West Highland White Terrier
Description: The West Highland White Terrier (Westie) is a small well-balanced hardy looking terrier, exhibiting good showmanship. They are elegant looking with a beautiful, shiny white coat and bright, button eyes, shaggy eyebrows and a black nose. An intelligent dog who learns quickly West Highland White Terriers love human companionship and will play with their family indoors or out. Their size makes them great for an apartment but they are just as at home in the country. West Highland White Terriers make great companions for children of all ages. They are one of the most popular breed of dogs today.
Other Names: Poltalloch Terrier
Height: 10 - 11 inches
Weight: 15 - 22 lbs
Colors: All white
Coat: Double coat, harsh straight, wiry outer coat and soft, close, furry undercoat.
Temperament: West Highland White Terriers are active, assertive, fun-loving, well-behaved, light-hearted
With Children: Yes, make excellent playmates for children because they can withstand rough play.
With Pets: Yes, but teach them when they are young to tolerate cats.
Special Skills: Family Pet
Care and Training: The West Highland White Terrier is easy to train and should have basic training. They needs regular brushing two to three times a week to help keep their white coat clean. Monthly bathing. Minimal trimming if they are just a pet. If you plan to show them, they will also need trimming, plucking and stripping of the coat.
Learning Rate: High, Obedience - High, Problem Solving - Very High
Activity: Indoor & Outdoor - Very High
Living Environment: At home in the country or the city the West Highland White Terrier will do well as an apartment dweller if they are walked several times a day though they will always enjoy having the freedom to play in a yard. West Highland White Terriers do best with human or canine companionship.
Health Issues: Healthy and robust. Some problems with skin allergies, patella luxation, hernias and cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw), deafness and congenital heart disease.
Life Span: 15 + years
Litter Size: 2 - 5
Country of Origin: Scotland
History: They were developed in the high mountains of west Scotland and claims ancestry to the Scotch Terrier. West Highland White Terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin. Sir Edwin Landseer painting of 1831 "The Breakfast Party" features several Highland Terriers. In the later 1800s there was a strain of white Scottish Terriers who were owned by Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch and were known as Poltralloch Terriers. They were very much like the West Highland White Terriers of today. They were at one time cross bred with Cairn, Scottish and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. In 1917 the AKC ruled that Cairn Terriers could be registered if they carried West Highland White Terrier blood.
First Registered by the AKC: 1908
AKC Group: Terrier
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC