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.
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 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 things to know about Westie puppies:
Westies are not lap dogs.
Your Westie will probably never grow out of the high energy he has 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 him, like toys or games he 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.
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 adopt a member of this breed as a puppy because you can reduce their barking with good training.
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 (keep this in mind if you have one), and they 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.
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.
According to Puppytoob.com, Westies are 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 does not mean your pup will suffer from all of them – or from any of them for that matter.
If you’re thinking of adding a Westie puppy to your family, talk with your breeder about what it’s like having one. You should also have a serious talk with the other members of your household to make sure everyone is on board with the idea of taking care of the new pup.