Newest Review: ... almost three. We have had them both since they were Puppies and they couldn't be more different. Westies do suffer with allergies and in... more
They Think They're Human
West Highland White Terrier
Member Name: madgoose10
West Highland White Terrier
Advantages: loveable personality, friendly disposition, fiesty characters
West Highland Terriers, or Westies as they are also known, are dogs with loads of personality. Although they were originally bred for hunting rodents, they make the perfect family pet.
Westies are often known as the dog with "Napoleon Syndrome," they forget that they are small and quite often think they are 10 feet tall and can take on the world. They are very curious and courageous dogs. They will be the first one to examine and sniff out something new. I can't say enough about the loving temperament and disposition of these dogs. They are friendly to everyone, and enjoy the company of both adults and children.
I have had Westies all my life. My dad suffers from asthma and allergies to fur and pet dander, therefore for a long time I thought it was impossible for me to get a dog. However, after speaking to some friends who also suffered with allergies, they told us that a Westie's topcoat contains thick hair rather than fur, which does not affect allergies and reduces shedding.
The last Westie I had had was when I was 11 years old and his name was Tucker. I came up with the name because when he was puppy he used to tuck into a little ball to fall asleep. From the moment we brought him home, my parents and I could tell that he was a little spitfire. He was smart as a whip as well. These dogs are very easy to train, and within no time he was trained to walk on a leash, go to the bathroom outside, and perform basic commands. The most interesting thing with Tucker was the fact that I believe he thought he was human rather than an animal.
A couple of months after we got Tucker he seemed to develop his own style of "talking." It was by no means a bark, that he would do at cats and such, but it was a series of as we a called it in my family "woo-woos." For example, Tucker would come into the kitchen if it was time for his dinner, walk right up to my mom, put his cold nose on her leg to get her attention and as she would turn and look down at him he would say "Woo-woo-woo," as if to say "Where's my dinner?" Being an only child it was almost like having a little brother rather than a dog. If Tucker and I were playing and I would tease him with one of his toys, do you think he would try in vain to get it back? No! I'm telling you this dog was smarter than most humans, he would run into the kitchen and tell my mom on me! Two seconds later after he went into the kitchen I would hear my mom saying, "You stop teasing that dog!" Can you believe a little Westie had tattled on me? After he heard that, he would strut out of the kitchen triumphantly and wait for me to say, "Cheeky dog!" and we would start playing all over again. Tucker even slept as though he was human. When he slept at the foot of my bed he would always sleep upside down with his paws high in the air.
These dogs love going on walks and require regular exercise. Once they have a routine in place as far as walks, eating, and so on their internal clocks set and they will always know what time of day each activity should take place and will not think twice about reminding you.
Westies are generally low maintenance and are not susceptible to many health conditions. Most commonly West Highland Terriers need special attention when it comes to bathing and grooming. These dogs are prone to skin allergies, so it is vital that they are bathed once a month with a gentle shampoo. Whenever I washed Tucker I made sure to use shampoo such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo because it contains no harsh cleansers. Regular brushing of the dog's coat will keep it clean in between bathing. Grooming at least once a month is also essential. I tended to keep Tucker's hair very short because I was living at Florida at the time, and it's not best idea to have long hair in 90-degree heat. With short hair Tucker kept cleaner for a lot longer. Westie's ears also need special attention, use a cotton ball to clean them out to prevent ear infections and waxy build-ups.
Although sadly in 2006 when Tucker was 14 he developed cancer and unfortunately the cancer had spread so rapidly he had to be put to sleep. He was a dog that had been with me until I was 25 and brought many happy memories to all members of my family. After moving away to Scotland I no longer had the restriction of my dad's allergies and could consider purchasing any breed I desired, but at the end of the day in my opinion West Highland Terriers are the best dogs around and are my one and only choice of dog.
Summary: fiesty and smart, great dogs that are a good laugh
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