Is a West Highland terrier, or a Westie, as it’s more commonly known, the right breed for you? Here are some Westie FAQS ( frequently asked questions ) that might help you decide your answer. We sincerely hope they do.
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Table of Contents
Are Westies Good Family Dogs:
There are plenty of great terrier breeds out there, but the West Highland Terrier is always a favorite because of its fun-loving, cheerful and active personality.
This breed gets along really well in a family with young children and makes for a good companion in most environments. They’re also inquisitive and independent so they need somebody who is able to spend active time with them.
Are Westies Color Blind:
No. Dogs can see colors other than black, white, and gray. However, their color spectrum is far less varied than humans.
When it comes to colors, dogs only make the distinction between yellow, blue, and violet colors. Colors that are perceived as being red or green are seen as being located on their “yellow to blue” spectrum.
The retina in a human eye has two types of photoreceptors – rods and cones. Rods are sensitive to light and dark, but not colors. Cones sense color and detail but need more light to do so. Dogs have only one type of photoreceptor – rods – which means they can only see black-and-white images and shapes, with little or no detail or color differentiation
Are Westies hypoallergenic:
The West Highland White Terrier is a hypoallergenic, low-shedding dog that originated in Scotland. This breed is renowned for its fluffy white coat which traps dirt and germs instead of shedding them.
It’s important to note that not all dogs are hypoallergenic. However, they typically shed less which means they carry a lower risk of triggering an allergic response.
Are Westies Good With Cats:
Westies tend to be more tolerant around cats than other types of terrier breeds. Both of their instincts are to chase smaller animals.
Like other smaller breeds of dogs, they can get along with cats if they were both raised together when they were young.
Westies are known for their sweet temperament and the tendency to do well with other animals. The breed is very active and friendly but can be protective of their family and property if raised without proper training.
Do Westies Like To Cuddle:
Westies are considered to be one of the most friendly dog breeds all around, which is why they’re popular for cuddling. They can really be the ideal breed of dogs.
They are small and cuddly, but don’t get the wrong idea! They’re fearless and tough, which makes them perfect for guarding your home. These dogs are both adorable and adventurous; they love to explore their surroundings and make new friends.
Do Westies Shed:
Yes, Westies do shed. Cleaning up their hair isn’t usually too difficult. Even though there is some shedding, the amount is relatively low and they are considered to be a breed that sheds only moderately.
West Highland terriers are wonderful family pets because there is hardly any hair to shed. They are also easy to own and maintain, so grooming is not a big hassle. This makes them less troublesome than other breeds of dogs like Shih Tzu or Poodles, which require a lot more maintenance and care.
Many people are wary of getting a pet because they’re worried about allergies. Pet dander is the main source of allergic reactions and travels through the air, ending up on furniture and floors.
Do Westies Like To Swim:
Some dogs are known for their love of swimming in the water, but it may take some time for others to get used to it.
Like any other dog, not all Westies are into swimming. You should always supervise your pet while they swim, even if they seem to enjoy it.
However, they might not be the best swimmers but they can be seen playing in the pool or a lake on a hot summer day.
Interestingly, they have short legs and a low-slung body that allow them to move quickly in any direction. These physical traits make them great for the close pursuit of prey or for digging into the ground for food.
Do Westies Bark A Lot:
Westies are not yappy dogs, but it’s true they do bark. Dog barks can be quite frustrating. They can wake up the whole neighborhood, scare the mailman, and make your dog look like a crazy animal.
But believe it or not, there are times when your dog is really trying to communicate with you. Sometimes they’re trying to tell you that something is out of place in your home or that they’re stressed. Other times they just don’t know when to stop.
Do Westies Need A Lot Of Exercise:
The West Highland White Terrier is a small breed. They are energetic and need to be provided with regular exercise – ideally an hour or so each day. They enjoy the same activities that other dogs like to do. This breed is always keen on action.
Since westies can’t run long distances like other breeds, they need to take advantage of other forms of exercise. They should be taken on walks and given plenty of opportunities to play outside. Westies also enjoy activities like swimming and digging holes in the backyard.
Are Westies and Scotties The Same:
Both dogs originate from Scotland and are similar in type. The primary difference is, that Westies are always white while Scotties can be a variety of colors.
Both dog breeds have coats made up of short, wire-like hairs and long, soft hairs to protect them from harsh Scottish weather. Double coats help keep them warm and insulated.
West Highland white terriers and Scottish terriers are roughly the same sizes, but Westies on average have a slightly longer body than Scottys. They can both make great pets; just be sure to take them out on walks!
Do Westies Chew a Lot:
Yes, Westies are chewers. They can chew through any number of items and tend to do the most damage with their mouths. It’s always a great idea to divert their attention with strong durable toys.
Dogs chew because they’re teething, or they’re bored and because it’s a natural activity for them. They will also chew on things like furniture and other items in their environment. This can be frustrating for owners who want to prevent this behavior, but there are ways to work through this issue with your pup.
How Long Does A Westie Live:
On average, the lifespan of a West Highland Terrier is around 12 – 16 years.
