West Highland White Terrier Dog Breed – “Westie”
The West Highland White Terrier is a great family pet or loyal companion for older people. They have a cheeky, outgoing personality and are forever getting their white coats filthy given half the chance. This is no surprise given they were originally bred in Scotland to chase otters and foxes. So they have adventure-seeking in their blood. You need to make sure you have time to train a Westie if you get this breed as their independent and determined nature can make them a bit of a handful otherwise. They will require regular grooming and also clipping 2-3 times per year.
The breed is a member of the “Scottish National Breeds”, which also includes the Scottish Terrier and the Cairn Terrier, which is an early ancestor of the Westie. They were originally bred so that hunters could distinguish their dogs from the game, so lighter dogs were bred together until the breed became the white it is today. They were not officially recognized as a breed in their own right until the early 1900’s.
In terms of temperament, these dogs are courageous, alert, intelligent and absolutely love spending time with other dogs, especially other westies.
The average lifespan is around 15 years, but they can live for up to 18 years with the right diet, genetics and lifestyle.
They usually grow to about 25-28 cm in height and weigh between 8 and 10 kgs in peak condition.