The West Highland white terrier is also known as Westie, This Scotland dog is a small, strong built and filled with self-esteem and he knows he is the best thing in the house. This dog knows how to have a good time. He can entertain himself while making other people laugh. He is very happy and friendly for everyone except small mice, rodent and cats, it is also seen that he sometimes look at his owner quizzically.
Dog Breed Group: Terrier Dogs
Height: From 10 inches to 11 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 13 to 22 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 16 years
Need to Know about West Highland White Terrier
Some peoples call him “big dog in a small dog’s body” but that is a mistake. He is not bossy, temperamental or pushy. Some people think that it is a stubborn breed that is not true. It is all about interest, he mostly thinks that what is in it for me. You just have to make him believe that you want is in his best interest and he follows you blindly.
West Highland white terrier got development for hunting small animals like rodent; he is an independent thinker which is a trait he loves. His independent thinking will be a good source of enjoyment but sometimes it does not go according to your expectation and you might not enjoy it. Now a day Westie’s are used in agility and obedience competitions rather than for hunting. Some of them are in search and rescue teams. He is also famous as a therapy dog, earth dog test, flyball, tracking. You just need to know which one these he enjoys.
West Highland white terrier is a great companion and he fills the life with joy with his funny behavior and love of life. He is definitely not a one person dog. It is a social dog who is good with every being including strangers. He is good with children of all ages but he does well with older children. The breed can live with cats too but he will often chase them and he will be very gentle with kittens. He will be good with other dogs but only if he is not an intact male. Although because of the strong prey drive they don’t do very well with small animals such as a rodent, rabbits etc.
West Highland white terrier can live in any type of house. They can also live in apartments because of their small size and they need to live inside the house they are not for the kennel. If properly exercise and trained not to bark, he can easily live in an apartment. He will do just fine on his own while you are at your work.
He is intelligent and learns quickly. The breed can be easily trained but give positive and consistent training or he will get bored. It is a good thing to use positive reinforcement which plays the key role in training Westie. You can also use clicker training methods. Don’t use harsh corrections it will be a waste of time, he will ignore your command as soon as his “what’s in it for me” attitude kick in.
West Highland white terrier is very noisy. When he hears or sees something odd or suspicious he will start barking. He will announce any letter carrier, dog, or visitors that just come close to the house. Training him at an early age can stop him from barking. He is a very loyal and affectionate breed. Some of them like to be a lapdog. Like other dogs, he likes being clean and that makes him easy to housetrain. Westie is great for first-time dog owners. He is very easy going and soft nature with fun loving attitude he can make a place in a family with ease.
He is like Speedy Gonzales when outside like in a dog park. People who go to hiking can take him with them he will be great a companion. He loves playing with his squeaky toys and sniffing his domain. Keep in mind they love to dig holes so it is necessary to train them properly to redirect their digging habit. To keep him healthy and happy take him for a walk at least one time a day.
A Westie will bark, dig and chase after small animals but training can stop him from doing such things, he will not dig holes in your garden (I know how it feels like), he will bark only once but no matter how much you train him he will not stop chasing small animals like rabbit, birds or rodent. It is like the only thing he is made for.
He does well with other dogs in the house but if he is an intact male and another one is intact that would be the problem. He can live with cats but he cannot work with small animals no matter what you do he cannot suppress his prey drive. Training a West Highland white terrier is easy as long as there is positive and consistent training. Bear in mind that Westie is an independent and strong will dog which may cause some difficulties in training if it becomes boring or too intense.
West Highland White Terrier Health
If you are considering this breed you need to know that this breed has many health issues. Having allergies in this breed is very common. It makes the skin itchy. A study shows that at the age of 3, 66% of West Highland white terrier has allergies. It is the nasty and rare disease which inherited and is called epidermal dysplasia. This disease starts between 3 to 12 months, making feet, belly and head itchy and inflamed. It slowly spread across the whole body causing recurrent skin yeast infection and hair loss.
West Highland white terrier faces many joint problems like hip dysplasia, loss knees, hipbone atrophy, and swollen jaws. They also face digestion problem which also called colitis. Another disease is common in Westie which is the neuromuscular disease which is also well-known as White Shaker Dog Syndrome; it appears during the age of 2 years which can cause walking difficulty or seizure. Steroids are given to the dog for the rest of his life who has WSDS. Wesite can also face an incurable disease which is well-known as pulmonary fibrosis and it is so common in them that it is also called Westie lung disease. In PF the dog faces breathing problem and eventually leads to death. There is little knowledge about the cause but it is seen that the cause of PF may be due to long-term allergies and infections.
West Highland White Terrier Care
- He’s a low shedder.
- Twice a year he needs stripping his coat. He requires brushing regularly this make him easy to groom.
- While living indoor his stamina drops a little low but he still needs at least one play session or daily walk.
- This breed can live in an apartment but keep in mind he needs to have training and proper exercise.
- West Highland white terrier is a social dog who is like life of a party. He gets along with children of all ages but he will do better with older children.
- You can easily leave your dog at home or apartment during your work just turn on some music or TV. Providing toys is another good source of burning his energy and the key role to play is crating.
- If you are a gardener and love your green more than anything than don’t even bother to get a West Highland white terrier. He will dig holes in the garden and that will bring a tear in your eyes.
West Highland White Terrier Feeding
Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
NOTE: How much the adult Westie eats depend upon his size, build, age, metabolism and activity level. One thing to keep in mind that a dog is just like people they don’t want the same quantity of food. Just like a human, an active dog consumes more food than a lazy dog. The quality of food also makes difference. The better your quality of food give the more nourished your dog will be.
Children and Other Pets West Highland White Terrier
The Wesite is a very loyal and loving dog who is excellent with older children. You need to supervise him if you have young children. Some books wrote that “Westie get along with children with ease” but it is best that the children must be supervised and they should know how to contact with the dog another thing that you should know that if the dog is not happy, he will snap and may do something uncomfortable.