West Highland White Terrier Puppies For Sale

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West Highland White Terriers: Characteristics of the breed and how to live with a West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier is a cute dog with an adorable attitude to life! They are often referred to as ‘Westies’ and were originally bred for hunting and ratting. Few can rest this dog breed when they cock their head to the side and look at you quizzically, with their mouth hanging open and the expressive eyes appealing for attention. These intelligent dogs know that they are the best thing around, and will play on their owners affections to get what they want.
This guide gives key information about the West Highland White Terrier breed. We will outline their normal physical characteristics and the typical personality you can expect for a West Highland White Terrier. We will finish with some useful tips to make your life with a West Highland White Terrier easier. If you decide to go for it and bring one of these adorable dogs into your home, the information given here will help you both get off to a great start.
Physical characteristics of a West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier is a small dog, but can be a bundle of energy. They are often calm when indoors, but can zoom all around the dog park, or go hiking for extended periods of time. The short and stout body can hide a surprising athleticism.
The size of your dog will depend on your own restraint with treats. The typical height of a Westie is around 11 inches (or 10 for a female) and they weigh in the region of 15-20 pounds. If you fall victim to those pleading eyes too often it is possible for your pet to balloon to twice that weight. This is to be avoided as it will have negative health effects that can shorten your dog’s life and dent their overall happiness.
Just like a lot of breeds, the West Highland White Terrier can have hereditary health complications. Check with the breeder that you get a puppy from to ensure that they have carried out the necessary checks. When maintaining your dog, you can check to ensure that they are in good health. This is particularly important for your dog’s ears – you can check that they are in good health and not showing any signs of redness and infection, and you can also give them a wipe with a PH-balanced cleaner to ensure they are not susceptible.
The coat is part of the reason why Westies are so prized. It is bright white when kept clean. Being a double coat, it is has a mix of a longer fur and a thick under layer that protects the dog against cold and scratches. They don’t shed much, and should only be bathed when necessary. You can wipe them down to help them look at their best.
Personality of a West Highland White Terrier
Thanks to their breeding, these are affectionate dogs that retain a measure of independence. This balance makes them adaptable and suitable for a wide range of circumstances. There are of course variations between individual dogs – some may like to be lapdogs, some may be more content zooming about outdoors, but generally they are a good mixture.
The West Highland White Terrier is an affectionate family dog that will enrich family life with hilarious antics and a distinct personality. They are not fiercely loyal to one person, so will spread the love around your whole family, children included. They thrive as companion dogs, and can even adapt to cats (after a familiarisation). They do have a strong prey drive though, so keep them well away from any rodents that run free (for example, the family rabbit). You must bear in mind that they are still terriers, so will love to chase things. They can also snap when annoyed, which is worth bearing in mind when you introduce them to small children.
They are ‘indoor’ dogs in the sense that they need to be allowed close contact with their families to stay happy. That said, they can function equally well in the city or the country. They can also be left at home for the day if you go out, so long as they are trained not to bark and know that you are coming back. Separation anxiety is not a massive issue for these dogs. They do like to be entertained, and will find pleasure in things like chew toys and belly rubs. If you are going to be out for a while it’s a good idea to turn on the radio and leave some chew toys around to stave off any destructive behaviour.
They can act as alert watchdogs, and will probably bark at anything unusual like a knock at the door, the postman and so on. They can be pretty noisy, but when properly trained they should only bark once to alert you to something happening.
Same-sex aggression can be a problem in these dogs. Interestingly, the females tend to be more alpha than the males, so this is something to watch when out walking or mixing with other dogs.
How to live with a West Highland White Terrier
To get the best start in life with your West Highland White Terrier, training through positive reinforcement is absolutely necessary. This will help bring under control the barking and chasing issues that we mentioned earlier. They will never be fully removed from this dogs instincts, but they will be easier to live with when properly managed. They respond well to training thanks to their intelligence, but they will always want to know what’s in it for them – they don’t exist just to please you!
A great way to help your new Westie adapt to the home environment is to crate train them from a young age. The crate is a safe space that they can retreat for a nap. It should be a cosy and warm haven rather than a prison, so don’t lock them in it for more than a couple of hours at a time. Though it may seem silly when they don’t need to be in it, training at this age will help if they ever need to be taken to the vet or to a boarding kennel. Properly trained, these wonderful dogs will make great companions for many aspects of your life.

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