Are Westhighland Terriers the Right Dogs for You?
You can look at westhighland terriers and know if it is the right size for your yard, home, or lifestyle, but a little more in-depth knowledge is necessary to determine if westies have the personality for you.
Westie terriers are exuberant little dogs, but owners do report that they are usually content to lie at their side throughout the day. However, once they are let outside, westies will want to run and jump and play. Like any dog, they require outside playtime every day. Westies are not dogs that perform well when left alone all day.
Some people describe them as obstinate and naughty. This is a trait of many terrier breeds, but westies dogs usually have it to a lesser degree. They are very independent, but they are also intelligent and easy to train if they handled in a firm, consistent way. Westie terriers are considered easy to housetrain, because of their natural desire to remain clean.
Most are not described as cuddlers. They are not lap dogs. However, they are extremely companionable, and want to be with you no matter what you do. You can take westie dogs just about anywhere that dogs are allowed to go.
They will bark to announce that a stranger is approaching. They make good guard dogs. They can be trained not to bark, or to bark once and then stop. Although they announce strangers, they are also extremely friendly with everybody.
Your westie terriers will get along with your children if they respect the dogs' boundaries. One that has been poked and pulled to the point of irritation will nip or become aggressive. Some authorities on westies do not recommend the dogs for homes with children under six years of age.
West highland white terriers were bred to chase down small prey. If a cat runs away, it will chase it. Westie rescue organizations report that the terrier's inability to tolerate cats can be a problem. Other small pets, such as rodents and birds, are not safe to run loose in a home with a westie terrier. Your westie will usually accept other dogs, although males are less likely to accept another unaltered male of any breed.
All terriers are also bred to dig prey out of the ground. They enjoy digging and will do so if they are allowed to learn the behavior when they are puppies. Older dogs that have already learned the behavior can be trained out of it.
Westie terriers' physical needs are fairly simple. They do not shed much, but require regular brushing, and grooming every six to eight weeks. It is better to let the hard, stiff coat shed dirt and debris naturally, rather than frequent bathing.
(Disclaimer: Any information contained in this site relating to various medical, health and fitness conditions of Westies or other animals and their treatments is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing the health of any animal. You should always consult and check with your own vet or veterinarian.)
I do hope that you have found the article of use to you.
Good health and happiness
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By Jeff Cuckson