Do Westies Bark a Lot?

By John Martin - May 7, 2021

Westie on leash looking up at owner

Have you ever seen a creature look like a little furball with a gorgeous white coat? Pawesome! If you guessed that right. Yeah, we are talking about the lovely Westies that are officially known as the West Highland White Terriers.

With their warm personality, Westies have the tendency to instantly become your besties. Although small in size, westies are bold, independent, and naturally persistent.

They are friendly and quite affectionate towards humans. In no time, they become an integral part of your family.

Do Westies Bark a Lot?

That’s a good question. Westies are usually quite vocal and expressive. But no, they do not bark a lot. They bark at every new sight and sound, but we cannot call them yappy.

Barking for them is a medium of communication with not just their fellow furriends but also with their human family. So, saying that Westies bark a lot seems to be a negative notion.

However, many Westie owners complain that their Westie barks a lot. They look for reasons. Unnecessary barking is not the general temperament of a Westie. But if they do bark at every little disturbance, then it has something to do with the training or behavioral issue.

Every time a dog barks it does not mean it is an unnecessary bark. They might be communicating in some way or the other or maybe trying to convey something to you.

There are several reasons for a Westie or, for a matter of fact, every dog to bark. They might be trying to invite you to play with them or warn you of danger.

They often bark at intruders or maybe just because they’re curious about some new development around them. Do not confuse such occasional short barks with nuisance barking.

If at all, you still believe that your Westie is unnecessarily barking, then you must dig deeper and look for the possible reason. There might be an issue that your furry companion might be facing.

If you wish to prevent your Westie from annoying barking, then try to find what is making them bark. Half your work is done if you are able to find the trigger for such behavior.

The sooner, the better, for there are chances they might turn aggressive.

Related: See Our Full Westie Breed Profile Right Here!

Possible Reasons For Your Westie To Unnecessarily Bark

Inaccurate Training

Persistent barking might be a problem arising from a training issue. What can I do to rectify it?

You can start over again with the training. Teach your canine companion about what acceptable behavior is and what is not.

Providing them with the correct training from a young age is beneficial, for they grasp things a lot quicker than when they are older.

Physical Need

Unnecessary barking can sometimes be a sign that your Westie is in physical pain or discomfort. They might be barking in order to ask you to help them relieve the discomfort.

This can be due to a physical injury, extreme weather, hunger, thirst, or probably because they are sick.

You must attend to them in such a situation, and you will soon know the cause of their discomfort. After all, who knows your Westie the most, if not you!

Emotional Anxiety

Almost every breed of dog suffers from separation anxiety if left alone for quite some time. Since Westies are very expressive and vocal, they will bark to express their emotions.

Apart from this, sometimes emotions of boredom or overexcitement may trigger them to bark. What you can make sure as the owner is to not leave your furriend home alone for long.

Also, Westies are super energetic; hence they easily get bored. What you can do is take them for frequent walks/runs or play with them for quite some time.

Keep them engaged in regular physical activities.

Related: How Much Exercise Does a Westie Need?

Environmental Causes

Environmental disturbances such as a passing stranger, passing vehicles, sirens, crackers, etc. can trigger your Westies, owing to their attentive nature.

Barking out of frustration can be another reason. Westies are happy-go-lucky and independent dogs. They will be easily frustrated if confined or tied up for long.

Make sure you give them enough space from time to time.

(Note- look for your plants before you let loose your Westie into the garden for they are active diggers. However, they can be of great assistance while planting.)

Howling of fellow furriends of your Westie is a common trigger for your Westie to howl at the same time to match harmonies!

Fear Barking

It has been often observed that a Westie barks on top of its voice when in fear. Loud continuous barks are known to have been a dog’s reflex to something which it finds scary.

You, as the parent of your Westie, is responsible for minimizing any such fear that triggers the fear barking.

For instance, you might have sometime noticed your Westie confine itself within the house but bark loudly to a particular person or animal pup fears. This can also be loud thunder or crackers.

You must try to gradually familiarise your Westie to its living fear.

You may also lower the anxiety of your pup by giving them some soft toy, to which it can tightly clutch and slowly release the fear.

Related: Do Westies Like to Cuddle?

Does An Old Westie Bark A Lot Like The Younger Ones?

Westies show a rapid change with their growing age. You can say that this change is somewhat similar to a hormonal change in a human being.

Westies can grow up to be very quiet and calm or the complete opposite. The former being more common. It is because, with age, there is a decrease in their energy levels and hearing ability.

If an old Westie is barking a lot, it most probably might be due to a negative reason. You must examine your furball and try to minimize their cause of distress, fear, or frustration.

The most prominent cause for an old Westie’s distress is said to be the separation anxiety. That being said, you must not leave your old furriend unattended for more than a few hours (2-3 hrs max).

How Do I Stop My Westie From Barking?

If you think you can stop your Westie from barking, by shouting at them, you might be hugely mistaken. They might, in fact, bark back at you even louder.

Some people turn to a physical beating when the shouting doesn’t work. This is not at all an acceptable approach.

Your Westie might rather develop a fear against you, giving rise to anxiety and sometimes aggression.

So what exactly can you do to calm your Westie down?

Well, firstly, you must calm yourself down, and then only will you be able to help your pup. Hold your Westie with utmost affection and calmness to soothe down its temper/fear.

Take them away from things or people that trigger the bark. But do not practice this for long. Try to familiarise them with the surroundings and people they don’t like.

Although Westies are quite stubborn, yet begin to train them using treats. Try teaching them about how they should behave. Try to teach them to sit to your command immediately.

Try avoiding goodbyes. Do not let your Westie come see you off at the door. If possible, leave the house when they aren’t watching. This will help them with their separation anxiety.

If nothing works at all, then it is advisable to consult a vet. Do not delay as it might get even worse.

Related: Are Westies Better in Pairs?

To Sum Up

Westies can sometimes annoy you with their loud barks, but their cute bark is just so heartwarming.

Try to understand your furry friend, gradually they will understand you too. And lastly, help each other out with all the love you have!