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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:08 PM

Are West Highland White terriers a testy breed?

Reason I ask is some relatives have one, “Cujo” (not dog’s real name). Cujo is 10 years old.
He has snapped at a little boy twice, a little girl once, and a grown woman once. Enough to break the skin.

Your experience?

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply Are West Highland White terriers a testy breed? (Original post)
raccoon Nov 2012 OP
Autumn Nov 2012 #1
vi5 Nov 2012 #2
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #3
Tien1985 Nov 2012 #10
quinnox Nov 2012 #11
AngryAmish Nov 2012 #26
graham4anything Nov 2012 #4
get the red out Nov 2012 #5
quinnox Nov 2012 #6
bluedigger Nov 2012 #7
raccoon Nov 2012 #17
Itchinjim Nov 2012 #8
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #9
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #12
Aerows Nov 2012 #15
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #21
Aerows Nov 2012 #32
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #35
Aerows Nov 2012 #40
meti57b Nov 2012 #29
Aerows Nov 2012 #31
meti57b Nov 2012 #37
kydo Nov 2012 #13
Aerows Nov 2012 #14
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #16
littlewolf Nov 2012 #36
elfin Nov 2012 #18
Walk away Nov 2012 #19
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #20
louis-t Nov 2012 #22
LisaLynne Nov 2012 #25
Aerows Nov 2012 #33
FarCenter Nov 2012 #23
TorchTheWitch Nov 2012 #24
s-cubed Nov 2012 #27
frogmarch Nov 2012 #28
Bigmack Nov 2012 #30
RebelOne Nov 2012 #34
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #38
KG Nov 2012 #39
mainer Nov 2012 #41

Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:11 PM

1. A friend has one. She is a sweetie, they are small dogs

and it has been my experience that some small dogs will snap at children and some adults if they get nervous.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:11 PM

2. We had one for 12 years.

It was definitely on the high strung side of things but never bit or snapped at anyone during that time.. If I'm not mistaken they were bred to be hunting dogs.

As always and with all breeds though, it dependso on the training and the owner.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:13 PM

3. I have no idea.

But I read testy as tasty. I don't know about that either, but asking about how they taste would have made for a terrific old fashioned flame fest.

Yes. well, I'll leave now.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:30 PM

10. I read that too...

Even tried to read it again--still saw tasty. Oh well.

I dot think they are any snappier than other breeds. I don't think folks tend to baby small breeds and that creates a lot of poor behavior

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:32 PM

11. same here

 

read it the same way, and only got it was testy the second time reading it.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:03 PM

26. me makes four

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:13 PM

4. Alot of dogs from the Terrier family are that way to some. Loveable to a few, not so to others

 

and they are a smart breed.

We had three minature schnauzer's and while I was the favorite of all 3, even I got snapped at every once in a while, and they are very protective and territorial and jealous.

They do make good watch dogs in most cases though. But they are not vicious(it's not real bites, even though it does hurt a bit).

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:14 PM

5. There was on in an obedience class with my dog

It was a very sweet little dog, but obviously the owners were working with her to help her understand the behavior expected of her since she was in the class. The owner came with her little girl every week so the girl could also help train the dog, she appeared to be an excellent little pet and did great with the child.

I also know someone who has one and has never mentioned her nipping anyone.

Like many dogs, they probably behave about as well as the owners work to teach them to behave.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:16 PM

6. No idea, but try dealing with a pit bull, if you want to see testy

 

yikes. And they are a lot bigger too.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:17 PM

7. Are these incidents all recent?

I'm not familiar with the breed, but older dogs sometimes have behavioral changes due to aging.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:48 PM

17. Yes, within a year or two. I too thought the dog might be getting old and cranky. nt

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:22 PM

8. I have two and to humans they are nicest little pups on earth.

However they the worst nightmares of small critters like rabbits and squirrels. They are terriers so they are high spirited and may sometimes playfully nip a finger or two, but they are too small to do any real damage.


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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:30 PM

9. My guess is complete lack of training on the part of the owners

I bet they treat the dog like a child rather then a dog and have allowed the dog to be the boss.

People often do this with little dogs.

When people do it with large breeds often either the dog or a person ends up dead.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:36 PM

12. At first I thought you wrote "tasty".....

And thought I could at least give a hypothetical if not humorous answer.

