West Highland Terrier
The Black and White Whiskey bottles highlight a Scotland Westie.
West Highland Terrier Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Canis Lupus
West Highland Terrier Conservation Status
West Highland Terrier Locations
West Highland Terrier Facts
- Fun Fact
- The Black and White Whiskey bottles highlight a Scotland Westie.
- Common Name
- West Highland Terrier
- Most commonly white in colour!
West Highland Terrier Physical Characteristics
- Skin Type
- 15 years
- 10kg (22lbs)
West Highland Terrier Images
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The West Highland Terrier is a large dog in a small body. Flush with energy, stubborn and curious, even-tempered and friendly, the Westie is an independent thinker. The breed belongs to the terrier family which includes the bull terrier, cairn terrier and the black Russian.
The Westie is an affectionate and loyal companion. He loves pampering as much as he loves being left alone. The dog can hike with you all day with most of that time spent running ahead of you like a coyote.
3 Pros and Cons of Owning a West Highland Terrier
If you like the extra security, this is a good pet to have around. These dogs will let you know there’s a car passing by or if a squirrel‘s in a tree. That big bark’s appreciated by hunters. You’ll hear this dog from great distances and even underground.
|Not a security guard:|
The Terrier is likely to let you know someone’s out there. But if that someone gets in the house, he’s more likely to kick your intruder’s hand than bite. This is where the ever-so-friendly pet backfires on you.
|Not a shedder:|
If there’s anyone in the home with respiratory issues or allergies, the Westie’s a good choice. It doesn’t shed. That means hairs are less likely to end up on your surfaces. Pet dander potentially aggravates members of the household who could have a negative reaction.
|Potential health problems:|
As they age, your Scotland Westie can develop Addison’s disease, skin issues, degenerative brain disease, cataracts, and more. Their fair color isn’t compatible with the sun either. Lather her in sunscreen, especially behind the ears.
The Westie is an extremely friendly animal. He always put his best social foot forward upon encounter.
|Other animal aggression:|
She can be animal-friendly. But expect a Westie to have issues with animals they don’t know personally. Your Westie has a great capacity to get along with other cats and dogs but on her terms. Keep her on a leash outdoors as the dog’s likely to bolt after another animal, especially smaller ones.
West Highland Terrier Size and Weight
The West Highland Terrier is a compact, sturdy dog. Males grow to 11 inches, females 10. Females can weigh, on average, between 13 and 16 pounds. Male weight ranges between 15 to 22 pounds.
|Height (Male)||11″ tall|
|Height (Female)||10″ tall|
|Weight (Male)||15 to 22 pounds|
|Weight (Female)||13 to 16 pounds|
West Highland Terrier Common Health Issues
The West Highland White Terrier is purebred and is susceptible to a variety of health concerns. One concern is allergies. Terriers are susceptible to allergies that can give terriers itchy skin. Many of these animals experience some form of allergy by age three.
Another health issue that these Terriers are prone to is Westie Armadillo Syndrome. Also known as epidermal dysplasia, this problem shows up in dogs three to 12 months old. It’s a painful condition leading to whole-body hair loss and infection. Terrier and human treatment can include medication, shampoo, and pulsed electromagnetic field (“PEMF”) therapy.
A third health condition these dogs may face is cataracts. Dogs can live with decreased vision, but cataracts make life difficult for your Westie. While the surgery is common, only dogs who are good candidates will qualify for the procedure. Surgery can cost several thousands of dollars.
Westies are subject to joint issues. This includes loose knees, swollen jaw, hipbone atrophy, and hip dysplasia. PEMF alleviates several issues associated with joint problems, especially in the equine community.
Diseases associated with digestion are familiar to Westies and their owners. These include pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. PEMF reduces the pain and swelling these diseases cause.
Yet another problem in Terriers is Addison’s Addison’s disease. It presents as diarrhea, increased thirst, lethargy, excessive urination, and sudden weight loss. Addison’s is treatable. The vet can develop a plan for your white terrier.
