The West Highland White Terrier hails from Scotland, where the white coat was bred specifically so that the dogs could be easily seen while they hunted vermin among the rocks and grass in the countryside. As typical terriers, Westies are full of spunk and energy.
They’re also friendly and affectionate companions and make good family pets. However, you need to accept them become fully fledged family members. They also make good watchdogs thanks to their alarm barking.
Unfortunately, many people think that their diminutive size means that they’ll be content to be docile and sedate lap dogs. They completely underestimate the West Highland White Terrier’s exercise needs. When they find they’re quite demanding, the Westies end up living on borrowed time at shelters or rescue organisations. You can save a life by choosing to adopt an older Westie puppy or adult dog. However, there is no shame in choosing a reputable and ethical breeder if you want to buy pedigree West Highland White Terrier puppies.
West Highland White Terrier
Group: West Highland White Terriers belong to the terrier group of dog breeds.
Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years
Size: Small. Height: 10 – 11 in. Weight: 15 – 22 lb.
Temperament: Confident, determined, intelligent, easy to train, devoted and charming.
Exercise: West Highland White Terriers have high energy needs. You should provide plenty of activities for them during the day. Otherwise they’ll find their own stuff to do, like barking, digging and chewing. Daily walks are must (twice daily walks better), energetic play (chase, fetch and tug), and training will channel their energy in positive ways. Westies respond very well to positive reinforcement training. In fact, they’re considered the more intelligent of the terrier breeds. Basic obedience is necessary while dog sports can provide physical and mental stimulation.
General care: The Westies’ white coat might seem like a nightmare to keep clean, but they’re pretty much wash-and-go. A weekly grooming session is enough to keep your West Highland White Terrier’s coat in good condition. However, you need to strip the coat a few times a year to stop it from becoming shaggy.
Health concerns: West Highland White Terriers are generally very hardy, study and healthy dogs, but there are some common health problems that may crop up. These include neurological disease, lung disease, skin allergies, neuromuscular problems. Get comprehensive pet dog cover when you get your Westie and save yourself a lot of stress and expense in the event of medical emergencies, illnesses, injuries, travel, loss and death.
If you lead an active life or take your dog everywhere with you, from the pub to hiking, then a West Highland White Terrier is a great pet. If, however, you’d rather leave your dog at home and go to the theater or travel overseas, a Westie is not for you. With the right training and enough attention, affection and mental stimulation a West Highland White Terrier makes a wonderful addition to your happy family.