The West Highland White Terrier is a breed of dog that originated in the Western Highlands of Scotland. It seems that breeds get really popular for awhile and then fade a bit. The Weste is a breed that has stayed super popular for years now. Westie is simply the nickname for the West Highland Terrier. Westies are known for their friendly personality and bright white coat. The West Highland white terrier is a wonderful family dog and Westie puppies are as cute as puppies get. They may just be the cutest puppies out of any breed of dog. The Westie, even as a puppy, is an incredibly friendly dog with a balanced character, as long as it is socialized properly. Like most terriers they are energetic and courageous by nature.
History of Westie Puppies
A Westie puppies.
Westies descended from the Cairn Terrier and it seems that the origin of the breed came from a selection of white Cairn Terries that were used for hunting. Legend of the breed is that some hunters found it useful to have the dogs be all white to distinguish them from the dark colors of their prey (rabbits and foxes).
There are two main theories of who exactly is responsible for the creation of these beautiful little Westie Puppies.
One of the main promoters and champions of the breed is Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm, who counted among his greatest passions hunting rabbits. Not sure why he loved hunting rabbits so much, but many credit him as the creator of the breed probably sometime around the early nineteenth century.
In 1905, the White West Highland Club was formed with Colonel Edward Malcolm as the first Chairman. In 1906, the Kennel Club recognized the breed as the West Highland White Terrier. In 1909, the West Highland White Terrier Club of America was formed, and the breed was included in the America Kennel Club registry.
However, there are other sources that support the theory that it was one of the leaders of the Clan Campbell, the 8th Duke of Argyll. There is some compelling evidence that is was the Duke who we have to thank for the Westie Puppy.
What’s In a Name – Westie Puppy or Roseneath Puppy
The simple name Westie wasn’t what these beautiful little dogs were always called either. They were known as Poltalloch Terriers and then as Roseneath Terriers . In the late nineteenth century they were called Roseneath Terriers White and briefly White Scottish Terrier. If you asked the good people at Westminster to have a look at their Roseneath or Poltalloch Terriers you would probably get some interesting looks.
Westies’ weight tends to be about 15-22 pounts and their average height is around 11 inches at the shoulder. This is for a full grown Westie. A Westie puppy at birth can be as small as 4 or 5 ounces. They sure do grow fast their first year of life.
The Westie, is a small, sturdy dog. The head is in proportion to the body and when viewed from the front gives off a round appearance. The blunt muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull and tapers toward the nose. The nose is normally black. The teeth are large for the size of the dog, and there should be six incisors between the canines of the upper and lower jaw. The teeth should not be overshot or undershot. The almond-shaped, deep-set, dark brown eyes are set wide apart. The ears are erect, set wide apart on top of the head and triangular in shape, coming to a point. The legs are somewhat short but not too low to the ground. The undocked tail is relatively short, about 5-6 inches (12.5-15 cm) long, thicker at the base and tapering to a point and should not be cut. Dewclaws are sometimes removed.
The coat color is normally solid white. The double coat (as it is called) has a straight, hard outer coat that is about 2 inches long (5 cm) and a soft, dense undercoat. Their coats are very easy to clean with just a little little brushing with a stiff bristle brush. Coats can be trimmed to the owner’s desired length. Westies do not shed which makes them wonderful for families with allergic reactions. They do have a tendency to smell like “dog” when they aren’t properly groomed.
**Note: hairs do fall season out like human hair. Hair should be stripped not clipped. If you are going for a soft non-show layer it can be clipped.
With good care and nutrition the lifespan of Westies is usually 12-14 years. It is really important to remember this when getting a Westie puppy. They are wonderful dogs and can be part of your family for a long time.
Most Westies are white, although we have seen some variations. Westie puppies can be born with a brandy or light brown on the back and/or legs. Obviously if the parents have these variations they are more like to be seen in the Westie puppy. Their natural coat is medium length and somewhat unkempt as the cairn terrier .
Temperament of Westie Puppies
Westies make wonderful family domestic pets. Although they seem bond better with one person (pack leader) they are really outgoing and friendly to all. They are gentle, non-aggressive, happy dogs. They will also bark at anyone they consider an intruder. It is hard to train the bark out of these dogs because they are so protective, but it is possible.