White Shaker Dog Syndrome is a neuromuscular condition that causes tremors in small dogs. It can lead to debilitating physical affliction. Steroids are a common application.
Another disease that Terriers are prone to is Pulmonary fibrosis (PF). PF scars lung tissue, making breathing hard. It’s believed the disease is the result of long-term exposure to pollution, allergens, and infections in Terriers. Showing up in canines around nine years old, the dog exhibits wheezing, shortness of breath, exhaustion, and low energy.
West Highland Terrier Temperament and Behavior
The West Highland Terrier is confident, fun-loving, intelligent and bold. It’s a dog who’s pleased by something as simple as a belly rub, squeaky toy or meal. This animal has a love for life that shows in her behavior.
The Westie is a house pet. He’s independent, more likely to find a spot in the action as opposed to being the center of it. While he’s capable of separation anxiety but can also spend a day watching the house by himself.
The dog can be aggressive but not necessarily a fighter. That doesn’t mean she’ll avoid one. In the female, traits such as being the alpha among males are common. This breed is likely to be a nuisance to neighbors if not trained to stop barking.
Personality traits include a lot of vocalizing. He can chew up shoes and create other havoc around the house. Yet, he’s easily trained. Some more easily than others, but the end result is the dog barking less and not digging in your garden.
How To Take Care of West Highland Terrier
A vet or breeder can be instrumental in all areas of Westie maintenance. They’re schooled in dog breeds and can advise on what best suits your Westie’s regimens.
Food and Diet
Kibble or wet, most commercial foods can provide your Scotland Westie with the nutrients they need on a daily basis. If preparing homemade meals, make sure your Westie gets his daily caloric and nutrient intake.
Daily food has to include proper amino acids. This ensures your dog gets the protein needed for energy. Also, he requires fatty acids. This comes from animal fat, oils, and plant food. These components help cell growth, keep his coat nice and white, and promote healthy skin. The National Academy of Sciences suggests minimizing wheat products that don’t add nutrition or energy to your dog’s diet.
Maintenance and Grooming
Prepare yourself for daily grooming to keep your pet’s pure white coat free and clear of matting. As you run a brush through the hair, keep an eye out for signs of skin inflammation, irritation or swelling.
Dermatitis is common among West Highland Terriers. Prevent or at least deter this with medicated shampoos and regular baths. This should be a regimen agreed upon by your vet. Otherwise, a healthier Westie only requires bathing on a two- to three-month schedule.
Trim hair below the eyes. Otherwise, you get matting and tear stains. Carefully clean around the eyes daily with hydrogen peroxide to remove reddish-brown tear stains. There are solutions for removing tear stains at pet stores. According to VeterinaryPartner, oral antibiotics help minimize tears and white fur staining.
The easiest route is sending your Scotland white terrier to obedience school. Reach out to a local breeder, the West Highland White Terrier Club or SPCA to find an obedience class.
If choosing to teach at home, begin with brief sessions and simple commands like “sit” and “come.” Reward good behavior with food. “Come” is an important starting point for training. Get him to follow you indoors and then take it outdoors.
Get Westie comfortable with her crate or bedding. Find a word like “sleep,” “den” or “bed” to get them in the crate. Look at using the crate as a reward, not a punishment.
Another important goal is getting your dog to potty outdoors. Every two hours, take him out to the same spot. Puppies need frequent emptying. Between potties, crate him or keep him on a leash to prevent accidents in the house.
Indoor potty training requires the same setup but with a litter box and potty pads.
Give your Westie the opportunity to play/exercise every day. It’s the best way to keep muscularure in peak condition. Daily walks, runs and games meet the requirements of needed regular exercise. To minimize injury, Westies should not run without supervision.
