The West Highland Terrier comes under a few names, The West Highland White Terrier, Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier but most of us know it as simply "The Westie".
The Westie is popular in both the UK and America and has multiple wins at the Cruft's International dog show hosted by the Kennel Club with the most recent win coming from Burneze Geordie Girl in 2016. J. K. Rowling the famous author of the Harry Potter books has a Westie named Bronte.
Intelligent, active, hardy, stubborn, energetic, boisterous are are terms often associated with the West Highland White Terrier but they are social dogs although not always the best with children. Some don't take to rough handling but this is dog to dog.
The Westie has a high prey drive, it was once a rodent hunting dog and this drive to hunt remains, they can be inquisitive and want to chase / break up toys.
The breed has a distinctive white coat and is a medium size for a terrier type breed. The coat has a soft, thick undercoat and a rough outer coat to help keep the dog warm in the Scottish winter. The canines should weigh between 15 and 20 pounds. Westies have slightly turned out paws to help provide a better grip when climbing on rocky surfaces.
One of the most common conditions in the breed is Lion's Jaw, its an overgrowth of the bone in the jaw of the dog. The condition can be inherited especially in Westies leading it to be nicknamed Westie Jaw. it will typically occur when the dog is between 3 and 8 months old leading to swelling, drooling, pain and problems eating. Both of the dogs parents must be carriers of the problem gene for the condition to occur.
Skin disorders can be quite common and hyperplastic dermatosis is specific to just the Westie.
Both the UK dog food brand Cesar and the Australian dog food manufacturer Mars use the Westie in their marketing.
King James VI of Scotland, the son of Mary Queen of Scots is dedicated with the first recorded mention of the Scottish White Terrier, he provided several of them as a gift to the Kingdom of France. At the time white dogs were seen as inferior to other colours and weaker overall.
In the 19th century several breeds of white terrier were being bred, the Roseneath Terrier (bred by George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll) and the Pittenweem Terriers (bred by Dr Flaxman of Fife). The Scottish Terrier used by Flaxman kept producing white puppies and he came upon the theory it was an ancient trait of the Scottish terrier reappearing.
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Life span: 12 years or more
Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Home size: Medium
Coat length size: Medium