Are West Highland Terriers Expensive:
Westie puppies’ adoption fees in the US can go from a thousand to two thousand dollars. In the UK, prices range from six hundred pounds up to seven hundred fifty pounds. In Australia, the average price is around a thousand dollars.
The prices will depend largely on the quality of the breeder and also on the puppy’s lineage.
Do Westies Sleep A Lot:
In order to stay healthy, they need more rest than most humans do. Similar to a lot of other breeds of dogs, they tend to sleep for much longer periods.
Are Male or Female Westies Better:
The Westie is known for being clever, independent, and confident regardless of their sex.
Females are usually smaller and slightly more assertive. They tend to be better at training and learn things more quickly.
Males, on the other hand, can be more of a challenge as they actively seek out ways to dominate humans and pets. For this reason, males are usually calmer about training and take their time to learn things.
Do Westies Suffer From Hearing Loss:
Senior Westies are known to have a longer life expectancy than any other breed. However, they are also quite prone to hearing loss and it is highly recommended that they have their ear canals checked regularly.
There is no cure for this condition, but there are many ways to treat and manage it. Take them to the vet for a thorough examination.
Can Westies Be Left Alone For Eight hours:
Westies have been found to be more independent than other dog breeds and will tolerate being left alone, as long as they have things to do to keep themselves busy.
However, a bored Westie or most other dogs may become destructive, so it’s best not to leave them for longer than a few hours and have someone check in on them whilst you’re out.
Why Do Westies Lick Their Paws:
Dogs lick their paws to soothe anxious feelings. Anxiety is a serious issue and can manifest in many different ways. The most common types of anxiety in dogs are; depression, separation anxiety, and illness.
Another reason is that they’re not feeling well. If your inspection doesn’t find anything wrong, take them to the vet to figure out what’s up.
Click here for more information on why your westie licks its paws.
Do Westies Dig a Lot:
Yes. You probably know that Westies are great at digging, but did you know that they tend to get in the way of our chores? They are so good at digging, sometimes they make messes and burrows in places we don’t want them to.
Westies are natural diggers and if they’re not taught what to dig for will continue to look for anything they can find.
Why Do Westies Eat Dirt:
Dogs seem pretty indestructible, but all living things get sick. One way they might self-medicate is by eating dirt to self-soothe an upset stomach or prevent belly aches. Dogs are also capable of eating something that could be making them sick, and in order to feel better they may vomit it up.
Another reason is when animals are deficient in essential minerals, they will eat dirt to try to get those minerals back. This is known as pica. This behavior can occur in dogs and cats, with the most common mineral deficiencies being iodine, calcium, and zinc.
Click here for more information on the causes of why Westies eat dirt.
Are Westies Destructive:
Westies are a great breed of dog, but they can be destructive if they aren’t getting the attention or exercise that they want or need. They are clever, energetic, and intelligent dogs that need a ton of mental stimulation.
They need to be given jobs to do and lots of exercises. Westies thrive when they have a lot of activities to do and people to interact with.
Why Do Westies Sleep On Their Back:
Why do dogs sleep on their backs with their legs in the air? They may sleep this way to keep cool.
This allows their stomach to be exposed and cool off which decreases the chances of them sleeping too deeply. This position can also mean that they’re enjoying themselves and trusting you.
Why Do Westies Roll In Poop:
The dog will roll in the smell of its prey to disguise its scent so as to not scare it away. This is a necessary step for a successful hunt, and experts agree that dogs have an instinctual understanding of this.
Their instincts are thousands of years old and were handed down from ancestors who learned through trial and error that this is the best way to hunt.
Why Does a Westies Skin Turn Black:
Alopecia X also known as black skin disease, is an autoimmune skin disorder that specifically affects Westies.
It is a skin disorder that results in patches of hair loss on the surface of the dog’s skin. The specific breed this is most often seen in is Westies. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, poor nutrition, hormones, and stress. It’s primarily seen in males.
When Do Westies Stop Teething:
Puppies will typically start teething between two to three weeks of age. Teething can last for months; it begins when their first punch tooth starts to come through.
Teething in puppies is a natural process that usually ends by the age of eight to nine months. It may not be a topic that is in most people’s minds, but for many dog owners, teething in puppies can be worrisome.
Why Do Westies Stare At You:
It is a common misconception that dogs just lick when they are affectionate. Our best friends have the ability to express their emotions by looking into our eyes.
When they look at us, they may lower their head and make eye contact with us indicating their love and respect for our dominance. This can be seen in a variety of ways, but usually involves them looking up at you with their ears back and tail
Seeing your dog’s face is like seeing your best friend. This is because of the chemicals released, one of which is the ‘love hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin triggers a sense of trust and love and can help with bonding too.
What Is Westie Jaw:
West Highland terriers are more prone to Craniomandibular Osteopathy, which causes pain when the mouth is opened (especially if the jaws are touching) and can cause a lack of appetite.
Are Westies Better In Pairs:
Dogs are pack animals and this is how they survived in the wild. They also have advantages when living with other dogs as a pack as they get to know each other quickly and form strong bonds.
