West Highland White Terrier
A white, stocky dog with short legs and a long body, a square, fluffy head, small triangular ears standing on either side of their head, large dark eyes and a black nose is standing on the boardwalk at the beach, enjoying the sea breeze.

West Highland White Terrier

Looking for the perfect all round dog? The West Highland White Terrier could be just for you. Whether you’re thinking of borrowing one or getting your own, we’ve pulled together lots of fun and interesting facts about the most iconic little white dog breed (the Cesar dog breed, no less), courtesy of the West Highland White Terrier owners in our community.

What is a West Highland White Terrier?

The West Highland White Terrier, otherwise known as a Westie or Westy, is one of the most popular Terrier breeds in the UK. The Westie has featured in various advertising campaigns probably due to their sweet appearance and affable nature. They have short legs and usually stand up to about 28cm. Their fur is all white and can be coarse and slightly wavy. They don’t normally have any markings. They were originally bred for hunting and specifically to catch rodents above and below ground. Their ancestry can be traced to the Cairn Terrier - one of the oldest Terrier breeds and also a ratter.

How much exercise does a West Highland White Terrier need?

The Westie has been described as virtually tireless, alert and courageous. As they are a small breed, up to 1 hour of exercise a day should be sufficient for the Westie. As with many lively Terriers, they’ll never say no to more walks...whatever the weather. Westies are very playful dogs who are full of fun but, at the same time, don’t mind being carried around to take in their surroundings.

A small, white-haired dog with pointy ears is out on a walk

“Zeus is a super friendly little guy who loves playing and meeting new people and dogs. He has very high energy levels, so he often requires long walks or playtime.” - Mel, Owner of Zeus.

What is the temperament of a West Highland Terrier?

The Westie is an “all purpose pet” who is very cheerful, charismatic and self-assured. Generally, the Westie really is the perfect all rounder: they make good family dogs, getting along tremendously with children, adults and other dogs and love walks as much as cuddles. Westies are equally happy to be used as working dogs, although this is now less common.

A white dog with pointy ears is lying on a sofa, staring at the camera intently

“Millie is a fluffy ball of fun! She loves attention, fuss and cuddles, food, and long walks. She’s great with other dogs and people, and she just wants to play.” - Charlotte, Owner of Millie.

Are West Highland White Terrier’s easy to train?

Due to the old hunting nature, the Westie is fairly easy to train. They have a good ear, however, being a Terrier, they can sometimes be a little stubborn. It is recommended that training a Westie is continued over its lifetime to keep their skills and obedience in tact.

“Risto is a fully housetrained Westie who is very obedient...when he chooses to be!” - Terresa, Owner of Risto.

Here are a few funny quirks that some of our members’ pooches have:

Sue, Owner of Poppy:

Poppy loves to curl up on the sofa in the evenings with us and watch TV, but she barks every time any animal comes on to the screen!

Adele, Owner of Emma:

Emma absolutely adores the hair dryer! If you dry your hair, she will jump up onto your knee to try and get under it.

Katherine, Owner of Fred:

Fred always tries to eat the food we put out for the birds in the morning!

Most common West Highland Terrier names on BorrowMyDoggy:

  • Charlie
  • Alfie
  • Daisy
  • Barney
  • Snowy
  • Max
  • Poppy
  • Molly
  • Hamish
  • Bonnie

Does your West Highland White Terrier pull on the lead when you're out and about? Here's a simple and easy trick to teach them to stop :)

High paws to our lovely community for letting us share these facts about their Westies. Paws crossed you found them helpful :)

Looking for the pawfect Westie to join you on a walk? Or would you like your Westie to make a new friend? Why not sign up to BorrowMyDoggy today.

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