Dog Profiles - Description of West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Description: The West Highland White Terrier is a small well-balanced hardy looking terrier, exhibiting good showmanship. He is elegant looking with a beautiful, shiny white coat and bright, button eyes, shaggy eyebrows and a black nose. He is an intelligent dog who learns quickly. He loves human companionship and will play with his family indoors or out. His size makes him great for an apartment but he is just as at home in the country. A great companion for children of all ages. He is one of the most popular breed of dogs today. He ranks the highest among terriers as a hunter of small animals.

Height: 10-11 inches

Weight: 15-22 lbs.

Colors: All white

Coat: Double coat, harsh straight, wiry outer coat and soft, close, furry undercoat.

Temperament: Active, assertive, fun-loving, well-behaved, light-hearted. They make excellent playmates for children because they can withstand rough play. They do well with other pets, but teach them when they are young to tolerate cats. Good watch-dog. Poor guard-dog.

Care and Exercise: He needs regular brushing two to three times a week to help keep his white coat clean. Monthly bathing. If you plan to show him he will also need trimming, plucking, and stripping of the coat. Only minimal trimming is necessary if he is just a pet.

Training: He is easy to train and should have basic training. Learning Rate: High. Obedience: High. Problem Solving: Very High.

Activity: Indoor and Outdoor: Very High.

Living Environment: He is at home in the country or the city. He will do well as an apartment dweller if he is walked several times a day though he will always enjoy having the freedom to play in a yard. He does best with human or canine companionship.

Health Issues: Healthy and robust. Some problems with skin allergies, patella luxation, hernias and cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw), deafness and congenital heart disease.

Life Span: 15+ Years

Litter Size: 2-5

Country of Origin: Scotland

History: He was developed in the high mountains of west Scotland and claims ancestry to the Scotch Terrier. He originally was bred to hunt vermin. Sir Edwin Landseer's painting of 1831 "The Breakfast Party" features several Highland Terriers. In the later 1800's there was a strain of white Scottish Terriers who were owned by Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch and were known as Poltralloch Terriers. They were very much like the Westie of today. His was at one time cross bred with Cairn, Scottish and Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

Registration: ACA, AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC(GB), UKC