Are West Highland White Terrier Good Family Pets?

Looking for a new pet to bring into the family has a lot of dynamics to it. You must think about whether the pet will fit with your family. What kind of temperament should this pet have? What type of pet would be best for your family? And a whole slew of other questions.

A lot of families go with the traditional dog idea, and so the hunt for the perfect breed comes into play. One of the most popular (and perhaps the cutest) is the West Highland Terrier a.k.a. the Westie. But is this cute little white pup good for families?

In this article, we are going to talk about this and other important things to know when considering making a Westie the newest member of your family. If you would like more information after you have read this, you can always head over and check out WestieVibes.com. So, let’s get our paws into some of that information you need to make this very important decision.

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Tell Me About Westies – Basic Information

We may have truly domesticated these breeds, but in order to understand some of their quirks, it is always good to get a little history. So, let’s talk about where this breed came from and what the Westie forefathers were used for.

This breed comes the Highlands of Scotland and originally was used for hunting and pest control. Therefore, you may experience some digging and potentially some pest control if you decide to bring a Westie into your home. These traits can all be taken care of with just a little training.

These cute little white dogs have unique personalities as well. They can be slightly more challenging to train as they are very independent and self-aware. The intelligence and faithfulness of this pup will overshadow any moments of frustration during training. This self-assured personality trait does make them a little nosy.

They love to be involved in whatever is going on and can seem a little bossy to both the humans in their lives and any other fellow pets of the household. With all that though you get a pet that is protective and loyal to a level, unlike many others.

How are Westies with Kids?

Westies are generally great with children of 8 and above. Younger kids tend to be loud and full of energy running around the house with flailing limbs and quick motions, and that could instigate some of the innate traits associated with a hunting dog. Though you can train your Westie, these habits of smaller children may cause the dog to run, bark or even bite. So, if your home has small children, you may want to go with a different breed.

However, if you are a family with older children, this breed may work out just fine with a few guidelines. The older child needs to understand how to handle the pup, and once it is learned, respect may even have some fun with a little playtime.

Another factor to consider when dealing with the Westie/children question is how many kids? If you have several kids or are the local hangout, you may want to rethink the Westie choice. The high level of noise and the elevated level of movement could be just a bit too much for your Westie. This could lead to overexcitement, and that could end with some biting or barking. None of these actions would be an aggressive action on the Westie’s part but could still be a problem.

Other Info for Families

There are, of course, other things to consider as well when choosing the right family pet and having all the information you can is helpful. So, if you are considering the Westie then here are a few other things of note:

  • They can weigh between 16-20 pounds. This makes them easy to transport.
  • They are very stubborn and need training and structure of the schedule.
  • They need their humans and so ignoring or leaving them for extended times can lead to obedience and emotional issues.
  • They tend to be a bit selfish when it comes to their stuff. They will not like to share toys or food bowls.
  • They have a lot of energy to make sure they get enough time outdoors will be a good idea.
  • Westies have a long life span (12-16 years).
  • They do need to be groomed and brushed on a regular basis.
  • They do not shed, and so they are great for people with allergies or sensitivities.
  • They can, in their older years, develop some medical issues, including:

» Hip problems

» Allergies

» Skin problems

» Hernias

So now that you have a good deal of knowledge deciding if the Westie is right for you and your family should be a little easier.

Final Thoughts

So, are Westies good family pets? If your family is a small one with children that are a little older, this terrier can be a great choice. They are long-lived and are easy to take care of. They do require a little training and a lot of attention, but their loyalty and sheer cuteness are well worth it.

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