West Highland White Terrier – Temperament, care and feeding

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westie dog

Also known as Westie on a colloquial level, the West Highland White Terrier is a small but big dog, with a lot of courage and heart.

This breed of dog is very active, happy and familiar, so it adapts perfectly to any environment, whether it lives with a single human or if it lives with the whole family.

If you want to know all the details and practical information about West Highland, spend the next thirty seconds with us.

Index of contents

  • 1 How is a Westie?
      • 1.0.1 West Highland White Terrier’s hair
  • 2 West Highland White Terrier dog character
      • 2.0.1 The Westie and the kids
      • 2.0.2 How do you get along with other animals?
  • 3 Necessary care for Westie Terrier dogs
      • 3.0.1 How is the health of the West Highland Terrier?
      • 3.0.2 How to Feed a Westie Dog
  • 4 Guide for West Highland White Terrier Puppies
  • 5 Tips for Future Westie Owners

How is a Westie?

In terms of physical conditions, the West Highland White Terrier is a small dog, whose maximum height in adulthood rarely exceeds thirty centimeters at the withers.

An adult Westie can weigh up to ten kilos in adulthood, about seven if she is female. So without a doubt, we are talking about a small, almost mini-sized dog.

Although their Scottish ancestors presented a wide variety of dark colors, over the years and the work of selection and breeding, the white or brown specimens are the most widespread today.

It is a small but well-proportioned dog, strong legs and robust trunk that gives it a stronger appearance than it really is.

West Highland White Terrier’s hair

The Westie has two layers of hair on its body, a layer of short, fine and soft hair very similar to the touch of a stuffed animal and another layer of long, thick and hard hair that is generally seen.

The outer layer, which is the thickest long coat, requires brushing almost daily to avoid knots, dirt and parasites.

Many people cut their Westie’s hair to make it look more elegant and beautiful, especially on its skirts, as it can sometimes drag the hair on the floor if it is not cut.

And although the color of the West Highland White Terrier’s hair is generally white, we can also find specimens that are mottled or with spots of other colors. The purer the white color of the Westie, the more valued it will be.

Westie dog running

Westie dog running

West Highland White Terrier dog character

The Westie Terrier has a very strong and distinctive character, redundancy worth it. It is a breed that is easily adapted to coexistence with humans both in small flats and in large rural settings.

His temperament is soft and delicate with family and children, yet he is a Terrier, which makes him an excellent guardian, brave and vivacious. It is a very active and energetic dog, who loves to go for a walk, play and have a good time with the family.

The adult West Highland White Terrier will continue to be just as playful as the puppy, although over the years it will become calmer with other dogs, leaving the games exclusively for the family environment.

The Westy Terrier’s character is friendly and sociable, well socialized he is an excellent dog capable of distinguishing between friends and possible external dangers. He is a bit impulsive, so if he comes across another dog he wants to play with he may possibly run off looking for him. Something to keep in mind if we walk with the strapless in traffic environments for example.

The Westie and the kids

As long as we have spent time educating and socializing him, we should not worry about the Westie as his relationship with the children in the family will always be healthy.

She loves to play, she loves children and she has a lot of energy. What more can we ask for? The little ones will have a great time playing with him to throw the ball to him or simply to run around the house or the garden.

How do you get along with other animals?

Undoubtedly well, so much so that if you see an animal to play with, you will probably run towards it to have a good time of games. It gets along well with other dogs, cats and other animals.

It is with smaller animals like rodents or the like that we must be cautious, as they can awaken their terrier hunting instincts.

Necessary care for Westie Terrier dogs

Despite its small size, the West Highland White Terrier needs to take good walks on a daily basis to expend its excess energy. It is a very active dog that loves to walk around the city or take long and beautiful walks in the mountains.

We can also exercise with it, take it with us if we are skating or cycling, although we must have a little common sense and not force it, we must not forget that although active, it is a small dog with limitations.

Three or four walks a day so you can release energy, play, and relieve yourself are enough to keep you fit and healthy.

How is the health of the West Highland Terrier?

On the health level, the Westie is a strong and resistant dog, he will rarely get sick if we keep his mandatory vaccinations up to date and his veterinary visits for review.

One of its weak points is its skin, due to the white color of its coat it is possible that with the sun it becomes excessively dry, something that we will easily appreciate if the situation occurs, and that it has an easy solution by applying a specific shampoo.

Thus, it is not a breed prone to certain diseases, nor is it a breed that generally has allergies or similar problems. It is rather the opposite, a strong breed in terms of health.

How to Feed a Westie Dog

Due to its small size we must choose a specific diet for small breed dogs. Since this way the pre-made kibbles (dog food) will be small and will not choke when eating.

Given its energy level, it is advisable to contribute by high quality brands such as Orijen, Nfnatcane or Taste. It would even be advisable to opt for ranges that contain fish, since thanks to the Omega 3 and 6 it contains, your hair will look much more beautiful.

If we opt for homemade food (called BARF food), we must make sure to thoroughly crush all the ingredients until we get a hash. This way you can eat safely, since your windpipe is rather small.

Guide for West Highland White Terrier Puppies

West Highland White Terrier puppies are characterized as being small stuffed animals but with a very special character, active and playful at best.

Their weight rarely exceeds two kilos while they are puppies, something that will increase over time to even reach ten kilos if they are male or seven if they are female.

The basic care a Westie puppy needs are:

  • Compulsory veterinary vaccines, to prevent it from contracting deadly diseases very common in dogs.
  • A specific diet for puppies of mini breeds, otherwise the size of the kibble could cause choking.
  • Adapt a bed for our puppy in a warm place at home, where he can rest and sleep.
  • Always put at your disposal a drinker with fresh and clean water (near your bed).
  • Be extremely careful with him, we are talking about a puppy of very small dimensions. Given its size, it is not advisable to leave it alone with children until it grows.
  • Deworming it internally, since all puppies (without exception) have intestinal parasites.
  • Give him a lot of love and affection, the puppies do not learn or pay attention, they just play, eat and sleep … Let the enjoyment and you enjoy watching it grow.

You can find more detailed information from: How to educate our puppy.

Tips for Future Westie Owners

If you are thinking of sharing your life with this breed of dog, we recommend that before acquiring it, you go to several animal protectors and / or kennels, where you can possibly adopt a West Highland White Terrier and give it a home.

It is a wonderful breed with which you will share incredible moments, it will be an important part of your family and also, very dear to everyone.

Just keep in mind that like all dogs, they will need you to spend time, love and some money for their food and veterinary expenses.

Remember, he is active, happy and very playful. If that is what you are looking for in a small dog, this is your breed.