The Westie is a hardy little dog with
plenty of determination, it is also an all round companion dog. It possesses
the qualities of a house dog and of a walking and travelling companion.
Description & History
The ancestors of the West Highland White
Terrier, like other terrier breeds from Scotland, originated from the
Highlands and the west coast of Scotland. Today's West Highland White
Terrier was developed over a hundred years ago by Colonel E D Malcolm
at Poltalloch in Argyllshire.
To create an all white terrier, only white
puppies in litters were kept and this evolved into a new working strain
of tough little hunters. At the same time two other white terrier strains
were developed - the Roseneaths and the Pittenweems.
The former were bred by George Clark,
who worked on the Duke of Argyll's estate and the latter by Dr Flaxman
from Fifeshire. It is quite possible that these two strains were crossed
at some stage of their development, but it was Colonel Malcolm's strain
- known as Poltalloch - which was used to establish today's dogs.
The Westie is a game, hardy dog which
was bred to hunt the fox and other farm vermin. Its hunting was done
on the farms and among the rocks and cairns where he was quite capable
of disposing of his quarry.
The breed - which was recognised by the
British Kennel Club in 1907 - is both a popular pet and successful show
dog and has won many top awards on both sides of the Atlantic. They
adapt themselves, like most terriers, to town or country living, but
are still rabbiters at heart, given half a chance!