Height: 10-11 inches
Weight: 15-20 lbs.
Life Span: 12-14 yrs.
Breed Group: Terriers
West Highland white terriers are good family dogs adaptable to life in the
cities, suburbs, or country. They are more high-strung than cairn terriers
but still respond well to obedience training.
They love to romp with children if socialized with them at an early age
and will accept strangers after an initial inspection. Westies are good
They usually get along well with other dogs but may fight for dominance.
They get along with cats that are raised in the home but may chase strays.
The outercoat is straight, hard, and about two inches long, shorter on the
neck and shoulders; the undercoat is short, soft, and tight. Coat color
is pure white. Among the breed's distinguishing features are small, erect
ears with sharp tips and a black nose.
Grooming & Exercise Needs
The West Highland white terrier needs to be brushed and combed twice a week
and trimmed every three months. Several walks and some playtime daily suit
this dog well.
The West Highland white terrier originated in the 19th century and probably
shares a common Highland ancestry with the Scottie, cairn, and Dandie Dinmont.
They were used for ratting and for "going to ground" after game in their
It is especially important to obtain a West Highland white terrier from
a reputable breeder.
Breed-related health concerns: Legg-Perthes disease, craniomandibular
osteopathy (a disease characterized by excessive growth of bones in the
head), atopy, cataracts, copper toxicosis (a hereditary disease that can
lead to liver failure), inguinal hernia, deafness, pyruvate kinase deficiency
(a fatal enzyme deficiency).
Reference: AKC - American Kennel Club