Pineapplekylee asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Can you tell me about west highland terriers?

I am getting a boy westie puppy in one month and i have some questions...

are they hard to train??

do they require tons of grooming??

what health problems is the breed prone to?

and ive decided to name him Hemi.... like the that a good name for a boy??


3 Answers

  • Hannah
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I want to try to give you the best possible answer! sorry if it is long! Sorry :) hope this helps i gave you the sites i used for my research

    Sites I used


    Intelligent as the West Highland White Terrier is, it is important to understand the whole concept of the Westie personality and essence of who they are. One article says it all, "The Westie is really a big dog inside a small dog's body." The dog has the personality that is spunky, intelligent, bold, independent, lots of self-esteem--and stubborn. These varied qualities of the little Westie terrier breed in mind, will help prepare a person for the beginning "fun of training a Westie."

    If a Westie is given too much at once, the breed will quickly develop the ability to acquire the upper hand, becoming bossy and aggressive to the point of becoming aggressive and snapping or biting. The assertive nature of the Westie, notwithstanding its intelligence, needs to be properly understood to avoid any behavior issues that could develop. But before any training begins, the thing to know before starting is whether it suffers any negative setbacks such as lack of companionship, lack of discipline, activity, or exercise. If none of these are available, then the Westie can become very destructive if left alone.

    Some commands are more important than others-at least to begin with. The West Highland should know the five basic commands plus some-come, heel, sit, down, and stay. Combining them to form a sit-stay and down-stay is also very beneficial for a dog such as the Westie with an overwhelming attraction to people combined with high energy. Stay firm yet positive, always ending every training session with a command the dog does know, even after spending an hour or so learning new ones.


    Their dry coats are a combination of a soft dense undercoat and a rough outer coat. Daily brushing and regular clipping or stripping of the coat is necessary. Very important and seldom seen to perfection. Must be double-coated. The head is shaped by plucking the hair, to present the round appearance. The outer coat consists of straight hard white hair, about two inches long, with shorter coat on neck and shoulders, properly blended and trimmed to blend shorter areas into furnishings, which are longer on stomach and legs. The ideal coat is hard, straight and white, but a hard straight coat which may have some wheaten tipping is preferable to a white fluffy or soft coat. Furnishings may be somewhat softer and longer but should never give the appearance of fluff. Faults--Soft coat. Any silkiness or tendency to curl. Any open or single coat, or one which is too short.

    health issues:

    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.

    West Highland White Terrier puppies may be affected by a disease known as craniomandibular osteopathy, known colloquially as "Lion Jaw". The disease is an autosomal recessive condition such that for a puppy to be affected by the disease, both the parents must be carriers of the faulty gene. With this disease, the only current way to identify carrier breeding stock is if an affected puppy is produced. Therefore, breeders may be unaware that breeding stock are carriers until an affected puppy is born.

    Craniomandibular osteopathy is a non-neoplastic proliferative disease of the ventral mandibular ramus, occipital base of the skull and tympanic bullae, characterised by excessive bone deposition in these areas. In most incidences, the defect is bilateral, although this is not always the case. The disease varies in severity, the region(s) affected and the individual pain threshold of the affected puppy. Definitive diagnosis is achieved by radiographic examination.

    Craniomandibular osteopathy is extremely painful to the puppy. Affected puppies will most likely display signs of pain or discomfort, such as yelping, when their head is touched and when chewing or eating. The puppy may be lethargic and be reluctant to eat as a result.

    The condition usually manifests when the puppy is around 3–6 months of age, and regresses spontaneously around 12 months of age. Treatment of the disease is concerned with managing the symptoms and providing appropriate analgesia to improve quality of life and enable the puppy to eat until the disease resolves spontaneously. Corticosteroids are the usual therapeutic agents used to manage the disease. The exact tre

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is a really great site that provides a lot of information.

