West Highland White Terrier: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: Great Britain, Scotland
Shoulder height: up to 28 cm
Weight: 8 – 10 kg
Age: 13 – 14 years
Color: white
Use: companion dog, the family dog

The West Highland White Terrier (colloquially known as the “Westie”) originated in Great Britain and has been a sought-after and widely used family companion dog since the 1990s. Like all terrier breeds, despite its small size, it is equipped with a large portion of self-confidence and a certain hunting instinct. With a loving and consistent upbringing, however, the Westie is always a friendly and very adaptable companion and is also easy to keep in a city apartment.

Origin and history

The West Highland White Terrier is descended from Scottish hunting terriers of the Cairn Terrier breed. White Cairn Terrier puppies were considered an undesirable whim of nature until a hunter specialized in breeding white specimens with great success. A breed standard for the West Highland White Terrier was first established in 1905. Their job was fox and badger hunting in the Scottish Highlands. Their white fur made them easy to spot between rocks and scrub. They were strong and resilient, tough and brave.

Since the 1990s, the “Westie” has been a sought-after family companion dog and also a fashion dog. He owes his fame primarily to advertising: For decades, the small, white terrier has been the testimonial of the “Cesar” dog food brand.


West Highland White Terriers are among the small dog breeds, with a size of up to 28 cm they should weigh around 8 to 10 kg. They have a dense, wavy “double” coat that gives them ample protection from the elements. The tail is about 12.5 to 15 cm long and carried erect. The ears are small, erect, and not too far apart.

The white fur only stays nice and white in everyday life with careful care and regular trimming – with proper fur care, this dog breed does not shed either.


The West Highland White Terrier is known to be an intrepid, active, and hardy dog ​​with considerable confidence. It is alert and very happy to bark, always very friendly towards people, but often suspicious or intolerant towards strange dogs.

Westies are intelligent, happy, and adaptable family dogs, who nevertheless show a certain passion for hunting and like – with a lot of charm – to get their way. Therefore, consistent and loving training is also necessary for this breed of dog. Westies enjoy walking and are easily tempted to play, including agility. They are persistent and need sufficient exercise. With enough exercise and activity, they can also be kept in a smaller apartment or as a city dog.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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