The West Highland White Terrier History | ( 4-minute Read)

West Highland White Terriers, commonly known as Westies, were first bred in Scotland around the year 1717. This Scottish Terrier is believed to have descended from the Lowland Terrier, a short-legged, wiry-coated breed that was one of the most common in Scotland at that time.

West highland terriers were bred for use in hunting, both on the ground and in trees. The dogs had high energy levels and were very good at chasing the small game.

They were excellent hunting dogs, able to control vermin populations. They not only chased and tracked the game, but they also had the ability to dig into the ground to get vermin from their dens.

Westie Characteristics:

These dogs were bred to live outdoors in Scotland, where the climate is severe. They developed a thick, double coat that protected them from wet weather.

They are very easy to train & love to use their natural intelligence to show their owners how “smart” they are. And they don’t need anything more than praise & rewards, so you’ll spend less time disciplining them.

history of the westie - west highland terrier

In the 1800s, the Malcolm family began to work on breeding light wheaten and white Highland Terriers, which led them to create a type of terrier based largely on its color.

The story goes that the red dog of Col. Malcolm was mistakenly killed on a hunting trip, and he decided to only breed white dogs after that, to avoid any more mistakes!

Scottish Origins:

The White Cairn Terrier breed was mainly based in Scotland but was named Poltalloch Terriers after the estate that the Malcolm family lived on. The White West Highland Club was formed in 1905 by Colonel Edward Malcolm with the Kennel Club recognizing them as the West Highland White Terrier in 1906.

Westies In The USA:

The West Highland White Terrier Club of America (WHWTCA) was formed in 1909, by Miss Margaret Tate of San Francisco.

The Club is the parent club to the breed in the United States with its major objective to work for the improvement and promote the interests of its members with regards to this breed.

They are an AKC-recognized organization and an affiliate member club to The American Kennel Club (AKC). The westie breed has been popular and well-liked in the USA for years.

Westies In UK:

The first terrier show in England happened in Birmingham in 1860. Glasgow had their own show with a terrier category in 1871.

Westies have been around since the Scottish kennel club recognized them in 1872 and haven’t changed much in appearance. They’ve always been very social and desire to be with their families 24/7

They can still hunt and have some of the same instincts as their natural counterparts, but they also often get so distracted chasing squirrels or cats that they won’t come back when you call.

Important Characteristics:

west highland white terriers

If you are looking for a dog breed that is small, affectionate, and playful then a west highland white terrier is the perfect breed for you. These westies have a lot of energy and enjoy being active. They need a lot of human companionship and will not be happy being left alone all day.

You might not know it, but the Westie has always been one of the most popular breeds. They’re not only cute but they have outgoing, happy personalities too. They can be your family pet or your best friend in the world!

There have been many famous people who have owned West Highland Terriers including Queen Elizabeth II, Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill, and David Beckham.

The West Highland Terrier has an average life expectancy of 14 years so they are fairly healthy pets to own. They will require regular brushing to keep their coats in good condition because they have long hair which can mat easily.

Great Family Pets:

They are great family pets who are intelligent, energetic & active. They get on well with others in the household but will need supervision when around petite creatures including rabbits & small dogs because they are strong hunters.

West Highland White Terriers form strong emotional attachments to their owners and never enjoy being left on their own. They also require a lot of care for keeping their coats looking good and benefit from being groomed professionally on occasion.



westie dog quote

Roger Caras: Born in Methuen, Massachusetts, he was an American writer, wildlife photographer, and preservationist. He was featured on ABC World News and Nightline and went on to become the president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


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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.

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