrier

Friendly, happy, and entertaining, the cute little West Highland Terriers have been pleasing dog lovers with their charm for hundreds of years. These small but sturdy earth dogs, affectionately called the Westies, are among the most-loved terriers in the world. Their dark piercing eyes, an all-white coat, along a carrot-shaped tail give them an irresistible plush-toy look.

Originally developed as a hunter and ratter, the Westies are self-reliant and can think on their own. Mostly, these terriers are a companion and do not get attached to just one person in the family. They are social pets that get along well with children of all ages and are friendly with other dogs. Westies are, however, aggressive towards smaller animals like birds and rabbits.

The Westies are suitable for both the city- and country-dwellers, but make sure that you keep your dog indoors and train it not to bark unnecessarily.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Roseneath Terrier, Poltalloch Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier
  • Colors:White
  • Life Expectancy:12-17 years
  • Height:9.8-11 inches
  • Weight:15-20 pounds
  • Temperament:Hardy, alert, active, courageous
  • Good with Kids:Yes
  • Exercise requirements:Moderately high
  • Hypoallergenic:Yes
  • Litter Size:3-5 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Quite high
  • Health Problems:Westie lung disease, patellar luxation, cataracts, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Trainability:Quite easy
  • Origin:Scotland
West Highland White Terrier Dog
West Highland White Terrier Puppies

West Highland White Terrier’s History: A Timeline

    16th century

    Scottish white terriers were seen during the rule of James VI, who gifted a dozen terriers to the Kingdom of France


    One of the Spanish Armada ships, carrying white Spanish dogs, wrecked on the Isle of Skye

    Late 19th – early 20th century

    Edward Donald Malcolm, the 16th Laird of Poltalloch, was closely associated with creating the Westies


    The first breed club was established, with Niall Campbell appointed as the first president of the society


    Recognized by the Kennel Club (KC) and the breed was displayed at the Crufts, an international dog show in the UK


    The breed was brought to the US by Robert Goelet, with the Roseneath Terrier Club achieving recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC)


    The club’s name was changed to West Highland White Terrier Club of America, and the breed gained recognition from the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)


    It became the third-most-popular terrier breed in the UK

Full Grown West Highland White Terrier
West Highland White Terrier Size


Westies are moderately energetic, needing daily activity. They enjoy one or two regular walks as well as a session of romp and play.

Your dog’s instinct to work can also be channeled into various activities, including rally, agility, and obedience.

Since it has the terrier instinct to chase anything that moves, you should play with it in a fenced yard or keep it leashed when out and about.

They have a thick, soft undercoat and a rough topcoat that can be easily groomed. Westies need regular grooming, which includes brushing and combing.

If your West Highland White Terrier is a show dog, you need to strip or pluck the dead hair to avoid the formation of matts and facilitate the growth of new hair. To keep its coat clean, you may often clip its coat.

Since its coat stays relatively clean, bathe it only when necessary. You may frequently wipe down its coat with a damp cloth to maintain that glossy white color.

Whether it is home-prepared or commercially manufactured, your Westie’s food should include adequate nutrients like carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

You could cook a healthy dish of chicken, beef, egg, brown rice, with fresh veggies at home. When going for commercial dry dog food, Royal Canin and Merrick Lil Plates are among the best brands suited for your Westie.

Although Westies have a mind of their own, their intelligence and friendliness make training relatively easy compared to some of the other terriers. Keeping the training sessions short, positive, and consistent will make it more effective.

Since your Westie can be pretty noisy, it should be taught to alert bark only when it hears or sees something suspicious. Teach it to walk on leash, or else it might go after a small pet or a speeding vehicle.

Roseneath Terrier
Poltalloch Terrier

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