Yes! Tasty as hell with a garlic rub and some lemon!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:45 PM

15. LOL

I read it the same way, too for a second

I had to check to make sure I wasn't in cooking and baking.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:52 PM

21. "Yes, I'll have the West Highland in white wine...

With peas and roasted potatoes, please"

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:37 PM

32. Do you have the recipe

for the West Highland with mushrooms and wild rice? I was thinking of making it when my parents come to visit.

We are so bad, but that was funny as hell when I first read it, and then realized I wasn't the only one !

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Response to Aerows (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:56 PM

35. My bestest bud ever, the late, great Mr. BB, had hindquarters that would feed 3.....

Here he is;



When he was at his peak, he was 35 pounds of solid muscle and fun. I used to grab onr of his rear legs with both hands and say "I'm gonna cut this off and cook it up with 'shrooms and lemons"

He would look at me with a smile and an expression that said "If I was three feet taller and had opposable thumbs, you would be MY dinner. But I love you too much, so there you go!"

It is funny to think about, primarily because we love our dogs so terribly much in this country. I would no more eat a dog than I would eat a horse, but yea, I can give you a recipe in a heartbeat!

It MUST include Marjoram and Sage.

"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where the dogs go."

- Will Rogers

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:39 PM

40. He was beautiful

My favorite dog was the late, great Blue, a humongous Doberman Pinscher. He looked frightening, would defend me to his last breath, and had a heart of pure gold. If you haven't had a 100 pound dog try to sit in your lap, or grab the shower curtain and run through the house with it while you were trying to give his huge ass a bath, you haven't lived yet LOL.

He was a steel blue Doberman that was freakishly huge, and I absolutely adored him. I LOVED letting him get the leash between his teeth and he would tow me down the street on my rollerblades. He could run forever, and pulling me along was pretty much effortless for that huge guy.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:15 PM

29. LOL ....that's what I saw it as, too!

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Response to meti57b (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:36 PM

31. LMAO

We are so bad !

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Response to Aerows (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:24 AM

37. LOL! ... actually, I think it comes from doing too much "speed reading", which doesn't always work.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:38 PM

13. depends on whether they watch fox news or not



I thought the title read, "are west highland white terrorist a testy breed" you mean the dog and I was thinking repubican....

All dogs are awesome and great, its the owners that tend to cause the problem. no really if a dog has issue usually it is because of the owner. Most dog issues can be solved by simply walking your dog.



**edited cause I suck at spelling

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:44 PM

14. OMG

For a second I read that as "tasty". I thought where the hell am I?

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:47 PM

16. All terrier types have a built-in tendency to be snappy, nippy, bitey.

I say this based on my professional experience as a veterinarian, BTW.

Doesn't mean they are ALL equally problematic. But I did see a schnauzer bite an infant in the face one time, completely unprovoked, obviously (it wasn't serious but did leave a scar).

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:26 PM

36. I was going to

say the same thing any terrier is nippy.
westies being smaller do not do the level
damage as say a pit bull terrier
but any terrier will nip
and lord help you if you have hamsters
or any other small furry rodent pets.

now we had a border collie and she would
really nip little kids on the heels to try and
"herd" them she would also "bump" them into line

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:49 PM

18. Have had westies in my life for nearly 40 years here

The first one did snap at a 7 year old. His sight was failing and she startled him by lunging into his face for a "kiss". She got a growl and a snap that might have led to stitches if just a bit closer.

Our second one - also lived past 13 and no problems at all.

Now on my third, now also 13. No problems, BUT I recognize he is now an older terrier that may be lacking in patience around a pestering kid. So I keep him away from little ones, who think he is like a stuffed animal to play with. That's because Westies are so damn cute and look and often act like a pup, even as seniors.

Westies are cheerful, smart, loving, playful and generally hilarious. However, they can be stubborn and independent like many terriers, especially past age 10. But so worth it.

The owners need to have its vision and general health checked. Dogs , especially terriers IMO, get grumpy when older and startled, or in discomfort.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:51 PM

19. I have many Westie clients and I own a Cairn Terrier

(Westies and Cairns are basically the same breed but different colors) They usually love kids. They are a fun and rambunctious little breed and need early training and (especially) socialization. Every dog is different even within a breed. Some of these little terriers are possessive of chew toy or high value treats.

My Henry was due to be put down by his original family at 11 months because he was aggressive towards the kids. I adopted him and he has been a model citizen ever since. The difference? I am an experienced dog owner who took the time to train and socialize Henry. For the past twelve tears he has been completely trustworthy, tolerant and loving with children of all ages.

