The West Highland White Terrier originated in Scotland was primarily used for hunting foxes, badgers and to kill rats. Historically, the presence of Terriers dates back to the 17th century where King James VI of Scotland procured dozens of this dog from Argyll to present to the king of France. Bred by royal descendants of Scotland, this dog acquired the familial names of these nobles. In 1909, this breed that was then referred to as Roseneath Terrier, was renamed into the West Highland White Terriers. Though this breed has come a long way, it has not lost its original zeal and vigour and continues to be the favourite breed of most of the families even today.
The Westie displays excellent leadership qualities. It does not like to be treated harshly and is possessive in nature. Westie can make an excellent watch dog as it is born with leadership qualities. Once a hunting dog, the Westie loves physical training like chasing a ball, investigating a trail, digging holes etc.
- Activity level: 4/5 (highly active)
- Intelligence level: 4/5( born leaders)
- Curiosity: 3.5/5 (easy to train)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (friendly towards children and even cats)
- Vocal: 3/5 ( loves to bark)
West Highland White Terriers are sturdy little dogs with a deep chest. The rectangular body is short in comparison to the height of the dog. Puppies of this breed have pink markings on their nose and paws that fade away with time. Its paws, with a good grip, enable it to climb even rocky terrains.
- Fur: Westie has a dense undercoat and rough outer coat. The outer coat is trimmed by hand stripping or clipping. The coat mostly comes in white colour.
- Eyes: Westie’s have deep almond shaped dark eyes that are placed wide apart.
- Body structure: This dog has muscular limbs, a black nose and closely fitted jaws. The tail is 5 to 6 inches and tapers to a point.
- Facial features: The head is round. The muzzle is shorter than the skull and tapers towards the nose. Ears are sharp, triangular in shape and placed wide apart over the head.
- Weight: A male dog weighs 15 to 22 pounds while a female dog weighs around 13 to 16 pounds.
The West Highland White Terrier is prone to Craniomandibular Osteopathy, Pulmonary fibrosis Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Cataract, Cherry Eye, Skin problems, Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation and Westie Jaw. OFA tests for detecting hip Dysplasia, CERF screening for eye problems, radiographic testing for the jaw problems and DNA tests for diagnosing genetic disorders help to identify such diseases at an early stage and cure them with effective treatment.
The Westie’s coat need regular grooming and brushing as it is an average shedder. Show dogs are stripped twice a year. Nail, hair around feet, eyes and ears are trimmed and the hair on the head is often plucked to maintain the round shape. It should be bathed only when necessary, but wiped frequently to avoid odour. Ears should be checked for infection and cleaned with good quality cleanser. Feeding a West Highland White Terrier with rich quality dog food twice a day keeps it active and healthy.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org