West Highland White Terrier
Westie, Roseneath Terrier, Poltalloch TerrierFamily: Canidae Canis lupus familiarisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Lauren Odom
The versatile West Highland White Terrier is fun and adaptable for all sorts of lifestyles!
West Highland White Terriers are is very adaptable in its living arrangements. Westies do quite well living in an apartment or living in the country. Westies are spunky, friendly, and easy to train. They are more easy going than most other terrier breeds, though they do enjoy chasing other animals for fun. They also make good watchdogs.
The West Highland White Terrier is also known as Roseneath Terrier and the Poltalloch Terrier. Westies are solid white, medium sized dogs. They are prone to chronic skin problems and hip problems, so it is important to investigate these things when selecting a dog of this breed.
Breed Type The Westie is a small terrier that was originally bred to control vermin, fox, and otter populations. This is a lively breed that is fond of people. They are adaptable to various living conditions and climates.
Background The West Highland White Terrier is a result of selective breeding of Cairn Terriers. They were said to have been bred to be white to keep them easily recognizable to hunters. They are sometimes crossbred with poodles to produce Westie Poos.
Description West Highland White Terriers are solid white with medium-sized dark eyes. Their coat is rough, and their paws thickly padded. They have pointy, erect ears and a scissors bite. Males average 10-12 inches tall and 15-22 pounds, and females 9-11 inches tall and 13-16 pounds.
Care and Feeding West Highland White Terriers need foods that are high in protein, such as poultry and lamb. Carbohydrates are also needed, and can be provided in the form of potatoes and wheat. Beef and horse meat are not recommended for this breed. Westies require regular brushing and as-needed bathing. They should be trimmed every three months and stripped every six months.
There are several health problems that Westies should be monitored for, so annual checkups are crucial. Vaccinations should be given on the following schedule:
- 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
- 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
- 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
- Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster
The West Highland White Terrier sheds very little, and when trained properly, is not destructive indoors. Therefore they do not necessitate a lot of extra cleaning.
Housing Your Dog Westies are adaptable to a variety of housing conditions. They can do well in apartments or in the countryside. They are independent enough to be left alone for moderate periods of time.
Social Behaviors Westies get along well with adults and older children that they know. They are also fairly friendly to strangers. They rarely pick fights with fellow canines, but they enjoy chasing other animals for fun.
Breeding/Reproduction Westies are prone to several health problems, some of which may be hereditary. Therefore it is important to check out any potential mates thoroughly. Breed standards dictate that Westies be solid white, so that is an important thing to look for as well.
Common Health Problems West Highland White Terriers may develop skin problems, hernias, liver disease, and hip or jawbone problems. Keeping an eye out for signs of these and taking them in for scheduled checkups is crucial.
References "West Highland White Terrier", Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
"West Highland White Terrier", Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
Cusick, William D., "What to Feed a West Highland White Terrier", Referenced online, 2008
"Choosing a West Highland White Terrier", PetPlace.com, Copyright 1999-2008