Origin and Uses: this breed is from Scotland. It probably shares its’ lineage with several other terriers, those being the Scottish Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Skye Terrier and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Also called ‘Westies’ , they were used in Scotland in the 1700’s as vermin exterminators and were also used to hunt foxes, badgers and otters. They were first exhibited at dog shows in the US in 1906.
General Appearance: a medium sized terrier: longer legged than some of the other Scottish terriers: distinctive white double harsh coat: small prick ears: dark eyes with bushy eyebrows: carrot shaped upright tail: compact body: strong and sturdy.
Height: males 11 inches: females 10 inches. Under or over these limits is not desirable.
Coat and Colour: Must be white and must be double coated with the outer coat being about 2 inches long, straight, harsh and hard to the touch while the under coat is soft and abundant. Nose must be black and must have black pigmentation elsewhere eg. lips, eye rims, feet pads, nails and skin.
Temperament: A strong willed and determined terrier with a high prey drive for rabbits and small vermin, the Westie is a bold, confidant, and cheerful little dog, that is playful and full of energy. ‘They have no small amount of self esteem’. He can co-exist with other animals but may be aggressive with other males. This breed is not a meek and mild lap dog.
Feeding: Westies do well on a good quality high grade kibble mixed with premium raw. Feed two or three times daily. Like most dogs, they love their bedtime cookies .
Training and Obedience : They are not always the easiest to housebreak so be patient. Always use a crate when unsupervised. They are diggers and barkers.
Activity and Performance: Hours of activity is not a requirement but they should go for a daily walk. If that isn’t possible, then a game of fetch in the back yard is good too. They should never be allowed off leash in an unfenced area. They do well in obedience, barn hunt, agility and other performance events.