It was in the isle of Skye that the Scotts divided their breeds of canines into two categories the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers. The later category was declared an entirely separate breed of dog and the West Highland White Terrier found itself belonging to the Skyes.
A West highland White Terrier is commonly called a ‘Westie’ in Scotland and the following are the facts of this breed of canine that has won the hearts of many who have owned them.:
The ‘Westie’ belongs to a species of dog called ‘terriers’. They enjoy living indoors or in a fenced yard. The Westie has a coat of hair that grows up to 2 inches and has a very coarse or wiry texture. They also have a very thick and furry undercoat which is usually white in color.
The Westie grows to about a foot in height and weighs approximately 13 to 22 pounds.
So far as their temperament is concerned they
• bark and dig up mud
• they are not very obedient like other terriers (they seem to have a mind of their own)
• Companionship in important to the Westie
Proper training and handling will make the Westie
• friendly towards friends and strangers
• understand and treat children properly
• chase cats but never hurt them
• become a very smart and good guard dog
• become lively
People who breed the Westie should note health problems:
• Westies are prone to severe skin problems
• A common problem known as ‘Perthe’s disease’ relating to the hip
• Jawbone diseases
• Lion Jaw syndrome known as ‘Cranio mandibular osteopathy’
• A common disorder of the kneecap
• Common liver diseases
• Sudden deafness
• Heart disease
Care and Exercise of a Westie:
• Brush off the loose bristles regularly suing a stiff brush.
• Do not bathe the Westie frequently. Once month will do fine.
• Strip the Westie of its coat once a year and trim it quarterly.
• Keep the fur over the eyes trimmed at all times.
• Frequent walks will kept the Westie more agile and healthy.
History of the Westie:
The Westie was bred as far back as the 1600 on the isle of Skye and belongs to a group of canines known as the ‘Terrier’. The white coated wired haired type of terriers were chosen to cross breed and produce a variety of terrier known as the Poltalloch terriers. Since teen there has been no looking back for the famous Westie, which has had proud owners such as King James the 1st of England in 1620.
Westies were known as the White Scottish Terriers initially and were renamed in 1904 as the West Highland White Terrier. The American Kenner Club has also ruled in 1904 that the other breeds of the Skyes breed of terrier may be included in their club if the terrier had the Westie lineage. Nevertheless even without any formal recognition the Westie had already carved a niche for itself in the hearts and minds of Royal and common folk alike.