West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is gaining popularity every year due to its energetic, happy disposition and the appearance of being a cuddly stuffed toy.

Westies quickly take on the attitude that they are the most important person in the house. Almost to the point of having a big ego like some Hollywood stars (think Diva). It is important to train them and let them know who is in charge (not the Westie!). They are highly trainable but it does take consistent effort as they can have short attention spans and will let their minds wander off to whatever else is interesting in the area. Training should be positive, deliberate and consistent.

Along with their ego you will see that they are not timid at all. They will hunt and chase small animals and will also challenge larger dogs. This is in keeping with the Terrier upbringing. Terriers were often left to fend for themselves while working. West Highlands were bred for hunting vermin on the farms as well as for hunting fox and otter. You may need to protect your westie from getting mixed up with larger dogs! Good training and early socialization are important.

They are loyal and devoted dogs but usually not to the point of being a lap dog – unless it suits them! I know a Westie personally who will gladly snuggle after an active day. But that might be the key point – an active day. Westies are energetic and need daily exercise. A walk is essential and so is play time (throwing a toy around for example). Without enough exercise any dog will create its own activity. The result is usually not desirable.

A westie is usually a good addition to a family. Children need to be taught how to behave respectfully towards any dog. And the Westie needs to be socialized, trained and exercised. Smaller pets may be at risk as the Westie is a hunter by nature. The west highland will be a good watchdog as they are reserved with strangers and will usually bark eagerly.

In case you are wondering about their size … they are small, weighing 15-22 pounds (7-10kg.) and standing 10-12 inches (25-30cm.). They have bright, deep set eyes with a cheerful look to them. Their coat is thick and hardy and they have small pointed ears. West Highland Terriers have bright, deep-set eyes; these tend to be dark, with a "piercing" look

With proper nutrition, regular veterinary care, and plenty of exercise, a westie will live 12-14 years

The West Highland White Terrier is part of the Terrier group of dogs

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