Are Westies good family pets? We are asked this question quite a lot. We will try to answer the best that we can, listing the pros and cons.
This article should take around 4 minutes to read, but if you’re in a hurry, we have included a table of contents so you can see at a glance what the content is to answer this important question.
Are you considering adopting a Westie, then great. One of our motos is “Adopt, don’t shop!”. So thank you. Your ultimate aim should be to find as near as possible a dog that’s a perfect fit for your family.
Table of Contents
Origins Of The West Highland Terrier:
This dog breed comes from working terriers that were bred in Scotland hundreds of years ago. Credit for the Westie breed can largely be given to Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch, who greatly contributed to its creation. They were bred to be tough enough to work in the Scottish highland hills of Argyll.
The very name “Terrier” is derived from Latin and translates to “earth.” The Terriers were bred to sniff out and hunt for vermins!
It’s this distinctive double coat that gives Westies their trademark round white face. Westies have a soft undercoat with a harder topcoat for warmth, providing them with their distinctive white foxy look.
The earliest record of West Highland white terriers in the United States is from around 1906. This does not surprise breeding experts, as they are fairly rare to find. They were often called Roseneath terriers which were confusing because it’s a different breed too.
The breed was named”West Highland White Terrier” around 1908 and afterward, it gained AKC ( American Kennel Club) accreditation in 1909.
Are Westies Good Family Dogs:
All dog breeds have their own positives and negatives. The West Highland Terriers are no exception.
West Highland Terriers are usually very playful dogs that are loving towards their family. They are very alert which makes them good watchdogs, but this can become irritating if they bark at every noise they hear.
Westies are unsuspecting, devoted dogs that are fiercely loyal to the people they care for and like to look out for them. They can become quite protective of them and this is a fact which I can vouch for.
Westies Are Hypoallergenic:
Westies are a low-maintenance breed that doesn’t shed a lot, which makes them a good option if you have sensitive allergies. In addition, they are hypoallergenic, easy to care for and make great pets.
A hypoallergenic dog is a pet that can cause fewer allergies than other breeds.
Smart and Intelligent:
West Highland Terriers are very intelligent dogs who can be both quite curious and mischievous. They will find a way to keep themselves busy when left alone.
It’s therefore important to keep them active, both mentally and physically. However moderate exercise will suffice. An hour a day should be enough.
Great For Apartments:
Westies are a type of dog that is small enough to live comfortably in an apartment or smaller home. Again it’s important to ensure that they get the right amount of exercise.
Westies have some issues you need to be aware of. Some of these are:
West Highland Terriers, unfortunately, have fairly serious health problems such as skin conditions, joint problems, eye ailments, and liver disease.
In addition, they may suffer from separation anxiety if left for too long. However, this issue can also happen to other breeds of dogs.
The characteristics that make a Westie a good hunter are the same traits that can present a challenge when you are trying to train one. Since these terriers have a strong prey drive, they will chase a squirrel or any other creature it wants to catch. It’s important for them to not be off-leash in open areas.
The best homes for a Westie are those with adults and older children. Smaller children might not be the right fit because of their inquisitive and active nature.
Genetics play a big part in what West Highland Terriers are like, and the urge to dig is no different. In fact, it’s a big thing with this dog. Energetic and on the go, like many hunting breeds have been bred for a job, in particular, to hunt for vermin.
Overall, West Highland terriers are a fantastic match for most families. Thanks to their eagerness to please and naturally friendly nature, they will be a perfect addition to your family.
As a Westie owner, you’ll always be active, which is one of the main benefits. Being active brings a better overall quality of health. Your westie will love playing-just like your kids do-so they’ll never be bored when your family’s around.
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.