West Highland WhiteTerrier Grooming - Key ConsiderationsWritten by Jeff Cuckson
Whether you intend to show your Westie, or keep him for a household pet, first key to West Highland Terrier grooming is to start while he is a puppy.
Take your Westie to his first groomer appointment after he has had all of his shots, at approximately 14 weeks. Acclimate your dog to grooming process, and he will grow to accept it as part of his natural routine. If you intend to groom your dog at home, give him his first clipping at around same age.
West Highland Terrier grooming, whether performed at home or by a groomer, should be performed with dog's safety and comfort as first considerations. Be aware of practices used by your groomer, and be sure to remain with your dog until you are convinced that he is safe.
Contact your local Westie Club to find a reputable groomer. If you intend to show your dog, you will want to be sure that your groomer knows what a Westie cut looks like.
It is not unusual for owners to find that their Westie has come home from a grooming looking like a Schnauzer or a Scottish Terrier. If you are uncertain, bring photographs to your first groomer visit.
Although you might think that, after safety, your first consideration is price, how to groom your Westie is your next decision. A show dog must be hand stripped to give dog its Westie look - round head, carrot-shaped tail, and blended skirt.
Hand stripping involves actually pulling hairs. When they grow back, they tend to be straighter and coarser. Many claim that a hand stripped Westie coat sheds dirt, allowing dog to go longer between baths.
Hand stripping is not necessary for a Westie that is kept as a pet, and a regular clipping from your groomer, or at home, is all that your dog needs. A clipped Westie coat will be softer and curlier, and more prone to staining.
West Highland White Terriers- Fascinating FactsWritten by Jeff Cuckson
West Highland White Terriers began their history as undesirable white offspring of dark-colored Cairn Terrier. With dog's popularity today, it is hard to believe that early Westies were usually drowned or shot.
One breeder, though, Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm of Poltalloch, is credited with recognizing potential of white coat. The legend is that it made dog more visible as it ran through brush, and prevented it from being mistaken for prey during foxhunts. He bred them for their white coats, and for many years they were known as Poltalloch Terriers.
The Westies, as they commonly called today, Cairn, Scottish, Skye, and Dandie Dinmont, Westhighland Terriers are closely related breeds that arose in rugged terrain of Scotland.
They were bred to chase down small prey such as otters, foxes, badgers, and vermin. The Terrier's features and temperament both were honed until it became a feisty little dog that would determinedly run its quarry to ground.
It has a small, compact body, with short legs, which allowed it to run and squirm through underbrush where its usual prey dwelled. The Westie's double coat has coarse outer hairs to shed dirt and debris, and a thick, soft undercoat.
Like many hunting dogs, they are considered intelligent. They also are prone to pursue any creature that runs from it. Barking announced to hunter that it was on chase. Westie dogs were trained and bred to become more aggressive harder prey tried to escape.
The origin of word 'terrier' is in Latin word 'terra' - earth. It was given to them, and all terrier breeds, because once their prey is run to ground, they will dig it out. Westies today still possess tendency to be diggers.