Other Names: Poltalloch Terrier, Westie Country of Origin: Scotland Lifespan: 14 Years Male Height: 11 Inches Male Weight: 15-21 Pounds Female Height: 10 Inches Female Weight: 15-21 Pounds
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The West Highland White Terrier packs a great deal of spirit into a very small frame. He is outgoing, affectionate, self-reliant, and self-confident breed. Although he can get along well with children, it is preferable for him to live in a household where he can be the child. The West Highland White does like to bark and dig, and has been known to wander away from his home hot on the heels of a chase or a particular scent. They do like to chase cats, but they can get along with cats in the house.
The coat requires trimming occasionally. Keeping their coats clean may at times be difficult, understanding that white fur is much more work to keep looking clean than a darker coat. The West Highland White does shed his coat, and the large white hairs look simply marvelous on a dark couch.
The West Highland White Terrier was originally bred for the usual terrier purposes of hunting fox, badger, otter, rats and mice. His lineage can be traced back to Scotland where he was crossed with the Cairn Terrier, the Scottish Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and the Skye Terrier. His genetics are most closely related to the Cairn Terrier, though.
Colonel Malcolm of Scotland had a large kennel of Westies that his family had been breeding for years. The early breed came in many different colours, that it is until that one fateful day. Colonel Malcom had been out hunting for the day when he accidentally shot and killed his favourite hunting dog, a reddish-brown terrier, mistaking him for a rabbit. He was heartbroken, and from that day on he decreed that only white terriers would be bred in his kennel for the purposes of hunting.
The early varieties were known by many names including the Highlander, the White and Lemon Terrier, the Pittenweem Terrier, the Little Skye, the Roseneath Terrier, the Poltalloch Terrier, and the West Highlander. The first known use of the modern day name is in L.C.R. Cameron's book "Otters and Otter Hunting", published in London in 1908. It has been thought that the breeding between the West Highland White and the Cairn Terriers went on for many years. In 1917 the AKC ruled that no Cairn Terrier could be registered if it carried Westie blood in its first 3 generations, and the English took a similar stance. The first dog was exhibited by the US at the 1906 Westminster Kennel Club show, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908.
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