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Why Westies Are The Worst? 13 Reasons To Think About

westie cute

Looking for insights on why Westies might not be the best fit for you? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will explore 13 compelling reasons why you may want to reconsider getting a Westie as your furry companion. From their stubborn nature to their high-energy levels, we’ll delve into the aspects that make Westies a challenging breed. So, if you’re interested in making an informed decision, keep reading to discover why Westies might not be the ideal choice for you.

Why Westies Are The Worst Dogs

Every dog owner, regardless of the breed, will attest that all dogs have their positive and negative aspects. And in life, it’s important to consider both sides of the coin to obtain a comprehensive understanding. While Westies undeniably possess several remarkable qualities, it’s essential to acknowledge the reasons why some people deem them as the worst dogs.

Before welcoming a Westie into your home, take a moment to reflect on these thirteen reasons why this particular breed is often criticized:

  1. Westies can be quite stubborn, making training a challenge for novice owners.
  2. They have a high prey drive and may exhibit aggression towards smaller animals.
  3. Westies tend to be territorial, leading to their inclination to bark excessively.
  4. They have a strong prey instinct, which can make recall difficult during walks.
  5. Westies require regular grooming to maintain their distinctive, double-layered coat.
  6. These dogs have a tendency to dig up gardens and lawns.
  7. They can develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.
  8. Westies are known to be prone to certain health issues, including skin allergies and hip dysplasia.
  9. They may not get along well with other dogs, especially those of the same sex.
  10. Westies can display possessive behaviors over their food and toys.
  11. They have high energy levels and require regular physical exercise.
  12. Westies have a strong prey drive, which can make them unsuitable for households with small children or other small pets.
  13. These dogs have a tendency to be vocal, often expressing their opinions with frequent barking.

While these reasons might make it seem like Westies are challenging to handle, it’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and individual experiences may vary. Despite their perceived drawbacks, Westies can still make loving and loyal companions for the right owners who are willing to invest time, effort, and patience in their training and care.

Girl holding her West Highland White Terrier

1. Not Lap Dogs

Westies may appear to be cute and resemble the typical family lap dogs that everyone desires. However, appearances can be deceiving, and in the case of West Highland White Terriers, they are not what they seem!

Originally bred in Scotland, Westies were specifically designed to perform tasks such as vermin hunting, ground excavation, and fearless confrontations. They are far from being lap dogs!

Their compact size and adorable looks are a result of intentional breeding. This enables them to effortlessly crawl through tunnels, burrows, and holes that are characteristic of their hunting instincts. Westies are feisty, independent creatures that are not interested in spending the day cuddling on your lap.

However, their lack of interest in lap cuddles does not diminish their loyalty. West Highland White Terriers are remarkably loyal and will prove to be great companions in that aspect.

So, next time you come across a Westie, remember that they may not be the cuddly lap dogs you were expecting. Instead, admire their tenacity, independence, and unwavering loyalty!

Important Parts:

  • Westies are not lap dogs.
  • They are feisty, independent, and not interested in cuddles on the lap.
  • However, they are loyal and make great companions in other ways.

2. Stubborn

One of the challenging aspects of owning a Westie is their inherent stubbornness. This characteristic is not exclusive to Westies but is common among many terrier breeds. Terriers, including Westies, were originally bred for hunting, which required them to be determined and persistent in their pursuit of elusive prey.

Although most Westies today no longer participate in vermin hunting, their stubborn nature remains. If you ever try to coax a Westie into doing something it doesn’t want to do, be prepared for a battle of wills. Good luck trying to convince them otherwise!

Furthermore, if you happen to release a Westie and it catches a whiff of something intriguing or hears a captivating sound, don’t expect it to come obediently running back to you upon command. Their independent streak can lead them to follow their curiosity without considering your requests.

If you prefer a less stubborn dog, there are other breeds to consider, such as [insert breed name] or [insert breed name]. These breeds may be more amenable to training and less likely to challenge your authority.

3. Not Open To Strangers

Training plays a crucial role in determining whether our Westies will be open to strangers or not. Their socialization and early training are key factors in shaping their behavior.

When we start socializing our West Highland Terriers from a young age, teaching them to be open and friendly towards strangers while avoiding defensive or aggressive behavior, we have the potential to eliminate this trait. However, it’s important to note that training a Westie is not always a breeze. They are intelligent dogs but can also be quite stubborn, which can pose challenges during the training process and sometimes result in behavioral issues.

