West Highland White Terrier: A Comprehensive Guide to the Breed’s Characteristics, Temperament and Care
The West Highland White Terrier, often referred to as a “Westie”, is an independent, spirited breed of terrier. This breed is affectionate, self-assured, and vigilant. In the following guide, we will cover a comprehensive overview of the West Highland White Terrier breed’s characteristics, temperament, and care requirements.
The West Highland White Terrier is a small dog with a thick double coat comprised of glossy white fur. They typically weigh between 15-20 lbs and stand up to 11 inches tall. Westies have an alert expression and prominent, upright ears, and a short muzzle for their small but muscular frame.
Westies, as a breed, are known for having a bubbly personality and friendly disposition. They are extremely social, active and enjoy spending time outdoors; they do this best when allowed to be in open, static areas such as a backyard with a fence.
They can also be notorious barkers, so it may take comprehensive training to break the habit. Westies do not suffer from separation anxiety, but it is best to socialize them early so they can become comfortable with different people and animals.
Breed Care Requirements
Like all other dogs, West Highland White Terriers need regular exercise – between 30 to 60 minutes per day should suffice – and about 20 to 30 minutes of brushing each week to minimize shedding.
Additionally, these dogs require specific nutritional needs, making them one of the most particular breeds in terms of diet. Westies should be fed a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of meat, grains, and vegetables.
In general, heritage breeds are vulnerable to potential health issues and Westies are no exception. Responsible breeders should provide certification for hip dysplasia, luxating patella, and eye infections.
The West Highland White Terrier is one of the most outgoing, sociable breeds of terrier. They require plenty of exercise, have specific nutritional needs, and have the potential of health issues that may require certification. This breed is an ideal choice for families looking for an affectionate, energetic companion.