Acquired: Pet store
Posted September 23, 2014
I normally don't condone buying a pet store dog. I think it promotes puppy mills, which I don't agree with. However, when I was at the pet store with my kids I overheard the staff talking about sending this adorable Westie to the pound because he had been there for so long (he was 6 months old) and no one had bought him. I talked to the manager and he let me adopt the Westie for $200 (the puppies there sell for $900 and up).
Because he had been a pet store dog for so long he was extremely hard to potty train. He was used to using the bathroom whenever he wanted and even in his sleeping area. Because of this, it probably took about 6 months to potty train him completely. If he hadn't been a pet store dog, I think the potty training would have gone much more quickly and smoothly.
I have to say, personality wise, the Westie has probably been one of my very favorite dogs. What a personality this breed has! He had a perfect blend of being independent and still wanting to snuggle and get attention. He was a good watch dog and would always alert us when someone was at the door.
He was not an aggressive dog and got along well with our other dogs and cat. The only animals we had that he was overly curious about were our guinea pigs, but he never tried to hurt them.
Westie's are burrowers, so he loved to dig beneath blankets and burrow under them. :-). He also had a lot of stamina. I could easily take him on a four mile walk and he would keep up easily.
Training wise, he was moderately easy to train. I did clicker training with him, and he did very well with it. Westie's are highly intelligent, but can also be stubborn. So he learned tricks easily when he wanted to, but when he decided he didn't want to, he would get stubborn and sit and look at me and refuse to cooperate. Once he learned the trick, he would do it on command always. I taught him both hand commands and voice commands for every trick and he was great at remembering both.
This breed is great with children, however caution should be used with young children because they can pull fur (which our Westie tolerated, but would growl and bark if it got to be too much... but he never bit).
This breed does require monthly grooming and frequent brushing to keep their coat in good condition. Our Westie also had several food allergies (very typical of this breed), so he had to eat a corn, wheat, beef, and chicken free dog food.
I highly recommend this dog breed!