Westies

mrose_s

BusterLove
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
12,169
Likes
0
Points
36
Age
30
Location
QLD, Australia
#1
I've been meaning to make this post for a while. I wanted to ask for some opinions from DOG people (real dog people) that have experience with this breed.

I am not considering owning one. I have no interest in Terriers because of all their Terrier-ness. But this has been bugging me and I know there are a few people on here familiar with them.

I work in a grooming salon, we have probably 10-15 Westies that we groom on a regular basis. I remember when I started, my boss was talking about how awful they can be to groom... and I thought, surely not ALL of them can be that bad. (My boss used to own Westies and she's groomed for 10 years, she's met a few)

But a year later... wow. Only about 2 of all the Westies have decent coping skills.
I mean 90% of them are anxious and highly strung. Either screamers or biters or just stand there trembling.
Now I do think that a big cause of this is the fact that the home they live in treat them like cute, fluffy, white teddy bears and not dogs. They belong to people that don't comb out the knots because "they don't like it" (like they like it anymore when we do it), have no boundaries or rules for their dogs and little to no training or really decent socialisation.

So because I know it's not okay to tar all of one breed with the some brush due to some bad experiences (hell, if I went off numbers of individual dogs met and not taken into account homelife and lines I wouldn't like GSD's or BC's at all)

But..for those that know the breed, what are Westies like? What should they be like? Is that highly strung type personality somewhat built in and has to be worked around or should it not be there at all?
 

crazedACD

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
3,048
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
West Missouri
#2
I'm quite wary of them as when I was a kid my neighbors had one they bought from a pet store. Anytime they left me alone with the dog she would start staring at me, growling, and then run over and bite me :eek: though no one believed me. Not outright puncturing bites but they left marks.

Anyways, I've met quite a few (usually older ones?) that were really nice in boarding and regular bathing. I didn't do too much in the grooming areas so can't comment on brushing and clipping. But they ARE terriers, so I do think they can have a naturally opinionated personality ;) whether they were spoiled or not.
 

Fran101

Resident fainting goat
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
12,546
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
Boston
#3
Only one I've met is a fun dog. (not what I would call "sweet" but, still, fun).. likes to bark when excited, will do anything to chase a rodent, scrappy, stubborn.
Not my kind of dogs at all. But still, not nippy or anxious, just kind of...always looking for trouble and always busy lol

I think its the effect of those cesar dog food commercials, alot of people come into the store looking looking for a sweet easy quiet city dog and ask about them and after further research end up shying away from the breed.
 

NeNe

Member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
47
Likes
0
Points
6
Location
Indiana
#4
We have owned 2 Westies, the most recent one having passed away at the age of 13 about 3 yrs ago. We now have a Schnauzer we adopted from our local shelter. I love Terriers and I love Westies. They can be stubborn and high energy but once they figure out that you are more stubborn than them and that you will not let bad behaviours slide, they make excellent companions. You need to be consistent and no nonsense when they are puppies and they will grow up to be good canine citizens. We often recvd comments from our Vet and others on how well behaved ours were. Of course look for a good breeder and temperment test the puppies.
 

Dizzy

Sit! Good dog.
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Messages
17,761
Likes
1
Points
36
Location
Wales
#5
My gran had a westie :)

Honestly... Most aren't bred for jobs, they're bred to be pets or shown, so temperament I imagine hasn't been a major factor in the selective breeding...

Susie was a fun dog, great with kids, lively but well behaved. I don't think she minded being groomed... She put up with 100s of grandchildren and was pretty cool about that.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
1,226
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Ontario
#6
Only one I've met is a fun dog. (not what I would call "sweet" but, still, fun).. likes to bark when excited, will do anything to chase a rodent, scrappy, stubborn.
Not my kind of dogs at all. But still, not nippy or anxious, just kind of...always looking for trouble and always busy lol

I think its the effect of those cesar dog food commercials, a lot of people come into the store looking looking for a sweet easy quiet city dog and ask about them and after further research end up shying away from the breed.
I agree with all of this.

A lot of times they do fall into the hands of owners looking for an easy pretty little lap dog like Maggie in the commercials and get a little more than they bargain for. They are less 'terrier-ish-' than many terriers, but terriers none-the-less. Radar was exactly like you described op when I adopted him. Skittish, terrified of pretty well everything from people to dogs to plastic bags, and it was all lack of training and socialization. Now he is my go everywhere do anything with dog. He gets the same amount of exercise, training and socialization as my big dogs get and I hold him to the same expectations as them. He is great with other dogs, although some westies can be a little bossy with other dogs and he definitely rules the roost. As far as people go, he could take them or leave them. He will politely let strangers pet and handle him, but doesn't seek out attention from them. He occasionally falls asleep during grooming, because he is used to it. About half of the westies I meet are like Radar and the other half are porky little barking terrors and most of the time it is just how they where raised.
 

Members online

No members online now.
Top