Best family
Best guard
Kid friendly
Best watch
Easy to train
Low shedding
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West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier PictureWest Highland White Terrier Picture
Breed Information
Popularity 2016: #412015: #412014: #38
Name West Highland White Terrier
Other names Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier, Westie (or Westy)
Origin United Kingdom
Breed Group Terrier (AKC:1908)(UKC)
Size Small
Type Purebred
Life span 12-16 years
Temperament AffectionateAlertCourageousIntelligentFriendlyHardyIndependent
Height Male: 10-12 inches (25-30 cm)Female: 9-11 inches (23-28 cm)
Weight Male: 15-22 pounds (7-10 kg)Female: 13-16 pounds (6-7 kg)
Colors White
Litter Size 2-5 puppies
Puppy Price Average $900 - $1200 USD
Breed Characteristics
Adaptability 4 stars
Apartment Friendly 3 starsWest Highland White Terriers are suitable for people in towns and cities as well as in the country. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
Barking Tendencies 5 starsFrequent
Cat Friendly 3 stars
Child Friendly 4 starsGood with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
Dog Friendly 4 stars
Exercise Needs 4 starsThese little dogs need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
Grooming 4 starsLow Maintenance: Grooming is only necessary once in a while to maintain upkeep.
Health Issues 5 starsHypoallergenic: Yes
Intelligence 4 starsRanking: #47. (See All Rankings)
Playfulness 5 stars
Shedding Level 1 starsMinimal Shedding: This dog will shed a negligible amount. Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with dog hair in their cars and homes.
Stranger Friendly 4 stars
Trainability 3 starsModerately Easy Training: This particular dog can be naughty, so occasionally it may need to be corrected. Training will have to be consistent and firm.
Watchdog Ability 3 stars
West Highland White Terrier Puppy PictureWest Highland White Terrier Puppy Picture
Puppy Names
Rank Male Female
01 Max Lucy
02 Rocky Callie
03 Joey Molly
04 Finn Penny
05 Duke Holly
06 Harley Chloe
07 Henry Sandy
08 Teddy Lola
09 Toby Ella
10 Leo Izzy
See All Names ›

The Westie is compact and short-coupled. It must be small enough to fit between rocks in a narrow passageway that was the typical fox den in its area of origin. These passages were often so narrow that the dog could not turn around. Short legs aided in maneuverability in the cramped passages. It had to have formidable teeth and jaws in order to face a fox in closed quarters. The harsh double coat, especially the hard, straight outer coat, provided protection from the fox's teeth, especially around the head, as well as from the elements. The tail needed to be sufficiently long to provide a handhold by which the dog could be pulled from shallow holes.

The busy Westie is happy, curious and always in the thick of things. It is affectionate and demanding, one of the friendliest terriers. It is not friendly, however, toward small animals. It enjoys a daily romp in a safe area or a walk on lead, as well as playtime at home. It is independent and somewhat stubborn. It barks and digs.

The early vermin-catching dogs indigenous to Scotland, collectively known as the “Terriers of Scotland,” developed from common root stock and eventually separated into defined breeds. These include the Dandie Dinmont, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier and Cairn Terriers. This, too, is the origin of the West Highland White Terrier, which is thought to have originally been part of the Cairn breed. The West Highland was first shown in the USA in 1906 and first recognized by the AKC in 1908.