Dog breeds: West Highland White Terrier

Dog breeds: West Highland White Terrier

Origin, classification and history

Origin: England
F.C.I classification: Group 3 - terriers.

Created over a century ago by a breeder, Colonel Malcolm, who selected a strange small dog, all white in color due to the effect of albinism. This type of dog was called "Roseneath Terrier", then it took the name of "Poltalloch Terrier" and later it was called with its current name. This breed first debuted at the Cruft exhibition in the last decade of the nineteenth century. People liked it so much that it immediately spread to Great Britain. First it was used as a hunting dog, then its qualities as a faithful companion dog were discovered. The West Highland White Terrier is unbeatable in hunting small rodents.

General aspect

Small terrier, mesesocephalic mesomorphic. Its construction is robust. It has a deep chest and powerful limbs. It has white fur, the longer it is matted on the head.


He has a lively, very intelligent and always active character. He is a dog with aristocratic tastes. It is a breed that needs movement and to be together as much as possible with the people it loves. He is very affectionate, almost poignant in some cases. His temperament is alert and always tries to satisfy the master. Brave and daring. A fairly obedient breed. Perfect companion dog.

West Highland White Terrier (photo website)

West Highland White Terrier (photo Griduzza Cattery by Isa Arletti)


Height: about 11 inches at the withers, that is, about 27.5 cm.

Trunk: very compact, with correct thoracic depth and good musculature. The croup is broad and robust.
Head and muzzle: the skull must be slightly rounded. The distance between the eyes and the occiput must be slightly greater than the length of the muzzle. The abundance of hair on the head is very important. The stop must be very pronounced. The muzzle is full and hollowed out under the eyes.
Truffle: it is quite large and black in color. In harmony with the muzzle.
Teeth: regularly aligned and complete in number and development.
Ears: must be worn rigid and erect on the head. They must be covered with short and smooth hair. Their dimensions must not be excessive.
Limbs: both hindquarters and forelegs must be perpendicular with a fair bone always well proportioned to the size of the dog.
Shoulder: must be well inclined.
Musculature: good development throughout the body.
Upper line: straight and solid.
Tail: about 15 cm long. It must be covered with hard hair, but without fringes. Carried as straight as possible.
Hair: the outer coat must be about 5 cm long and must never be curled. Its undercoat must be very dense and soft.
Allowed colors: uniform white.
Most common defects: non-compact coat, non-standard sizes, monorchidism, cryptorchidism, excessively elongated body, incorrect angles, protruding nose, badly worn tail, big eyes, clear eye.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: A day in dogs life (September 2021).