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Thread: West Highland Terrier Experience?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Virginia, USA
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    West Highland Terrier Experience?

    Long story short, I drove my neighbor and her dog to our vet's office yesterday. I was looking on the board where different flyers are for animals needing homes and saw one with the most adorable west highland terrier on it. He was picked up as a stray by a family and they have been taking care of him since. He is currently living with their 2 dogs and 2 cats. I fell in love with him right away and something told me that he would be perfect for me. I have 3 cats, 1 1/2 yrs old, 4 yrs old and 9 and was wondering if anyone on here had experience with a WHT and cats? I also live in a condo so he would be going out on a leash to use bathroom and exercise until I buy a house with a yard. If anyone out there has experience with this breed and could let me know if they think he would be ok in this type of living environment I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Waltham, MA, USA
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    My experiences with Westies are - if you can't stand barking, don't get a Westie - they are very vocal dogs. Very energetic, they can be tough to train, but this guy may already have the training he'd need. It varies dog to dog how good they are with cats. They can be charming little guys, or devilish terrorists in white depending on how much training and how much exercise they are given. My Dad turned down a 7-year-old Westie a neighbor tried to give him, as the dog had never really been housebroken, nor learned any manners, despite his current owner having had him for over a year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The Adirondacks, NY
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    If he has already lived with 2 cats, I don't think you have anything to worry about. It the hounds that have the high prey drive that I would not reccomend with cats. A condo is perfect for a Westie, if dogs are allowed, which it seems they are since cats are. I think you should go for it! GOOD luck and keep us updated. We love pics
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  4. #4
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    Sep 2002
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    I have never owned a westie, but I've groomed and boarding hundreds of them over the years. I've never met a mean one, never been bitten by one. In general, I'd say they are easy-going, happy, friendly little dogs. Of course, as a terrier, they have a stubborn streak, but not so much as some of the terriers. I like their personality.

    They are, however, prone to allergies. Sometimes it can be very severe - I actually had two of my customers who had to euthanize their westies due to horrible allergies that could not be controlled.
    "We give dogs the time we can spare, the space we can spare and the love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made" - M. Facklam

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    "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king." - J.R.R. Tolkien

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Michigan
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    8,558
    We had a Westie, with 3 cats, and no problems whatsoever. Two of the cats were with us when Jenny arrived, and we got one after. They all got along famously.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2005
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    25,163
    My best friend's mom has a Westie girl. She has heaps of energy and she does have problems with allergies. In winter they run a humidifier because she is also prone to dry skin, which (between that and the allergies) makes her itchy. As far as personality goes, she thinks she is a b-i-g dog and she definitely has everyone in the family wrapped around her paws! Even I am one of her legion of admirers She is slowing down a little now because of age, but still full of fun.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisterdog View Post
    I have never owned a westie, but I've groomed and boarding hundreds of them over the years. I've never met a mean one, never been bitten by one. In general, I'd say they are easy-going, happy, friendly little dogs. Of course, as a terrier, they have a stubborn streak, but not so much as some of the terriers. I like their personality.

    They are, however, prone to allergies. Sometimes it can be very severe - I actually had two of my customers who had to euthanize their westies due to horrible allergies that could not be controlled.

    Funny you say that, lol. I'm also a groomer (well, going through the mentorship to become a groomer, but I've been a grooming assistant for 2 years) and out of the 10ish Westies we have that come in, almost all of them are naughty for grooming.

    But, aside from the grooming process, they are the sweetest dogs. =] I say go for it!

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Virginia, USA
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    Here he is!

    Introducing Elliott. I met him this afternoon and it was love at first sight. He is housebroken and he has only barked 3 times since being with me. He is so affectionate and loves everyone, including dogs. My cats are doing pretty well with him being around, Elliott is whining for them to come up on the bed with us. So far so good, his foster mom said if it didn't work out that they were going to keep him. I felt bad taking him from them today, because they seemed to have already decided they wanted him. He is not neutered and has not had any shots yet, so off to the vet this week for a snip snip job and vaccinations. I will post more pics once he has settled in. Thanks again for everyone's input, I really appreciate it!
    Without further ado, here he is:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Rural Eastern Ontario Canada
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    He is a beauty! Congratulations on getting him in your family.

    I have only known one westie; he belonged to the captain of my Girl Guide company in England and went everywhere with us, camping, hiking, etc. He was a great personality and very friendly!
    Lilith Cherry
    "
    "Love never claims, it ever gives. Love ever suffers, never resents, never revenges itself." -Mahatma Gandhi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Wyoming, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveMyAbbyGirl View Post
    Funny you say that, lol. I'm also a groomer (well, going through the mentorship to become a groomer, but I've been a grooming assistant for 2 years) and out of the 10ish Westies we have that come in, almost all of them are naughty for grooming.
    I think it depends A LOT on the area one is in, and the breeders in that area. For example, we also never have problems with chows here. I hear horror stories all the time from groomers all over that have major problems with chows, but every single one we groom is an absolute sweetie.

    The breeds we consistently have problems with are labs and german shepherds ... normally dogs you don't hear too much about causing problems at the groomers. I think it directly related to the large number of back yard breeders around here churning out poor quality, ill tempered labs and shepherds by the hundreds.
    "We give dogs the time we can spare, the space we can spare and the love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made" - M. Facklam

    "We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams."- P.S. Beagle

    "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king." - J.R.R. Tolkien

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Killearn, Scotland
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    10,749
    What a cutie! I hope he settles in well.

    Neighbours to either side of us always had westies when I was growing up. They were generally sweet little things. One had the rather peculiar quirk that he didn't like planes passing over his garden. He used to run up the back and bark until the plane was some distance away. He also didn't like people walking past the front of his house, but he was absolutely fine if you were inside.
    Last edited by Killearn Kitties; 12-01-2008 at 10:45 AM. Reason: typo

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
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    9,876
    Congratulations, he is adorable. I hope everying goes well for you. Sounds like you are all off to a good start.

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