West Highland White Terrier - Training Course on West Highland White Terriers
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West Highland White Terrier: Training, History, Temperament, Exercise (Westie)

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About West Highland White Terrier

Country of Origin, History of West Highland White Terriers

The Cairn Terrier has been a contributor to many of Scotland’s terriers. The Scottish, West Highland, and Cairn Terriers developed from the same stock, originating in the islands and highlands of western Scotland. The three often were found in the same litter, distinguished only by color.

Eventually the dogs were selectively bred to white dogs until all the offspring were white and that became the West Highland White Terrier.

West Highland White Terrier Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the West Highland White Terrier the right breed for you?

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West Highland White Terrier Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your West Highland White Terrier needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our West Highland White Terrier Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

The West Highland White Terrier is a very shaggy-looking little white terrier whose face has a fox-like appearance. A very compact body type, the length of his back is only about 14 inches. The West Highland White’s head is broad. His tufted ears are small, pointed and erect. He has a short but hairy tail. He has black eyes and nose and a “ready to go something” expression.

Coat Color

The coat of the West Highland White is all white. The coat may have some wheaten tipping.

Coat Type

The 2’ outer coat of the West Highland White Terrier is profuse, hard and weather-resistant. It should never be fluffy or soft, silky or curly. The inner coat is shorter and softer.

Height

Males: 10 – 12 inches, but ideally 11 inches
Females: 9 – 11 inches, but ideally 10 inches

Length of the body from the front of the chest to the back of the hindquarters should be 14.25 to 15 inches

Weight

Males: 15 -22 lbs
Females: 13 – 17 lbs

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Free Course on West Highland White Terrier Training & Obedience
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West Highland White Terrier Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Dog

The West Highland White Terrier entertains his owner with boundless energy and all types of amusing behavior. He loves to learn tricks and show off for people.

The hardy and scrappy West Highland White Terrier is strong, alert, and spirited. He is a busybody who is mischievous, independent, and lovable. He has his own ideas of what to do and when to do it and those ideas sometimes get him into trouble. His independence, along with his fearlessness, make him a bit difficult to obedience train if you don't start early and continue firmly and persistently.

His intelligence and desire to please make him fairly easy to train and very good in obedience and agility. Both are activities that direct his energy into positive outlets.
West Highland Whites are great with children of all ages as they have great patience with them. They adapt to new situations easily, so travel well. They crave the companionship of their family and will want to be in the thick of the action.
They are sensitive, but need lovingly firm discipline.

Unnecessary barking will make a pest of a once good watchdog and frantic digging will turn a landscaped yard into what looks like a mine field.

This breed can be quite the charmer.

Westies are not as willful as other terriers and will probably get along with other pets better than most terriers.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

This small breed needs to live indoors. When outdoors, a West Highland Terrier will either dig holes all over the area or he will bark excessively if not taught differently from an early age.

Always supervise your West Highland White outdoors. Do not let him off lead except in an area with a secured (underground as well as above ground) fence.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

The West Highland White Terrier is very patient with children of all ages. He loves to play, so playing with children makes him happy.

West Highland White Terrier Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

This is a very active breed, but they will get much of their activity from playing with toys indoors.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

The West Highland White Terrier likes to run and play (and dig) outdoors, but must be supervised and inside a secure fence. He is a very energetic little dog who can get much of his exercise from playing with toys indoors.

He can live in an apartment if he is taught early not to bark excessively and if he is taken on a couple of daily walks. An occasional romp in a secure area will satisfy him.

Grooming

The shaggy coat of the West Highland White Terrier can quickly become a horrible, matted mess. To keep this from happening, he needs to be brushed daily, but his undercoat should not get overly much attention.

Once a month he may need a bath. Then his coat should be brushed out carefully and completely when it dries. A monthly trim around his eyes and ears and feet and a monthly nail trim will keep him looking and feeling good.

Professional grooming 4-5 times a year will shape the coat and eliminate dead hair that does not shed. If he is to be shown, he will have to have professional grooming every 6 weeks to shape his coat properly.

West Highland Whites shed very little.

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Free West Highland White Terrier Training Secrets

Free Course on West Highland White Terrier Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Genetic Problems

Most West Highland Terriers are quite healthy. Some have chronic skin problems probably due to being all-white. Perthe’s disease (hip problems), hernias, liver disease, and jawbone calcification have been reported.

Life Span: West Highland White Terriers live 15 years or more.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – West Highland White Terrier Club of England

US – West Highland White Terrier Club of America

Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CET, APRI, ACR

Rescue: Westie Club of America

Group: Terrier Group

AKC Popularity Ranking: 42

Also Known As: Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier, Westie

Train Your West Highland White Terrier To Listen To You

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Sign up for our Free West Highland White Terrier Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.

You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most Westie owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

  • The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.

  • How to obedience train your West Highland White Terrier to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.

  • One hidden psychological trigger that all West Highland White Terriers have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Westie information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Westies have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The West Highland White Terrier training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

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