The West Highland White Terrier(aka Westie or WHWT) originated in Scotland and descended for the same roots as the Cairn, Skye and Scottish terrier.

Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm, of Poltalloch, Scotland, bred the white dogs, so that they would not be mistaken for foxes during a hunt.

This breed was first officially recognised at Crufts, England in 1907


  • Hardy
  • Friendly
  • Vocal

West Highland White Terrier Temperament & Size

Affectionately known as the Westie, this breed have a self-assured but cheerful temperament but are stubborn occasionally. It is imperative that they are correctly trained and that the owner is the dominant party to avoid behavioural problems.

They sport a solid white, double coat which requires regular brushing and clipping.

They can be possessive of their food and toys, and they are determined diggers and barkers.

West Highland White Terrier Life Span & Health Problems

Average lifespan is 12 – 16 years.

Common Illnesses include;

  •  Atopic dermatitis – Hypersensitivity to many environmental allergens causing intense pruritis and inflammation of the skin resulting in skin trauma and infection.
  •  Mandibular Osteopathy – Excessive bony growth in the jaw and mandible in young dogs resulting in pain, drooling and difficulty eating.
  •  Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (Westie Lung Disease) – Progressive scarring of the lung tissue causing reduced exercise intolerance, coughing and difficulty breathing.
  •  Legg Calves Perthes Disease – Altered blood supply to the head of the thigh bone causes disintegration of bone and lameness.
  •  Chronic Hepatitits – Affected animals develop hepatitis and eventually liver failure.
  •  Shaker Dog Disease – Causes full body tremors and sometimes seizures and difficulty walking. The cause is unknown.
  •  Dry eye (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca) -– Painful condition resulting from inadequate tear production causing irritated painful eyes and potentially blindness.
  •  Cataracts – Clouding of the lens causing blurred vision to blindness.
  •  Retinal Dysplasia – Congenital failure of the retina to develop correctly resulting in  poor vision.
  •  Lens Luxation – The lens in the eye becomes displaced causing pain and eventually blindness.
  •  Refractory Corneal Ulcers – Non healing injury to the cornea resulting in extreme pain, tearing, squinting, pawing at the eye and sensitivity to light.

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