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West Highland White  terrier

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Solidly built. Very deep chest, as well as the last ribs. The back is straight. Powerful hindquarters with well-muscled limbs, evidently proving the magnificent combination of strength and action.

Personality:  Active, alert and agile.

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Weekly.


Life Expectancy : 12-15  years old.

Bark level:  High.


Officially, the first reports about westies date back to the year 1500. The year King James I requested from Argyllshire, Scotland, white dogs from the land to send as a gift to the King of France. These appear to be the first specimens of the breed in official histories.

Later, in 1830, a painting by Sir Edwin Landseer called  Dignity and Impudence, which means “Dignity and Impertinence” showed a small hound that resembles a Westie – most likely the naughty one in the scene.

Many terriers originated in Great Britain, which makes us assume that they came from common ancestors, that is, from interracial crosses. Even in the 1800s, English breeders made a separation: rough-haired, short-legged dogs from Scotland and soft-haired, long-legged dogs from England.

But even with this separation, the West breed had not yet been recognized: the Cairn, Scottish and Skye Terriers were part of the short-legged group. In this way, the crossing of these dogs with each other was common and accepted by the English Kennel Club.

Country of Origin: Great Britain.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  Small, active, full of energy, rustic, endowed with a good dose of self-love, with a naughty air. Lively, cheerful, courageous, independent, but affectionate.

HEAD:  The distance from the occiput to the eyes should be slightly longer than the length of the muzzle. The head is covered with dense fur; carried so as to form a right or acute angle to the axis of the neck. Also, it should not be ported to the same extension.


Skull: Skull slightly arched. Seen from the front, it has a homogeneous outline. The skull, from the ears to the eyes, has a subtle tapering.


Stop: Checked; formed by the heavy and bony eyebrows, situated immediately above the eyes and slightly plumb with a slight depression between the eyes.




Nose: It is black, very large, and gives a profile without indentations with the rest of the muzzle. The nose must not project forward.


Muzzle: The bridge of the nose gradually thins from the eyes to the nose. The bridge of the nose is not concave nor does it fall sharply under the eyes, where it is substantial.


Jaws and Teeth: Jaws strong and level. So wide between the canines that they are compatible with the desired naughty expression. The teeth are large for the size of the dog and have a scissor joint, that is, the upper incisors overlap the lower and are set orthogonally to the jaws.


Eyes: Set well apart, of medium size, not protruding, as dark as possible and set well below the bushy eyebrows, giving the dog a clear intelligent and penetrating expression. Light eyes are highly undesirable.


Ears: Small, erect, carried firmly and ending pointed. Not too far, not too close. The fur on the ears is short and smooth (velvety) and should not be trimmed. The ears should not have any fringe at the tip. Ears that are round at the tip, wide, large or thick, like those coated with thick fur, are highly undesirable.


NECK: Of sufficient length to allow the correct carriage of the head; muscular, gradually thickening towards the base allowing it to merge with the well-slanted shoulders.


  • BODY: Compact.


Back: Straight.


Loin: Long and strong.


Chest: Very deep, the ribs well sprung in the anterior half, presenting a somewhat flat lateral aspect. The posterior ribs have considerable depth and the distance from the last rib to the croup is as short as is compatible with the free movement of the trunk.


TAIL: From 13 to 15 cm long, covered with coarse hair, without fringes, as straight as possible, carried high, but without being sporty or curved over the back. The long tail is undesirable, but in no way can it be amputated.






Shoulders: Bent back. The scapulae are wide and well molded to the walls of the rib cage. The scapulohumeral joint should be forward.


Elbows: Tightly adjusted to allow for very fluent movement of the limbs, parallel to the midplane of the trunk.

Forearms: They are short and muscular, straight and covered with short, hard and dense fur.  


Feet: Larger than the hind feet; round, of proportionate size, strong, densely padded and covered with short, hard fur. The sole of the cushions and the nails should preferably be black.




General Appearance: Strong, muscular and broad when viewed from above. The limbs are short, muscular and vigorous.


Thighs: Very muscular and not too far apart.


Knees: Well angulated.


Hocks: Angled and well positioned under the torso so that they are moderately close together, whether the dog is “stay” or moving. Straight (no angulation) or weak hocks are highly undesirable.


Feet: Smaller than the forelegs and densely padded; round, of proportionate size, strong, densely padded and covered with short, hard fur. The sole of the cushions and the nails should preferably be black.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free, straight and flowing in all directions. In front, the forelegs work freely extended forward from the shoulders. In the hindquarters, the movement is free, vigorous and compact. The knees and hocks are well flexed and the hocks work under the body providing good propulsion. A blocked (rigid) or affected movement in the cow's hindquarters and hocks is highly undesirable.


SKIN: Free from skin problems.

  • COAT


Hair: Double coat. The hair is hard, about 5 cm long, without any curls. The undercoat is short, soft and close. The open coat is a serious defect.


COLOR: White.

SIZE: Height at the withers approximately 28 cm.

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.

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