Westie Training Suggestions for 2023 – How to Get a Better West Highland White Terrier (Important!)

Westie Training Suggestions

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Kunthida

Westie Training Suggestions

Westie Training Tips – How to Have a Happy Pet

Westie training is not just about teaching your dog to fetch balls or uncover concealed toys. It is about imparting awareness to your pet to help him find out how to act correctly.

Training a Westie is not hard considering that they are naturally well-behaved breeds.

As the owner or potential owner, you just have to find out more about them, especially their temperament and characteristics, to determine what training method is ideal. Training a Westie, or other dog breeds, in general, is one of the most crucial parts of every dog’s life.

During this period, they need to learn not only how to sit, stay or come on command but they must also understand that barking when visitors are standing by the front door, jumping on them, and chasing their cars are unwanted behaviors.

Whether it be a terrier or a hunting dog, they’re happy when working thus they constantly look for activities to occupy their minds and keep up with their energy level – running around the front lawn, going up and down the stairs, having fun with other pets and yes, digging your well-kept garden or chewing the throw pillows in the living room.

Although they are intelligent, they can’t figure out by themselves whether what they are doing is correct or not. To them, anything interesting and appears like work is the right thing to do hence they need to be taught what is acceptable and not.

Westie Training includes basic obedience training, housebreaking, addressing typical dog behavior issues as well as exercise hence keeping a dog physically and mentally busy. Understand that a busy dog is less likely to get bored thereby preventing boredom-induced behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing, and digging.

With this, it would not be difficult for a dog to capture the hearts of his owners as well as those who have the chance to interact with him.

Canines are faithful companions known to serve and protect their masters when danger is at hand. Their loyalty and love can even get to the point of risking their lives and losing them when the need occurs. In turn, they want nothing but their owner’s love and attention.

In other words, pet owners would definitely love a well-trained Westie. On the other hand, a Westie would be happiest if loved and cared for by its dearest master.

Kathleen Jenkins is sharing articles about Westie training. If you need to find out more from her, feel free to check out her site about Westie training.

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Reasons for Westie Training

Although they’re well-known for their strong-willed disposition, Westie training may not be as tough as training aggressive canine breeds just like Pitbulls and Rottweillers.

This small breed with a distinct white coat in fact enjoys companionship. Evidence of that is their propensity to get along well with people and be friendly even to strangers.

But despite their remarkable traits, training is undeniably necessary to help them develop into lovable small dogs everyone wants to have.

So why is training necessary if this breed is regarded for being naturally well-behaved? Certainly, there is more than just one reason why correct Westie training should be done sooner rather than later.

Ensure safety

Training your dog not to bite, jump on people or pursue automobiles and passersby is one method to maintain the safety of everybody around including the pet.

A dog that has biting issues might result in injuries while a dog that jumps on people may topple your young kid down.

On the other hand, a dog that has developed the habit of chasing cars is more likely to get hit by vehicles, be stolen, or be unable to find its way home.

Besides that, training dogs with commands such as down, come, leave it, sit or stay also helps in ensuring everyone’s safety.

Westie Training A clean and orderly house

Keeping a clean and orderly home while having a dog isn’t impossible provided that your pet dog gets appropriate training.

Housebreaking and activities to prevent chewing, digging, jumping on furniture or scratching on walls ought to be part of Westie training.

A dog that’s not able to experience these lessons is very likely to result in damage or chaos on what’s meant to be a safe and comfortable haven for you and your family.

Show dog

While almost all owners train their dogs to have well-behaved pets, others train theirs to be able to appear in conformation showing.

A happy and healthy dog

Excessive treats and fancy toys are not the only things that could bring in joy to a dog. Appropriate care, training as well as affection are what a dog needs so as to grow healthy and happy.

Pleased and proud pet owner

A problematic dog is a pain in the neck of every dog owner. Hence they are doing everything they can to ensure that their pets would turn out just how they wanted.

Indeed, nothing is as rewarding as having a dog that does things on command and knows where and when to do the things he’s supposed to do.

Kathleen Jenkins shares reliable Westie training strategies. Find out more about Westie training by visiting her site particularly dedicated to the breed.

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Seven Steps in Westie Training

While Westie training is one of the most important responsibilities of a dog owner, achieving favorable effects is definitely not impossible.

