West Highland White Terriers aka “westies” were developed in highlands of Scotland beginning in the early 1900’s. They were developed as a "working terrier" and were bred to hunt and kill vermin. They are small and sturdy with large, strong teeth and a double weatherproof coat designed to keep them warm and protect them from the elements. They have a very strong prey drive, are active, bold and courageous They will chase anything that moves and therefore must always be kept on a leash or exercised in a safe, enclosed yard or area. Because they are a terrier and have strong instincts they must have owners who will be firm and consistent with them when they are a puppy so they learn the “rules of the house” and develop in to well socialized and behaved members of the family. They are playful, curious and intelligent but can also be stubborn and self-determined. Westies would not be termed a “lap dog” and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They are generally very good with people but are especially faithful and loving with their own family members. As adults they need daily exercise and stimulating activity to keep them in top form mentally and physically. They require regular grooming about every 3-4 months which is usually done by a professional groomer. They are a relatively healthy breed and live on average 14-16 years. However, a number of different hereditary conditions (including skin problems) still surface on occasion and any potential owner should be aware of these and prepared to deal with them in the event that they do occur. The current purchase price for a quality westie puppy, from a reputable breeder in Canada, ranges from $2000 - $2500.
Although they are great little dogs they are not for everyone. I would highly recommend that any one considering getting a westie research the breed extensively and be sure it is the right dog for your family. It is important to be sure they are the right size and temperament and will fit in to your lifestyle. A dog is a very big investment and commitment so you want to be sure that you get the breed that will best suit your family.
Shasta and her great-granddaughter Fiona getting ready for the show ring....
Mysticgold's Grand Flora
(CH Hopecharm Inn Deego x Mysticgold's Flower Power)
After 14 years of involvement with golden retrievers I decided in early in 1999 to “downsize” to a smaller breed and set out to locate and purchase a female west highland white terrier who I could breed and show. “Rosie” (Moonstone’s Butterfly Kisses) arrived from Fort Worth, Texas on September 24th, 1999. She turned out to be a typical, bright, cheerful little westie and endeared me forever to the breed. She is in most of the pedigrees of the westie puppies that have been produced here. I also had the good fortune of meeting and getting to know Linda Carmichael of Windacre Kennels in Merritt, BC. Linda has been breeding westies for well over 30 years and was kind enough to mentor me and help me to get started in my breeding program. The first three litters of puppies produced here were sired by champion males from the Windacre Kennel . In 2006 I imported a male from Spain ~ “Diego” aka Can. Ch Alborada Galeico. I have also bred a number of litters sired by champion males imported to Canada from England and the Netherlands. Subsequently, most of the pedigrees of my puppies go back to westies from all over the world ~ many with show titles from Canada, USA, Mexico, England and multiple other countries in Europe.