I spent the first decade or so of my adult life in a Ph.D. program, studying the literature and history of Scotland. Though my scholarly career is now in the past, all things Scottish maintain a strong hold on my affections. Among the wide variety of terrier breeds, six trace their origins back to the northernmost part of the British Isles. Today, we’re focusing on pictures of West Highland White Terrier puppies. Westies, as they’re known, are generally regarded as a happy and high-spirited bunch.
Westie puppies grow into small- to medium-sized dogs — about a foot tall and around 20 pounds when fully mature — but their intense energy and independent spirit may not appeal to everyone. One of the benefits of cute puppy pictures, of course, is that we get all the endorphin-filled joy of seeing Westie puppies in a range of amusing circumstances without having to bear the responsibilities that come with them in practice.
West Highland Terrier puppies true origins are lost to time, though it’s widely thought that small white terriers were common in the Scottish Highlands as early as the 16th century. Dog breeds tend to develop individual characteristics and reputations over time, so it’s unsurprising that West Highland White Terriers were only recognized as a separate breed in the early 20th century. Imagine, if you will, the sight of that first Westie puppy peeping its tiny head from the whelping box!
Interestingly, Westie puppies were not always thought to be as precious or adorable as we find them today. Indeed, in more superstitious times, white-coated animals were viewed as being less tough or less healthy than dogs of color. These odd suspicions of West Highland Terrier puppies rivals modern phenomena such as black dog syndrome.
While these perceptions had little foundation in fact during previous centuries, modern Westie puppies, however, are genetically predisposed to inherit a number of compromising health issues. Even so, a genetic inheritance does not mean that West Highland Terrier puppies will develop problems, nor that they will live shorter lives. Like many smaller dogs, healthy Westies tend to live well over 10 years.
As is the case with the other five Scottish terrier breeds — including Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Dandie Dinmonts, Scotties, and Skye Terriers — Westie puppies were initially developed and trained as working dogs. Terriers have an ancient reputation for restlessness, activity, and energy. The contemporary Westie puppy has lost none of the classic terrier exuberance for action!
These qualities, as well as the strong prey drive, made Westie puppies prime agents of pest control over the rough terrain of Scottish farms. West Highland Terrier puppy pictures give us a sense of their dynamism and love for constant activity. If Westie puppies dream, surely their reveries transport them to mountainous vistas like this one, where they are free to run after rats all day.
Although they are thoroughly domesticated now, Westie puppies still crave excitement and physical activity. Whether that’s learning to skateboard, patrolling crags in quest of rodents, or running free along a stretch of uninterrupted shoreline, West Highland Terrier puppies are anything but lapdogs. We may never know their true thoughts on Scottish independence, but we do know that Westies carry that spirit deep within their souls.
Naturally, as active and outdoorsy as Westie puppies can be, those gleaming white double coats that adorn their compact frames may not stay pristine for long. Grooming is an essential part of a West Highland Terrier puppy’s routine, and it’s not just restricted to brushing or trimming their low-shedding coats. After all, digging is a favorite pastime of the typical Westie puppy, as I’m sure their owners can attest.
Naturally, West Highland Terrier puppies can be trained, and the earlier that process begins, the better for everyone. Because Westies are members of such an active and engaged breed, they do get bored quickly. Toys, games, and dog puzzles can keep Westie puppies entertained and out of mischief when you’re at work or school. Cuddle all the toys!
Westie puppies want to be in the middle of everything their owners do. This includes holiday observances of all kinds. Shark Week may not be an actual holiday season, but it might as well be. Between the latest Sharknado sequel — did you know they’ve already announced Sharknado 4? — and a plethora of shark-related activity in the news, it’s astounding that that there aren’t greeting cards yet. A stuffed shark toy will let your Westie puppy feel involved.
Westie puppies are not large dogs, so it’s not as though they’ll lay waste to all of your home furnishings if you forget to leave a toy for them to play with when you run out to the grocery store. However, should you carefully arrange fresh rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom, a West Highland Terrier puppy with nothing better to do is probably a recipe for disaster.
We all love puppies, but like with human children, it’s easy to forget how much work they can be. That’s why I love these photo essays of puppy pictures. We can revel in the twee and coo over how sweet Westie puppies appear without any of the actual work of raising them.
Are there any Westie fans or owners out there? Which of these baby puppies is your particular favorite? Do you own a West Highland Terrier yourself? Share the good, the bad, and the messy of these sprightly terriers — as well as your own photos — in the comments below!
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About the author: Melvin Peña trained as a scholar and teacher of 18th-century British literature before turning his research and writing skills to puppies and kittens. He enjoys making art, hiking, and concert-going, as well as dazzling crowds with operatic karaoke performances. He has a one-year-old female Bluetick Coonhound mix named Idris, and his online life is conveniently encapsulated here.