The West Highland Terrier is a spunky little breed. They tend to be cheerful and affectionate dogs that love their families and are known to thrive on attention from them. Here are more facts about Westies:
1. They Are Highly Adaptable Dogs
Their small size, sturdiness, and courageous attitude make the Westie a highly adaptable dog that can adapt well to a variety of living situations. Westies tend to do well in country houses and city apartments, homes with cats or multiple dogs, and are not too scared of strangers as long as they are well-socialized.
Westies are small dogs that only grow to be 10-11 inches tall and weigh 15-20 pounds. Even in smaller apartments, they often still have plenty of room to move around. You will still need to make sure you take them out for walks and give them some time to run, but they can adapt well to smaller homes and apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise and attention.
2. Westies Are Not Couch Potatoes
Your Westie will probably never grow out of the energy they have as a puppy. If you’re looking for a laid-back couch potato dog that would rather sleep all day, you should probably look elsewhere. Westies are happiest when they can be active enough to burn off their energy.
The good news is that they sit in a moderate activity range. They’ll have bursts of high energy when they are feeling playful, but will eventually run out and be ready to take a break and cuddle. If there aren’t enough opportunities for them to do this, they may become frustrated and destructive. This is one of the common signs your dog isn’t getting enough exercise.
If you work all day, make sure your Westie has something to occupy them, like toys or games they can play. If you can, take breaks to take them on short walks. If you’ll be away from them for long periods of time, consider a dog sitter or doggie daycare where your Westie can have some attention and exercise throughout the day.
3. They Can Be Prone to Barking
Westies typically bark to alert you, which can be for many reasons. They are on high alert for new sights and sounds, nearby dogs, humans, and basically anything that catches their interest. This can make them prone to barking a lot.
However, Westies are hard workers, and are easy to train. You can work with your Westie early to train your dog to stop barking. This, plus plenty of socialization, can keep barking to an alert instead of a constant nuisance.
4. West Highland Terriers Like to Dig
There are many reasons why dogs dig, and sometimes, it’s just instinctual. Westies are terriers and this distinction brings with it certain well-known traits. Along with the barking, Westies like to chase small animals because of their high prey drive, and they also love to dig.
In fact, since they were bred to dig and burrow after prey, they are prone to burrowing. They also often can’t help themselves when it comes to exploring things out and about. Just be aware that this digging and burrowing behavior paired with their curiosity and prey drive can mean they are more prone to getting stuck in holes than some other dog breeds!
The proclivity for digging can be positively redirected with Westie puppies. You should know it’s a normal feature of their behavior and you will want to do some specific work and training around this to give them a good outlet for it. You won’t necessarily be able to stop their urge to chase or dig completely, but you can do some recall and redirection training to keep it from becoming destructive or dangerous.
5. They Sunburn Easily
Westies are known for their bright, white coats. Although this makes them easy to spot, it also makes them extra prone to getting sunburned. If you’re going outside, you want to make sure you’re applying sunscreen to yourself.
You also want to put dog-friendly sunscreen on your Westie, especially on their ears, tops of their noses, and backs, which are particularly prone to sunburn. This is a good summer dog safety tip that you want to use whenever you’ll be venturing outside in the sun.
Is a West Highland Terrier Puppy Right For You?
These are just a few facts about Westies. West Highland Terriers can be a great fit for single owners and families who can give them the affection, attention, and exercise they need to be happy and healthy. If you think this could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them and then, check out the available Westie puppies. Who knows? You could end up finding your new best friend!