West Highland White Terrier

Group 2: Terriers
Height: 28 cm

Energy Level:  Moderate to high
Original Function: Hunting
Lifespan: 12 – 14 yrs

Recommended for: Most people/families.

West Highland White Terrier

About This Breed

The West Highland White Terrier sometimes known as the Poltalloch Terrier or the Roseneath Terrier were selectively breed for its white coat so they would be highly visible in the field. Like other Scottish breeds they are a great working dog.

Intelligent friendly, playful and alert, they make great family pets liking lots of adult or children’s company. They are very brave and make great watchdogs. Avid hunters and can eradicate vermin but no road-sense. Do not allow off the lead unless you have control.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Small sized body. Head thickly coated with hair, dark eyes looking from under heavy eyebrows (bones), imparting a piercing look. Small erect ears. The tail is 12 – 15cm long, which when dog is mature.
Strongly built; deep in chest and back ribs; level back and powerful quarters on muscular legs and exhibiting in a marked degree a great combination of strength and activity.

Temperament: Alert, gay, courageous, self-reliant but friendly.

Characteristics: Small, active, game, hardy, proud.

Colour: White, pigmentation of nose, pads and nails should be black.

Coat: Medium length, harsh, straight.

Breed standard states “Colour pure white, must be double coated. The outer coat consists of hard hair, about 5 cm long, free from any curl. The undercoat, which resembles fur, is short, soft and close. Open coats in the ring are not desirable.

Grooming: Their coats are high maintenance and should be groomed, by first brushing the coat away from the skin and then combing it flat, removing all the knots (the soft lint- type undercoat stops dirt and matter from penetrating the skin) at least 3 times per week. The coat should be harsh, straight and not wavy – free from any curl.
Regular bathing is not desired, due to washing out their natural oils which can cause skin complaints.
Stripping of the coat is the best way to keep the coat harsh.
Particular attention should be paid around the anus, trimming the hair to keep it clean and checking the pads for burrs, grass-seeds and clogs of dirt that capture in the hairs of the pad. Toenails should be regularly tipped to keep the feet tidy and the dewclaws need attention to stop them from growing and curling into the skin of the legs.

Exercise: Regular walk and exercise.

Health: They can be susceptible to skin allergies. It is recommended to buy from a registered breeder.