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West Highland Terrier

Throughout the year Little Rascals UK often have West Highland Terrier puppies for sale.  So, if you are looking into buying a West Highland Terrier please speak to us.  We will be able to help you find your new West Highland Terrier puppy.  If you have a long journey and are looking for a West Highland Terrier puppy near you “don’t worry”, why not use our delivery service.

Key Breed Facts

The West Highland Terrier breed is also commonly known by the names West Highland White Terrier, Westie, Westy, Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier.

Lifespan: 12 – 16 years

Pedigree Breed Status: KC Recognised in the Terrier Group

Height
Males 25 – 28 cm
Females 25 – 28 cm

Weight
Males 6 – 9 kg
Females 6 – 9 kg

Breed Characteristics

Size

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Small (4/10)

Exercise

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Medium (6/10)

Training

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Average (6/10)

Shedding

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Moderate (6/10)

Grooming

?
very high (10/10)

Children

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Very good (10/10)

Health

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below average (4/10)

Cost to Keep

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Low (3/10)

Being Alone

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short periods (4/10)

Intelligence

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Average (6/10)

Introduction

The West Highland White Terrier or Westie as they are affectionately known, has consistently been one of the most popular breeds in the UK and for very good reason.

Not only are they adorably cute, but they boast happy, fun-loving and outgoing personalities too. In short, they are the perfect choice either as a family pet or companion dog. Westies are also one of the more popular breeds in the show ring and have been for decades. They are intelligent little dogs and love to please which means training a Westie is normally easy. They are known to get on well with children and love nothing more than to be part of a family, but care has to be taken when a Westie is around smaller animals and pets because they are terriers and their instinct to hunt remains very strong.

History

Records of West Highland White Terriers can be traced back to the 15th century when they were first bred to hunt vermin, such as foxes and otters. The breed shares its ancestry with other well-known Scottish dogs namely the Dandie Dinmont, the Cairn Terrier and the Scottie. The breed was created by taking any white puppies from a litter and selectively breeding from them. These dogs were to form the foundation stock of the Westie that’s known and loved today.

Breed records date back to James I that show the King of England asking for a number of these “little white earth dogges” to be sent to him from kennels situated in Argyleshire. It is believed that “Col Malcolm of Potalloch” was responsible for developing white terriers after he accidentally shot one of his favourite brown coloured dogs when he was out hunting.

The first time the white terriers were exhibited was late in the 1800’s, but at the time they were known as White Scottish Terriers. It was not until 1904 that the breed was finally classified as West Highland White Terriers and they were recognised as a unique breed by The Kennel Club.

Appearance

Westies are small, compact white dogs that boast a very endearing look about them thanks to their lovely dark eyes and large, black noses. Although small in stature, the Westie is a robust and powerful little dog that boasts a slightly domed head that’s well covered with hair. Their eyes are set widely apart and are medium in size being as dark as possible with dogs boasting heavy eyebrows which adds to their endearing looks. Westies have a very alert and intelligent look in their eyes which is typical of the breed.

Their ears are small which the breed carries upright and they have sharp, well defined tips to them and are covered in smooth, short hair. Their mouths are strong with dogs having a regular scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Their neck is long and muscular which dogs carry proudly being thicker at the base where it merges into the shoulders which slope nicely back Front legs are short and well-muscled being covered in short, thick and hard hair.

A Westie’s body is compact with dogs having nice level backs There chests are deep with well arched ribs at the front. Their hindquarters are muscular and strong being broad with short, muscular, sinewy back legs with nicely muscled thighs. A Westie’s front feet are larger than their back ones, being well covered in short hair and black nails.

When it comes to their coat, a Westie boasts a harsher outer coat without any curl in it while the undercoat is more like fur, being short, soft and close. The only accepted colour for a Westie is a pure white.

Temperament

The Westie is not only one of the cutest terriers around, but they have wonderful personalities too. They are the perfect choice for first time owners because these little white dogs like nothing more than to please. This paired to their intelligence means they are easy to train.

Westies are known to be outgoing, affectionate albeit “naughty” characters, but they form incredibly strong bonds with their owners which means they are wonderful watch dogs and soon let their owners know when they are any strangers about.

