Westie Terrier


West Highland Terrier - my favorite dog

This is Willow, our Westie puppy. She's about six months old here. Her key features are:
  • Intelligence
  • Energy
  • Good looks(of course)
The origins of the Westie breed have been lost in the mists of the past, although many sources claim to know the truth. Its reasonably certain that West Highland Terriers were developed for digging foxes out of their burrows. Some people even dispute that and assert that Westies were developed as ratters.

Whether or not Westie terriers were developed specifically for fox hunting, there is no doubt that they were used for this purpose because there are numerous documents that describe them doing just that and dating back to the mid-1600s.
Westies are similar in appearance to Scotties and Cairns. The most obvious difference between a Scottie and a Westie, of course, is that Westies are white. Some sources assert that Westies were developed by selectively breeding white Cairn terriers together. The most authoritative source I can find states that this is erroneous but doesn't provide an alternative explanation. Thats what I mean when I say that the true store of Westie origin has been lost. It is certain, though, that the white color was not accidental. A letter exists written by the eighth Duke of Argyle in which he basically commissioned the creation of the breed. One of his favorite dogs had been accidentally shot while digging  out a fox and he stated that from then on this type of dog would be white to distinguish it from foxes. Even after all these years, the white color isn't firmly fixed. One of the main flaws that will keep a pure-bred dog from winning the Westie competition at a dog show is a light tan discoloration on the back.
Training a Westie can be a real challenge because they are intelligent, strong willed and often defiant. One source of information about training is the Westie Terrier Blog. The author is trying to train his Westie according to the principles of Cesar Millan aka the Dog Whisperer, and the blog follows the day by day events that take place as he tries to put Cesar's teachings into action.