The West Highland White Terrier is described as being strongly built and deep in the chest and back ribs.  They should have a level back and powerful quarters on muscular legs.  They should exhibit in a marked degree, a great combination of strength and activity.

The westie is usually around 28cm tall and weighs 7 to 10kg.  The breed is double coated with the outer coat being fairly long and harsh and the undercoat short and soft.  People often have their westies stripped in the summer so that the whole coat is short and easy to care for.  Whenever you groom and strip this type of dog yourself it's best to get a lesson from a dog groomer.

Westies do like to please their owners but if you are bringing up a puppy it will need to know exactly what the boundaries are or you could end up with a spoilt little terror instead of a happy little terrier.   Respondents to the survey didn't claim that the westie was easy to train but they did think that with a little work they are perfectly capable of doing agility.  If you already have a westie that's bursting with energy and curiosity then agility might be just the thing to keep him or her occupied.

Like all the other breeds people who fall for westies tend to fall for them in a big way.  A lot of people have commented that they aren't yappy little terriers and that they are loyal and affectionate pets.  As with other breeds, if you have never had this type of dog before then talk to the breeders and find about their needs and characteristics.  A good breeder should be able to help you to decide if this is the right sort of dog for you.



I have had a west highland terrier for 16 years and I have just had to have her put to sleep. I must say she made my life every happy and I loved the way she was with everything.


Westie's are incredible dogs!!! My Westie does obedience, agility and is capable of doing show!! But the weird thing is, is that she prefers to do agility with a ball rather than a treat and flies around the course, especially my one at home!

Sarah Bell (westie cross cairn terrier):

Westie cross cairns are very laid back dogs. Our one, George, will sleep all day if you let him. He is a very good house dog and keen when strangers enter the house.


Hi , My grandma has a west highland white and they are the most gorgeous dogs and are very active they are not to small or very large, so I do advise you if you want a dog to look into West Highland White, they're great!


I train my nan's dog and she will jump when the other dog jumps. But she is quite scared of jumps and tunnels (the only 2 things I've tried her with)!


I got my westie for my 14th birthday, and trained her myself, she has been very stubborn but a good challenge. Although she doesn't do agility at the moment, she has been known to follow me over jumps when I'm jumping my horse. Agility is definitely the thing for her and we are looking for agility classes in our area.


Some dogs are not very good but they can become amazing breeds for more activities!

Westie Owner:

I am 12 and I have a westie. I trained him myself and have won obedience awards with him. I am doing agility with him and he is very capable. He can do every item in the course but he is slightly stubborn but he is very fast.  I think westies can be great agility dogs, they just need time to learn and a very patient owner!


Westies are good dogs as my daughter,  who is 11,  has trained a westie so he can jump, go over the dog walk, go through weaves and go through any sort of tunnel.

Westie Handler:

Although he is not entered in competitions yet (not old enough!) is doing really well in training and loves it.

Westie Handler:

Re: 'Would you recommend this type of dog for agility?' I answered yes because Westies are definitely physically capable of agility, and are a lot of fun to run. They certainly benefit from the training, as there are so many Westies out there but so few people actually do any training with them. However, while they are capable of agility, I don't believe they have as much potential as other breeds as they can be a bit stocky and aren't built on springs the way for example Jack Russells appear to be!