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West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier Dog Breed

Aliases: Westies

Life Span: ranges from 12 to 14 years.
Litter Size: ranges from 2 to 5, with an averge of 3 per litter.
Group: Listed under the Terrier family, the Westie belongs to the dog family that was developed to kill rodents and vermin, trained to retrieve and kill these critters by digging or going underground after them. Two groups, the long-legged and short-legged breeds, belong to the Terrier group.
Color: The traditional color of the West Highland White Terrier is white, but some may be a wheat color or a white with darker colored paws. But in AKC shows the colors other than white will be disqualified, as that is the only acceptable standard color of the West Highland White Terrier.
Hair Length: Short
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: around 11 in height
Male Weight: average weight of 15-24 pounds.
Female Height: around 10 inches in height.
Female Weight: average weight of 15-24 pounds.
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Low Risk

The West Highland White Terrier ranks #109 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it). 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #109  2,206  2.9%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The West Highland White Terrier has a few major ones are globoid cell leukodystrophy, along with Legg Perthes disease and CMO. The Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy disease is similar to Krabbe's disease in people. A storage disease, it is an accumulation of galactocerebroside, which is a component of myelin, leading t o a progressive loss of the myelin. The breeds that are most affected by the disease are the Cairn and the Westie through an autosomal recessive disorder.

Sporadically, the disease has been reported in the beagle, miniature poodle, basset hound, Pomeranian, and blue tick hound. Minor concerns are copper toxicosis, cataracts, patellar luxation, deafness, with suggested testing areas as the hip and knee.