Poltallock, Scotland – that’s where you first found me. The West Highland terrier was bred by the Malcolm family for several generations. So if you ever buy me a tartan coat – Malcolm is where my loyalty lies. I do very well in the show ring for being well turned out and very dapper.
What do I look like?
I only come in one colour – yes, you guessed it, white! So keep a good eye on me in the snow. If I often look like I’m laughing, that’s because I probably am – us Westies share a great secret unknown to anyone. We’re squarely built with a lot of white fur. For show purposes my eyes should be as dark as possible and set wide apart. My ears are small, erect and pointed. My legs are short but strong and my tail is the window to my mood – typically straight and wagging jauntily.
What do I need from you?
I love to play so all that I really need is time to play and release all my energy. I can play lots of games, particularly with a ball, but I don’t do twister – my legs just don’t reach those hard to find shapes.
What I will give in return
I’ll give lots of love and happiness. I’m incredibly loyal and love being around people. I’m a good guard dog – always alert and I’ve got a loud, shrill bark. One word of warning though, West Highland terriers don’t always mix well with dogs we don’t know well and we’ll often let them know it. Hard to explain, but has something to do with our Westie secret.
How big will I get?
I’m under no illusions, I’ll never make the doggie basketball team. But I’m comfortable in my own skin, all 16lb-19lb (6.5kg-7.5kg) of it, which stretches up to around 11in (28cm) on a good day.
How long should I be around for?
West Highland terriers are hardy creatures and that means we can live long lives – up to 16 years is not uncommon.
How big is our litter?
Not particularly big but possibly up to 8 and maybe as low as 3.
The Duke of Wellington loved West Highland terriers. Rumour has it he consulted us on all of his major strategic military decisions.
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.