Westies are cheeky, confident and affectionate characters. They are alert and courageous, making them good guard dogs. They can also be cunning and stubborn but are totally loyal to their families. They make excellent playmates for children, both indoors and outdoors, because they can withstand rough play. However, they must be introduced to cats when they are young, or else they will chase them when they get older. Early social training is imperative if they have to live with other dogs, as they can be rather dominant.
West Highland White Terriers were bred to hunt otters, foxes and vermin. They share their ancestry with the Scottish, Cairn and Dandie Dinmont terriers. Records show that King James I of England requested some “little white earth dogges” out of Scotland in the 1620’s, and these were possibly Westies.