West Highland Terrier Puppies
Westie puppies are adorable with a larger personality than their bodies should hold. It’s important to curb their enthusiasm and curiosity in the home. They’ll chew on anything and until properly trained will soil anywhere. Therefore, secure wires and cables the dog may chew on. Move objects they can bump into or break. Put away cleaning supplies and chemicals, plants, garbage, etc.
You may want to crate or kennel a puppy overnight so that you can sleep knowing it’s not getting in trouble. Buy something that won’t “shrink” as the puppy grows.
Work with your breeder or vet to see your Westie’s fed well and trained. Also, start potty-training as soon as possible. Put out newspaper or buy puppy-pads. Use non-hazardous wipes and disinfectants to clean behind the new dog.
You’ll want a chew toy, if not several. Fetching and soft toys keep puppies busy. Another idea is having a treat dispenser that rewards a Westie for completing tasks.
West Highland Terrier and Children
You need to remember the West Highland White Terrier gets frustrated. She’s known to snap unexpectedly. Never leave a Westie alone with small children. Interactions should be properly supervised. A West Highland White Terrier is a friendly, affectionate animal and, in general, loves people.
Dogs similar to West Highland Terrier
Here are a few dogs from the same breed as the West Highland White Terrier.
- Cairn Terrier: The Cairn Terrier is one of the earliest working dogs out of Scotland. The breed was given the name because its function was to hunt and chase quarries between the Scottish highland cairns.
- Yorkshire Terrier: The definitive lapdog, a Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dog breeds. It achieves a maximum weight of seven pounds and reaches a maximum height of nine inches. Terriers at heart, the Yorkshire exhibits many of the breed’s more bodacious characteristics.
- Border Terrier: The Border Terrier is a rough-coated, compact breed of a terrier dog. Bred to hunt fox and vermin, this terrier shares ancestry with the Bedlington Terrier and Dandie Dinmont.
Famous West Highland Terrier
The Westies represent beauty and, thanks to their tiny size, comfort and safety. Celebrities who keep them include Whoopi Goldberg, Scarlett Johansson and Matthew McConaughey. Here are three other terriers in the spotlight.
- Cesar: A Westie reps the dog food brand of the same name.
- Olivia: You can find the beautiful movie-dog Olivia in “Game Night,” playing loyal companion to actor Jesse Plemons. Olivia also shows up in “Widows” and “Insatiable.”
- Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock loved the Sealyham Terrier, an extremely expensive breed, but he also kept several white terriers.
Popular Names for West Highland Terrier
Popular names for the Westie includes:
West Highland Terrier FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are West Highland Terriers herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
West Highland Terriers are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.
What Kingdom do West Highland Terriers belong to?
West Highland Terriers belong to the Kingdom Animalia.
What phylum to West Highland Terriers belong to?
West Highland Terriers belong to the phylum Chordata.
What class do West Highland Terriers belong to?
West Highland Terriers belong to the class Mammalia.
What family do West Highland Terriers belong to?
West Highland Terriers belong to the family Canidae.
What order do West Highland Terriers belong to?
West Highland Terriers belong to the order Carnivora.
What type of covering do West Highland Terriers have?
West Highland Terriers are covered in Hair.
What genus do West Highland Terriers belong to?
West Highland Terriers belong to the genus Canis.
What is an interesting fact about West Highland Terriers?
West Highland Terriers are most commonly white in color!
What is the scientific name for the West Highland Terrier?
The scientific name for the West Highland Terrier is Canis Lupus.
What is the lifespan of a West Highland Terrier?
West Highland Terriers can live for 15 years.
How much does the West Highland Terrier cost to own?
This Scotland dog is a high-end breed. First-year expenses can run about $3,755 and annual expenses after the first year will tip over $1,500 annually. Getting the terrier is going to cost an average of $1,000. Lifetime expenses for ownership will close in on almost $19,000.
Is a West Highland Terrier good with kids?
The West Highland Terrier loves everyone, but curious and spontaneous kids can push the dog’s buttons. This is why it’s advised you not leave these dogs with small children and that older kids understand the boundaries.
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