West Highland White Terrier Standard

The West Highland White Terrier is a small, game, well-balanced, hardy-looking terrier, exhibiting good showmanship. possessed with no small amount of self-esteem, strongly built, deep in chest and back ribs, straight back and powerful hindquarters on muscular legs, and exhibiting in marked degree a great combination of strength and activity. The coast should be about 2 inches long, white in color, hard, with plenty of soft undercoat. The dog should be neatly presented. Considerable hair should be left around the head to act as a frame for the face to yield a typical Westie expression.

Coat should be white, as defined by the breed's name. Nose should be black. Black pigmentation is most desirable on lips, eye-rims, pads of feet, nails and skin. Faults: Any coat color other than white and nose color other than black are serious faults.

Very important and seldom seen to perfection; must be double-coated. The outer coat consists of straight hard hair, about 2 inches long, with shorter coat on neck and shoulders, properly blended Faults: Any silkiness or tendency to curl is a serious fault, as is an open or single coat.

Dogs should measure about 11 inches at the withers, bitches about one inch less. Faults: Any specimens much over of under height limits are objectionable.

Should be fairly broad, being in proportion to his powerful jaw, not too long, slightly domed, and gradually tapering to the eyes. There should be a defined stop, eyebrows heavy. Faults: A too long or too narrow skull.

Should be slightly shorter than the skill, powerful and gradually tapering to the nose, which should be large. The jaws should be level and powerful, the teeth well-set and large for the size of the dog. There shall be six incisor teeth between the canines of both lower and uper jaws. A tight scissors bite with upper incisors slightly overlapping the lower incisors or level mouth are equally acceptable. Faults: Muzzle longer than skull. Teeth much undershot or overshot are a serious fault, as are teeth defective or missing.

Small, carried tightly erect, sit wide apart and terminating in a sharp point. They must never be cropped. The hair on the ears should be short, smooth and velvety, and trimmed free of fringe at the tips. Faults: Round-pointed, drop, broad and large ears are very objectionable, as are mule-ears, ears set too closely together or not held tightly erect.

Widely set apart, medium in size, dark in color, slightly sunk in the head, sharp and intelligent. Looking from under heavy eyebrows, they give a piercing look. Faults: Too small, too full or light-colored eyes are very objectionable.

Muscular and nicely set on sloping shoulders. Faults: Short neck or too long neck.

Very deep and extending at least to the elbows with breadth in proportion to size of the dog. Faults: Shallow chest.

Compact and of good substance, level back, ribs deep and well-arched in the upper half of rib, presenting a flattish side appearance, loins broad and strong, hindquarters strong, muscular and wide across the top. Faults: Long or weak back; barrel ribs; high rump.

Both forelegs and hind legs should be muscular and relatively short, but with sufficient length to set the dog up so as not to be too close to the ground. The shoulder blades should be well-laid back and well-knit at the backbone. The chest should be relatively broad and the front legs spaced apart accordingly. The front legs should be reasonable straight and thickly covered with short hard hair. The hind legs should be short and sinewy; the thighs very muscular and not set wide apart, with hocks well-bent. The forefeet are larger than the hind ones, are round, proportionate in size, strong, thickly padded, and covered with short hard hair; they may be properly turned out a slight amount. The hind feet are smaller and thickly padded. Faults: Steep shoulders, loaded shoulders, or out at the elbows. Too light bone. Cow hocks, weak hocks and lack of angulations. A "fiddle-front" is a serious fault.

Relatively short, when standing erect it should never extend above the top of the skull. It should be covered with hard hairs, no feather, as straight as possible, carried gaily but not curled over the back. The tail should be set high enough so that the spine does not slope down to it. The tail must never be docked. Faults: Tail set too low; tail too long or carried at half mast or over back.

Should be free, straight and easy all around. In front, the leg should be freely extended forward by the shoulder. The hind movement should be free, strong and fairly close. The hocks should be freely flexed and drawn close under the body; so that when moving off the foot the body is thrown or pushed forward with some force. Faults: Stiff, stilty or too wide movement behind. Lack of reach in front, and/or drive behind.

Must be alert, gay, courageous and self-reliant, but friendly. Faults: Excess timidity or excess pugnacity.