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West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier dogs are lively little dogs that make for highly affectionate companion dogs. These cute and adorable dogs originated in Scotland. In earlier times, these dogs were used as vermin hunters, specifically for the purpose of controlling the population of badges, foxes, rats etc.

The breed is also known by other names such as Roseneath Terrier, Poltalloch Terrier and White Roseneath Terrier. The breed is believed to have been crossed with Scotch Terrier, Cairn Terrier and Dandie Dinmont Terrier dog breeds. These dogs thrive on human companionship and love to please their owners at all times.

Physical Appearance

West Highland White Terrier dogs are sturdy, compact and muscular in build. The head is proportional to the body. The muzzle is blunt and a bit shorter than the skull.

The dark brown colored, deep set eyes are generally set wide apart and almond shaped. The erect and pointed ears are set wide apart and triangular in shape. The nose is large and black in color.

Color: As the name suggests, West Highland White Terrier dogs are characterized by a solid white colored hair coat.
Height: The average height of these dogs is generally about 10 to 12 inches. Female West Highland White Terriers are a bit shorter, that is, 9 to 11 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of West Highland White Terrier dogs ranges between 15 to 22 pounds. The bitches are usually 13 to 16 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

Common health issues in West Highland White Terrier dog breed are Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, inguinal Hernia, Heart Problems, Deafness etc.

These dogs are also susceptible to Addison’s disease, Copper Toxicosis, Jawbone Calcification and other similar health problems and dog diseases. Due to dry skin, these dogs are also prone to Topic Dermatitis and other skin related issues and allergies.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of these dogs is generally about 15 years or more.
Litter Size: The average litter size of West Highland White Terrier dog breed ranges between 2 to 5 puppies.

Grooming Requirements

The wiry hair coat of West Highland White Terrier dog breed requires regular grooming and care. The double coat consists of hard and straight outer coat and a soft and dense undercoat. It should be brushed and combed with a firm bristle brush about two to three times per week.

There is almost little to no shedding of the hair coat. Hence, it requires to be trimmed every few months. It should also be stripped two times per year.

Bathe your West Highland White Terrier only when necessary, perhaps on a monthly basis. Plus, trim the hair around the dog’s eyes and ears, preferable with the help of a blunt-nosed scissors. Check and clean the eye and ears on a regular basis to avoid infections.


West Highland White Terrier breed dogs are bold, inquisitive, confident, loving, friendly, loyal, intelligent and highly energetic in temperament. They can be stubborn and independent at times. Thus, they require proper trainingand socialization right from the beginning.

Because of their strong prey instincts, West Highland White Terrier dogs are usually not suggested for houses with smaller pets, especially cats. They get along well with children.

Small children, however, should be taught to be gentle with these dogs as they tend to become snappy in response to boisterous behavior of kids. West Highland White Terrier dogs are quite alert and hence make for excellent watchdogs.

Key Points

Digging and barking seem to be the favorite pastimes of West Highland White Terriers to kill boredom. Therefore, these dogs require adequate amount of physical and mental stimulation to avoid behavioral problems in these dogs.

For this, they should be taken for regular daily walks at least one or two times in a day. Interactive pay sessions also keep these dogs positively engaged. They have been considered suitable for urban, suburban as well as rural conditions.

In addition, West Highland White Terrier breed dogs tend to adapt well in apartment situation even without yard, provided their physical exercise needs are sufficiently taken care of.