The best way to describe this wee white Terrier dog breed from Scotland is simply to say that he’s so full of self-esteem that he knows he’s the best thing around.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about West Highland White Terrier.
West Highland white terriers were bred in Northwestern Scotland as working dogs, and were used to clear out mines, farms, and barns of rats or other vermin. Westies would also accompany hunters on fox and rabbit hunts, scaring the game from their burrows. They’re very closely related to other terriers in the area, such as Cairns and Skyes.
2) White Color
The Westie’s distinctive snow-white fur helped it stay visible during hunts. In the 1800s, Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm of Poltalloch, Scotland (in Argyllshire) was hunting with a pack of Cairn terriers, when he accidentally shot his favorite dog after mistaking it for a rabbit or fox. Upset by this loss, Malcolm vowed to only hunt with white dogs, which could easily be seen even when obscured by foliage.
Westies have a wiry coat on top with a soft undercoat underneath. The top coat sheds the dirt and debris that the dogs used to collect underground, while the bottom coat keeps the canines warm. Westies require regular haircuts and brushing to keep their white coat clean and bright.
4) Separation Anxiety
If you plan of getting a Westie be prepared for separation anxiety. For as independent as they are, some Westies are known to be a bit destructive when their owners are not home. Westies are great companion dogs who love to play. They will also let you know if there is a suspicious sound outside of your home.
5) Underground Dogs
When burrowing underground to flush out game, Westies need to be able to squeeze through some tight spots. Their bullet-shaped bodies and thinner, heart-shaped thoraxes help them wriggle through underground caverns to chase after rodents.
The Westie is everything a terrier was designed to be. Sturdy, spunky, and bold, he needs his daily walks and interactive play sessions. Yet he is easier to handle and friendlier than some other terriers. He can adapt to any home in which he can be a full participant and busybody.
7) Around Strangers
Quick to announce anything amiss, including visitors, the Westie usually proceeds to welcome them inside with a gaily wagging tail. West Highland White Terriers can be bossy with other dogs of the same sex, but otherwise coexist with other dogs and cats more readily than most terriers.
These verbal dogs like to alert you of everything from passing cars to squirrels in a tree. West Highland white terriers were bred to have big barks so that hunters could hear their dogs barking underground. Their bark also makes for a great alarm, but don’t expect to use them as guard dogs—they’re more likely to become friends with any intruder.
9) Hard Training
Westies are not an ideal choice for first-time dog owners. The willful dogs are independent and like to do things their own way. If you remain diligent, you can usually have yours fully trained within six months—but that’s a big "if."
10) Sun Senstive
The little dogs have sensitive ears, so some sunscreen is recommended if you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun. Yes, dogs can get sunburned too.