© Zdomiter |

West Highland White Terrier

Nickname: Westie

Breed origin: Poltalloch, Scotland
Original purpose: Hunting and companion dog.

AKC recognized: 1908
AKC group: Terrier

Size: Weight: males 15 to 20 lbs; females 13 to 16 lbs
Size: Height: males around 11 inches; females around 10 inches
4-month-old puppy
© Fordphotouk (Sandra Ford) |
Color: White.

General characteristics/temperament: The West Highland White Terrier is alert, gay, courageous, self-reliant, intelligent, friendly, and devoted. They love people and make affectionate family pets. They are strong-willed, but generally respond well to positive training methods. Many Westies excel in a variety of different canine sports. They tend to be laid back inside the house, but are active and playful outdoors. They will bark an alert when someone's at the door, but are friendly towards the visitors once they come in. They have a high prey drive and will generally chase small animals, but some can learn to live with cats, especially if the cats learn not to run from them.

© Foto-front (Waldemar Dabrowski) |
Good with children? Yes

Good with cats? No

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? No

OK in apartments? Yes

© Jszg005 |
Intelligent? Yes

Easy to train? Yes

Energy/Activity Level: Moderate

Suitable canine sports/activities: conformation, obedience, rally, agility, earthdog, tracking, flyball

Grooming requirement: Brush thoroughly once a week. During shedding season twice a year for about two weeks, they would need to be brushed daily. Bathe up to once a month as needed. Strip or trim every six to eight weeks, either by a professional groomer, or learn to do it yourself.

Known health problems: Addison's disease, atopic dermatitis, diabetes, ear infections, heart disease, craniomandibular osteopathy, hip dysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, cataracts, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, allergies, Westie lung disease, white shakers syndrome.

Additional photos of West Highland White Terrier

Recommended books for further reading:

The West Highland White Terrier
By Jill Arnel
Published in 2006
192 pages

A New Owner's Guide to West Highland White Terriers
By Dawn Martin
Published in 1996
160 pages

The Essential West Highland White Terrier
By Howell Book House
Published in 1999
96 pages

West Highland White Terrier (A Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
By Penelope Ruggles-Smythe
Published in 2003
158 pages

Show more books

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
West Highland White Terrier Club of America
Wikipedia breed information page
West Highland White Terrier Club of America Rescue

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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