Westie Dog Breed Information Centre For The West Highland White Terrier
The Westie Dog breed originated from the Scottish Terrier. They are a small dog with short legs and a stocky build. Their coat is usually white or cream colored, but they have been known to be chocolate brown, red, blue, green and even purple.
Some examples of other colors include grey, black and even silver.
White and cream colored dogs tend to be smaller than their tan colored counterparts. The Westie is a medium sized dog, which means it’s not too big nor too little. A typical size would be between 25 inches (64 cm) and 30 inches (76 cm).
They do need room though so don’t get them if you’re cramped!
Their heads are relatively large compared to their body size, but they still retain the look of a terrier. Their eyes are set low and slanted. Their ears are long and point downward.
They have a distinctive “wobbly” gait, which makes them appear clumsy at times. They can be quite playful when they want to be, but they may bark out orders as well. If you see one running after something, chances are it’s probably time to go home!
Now as with most pure bred dogs, you don’t want to get two of the same color. They need at least one of each color so they can count how many legs each has! Seriously though, two Westies of the same color will probably get a bit confused.
You’ll get them mixed up and they’ll get themselves mixed up. For example, when you call them, they’ll both come!
The Scottish Terrier Club of America, Inc. is an organization for those interested in the Westie. They offer a number of services, such as finding new owners for your dog if you want to get rid of it.
They also let you know how much your dog is worth and help you find a suitable home that will take good care of it.
Westies are intelligent dogs with a lot of energy. They are good at learning tricks and stunts, so look forward to your daily dose of antics and entertainment from them!
The average lifespan of a Westie is between 10 and 16 years. Grooming is required as they get dirty quickly due to their short coats. To keep them clean, you may want to regularly brush their coats and wash them with a damp cloth and soap.
If you go for a run or take them to the park, make sure to bring a towel with you to wipe off their faces as that’s the part that gets the dirtiest.
Westies are considered to be one of the healthiest dog breeds out there. A few problems they sometimes suffer from include skin conditions like eczema, bloat, bone cancer and deafness. Minor issues can sometimes includeailing hips, slipping kneecaps and ear infections.
Now on to breeding! Westies are famous for their large litters. The average is around six puppies, but it can range anywhere from four to eight.
The large litters can be a pain to take care of, but it’s fun to play with so many puppies at once!
Westies are not exactly a rare breed. There are around 10,000 of them throughout the world. They get along well with children and other animals, but may chase after strange people and other animals.
They can be territorial towards other dogs, but it can be trained out of them when they’re still puppies.
The Westie is a brave dog with a lot of heart. They are determined, loyal and friendly. They love to play and do tricks.
They’re too cute for their own good!
Breed #3: Whippet
Whippets are a pure bred dog that primarily exist in North America. They are very regal looking dogs and are quick and fast like greyhounds. They have a fine bone structure with a slim body and long legs.
Their ears are long and drooping with a large nose and eyes.
Whippets range from 24 to 28 inches in height and between 33 to 55 pounds in weight. They have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years.
Whippets were brought over to North America on board the Mayflower by the pilgrims. Unlike other dogs they were not used to protect livestock or hunt, instead they were companions for the wealthy upper class of North America. They soon became a popular pet and bred specifically for that purpose.
Whippets are very friendly and get along well with other dogs. They were bred for coursing small game such as rabbits and pheasants, so they have good endurance. They can run down these animals with their extreme speed.
Due to their long legs and slim bodies, whippets are are not built to take hits like a bull terrier or rottweiler would be able to do. The average whippet can easily be injured by a fall from a great height or a collision with something at high speed. They can be very skittish around loud noises and sudden movements.
In the wild a pack of coursers would likely be killed by anything other than a gunshot or large predator. In modern society they are susceptible to cars, which they are fascinated by and will chase after. They are also at risk of disease, poison, toxins and falling injuries.
A whippet can easily be trained and is fond of pleasing its master. They are best kept on a leash unless in a safe area as they have a tendency to run after anything that runs. They are fast enough that most people cannot outrun them.
