Why Westies Are The Worst Dogs? (11 Reasons Why)

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Ava Medina

Ava Medina has 20 years of experience as a veterinarian assistant and is utterly obsessed with rabbits and cats. Ava also volunteers at animal shelters in her spare time.

West Highland White Terriers, better known as Westies, have a reputation for being terrible pets. We looked into the reasons why many dog owners think this way, and we totally get it.

Why Westies Are The Worst Dogs?

1. Noisy

First on our list is their constant high-pitched yapping. Many owners complain that their Westie would bark non-stop at practically anything.

The reason may be any of the following:

  • Pent-up energy
  • Boredom
  • Trying to get your attention

So, in case you haven’t played with your dog in a while, try to take him outside for a walk or a game of fetch.

This way, you don’t only cure the dog’s boredom, but also help them use up some unexpressed energy. Plus, the quality time would do you both good.

Alternatively, see if he’s trying to get you to look at something he’s seen, like a squirrel on the tree outside the window. Sometimes, a little acknowledgment and praise do the trick.

2. Aggressive

They say Westies can be aggressive to humans, but there must be an underlying cause for this. For one, this behavior is highly attributed to their being territorial and overprotective.

Although they may need more aggression management than most breeds, Westies make for excellent watchdogs. It’s recommended to give your dog early training and socialization to curb any aggression tendencies.

When taking your Westie out on a walk or playtime at the dog park, remember to keep them on a leash—unless your dog’s been trained as a puppy and you’re extremely confident, of course.

Either way, it’s best to take proper precautions and be on the safe side always.

3. Unpredictable Temperament

Many say Westies are unpredictable. One moment they like you, then suddenly they don’t want anything to do with you. In fact, this is a common quirk for every other terrier breed.

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Besides, we think they’re just misunderstood. Similar to humans, dogs have their own unique personalities. Their moods change as well depending on their condition and environment.

In a few words, caring for a Westie requires a little bit more patience and understanding than other dogs. If you think this might be a handful for you, maybe opt for a different breed instead.

4. Full of Energy

The West Highland White Terrier is the antonym of calm. Kidding aside, they’re an active breed with impressive stamina and overflowing energy levels.

Westies need ample space to run around and play in. If these needs aren’t met, they may show signs of distress such as excessive barking and chewing.

That said, Westies are ideal for dog owners who follow an active lifestyle or love the outdoors.

5. Difficult to Train

Truth be told, Westies aren’t for first-time dog owners as they’re notorious for being stubborn. These independent thinkers make obedience training, or even potty training, feel like an uphill battle.

However, this doesn’t equate to being untrainable. Training a Westie is better left for the experts, and the earlier they’re trained, the better for everyone.

6. Prone to Health Issues

Prone to Health Issues

West Highland Terriers are prone to allergies and asthma during warm seasons due to their short hair coats. They’re also known to acquire minor health problems related to the eyes, patella, and hips.

Other common health issues Westies experience are:

  • Dental-related
  • Ear diseases
  • Obesity

That said, these symptoms usually manifest as the dog approaches its senior years. Otherwise healthy Westies can live up to 16 years of age.

If you think about it, though, there’s not one dog breed without a breed-specific health problem. So, in general, no matter the breed, proper nutrition and exercise are key to a healthy puppy.

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Whenever you’re worried about your Westie’s health, contact your trusted veterinarian immediately.

7. High Maintenance

Their long, beautiful double coat easily tangle and mat, thus, calling for extensive grooming. Although contrary to popular belief, Westies don’t shed excessively.

These Scottish canines’ coats may look soft and fluffy, but they’re actually coarse. As such, they need daily brushing and occasional baths to keep them smooth.

A regular visit to the groomer is also highly recommended for this breed. This may be too expensive and bothersome to others, so consider this detail when thinking of getting a Westie.

8. Demand Time and Attention

Without early and adequate socialization, Westies may tend to act out. This applies to all dog breeds, actually, and not just for Westies.

To keep your dog from showing poor behavior, make sure you give them plenty of cuddles and playtime. When they’re misbehaving, there’s a good chance that they’re craving your attention.

So, before you take your Westie’s mischievous antics against them, go for a belly rub first. There’s nothing that a little love can’t fix.

9. They’re Not Affectionate

This seems like a sad Westie stereotype. Dogs, in general, are highly social animals. They live in packs and crave constant social interaction.

More often than not, Westies reciprocate our affection. As a result, if you feel like your dog isn’t as lovey-dovey as you expected, they might be feeling insecure or waiting for you to make the first move.

Let’s also not rule out the possibility that your dog may be naturally indifferent towards others. After all, every dog is unique with its own special set of peculiarities.

Additionally, it’s good to remember that although dog temperament guides are credible, they aren’t 100% foolproof. There should be enough room for other possibilities, especially when we’re talking about intelligent creatures such as dogs.

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10. High Prey Drive

Westies were originally bred as vermin hunters, thus, the strong prey drive. They’re known to be snappish towards smaller animals, other pets, and even children, so be extra vigilant around them.

This kind of reaction is linked to poor socialization as well. Therefore, in case you’re not confident about your Westie’s behavior or training, keep them on a leash at all times.

11. They Play Favorites

Westies bond with only one or two people in the household. The reason for this is that these dogs are incredibly loyal and affectionate to whoever they’ve established as their master.

This usually happens with older children and adults. Once they develop an attachment to their favorite human, they may be overly clingy and protective toward them.

As such, Westies make for ideal companion dogs. Their size and agility make them a preferred breed for therapy and service dogs.


Some breeds are better for certain types of households than others. That’s why we recommend potential dog owners to thoroughly research the breed that they want to get.

Research is even more important when you’re adopting a dog. Always check for the previous owner’s history, especially if there are small children and babies at home.

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up any confusion about why Westies are the worst dogs. They’re not. It’s most likely that they just aren’t the right one for you.


  • Ava Medina

    Ava Medina has 20 years of experience as a veterinarian assistant and is utterly obsessed with rabbits and cats. Ava also volunteers at animal shelters in her spare time.

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