West Highland White Terrier Dog<<<< Back to dog breeds
- Country: Scotland
- Group: Terrier
- Weight: 24-35lbs (6-11kg)
- Height: 8-12inch (22-30cm)
- Colors: white
- Training: Alert, Friendly, Courageous, Hardy, Active, Independent
- Grooming: Easy to groom
- Health: prone to allergies
- Litter size: 4 - 10 puppies
- Lifespan: 12 - 16 years
- Other names: Westie, Westy
The West Highland white terrier or the Westie, is a popular dog, especially among families and children. This naughty and acrobat dog, loves nothing else but playing with his human partners.
In the mountains of western Scotland, Scotch Terrier hybrids have been used to hunt badgers, foxes, etc. These dogs were also used to destroy nests of mice and rats. Initially, these terriers were crossed in an attempt to create a hunter dog in the true sense. In those days, it was decided that certain breeds should be created so that each could provide different skills and exterior features.
Through selective breeding, the Scotch Terrier evolved, eventually, in different races: Cairn Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier and West Highland White Terrier. In fact, until 1917, various crossbreeds of these have continued to occur. When kennels refused to accept these hybrids (half-breeds), pure lines of each breed were established.
It is believed that the West Highland white terrier was developed in Poltalloch, Scotland and was known by various names. The first record of a West Highland white terrier dog occurred in the early 1900s. Initially, the West Highland white terrier was present in various colors. The problem arose when hunters started confusing their own dogs with the prey.
After several tragedies, it was decided that all the Westies should be white, in order to prevent confusion in the future. The West Highland white terrier first appeared in the United States in 1906 as the Roseneath Terrier. The breed was accepted in the terrier group of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908, but was not given the official name until 1909.
Food West Highland Terrier
We know that these gorgeous white terriers have a well-known problem: skin allergies. The best diet for theWestie is based on lamb and rice. These two ingredients are recommended for the sensitive stomach. Other foods (eg corn, etc.) can cause allergies and it is recommended that, if you decide to introduce them in your dog's diet, to do it gradually and keep an eye on their activity to see if it causes itching. Like the rest of the dogs, the Westie must always have fresh water to drink at their discretion when thirsty. Pay attention to the amount of food given because they can be prone to obesity.
Description West Highland Terrier
The Westie is a small dog, spirited, energetic, robust and vigurous. The head has the aspect of a dome and the muzzle is medium sized, with a pronounced end. The eyes are bright, dark-colored, with a penetrating gaze. The small ears are high and sharp, giving the appearance of an alert animal, ready for anything. The Westie shows a deep chest and muscular limbs. The tail is carried impassive, with a length of 12.5 to 15 cm and should not be shortened. All the West Highland white terriers are typically white but a lemon shade can be present around the face and ears.
The Westie fur (robe) is doubled, with a soft fluff, thick and warm and a thick hair, straight or wiry, with a length up to 5 cm.
The West Highland white terrier adult has, at shoulder level, a height of 25-30 cm in males and 23-28 cm in females. Body weight is 7-10 kg for males and 6-7 kg for females.
Behavior West Highland Terrier
The Westie is , typically, an intelligent dog, well-behaved with good manners. The breed is cheerful, loving and very playful. Many consider the Westie a puppy for all his life. Even though they may have a playful side, the Westies can be quiet, obedient, confident and determined. They are pretty friendly with strangers.
The West Highland white terrier can bite when provoked, but it is not as disobedient as most terriers. The Westie is energetic and very sure of himself in comparison with other dogs. Typically, the West Highland white terrier is not the one causing conflicts with other dogs, although some males are more aggressive, especially with other males.
Training West Highland Terrier
This small terrier, brave and sturdy can be easily trained. The Westie is a quick learner and excels at hunting and tracking. Also very obedient and agile.
The dog is very cheerful, playful, slightly stubborn, enterprising and must not be allowed to do what he wants. The training must be firm, consistent, balanced, without being harsh or severe. He likes to play ball, run, and dig caused by his characteristic high level of activity.
Characteristics West Highland Terrier
The Westie's white coat may take a little time to keep clean. The hair should be brushed to prevent tangling and damage. The hair is kept in adequate condition by peeling or plucking the dead hair. Regular brushing can mantain a clean fur, so that bathing will be given only when absolutely necessary. Around the ears and eyes, the hair is trimmed with a blunt tip scissor. Their whole coat must be trimmed every 4 months and cut very short twice a year.
Being a terrier, the Westie can develop the habit of digging. If left alone for long periods, they may show behavioral problems.
The Westie is an excellent dog for children.
Health West Highland Terrier
As with other breeds, the West Higland white terrier is not exempt from certain medical sensitivities. Among them, reported with an increased frequency are the following:
- craniomandibular osteopathy - an inflammation of the jaw bone (maxilla and mandible). This condition is temporary and occurs in young dogs. The affected dogs will not eat, as opening the mouth causes severe pain.
-cataracts - causes a loss of the normal transparency of the lens. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and lead to vision loss over time.
-diabetes - a condition associated with a pancreatic insufficient insulin production.
-patellar luxation - a disorder that affects the kneecap (patella).
-hip dysplasia - a malformation of the hip joint resulting in pain, lameness and arthritis.
-dilatation of the heart - a heart condition resulting in the enhancement and thinning of the heart muscle that forms the walls of the heart.
In addition, the West Highland white terrier is prone to allergic dermatitis, liver disease, otitis, shaking disease with the albinos and deafness. The shaking disease (White shaker disease) is a state of tremor found at small white dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Westie is of 12 to 16 years.