West Highland White Terrier
Small, Sharp and Speedy
The West Highland white terrier, a small but spunky breed known for its white coat and puffy haircut, originated in Poltalloch, Scotland. The breed had been bred and maintained for more than 100 years before its first appearance at a dog show in 1907, at which time it was known as the Roseneath Terrier. The name was officially changed in 1909.
The breed was recently ranked 33rd out of 125 in a popularity ranking, according to justdogbreeds.com.
This breed shows that good things do indeed come in small packages. The compact Westie (ideal size is 10-11 inches at the withers) is smart, speedy, determined and friendly, according to AKC.
Originally kept as a hunting dog used to run down foxes in their dens, the Westie still likes to be in the thick of things and has been known to burrow from time to time. The amiable breed likes humans and will likely become fast friends with anyone it encounters.
Westies are regarded as great pets for a number of people. Their small size and good manners make them an excellent choice for apartment dwellers. The eager, active pups are great companions that love to join their owners for an array of outdoor activities. But they’re also happy to simply hang out at home and keep their owner company.
The Westie’s bark can be loud and seem threatening, and it might react negatively toward other small animals. They tend to do very well with older children, but are not recommended for toddlers, as they can at times become aggressive despite their friendly nature.
If you’re thinking about getting a West Highland white terrier, you should know that much time and care needs to be put into their grooming. One of the Westie’s best features, its beautiful white coat, can also be one of its biggest drawbacks. The coat will get dirty very easily due to the Westie’s curious, playful nature. Adding to the problem, the dog should actually be bathed as little as possible, as bathing softens the hair texture and can encourage a tendency to curl.
- Brush your Westie twice weekly, working out knots and tangles with fingers or by combing gently.
- Shape the dog every two to three months, either by clipping or handstripping.
- Take the dog to a professional groomer for clipping — you’ll be glad you did.
Despite all their hair, Westies actually shed very little.
Westies are regarded as great pets for a number of people. Their small size and good manners make them an excellent choice for apartment dwellers.
The Westie’s playful, jovial personality makes them a desirable pet for owners. Their gorgeous, striking coat and overall appearance is a source of a pride. Though it does take work to maintain their appearance, their good-natured companionship will be well worth the effort.