West Highland Terrier (Alpine Terrier)


The West Highland White Terrier was born in Scotland – the inhabitants of this beautiful mountainous country appreciated these small dogs, firstly, for their ability to catch rats, badgers, foxes and otters, and secondly, for their cheerful, cheerful disposition. Catching rodents in barns and pantries was very important, since the life of a family in winter depended on the quality and quantity of food. The West Highland White Terrier has the same roots as the Dandy Dinmon Terrier, Skye Terrier, Scotch Terrier and Cairn Terriers – all considered to be different branches of the same breed.

The earliest evidence of the emergence of the West Highland White Terrier breed dates back to the 16th century, when James I of the Scrimjour clan gave one such dog to the King of France. Moreover, in those distant times, the breed did not have a pure white coat color, and the dogs could be of different shades. However, there is a legend that tells why of all the colors only white remained.

One day, Colonel Malcolm from the town of Poltalloch was hunting and saw a fox hiding behind a pyramid of stones. He shot and killed the animal. However, coming closer, the colonel saw that it was not a fox at all, but his dog – since then, the West Highland Terrier also acquired the word white (white) in the name of the breed.

Since Colonel Malcolm, being an enthusiastic and influential breeder, undertook to eradicate other colors of the breed, so that in the future such cases could not happen in principle. After all, a snow-white dog cannot be confused with a fox or a badger. The West Highland White Terrier was recognized by the Kennel Club of England under its current name in 1906. Previously, he was also known as the Poltalloh Terrier and the Pink Terrier.

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The West Highland White Terrier is a small dog with a strong build, sometimes prone to being overweight. The head is round, the muzzle is short, with a lush mustache, the ears are erect, triangular, small. The limbs are medium, the tail is medium. The wool is wavy, white.


The West Highland White Terrier is a very funny, cheerful and cheerful breed. They are also abbreviated-affectionately called – the dog “lead”. These dogs are always happy to play, they love to fool around and have fun, and they do not need company for this. An animal may well find something to do on its own if it has a toy, a stick, a plastic bottle – in principle, it doesn’t matter what. Even soft toys are fine.

Therefore, it is better to put soft toys in such a place that the dog does not get to them. Better yet, select a few soft toys, and be prepared for the fact that she will tear them to pieces with a contented look – the hunting past affects. The lead breed loves to walk and has a lot of energy, and therefore you need to pay attention to active play.

This small terrier can be very self-confident, despite its modest size, be bold and have its own opinion regarding your wishes or commands. His playful disposition can sometimes be cocky when it comes to other dogs on a walk or people he doesn’t like for some reason.

In order to make the character more harmonious, proper education and early socialization is required, like most other dog breeds. Basically, cocky towards other dogs manifests itself as same-sex aggression, but negative attitudes with strangers are rare, but possible. If they are family friends who came to visit you, most likely the dog will try to make friends with them, react positively and try to play.

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The West Highland White Terrier breed is good for children, in large part because it sees them as like-minded people in terms of play. These dogs are always happy to play and generally have fun, and will go with you to the ends of the world, studying everything around with curiosity. They are in awe of adventure, new places, people, walking in the park, or going on a visit. They are affectionate towards their family members, but sometimes their self-confidence can be a problem. For example, when a dog at all costs wants to sleep with you in the same bed, and cannot even imagine that you are against it.


Training can be difficult due to the dog’s assertive, self-confident nature. Especially makes them stubborn and willing to deal with rough treatment, injustice and boring, monotonous, long-term occupations, when the owner himself does not show flexibility and does not know how to find an approach to the animal.

That is, you must be a consistent and assertive owner who knows what he wants and knows how to achieve his goal, but at the same time maintain adequacy, not be nervous and have patience. Plus, you can’t do without a sense of humor with this breed. They need to be taught basic commands, focus on undo commands, and constantly monitor their behavior to form the right character and thereby save themselves from a lot of unnecessary problems.

As we said above, first of all, you will need to fight with a self-confident and sometimes even too arrogant character. Classes do not need to be made too long, alternate them with game tasks into which you can weave commands.


The West Highland White Terrier is a wavy-coated dog that will require you to brush it 3 times a week. And, possibly, haircuts. These animals must not only be combed out, but also combed, taking apart tangled areas with your fingers. It is required to bathe your dog at least once a week, but more often, as most likely it will have close contact with you and your children, and perhaps even sleep in the same bed. The claws are trimmed 3 times a month, the eyes are cleaned daily, and the ears are cleaned 3 times a week.

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Common diseases

The breed has health problems, although, do not think that having bought a dog, all these sores will fall like snow on your head – not at all. But some of them, indeed, can manifest themselves:

  • craniomandibular osteopathy;
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease;
  • cataract;
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis: This condition is also known as “lead lung disease”. This disease leads to scarring of the supporting tissue in the air sacs and the connective tissue of the lungs. Further, the lungs lose their elasticity, which prevents the normal flow of oxygen into the blood.

    Symptoms: May include loss of stamina, rapid breathing, “crackling” in the lungs, dry cough, shortness of breath, and shortness of breath. They manifest in different ways in different dogs, and many individuals do not show the disease for many years. Pulmonary fibrosis can lead to heart failure and other medical conditions.

    Prevention: There is no cure to date and the prognosis is always negative, so prevention is critical. Preventing any respiratory infections, limiting exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight (or weight loss for overweight dogs) is key. The condition is sometimes treated by keeping the home cool and using bronchial dilators. Treatment is more successful if the disease is diagnosed early before the scars are out of control;

  • Knee dislocation – Also known as squeezed knee joints
  • dysplasia of the hip joint – not very common in this breed.

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