Nevertheless, there are always two sides to every story. In the case of Westies, their reservedness towards strangers actually makes them excellent watchdogs. Their natural instinct to be wary of unfamiliar individuals adds an extra layer of security to our homes and families.

4. Not Open To Other Dogs

Just as they are not open to strangers, they are not open to other dogs as well. This can be a problem if you want to take your dog to a dog park. Westies are small but brave and feisty, and they will start a fight with another dog. Of course, socialization plays a major role in this behavioral issue, too. Start the socialization early, when your Westie is still a puppy, and teach him that other dogs are not a threat.

However, if you got an adult Westie – don’t worry. You can still work on socializing them with other dogs as well. You will need more patience and time, but it can be done.

The key is to gradually introduce your Westie to other dogs in controlled environments. Begin with one-on-one playdates with a calm and friendly dog. Monitor their interactions closely and provide positive reinforcement when they display good behavior. As your Westie becomes more comfortable, you can slowly increase the number of dogs they are exposed to.

Consistent training and positive reinforcement are essential in helping your Westie overcome their aversion to other dogs. Use treats, praise, and rewards to reinforce good behavior and discourage any signs of aggression or fear. Seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer if needed, as they can provide valuable advice and techniques specific to your Westie’s needs.

Remember, every dog is unique, and it may take time for your Westie to fully adapt to socializing with other dogs. Be patient, understanding, and consistent in your efforts. With proper training and socialization, your Westie can learn to enjoy the company of other dogs and have positive interactions.

They Bark A Lot

Dealing with a dog that barks incessantly can be quite challenging, and it can certainly test your patience. Not only can it lead to problems with your neighbors, particularly if you reside in an apartment building, but it can also become a serious issue to address. This is one of the reasons why Westies are often regarded as being difficult to handle. Put simply, Westies are known for their excessive barking.

It is important to understand why Westies bark so much. They are naturally vocal dogs, always eager to communicate and express themselves. They have a lot to say and are not afraid to make it known. While there are techniques and training methods available to help calm your dog and reduce excessive barking, it is crucial to accept that a Westie will always be a talkative and lively companion.

If you live in a house, having a Westie as a pet might not pose as much of a problem. However, if you reside in an apartment, it may be worth reconsidering your choice. The close proximity of neighbors and limited space can make it challenging to manage a Westie’s enthusiastic vocalizations day in and day out.

They Need Lots Of Mental Stimulation

West Highland White Terriers, also known as Westies, require plenty of mental stimulation to thrive. These energetic dogs simply cannot tolerate being bored for long periods of time. If left without any activities or entertainment, they may resort to destructive behaviors.

While this characteristic can be advantageous when it comes to interacting with children, it is essential to note that Westies are not the most patient dogs, particularly with very young children. Kids often unintentionally harm dogs by pulling, pushing, pinching, or treating them like toys. Therefore, it is crucial to educate children that dogs are living beings and not playthings, no matter how cute and fluffy they appear.

However, if you are seeking a dog who can fulfill the roles of a nanny or protector, larger breeds may be more suitable for these tasks. Westies excel at being playful companions and can keep children entertained while keeping their own canine minds sharp.

In conclusion, it is vital to acknowledge that Westies have a strong need for mental stimulation. They are not suitable for long periods of inactivity and may become destructive if left bored. While they can be great family dogs, extra care must be taken when introducing them to very young children. Just remember, a well-educated and mentally stimulated Westie will make a wonderful and entertaining addition to any family.

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They Need Lots Of Physical Stimulation

Just as they need a lot of mental stimulation, Westies need a lot of physical stimulation, too. In other words, these are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise.

If you thought that all Westies need are belly rubs and an occasional walk in the park, I am sorry to say — you are wrong. Westies are hard-working, agile, and energetic dogs that have the need to run, sniff, explore, and dig around. Their beautiful white coat won’t shine brightly if you don’t give them what they need — exercise.

Of course, shiny fur is a metaphor… their fur will shine if you brush it. But, what I want to say is that Westies won’t be happy if you don’t give them enough daily exercise.

That’s why this dog is not for those who’d rather lounge on the sofa or those who don’t have the time to satisfy their high-energy needs. There are lots of other dog breeds that might be a better choice for you and your family.

8. A Lot Of Skin Problems

Westies are notorious for experiencing numerous skin problems. One particular skin issue they often face is called Canine Dermatitis Atopica. This skin problem is chronic and cannot be completely cured, much like an incurable allergic reaction.

