If you’re thinking about adopting a West Highland White Terrier puppy, you’re in for a world of delights. This spunky little breed is cheerful, affectionate, and adaptable to many different types of living situations. These are just a few facts about Westies.
Westies do well in country houses and city apartments, homes with cats or multiple dogs, and are not too scared of strangers. Westies only grow to be ten or eleven inches tall at shoulder height, and can weigh anywhere from 13 to 22 pounds when fully grown.
When planning to adopt or buy a puppy, it’s important to educate yourself about the breed’s typical traits, habits, likes, and dislikes to make sure the new dog will fit into your life.
Here are a few facts about Westies:
1. Westies are not couch potatoes.
Your Westie will probably never grow out of the high energy they have as a puppy. If you’re looking for a laid-back couch potato of a pup, you should probably look elsewhere. Westies are happiest when they can be active enough to burn off their large amounts of energy.
If there aren’t enough opportunities for them to do this, they may become frustrated. If you work all day, make sure your Westie has something to occupy them, like toys or games they can play.
Another reason Westies need to stay active is that they have a fairly high potential for weight gain. Their tiny frames can’t accommodate too much extra weight. Keeping your Westie active and trim will help to prevent health issues like joint pain later in his life.
2. Westies like to bark.
Westies typically bark for many reasons. They are on high alert for new sights and sounds, nearby dogs, humans, and basically anything that catches their interest.
However, Westies are hard workers, and are easy to train. It’s great to add a member of this breed to your family as a puppy because you can reduce their barking with good training.
3. Westies also like to dig.
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. The proclivity for digging can be trained out of Westie puppies, but you should know it’s a normal feature of their behavior.
4. Westies are prone to certain illnesses.
You’ll have this with any breed, so it’s best to be in the know about what to look out for. Keep in mind that you may have to pay for veterinary care for this little doggie at some point down the line. Westies can be prone to:
- Juvenile cataracts
- Addison’s disease
- Knee cap irregularities
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Transitional cell carcinoma
- Craniomandibular osteopathy
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- White shaker dog syndrome
- Hip and joint disease
Of course, just because these health issues are prevalent in the breed does not mean your pup will suffer from all of them – or from any of them for that matter. Reputable breeders will screen their stock to avoid passing on genetic issues to puppies, so don’t be afraid to ask about it when you’re looking at Westie puppies.
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 check out the available Westie puppies!