west highland white terrier

And Breed Information.

West Highland White Terrier Temperament


West Highland White Terrier Temperament

The Westie is a very intelligent dog who loves human companionship and is equally happy to be with them both indoors and out, they are a happy, curious and affectionate breed if somewhat demanding.

Always trying to get into the middle of the action they are considered one of the most affectionate of all the terriers and it is no surprise that they are one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds, however like all good divas they have their issues and can  behave jealously if they feel their limelight is being encroached upon.

The West Highland White Terrier temperament  makes them an extremely versatile breed, they exhibit many of the traits for which terriers are well known, being independent minded and stubborn but are never happier than when they are barking and digging, sometimes they vary this by digging and then barking, or if you have a particularly bright Westie they can bark and dig at the same time.

Barking and digging are major pastimes for the Westie which makes them a fantastic watch dog, but can be problematic so ensure that your lifestyle really is suited to sharing a home with him.Don’t forget your neighbours if you live in an apartment

Children Fun loving, bubbly and sturdy, but introduce early  as they can be testy or impatient with toddlers. Check out these other dog breeds that are good with children

Animals: The Westie being a terrier will have issues with other pets or small animals, introduce small animals gradually into the household ensuring your Westie is not ignored in the process

Exercise: The West Highland White Terrier has a high energy level and will require plenty of walks, training exercises or ball fetching games to keep him active when he is awake.

If the West Highland White Terrier does not get enough exercise to remove this energy, or at least spread it around a bit, then destructive behaviour can occur.

Thankfully The Westie does get tired and when they do collapse can sleep for up to 13 hours a day ( some have been known to put in 22 hours in sleepy land)

Grooming: When properly groomed, shedding is kept to a minimum - will need brushing two or 3 times a week plus shaping every three months or so.  An ideal dog for those with allergies.

Health Finding  a reputable breeder and ensuring adequate pet insurance will of course always bring extra peace of mind regards the well being of your furry friend.

  The Ideal Owner is…

Strong willed and active who will love this dog’s excitable and enthusiastic spirit and be able to provide them enough , play, training and exercise.

As always if you like this breed, please do the research  and ensure that you are choosing the right dog for your own lifestyle. For more information, why not visit this breeds national club or learn more about different  types of small dog breeds.

Comparable Breeds

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The West Highland White Terrier Temperament is Confident, Alert, Feisty and Affectionate

The West Highland White Terrier or “Westie” originated in the highlands of Scotland, many breeds have the Westie blood line in them, all originating back to the early 1800's with each breed deriving their name from the areas of their origin, (Skye, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont etc ) and all were bred as small game hunters rather than as pets. Each breed of terrier was a working dog and had a specific purpose in keeping vermin under control.

Nowadays however the Westie is more likely to be found digging zestfully in your flower garden than he is savaging rats to earn his keep.

Cairn Terrier scottish terrier

Cairn Terrier

Scottish Terrier


The American Kennel Club and others

The traditional colour of the West Highland

the Westie


This is a common term for those breeds that are considered particularly good for allergy sufferers, whether because of limited shedding, less hair, less dander or a combination of factors

Do You Have A Westie? We would love love to hear your story, why not upload a picture and share your experiences, tell us why the are your favourite breed. Do You Have A Related Question? - Just ask and we will be happy to help .

West Highland White Terrier Information and Breed Notes

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© 2010-2015 Choosing-A-Dog-Made-Easy. All rights Reserved.Not intended to replace professional opinion or recommendation. Always consult your vet for advice about the medical condition of your pet.

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Older Children


Ease Of Training

Novice Owners

Breed Popularity

Breed Health




Other Dogs

Shedding Amount

 Younger Children


Active Lifestyle


Apartment Living

Cats Or Small Pets

How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.

How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your  home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily  a sign of how aggressive the breed is.

Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.

Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.

 Breed Stats At A Glance:  1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst

Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds  however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!

A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner  than others.

Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.

Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.

A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot  so think of your neighbours!

Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.

Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.

Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.

How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and  bathing etc.

All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.

How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most  intolerance. Intact  males generally are more problematic with other intact  males

Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.

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