West Highland White Terrier

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Species group:

Other name(s): Westie; Westies; Westy

The basics:
The high-spirited White Highland White Terrier is a sturdy dog with a large spirit in a small package, a combination that attracts pet owners who want an energetic companion who likes to play. This breed was developed from a female Scottish Terrier that produced white puppies, and the terrier instinct to chase down vermin like rats and foxes still survives. The Westie doesn't belong in a household with smaller pets that invite the chase, including rodents and rabbits. It can also present a challenge to an unconfident owner who doesn't know how to properly train a bold, somewhat stubborn dog. However, if you know how to establish limits, you can have a lot of fun with the Westie.

Appearance / health:
The West Highland White Terrier is a small, strongly built, and hardy terrier. The almond-shaped eyes are widely set apart. The chest is deep and strongly built with a straight back. The tail is relatively short. The forelegs are muscular.

The Westie’s coat is fairly easy to groom and sheds little to no hair. All it needs to keep the coat looking good is regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush. Regular bathing is not required; the Westie needs to be bathed only when necessary. Hair around the ears and eyes require trimming with blunt nosed scissors. The whole coat is normally trimmed once every four months and stripped on a yearly basis.

Though these dogs enjoy regular walks or play sessions in the park, they don’t mind missing their exercise once in a while.

The Westie is a generally fairly healthy breed. They are susceptible to skin problems, hip problems, and liver disease.

Behavior / temperament:
The West Highland White Terrier is a very playful companion dog. Despite the small size, the Westie does well as a watchdog. The breed likes to dig and bark.

Westies can learn fast and can excel in obedience competition. These strong-willed dogs need to be handled firmly and consistently without harshness.

The breed can be quite noisy and tends to bark at every new sight and sound. They may not be the breed for people who live close to their neighbors. They should not left outside in the yard, unsupervised.

Is a West Highland White Terrier right for you?

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Happiest dogs in the world

West highland white terriers are one of my favorite breeds of dog ever! I have had several Westies in my lifetime and I am here to tell you about their unique qualities. Currently we have two Westies, Bonnie and Oreo. Both of these dogs have been with us since they were puppie...

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