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West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers, commonly known as Westies, are a breed of dog known for their spirited personality and brilliant white coat. They are friendly, good with children, and thrive on lots of attention. Like most terriers, they have plenty of attitude (some might say "spirit") for a dog their size. This breed is commonly recognized because it is used as a mascot for Black & White (a brand of Scotch whisky) and for Cesar brand dog food.

West Highland Terrier looks out the window for squirrels.

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Comment "mi favourt dog is a highlander they are so cute mi favourrt dog be4 waz jack russel now i seen these i love them"

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Commonly, Westies have bright, deep-set eyes that are dark in colour. Their ears are small, pointed, and erect. A male typically weighs between 15 and 20 pounds (6.8 and 9.1 kg) and a female between 13 and 16 pounds (5.9 and 7.3 kg). average height is 9 to 11 inches (23 to 28 cm) at the withers. The Kennel Club has recommended that their tails, typically "carrot-shaped", should never be docked; hence the tail should be between 5–6 inches (13–15 cm).

They also have deep chests, muscular limbs, a huge skull, a large black nose, a short and a closely fitted jaw with "scissors" bite (lower canines locked in front of upper canines, upper incisors locked over lower incisors). Their teeth generally appear quite large for the size of the dog. Westies have a very strong bone structure for their size.

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They have a soft, dense, thick undercoat and a rough outer coat, about 2 inches long, that requires regular grooming. Some Westies have "wheaten tippings" on their backs, though for individuals put forward for conformation showing this can be regarded as undesirable. Also, some Westies do not have a top coarse coat, and just a second silky coat.

This breed is a dog which sheds very little. As they develop into adults, their thinner "puppy coat" is normally removed by either 'hand-stripping' or otherwise clipping.

Picture of Fergus, Dougall and Lochie sent in by Ali

Many Thanks

Three Westies  off to sea

Loved your descriptions, so like my Fergus (10YO) and Dougall (8mnths) and Mum’s Lochie (5YO)! - Picture attached of the three of them off to sea, at the beach, Summer 2008 in Adelaide, South Australia - Ali



This breed, descended from working terriers, has a lot of energy, tenacity, and aggression towards its prey, which was originally the rabbit and other, smaller animals such as squirrels. This history has endowed the Westie with a bold temperament that leads many to call them "big dogs in a little body." They are always alert and consider themselves guard dogs, although their size prevents them from providing any real intimidation. They are great companion dogs and get along with other animals, although care should be taken when introducing them to other domestic pets, such as cats.

They also are compatible with children. Because of their small size are great apartment dogs and only need one long walk a day, but won't complain if they've missed one. If travelling they make great companions, since they can adjust easily to new situations and people and because of their small size. They are very energetic but tire and need to take several naps per day. Like all dogs, the Westie responds better to love and gentleness than to cruelty. As with most terriers, harsh training methods are often met only with stubbornness. Westies are good with elders, disabled, and young children.


Westies are prone to have issues with dry skin and bathing too frequently may aggravate these problems. Washing once a month or on a longer interval will generally not cause issues. However, frequent brushings are needed to keep the coat clean and oils evenly distributed throughout the coat. Washing with a detergent-free, baby-oriented, or another soft skin shampoo will help keep a Westie's skin hydrated. Weekly washing of the inside of the ears with cotton balls will prevent oil and wax build-up and ear infections.

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Jakey the Westie>>>>

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Like most other dogs, these terriers generally require 13 hours of sleep out of every 24. Westies will usually conform to the sleep patterns of their human companions, and take several naps during the day as well, to accrue their needed sleep. Since they are independent, they can withstand moderate periods of time being alone.

A New Owners Guide to West Highland White Terriers (JG Dog) By Dawn Martin from
"From how to select to how to introduce the puppy to your home and then train it. Sensible straight forward advice."



Westies are descended from Cairn Terriers, who occasionally whelped white puppies naturally, and Scottish Terriers; who also occasionally produced white offspring. White offspring from other British Terriers such as the Bedlington Terrier and Dandie Dinmont Terrier were occasionally introduced to the bloodline for desired characteristics, but this practice generally stopped in the 1850s.

