West Highland White Terrier
In This Article Dogsculture Covers:
The West Highland White Terrier is one of the small white dogs and one of the most popular among the small terriers as well. No matter how small he appears, this dog is a pampered pet.
Coming from Scotland, he has won many hearts in a little over three hundred years of history. The Westie exerts some lively spectacles in his family. Westie self esteem basically derives from an awareness of extreme beauty in himself. Entertainment is no more a concern when this dog lies by your side.
West Highland White Terrier personality:
You can never brush aside the West Highland White Terrier in spite of his tiny size. This is an energetic dog who loves romping and busting on some innocent prey such as rabbits, rats, or cats.
So, never expect him to spend a pretty long vacation on your lap. Idleness tremendously mars his enthusiasm for life. He is a feisty small dog who loves a little digging and barking. Westie musical charade or reckless barking may seem too much for the nearby neighbors.
However, he rarely demonstrates a terrier stubbornness. Surprisingly, he likes to spend a bit of spare time for thinking and you have no right to consider it as something despicable as headstrong. Proper socialization can give him a round personality. He loves spending quality time with his people because of an innate social nature.
Apart from accompanying the family, he is good at show offs. Sports, therapy sessions as well as a few search and rescue jobs can satisfy his soul.
Measure West Highland White Terrier smartness:
The West Highland White Terrier is a witty dog if not ingenious. They have captured the 47th position in dog intelligence list prepared by Professor Stanley Coren.
This dog promises spirited existence in the family. He is your official clown in the family. Not to forget his somewhat cocky temperament, we should mention his tireless actions all the way. This little dog is unlikely to disturb you too much with showy affections.
He will come to you only when everything else has been done and dealt with. Barking is a bad aspect but it can be controlled using proper techniques.
What & how to feed:
Moderately active West Highland White Terrier takes his meals rather seriously. Adult West Highland White Terrier needs 1-1.5 cups of daily intake. Serve him two meals respectively in the morning and in the evening.
Puppy feeding is truly a dynamic issue and there will always remain a difference in amount from dog to dog. This quantity actually relies on age, sex, activities, health and so many other aspects of an individual dog.
You can feed him small sized dog foods. You just must not free feed the dog. Take away the rest of the food 20 minutes after serving him. This practice will obstruct some bad outcomes such as wasting and obesity. A 20 pound Westie will ask for 660 calories per day.
His food should not contain too much filler instead of nutrients. Fillers contribute little to his energy requirements.
At least, 18-20 percent of proteins in each meal will provide him with ample energy. Beef, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, dairy items and lamb are excellent sources of proteins. Barley, cereals, vegetables and oats will give him some plant proteins. But vegetable proteins are not proficient in amino acid which is vital for the health of a dog.
On the other hand, fish oil, flaxseed oil, safflower oil, and olive oil will supply the dog with necessary fat. Fat prevents an injury by protecting the internal organs by setting up a protective layer. Bone and joint strength also derives from it.
Tapioca, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits, beetroot, pumpkin and vegetables serve him with carbohydrates and fibers. Carbohydrate is the source of long term strength. Vegetables should not go beyond 1-2% of his total diet. A commercial item must be free of preservatives, dyes and flavors for the sake of his good health.
In this respect, you may want to follow the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Clean water is a vital necessity for the dog.
Escape a few health issues:
A number of health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) will clear the dog out of a list of major physical conditions.
However, your dog may not suffer from any of these below mentioned diseases in his lifetime. Allergic reactions causes atopic dermatitis. Pollen, dander, food, house mite and medication are often the sources of allergies.
As the name suggests, this disease attacks his skin. Ears, wrists, ankles, groin and underarms get affected with itchiness. Proper treatment can heal this condition.
Patellar luxation is another issue for the West Highland White Terrier. In this case, dislocated kneecap will cause great disturbance in his mobility. Genetic malfunction and injuries can bring forth this situation. An X-ray will reveal the whole picture. Severe cases call for a surgery.
Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is the decadence of the femur head. Normal blood supply does not reach this place. As a result, the affected leg gradually loses its power and capacity. It causes lameness and pain. Pain killer or surgery is the usual way out of this condition.
Pulmonary fibrosis is one kind of pneumonia. Fibrotic tissue in his lungs become thicker. This disease of the lungs takes down its oxygen supply. Weakness, cough, exercise intolerance and heavy breathing are some of the symptoms. This is a breed specific and life threatening disease for the West Highland White Terrier.
The dog will live up to 1.5 years after it develops this condition. Craniomandibular osteopathy points to dysfunctional jawbone. The existence of extra bone in the mandible affects his mouth opening capability. Pain and difficulty in eating, occasional fevers, protruding eyes and jaw swelling are some of its signs.
This is an inherited disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killer and often a surgery are the solutions. Cataracts and copper hepatopathy are two other conditions that this dog may suffer from.
Insightful care program:
This is a terrier and you can expect accidents at any time. So, an outstanding dog first aid kit is almost mandatory. The West Highland White Terrier has double coat and it calls for due grooming attention. The undercoat is soft and furry but the outer coat is a bit harsh.
Plucking the dead hair, at least twice a year, will maintain a fine appearance of the dog. His coat tends to mat and you have to brush him at least 2-3 times every week and comb him daily to protect it.
This is an average shedding dog. Clipping is the way to go in order to keep up his look. If you intend to present him at a show, you may need to resort to a professional groomer. The Westie coat naturally appears clean and so, this dog should not be bathed too often.
Proper exercise method:
Westie’s terrier instincts allure him to chase any moving thing. You have to keep this dog on a leash while going out. He will run a lot around the house. Give him an encircled area to satisfy his exercise requirements.
Moreover, you should take him out daily for a walk spanning at least 30 minutes. He is good at fetching, frisbee and flyball due to his inherent romping nature. You are reading about the earthdog wizard. May the next champion of this competition come from your home. They also perform well in agility and obedience.
West Highland White Terrier training cues:
The West Highland White Terrier is a confident and intelligent dog. You have to start with socialization cues in order to put his indomitable terrier nature under control. Its training involves meeting a lot of humans and pets.
In this regard, you have to take him to the street and the park. You should not allow any aggression towards a smaller pet. This dog will rarely look forward to pleasing you. So, training sessions will turn out to be a test of your patience and perseverance.
Not to forget, funny things immediately attract his concentration. You have to make the program interesting with amusing events, treats and praises. Primarily, leash training is vital for his safety. You should introduce the crate as you bring him home. The crate is vital for imparting separation lessons. It will form a good habit in favor of house training.
Obedience training is a must for this little charmer. Obtaining their concentration is a bit tough job. But if they somehow pay attention to your wonderful tricks and techniques, learning will take only a few drills because of their high retention capacity.
West Highland White Terrier origin:
Most Importantly, rodent infestation in the then Scotland led to the development of a bunch of ratters. The West Highland White Terrier is one of the proud members of that dog group. This dog has a unique ability of reaching every nook and corner of your place to find out his prey.
So, he was a much applauded blessing in the old agro based social structure.
Interestingly, this dog represents the same family line that of Skye, Dandie Dinmont, Cairn and Scottish Terriers. The Westies have been prowling on the earth for more than 300 years. Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm of Scotland is generally credited with the breeding of this dog. His contribution came in the 19th century.
The AKC recognized the West Highland White Terrier as distinct breed in 1908. Nowadays, the dog enjoys th 42nd position in the AKC breed popularity list.