West Highland White Terrier Dog Breed Profile

by Luke Blaise

West Highland White Terrier Dog

West Highland White Terrier Dog

AKC Group: Terrier Group

The hardy West Highland White Terrier dog (Westie) comes to us from Scotland. There it was use to hunt vermin and was a very determined dog. This breed only comes with a white coat color. The Westies are some of the most popular dogs in the United States today according to the American Kennel Club Registry.


The West Highland White Terrier dog has been said to be from Poltalloch, Scotland. Because of this, it was at first often known as the Poltalloch Terrier. He has also been sometimes termed the Roseneath Terrier as well, when the Duke of Argyll's property. The Westie was shown in America in 1906 under the Roseneath name, but it was altered in 1909 and has been regarded as the West Highland White Terrier since then.

Physical Features

The West Highland White Terrier dog is a well-balanced, small terrier dog. The coat is always white. Normally darker shades of white are usually penalized for competition. It should usually be straight and about 2 inches long. Any hair that is curly is penalized.

The nose and eyes are usually black, and the ears are usually triangular and upright. These dogs normally stand about 11 inches tall, and often reach a maximum weight of 15-20 pounds. The tail is normally straight, and can be up to 6 inches long.


The West Highland White Terrier are pretty friendly toward other people and get along well with kids. Easy dog for traveling. They're energetic and very self-assured with other dogs, but won't pick fights. They could chase a cat just for fun, and must be corrected when they do try this. Westies really love company.

Common Health Problems

The Westie breed is susceptible to chronic hernias, a jawbone calcification disorder (craniomandibular osteopathy), liver and skin problems. Their average lifespan ranges from 12-16 years.

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