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West Highland Terrier

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Matilda Cruz
Matilda double majored in zoology and animal behavior at the University of Hawaii. She’s been an animal lover from a young age and knew she wanted to study them even more for her career. She’s always looking for ways to spread her animal knowledge.

Today’s animal of the day is a dog you may have seen or even owned: a West Highland Terrier. 

Often called Westie, these medium-sized terriers are known for having no shortage of self-esteem. 

Here are some fun facts about this spunky dog breed. 


  • Westies typically stand at about 10 inches high and weigh around 15-20 pounds.
  • They have a coarse white coat with a softer undercoat.
  • With their bright white fur, dark almond-shaped eyes and rounded face tuffs, the Westie has a very distinct and fetching appearance.
  • They need regular brushing and clipping to keep them looking and feeling their best.


  • The West Highland Terrier is intelligent, spunky, sturdy and bold.
  • A Westie will likely be bossy with other Westies, but they usually get along quite well with other dogs and even cats.
  • They can be resolute diggers and determined barkers.
  • They make good pets and need plenty of playtime and exercise to keep them happy. West Highland White Terriers are fairly easy to train, and it must be done early to instill that they are not the rulers of the world.

Breed Facts

  • They were originally bred in Scotland as rodent hunters and have since become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.
  • They are bred as tough predators of vermin, making them dominant by nature leading to stubbornness. Time and constant reinforcement can help tame this ornery streak.
  • Westies are known for being prize-winners and great show dogs. They are one of the most popular breeds on earth.
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    • I have a Westie, he is 13yrs old and he is the sweetest dog I have ever owened. He is a good dog with babies and older people and other dogs and pets. Squirrels are a challenge for him but that is Ok by me ! He does like to dig, but I rarely ever let him be on his own I have flowers and he likes to dig around for lizards and such. If I catch him in the act I stop it immediately otherwise it is useless to correct….. He does require a lot of play time even at age 13 :). he also needs to be brushed on a regular basis, I do a little at a time as of lately he gets “tired” faster. My Westie does have a sensitive stomach so be careful of supplementing his regular “dog” food. Don’t buy any food from China it could be toxic. I have found some small dry kibble at Pet Smart that agrees with him. At a young age his first vet sugesseted I. take small carrots and slice in “match stick ” and put a Little Peanut butter on them and put it in a safe real bone ( got it from Pet Smart) …. he loves that treat. a couple times a week. I also give him once in a while non seasoned small bites of Lean Chicken. I am so glad I have had the blessing of being a Westie parent… he loves walks and has to stop at every bush along the path and smell and some “marking”. Best of luck to you as you learn more about the breed!
      Gwen Ziegler

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