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Owning A West Highland White Terrier : Breeder Recommendations

If you are considering adding a West Highland White Terrier to your family, you will be getting a dog with history dating back to Scotland in the mid-1800s, where a breeder of the Cairn Terrier saw that he had some white pups in a litter.

Selective breeding of these white puppies meant that in the rural areas of that country, the white Cairn became the West Highland White Terrier.


Things to Know Before Getting A West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is a very popular breed because of its personality and its smaller size. It remains active throughout its 15 years of life and does well with well-behaved children. With proper care and a bit of training to help it fit into your lifestyle, the West Highland White can be a wonderful family companion.

Of course, one of the key things to consider when buying any dog, especially purebred is working with a breeder you feel comfortable with, knowing you will get honest, straightforward answers to your questions. Remember that all puppies are cute and adorable, so you do need to use some caution in making your choice.

Visit as many reputable breeders as you can. If you are uncertain about where to begin, you can always contact the American Kennel Club or a West Highland White Terrier club for help in getting a list of quality, licensed breeders from which to choose. One of the real benefits of buying from a top-quality, recommended breeder is that you will get a properly raised puppy that has started its life by learning to socialize with others.

This can save a great deal of effort later in the dog’s life, as you train and care for it. In fact, top breeders are very careful to socialize and play with puppies during the first weeks of their life, as well as making sure the puppy begins with a good diet.


Owning A West Highland White Terrier


There is also a strong club network devoted to West Highland White Terriers that focuses on proper care of Westies and making sure that the dogs find good homes. In addition, the many older dogs at rescue and rehabilitation sites need a good home and currently do not have one. The reasons vary but this alternative to getting the West Highland White Terrier is one you may want to consider for your family.

Some of the things you should look for, and expect as the dog grows older, are a sturdy appearance and a healthy looking coat. The Westie should have small pointed ears that stand erect, giving the dog an alert appearance. The West Highland White Terrier is generally a compact, sturdy dog, though it is a smaller dog. Experts say it is best to choose a dog with a well-balanced look and an energetic gait.

There are a few health concerns unique to Westies and some similar terriers, including allergies of the skin caused by grass, pollen and other irritants. West Highland White Terriers and other small breeds may also develop Perthes disease, a condition of the hip joint. Working with a good breeder may eliminate many of these genetic health conditions.

As you talk with various breeders, ask about guarantees for your new dog. It may be hard to imagine something serious happening to your new pet, but it is best to prepare for the chance that your puppy may become seriously ill or die soon after you bring it home.

If this happens, make sure the breeder has put a replacement or money-back clause in writing. It is important to ask a lot of questions to clear up any doubts and questions you may have.

It is always better to have too much information than not enough when you add a Westie to your family.


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