Westies are one of the most characterful breeds of dog out there, but how much do you really know about the West Highland Terrier?
Since the pandemic hit, more of us than ever have welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, with the Kennel Club reporting soaring dog ownership.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often features on people’s canine wishlists is the West Highland Terrier – they are an instantly recognisable breed of dog that make loving family pets.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about West Highland Terriers.
1. A noble lineage
The West Highland Terrier we know today is descended from a number of 19th century breeding programmes in Scotland, with Edward Donald Malcolm, 16th Laird of Poltalloch, credited with its creation. He bred from the Poltalloch Terrier, but other related breeds of the time include George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll's Roseneath Terrier and Dr Americ Edwin Flaxman's Pittenweem Terriers. Photo: Canva/Getty Image
2. A fine gift
During the reign of James VI of Scotland, in the 16th century, the monarch gifted a dozen Scottish White Terriers to the Kingdom of France. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. New arrivals
It's believed that white terriers first arrived on UK shores on a ship from the Spanish Armada that was wrecked on the island of Skye in 1588. Their descendents were kept distinct from other native breeds by the Clan Donald. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Famous furry faces
The Westie's instantly-recognisable looks have made it a favourite for films, television series and advert. They are the face of Cesar dog food and Black & White Scotch whisky, have screen credits in films including The 'The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby', 'Lethal Weapon 3', 'The Departed', 'Game Night' and 'Widows', and have appeared on the small screen in 'Hamish Macbeth', 'King of the Hill' and 'Jeeves & Wooster'. Photo: Canva/Getty Images