TAKING THE BEST LOVE & CARE OF YOUR West Highland Terrier

Why Westies are the Worst

Why Westies Are The Worst – But We Love Them Anyway

You shouldn’t take the decision to get a Westie, or any dog, lightly. Every dog comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to clean after them and ensure they have everything they need, including proper training and exercise, among other things. This is easier said than done, especially if you have a stubborn dog like a Westie.

Westies are among the cutest dogs you’ll come across. Their puppy dog eyes and movie star looks will win you over instantly. But don’t let the cuteness fool you. Westies are among the worst dogs you can have.

But before we list the worst traits of West Highland Terriers, please take this article as the worst-case scenario. All Westies have different personalities and not every Westie will display all the characteristics written about here. I don’t like to generalize but for the purpose of this article, let’s bring up the worst traits in these little rascals.

Westies are Defensive

If you have a toddler and you’re thinking about getting a dog, West Highland White Terriers may not be the best choice. While Westies get along fine with children, the child’s age matters. When it comes to toddlers, Westies display a no-nonsense attitude. 

The dog may be quick to react to teasing and other habits they find annoying from the child, such as pulling their ears, clumsiness, stepping on their paws, and pulling their whiskers. Furthermore, Westies are pretty defensive with their toys and food and will react if the child comes into contact with them. The dog’s attitude will ultimately sour the relationship between the two.

Besides, with this behavior, you’ll constantly be worried about your child’s safety around the dog. Therefore, if you really want to get a Westie despite its defensive nature, it’s best to wait until the child is older.

Westies are Difficult to Train

Westies are alert and active and exhibit characteristics of a spirited and self-reliant ratting terrier. They don’t require as much pampering as other dogs do, and they’ll run after everything that moves. These characteristics make the dog an excellent hunter. However, the same traits make training an uphill task. 

It’s crucial to make it clear that you’re in charge right from the beginning. Otherwise, a Westie won’t have any problem trying to take the lead. The dog’s independence and self-assurance are additional factors that make training hard.

And their small statue doesn’t help. Because the dog is tiny, you’ll have a harder time potty training him because he can find many corners of the house to hide in and use as a toilet.

You may find that you’re more tolerant of a small dog and find poor behaviour in this small creature less intimidating than that of a big dog. Most people are, and this makes training Westies even harder.

Westies have a Dynamic Temperament

Most terrier breeds exhibit similar traits. Some of the words that individuals who own Westies have used to describe this dog include:

  • Stubborn
  • Clever
  • Independent
  • Impulsive
  • Intense
  • Persistent
  • Bossy
  • Scrappy
  • Lively
  • Quick to bark
  • Quick to chase
  • Feisty

However, some terrier breeds exhibit these traits more than others. West Highland White Terriers are generally in the middle section of the temperament spectrum. However, it’s not a surprise to find a Westie that’s on the higher end of the spectrum.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of getting a West Highland Terrier, you need to consider how well-equipped you are to handle such behavior. Some people don’t mind it, but most people find it annoying. It’s especially difficult to handle a Westie if you’re juggling many responsibilities at once. The fact that they are hard to train makes it even more challenging. 

Westies can be Aggressive

Aggression in dogs is characterized by behaviors like:

  • Snapping
  • Growling
  • Snarling
  • Biting 
  • Barking

Generally, Westies are not overly aggressive animals. They get along easily with other animals like cats and other dogs. However, peace is only maintained if the Westie knows the animal. The dog will chase after other animals and small creatures they don’t know. Therefore, if you’re planning to walk a Westie, it’s best to always keep them on their leash to prevent this behavior.

What makes a Westies behave aggressively?

Westies are not born aggressive. They exhibit aggressive behavior, like biting, when they want to exert dominance. These dogs are smart and proud, and they have no problem showing it. Biting their owners is their way of challenging leadership.

Westies may also become aggressive when they’re afraid. For instance, if they feel like someone is invading their territory, with behaviors like taking away their food, pulling their ears, and stepping on their paws, they’ll react.  

Other factors that may induce aggression in Westies include:

  • Disease
  • Conflict
  • Excitement
  • Playfulness
  • Maternal instincts
  • Guarding resources
  • Pain
  • Predatory instinct
  • Territorial protection

Westies Face Numerous Health Challenges as they Age

If you’re thinking of getting a Westie, you should also be prepared to deal with many health challenges as the dog ages. Some of the common problems Westies face include:

  • Joint problems
  • Liver Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Endocrine system disease
  • Degenerative brain disease
  • Skin issues
  • Eye diseases
  • Neurological problems
  • Urinary problems

Some of these health complications in Westies are inherited. Therefore, there isn’t much you can do about it as a dog owner. For instance, if the dog inherited the genes for eye disease, it’ll go blind, and there’s no remedy.

However, some of the health conditions are preventable if you take care of your Westie the right way. If you’re considering adding this dog to your family, learn everything about taking proper care of Westies.

Westies Are Independent Thinkers

Everyone wants a dog that can obey commands and follow instructions. When your dog sees you as the master, your relationship is easy and beneficial for both of you.

Westies aren’t your ordinary dog. These dogs love to exert dominance. It doesn’t matter if it’s with their owner or other animals; they want to be the boss.

If you don’t nip this problem in the bud at an early age, you’re in for a lot of trouble. The dog will be aggressive, and it will be difficult to get them to do anything because they’re strong-willed, and nothing can stop them when they want to prove they can outsmart you.

Grooming Westies Can Be a Challenge

Westies are beautiful dogs thanks to their free-flowing fur. However, to keep your dog looking attractive and well-groomed, you need to stay on top of their grooming schedule. Regular baths won’t cut it. 

You need to brush and comb through their hair often to prevent matting. Furthermore, because the dog is highly playful, you may need to get rid of things that may have got stuck in their fur. On the plus side, Westies’ shedding is on the lower side.

Westies Bark Too Much

No one wants to be the neighbor with the dog that keeps barking all night and day. With a Westie, this can be a problem, but it is avoidable. These dogs are quick to sound the alarm at any new sight or sound. Therefore, you’ll have to come up with effective ways to control the barking when it happens. Because westies might be hard to train, controlling their barking can be a challenge.

Wrapping Up

There’s no doubt that Westies are attractive dogs. Their cuteness is what makes many commercial creators choose them to be in the spotlight. However, as you have seen, this beauty comes at a price. Westies are among the most annoying dogs, and they can make your life difficult. It’s best to weigh all the pros and cons before getting this dog. 

However, if you decide a Westie is the right choice for you, be prepared to do a lot to keep your dog in line. A professional dog trainer may come in handy. Overall, how your Westie will behave is a mirror of you, the time you invest in your dog and his training. Westies can be the worst, but as a westie owner, I can tell you they can be the best too!