Training Tips for Westies: A Guide to Nurturing Well-Behaved Terriers

Affectionately known as Westies, West Highland Terriers have captivated canine lovers worldwide with their distinctive appearance and irresistible charm. The small, feisty breed with a lively personality and a coat as white as the snow originated from Scotland. Before you scour the internet for Westies for sale, understand that the breed was originally a pack of versatile working dogs. Bred to hunt small game and rodents, Westies were known for their compact size, keen sense of smell. However, now Westies are known for so many more endearing traits.

From their spirited nature and a confident demeanour bordering on stubbornness to their intelligence and creativity, everything is simply fascinating. Want to test the intelligence of your Westie at home by training them? Here are some effective training tips to mould your Westie into a well-behaved companion.

Understand the Westie Temperament

Before you kickstart your training specifics, it’s vital to grasp the unique temperament of Westies. Although terriers are known for their confidence and lively nature, their tenacity can sometimes translate into stubbornness, making training a mix of persistence, and clear communication. So always remember to have patience throughout the training sessions.

Start Early: The Importance of Puppy Training

Begin training your Westie early in life to establish a solid foundation. Puppyhood is a crucial period for socialisation, where exposing your pup to various people, animals, and environments can shape a well-adjusted adult dog. Use positive reinforcement techniques during this phase with treats and toys, and praise to encourage desirable behaviours. Consistency is key; establish a routine that includes training sessions, walks, and playtime.

Basic Commands for Obedience

Teaching basic commands to your Westie is essential for their safety and your peace of mind. Start with fundamental commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “down.” Break down each command into small steps and gradually build up to more complex actions. Use clear verbal cues and hand signals, ensuring your Westie understands both forms of communication.

Leash Training: Walks without Tugs

Dogs often hurt themselves when they pull their leash, and sometimes keeping up with the canine pace is simply impossible for humans when they hold the leash. If you want to enjoy hassle-free walks without constant pulling, introduce your Westie to the leash in a positive environment, associating it with treats and play. Practice walking on a loose leash and reward your dog for staying close and not pulling. Consistency is crucial here; if your Westie pulls, stop walking until they relax the tension on the leash.

Addressing Barking Behaviour

Westies have a natural inclination to bark, often alerting their owners to perceived threats. While barking is innate, excessive barking can be problematic. To curb excessive barking, identify the triggers and address the underlying causes. Train your Westie to respond to a “quiet” command and reward them when they stop barking on cue. Consistent practice and patience will help manage this behaviour.


Training Westies require consistency, and as your Westie grows and matures, continue to reinforce learned behaviours and introduce new challenges. You can also go for well-socialised Terriers ready to leave their kennel because they are easy to train. Searching for happy and healthy West Highland terriers for sale near Birmingham? Find them at Douglas Hall Kennels now!

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