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.
Westie Merchandise that Benefits your DogWritten by Jeff Cuckson
There are many places to find Westie merchandise, but before you make a purchase for yourself or your Westie, consider first a retailer or non-profit organization that uses sales of Westie merchandise to benefit breed.
WestieMed, Inc. is a non-profit organization that specifically targets rescued Westies that are injured or ill. Along with donations, WestieMed uses sales of Westie merchandise to pay for medical care for these special-needs dogs while homes are found for them. Westie merchandise that can be purchased from their gift shop includes clothing, novelties, home and garden items, greeting cards, and Christmas ornaments. They also benefit from sales of Westie merchandise purchased through their affiliation with Westie Breed Store when buyer uses link at WestieMed website. They can be found at http://www.westiemed.com/.
The West Highland White Terrier Club of America, Inc. also offers a small selection of Westie merchandise in their fundraising effort. Their merchandise includes limited edition collector plates with images of Westies, and a few articles of clothing. Their National Rescue Committee, which is responsible for rescuing older Westies and placing them in new homes, has a larger collection of clothing and small items of Westie merchandise for their fundraising efforts. They can be found at http://www.westieclubamerica.com/. There are also links at site to affiliated Westie clubs that are using sales of Westie merchandise for fundraising.
In addition to non-profit organizations, there are a number of retailers who have Westie merchandise available, from which a portion of proceeds is donated to dog and animal welfare organizations. Michelle's Bark-n-Purr Toy Store is one such retailer, and offers a selection of specifically Westie merchandise, including clothing, toys, bedding, pillows, and greeting cards. Their website is at http://www.micheleswesties.com.