West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier, or Westie, is self-reliant with huge amounts of self-esteem. They are alert and courageous and love companionship.
Westies were originally bred for hunting and ratting. This is where they learned to think on their own, a trait they still have to this day. Their instinct to work can be channeled into agility or obedience training, a therapy dog, or even a search and rescue dog.
While they are sometimes known to be a “big dog in a little body”, the Westie isn’t temperamental, pushy, or stubborn – they just like to know what’s in it for them. The West Highland White Terrier is mostly a companion. They get along with everyone – strangers, other dogs, children, even cats. They do, however, have a high prey drive and may chase other animals, but it is generally for fun.
Westies love life and have a great personality. They are quick learners, so training them is quite easy. Their desire to be clean makes housetraining a breeze. They do like to bark, though, especially if they hear or see something suspicious. They also like to dig, but with proper training that can be easily stopped.
West Highland White Terriers are loyal and affectionate but they are still self-assured and independent so they are not needy dogs. They are generally calm inside but love to run and play when they get outside.
Major Health Concerns: Several breed specific and non-specific health issues appear in the breed including a condition in young dogs nicknamed “westie jaw” which causes an overgrowth of bone in the jaw of the dog. It is also prone to skin disorders, with a breed specific condition called Hyperplastic Dermatosis occurring.
Interesting Fact: This breed is also referred to as Poltalloch Terrier and White Roseneath Terrier.
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