    For more convenience I've already put it to the page about westies:

    I hope this helps. Good luck with your new puppy!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Shouldn't you have research before getting a particular breed of dog? Research many breeds, NOT just one

    The West Highland White is cheerful, bold, assertive, courageous, inquisitive and has a great deal of personality. The Westie needs to get involved in everything that is happening in the home. The Westie is easier to handle and friendlier than many other terriers but still needs his daily walks and play sessions. Westies will try and dominate dogs of the same sex but otherwise get along better with other dogs and cats than most terriers. However the Westie still has its hunting prey drive and will pursue any small animals and rodents. Therefore this breed shouldn’t be let off leash except in a fenced enclosed area. The Westie does fine with older children but few will tolerate mauling by young children and they are very possessive of their toys and food. Westies are clever but somewhat stubborn like most terriers and can become demanding if spoiled. They also can become diggers and barkers unless controlled. Westies respond well to positive discipline and training that uses praise and food rewards. Westies are sociable toward strangers but will bark to announce their arrival. West Highland Whites make good watchdogs and do fine with first-time owners

    The dynamic terrier temperament. Most terrier breeds are remarkably similar. The same words are used over and over -- quick to bark, quick to chase, lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, intense.

    Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. West Highland White Terriers are active go-getters. They MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and to use their busy minds to do interesting things.

    Terriers were never intended to be simply household pets. I strongly recommend that you get your Westie involved in obedience classes at the intermediate or advanced level, in agility (an obstacle course for dogs), or in an earth dog club (terriers dig and tunnel after small critters who are secured in a sturdy cage so they can't be harmed).

    Animal aggression. West Highland White Terriers are less scrappy toward strange dogs than many other terrier breeds, but they are still a determined force to reckon with if they decide to initiate or accept a challenge to fight. Most terriers have strong instincts to chase and seize small fleeing creatures. This can make for conflict if you own a cat. It may be much worse than that if you own a pet rabbit or hamster!

    Terriers cannot be trusted off-leash. They will take off -- oblivious to your frantic shouts -- after anything that runs.

    Fence security. Many terriers are clever escape artists who will go over or under fences in search of adventure. You may need higher fences than you might imagine for their small size. You may also need to sink wire into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging. Gates should have the highest quality locks.

    Barking. Terriers are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. If you work all day and have close neighbors, terriers are not the best choice for you. For the same reason, terriers should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, some terriers have high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.

    Mind of their own. Westies are not Golden Retrievers. Though they are more amenable to training than some other terriers, and indeed can excel in obedience competition, they must still be taught at an early age that they are not the rulers of the world. The toughness that makes them suited to killing vermin can frustrate you when you try to teach them anything. Terriers can be stubborn and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    Defensive reactions. If you need to physically chastise a terrier, and you go beyond what THEY believe is a fair correction, terriers (as a group) are more likely than other breeds to growl or snap. It may be because they were bred to become more fierce when their prey fought back, i.e. terriers are apt to "return pain" if they "receive pain." As an obedience instructor, I'm always extra careful when putting my hands on any terrier for a correction.

    I do NOT recommend terriers for small children. Many terriers will not tolerate any nonsense from little life forms whom they consider to be below themselves in importance. Many terriers are quick to react to teasing, and even to the normal clumsiness that comes with small children (accidental squeezing of their ears or pulling of whiskers or stepping on their paw). Many terriers are possessive of their food and toys and will defend these from all comers, including children.

    Grooming. To keep their rough coat free of mats, West Highland White Terriers require regular brushing, and also clipping and tri

    Source(s): The major reason not to buy -- supporting the industry You may wish to "rescue" a pet shop puppy. That's completely understandable. We all feel sorry for them. But your good intentions will backfire, because you are feeding the industry by rewarding it with money. You've emptied one cage, yes -- which creates demand for yet another litter to be produced to fill that cage. Even if you're very, very lucky, and your one individual puppy turns out okay, a large percentage of the others will not -- and YOU provided the incentive for them to be born by buying the one who came before them. So what seems like a simple, isolated purchase actually contributes to: The misery of adult females who spend their lives in a cage, being bred again and again to provide puppies that you and others can buy The misery of these future puppies born with health and temperament problems The misery of future families who buy these puppies and then try to cope with the health and temperament problems The misery of animal rescue groups trying to deal with the flood of pet shop puppies dumped on their doorstep because families gave up on the health and temperament problems I hope it's clear that when you buy one of those cute puppies in the pet shop window, you buy more than the puppy. You buy the budding physical and behavioral problems created by the bad genes passed on by untested parents whom you never get to see and evaluate. Worse than that, you buy into a profit-hungry industry that is hurting innocent animals. Simply out of good conscience, a pet shop should not be anyone's choice as a source for a puppy.
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