West Highland White Terrier: Dog Breed Description

The West Highland White Terrier or Westie was bred in Scotland in the mid-19th century to hunt fox, otter and other small animals and rodents. Today Westie is most often a companion dog.


The West Highland White Terrier is hardy, energetic and compact. Today it is one of the most popular dog breeds. The lead is smart and usually obedient. He can be both playful and quiet, depending on his mood and environment.

Like other terriers, the Westie is intelligent, independent, a bit stubborn. It is a lively, cheerful dog that needs a firm hand during training.

Scottish Terriers, Cairn Terriers and Westies have common roots, the separation was due to the selection of dogs of different colors by the breeders.


The West Highland White Terrier is energetic and courageous. He loves his family and those around him, but he doesn’t like being picked up or hugged. Westie is a good watchdog, he always barks, warning of danger. Westie does not get along well with other pets and longs to be the only pet in the house. He also does not like small children, but he gets along well with children over ten years old, if they behave decently and do not stick to the dog. The lead can be demanding and stubborn, i.e. demonstrate the character of a true terrier. If he doesn’t like something, he can easily grab or even bite the owner. The Westie is a social breed that adapts well to an attentive and active family.

Wool and care

The West Highland White Terrier has a double coat. The outer layer of the coat is tough and wire-like, while the inner layer is dense, fluffy and soft. Westie has an amazing sparkling white color, which makes it very elegant and graceful. Molting in this breed is moderate. The coat of the Westie requires regular brushing (at least twice a week). Also, Westie must go through a professional trimming procedure twice a year. Since this terrier’s skin is prone to dryness, it should not be bathed too often, only as needed. Leads are prone to deafness, patella dislocation and allergies.


The West Highland White Terrier must be trained from an early age, with particular attention to the socialization process. He responds best to love and gentle guidance. Lead a dog that is obedient enough if trained consistently and fairly.


The West Highland White Terrier loves to run and explore. He is not suitable for living in an apartment, as he is easily overexcited. This extremely energetic breed requires long walks in the fresh air, at least an hour a day. Westie needs a spacious yard with a strong fence, because he loves to dig and can accidentally knock over a flimsy fence, digging under it. Westie loves active games with teenagers, besides, he is hardy enough to play at least all day.

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