West Highland White Terrier - Dogs 101

The West Highland White Terrier (nicknamed the “Westie” and once called the “Poltalloch Terrier” and “Roseneath Terrier”) is one of the world’s most popular terrier breeds. They feature deep eyes, pointed ears and a distinctive rough, white coat. Their lovable appearance, friendly nature and love for play all help make the West Highland White Terrier a highly popular companion for active, fun loving owners or families with more considerate children.

Origins Of The West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is believed to have originated in Scotland in the 1800s and was bred with the intention of hunting foxes, badgers and other pests. They are thought to be a white offshoot of the Scottish Terrier and Cairn Terrier that resulted from a number of breeding programs including Edward Donald Malcolm’s “Poltalloch Terrier”, George Campbell’s “Roseneath Terrier” and Dr. Americ Edwin Flaxman’s “Pittenweem Terrier”.

Average Size Of The West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers are classed as a small-sized dog. The suggested standard size for the West Highland White Terrier male is 11 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 15-20 pounds, while the recommended size for female West Highland White Terriers is 10 inches high from paw to shoulder with a weight of 13-18 pounds.

Temperament Of The West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is well-known for their affectionate, happy and devoted manner. They are typically friendly with guests, which often means they are quite unsuitable as a guard dog.

The West Highland White Terrier is also known to be fairly intelligent – ranking equal 47th in comparison with other dogs based on their ability to be trained obedience commands.

They are also well-known to be good with older or more gentle children – which makes them somewhat suitable as a family pet. The West Highland White Terrier is not very well-matched with other smaller animals but may get along quite well with other dogs they’re raised with.

Living Requirements Of The West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is happiest with a small, well-fenced yard to run around in, but they are quite suitable for apartment living so long as they are exercised enough.

Health & Life Expectancy Of The West Highland White Terrier

Like a large number of small-sized breeds, the West Highland White Terrier is in general long-lived with a life expectancy of 12-14 years. The most severe health concern for West Highland White Terriers is universally recognized as globoid cell leukodystrophy which is a storage disease that results in a loss of myelin. They can also be prone to conditions like Legg Perthes disease, cataracts, patellar luxation and skin problems.

Exercise Needs Of The West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier takes pleasure from pastimes like fetching a ball and running around the backyard or another safe area. They have a high level of energy but only require moderate daily walks to help stop behavior problems such as excess barking, digging, chewing or stubbornness.

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