West Highland White Terrier

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West Highland White Terriers

West Highland White Terrier Overview

The West Highland White Terrier is an entertaining, adorable, and smart pup. It’s one of the most popular dogs of the small terrier breed, and you can easily see why! West Highland White Terrier, more often called “Westies” than not, are a sturdy, alert, and courageous dog.

The origin of the Westie goes back about 300 years to the British Isles, specifically Scotland. West Highland White Terriers were bred to curb a rodent problem in the region. People called these sorts of dogs “earthdogs” because their focus was on finding and disposing of rats. Although their plush-toy looking dogs don’t seem as though they are meant to catch rats on the land but their high-alert attitude, strong, and intelligence, along with an easy-going demeanor, allows them for any sort of flexibility. 

Westies have a small, compact body, dark eyes, and a high, tight tail. Their all-white double coat is hard to the touch—a likely benefit for the cold, wet Scottish hills. Westies are independent but, once trained properly, become loyal and entertaining additions to any family. 

Did you know?

This breed of terrier was originally called the Roseneath, a sort of tribute to a place in Scotland belonging to the Duke of Argyll.

West Highland White Terrier Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Therapy dog Therapy dog

Popularity ranking**
10-11 in / 15-20 lbs (S)
Average lifespan
13-15 years
Activity level
Vocal and protective
Barking level
Vocal and protective
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

1-2 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Regular grooming

Dog Food

Feeding your West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers need to be fed a high-quality dog food. They require a couple of meals throughout the day on a schedule with some fresh, clean water. It’s important to not overfeed your West Highland White Terrier—obesity is a key concern for some dogs but it’s always good to take precautions. 


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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