West highland white terrier dogs can be wonderful companions for all types of people, regardless of their age. This small dog can have a fantastic relationship with children and be an invaluable friend. He makes a great playmate, protector and is a wonderful listener and can sympathize when others (parents, teachers, siblings, friends) don’t seem to understand. The loving bond between kids and dogs is quite beautiful and very endearing.
Of course, this type of bond is not something that develops by simply sticking west highland white terrier dogs and a child in the same room. This is because both the canine and the young human need to be provided with an understanding of the other, something that only you – the owner – can give.
To make sure that your westie and kid develop a wonderful friendship, here’s what you need to do:
• Teach your child to be sensitive and realistic when interacting with west highland white terrier dogs. Explain the characteristics of the breed and that they communicate through barking and body posture. Show them how to gently pet the westie from the back of their head to their tail in the same direction. Make sure they know not to pull on the fur, ears or tail and to avoid touching the dog’s face. Kids should also be made aware of the fact that canines become excitable when they run and/or scream and that they must never hit, kick or throw the animal when they are upset.
• Have your son or daughter share in the responsibility of owning a pet. Although they may not be old enough to take him for a walk, they can feed him and provide him with fresh water. The more they learn about caring for their four-legged pal the better understanding and respect they will have for him.
• Your westie terrier will require obedience training. Although your pooch will likely think he is in a higher position in your pack than your kids, he must never believe that he is above you. He needs to be taught obedience and learn to obey basic commands that put you in control, such as sit, down, stay, come and heel. Trained west highland white terrier dogs make better companions for children.
• Supervise kids and canines when they are playing together. This breed is not typically recommended for households with family members that are younger than ten years of age. This is because west-highland terriers will not hesitate to snap or snarl at a kid whom they feel has responded inappropriately. An adult needs to be present in case they need to be separated.
Proper socialization is key to a healthy and happy west highland white terrier dogs relationship with children. It is possible to make it work but it requires you to be a patient, watchful and dedicated teacher.