We've been fans of the West Highland Terrier for a long time and have been owned by several of them over the years. We'd like to use this site to share some of what we've learned and help other people who have Westies in their families.
Westies originally came from Scotland, although ours were bred in South Carolina.
Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm of Poltalloch, Argyllshire,Scotland is credited with originally breeding Westies. Legend has it that his favorite hunting dog was shot on a fox hunt and he decided a white terrier would be easier to see and less likely to be mistaken for game.The breed was officially recognized as the West Highland White Terrier in 1907 by the Crufts dog show in England and the American Kennel Club in 1908.
Most Westies are good at hunting small game. They are sometimes referred to as ratters because of this. Supposedly farmers would put them under their barns to get rid of small rodents. Their tails are extremely strong because the farmers would pull the Westie out from holes or under buildings by their tails.
The average life span of Westies is 12 to 16 years, however with good care and a little luck some have lived into their 20's.
For more information about Westies, visit the American Kennel Club site @ ( http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/west-highland-white-terrier/ ) or The West Highland White Terrier Club of America @ ( http://www.westieclubamerica.com/breed/history.html)