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West Highland White Terrier

The Canine Chronicles Directory

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers are beautiful compact dogs. Their weatherproof double coat should be pure white and have a shaggy, rounded appearance. The outer coat is about 2 inches long and should be hard in texture. The undercoat should be soft and abundant. The head is wide and slightly domed. The muzzle is short with a defined stop. The dark eyes are medium in size and are widely set. The nose is black. The small, erect ears are triangular in shape and have short smooth hair on them. The large teeth should meet in a level or scissor-like bite. The long neck is muscular and merges into sloping shoulders. The compact body has a level topline. The legs are short, muscular and straight. The strong, round feet are thickly padded. The forefeet should be larger than the hind feet. The tail is straight, medium in length and should never be docked.

Temperament West Highland White Terriers are lively, outgoing, playful, spunky and cocky. They are affectionate and loyal to their families. They love playing with children and can withstand rough play. They get along with dogs of their own breed and if introduced when younger, can get along with cats as well. Since they can be domineering, they must be trained and socialized at an early age. Due to their alert and courageous natures, they make excellent guard dogs.
Height, Weight Male Height: 10-12" ; Weight: 15-22 lbs.
Female Height: 9-11" ; Weight: 13-16 lbs.
Health Problems This breed is prone to skin problems, liver disease, hernias and Perthe's disease.
Living Conditions The Westie will do great living in an apartment as they are very active indoors. There is no need for a yard.
Exercise This breed is always ready for a walk, but are not fussy about how much exercise they get.
Life Expectancy More than 15 years
Grooming The breed's double coat is easy to groom. Brush regularly with a stiff brush. Bathe only when absolutely necessary. Trim around the ears and eyes with scissors. Trim the entire coat about three times a year and strip once a year. More extensive grooming is necessary for show dogs.
Origin West Highland White Terriers share their ancestry with the Scottie, Cairn and Dandie Dinmont terriers. The origin of the breed is said to come from Col. Malcolm of Poltalloch of Argyleshire, Scotland. He accidentally shot and killed his favorite dark colored terrier and vowed to only own white dogs. These dogs were called Poltalloch Terriers. In the 1620s, records show that King James I of England requested 'little white earth dogs' from Argyleshire. In the 19th century, this breed was known as Roseneath Terriers in honor of the Duke of Argyll's patronage and interest. His estate was called Roseneath and located at Dumbartonshire. In the 1800s, when they were presented at the first organized dog shows, they were known as White Scottish Terriers. Then in 1904, their name changed again to the West Highland White Terrier. This breed was originally bred to hunt otters, foxes and vermin. Today they are mainly companion dogs. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC and UKC Terrier