The symptoms of this condition include persistent itchiness of the skin, which leads to excessive biting and scratching over time. If left uncontrolled, these actions can cause the dog to create scratching wounds on its skin. Unfortunately, these wounds provide the perfect environment for secondary infections to occur, which can lead to further complications.

If your Westie is diagnosed with Canine Dermatitis Atopica, your veterinarian will aim to desensitize your dog’s immune response to allergens. Additionally, they may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and antihistamines to manage the symptoms. It is crucial to provide special attention to any secondary infections that may arise.

9. Grooming Troubles

If you ever believed that Westies were low-maintenance due to their nature as working dogs, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Westies possess a double coat and necessitate daily brushing to maintain their appearance. As the proud owner of a Westie, it becomes crucial to brush them each day to prevent tangles and ensure the cleanliness and health of both their inner and outer coat.

Many Westie owners schedule regular grooming sessions with professional groomers approximately every five to six weeks. This grooming routine demands both time and money investment. However, if this aspect makes you consider Westies as troublesome, there are several low-maintenance dog breeds that may be more suitable for you. You can explore a variety of low-maintenance dogs, both large and small, by following this link: [insert link here].

Strong Prey Drive

Having a Westie as a pet can be quite challenging due to their strong prey drive. If you take them to the park and let them off the leash, their instinct to hunt and chase becomes undeniable. No matter how much you call or entice them with treats, they won’t resist the temptation to explore and satisfy their innate prey drive.

However, it’s important to understand that we can’t blame them for this behavior. Westies were originally bred as hunting dogs, and for centuries, they excelled at the task. Suppressing their natural instincts would be unfair and almost impossible.

If you’re still determined to get a Westie despite their stubbornness and prey drive, it’s highly recommended to seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer. With their expertise, they can guide you on how to effectively train your dog and handle any challenges that may arise.

Of course, it’s possible to train your Westie on your own, but it requires a good understanding of proper training techniques and the ability to navigate potential issues. Remember, even though they may be small in size, Westies are just as courageous as larger dogs and, if not properly trained, may try to assert themselves as the alpha of the pack.

11. Separation Anxiety

When you have a dog that is reserved with other humans and other dogs, but is very loyal to its owner, you can have a dog that can develop a behavioral issue called separation anxiety. This is often the situation with Westies. They get used to one person — you, and they might even follow you around the house. Simply put — they want to be with you all the time. So, when you leave the home for a longer period, they get anxious and sad.

To prevent this issue with any dog breed, not just Westies, you need to develop and stick to a proper routine from the start. Also, you can leave some engaging toys or treats while you are away to keep it occupied.

12. Hard To Train

When it comes to training, Westies can be quite challenging. They possess qualities that make the process difficult: stubbornness and a strong prey drive. If you’re facing difficulties, seeking the help of a professional dog trainer is highly recommended. While it is possible to train your dog on your own, it’s important to note that doing so without proper knowledge can worsen the situation. Therefore, it is advisable to use positive reinforcement, treats, and a calm voice when training. However, it’s worth mentioning that training a West Highland White Terrier (WHWT) demands immense patience. It won’t be an easy task, and you must be prepared to invest time and effort. Getting frustrated won’t yield any positive results, so staying calm and composed is crucial.

13. A Lot Of Health Issues

When it comes to Westies, there are several health concerns that need to be mentioned. These adorable dogs may have a few drawbacks when it comes to their well-being. They can be prone to various health problems that can affect their quality of life.

One of the most common issues that Westies face is skin problems, which can affect nearly a quarter of the entire Westie population. This is indeed a significant number and should not be taken lightly. However, it’s not just limited to skin issues.

Westies can also be at risk of developing other health conditions, such as:

  • Cataracts: This eye condition can cause cloudiness and impaired vision.
  • Hip dysplasia: Joint problems that can lead to pain and mobility issues.
  • Degenerative brain disease: A progressive condition that can affect their cognitive functions.
  • Teeth problems: Dental issues that may require regular veterinary care.
  • Ear problems: Westies can be prone to ear infections and other ear-related complications.
  • Patellar luxation: A condition where the kneecap dislocates, causing discomfort and difficulty in walking.

Despite these health challenges, it’s worth mentioning that Westies generally have a long life expectancy, often surpassing 14 years. This is quite impressive compared to other breeds, as it gives them more time to enjoy life with their human companions.

In conclusion, while it’s important to be aware of the potential health issues that Westies may face, their overall lifespan and the joy they bring can outweigh these concerns. Taking proper care, regular vet check-ups, and providing a loving environment can ensure that they lead a happy and healthy life.