West Highland White Terrier Information, a Snowy White Companion Why This Breed May Be Perfect for You

West Highland White Terrier photo
Small Breed X-Small Breed Hip Dysplasia West Highland White Terrier

Is the West Highland White Terrier Right for you?

  • 1 The West Highland White Terrier dog breed makes for a cute and affectionate first family dog.
  • 2 The Westie, as they are more commonly known, are great for bringing with you on the road thanks to their small stature.
  • 3 These spirited dogs love to play.


The West Highland White Terrier, or Westie, is essentially a Cairn Terrier that was selected and bred specifically for their trademark white fur. First called the Poltalloch Terrier for the region in Scotland they were first bred, and later called the Roseneath Terrier after the Duke of Argyllโ€™s estate, this breed of terrier was used for hunting rats and other vermin. They were recognized by the AKC in 1908.

Quick Facts

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    12 to 14 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    Around 11 in height

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    Male Weight

    15-24 pounds

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    Female Height

    Around 10 inches in height

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    Female Weight

    15-24 pounds

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    Litter Size

    From 2 to 5, with an averge of 3 per litter


The West Highland White Terrier is a smart, fun loving, live wire of a dog. They are easy to train and get along well with children. They are very sure of themselves and might get tough with other dogs, but this behavior can be weeded out through proper training. Since they are hunting dogs, they should be trained to not chase cats or other small animals as well. They are also great travel companions..


The traditional color of the West Highland White Terrier is white, but some may be a wheat color or a white with darker colored paws. In shows the colors other than white will be disqualified, as that is the only acceptable standard color of the West Highland White Terrier.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan of a Westie is 15 years. West Highland White Terriers grow up to a height of 11 inches and weigh 15 to 22 pounds. Common health problems seen in Westies are:


Westies are small, solidly built dogs. They have a mane of hair that frames their face and small, triangular ears that stand straight on top of their head. They have short legs, but not so short that their belly touches the ground. Their coat is made of a dense, white outer coat and a slightly shorter, softer undercoat.

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