Terrier

The wonderful Westie breed

Looking for a dog small in stature but huge in appeal? If so, the wonderful Westie breed should be a dog you take a close look at. These small dogs have won over millions of dog owners because they are very intelligent, affectionate, and loyal pet dogs.

The wonderful Westie breed

The wonderful Westie breed is officially named the West Highland White Terrier. This name has been shortened to Westie by loyal owners the world over. There are many reasons to love this little bundle of energy. The Westie is strong willed, feisty, can be a bit bull-headed, will stand up to any invader of their home or territory, are very cute, are excellent watch dogs despite standing slightly under one foot tall, and are very easy to train. A Westie will quickly win over you, your family, and friends as they are very sociable dogs.

Closely associated with the Scottish Terrier, these two breeds have in common the same ancestry and the Westie was bred in the mountainous region of West Scotland. Dating back to the early eighteenth century, the purpose for selective breeding resulting in the wonderful Westie breed was to hunt the various vermin destroying crops. These dogs became very important members of the family for the owners as ruined crops meant going hungry during the long, cold winters.

A little further history is given in this Wikipedia article:

The modern breed is descended from a number of breeding programs of white terriers in Scotland prior to the 20th century. Edward Donald Malcolm, 16th Laird of Poltalloch, is credited with the creation of the modern breed from his Poltalloch Terrier, but did not want to be known as such. Other related breeds included George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll’s Roseneath Terrier and Dr. Americ Edwin Flaxman’s Pittenweem Terriers. The breeds of small white Scottish terriers were given its modern name for the first time in 1908, with recognition by major kennel clubs occurring around the same time.

A Westie can be expected to live at least 15 years and do require more grooming than many other breeds. The long white hair is beautiful, and needs brushing on a regular schedule to prevent tangles. Most owners have the hair professionally trimmed short, especially if they are showing their Westie in dog show events.

Coming from the Terrier line of dogs the Westie needs plenty of daily exercise, or they will find other ways to work off all the abundant energy. This can mean you will come home to shredded slippers and other household objects you would prefer not be chewed into oblivion.

Westies are great with other dogs so if you already own a dog adding this breed to your home will not be a problem. For those who own cats and want a Westie you might need to reconsider because of their breeding to chase small vermin they often view a cat as an animal to chase down.

The wonderful Westie breed make perfect dogs for the elderly as companions, those who live in small apartments and homes, and are easy to house train.

Are you the proud owner of a Westie? Please relate to our readers how great these dogs are in the space below.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Feb 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I love having a Westie. I grew up with them and now have my own. This description is very accurate except that our dogs have never shred more than a newspaper. Very smart, very willful & very loyal. Very vocal sometimes, they sing & dance. She will watch for squirrels relentlessly and has brought chipmunks as gifts. However, watch young children as they tend to touch them when they don’t want to be touched (i.e. naptime, and my dog just loves to nap) and kids are also short enough that Westie’s can steal food from their little fingers (very tempting!) accidentally biting them. My westie is very good with our kids but I’ve taught them to read the signs.

    • Lilly

      Feb 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      My sister owned a Westie named Pookie. To this day I miss this dog with all my heart. I miss her as much as I miss the dogs I grew up with and my own dog too. In fact, my dog followed her around all the time and loved her too. He was younger and a pest, but she always tolerated him. He looked at her as his mom, I think. I took her for walks and dogsat her when her mom went away on vacations. Pookie was very loyal and affectionate. I’m sure she is playing in Heaven now with Skippy, Skippy II, Fluffy, Toby and Shnitz (Waldo) and of course, Grampy too (and all the other pets too).

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