West Highland White Terrier Top Dog Breed Details & Information

West Highland White Terrier Dog Info Sheet:
Trainability: Medium/High
Watchdog: Medium/High
Shedding: Low
Grooming: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Good with Children: Well behaved children
Activity Level: Medium
AKC Popularity: 33rd of 155
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West Highland White Terrier Temperament

The White Terrier is a very independent, bold, alert, and curious animal. This is a breed that tends to be okay with strangers and gets along okay with well-behaved children. However, he can be snappy when irritated. This breed tends to get on okay with other dogs and cats, although they have been known to chase cats but only for fun. The White Terrier loves attention and companionship and is a perky, lively, and energetic breed that loves being part of the family and being in the thick of the action.


West Highland White Terrier Physical features

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The White Terrier is a compact yet sturdy animal, with a perky and alert expression, lovely dark eyes, a soft double coat, and small, erect ears. It is quite a muscular little dog, with a sweet face, a broad skull, and a large, black, button nose. The undercoat of this dog is softer than the outer coat, which is straight and can be harsher to the touch.

Is he right for you?

This dog is a good choice for a family dog if you have older or well-behaved children and want a lively, loving, and amusing companion pet that also serves as a good watchdog. These dogs are okay living in apartments, but if you have no yard or garden you should ensure that he can still get exercise in a suitable and safe environment.

West Highland White Terrier Health Problems

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Although the West Highland White Terrier is largely a healthy breed, some of the more common health issues to look out for include hip problems, liver disease, skin problems, and calcification of the jawbone.

West Highland White Terrier Grooming requirements

You should brush the coat of the West Highland White Terrier regularly with a firm bristle brush, and bathe him only when necessary. The coat of the West Highland White Terrier should be stripped twice a year and trimmed every four months or so. You should also ensure that the hair around the eyes and ears is kept trimmed.

West Highland White Terrier History

The origins of the White Terrier comes from the Cairn Terrier, and the breed comes from Scotland. Once bred for catching otters, rats, and foxes, this breed has become very popular as a companion and a family pet.


In 2006 the West Highland White Terrier came in at 33rd of 155 in the listings, which was a slight fall from its 2005 position of 32nd.

Dog group

The West Highland White Terrier comes under the Terrier Group.

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West Highland White Terrier – Health

Below are the 3 most common health issues seen in the White Terrier. No testing is available for breeders for any of these conditions. Through careful selection and knowledge on breeding stock most good breeders do breed quality healthy puppies. The key is to always buy from a reputable breeder with good knowledge of the breed.

CMO (Craniomandibular Osteopathy) or sometimes called Lion Jaw. This condition is diagnosed in puppies normally between 12 weeks – 6 months and causes severe pain. In most cases, it is treated with Pain relief and once the dog is fully grown no further treatment is no longer needed and most dogs will live a normal life.

Leg Perth – Although this is commonly found in the West Highland White Terrier the heredity mode is unknown. It is normally seen in puppies around 9 months old. Leg Perth is caused when the femur or thighbone weakens in the hip joint. Most cases need surgery but the dog does recover well.

Skin Conditions – The West Highland like a lot of dogs these days can suffer from skin conditions. Dogs that show signs of skin problems should never be bred from, even when the condition has cleared. Housing & diet can play a big part in the health of the dog’s skin.


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