Picture of Alfie sent in by Yvonne

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Alfie the West Highland Terrier

Hi, this is Alfie, almost 3. We love him to pieces. He does tend to spend a lot of time licking his paws which have now turned pink but in general he does not seems to have any skin complaints. He is loyal loving and I can't imagine life without him. I would love to get another I know Alfie would love a friend, he always seems to play mostly with his own breed when we on our walks but likes most dogs and people.

Some sources credit Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm and his kin of Poltalloch, in the Argyll region of Western Scotland as an originator of this breed in the 1800s. Other sources credit the 8th Duke of Argyll (Chieftain of Clan Campbell) as an originator of the breed. However, there may have been some cooperation between the two gentlemen. It may have taken as long as a hundred years of selective breeding to produce all the desired qualities. Their white coat made them highly visible when hunting on the Scottish moors and easily distinguished them from their game (this was an extremely important factor because hunters sometimes mistook brown dogs for foxes, and shot them). They also possess a sturdy frame.

Originally the breed was known as Poltalloch Terriers (after the name of Malcolm's home), although they were also known as Roseneath Terriers (after the name of Argyll's home; see Rosneath), White Roseneath Terriers, and at the end of the 19th century, briefly as a white variety of the Scottish Terrier.

Pictures of Billy Bob & Betsy Boo sent in by Rochelle

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West Highland White Terrier Dog - Billy Bob

This was Billy before I got him.  Fur missing off Paws and Chest.

West Highland White Terrier Dogs - Betsy Boo and Billy Bob

Betsy Boo with her boyfriend who we adopted Billy Bob

West Highland White Terrier Dogs - Meeting for 1st time

the day they met!

West Highland White Terrier Dogs - Waiting for Dad

on the deck waiting for Dad to come home

Famous Westies

  • Imelda, the star of Australian dog food label My Dog
  • Dogmatix, the dog of Obelix, friend of Asterix. The cinema film featured a Westie with black ear tips
  • Doggy, pet of the fictional Souphanousinphone family on King of the Hill
  • Happy Camden, a Westie mix from the TV drama 7th Heaven
  • McDuff, main character in a series of illustrated children's books by author Rosemary Wells
  • Towser, from a UK animated children's TV series
  • Wee Jock, faithful companion of Marion Chesney's fictional Highland policeman Hamish Macbeth
  • Cesar, poster boy and mascot for Cesar brand dog food
  • Gus, Russel's pet dog from the animated children series King.
  • Fergus from David Shannon's story book, "Good Boy, Fergus."
  • Macintosh, the dog of Agatha Gregson in P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster.
  • Eddie, the Westie in the Cover Girl commercial.
  • Bobby, from the film The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby, which was released in the UK in February 2006, and is based on the book "Greyfriars Bobby" by Eleanor Atkinson, in which he is originally a Skye Terrier breed of dog.

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Pictures of your dog wanted

Send a picture of your dog attached to this Email, tell us a little about him or her and we will show it here.

Pictures of Betsy from Rochelle - Thanks

Betsy the West Highland White Terrier Dog

This is my “Betsy”  aka “Ruby”  “Boo” and “Coco”. First picture is her trying out as a Reindeer at Xmas. Second picture is her sleeping on the Job at work in my desk draw. She's so cute!. Rochelle
Betsy the West Highland White Terrier Dog at work

Pictures of Daisy, Bo and Pups sent in by Amanda - Thanks

Daisy and Bo the West Highland White Terrier Dogs

Attached are pictures of our Westies Bo and Daisy at Christmas and their 4 puppies. The pictures were so adorable we used them as Christmas cards to send to relatives. Bo is our rough and tough male that enjoys chasing ducks and catching ball. Daisy, our female, is the sweet and girlie one that prefers napping with my husband. They are the parents to the four puppies in the second picture They are our daily joy and provide so much enrichment to our lives.

Thank you for providing information and pictures about Westies as we love to see each one.

Daisy and Bo's West Highland White Terrier Pups


mi favourt dog is a highlander they are so cute mi favourrt dog be4 waz jack russel now i seen these i love them



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