That’s not all. You also feel comforted knowing they have a best friend by their side at all times, who also doubles as an awesome playmate!
It also can’t be denied that watching the pair of westies play together just feels special and you find yourself suddenly thinking of what your home would do without such a pet.
Are Westies Always White:
Westies come with a double coat. The white, straight outercoat is two inches long and the soft undercoat is one inch long. They have only one coat color which is white.
They are great dogs, known for their high energy and intelligence. They’ve been around for a long time and are a popular choice thanks to their friendly demeanor.
Are Westies Loyal:
A Westie might not be the perfect lap-sitter, but they’re highly sociable and people-oriented. They make great companions in a variety of settings and are deeply devoted and loyal pets. They have a wonderful sense of humor that their owners will love.
Are Westies Good For Seniors:
Various studies have indicated that Westies are actually perfect companions for elderly people. They have been found to be one of the most friendly breeds of dogs which is a major plus for a companion for a senior. They are also intelligent and quick learners.
In addition, the West Highland White Terrier is a small breed of dog that stands about 10-11″ tall.
Are Westies Bow Legged:
Yes. Westies can become bow-legged. In simple terms, bowing out is a leg deformity that causes the legs to appear curved or bowed out rather than straight. It happens mostly in puppies but adult dogs can also suffer from it.
Are Westies Double Coated:
West Highland terriers have a double coat which is white. The outer coat is straight, long, and hard whilst the undercoat is soft.
Are Westies Ears Cropped:
Westies should never have cropped ears and anyway they always look better with their perky ears on top.
When Are Westies Fully Grown:
Smaller breeds like the Westie will often take about six to eight months before they are grown, but will then take from twelve to sixteen months to grow to a full size according to their gender.
Typically, males are about eleven inches tall and weigh around fifteen to twenty-two pounds. Females are roughly ten inches in height and weigh around thirteen to sixteen pounds.
How Long Are Westies In Heat:
Westies can have a heat cycle of three to four weeks. It can start on average when the dog is around six to eight months old, and then happens twice yearly.
Why Are Westie Paws Brown:
It looks like the main cause of this problem is when dogs lick their paws. If you have noticeable stains around the paw area, then saliva may be to blame.
An obsessive licking habit may find your dog staining his or her fur with porphyrins, which are usually pink or reddish-brown in color.
Are Westies Velcro Dogs:
In general, some dog breeds are more clingy and affectionate than others. They are called “Velco Dogs”. These breeds will stick to you like glue. They’re companions for life, and you’ll never be lonely when they’re around.
Although Westies can be high-energy, these dogs are completely devoted to their loved ones. Once they’ve formed a connection with you, your Westie will want to be everywhere you are.
Do Westies Shed a Lot:
You won’t have a whole lot of hair lying around if you keep your pup brushed regularly. If they’re groomed, there’ll be much less hair on the ground as well.
Are Westies Good Ratters:
Westies are excellent hunters, and they are energetic and determined. They are one of the terrier breeds which are known for hunting vermin on rough terrains.
These dogs are very smart and intelligent, although they may not be trained to hunt, they know their family history, and the instinct to hunt is still present in them. It’s very natural for them to go running after a rat or a squirrel if they see one.
Are Westies Prone To Cancer:
West Highland White Terriers have a higher chance of getting Lymphoma than other breeds. The diseased cells are called lymphocytes, which are one type of white blood cell.
White blood cells can be found in any part of the body, so detecting cancer might not be easy to spot.
Are Westies Aggressive:
Westies don’t display any genetic signature for aggressive behaviors, like biting, growling, snarling, lunging, and barking.
However, they can be easy to excite and some may learn aggressive behavior from neglect. They’re also prolific barkers, but this is not a display of aggression in most cases.
Are Westies Tails Docked:
The West Highland White Terrier is a sturdy dog that looks confident and walks with power and determination. It has a carrot-shaped tail, so it’s never docked, or never should be.
Are There Minature Westies:
Smaller westies are known as teacup westies, and like other teacup dogs, they are bred to be as tiny as possible. Spunky and adorable, these minuscule creatures look like toys who will steal your heart and become your new best friend in no time!
How Big Does a Westie Grow:
The West Highland terrier is a short-legged terrier breed and grows to around 10 or 11 inches tall. It can weigh on average around 14 to 20 pounds.
Why do Westies Smell Bad:
Westies smell like regular dogs. The smell is not as strong because of their wiry, smooth coat. However, they still need to be bathed and groomed regularly to minimize odor!
Some dogs often suffer from a type of yeast infection called dermatitis and tend to give off a terrible odor. At first, you may question their cleanliness but it’s actually for an entirely different reason. A veterinarian is needed to diagnose this condition and will clear up with treatment.
Why Does A Westies Skin Turn Black:
This is most likely a yeast infection. Without treatment, the skin becomes black, hair falls out and the ears get infected. It’s caused by allergies in Westies that affect their skin health
Treatment for this condition includes antibiotics, antihistamines, and other medicines. It also includes topical treatment in the affected area.
Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for your information only. It may not be construed as medical advice. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals or veterinarians on any matter relating to their pet’s health and well-being. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.