Westitude, the Winning Westie Temperament

The unique and energetic Westie personality attracts dog owners who love a confident canine in a small size.

west highland terrrier temperment

There is no denying that the Westie is full of exuberance, attitude and self-confidence, and these characteristics of the Westie temperament make up the appeal of these Scottish hunting dogs. The compact little white terrier with the fluffy fur is also highly intelligent, adorable and quite cunning.

Westie fans know all about the attitude of these little white dogs, often referring to it as “Westitude.”

Westie Gender Differences as Diverse as the Stars

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then it stands to reason that dogs are from the Canis Major and Canis Minor star systems. More specifically, female Westies are from Sirius (Canis Major), and female Westies are from Procyon (Canis Minor) because the females tend to outshine the males.

Most people think of a male dog as a strong alpha and the female dogs as sweet little princesses. Like most breeds of dogs, the female Westie can be a strong and determined alpha who is more than willing to step it up and lead the pack.

Miss Westie Personality

Part of that is due to the Westie personality; you’ll discover that your little girl is highly opinionated. She likes to boss everyone else around, including you, if you’ll let her, and she’ll assign places in the pack order to everyone else, from your spouse to the goldfish, if Miss Westie isn’t reigned in just a bit.

Truth be told, females are a bit bossier, but the Westie girl outshines other dog breeds in her confidence at being the dominant dog. She knows exactly what she wants, and she wants it her way. She’s definitely from Canis Major, and her West Highland Terrier temperament stands out.

Boy Westie Temperament

Male Westies are just as personable as their female counterparts, but they tend to have fewer mood swings and westie personalitythey come across as more stable. They are like to take their time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that standing outside on a cold dark night in the drizzle while you wait for your male Westie to do his business, will be quick. The male Westie prefers relieving himself in various places, whereas the female will go all at once.

Even your training time with the male Westie will be more prolonged because it takes a little extra work for these dogs to “get it.” In the end, though, he’ll be more laid back.

Westie Temperament You Can Count On

How many times have you heard that a West Highland Terrier is really a big dog in a little dog’s body?

Westies are not yappy dogs but how much your dog barks can be a real concern, especially if you live in an apartment. No one wants to live near the family with the yappy dog that likes to hear herself bark. Nobody wants to be that family, either. Do include your little white dog on family activities and outdoor event where you can. You won’t be, if you properly train your Westie.

Teaching your Westie

While it’s true that some West Highland Terriers temperament leans toward excessive barking, your Westie will only bark if there’s a good reason to bark. Of course, Westies find plenty of good reasons to bark, including the need to notify you of potential bogeymen lurking in the shrubs beneath the windows or that another leaf has blown across the sidewalk.

Westies will only tell you about the things that are most important. To some, however, everything is important. That doesn’t mean that you have to put up with incessant barking. With training, your Westie will learn that a few barks are sufficient to get your attention, and that you’ll handle everything from there.

The Appeal of the Westie PersonalityWest Highland Terrier Temperament

The other personality trait you can count on in your Westie will be its love for other people and animals. The Westie likes to socialize, and he or she will be highly curious about anyone you allow into the home. Often these dogs will check out strangers and then when his or her curiosity has been satiated, will retire.

Westies And Other Pets

The West Highland Terrier is capable of getting along with other dogs and even some cats if introduced to them properly, and they can be terrific playmates. Just like with the people you choose to call friends, it depends on the individual personality. Your Westie will like smaller animals, too, like hamsters and gerbils, but unfortunately, the Westie prey drive is strong enough that the littlest of your furry pets may disappear.

How you introduce your Westie to other people and even animals can make a big difference, and that’s where proper training comes in.

Bringing Out The Best  in Your Westies Personality

  • To maximize the best characteristics of your Westie’s personality, spend time training your dog.
    The West Highland Terrier’s temperament responds well to training that is consistent, firm and fair.
  • If you backslide in training your dog, allowing certain behaviours some of the time and letting them go other times, your dog will quickly learn that she can take advantage of you. Eventually she’ll try to get away with everything she can.
  • Even ten minutes of focused training a day will improve the quality of life when living with a Westie. You should at least require your dog to stand, sit, stay, lie down and heel. Your Westie can also learn no, wait, off, leave it and no bark.

Teaching your dog these commands isn’t being mean or bossy; they are a way to help him understand your expectations. After all, the Westie want nothing more than to please you.

Westies and Kids

Many people worry about the West Highland Terrier’s temperament with kids. It’s natural to want to know how well your dog will get along with your children.

Are Westies good with kids

Westies have an affinity for children, but they seem to prefer older children, eight or more years of age. Younger children may appear prey-like to the Westie, or they may play in ways that cause the Westie to reprimand them – by growling or nipping if necessary. Like with any animal and children it’s important that there is supervision especially in the early stages of the socialization.

Keep and eye on the interactions between your dog and younger kids who may need reminding to be gentle with the little white dog.

You’ll find that your Westie has just as much energy as your kids, so if they like to be on the go, your Westie will want to join them at every opportunity. The Westie size makes him a perfect travel companion, and he’ll be just as excited to go on vacation with you as he is to run through the petunias in the backyard.

The nice thing is that your kids can help to keep him engaged so that he doesn’t have the time or the energy to rearrange your landscaping or get up any other mischief! They are ideal companions for each other.

Westies and Social Life

Westies have a fiercely loyal following of fans, and their owners are just as social as the dogs themselves.
West Highland TerriersYou can find Westie clubs in almost every country, and if expanses of geography prohibit you from attending in person, take to social media at sites such as ILoveWesties on Facebook. Find out more at places like #westitude or one of the many fan clubs for these tiny titans of personality.

Social networking sites like Meetup and rescue organizations devoted exclusively to re-homing Westies are also available, and it’s all because of that wonderful West Highland Terrier temperament.


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