The West Highland White Terrier, known also as the “Westie” is a hardy little terrier. These dogs are known for their distinctive white coats. Westies are friendly, have a strong-willed personality and are very devoted.

The West Highland White Terrier originates from Scotland. They were originally bred for controlling the population of otter and rats among other vermin. Westies are spunky, hardy and compact. These dogs have a low shedding, tow inch white coat with a soft undercoat and of a hard straight and wiry outercoat. His ears are small, erect and pointed with eyes that are dark, bright and deep-set with a penetrating gaze. The tail is 5-6” long, with a deep chest, muscular limbs and have a round appearance from the front.

  • Weight: 13-16 pounds -female
  • Weight: 15-20 pounds – male
  • Height: 9-11”
  • Life Span: 15 years

The West Highland Terrier loves human companionship and is fun loving. Westies never have met a stranger – he is very friendly. They are an excellent dog for older children – ten or above.

West Highland White Terrier


  • Friendly
  • Cocky
  • Intelligent
  • Well-behaved
  • Playful
  • Loving
  • Curious
  • Versatiable
  • Good watchdog
  • Bold
  • Travels easily

These dogs are considered on of the most affectionate of all the terriers. They love companionship and to be in the middle of everything. They are a bundle of energy but also will ride in your car or sit by you just to be in your company.

They are an independent dog with a stubborn streak and they do like to bark. Westies are best with someone who is not gone all day.


White Highland Terriers learn quickly and do well in obedience training. The training, however, should be challenging and fun. You need to reinforce good behavior with petting and treats. Remember, to take into account that Westies are playful and energetic which can make training a challenge.


The Westie needs activity since he is a high-energy dog so walks, playing in the park romping in the yard or doggy day care are needed.


His coat is fairly easy to groom, just brush regularly with a stiff bristle brush. They also need a good grooming every two months by clipping for hand stripping. Wash inside of his ears weekly with cotton balls. If water get in his ears extract to prevent infections. Bathe as little as possible so their skin does not dry out.


Westies require about 13 hours of sleep a day between night sleeping and naps.

They are in general a healthy dog but like all pure breeds they are prone to certain disease.

  • Skin problems
  • Legg Perthes diseases (hip)
  • Inflammation of jawbones
  • Liver Diseases
  • Hernias
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis

Finally, owners have said that having a West Highland Terrier is different than having other breeds of dogs that they require more attentions and care. So do your homework if you are interested in getting a fun-loving Westie.

How should you choose a Westie? Like forums on Westies? Want a Westie mini course? Check out this book "Mad About Westies"

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