The West Highland White Terrier is more popular than all other terrier dog breeds, and rightly so! If you’re looking for a small, charming dog with the trainability of a Cocker Spaniel and the confidence of an Entlebucher Mountain dog, you can’t go wrong with an adorable Westie.
A Scottish Treasure! West Highland White Terrier Breed History
Much like the Bull Terrier and Scottish Terrier, the first West Highland White Terrier was a dog breed created for rodent control. Westies were first used in, you guessed it, the West Highlands of Scotland, making this a wee Scottish dog!
The Westie West Highland dog was first recorded over 300 years ago when it was also referred to as the Roseneath terrier or the Poltalloch terrier. Westie is much more catchy than Roseneath Terrier and Poltalloch Terrier, so no wonder it caught on!
True to their ancestry, the West Highland White Terrier is still one of the hardiest dog breeds, full of energy and keen to search out any hidden rodents.
4 Facts You Need to Know About the West Highland Terrier
- The Highland Maltie is a super cute mix of the West Highland White Terrier and Maltese breeds.
- Craniomandibular osteopathy, more commonly known as Westie jaw, is a hereditary bone disease that all dog breeders should be screening for.
- Other problems that West Highland White Terrier breeds may have includes globoid cell leukodystrophy and Legg-calve-Perthes disease.
- Once you’re a Westie owner, you can join the Terrier Club! Only Westies and Cairn Terriers can join the privileged Terrier Club.
Appearance and Personality of The Spunky West Highland White Terrier
At just 10 inches tall, the West Highland White Terrier is the same size as the Welsh Corgi and Shih Tzu. Of course, that amazing coat does add a few inches!
The West Highland Terrier puppy can grow to be as heavy as 10lb if it’s a male. For female white terrier puppies, you can expect them to be 2lb or 3lb lighter. The American Kennel Club doesn’t have a specific weight limit!
The coat of the West Highland White Terrier is as unique and recognizable as the beautiful curls of the curly-coated retriever. It’s a coarse, snow white long coat that’s quite wiry and tough in texture.
A Hardy Pooch! West Highland Terrier Temperament
All working dog breeds that were originally bred for a working purpose, including the Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier and (believe it or not) the Chinese Shar-Pei, have intelligent, protective personalities.
Westies are quite similar to the Rafeiro do Alentejo dog breed, but much more excited!
West Highland White Terrier Exercise Needs!
Westies are fairly active dogs, enjoying a walk (and an erratic run when they spot a squirrel), agility sports and searching games.
Go for a walk regularly every day.
West Highland White Terrier Puppies Trainability!
Due to being so intelligent and confident, the Westie can sometimes be a challenge to train, but with their never-ending patience, you’ll get there in the end! It may take a little longer than you expected, but you’ll have them as obedient and well-trained as Labrador Retriever within a few months.
They Can Be Costly! West Highland White Terrier Price
The West Highland White Terrier will usually cost around $1000. More if you want a breed standard, competition ready puppy.
In comparison, bull terrier puppies will start at around $600, only reaching $1000 if you want a competition standard puppy.
This might sound like quite a lot of money, but a golden retriever can set you back $3000 if you want a show quality canine!
West Highland White Terrier for Sale
You should always find reputable dog breeders for any kind of dog breed, whether they’re a West Highland White Terrier puppy or Portuguese Podengo!
West Highland Terrier Puppies for Sale
You can find West Highland White Terrier puppies for sale across the USA, from reputable breeders. Westies are not really restricted to certain areas however with the wiry coat they will need extra grooming and coat trims in hotter climates. Westies are Scottish after all!
West Highland Terrier Breeders
Considering the medical problems that Westies can have, and the extortionate prices some breeders will charge, make sure that you get a full history of the dog you want to buy.
West Highland Terrier Rescue
Being self-confident and full of energy, a poor damaged Westie can be very tough to train, but extremely rewarding!
5 Tips for West Highland Terrier Owners!
- Due to their terrier breed origins, the Westie will run after anything that moves! Best to keep Westies on a leash, especially when they’re a puppy and can get through small gaps in the fence.
- The Westie dog needs a groom each and every day. Don’t worry if their coat isn’t soft and fluffy, it’s naturally quite coarse. They will shed seasonally, rather than all year around.
- While Westie puppies are prone to atopic dermatitis, it’s not very common in older West Highland White Terrier Dogs – head to the vet if they start itching!
- Don’t be alarmed if your West Highland White Terrier isn’t interested in cuddles and pampering – they are hardy dog companions, used to a working life.
- To meet the American Kennel Club breed standards, you will need to trim the Westie coat to about 2 inches, leaving it thick and fluffy around the face. This is essential if you want to enter your pooch into competitions!
An Irresistible Pup! Could A West Highland Terrier Puppy Be Your Next Fur-Baby?
If we haven’t already won you over with the amazing, loveable features of the West Highland White Terrier, take a look at these similar dog breeds from Europe:
- Griffon Vendeen or Grand Anglo-Francais breed for something a bit ooh la la.
- The Bull Terrier or the Fox Terrier breed for a more traditional, English working dog.
- Springer Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel breeds will certainly throw a spanner in the works!
Charming but not to be underestimated!
The West Highland White Terrier might not be the size of the Bernese Mountain dog breeds, or be as soft as the flat-coated retriever, or have the kindness of the Labrador Retriever, but you can bet they’ll get excited like it’s Christmas or St Patrick’s Day every day!
Westies are loveable, amusing and active. Make room in your heart for Scotland’s national treasure.