They are not likely to chase a person on foot and prefer something they have a chance of catching, such as small animals.
They are very friendly with children and other dogs when they are raised with them. They can easily be headstrong and difficult to train. Despite their small size they have a tendency to jump up and put their front paws on people, so early training is important.
Whippets tend to have a long puppy period and don’t stop acting like one until they are 3 years old. They are prone to getting into things they shouldn’t and wanting to play all the time. They can be destructive when bored.
They have a habit of crawling into small spaces and getting stuck. Due to their weak immune system they are susceptible to disease, which can easily be fatal to them.
Whippets are at risk of being stolen by dognappers. They are either sold to people who want a whippet for ratting or enter a life of breeding if they are female.
Whippets are very fast. In fact, that’s one of the only things going for them. They have a tendency to run off as they are crated, so a safe yard is a requirement.
They will easily escape most standard fences.
They are not well liked by most landlords and renters as their howling can be annoying. Their howling expresses joy, fear, sadness and pain. They are very emotional creatures.
They can also bark, but rarely do unless it is to warn you of something.
Due to their small size and fur they do not do well in hot weather.
Whippets have a tendency to get themselves into trouble as they were bred to hunt small game and chase things that move. If your yard can’t be made whippet proof then they will get themselves into trouble when left alone.
Whippets are not fighters. They tend to run from larger dogs rather than stand their ground. This behavior may change if the whippet is attacked repeatedly.
They have a long puppy stage and tend to act like one well into adulthood. They may jump on people, sleep in your bed and generally get into things until they are around 3 years old.
Due to their size and vocal nature, most apartment complexes do not allow them. Most landlords will not allow them either.
Whippets are at risk of theft. They are targeted by dognappers and thieves. In the 18th and 19th centuries whippets were bread to be raced, which has made them less common and therefore more desirable to thieves.
They are not good guard dogs. While they will bark when someone is at the door or a noise is heard outside, they are too friendly to be effective guard dogs.
They are relatively healthy dogs. They are susceptible to all the normal canine diseases, but are less prone to getting fat than other dogs.
Because of their weak immune system they must stay away from anything that will threaten it. They should be kept away from anything that might have an odor (including other animals, air fresheners, perfume, etc) and they should not be fed human food as this can give them digestive problems.
As they are medium sized dogs they will need exercise, but not as much as a large dog. They have more endurance than a small dog, but not as much as one.
They need to be brushed weekly to keep their coats healthy and free of tangles and mats.
As with most canines, they will eat just about anything. It is important that you feed them a high quality dog food as this will keep their coat healthy and give them all the nutrients they need. Human food can be given as a treat, but it needs to be in moderation or they risk getting fat.
Feeding a whippet costs between $40 and $50 a month. They need to eat a high quality dog food or they may get sick from eating cheap food.
Whippets are relatively clean dogs. They will need to go outside to go to the bathroom, but they do not have the extremely foul smelling farts that other dogs have. They will also rarely get into your garbage or make a mess in your home.
This means that their cleanup costs are relatively cheap.
Whippets are fairly intelligent dogs and are easy to train. They learn quickly and there is little waste when it comes to teaching them tricks or new commands. Their ability to learn is one of the reasons they were originally bred for hunting, however you will still need to stay on top of things as they are easily distracted by things like squirrels outside the window.
Sources & references used in this article:
Association of common genetic variants in the CPSF7 and SDHAF2 genes with Canine Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in the West Highland White Terrier by IS Piras, C Bleul, A Siniard, AJ Wolfe, MD De Both… – Genes, 2020 – mdpi.com
Chronic pulmonary disease in West Highland white terriers by BM Corcoran, M Cobb, MWS Martin… – Veterinary …, 1999 – veterinaryrecord.bmj.com
Genome-wide linkage study of atopic dermatitis in West Highland White Terriers by CA Salzmann, TJM Olivry, DM Nielsen… – BMC …, 2011 – bmcgenet.biomedcentral.com