The west highland white terrier is a small hardy all-white dog that originated in Scotland in the mid 19th century. He is a very lively canine and is loyal, loving and devoted to his family. He has a bold personality and despite his size is a very skilled watchdog, as he loves to bark. He is not shy and is usually friendly with strangers. Being a terrier, the westie has a natural instinct for digging and will love to dig holes in your yard.
Keeping the above details in mind, the following are some additional west highland white terrier fundamental facts that can help you determine if this is the right companion for you:
Height – Males are 10 – 12 inches and females are 9 – 11 inches.
Weight – Males weigh between 15 – 22 pounds and females approximately 13 – 16 pounds.
General appearance – They have a sturdy compact body, a deep chest and short muscular legs. The dark eyes are deeply set in their head and they have a bright and intense gaze. Ears are small, pointy and erect. The undocked west highland white terrier tail is about 5- 6 inches long.
Coat – Solid white fur that features a harsh uncurled topcoat and a soft dense undercoat. They are average shedders.
Living requirements – These pooches are well suited to apartment life and will be fine without a yard because they are very active indoors. That said, they are equally happy in a house and will love a backyard to play in. Nevertheless, despite where you may live, westies require a daily walk of about 15 minutes and should be engaged in playtime. This dog needs to burn his energy or he can develop behavioural problems.
Children and other family pet compatibility – A properly socialized and trained wesite will tolerate well-manned children but should be supervised when interacting with kids under the age of 10 for both the child’s and dog’s safety. A west highland white terrier is usually accepting of other canines but will enjoy chasing cats and cannot be trusted around small pets such as rodents. Keep in mind, they were bred to hunt and kill quarry and will not be able to distinguish the difference between a wild and domesticated animal.
Trainability – They are fast learners, intelligent and are easy to train. However, they will try to gain the upper hand and attempt to dominate you if you give them the chance. You must remain in power over this four-legged one at all times or he may become increasingly aggressive and difficult to control.
Grooming needs – Nails should be clipped every two weeks because west highland white terrier nails grow faster than other breeds. The coat should be brushed daily, trimmed every four months and washed every few months. Tooth brushing should occur 2-3 times per week and eye corners should be wiped daily with a warm wet cloth to remove built up discharge.
Health problems – Chronic skin problems, hernias, jawbone calcification, white shakers syndrome, hip problems, and liver disease are some of the more common ailments that can occur.
Life expectancy – The average west highland white terrier lives 15 years or longer.