West Highland White Terrier

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Terrier    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , , ,


Size: Small     Weight: 15-22 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: White / Cream


Life Expectancy: About 15 years.    Rarity: Very Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The West Highland White Terrier originated in Scotland and were bred to be ratters but can also hunt otters and foxes. These dogs are Cairn Terriers that were born a pure white colouring and as more of them kept appearing in various litters, more were bred together, ending in the creation of a new breed. The West Highland also goes by the name Westie.

These little dogs are bundles of energy and enthusiasm! They are loving and affectionate dogs that will make a great family pet as they get along well with older children and interact quite well with other dogs. Smaller family pets such as mice, hamsters, and rats etc. should be monitored around this breed as they might confuse them for prey!

The Westie is a short breed that is slightly longer than they are high. These dogs are oddly quick and agile for their size but this attribute gives them their ability to hunt rodents easily. They have a double layered coat and a sharp muzzle that comes to a point. Their ears are triangular and prick upwards. The Westies tail is of medium length and they have short muscular legs.


The Westie will come in only one colour which is a solid white.


This breed has a messy double layered coat that aides them in cold weather. The under coat is plushy and warm while their top coat is straight with a hard texture. Their fur is long and will need to be stripped twice per year to keep it looking great.


This little dog is a cheerful and outgoing breed that has a free spirited, uplifting charm about them. Great workers as well as pets, the Westie is a joy to own and will bring entertainment and excellent companionship to any owner. They can be a barky breed but will make great watchdogs for the household. This dog will need quite a bit of sleep to be their normally perky selves but are independent enough to find this time during the day! The Westie is a friendly breed and will even be polite and outgoing with people they have never met! On the whole, this dog will make a great pet for people that enjoy a cuddly pet but also one that wants their own space and will not need company every second of the day.


The Westie will need regular grooming so brushing 2-3 times per week will be perfect. Bathes should be given no more than every 2 months and the coat should be stripped bi-annually. This breed is prone to Perthes syndrome, skin allergies, liver disease, and sometimes hip dysplasia. Special attention should be brought to their ears which will need to be cleaned about once per month.


The West Highland White Terrier will need a firm hand when training but is a very clever breed that will learn obedience quickly. They just need repetition and consistency to understand their owner's commands and if this is done on a regular basis, they will grasp the concept rapidly. Westies can also learn many little tricks and will charm audiences once they perfect them!


The Westie will need to be taken out on regular walks or to an off-leash dog park so they can run around and burn off their energy. These little guys play indoors and will not need an excessive amount of exercise by the end of the day. They will do well in an apartment as long as they get their exercise daily. A backyard is not needed but having one is a bonus so they can run around outside in an outdoor environment.

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