Westies make very versatile pets. They can play with kids, lay around the house, follow their pack leader, and also have no problems walking/running/jogging. Really their sole goal in life is to be loved. For anyone who is in the market for a tiny pet that is social-able but not too energetic, the Westie is for you.
Westies are fairly friendly toward strangers and gets along well with children. They are easy dogs to travel with. Westie puppies are lively and extremely self-assured toward other dogs, but will not pick fights if their owners know how to display proper leadership.
They may chase a cat for fun, and need to be corrected if they do attempt this. Robust, friendly and spirited, Westies just love companionship. Despite their size, they make a very good watchdog. The Westie likes to dig and bark. If a Westie is allowed to become the pack leader, it may snap when irritated and be combative with other dogs. A lack of leadership on the owner’s part can cause many behavior problems, such as biting, guarding food and furniture. A Westie that has an owner who knows how to display firm, confident, consistent, leadership will not experience these behavioral problems. These problems can be corrected once the owner becomes the dog’s true pack leader. Do not allow the Westie to develop Small Dog Syndrome.
Care of Westie Puppies
Rare Health Problems of Westie Puppies
Westie puppies may suffer from a disease called craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO) , which is the abnormal growth of the jawbone. CMO is a bone disease of growing dogs that is an an inherited condition in Westies, and also occurs more commonly in other terrier breeds including the Scottish, Cairn, and Boston. It has also been reported in the Boxer, Labrador Retriever, Great Dane, and Doberman Pinscher.
CMO affects the bones of the skull, including the mandible (lower jaw), tympanic bullae (bone surrounding the middle ear) and temporal region (bone of the skull, which forms a joint with the lower jaw called the temporomandibular joint). The lesions are bilateral, and consist of irregular enlargements of the affected bones. This genetic disease is autosomal recessive , which means that for a puppy this both parents must have the gene and pass the puppy; unfortunately the only way to know if a Westie puppy contains this gene is when a puppy is born and presents the anomaly.
This condition usually manifests when the puppy is between 3 and 8 months of age. Usually the diagnosis is made after having taken radiographs. Treating the symptoms of CMO can range from simple to complicated. The veternarian will provide drugs that help the puppy to cope with this period, allowing them to eat without suffering pain. Corticosteroids, a type of canine steriod, are the most frequently prescribed medication to Westies suffering from CMO. Only in very severe cases do Westie puppies not respond to treatment.
Where Can I get a Westie Puppy?
A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding facility where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization. In order to maximize earnings, female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little-to-no recovery time between litters. Puppy mill puppies, often as young as eight weeks of age, are sold to pet shops or directly to the public over the Internet, through newspaper ads and at swap meets and flea market.
In a puppy mill, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs–and it is not unusual for cages to be stacked in columns. When female breeding dogs reach a point of physical depletion and can no longer reproduction, they are often killed.
Puppy mills can disguise themselves. If you’re in the market for a Westie puppy, you’ve probably searched online for breeders and been dazzled by gorgeous, Westie websites (and Youtube clips) and the claims they make about their puppies. Sadly, many of the websites claiming to be breeders are truly puppy mills in disguise. Most consumers have no idea how to differentiate between a professional breeder and a puppy mill or how to validate the breeder’s claim that they are not a puppy mill.
Westie puppy buyers should always visit a breeder location, meet the parents and see the conditions that both the parents and puppies are living in. We cannot stress this enough– you must visit the facility yourself to ensure that you’re dealing with a professional breeder and not a puppy mill or puppy mill broker in disguise. If the breeder is too far away to physically visit, we strongly suggest that you choose a breeder who lives closer to you.
Having said that here are some promising sites on the web:
www.laurelspuppies.com. Westie puppies are cute and mischievous, but also consider an adult Westie from them.
Adoptapet.com – matches rescue dogs with potential owners. They claim to be North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website.
www.nextdaypets.com – is simply an aggregate of sellers. Do your own due diligence but most on this site seem legit.