The best way to describe the wee West Highland White Terrier from Scotland is simply to say that they’re so full of self-esteem that they know they’re the best thing around. Always on the lookout for a good time, they’ll make you laugh while they entertain themselves.
Westies are friendly and confident, with a lively nature that endures them to everyone (except small rodents), especially when they cock their heads to the side and look at you quizzically. Affectionate and intelligent, these pups make great additions too just about any family living in any size of home; even apartments. Just make sure you can provide a good amount of exercise and plenty of play sessions.
Originally developed for hunting and ratting, today the West Highland White Terrier is a companion, and enriches their family’s life with their silly antics and love of life. They are a social breed who gets along well with everyone, strangers included, and he is not a one-person dog. They are affectionate with children of all ages and positively thrives in homes with multiple dogs. When introduced at a young age, the Westie can do well living with cats and other small pets.
The Westie is happy in any type of living situation weighing in at 14-17 lbs and will do well in the country or in the city. They need to live inside with their family, however, not as an “outside” dog. They make an excellent apartment resident with exercise and activities. With proper stimulation and safety precautions, they are fine on their own during your workday. To top it all off, they are also an easy traveller, whether going on a long vacations or short errands.
A West Highland White Terrier can be trained easily. They are intelligent and a quick learner, training will amuse them as long as it remains positive and consistent. In fact, using positive reinforcement laced with consistency is the only way to train a Westie. They love to please and quickly recognizes positive responses from human making training easy and fun.
The Westie will definitely alert bark when they see or hear something suspicious, and without fail they will announce visitors, letter carriers, and dogs who walk in front of the house. With a bit of training from a young age, they can be taught to bark only once or twice when they see or hear something. Westie’s likes being clean, which makes them a piece of cake to housetrain. They make a wonderful companion for a first-time or an experienced dog owner.
Generally calm when indoors, the Westie will be a surprisingly different dog outside. They love to get their speed up and chase a ball, a game of tug-a-war or investigate last nights scents. Although they don’t require quite as much exercise as some breeds, expect to walk them once or twice every day to keep him happy and healthy.
To ensure a healthy dog with a good temperament, never adopt a puppy from a careless breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Make sure the breeder is invested in breeding only from strong healthy lineage and removes problematic adults from their breeding program. The breeder should have first hand knowledge of several generations of the breeding dogs and maintain contact with families that have adopted in the past.