West Highland Terriers-Tips in Taking Care of Them
Description and General Appearance
Westies or West Highland Terriers, which originated in Scotland have a white coat. These dogs are usually medium sized and generally have longer legs than other types of terriers. They have small ears that are erect and pointed. It has almond-shaped eyes that are deep-set and are bright. They have a closely fitted jaw, black nose, muscular limbs and deep chest.
They also possess a thick undercoat and a harsher outer coat. They were bred to hunt vermin, rats and fox which explains their highly energetic characteristic. These breeds are perfect for children but must not be handled roughly. They are perfect as watchdogs, very smart and are loyal to their families.
West Highland Terriers temperament can differ from wanting to be alone to wanting to mingle with children. Sometimes they have the tendency to be either toy or food possessive. These dogs are confident and are independent. They are also very playful and joyous types but can be really stubborn when it comes to teaching them new tricks. They have investigative traits and can be extremely curious.
Make sure that you get your dog vaccinated against diseases. Visit a vet and have your pet thoroughly checked as well.
West Highland Terriers care requires you to brush their coat three times a week. You can give them a bath once a month and a general trim will suffice. Their coat must be hand stripped from time to time and plucked to give way to new hair growth. Eyes must also be cleaned with a warm, damp cloth gently and carefully so you will not irritate it. Use only a mild shampoo or anything that is recommended by the vet so as not to irritate the skin.
You need to take Westies for a regular walk as they are highly energetic. This will help them fight off boredom and use some of their energy. Put them on a leash and walk them around the neighborhood. Allow them to run in open spaces too. Do this twice a week or on a regular basis.
It is best to train Westies while they are young. You can use toys as a means of training them and make sure that you buy them some chewable ones that they can nibble on from time to time.
Height and Weight
West Highland Terriers usually weigh around 15-20 pounds.
Their average height is around 10–11 inches.
Health and Longevity
They can live from 12-16 years if coupled with the right care, diet and exercise. The usual health problems they can suffer from are abdominal hernias, westie jaw Craniomandibular osteopathy and skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, hair loss, lichenification and red hyperpigmentation. Another killer is globoid cell leukodystrophy classified as a neurological problem. They can also suffer from the “White dog shaker syndrome” which causes tremors in the limbs, head and legs.
Hydroxyglutaricaciduria is also a medical problem among these dogs and causes seizures, atavia and stiffness in the muscles. Luxating patella or the dislocation of the dog’s knee cap is also a prevalent health problem among Westies.
Suitability As a Pet
West Highland Terriers’ suitability as a pet is great since they can easily adapt even in small spaces. They are easily handled so you can keep them in apartments. However they have to be given extra attention when they are around younger children as they might get injured. They are fragile and most of them cannot take mistreatment from the little ones who do not know any better.
For more information about West Highland Terriers, check out the highly recommended The Complete Home Owner’s Guide to the West Highland Terrier package today!
Other Informative Articles:
• SAVE 42% off the normal price of DIY Dog Training for West Highland Terriers
• How to Train Your Westie – Dog Obedience and Training Basics
• Dog Barking – Little Dog, Big Noise: Training for a Barking Westie
• White Shaker Dog Syndrome In Westies – Causes & Treatments
They contain some great West Highland Terrier information.
All the best.