West Highland white terrier
These cuddly dogs are also known by other names such as Poltalloch terrier, Roseneath terrier and White Roseneath terrier or Westy. Their country of origin is Scotland. The Westies are known for their distinctive white colored coat and are known to mankind since the 16th century.
This breed was given its present name in the year 1908 and was recognized by various kennel clubs since then (such as the American Kennel Club). This breed is amongst the top most popular breeds in countries such as US and still stands at the 3rd position (since 1960). They have appeared in many TV shows and films such as Hamish Macbeth, in advertisements such as Scottish Whisky Black and White and others.
West Highland white terrier – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you to get familiarized with your West Highland white terrier: –
• Breed type: Pure breed (belong to the Terrier group of dog breeds). These dogs are registered with the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club, Continental Kennel Club, American Canine Registry, Canadian Canine Registry and several others.
• Height: Males have an average height of 10 to 11 inches whereas females have an average height of 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder.
• Weight: Males weigh about 13 to 22 pounds and females weigh about 15 to 17 pounds at an average.
• Life Span: Their average life span is 12 to 15 years.
• They can give birth to 3 to 5 puppies at a time.
• Available coat colors: They have a double coat and the standard coat color for West Highland white terrier is white.
Temperament and Personality traits
As the West Highland White terrier belong to the terrier breed group, undoubtedly these dogs are smart, intelligent and are very easy to train. They can easily learn several dog tricks and are very confident about themselves. However, some Westies are aggressive and they won’t respond to you if you don’t pamper them or treat them harshly.
Provide crate and leash training to your Westies at a very early stage. Take them to kindergarten classes to give them puppy obedience training if required.
Some Westies like to swim so make sure you make full arrangement so that they can enjoy what they love. However, always supervise your dog when they are doing such activities.
Westies are well suited for homes that have older children (children above 7 years of age). However, you need to supervise them when they are playing together. It will be quiet feasible that you should not keep Westies with extremely small children or toddlers and infants. Westies usually settle themselves well in multi- pet homes. They can mingle well with other pets especially if they are raised together.
Feeding habits and Nutrition
Feed your West Highland white terrier mix breed with premium quality dry dog food (1/2 to ¾ cups divided into two equal meals every day). You can additionally feed them with certain dog food supplements that would contain essential vitamins and minerals that are generally not found in several dog foods. Food brands that you can trust are Acana, Pedigree, Taste of the Wild, Dr. Tim’s, Purina and Orijin dry dog food. Give them only AAFCO approved food products.
Feed your dog in an appropriate quantity so that they do not get hold of diseases. Take them for a 30 to 35 minute walk daily to keep their body weight under control. Never feed your Westies with human food, raw food or food that may contain cheese and cheese products, chocolates, alcohols, cashews, berries, apple core, apricot, avocado, sweets, resins and other things that are poisonous for these dogs.
Health and Immunization
Most Westies are otherwise healthy, but still many can acquire several disease conditions such as: –
Cranio-mandibular Osteopathy (the skull can become enlarged irregularly and often the jaws become swollen. This would allow the puppy to drool excessively and the chewing muscles will become weak), Legg Calve Perthes disease, Cataract and Glaucoma, Pulmonary Fibrosis (a lung disease wherein the lungs losses its elasticity and there is difficulty in breathing), Patellar luxation, obesity, cancer, osteosarcoma and others.
West Highland white terriers should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
Although these dogs may look like high- maintenance dogs, but in reality they are quiet easy to groom and their coat can be well maintained at home. All you require to do is regular brushing (at least once a day) and get their hair trimmed at least once in 6 months. Show dogs will require more care and attention during the grooming sessions and should be given a round shaped cut (peculiar of a show dog). These dogs do not shed therefore they are highly suitable for families that are hyper allergic to animal hair and dander. Bathe them at least once a month or when it is necessary (when they get themselves dirty while playing).
Brush their teeth at least thrice a week and trim their toe nails at least once a month. Check his ears for any sign of dirt, bad odor or redness which could possibly indicate ear infection. Therefore, make sure you clean his ears with a soft ball of cotton dipped in a pH balanced ear cleansing solution at least once a week.
Adopt or rescue a Yorkshire terrier according to various guidelines set by different organizations that give them name and recognition. Ensure that you adopt a pet from a reputable breeder and the one whose parents are not suffering from any chronic or acute illnesses. Do not take the pup that is fighting with his litter mates. You can adopt Westy from some reputable breeders such as National Westie Rescue, Westie Rescue USA, Westie Rescue of California and others.
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