They are really not aware of their small size which means they will take on the world if they feel they have to and this includes larger dogs.

They can at times have a little bit of a stubborn streak in them which is why their training and education should ideally start as early as possible or a dog might grow up to be a more dominant character . We at Little Rascals Pets often have Westie puppies for sale.

Your puppy will need to be well socialised from a young age which means introducing them to as many new people, situations and other animals as possible once they have been fully vaccinated for them to grow up to be well-rounded mature dogs.

Once a West Highland White Terrier has formed a strong bond with an owner they remain totally devoted and loyal to their masters for the rest of their lives which is why they have consistently been such a popular choice as companion dogs and family pets for such a very long time not only here in the UK but across the world.

Intelligence / Trainability

Westies are known to be intelligent and they do like to please. However, they have a bit of mischievous side to their nature which means that their training and education has to start as early in order to get the best results.

They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, but do not accept any sort of rough handling or tough correction which would have an adverse effect on the outcome of their training. It’s also important not to “overdo” the treats when training a Westie because they are liable to demand more and more!!

Children and Other Pets

Westies are known to be excellent around children loving nothing more than to play games with them. However, as with any other breed any interaction between a dog and children of any age needs to be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous especially during the puppy phase.

They will get on with other dogs. However, when it comes to cats unless they grow up together, it would be unwise to trust a Westie, their instinct is to “chase” and even if a Westie has grown up with a cat, they are still liable to chase them when the mood takes, just for the fun of it. Care has to be taken when a Westie is around any smaller pets and it would not be wise to leave one alone unchecked.

Health

The average life expectancy of a Westie is between 10 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their energy needs and there age.

Westie can sometimes suffer from hereditary health issues. The conditions that seem sometimes to affect the breed are: Skin allergies – epidermic dysplasia, Craniomandibular osteopathy – Westie Jaw, Deafness, Inherited metabolic liver issues.

Caring for a West Highland Terrier

As with any other breed, Westies need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. A good quality consistent food is important. At Little Rascals Pets we always recommend Royal Canin which can be fed to your Westie or even Royal Canin’s Westie breed food.

Grooming

Westies are high maintenance when it comes to keeping their coats tidy and their skin in good condition. They boast thick double coats with a lot of feathering around their legs and on their bellies which if not groomed on a regular basis can matt up quickly because the hair grows quickly and often so long. As such, these adorable white dogs should be brushed regularly and trimmed when necessary.

They also need to be professionally groomed on a frequent basis which ideally should be every 12 weeks or so. Their coats can be clipped and shaped correctly. Westies shed more during the Spring and then again in the Autumn which is when more frequent brushing is necessary to get rid of any hair that has been shed or dead hair.

It’s also a very good idea to check a Westie ears regularly because infections once they flare up can be notoriously hard to treat.

Exercise

Westies are energetic little dogs that like nothing better than to be kept busy both physically and mentally. This means giving your dog about 30 to 45 minutes exercise per day.

These little dogs like to run free off the lead as often as possible as long as it is in a safe environment. With this in mind, Westies love nothing more than to be run around the garden so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be secure  enough to keep these little terriers in. If they find any weakness in the fence, they may get out and go off exploring the surrounding area. Always remember this is just what terriers enjoy doing.

Westie puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a few problems later on in their lives.

Feeding

If you get a Westie puppy from any breeder, they should give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine feeding your puppy the same food to avoid any tummy upsets is important. You can change a puppy’s diet, but this needs to be done carefully, always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with your vet before attempting to change it again.

The older westies are not normally fussy eaters. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements.

It’s also important that dog is given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight.

Average cost to keep/care for a West Highland Terrier

If you are looking to buy a Westie, you would need to pay anything from £350 to £1200 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring for example a male 3-year-old Westie in England should be approximately £18.20 a month for basic cover or £41.22 for a lifetime policy. (quote as of April 2016).

When insurance companies calculate a pet’s premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog’s age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food possible. This will cost between £30 – £40 a month.

On top of all of this, you would need to factor in normal veterinary costs. This includes their second vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right (if required) and their yearly health checks.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a West Highland White Terrier would be between £60 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog.

For any advice on the best choice of puppy for you please call Little Rascals Pets on 01522 789191

 

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