Breeds 101

West Highland White Terrier


The West Highland White Terrier originated in Scotland in the 1800’s; one of the Scottish Terriers used to hunt fox, badger, and other pests.

The Cairn occasionally used to produce white puppies; The Malcolm family, of Scotland, selectively bred these, producing a breed easily visible on the Scottish moors. The West Highland White and Cairn Terriers share a common ancestry, selective breeding has produced breeds with quite different personalities.

The West Highland White Terrier (along with the Scottish Terrier) is recognized worldwide because of the part it plays in advertising a Scotch whisky. White color is also a fashionable colour for dogs, signifying good luck, or simply cleanliness.

The compact but hardy Westie was originally known as the Poltalloch Terrier, after the home of Westie breeder; the breed was also known for a time as the Roseneath Terrier, named for the estate of the Duke of Argyle.

The confident West Highland White Terrier excels in competitions and has become one of the most popular pet Terriers; The Westie is very popular in North America, Great Britain, Europe and Japan. The breed has a very high incidence of allergic skin conditions, and an excitable temperament; It thrives on plenty of attention and regular exercise.


Small; Females: 10 inches, 13 to 18 pounds; Males: 11 inches, 15 to 20 pounds.




Affectionate, friendly, devoted, curious, alert, loves to bark and dig; good with children, but not with small animals.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active owner with active family.


Daily exercise (short to moderate walk, backyard game); leash; fenced yard; consistent training; combing two times a week and shaping every three months.

Life expectancy:

12 to 14 years.