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West Highland White Terrier

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West Highland White Terrier

General
OtherNames Westie
Dog Group Kennel Club Terrier
Breed Classification West Highland White Terriers belong to the terrier group and are today used as companions, in obedience trials and in the show-ring.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
< £4
Feeding Requirements
This breed is easy and relatively inexpensive to feed.
Other Expenses
Puppies will cost £400 upwards. Their grooming cost will have to be considered as they need stripped by a professional 2 or 3 times a year.
Average Puppy Price
£300-500
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
3
General Physical Description
The beautiful, shaggy coat, button nose and small, erect ears give this breed a cute and cuddly image. Their bodies are compact and their heads have a fox-like appearance. The coat, however, is their hallmark: a double coat, the outer coat being straight, hard hair and the under one being soft and plentiful. Their movement is free, straight and easy.
Height Min Max
Bitch 25cm 28cm
Dog 25cm 28cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 7kg 10kg
Dog 7kg 10kg
Size Category Small
Weight Height Range Both dogs and bitches measure between 25 to 28 cms, weighing between 7 to 10kgs.
Ailments Westies are generally hardy little dogs with few breed-specific problems being reported. Some Westies are prone to skin ailments and deafness.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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History West Highland White Terriers were bred to hunt otters, foxes and vermin. They share their ancestry with the Scottie, Cairn and Dandie Dinmont terriers. From the rough-coated terrier stock in Scotland, white whelps were selected to form this breed. Records show that James 1, King of England in the 1620's requested some 'little white earth dogges' out of Argyleshire in Scotland and these were possibly Westies! Col Malcolm of Poltalloch, Argyleshire, accidentally shot and killed his favourite terrier (a dark coloured one) and vowed from then on only to have white dogs. He may have been the originator of the Highland Terrier but at that time they were called Poltalloch Terriers. The Duke of Argyll's estate at Dumbartonshire was called Roseneath and in the 19th century, Westies were known as Roseneath Terriers in honour of his patronage and interest. In the first organised dog shows in the late 1800's they were known as White Scottish Terrier until 1904 when they were classified under the name of West Highland White Terrier.
Intelligence Westies are intelligent but can be rather naughty so remain consistent in their training.
Show Characteristics All pigmentation should be black. The head should be slightly domed with a distinct stop. The teeth should be large for the size of the dog with a regular scissor bite. The eyes should be set well apart, medium-sized and as dark as possible. The ears should be small, erect and carried firmly with short and smooth hair. The neck should be muscular and sufficiently long merging into nicely sloping shoulders. The body should be compact with a level back. The front legs should be short, muscular and straight; the hind legs short, muscular and sinewy. The forefeet should be larger than the hind, round, strong and thickly padded and covered with short harsh hair. The hind feet should be smaller and thickly padded. The tail should be longish, as straight as possible with no feathering and carried jauntily. On no account should tails be docked.
Country Of Origin Scotland
Famous Examples
Records Held
Characteristics
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Energy Medium
Overall Exercise 60 - 80 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Low
Personal Protection High
Suitability As Guard Dog Medium
Risk of Sheep Worrying High
Tendency to Bark Medium
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Medium
Compatibility With Other Animals Medium
Suitable For Children
High
General Character And Temperament West Highlands are cheeky, confident and affectionate characters. They are alert and courageous, making them good guard dogs. They can also be cunning and stubborn but are totally loyal to their families. They make excellent playmates for children both indoors and outdoors because they can withstand rough play and get on reasonably well with others of their breed. However, they must be introduced to cats when they are young as they will chase them once they get older. Early social training is imperative if they have to live with other dogs as they can be rather dominant.
Grooming
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Coat Length Short/Medium
Grooming Requirement Once a week
Trimming
Requires Professional Groomer True
Grooming Westies' coats are hard so they must not be bathed too often. When the dogs get dirty it is best to let the mud dry on them and brush it off when dry. The coat needs to be hand plucked two or three times a year by a professional groomer. A weekly groom is all that is needed to get rid of the loose hairs.
Colour The breed is always white.
Shedding Moderate
Suffers From Allergies True
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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