West Highland White Terrier

Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Good With Dogs
Watchdog Ability


The West Highland White Terrier was used centuries ago for hunting foxes. The dog entered into a fox hole, without being able to hear and see its master and had to cope all alone. It was tasked to get a fox out, which was sometimes achieved with serious injuries at an expense of the dog. Muscles of tail of the West Highland White Terrier are so strong that hunters pulled out their dogs by the tails when the situation did not evolve in favor their assistant. This terrier was also used to hunt otters, which hide between large stones. Ribs of this dog are flat, which prevents getting stuck between rocks while hunting otters.

Relatives of the Westy are the Carning and Scottish terriers. At the end of the XIX century, Colonel Edward Malcolm selected white terriers after his favorite dog was shot because it was confused with a fox. He presented his terriers at an exhibition, which marked a beginning of breeding white terriers. The first dog was brought to the US in the early 20th century. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1908, which in time led to more and more listings for puppies for sale.

Physical characteristics

Males reach 28 cm and females - up to 25 cm height. Weight of the White Terrier is from 7 to 9 kilograms. Its color is white, but there may be a cream line on spine and on beard. Eyes are black, legs are very muscular. Tail is lifted up and is about 15 centimeters long. A coiled tail is considered a defect. Jaws are very powerful for such a small puppy. Ears are erect and small. Coat has two layers - the bottom layer is like fluff, mild and short, and the upper layer is firm to a touch and has a length of about 5 centimeters.

Character and behavior

The Westy is quickly adaptable, intelligent, and confident little dog. This determines its transformation into a popular pet. It loves his owners and is very energetic. Requires activities, exercises and games, which makes it an unsuitable choice for people who have no opportunity or time to provide them. This dog is brave, agile and loves to hunt anything at any time. It can be arrogant and stubborn, making it more suitable for owners with experience in growing dogs.

Training and education

The West Highland White Terrier is hard to train. These dogs are very smart, but execute commands only when they are in the mood to do so. Even if they obey in your home or another familiar room, out in the open they would hardly do it. They prefer to bark at passers-by and other animals. You must show great patience if you want to have an obedient dog.

Health problems

The West Highland White Terrier is prone to allergies and various skin diseases. These cute puppies often suffer from atopic dermatitis, hip dysplasia and diabetes. You have to watch out for insect bites, as dogs of this breed can get allergic reactions. They may vomit, and even lose consciousness. Therefore, stings should be immediately removed and if the dog shows mentioned symptomsabove, it should be seen by a veterinarian. The West Highland White Terrier lives between 11 and 14 years.

Grooming and care

You should bring your pet to a hairdresser at least twice a year. There are special standards for trimming, using different kinds of scissors. Ears should be clipped back, to be able to stand upright. Part of a hair of the White Terrier must be plucked by hand in a special way. It also needs a lot of walking. It is not recommended to let it out of its leash, because it may chase and run after each cat or other small animal.

Children and other pets

The West Highland White Terrier likes the sound of his own bark, so owners of such dogs must be prepared for that noise. There is a strong possessiveness over food, territory and property. It doesn't get along well with cats and other small pets. It behaves well with newcomers and loves children.

Interesting facts

A representative of the breed was involved in film Asterix and Obelix - both in a games and in animated version of an adventures of funny characters.

Scots are convinced that the West Highland White Terrier is the epitome of Scottish courage and determination.