It’s not difficult as well since this breed is naturally easy to train. Training Westies must be enjoyable both for you and your dog for it is during this time that he discovers matters essential for him to become well-behaved.

Additionally, training is also an excellent opportunity for you to know more about each other thus improving the owner-pet connection.

Westie TrainingHere are some simple tips to help you obtain successful Westie training:


Much like having a trip, Westie training calls for careful planning and preparation.

As an owner, it is your duty to know more about the breed, their characteristics, and what training method would work best based on their characteristics.

You can ask for suggestions from other breed owners near you or browse the internet for sites, discussion boards, or online groups specially dedicated to westies.

In addition to that, it is also important that you are committed to reaching your objectives. If you’re not sure whether you can provide the training and care a pet requires, then pet ownership is likely not for you.

Preparing the dog

Naturally, the dog must prepare for training also. He should be physically fit before going through training, be it training for basic obedience or housebreaking. A sick or nervous dog will not learn efficiently hence it is essential to take into consideration their current condition before training starts.

Starting simple

It’s not a good idea to incorporate complex lessons during the first few days of Westie training.

Start off with socialization in order to get him familiar with the new environment he’s into.

During the socialization period, you must start housebreaking him too. Then tackle basic commands one at a time. You can work with come command after he has perfected the command sit.

Spend a few days training every command and avoid training multiple commands at a time for it will only confuse him.


A lot of dog owners and experts encourage the use of positive training since it is viewed as the most humane and effective strategy.

Positive training involves giving rewards for each good behavior displayed. This is to motivate a dog to repeat the behavior he is being recognized for.

Rewards could be whatever your dog finds rewarding such as yummy treats, favorite toys, praise, and time to play.

The giving of food treats must be regulated to prevent weight problems and turn your pet into a food-dependent canine.


Physical punishment won’t do your furry friend any good. In fact, it can cause issues such as aggression and may cause your pet to be afraid of you.

Moreover, punishing him for every accident could potentially cause him to do his thing in locations you are less likely to discover, or worse, he’ll feel scared of doing it.

Training time

Training must not extend past one hour each session. The ideal length of training must be about 20 minutes per session to prevent your pet from getting bored that may end in disappointment on your part.

Daily activities

In order to help your furry friend learn the commands taught to him, it would be a smart idea to include the commands in his daily activities.

For example, if you’re presently training him the command sit, give him the mentioned command before placing his food dish on the floor or prompting him to sit whenever someone is drawing near.

This escamotage can help him figure out that the command can be applied anytime, anywhere, not only in the confines of your family room where training happened.

Kathleen Jenkins shares helpful Westie training advice. Would like to know a lot more from her? Check out her site particularly focused on Westie training.

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The Dog of the Highlands: West Highland White Terrier

At around the 1700s, the Isle of Skye and other highlands in Scotland were already producing lots of small terriers. Scottish breeds were separated into two: the Skye terriers and the Dandie Dinmont terriers.

The Dandie Dinmonts were categorized as a separate breed. The Skyes included the Scotties, the Cairns, and the West highland white terriers or the Westies.

It was also noted that these terriers were the hybrids among the crossed Cairns, Scottish, and Dandies terriers. One could assume that the hybrid would really be loyal and its hunting instincts could not be belittled. In fact, many royalties in Scotland owned terriers that were very similar to the Westies of today.

Another remarkable story is about a Westie that stopped a mother from constantly yelling at her daughter. Every time the mother would yell at her teenage daughter, the Westie would attack the mother. The aggression of the dog got worse over the years that resulted in the mother’s complete inability to scold her teenager.

It turned out that the girl was actually rewarding the dog for his protection by calming and soothing him down after every “threat” from her mother. Many would perceive that the daughter was able to help her mother to change her ways when in fact she was helping herself by rewarding the dog for its behavior.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Westies:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: about two-inch coarse and wiry outer coat and soft, dense, and furry undercoat
Color: white

Height: between 10 and 12 inches

Weight: between 13 and 22 pounds



• they like to bark and dig

• they are not as willful like most terriers

• they love companionship

When properly trained

• they can become fairly friendly towards strangers

• they develop close affinity with behaved children

• they love to chase cats but they do not hurt them

• they can become a very good watch dog

• they can become very lively

Breeders should note of the following health issues:

• Chronic skin problems

• Perthe’s disease (hip problems)

• Jawbone calcification

• Cranio mandibular osteopathy (lion jaw)

• Patella luxation, a disorder in the kneecap

• Liver ailments

• Deafness

• Congenital heart disease

Care and Exercise:

• Their coat should be brushed regularly using a brush with stiff bristles.

