West Highland White Terrier Information


The Westie is foremost a terrier, bred to  chase and hunt, to work underground out of sight and hearing of its owner, and therefore, dependent on its own brain and ingenuity . This produces a dog with an independent spirit, and inquisitive nature and an active body .
Some people think that terriers are yappy and snappy. This is not true of a well-brought up Westie. Although they can be very determined, they do like to please their owners, and so much depends on early training forming a good relationship with your dog.
The owner must be prepared to take on the role of “boss” and as soon as a Westie realises who is ‘top of the pack’ , he will happily do as told-though not the speed and docility of a gundog !
Westie do get on well with children, but I would always be wary of selling a puppy to a family with very small children- unless the parents are experienced dog owners. Puppies and small children are both very demanding and it is difficult to give both the attention they require. A Westie puppy, aged 8 to 10 weeks , ready to go to his new home, is very small and vulnerable and could easily be hurt if mishandled- or worse still- dropped. So think carefully before choosing a Westie Puppy if you have small children to care for.
Physically , Westies are active and need plenty of exercise. As small dogs, with comparatively short legs,they need the opportunity to run and play. Their intelligent minds mean that they cannot be left alone for long periods of time. Indeed no dog should be left on its own for hours.
Credit; West Highland White Terrier Club of England – http://www.thewesthighlandwhiteterrierclubofengland.co.uk

The West Highland White Terrier belongs to the terrier grouped related to the other terriers created in Scotland. Which include Scottish Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers and Skye Terriers. They were bred for work where their function was to go to ground searching for rabbits, rats and alike. The story is that a Colonel Malcolm was out shooting when he unintentionally shot 1 of his much-loved brown coloured terriers mistaking it for a fox. For this reason, the Colonel made a decision to set about breeding from a small white dog which could carry out the same capabilities of his working terriers. He chose to breed this dog to the lightest coloured puppies from the litters of Cairn Terriers and continued breeding back to other light coloured terriers free from any of the traditionally brown dogs. After some time he produced pure white terriers which bred on true to type, temperament, working ability and white. Eventually, the West Highland White Terrier became accepted by its present name in the very early part of the last century. It was first shown under the present West Highland Terrier name in 1904 at the Scottish Kennel Club’s dog show held in Edinburgh. Several years later The British Kennel Club officially recognized the breed name about the time West Highland White Terriers were first exhibited at Crufts.


The West Highland White Terrier, often called the Westie, is a small dog of sturdy structure. Viewed from the front, the head has a round appearance; the muzzle is shorter in comparison to the back-skull that tapers towards a blunt black nose. The teeth are actually large in proportion to this terrier and meet with a scissor bite. The set deep dark brown eyes are and placed fairly wide apart. The erect triangular ears are set wide apart and placed on top of the head. The legs are fairly short but not as to be too low to ground. The undocked tail is relatively short, thick at the base tapering to a point. The coat has a straight hard outer coat and a soft dense under coat. The dog comes in a solid white colour.

IMPORTANTA West Highland White Terrier  with exaggerated features is the result of bad breeding.   CreditThe Breed Club Connection.


The vast majority of dogs of all breeds (as well as mixed breeds) can live long, healthy lives if given proper care, good nutrition, exercise, and routine veterinary attention. Nevertheless, any dog can fall victim to a wide range of health problems including infectious diseases, parasites, allergies, endocrine problems, heart conditions, and cancer to name a few. In addition, each pure breed of dogs has its own particular health issues. The West Highland White Terrier is no exception. Some of these problems are minor, some impairing, and some possibly fatal. Some conditions may show a very strong hereditary basis and others are caused by environmental factors.
Atopic dermatitis; Luxating patella; Aggression; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease; Dry Eye (KCS); Addison’s disease; Lymphoma;
White Shaker; Pulmonary Fibrosis; Juvenile Cataracts; CMO (craniomandibular osteopathy); Pancreatic enzyme deficiency. Source; The West Highland White Terrier Club of America