West Highland Terrier Insurance

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The West Highland White Terrier, often called the Westie, is a small and sturdy breed known for its white, double-layered coat. These dogs are lively, confident, and affectionate, making them delightful companions. They are alert and friendly, often described as big personalities in a compact package, with a strong prey drive and a love for digging.

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West Highland Terrier Character

Westies are renowned for their lively and confident character. They are affectionate and loyal, forming strong bonds with their owners. Despite their small size, they have a big, tenacious personality, displaying a fearless and determined demeanour. Westies are alert and make excellent watchdogs due to their keen senses.

They are social and enjoy the company of their human family, but their independent streak can sometimes lead to stubbornness during training. Their love for digging and hunting instincts are evident in their spirited nature. Overall, Westies are spirited, friendly, and charming companions.

West Highland Terrier Appearance

West Highland White Terriers have a distinctive appearance. They typically stand about 10/11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh approximately 15-20 pounds. Westies have a dense, double coat of white fur that is weather-resistant. Their small, pointed ears stand erect, and they have dark, expressive eyes and a black nose. They have slightly turned out paws to help provide a better grip when climbing on rocky surfaces, and a well-groomed Westie has a crisp, neat appearance, showcasing their charming and alert expression. Overall, they possess a compact and endearing appearance that reflects their confident character.

Conditions which affect this breed

West Highland Terriers are prone to certain breed-specific health concerns. These may include skin issues like hyperplastic dermatosis, and a genetic condition called Westie Lung Disease. They can also develop orthopaedic problems such as patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Additionally, Westies may be susceptible to allergies and some hereditary eye conditions like cataracts and dry eye syndrome. 

"Lion's Jaw" in West Highland White Terriers is a term used to describe a condition called craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO). It causes swelling and thickening of the jawbone, leading to pain and difficulty in eating - however, both of the dogs parents must be carriers of the problem gene for the condition to occur.

Weird Fact..

They are known for their distinctive, "Westie whine" or "Westie scream." When they are excited or enthusiastic, some Westies make a high-pitched vocalisation that sounds almost like a scream. This unique and sometimes amusing behaviour adds to their charming and lively personality.

West Highland Terrier History

The Westie hails from Scotland and shares its ancestry with other terrier breeds. They were initially bred in the 19th century, and their white coat was specifically valued for its visibility in hunting and vermin control. Originally called the "Poltalloch Terrier" after the estate of their breeder, Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm, they were later named West Highland White Terriers due to their distinct white coat.

The breed was officially recognized by kennel clubs in the early 20th century. Today, Westies are cherished worldwide for their charming appearance and spirited personality, excelling as both companions and show dogs.

West Highland Terrier Insurance

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