• They should bathe only when necessary.

• Their whole coat should be stripped at least twice a year and trimmed every four months.

• The fur on the eyes and ears should be trimmed using blunt-nose mirrors.

• They will surely be more agile and healthy after regular sessions of play and/or walk.


As noted, they share the same lineage with Cairns and Scotties (from Skye terriers), and even with the Dandies. This trio was developed in the Isle of Skye, which was one of the highlands in Scotland.

It was noted that white whelps were chosen from the wiry-coated Cairns, Scotties, and Dandies to produce the variety that was known as Poltalloch terriers.

Following are some items in history that show the Westies’ reputation of being owners’ favorite companion dogs.

Records in history mentioned that around 1620, King James 1 of England requested some small white dogs from Argyleshire in Scotland.

Colonel Malcolm, who was considered as the originator of Poltalloch terriers, which are very similar to the Westies of today, accidentally shot his terrier (a dark one). From then on he vowed to have only white terriers.

In the 19th century, terriers that were very similar to the Westies were known as Roseneath terriers in honor of the Duke of Argyll’s interest and patronage of this breed. Roseneath was the name of his estate at Dumbartonshire.

In the first-ever dog show that was organized in the late 1800s, the Westies were called White Scottish terriers. In 1904, they were classified under the name West Highland White terriers.

During the mid-1900s, breeders of the Cairns in Argyll, Scotland selected white puppies from the stock and interbreed some to obtain white Cairns. However, in 1917, the American Kennel Club ruled that Cairns could be listed if they have the Westies’ lineage.

We can say the history repeats itself for this delightful terrier is now mostly a favorite companion dog of many households.

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The Playful and Inquisitive Dog: Cairn Terrier

The Cairn is assumed as one of the subcategories of Scotland’s terriers along with the Westies (West Highland White) and the Scottish, The Westies, and the Cairns are highly related. For one, Westies are hybrids of white dogs crossed with Cairns of western Scotland. The Westie can be considered as the white variety of the Cairn who has a coat of any color but white.

Scotties, however, have longer heads and bodies, have generally dark coats, and are aloof than the other two. These dogs originated from the short-haired Skyes.

Cairn is the smallest breed among the terrier group. The name Cairn was coined after the small stone piles that marked the borders of Scottish farms and graves. During the early times, this breed was used to guide small animals into these piles of stones. However, cairns are strong and sturdy but are not heavy.

This dog was already present during the 1500s even before it became popular in 1930, after the appearance of “Toto” in “The Wizard of Oz” as Dorothy’s companion dog. Presently, like the American pit bull terriers, Cairns are used as companion dogs. Among the variety’s talents are tracking, watching over the house, hunting, and performing tricks and sports regarding competitive obedience.

The following are some of the basic facts breeders would really love to know about Cairns:

Category: Terrier

Living Environment: indoors (highly recommended); outdoors (fenced yard)

Coat: shaggy and coarse outer coat and short and soft furry undercoat Colors: any color except white

Height: between 9.5 and 10 inches

Weight: between 13 and 14 pounds

Temperament: like most terriers that were bred as hunters, these dogs are mischievous, alert, restless and high-spirited; also have a special connection with children aged six and above

Breeders should note the following health issues:

• Atopy, a type of allergy
• Cataract, or loss of transparency of one or both lenses of the eyes
• Cryptorchidism, wherein testicles do not descend into the scrotum
• Glaucoma, a condition that causes increased pressure within the eye
• Patellar luxation, a disorder in the kneecap

Care and Exercise:

• Daily brushing is recommended to prevent tangles and mats.
• Hair around ears and eyes must be trimmed regularly.
• Do not overfeed them as they gain weight easily.
• Their physique requires a regular exercise routine which includes daily playtime while on leash.
• They should be on a leash while walking in public places because of their hunting instincts.