The Westie, or the West Highland White Terrier is a very popular Scottish breed with a distinctive white coat. The breed is descended from a number of breeding programs of white terriers in Scotland before the 20 century.
The 16th Laird of Poltalloch, Edward Donald Malcom is credited with the creation of the modern breed. The breed was given its modern name for the first time in 1908.
Westie's are very popular in the UK and the USA, and are regularly featured in television, film and advertising such as Hamish Macbeth, Cesar Dog Food and Scottish whisky Black & White!
The Westie has a white double coat of fur which is fuller at the face giving it a rounded appearance. Their undercoat is soft, thick and dense... whereas their outer coat is much rougher and it can grow to about 2 inches long. Their course outer coat is sometimes removed when they are adults by hand-stripping or clipping.
Its a medium sized terrier, although with longer legs than other other Scottish terrier breeds. They have deep-set, bright, almond shaped, dark eyes and their ears are erect and pointed. The Westie has a black nose, short jaw with 'scissors' bite. Their paws are turned out slightly, which give it a better grip when climbing rocky surfaces than most flat footed breeds. When they are puppies the nose and paws have pink markings, which turn to black as they age.
The breed is normally independent, self-confident and assured. They are very loyal and bond closely with their owners and enjoy lots of exercise and playing other breeds of dogs... in particular other terriers.
Their temperament can vary greatly, the breed generally can be very friendly with children, although not always tolerate rough handling... but some westies do prefer solitude.