Royvon Dog Training Schools

Understanding and Training a West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Generally independent like many terriers, the West Highland White Terrier responds better than most terriers to obedience training. Firm, but gentle reinforcements and a commitment to consistency will shape your Westie to a friendly, adaptable and portable companion.

Additionally, not as stubborn as most terrier breeds, the Westie is still just as confident and assertive. Treat them as the hardy terrier they are and avoid over-spoiling & pampering at risk of squashing the breed's true plucky spirit.

The West Highland White Terrier can be moody, but is as quick to return to its usual cheerful demeanour. Be careful not to tease or annoy this breed, regardless of their quirky character traits - also ensure that children are considerate in their company, as Westies are known to suddenly snap if inappropriately approached or treated.

Many Westies may display bouts of displaced and often bizarre behaviours. For instance, they are known to bark and dig, and suddenly chase the family cat out-of-the-blue, usually without serious intent. Re-direct or re-channel the Westie's energy without working up a lather - this breed is just as happy (and adaptable) to be geared towards more productive exercise and play.

Breed Profile

Breed Name: West Highland White Terrier

Domestic Dog Group:

Brief Description:

  • General Size: 15 - 22 lbs (7 - 10 kg); 25 - 28 cm
  • General Temperament: Active, Assertive (confident) & Cheerful
  • General Description: More adaptable and trainable than most terrier breeds, but still a plucky personality that enjoys companionship, without the necessity of a big fuss.

Breed’s Key Traits

  High Med-High Medium Med-Low Low
Requires Experience     x    
Good Family Dog     x    
Exercise Required     x    
Activity Indoors    x      
Ease of Training     x    
Sociability with Strangers    x      
Grooming Requirements   x      


Brief History

Developed in the Scottish Highlands as a vermin hunter, the WHWT today is one of the most popular terrier breeds enjoyed as an adaptable companion


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