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West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier: The Charismatic and Cheerful Small Breed

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on the West Highland White Terrier, affectionately known as the Westie. Renowned for its bright white coat, spunky personality, and compact size, this page explores the West Highland White Terrier, a small but sturdy breed loved for its spirited nature, endearing appearance, and friendly disposition, making it a favored companion in homes across the world.


Height: Males: 11″; Females 10″

Weight: 15-20 pounds

Colors: White

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

Group: Terrier Group


Physical Characteristics

  • Distinctive White Coat: The Westie is known for its striking white, double coat, which is both soft and dense underneath with a rougher outer layer. This distinctive coat makes the Westie stand out and requires regular grooming to maintain its pristine appearance.
  • Compact and Sturdy Build: Despite their small size, Westies have a robust and well-balanced build, with a deep chest and a level back. Their bright, dark eyes and pointed ears give them a look of constant alertness and curiosity.

Temperament and Personality

  • Lively and Confident: Westies are known for their lively and confident demeanor. They are active and playful, often filled with a boundless energy that belies their small size.
  • Friendly and Social: These dogs are sociable and friendly, making them great pets for families and individuals alike. They generally get along well with other dogs and can be good companions for children when properly socialized.
  • Intelligent and Independent: Westies are intelligent dogs with a streak of independence. They are quick learners but can also have a mind of their own, making training both fun and challenging.

Training and Exercise Needs

  • Training: Consistent, positive reinforcement methods are effective with Westies. Early socialization and obedience training are important to harness their intelligence and spunky nature.
  • Exercise: Moderate exercise is sufficient for this breed. Regular walks and play sessions in a secure area are ideal for keeping them physically fit and mentally stimulated.
  • Mental Stimulation: Providing mental stimulation through puzzle toys, training games, and agility activities is crucial for their well-being.

Health and Nutrition

  • Diet: A balanced diet suitable for a small, active breed is important. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to maintain their health.
  • Common Health Issues: Generally robust, Westies can be prone to certain breed-specific health issues. Regular health screenings are advisable for early detection and preventive care. Some problems that could affect the breed are Watch for allergies, dry eye, pulmonary fibrosis, addison’s disease, copper toxicosis, Craniomandibular osteopathy, diabetes, Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy, heart murmur, hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, liver shunt, luxated patellar, renal disease, legg-perthes, Pyruvate Kinase deficiency, white shaker syndrome. Dog Health Dictionary.

Grooming and Care

  • Coat Maintenance: Their white coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean and mat-free. This includes routine brushing and occasional professional grooming.
  • General Care: Routine health care, including dental hygiene, nail trimming, and ear cleaning, is important for their overall well-being.

Living with a West Highland White Terrier

  • Family Compatibility: Westies are excellent family pets, known for their affectionate nature and ability to adapt to various living situations.
  • Adaptability: They thrive in both apartments and houses, as long as they receive adequate exercise and attention.
  • Companionship: They enjoy being part of the family and are happiest when involved in daily activities and social interactions.

Responsible Ownership and Adoption

  • Selecting a Breeder: Opt for breeders who prioritize health, temperament, and adherence to breed standards.
  • Adoption Options: Considering adoption from shelters or breed-specific rescues is a great way to offer a loving home to a Westie in need.


Conclusion The West Highland White Terrier, with its charming appearance, lively spirit, and affectionate personality, is an ideal breed for those seeking a small, active, and engaging companion. Their adaptability and cheerful disposition make them a beloved pet in many households.