Are Westies Good Family Dogs?

By John Martin - November 14, 2023

Westie with family walking outdoors

With Instagram and Facebook flooding with cute dog pictures and videos, it isn’t wrong for you to covet for one. After all, don’t they say dog is man’s best friend. If you are looking forward to getting yourself an adorable pet to include in your family, this article is for you.

With so many breeds out there, how do you choose a perfect one? Well, you might want to consider a Westie. This article will give you quick insight into Westies and whether they are the perfect family dogs or not.

What Should You Know About Westies?

West Highland White Terriers, popularly known as Westies, are 10-12 inches from the shoulder, with a soft and pure white fur coat. Westie is a modern breed originating a little before the 20th century. It is a product of a number of breeding programs, especially with white terriers in Scotland.

Westies are cousins of the Cairn Terrier. They were originally bred to hunt small rodents at places such as farms. The breed has a life span of 12-16 years.

The white double coat of thick but soft hair that grows about two-inch-long, keen black almond eyes, erect pointed ears, black nose characterize a Westies appearance. Their weight is around 6.5 and 9 kg. You can easily cuddle it in your arms.

They have short but strong and muscular teeth with a scissors bite. Their paws are flat-footed, but they have better grip than other flat-footed dogs. If you buy a young Westie, its nose and pads will have soft pink markings that darken with age.

Why Include a Westie in Your Family?

From size to nature, a Westie is a perfect member of your family. These lovelies can be affectionate towards every family member, from children to grandparents.

If you have toddlers or single children, Westies can be a great companion to grow up with. Your Nana will love to have someone to cuddle.

In addition, possession of soft fur does not make Westies a feeble breed that acts merely as a showpiece. As a matter of fact, the Westies are very sturdy. It is a very energetic and enthusiastic breed. Here are a few reasons why Westies would fit perfectly in your family.

Easy Bonding

In most of the nuclear families, both parents work. The kids generally one or two often find the constant lack of family around troubling. Westies can be the answer to the problem.

Westies bond very easily, and young children find them irresistible. Due to its loving nature, sensitive and playful nature, it is an ideal companion for your kid when you have to do your extra shifts.

In addition, Westies are good watchdogs. As much as they are friendly towards kids, they are hostile towards strangers.

A Fitness Buddy

In a way, owning a Westies will keep you busy and fit. Westies require daily exercise for at least 20- 30 min. A good walk or a short run suits them.

Boisterous energy strong limb muscle and a good grip of feet make them ideal for many sports including, ball chase or catch the dish which they love.

Westies literally burst with energy, and it is highly contagious. So having a Westies around you will definitely work up your stamina.

A Fernweh

If you and your family enjoy outings, hikes, and vacations, Westies are good travel buddies. These dogs are ever ready to hit the road. Also, they are good pets to carry in your car. Their dark piercing eyes appreciate scenic beauty.

Cuddle Buddies

Even though Westies were bred for hunting, they do not show any extreme aggressive behavior with their owners. They enjoy their soft beddings and nuzzle close to you on the sofa when they are not playful.

Imagine enjoying a Sunday, with typical sentiment of Netflix and Chill, an adorable Westies curled on your lap.

An Entertainer

For big families that always hang-out together, a Westie comes as an added bonus. Your weekends are going to be fun-filled. And let’s face it, a family never seems perfect without a set of playful paws running around, keeping the spirits raised.

A Westie is the family entertainer you need. They will run around the dining table, join your clichéd family rituals, and take part in games with you.


Instagram and Facebook are witnesses of Westies’ photogenic nature. The dogs have appeared in movies like Macbeth and many advertisements as well. So, you can train your Westies for adorable selfies, photographs and it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise if they become better models.

Westies can also be good models for dog shows and often bag prizes.

Inexpensive Affair

Westies do not require any superior treatment than other dogs. Having a Westie is an inexpensive and hassle-free affair. Westies are sturdy animals and are not prone to any disease.

A good breed, it rarely has any genetic problems or characteristics that can cause you trouble or lead to huge vet bills. Westies also have strong immunity and do not fall ill very often.

Related: Common Skin Problems Westie Suffer From

Easy Training

Westies are intelligent and quick to grasp concepts. Even kids can easily train them, and a good experience is for them. However, regular training is a must. You may need to have its training refreshed on a timely occasion during its lifetime. Also, it does not like rough handling and can be stubborn if not treated properly.

Special Perks

Westies are investigative in nature. They are jolliest amongst the Scottish breeds. They are earth dogs and tend to dig holes when energetic. It’s a loyal breed and does not show any aggressive tendencies. Westies are particularly kid-friendly dogs.

Westies love to play ball chase. Stanley Coren’s’ The Intelligence of Dog’ rated it the 80th most intelligent breed. They do not shed a lot of hair. So you don’t have to fear your carpets being covered with white strands.

Mix Breeds

Apart from pure bred, there are a number of mix bred varieties like Westipoo, Westie Staff, West Australian Terrier, West of Argyll Terrier, and Wee-Chon. There are Bostie, Griffonland, Cairland Terrier, Cavestie, Chestie, Cocker Westie, West Highland Corgi, Weston, West Highland Doxie, French West Highlande, and Giant Wauzer, Jack Highland Terrier as well.

With these varieties of breeds, you can choose the one that suits you. Here is a link to our Westie Mix Breed guide if you want to see more.

Some Crucial Tips to Handle Your Westie

Westies need some attention towards its snow-white chunks. Being an earth-loving breed, Westies often tend to develop ticks, and fleas may nest in its hair.

Also, during wet season earth and mud may clot in its hair. You need to take special care of it. See our guide to the Best Westie Shampoos for more.

As young Westies puppies grow up, their white outer coat has to be removed by either hand-stripping or by clipping.

Westies are more susceptible to sunstroke due to their double coats on warm days. They can also catch Lyme disease, which is a problem for all hairy breeds. Also, some Westies tend to show allergies to certain food or substance.

Related: How Often Should I Bathe My Westie?

In Short

If you are looking for an ideal pet that matches your spirit, Westies can be a good boy/girl. They are loyal to their owner, social and fun-loving creatures with a pleasant temperament, extremely adorable face.

When bought as a young pup, Westies can go with you for a long time. It easily gels with your family, and in no time you have a new member who loves you a lot.