Westies are by far some of the cutest little doggies you will ever see. It is hard not to fall in love with them with their fluffy little bodies and big, black eyes. The best part is that they have personalities that match this cuteness perfectly making them the perfect companion pet. All the many perks of owning a Westie come at a price. In fact, they are among the most expensive in the small dog breed category.
West Highland White Terriers typically cost between $800 and $3000. They don’t need a lot of exercise and they’re not yappy, so they’re perfect for people who live in apartments. This makes them popular among city-dwellers, which drives up the price. They also don’t need a lot of grooming, which keeps their maintenance costs low around $60.
If you are considering getting yourself one of these doggies, here is all you need to know about their financial and care needs from grooming to health care. But first, let’s see what it is that makes them so expensive for such a small dog.
What Is The Average Price For A West Highland Terrier?
The average price of a West Highland Terrier is $1,000, with $800 and $1,500 being the upper and lower price limits with most breeders.
While it may not be the most expensive dog breed out there, it is still quite pricey especially considering how small the doggies are.
So why are Westies so expensive? Here are a few reasons that could justify the price tag.
West Highland Terriers Are Super Cute
Aesthetics matter a lot when it comes to pricing and dogs and the West Highland Terrier is easily one of the most desirable doggies.
In a day and age where tiny, accessory dogs are all the rage, breeds like the Westie have seen a massive increase in demand and subsequently in prices.
West Highland Terriers Are Rare Outside The UK
You might also have to pay that much or even more because Westies are not very easy to come by especially in their pure form. The best way to ensure that you actually buy a purebred Westie is through gene analysis. However, if you buy the dog from a reputable breeder then you don’t have to worry about unwittingly taking home a mixed doggy.
West Highland Terriers Make For Great Family Dogs
Westies are great family dogs which is another reason why they are so popular and expensive. They get along with everyone from children and other pets to guests in your home. They are also quite lively and have a way of completing a home and family with their sweet personalities.
Westies Are Low Maintenance
Finally, Westies are a bit popular and thus pricey because people know just how low maintenance they are. They are actually ideal for seniors and first time dog owners that need to ease into the dog parent space.
How Old Do Westies Live?
Westies have an average lifespan of about 12 to 16 years.
At their largest, Westies weigh 15 to 20 pounds and measure 11 inches in height. For the most part, this is a pretty healthy dog breed and is quite low maintenance as far as health requirements go. However, there are still some issues you need to look out for and take care of for the dog’s sake. Here are a few of the main health problems that Westies have.
Westie Jaw Disease
Westie jaw disease is a rare, genetic condition that affects the structural integrity of the dog’s jaw resulting in malalignment and other complications. It may not be a life threatening condition but it negatively impacts the pooch’s quality of life by causing pain, swelling, and difficulties when chewing.
Westies are also prone to developing abdominal hernias. This is where a part of the gut enters and gets trapped in anatomic openings within the body. It often leads to constipation and other abdominal issues and may require surgery to correct.
This is where the knee bone gets loose and causes instability of the whole joint. You may notice your Westie limping or having trouble with things like climbing stairs or running where they had no problems before.
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
White dog shaker syndrome gets its name from the association with white dog breeds including the Westie. Manifestations like tremors, seizures, and eye problems start at about 1 to 2 years when the dog reaches maturity. Unfortunately, not a lot is known about the disease’s origin or cure.
Westies have a thick coat that offers sufficient protection from cold and most irritants. However, they are still prone to developing allergies especially from parasites like mites and fleas or even from pollen.
How To Take Care Of Westies?
Unlike most other small dog breeds, Westie is quite a low maintenance dog breed, this makes them ideal for first timers or busy dog lovers. However, this does not mean that the pooch doesn’t need to be taken care of properly. You just need to know exactly what they need and where to start when it comes to giving them a happy and healthy home. Here are a few tips that will come in handy.
30 To 60 Minutes Of Exercise A Day
Westies love long walks and exercise and you should set aside up to an hour every day for the exercise. This also helps them work out some of their excess energy which makes them easier to live with.
Healthy, Balanced Diet For The Win
Westies are very sensitive when it comes to diets.
