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The_West_Highland_White_Terrier

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									Title:
The West Highland White Terrier

Word Count:
1579

Summary:
So you have decided you are going to buy a West Highland white terrier,
otherwise known as a Westie. Westies are great little light-hearted dogs.
They are quick to learn, and as a rule they are very self sufficient, and
have wonderful, unique personalities. Most Westie owners will tell you
that their dog possesses a "big personality." They are lovable, but will
never be mistaken for a lap dog.

If you are looking for a cuddly lap dog, a Westie may not be the right
breed for...


Keywords:
West Highland White Terrier


Article Body:
So you have decided you are going to buy a West Highland white terrier,
otherwise known as a Westie. Westies are great little light-hearted dogs.
They are quick to learn, and as a rule they are very self sufficient, and
have wonderful, unique personalities. Most Westie owners will tell you
that their dog possesses a "big personality." They are lovable, but will
never be mistaken for a lap dog.

If you are looking for a cuddly lap dog, a Westie may not be the right
breed for you. They are notoriously independent, and won't tolerate being
held for very long periods. They like to be in close proximity to their
owner/families, but they need their space. As a rule, when a Westie
chooses a sleeping area they will find a private space. Away from the
family, this sleeping area will most likely be somewhat protected on
three sides; they also like to "cover their backs" when they sleep.
Naturally there are exceptions to the rule. If the dog is taught to be a
bit of a lap dog, they will most likely be a lap dog. But the Westie is
not a natural lap dog. They like to call the shots, so to speak.

The Westie likes to be taken along with the family whenever possible.
They are friendly, and love people in general, especially children. They
are very loyal to their families and prefer being with their
owners/families whenever possible.

When purchasing a dog most people prefer to buy a young puppy, and train
the dog themselves. This can be rewarding. If buying a puppy, make sure
you are home regularly enough to train the puppy properly. Westies are
easy to train, but someone has to be in the home to do the training.
Remember, it can be a frustrating and time consuming task to train a
puppy. The other option is to purchase a dog that is a bit older, and has
already been trained by the breeder. This is a good option, and many
breeders can accommodate with a dog that is a little older and trained.
Male or female? In regard to temperament, there is little or no
difference between the two in the Westie breed. It is said that Westie
males are more affectionate than female Westies. The female is smaller
and lighter, so easier to control on a walk or carry when necessary.

This pure white, sturdy small-framed dog is always full of energy and
always on the alert and looking for fun. They love to get out and walk,
and run in a wooded area, looking for game.

Westies’ ears stand up naturally at each side of their fluffy, happy
face. At the opposite end, a perky short tail, which - by nature’s design
- comes to a gradual point. As adults, it is desirable for the male
Westie to be 11 inches in height; the female 10 inches in height. A
Westies coat should be pure white. They have a double coat; the under
coat being soft and fluffy, the top coat a bit coarse and wiry. This dual
coat is natural to the Westie. The breed was developed and bread for a
hard and dangerous job - that of hunting out and killing vermin. So the
dual coat provides the Westie a good natural form of protection, not only
from the elements, but the claws and teeth of its prey. The dry texture
of the Westies coat also works to cut down on doggy odor. Due to this
dryer coat they require less baths. They can be kept clean with frequent
brushing and dry cleaning (this is done by adding a bit of corn starch to
the dogs coat, brushing it out after a few minutes.)

Choosing a reputable breeder is very important. It is impossible to know
when picking out your particular puppy just how that dog will turn out
emotionally and physically. This is the best reason to find a good
reputable breeder. A good breeder strives to breed healthy dogs that will
exhibit traits that are natural to the dog they chose to breed. There are
three choices when it comes to breeders; pet shop breeders, back yard
breeders, and serious hobby breeders.

The pet shop breeder is the worst possible choice you can make when
buying a dog. The puppies are poorly bred, and are thought of as
merchandise to be sold for at a high profit. This form of breeding as a
rule puts out sickly, unstable dogs, and I highly recommend you stay
clear of pet shop breeders.

The backyard breeder can also be a poor choice. This type of breeder may
be a Westie owner that thought it would be “fun” to have puppies. They
know little about puppies and the training of puppies. As a rule they are
not well acquainted with the stud dogs, and can offer little information
on his background. They are unaware of the history of the breed, and any
special needs of a given breed. To sum it up, they are ill-equipped to
breed dogs, and lack the knowledge one needs to be a good breeder.

Your best choice when buying a dog is to find a serious hobby breeder.
They have done their homework on the breed they are selling. As a rule,
they are dog fanciers and do not look at breeding as a profit-only
venture. They are breeding for show dogs. They strive to breed the best
of their chosen breed. They will take responsibility for any and all pups
produced, and stand behind their dogs. You can be assured the dogs are
healthy, and have been given all the veterinary care they need as puppies
along with proper training. A good breeder of Westies will belong to the
“West Highland White Terrier Club of America”, and/or other well known
Westie Clubs. They will most likely be involved in showing their dogs. A
good breeder will ask you questions, and be very discriminating on the
homes their puppies go to. They will guarantee their puppies, with an
agreement to take the puppy back if for some reason you find you are not
compatible with your new puppy. They will give you time to have the puppy
looked at by a veterinarian of your choice, just to ensure there are no
health problems looming, and that the puppy is in a good healthy
condition.

A good breeder will have numerous references. They will be able to
provide you with such references, in the way of other persons that have
purchased dogs from them, along with their own veterinarians references.
The breeder should be able to answer questions on the breed, and show a
good knowledge of the breeds history. The breeder should also provide
written instructions in regard to the puppies needs. Diet, exercise, and
health care needs as a puppy and adult dog. The kennels should be clean,
providing the dogs with a healthy environment. The dogs should be
comfortable with the breeder, and show a good rapport with them. The dogs
in the kennels should be of good temperament, and healthy in appearance.
The good breeder will never sell a puppy that is too young to leave its
mother.

And finally, the breeder should provide you with a record of the dates
and types of vaccinations and worming that has been done on your puppy,
along with any and all records on visits to the vet the puppy may have
required while in the breeder’s care. It is also desirable to ask
questions on the health of the parent dogs. The breeder must provide you
with A 3- to 5-generation pedigree, and a "blue slip" to apply for
registration of the Westie into the AKA.

Once you have found a trustworthy breeder here are a few tips on choosing
the right puppy: Age is important; a puppy is usually ready to be taken
to its new home at the age of eight to twelve weeks. You may find that
all Westie pups look alike; they pretty much do all look alike. Look for
a puppy with a sturdy build. The dog should feel firm, with good muscle
tone. Their legs should be straight. The pup should be active when picked
up, squirmy, after a short time relaxing and willing to be petted and
cuddled a bit. Their coats should be thick and clean. There should be no
discharge from eyes, nose or ears, and no odor at the ears. The eyes
should be bright, with an alert look. The gums should be moist and pink.
The dog should be active with the other pups. It's a good idea to ask the
breeder about the puppies personality. They can help you pick a dog that
will be suited to your needs and your personality.

It is always smart to observe the dam for her traits. Does she appear
overly shy, aggressive, stand-offish. Is she patient and watchful of the
puppies, and not overly aggressive of the liter? Do the parent dogs look
in good health? Are their coats healthy and do they appear active with
good stamina? It is well known puppies can and do inherit traits from the
parent dogs.
If you do your homework, you are more likely to pick just the right dog.
The Westie is a wonderful breed. They are bright, happy spirited dogs,
and will bring with them their own special outgoing personality. They
will fast become your best friend.

								
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