Dear Miss Jane,
I would like more info on grooming a
westie. I presently clip my Webster but not sure I am getting the head just
right. Do you know where I could go to a school to learn dog grooming? Not just
Westies but all breeds, especially Westies though.
Nice to hear from you. Grooming Westies is quite an
art, isn't it? Groomers will tell a client they know how to groom a Westie and
then the poor dog turns out looking like a Schnauzer or worse! The first place
to check out information on grooming schools is at: http://www.petgroomer.com/DIRECTORY/schools.htm The directory will give you a list of schools in your
state and hopefully you'll find one in your area.
There are two ways of grooming a
Westie, handstripping or clippering. Once you've taken clippers to the coat, it
is very difficult to get the proper harshness back. In order for the head to
look right it helps to pull out hairs rather than scissor. You can scissor but
if you want the chrysanthemum head look you see on show dogs, you really can
only get that look by finger plucking, some scissoring, teasing, mousse and
Good luck in all your endeavors.
Top of page
Dear Miss Jane,
I am involved in the Northern Ill.
West Highland Terrier Rescue. My most recent acquisition is a 4 year old male
that goes "crazy" when a thunder storm occurs. He even gets nervous when it
starts to rain. He runs to the window and barks and barks even time the
lightening flashes and the thunder crashes. Any feedback on how to recondition
him. He appears to be a very bright dog however in the past has also bitten so
I want to be careful on how we deal wtih. So far I have fosterd him for a week
and half and no signs of aggression he is a "perfect" dog except for the fear
of storms. I even tried putting him in his cage with a towel over the top of it
Ah yes, you have a "Storm Dog". I have had two of
those, one Greyhound, one Westie. Panting and pacing are two early signs dogs
give to alert us to changes in the barometric pressure, I'm not exactly sure
what part of the body is affected with dogs but I know I get terrible headaches
during some storms. A storm dog "feels" the storm more
intensely than we do and the noise associated with thunder storms just double
the anxiety. I have a cat who practically goes wild during certain rain storms.
A meterologist I'm sure could explain to me why.
Sometimes dogs try to ground
themselves from the static electricity in the air produced by lightning so they
search out a damp area like a bathtub. Anit-static stips may help your dog
during this time as well. What has really benefitted my "storm-Westie" is the
Bach flower essence Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic remedy that
helps produce a calming effect, without harmful drugs. I have been using it for
years as have many, many people, not only for their dogs but for themselves and
other animals. You can find Rescue Remedy at any good health food store (not
the GNC type) but an honest-to-goodness health food store.
I'm sure your dog will be fine but
if you are going to place him in another home, please alert the new owners to
his fear and pass on my suggestions. Remember storms are more FELT, than seen
or heard, that's why those audio tapes of storms aren't extremely beneficial in
Best of luck to you.
Top of page
Dear Miss Jane,
I have a few questions about the
- I heard you can't bath a Westie,
if this is true how do you keep them clean?
- Are Westies lap dogs?
- Are Westies very playful dogs
especially when there puppies?
- Are there any health problems
with the Westies?
- How many times do you walk a
- What is the best way to house
break a Westie?
Thanks for writing to Westie Wisdom. Owning a Westie
(or any terrier) is a little different than owning any other breed of dog.
Westies were orginally created to go to ground after vermin. The course coat
provided protection as a shield against aggressive prey and resistance to the
harsh elements of the
Scottish Highlands. The Westie has a double coat:
the part of the coat against the skin is dense and soft to keep the dog warm
and the outer coat is course and straight to repel dirt and water, just like an
all weather coat would protect you against the elements, so does the Westies'
functional coat protect him. Frequent bathing of this unique coat will soften
it, making it much easier to attract dirt, and tend to cause skin problems by
removing the essential oils the coat needs. Westies do not shed like other
breeds and their coat really needs to be properly maintained by a process
called hand-stripping, meaning the dead hairs of the coat are pulled out by
finger plucking. This is the best way to avoid any additional skin problems
that some Westies are plagued with. If you feel you must bathe, only do so a
few times A YEAR, not weekly or monthly. When the coat is properly maintained
to correct harshness, dirt just falls right out, even mud. The course coat acts
as a great dirt repellent and even if the dog gets wet and dirty, a quick dry
off and a dry bath with corn starch is all you need to end up with a clean,
fresh smelling dog. Just powder the dog with corn starch, brush in, brush out
and you are all set. Bathing attracts fleas as well, which is another reason to
be very sparing with soap and water.
Westies are busy little dogs who
require at least two walks a day or one walk and several rounds of active play,
like fetching a tennis ball. If you don't provide plenty of exercise for a
Westie, he will amuse himself in ways you never dreamed. Westies are brilliant
and do very well in performance events like obedience, agility, earth dog
trials and terrier races, but overall they simply enjoy being with their
people. Some Westies are lap dogs (I have one who is) but most Westies simply
like to be near by but not on you. They tend to rule the roost if given half a
chance so I highly recommend a good dog obedience class to help you establish a
bond and learn the leadership skills required for owning a terrier.
Westies are VERY active as puppies,
as are all puppies, so make sure your household and lifestyle are appropriate
for having a puppy. Pups are like small children, into everything, have potty
accidents, need constant supervision and a safe place to go when they (and you)
need a break. A dog crate is advised. There is a great article on housebreaking
and one on Westie diseases at the Westie World
web page, which will help answer your questions on those two
Top of page
Dear Miss Jane,
Just bought my first Westie pup - Cody is almost 3
months old. How much will he weigh when full grown?
Hello and thanks for writing to
Well, size and
weight vary depending on your puppy's lineage. Breeders who breed and show
Westies usually have very good stock which meet the standard for Westie size
and weight. Pet shops and casual breeders known as backyard breeders don't
match their Westies with mates which meet the standard and you can very likely
end up with an oversized Westie. Generally speaking male Westies are about 11 -
12 inches in height and weigh 15 to 20 pounds.