Feeding them the wrong thing or low quality food could lead to all sorts of issues from food intolerance to obesity. That is why it is so important to invest in high quality doggy food.
We recommend Pet Plate for a customized meal plan that will suit your Westie’s very specific diet needs. In addition to these high quality meals, invest in multivitamin supplements to boost any micronutrients that may be absent or inadequate in the main diet.
Watch The Meal Portions
In addition to quality, you also need to watch the dog’s meal portions. An adult westie should have about 1 to 1 ¾ cup of food per day while puppies can have ¾ cup of dry dog food every day.
Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep
Part of taking good care of a Westie is also ensuring that they get enough sleep. Westies need about 13 hours of quality sleep every day. This gives them the strength needed to keep up with their very lively personalities.
Do Westies Bark A Lot? Temperament Of Westies
We already alluded to the fact that a Westie’s lively, expressive, and vocal personality traits are some of the best things about the dog breed. Here are just a few of these golden traits that you have to look forward to should you bring one of them home.
Westies are very laid back and patient doggies that are not quick to anger. If you are worried about aggression, you can rest assured that there will be no drama or unpleasant incidents in your home. They get along very well with children as well as with small pets like cats as a result of this personality trait.
Westies are not like most other small dog breeds that tend to be very needy. These dogs are actually quite independent and can actually be comfortably left home alone. However, they definitely enjoy human company a lot more so do not be gone too long or it will start to bother the doggy. You can comfortably live a Westie alone for 6 to 8 hours a day. Any longer would be pushing it.
Westies have a very strong affectionate side and love to cuddle and spend time with their favorite humans. They are the type to form strong bonds even with new people and may develop Velcro personalities where they follow you around pretty much anywhere you go.
Intelligent And Responsive
Westies are actually quite smart and obedient and therefore relatively easy to train. If you go the professional route, it will cost you about $45 to $75 per session or more for basic training. You could also save a lot of money and take the opportunity to do the training yourself.
We recommend you try Brain Training for Dogs for a unique approach that takes your dog’s learning abilities into account for an effective training program.
Do Westies Shed Much? Grooming Tips For Westies
Another really awesome thing about Westies is the fact that they are hypoallergenic. This not only makes them ideal for allergic dog lovers but also makes them easier to maintain as they do not shed so much.
If you want to get your doggy groomed professionally, it will cost you upwards of $55 without a haircut. However, they are quite easy to maintain at home if you know where to start. Here are a few tips that should come in handy.
Brush Your Westie’s Coat 2 To 3 Times A Week
Westies have a soft undercoat and a longer, rougher, top coat. While they may not be heavy shedders, they still require regular brushing to prevent matting up and even that minimal shedding that they do. A 2 to 3 week brushing interval should do the trick.
Trim The Westie’s Coat Every 3 Months
Westies do not strictly require haircuts. However, it is a great way to make managing their coats a lot easier. If you do decide to go with this hack, a 3 monthly interval is ideal. Just make sure not to have the cut done too short. Do Westies Need Haircuts? Cutting makes it easier to
Give The Pooch A Bath Every 6 To 8 Weeks
Westies, like most other terriers, naturally love the water. You should therefore not have too difficult of a time getting your pooch on a monthly to 2 monthly bathing schedule. This is also the perfect interval that ensures you get your dog clean on a regular basis without stripping their coats of much-needed protective oils.
Can You Get Black West Highland Terrier? No, there is no such thing as a black Westie. Breed standards recognize only the pure white coat type. However, as they grow older they may develop some tan to brown markings especially on the fur over the jaws. If you see a dog that greatly resembles the Westie but in black or dark brown, it is most likely a Scottie dog or a Cairn terrier
Are Westies Good Hiking Dogs? Westies are great hiking dogs and are perfect for outdoorsy dog lovers. The little pooches love the outdoors and are energetic and agile enough to keep up with you on your fun expeditions. You just have to make sure to carry plenty of snacks and water especially if you are taking on a long or challenging route.
What Is The Oldest Westie On Record? The oldest Westie in official records was a little pooch named Herbie from Manchester who is 17 years old. This is about 1 to 5 years more than the normal expected lifespan of the breed. While it is not an everyday occurrence for Westies to live this long, it is not uncommon especially with a healthy and well taken care of doggie.