West Highland White Terriers

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What are West Highland White Terriers really like?

You might be surprised. Sassy, cheerful and just a little bit naughty, they are also quite good with other dogs. While Westies are definitely cocky little devils, they are remarkably friendly as well.

They are pure white with a rough 2 inch coat and a big off-standing headpiece. Their coat is either stripped or clippered. They are quite hypoallergenic and are a good choice for people with dog allergies. They are confident and fearless but very friendly, and for a terrier quite good with those children who know how to respect a cocky little dog.

Check out this series of candid shots below taken at one of our Brooksville shows -- this adult Westie was having a blast wrestling with this playful Golden puppy.


The West Highland White Terrier's ancestor was the rough coated Scottish terrier. His close cousin is the Cairn Terrier; the two breeds look remarkably similar aside from color. The Duke of Argyll developed Westies in the 1800's when he noticed that his dark hunting terriers were hard to see out in the field. He wanted a game, hardy little dog easy to see from a long distance; when he had a litter of white puppies he knew he was onto something. Westies were originally called Roseneath Terriers, after the Duke's estate, but the name was changed in 1909.

By The Numbers

Size:10 – 11 inches at the shoulder
Coat Care: 5. West Highland White Terriers are either stripped or clippered; once this is done they require little maintenance, which is remarkable for a white dog.
Trainability: 6 – medium. They are eager to please but have the typical terrier short attention span. They need an owner willing to keep their dog curious and entertained. A bored Westie will tend to make his own busy work, chasing squirrels or deconstructing the sofa.
Energy level: 7 medium. Westies have a medium activity level but can have great spurts of energy. They are good watchdogs and do best with a daily walk.
Good with Children: 6 – medium They do well with older, well mannered children
Noise level: medium to high – 8: Can be noisy.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: – 4, low Westies don't shed and are quite hypoallergenic.

To get more information or to find a puppy, contact the West Highland White Terrier Club of America.

And typical of their sassy attitude, here are some West Highland White tails waving goodbye.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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