Description: The White Highland West Terrier is a sturdy small dog. The head is in good proportion to the body, and when viewed from the front gives a pretty round appearance. This breed has a muzzle that tapers to the nose. The teeth are scissor bite. The White Highland West Terrier has deep-set, brown, almond shaped eyes that are set fairly wide apart. The ears are wide apart on top of the head and erect, these are triangular in shape. The legs are short, but not too close to the ground. In countries that permit docking, the tail is docked, if not the tail is still short at about five to 6 inches, it is a thick tail that tapers to a point. The coat is a double coat that is straight and around 2 inches in length, with a soft dense undercoat. The colour of the West Highland White Terrier should always be a solid white. The height of the dog is 10-12 inches and bitches 9-11 inches. The weight of the dog is 15-22 pounds with bitches, 13 to 16 pounds. This breed has a good life expectancy of 15 or more years.
History: The West Highland White Terrier comes from Scotland, from a place called Poltalloch and their original name was the Poltalloch Terrier. This breed came about in the 19th century, when a breeder of the Cairn Terrier called Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm had some white puppies in his litter, he decided to select the white puppies and use them to breed more white cairns. This was said to have been due to a sad accident that happened to his red terrier being shot by mistake as it was thought to have been a fox. This became popular as people sought the white puppies. This dog was first shown in the USA in 1906 and was quickly recognized by the AKC in 1908. The breeds' name changed to the West Highland White Terrier in 1909. This dog was bred originally as a working dog to control the population of rats that plague the farms and buildings. The West Highland White Terrier has been known to take on foxes, otters, and even the larger badger.
Temperament: The West Highland White Terrier is a hardy small dog, and gets on well with children. This dog is an excellent companion and this dog travel well. The West Highland White Terrier is easy to train and they have a great deal of self assurance in their personality. This breed needs a good pack leader, or they can become irritable and snappy, guarding food, and even biting. This dog loves to bark and dig and needs firm guidelines on what is acceptable. The West Highland White Terrier does show terrier instincts and will want to chase cats, but the fun is in the chase, and the cat should be unharmed. Small dog syndrome should be avoided as this will lead the dog to have behavioural problems. To prevent this you have to be the pack leader and have firm rules, for the dog to follow. This breed may be small but still requires walking daily and giving them play sessions will burn off the energy that they have. This dog, like most dogs loves to have a good romp off the lead in a safe area.
Health issues: The West Highland White Terrier is prone to hip problems and jawbone calcification, this is painful in puppy hood. Any puppy that has this, will need medical help, but this does pass at about 1 year. Liver disease and skin problems are also recorded. As with any dog it is very important that you make sure they are up to date on all vaccinations, de-wormings and heart worm preventatives. It is also suggested by the majority of licensed veterinarians that you take your puppy or dog in for a check up at least twice each year.
Grooming: The West Highland White Terrier is fairly easy to keep clean and tidy. All that is required is brushing regularly. The dog's coat will need trimming every four months, with stripping twice a year.
Living conditions: This dog is fine for apartment living and is active indoors and will do fine without a garden, but daily walks are still required.
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