American Canine Association

Breeds

Breed Name: West Highland White Terrier


History

Dating back prior to the 1900's, the West Highland White Terrier is the result of unique white Carin Terrier puppies within a single liter. This Scotland based breeder decided to keep using selective breeding with the white puppies he raised and discovered solid white liters as a result. Today, we recognize this breed as the West Highland White Terrier. This breed has excellent natural instincts to hunt small vermin as well as foxes and badgers.

Appearance

The West Highland White Terrier is a small to medium sized dog who generally measures 9-11 inches in height and weighs an average of 13-22 pounds for both males and females. This breed has a wedge shaped head with their muzzle forming into a scissor bite. Due to the typical "Westie Cut", the shape of their head can appear more box-shaped than it actually is. Their two, small triangular shaped ears stand firmly on top of their head. Their two perfectly round eyes are generally a very dark brown to black in color. Overall this breed has a very stocky and sturdy appearance, their body is rectangular in shape and their legs are short and firm to the ground. This breed has a naturally short tail approximately 4-5 inches long when not cropped, however some owners prefer to have their tail docked shorter. this breed has a double coat that can be wavy to straight in texture and is only available in solid white.

Temperament

It is important to keep in mind that this happy and lively breed who often looks as if they are "smiling", is still a terrier at heart. What we mean by this, is that they still have much confidence, including towards other dogs, as well as hunting and digging instincts. This breed is known for wanting to chase small outdoor animals such as rabbits and squirrels, so a properly fenced in area or proper harness and leash while outdoors is necessary. This breed does extremely well when raised along side of children of all ages, and known to bond very close. This breed is generally very friendly with humans, including strangers, although some are known to be protective of their territory when at home towards any intruders. This breed is easy to train. The Westie is loving, loyal, determined, fun and takes all requests serious from their owner. This breed can do well with cats and dogs he or she is raised with, however not all West Highland Terriers do well with other dogs they do not know very well. This breed requires a firm and consistent owner who only uses positive reinforcement training methods. This breed is known for traveling very well.

Grooming

This breed does shed. Daily brushing and bathing when needed. A trip to a professional groomers is recommended about three times a year.

Special Notes

Please note that this breed is prone to skin issues and allergies, chronic hernias, liver disease, jaw issues and eye issues. This breed can develop hardening of the lungs as they age, eventually leading to suffocation. Again, this is a terrier breed who naturally enjoys hunting small vermin and outdoor wild animals; due to this, we highly recommend a properly fenced in yard and a proper fitting harness and leash at all times while outdoors. Fully educate yourself about the West Highland White Terrier prior to adding one to your family to ensure you are able to make a life long commitment both physically and financially to your new family member. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

© 2017 American Canine Association, Inc.