owned a Westie (West Highland White)?
We're considering the possibility of getting a whw pup next year and trying to get as much info as we can to aid our decision. I guess what I'm really interested in is:
How does your westie compair with your lab in regards to character eg, destructiveness (as pup), affection etc
and are there any size related problems whw with a large lab?
Thanks in advance for your help
I haven't owned one but I know a few. My mother LOVES Westies and is desperate to get one some day.
Westies are hardy little dogs so I can't imagine the size difference will be an issue. They are not tiny, anyway. They are a very reasonable size. I think they have typical terrier personalities. Most I know can't be trusted off leash and are quite independent. I don't think you could really compare one with a Lab...they are very different in terms of personality.
I have not owned a Westie. However a good friend and LONG TIME Labrador Man relented and got one for his wife when she insisted on a "lap" dog ( they had in the past usually had some little dog around toy poodles mostly I think). Not sure what she really wanted as their labs lived in the house and what really makes a beter LAP DOG than a 80# Yellow Lab? Anyway the Westie quickly earned and maintained the nickname "Dog from H*!!" Remember this owber is a very experienced trainer that understands canine behavior like most of us can only dream.
I know just one dog etc. but you did ask for any experiences. In my opinion Terriers are Terriers, I've been around a lot of others that reinforces this in my mind. They have a completely different attitude, personality, view of life and what is important than what you are used to with a Lab.
As far as that goes, Terriers are Terriers or Terrors as we call them. They require a lot of exercise, and mental stimulation. They can be destructive, are independent, and need a firm hand in training. That being said, they are nice dogs but don't know that I will own another Terrier. I just love the lab breed!!! and am hooked.
Labz4me has a Westie along with her 2 Labs.....she might have some advice.
I have known a few WHT and I really like them all. When Lucy was a year or 2 we would hike with friends who had 2 westies. They were actually reliable off leash, in that they would run and hunt chipmunks as we walked but always came back to check in with the group. Friendly with dogs and people but very independent.
I have a 6 month old Cairn Terrier which is pretty similiar. She is NOT a Lab but she is fun, hardy,smart, loves dogs of all sizes, and she can keep up with Lucy on the trail, wrestling and chasing in the yard and snuggling with Lucy.
She is more obedient than Lucy ever was and much more responsive and connected. (Lucy is a particularly strong willed Lab) I heard that Terriers are notoriously difficult to train, but I am finding that with Cricket it is quite the opposite. She has excellent recall and I let her off leash hiking with us. I would never let her off leash near roads or cars though. The urge to chase a chipmunk is too strong.
She is very independent and likes to be out in the fenced in area of the yard by herself. She can entertain herself with digging for moles, chasing chipmunks and terrorizing frogs. Lucy would never think of being outside alone.
She will come around for belly rubs and an occassional snuggle but for the most part she is content to curl up in her crate or in her chair.
Originally Posted by rushpuppy
Now, don't listen to me because we have Chloe, a 14 year old WHT, who is atypical of most Westies I've known. She doesn't get along very well with other dogs(VERY alpha!) but has finally warmed up to Jack & Abby. It took her forever. We got Chloe from the SPCA when she was about* a year old. We suspect she was abused because she was hand shy. When Abby was a puppy, we nicknamed her "scarface" due to the nips she received from Chloe. She has always been a "get out of my face" kinda dog. Chloe has never been very affectionate, either.* Kisses are few and far between.* :'( When she does give us an occasional lick, we must announce it to the household! She has never been destructive. Her personality compared to Jack & Abby's is like day and night. She's a little high strung compared to my "nothing bothers us much" labs.
Now on the flip side, she's cute as a button and makes us laugh with her antics. She has a zest for life!
My brother has a Westie who is the polar opposite of Chloe. Rosie is sweet, gentle, affectionate, but loves to dig dig dig! A true terrier!
Good luck with your decision. I'm a big Westie fan!
Here's a picture of Chloe right after a grooming. She is very petite and doesn't* have the normal coat of a Westie which is why we keep her cut shorter.
Pat from S.E. Pa
Abby - CGC
Jack - OCP (official couch potato)
folks have one, he will be 14yrs next month. VERY independant and can be crabby at times but also sweet. He has never liked to be picked up.
I love all Terriers. Just know that the typical terrier personality is a lot different from a labs. See if there are any boards like this one for Westies, maybe?
interesting, MidWestGirl...doens't like to be picked up and sometimes crabby. That is true for Cricket as well. I can pick her up anytime I like, but that is not the case for strangers or even SU. Another typical trait.