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Canine Breed Spotlight: West Highland White Terrier (Westie)

A look at the West Highland White Terrier (Westie)

Dog breed group: Terriers

Average life span: 12-17 years

History

The Westie shares a lot of history with many of the terriers from the same region, including the Dandie Dinmont, Skye and Carin Terriers. This breed was originally bred for hunting fox, badger, otter and rats. One story of this breed’s origin states that one day while hunting fox with his sandy colored terrier, the hunter accidentally shot his dog when he mistook him for a fox due to his coat colour. After that the hunter began to breed only white dogs so that they would not be confused with foxes. These dogs were called Poltalloch Terriers and as years progressed they may have have been interbred with Pittenweem Terriers, resulting in what we know today as the West Highland White Terrier.

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