West Highland White Terrier

Learn about the West Highland White Terrier!


Depending on who it is with and how it is in the first place, the West Highland White Terrier can be a very invaluable companion is raised in the right way, or paired with the right person. Because their temperament is difficult to generalize, it is probably better off just to see one in person and see who they really are.

Behavior common of the West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland Terrier, unlike other breeds, show varying degrees of temperament and patience with both adults and children. They are also very territorial of their toys and food, and will most likely nip or bite at anyone who comes near something that they perceive as theirs.

They are feisty, constantly needing to move or go from place to place, searching for stimulus or something to keep them occupied.

Highland Terriers have a tendency to be very stubborn, so training them may prove difficult for owners, especially first-timers. They do best when training with toys, such as chasing balls or something that squeaks, since that is what calls closest to their instinct.

Appearance of the West Highland White Terrier

They weigh between fifteen to twenty pounds, and can stand up to eleven inches high. They have a deep chest, a black nose, and the upper and lower canines often can cross-set each other, giving the dog a peculiar, constant-biting kind of look.

These types of terriers display a thick undercoat and a coarse outer-coat. When this fur grows, it gives the dog a more rounded look, especially in the face.

Grooming your West Highland White Terrier

If you do not want to have to give frequent baths for this breed of dog, it is oftentimes better to hand-strip them than to head straight for the water.

When grooming a Westy, it is best to start out by gently pulling the hair, preferably over the period of a day or a couple. The hair around the eyes and ears should be trimmed, as to prevent infection. Be very careful not to nick the dog–this can be aided by having a blunt hair of scissors, to reduce the amount of pain if it does happen.

If you do decide the bathe them–which should be once every four months–use water and a mild soap.

In between hand-strippings and the baths, be sure to brush at least once or twice a week.

Westies are are most commonly known for having problems with their skin. It has been found that it more frequently affects males than it does females.

Most owners, when initially faced with skin problems (such as hair falling out or skin irritation) will attribute it to allergies.  These conditions affect both young and older dogs, so it is not an age-related problems.

History of the West Highland White Terrier

In spite of its scattered history, the general consensus that the original person who started the breed was Edward Donald Malcolm. Given that the majority of other breeds were common colors, such as red, brown, or black, they would be mistakenly shot by their owners in the heat of the hunt. While the breeds that he had developed were not the pure, snow-white as they are seen today, they had a distinctive bright, sandy color, which allowed for death-free dogs on the hunt.