The West Highland white terrier, commonly called the Westie, is a small, hardy, and rambunctious breed that possesses no small amount of self-esteem. They're fun-loving and always excited to do anything with their owners, whether it be hiking and taking long walks outside or lying around the house and cuddling. The Westie's distinctive white coat—which feels tough rather than fluffy—sets them apart from their terrier relatives. And when their head is trimmed round and chrysanthemum-like, their little faces are irresistible. 

But don't let that cuteness fool you: Despite being rather short in stature, there's not a lot of which a Westie is afraid.

The West Highland white terriers are excellent vermin hunters, and they will chase just about anything that moves. Known for their tenacity, adaptability, and affection for their humans, Westies are a long-loved breed (their lineage dates back to the 1800s!). 

Because they're great problem-solvers and total people pleasers, Westies are a breed that does well with agility training. West Highland white terrier puppies are especially full of energy and need plenty of activity during the day—playing, hunting, and going for walks—and will become snuggle bunnies at night. 

Westies are wonderful family pets. They get along well with cats and other dogs, and they are social butterflies that love being around people. Make sure your Westie has continual socialization experiences starting in puppyhood.


Westies are not high-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming, but they do require brushing maybe two or three times a week.

Their short, double coat isn't prone to shedding, so don't worry about finding little white hairs clinging to your couch or clothes. Simple brushing and regular trips to the groomer will keep their double-layered hair beautiful. 

But while they look cute and show dog-worthy with a perfectly trimmed round head, West Highland white terriers are not dogs that particularly enjoy being pampered.

Even though they are small dogs, they don't tend to be prissy or delicate. A really unique feature of the breed is the fact that they can so comfortably share both favored family pet status as well as be competitive athletes that participate in things like agility, time trials, and hunting sports."