Your relatives (like Henry's owners) may simply be "out dogged". At 10 years old they should be aware of their dog's temperament and not be taking chances with kids. If this is something new and the dog has never shown signs of aggression before, this little Westie should be going to the Vets for blood tests. It could be something as simple as Thyroid problems.

To sum it up, these little Terriers aren't Golden Retrievers but they generally like kids. The aggression he is showing may be due to possessive behavior (Terriers/territorial) or even health related. Ten years is a good time to have his senior bloods done anyway.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:52 PM

20. All dogs are individuals, so there's hard rule. That being said, Terriers are generally very

 

smart and easily bored. They were bred specifically to kill vermin and the Westies are no exception. When I'm asked to recommend a dog, terriers are generally down the list for most people, although I had nothing but Terriers for many, many years. They have great personalities in abundance and are pretty high energy. They do not suffer fools gladly and can fairly easily be provoked to violence.

Like most dogs, the purpose for which they were bred isn’t in great demand anymore. So, if you want a well mannered Terrier you must be prepared to spend a lot of time teaching them and have a lot of time to give them attention. They’re pretty high maintenance.

Probably the most common thing I tell people about Terriers, gun dogs, and the herding breeds is that they need a job. If you don't give them one, they will find one on their own and you probably won't like their decision.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:54 PM

22. Oops, I thought it said 'tasty'.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:02 PM

25. I did, too.

My excuse is that I've been sick, so ... lack of sleep?

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:46 PM

33. Thank goodness more than a few of us

had to blink a couple of times before laughing our behinds off. As I said up thread, I thought, did I fall into the cooking and baking twilight zone?

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:55 PM

23. Small dogs and little kids are not a good combination.

Baby killed by family's Jack Russell terrier died from head injury, say police

A week-old baby who was killed after being bitten by a dog died from a “significant” head injury, police said today.

Officers investigating the death of eight-day-old Harry Harper confirmed a post mortem examination had been completed.

Harry was pronounced dead after being taken to Telford's Princess Royal Hospital from a semi-detached house in Woodside Road, Ketley, Telford, on Tuesday morning.

Police have said that "initial indications" suggest the baby died as a result of being bitten by the family's pet Jack Russell, which has since been put down.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/baby-killed-by-familys-jack-russell-terrier-died-from-head-injury-say-police-8347102.html

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:01 PM

24. it's not the breed it's the lack of training and supervision

I really hate it that people are so quick to blame a breed for a lack of training and proper supervision of dogs particularly around children. This dog didn't "snap" at people either - it BIT them. "Snapping at" means the dog made biting motions near the person without actually touching them at all which is a warning tactic, and no dog should be allowed to do that either without a legitimate reason. Anytime a dog bites a person and breaks the skin it should be reported.

This dog long since needed to be kept away from people and taught that it can't bite anyone when if wants to, and sometimes the fastest way to wake up the owners that this biting dog is a problem is to report any bite that breaks the skin... the local government will enforce proper segregation of the dog from people and proper training so it doesn't continue to be permitted to go around biting whoever it wants to.

It's never the breed or the particular dog - it's ALWAYS the owner and their lack of training and supervision.


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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:05 PM

27. A dog that age should be thoroughly checked by a vet.

Any dog in pain can behave that way, or one that is losing sight or hearing. Especially since it seems recent behaviorisl change, there may be a medical problem behind it.
All dogs, regardless of size, or breed need training, and socializing with all kinds of people and with other dogs.

There are breed characteristics but also individual differences between dogs of the same breed. Socializing and training can reduce characteristics, but usually they remain to some extent.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:14 PM

28. My sister's 6-year-old Westy

bit my daughter's lower lip once when she got too close to his face while petting him. That was 30 years ago, when she was 10. She had several reconstructive surgeries on her lip and it ended up looking good, but she still has no feeling in it. Despite that, several years after the incident she placed first at state music contest with her flute solo.

Bobo the Westy was high strung and not cuddly, but he'd never bitten anyone before. He knew my daughter well, and she'd done nothing to provoke him. She stayed away from him from then on, and so did the rest of us.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:25 PM

30. Owned a Westie for 16 years and now TWO cairns

ANY dog, but MAYBE especially terriers, need to be socialized and trained properly. Our terriers have NEVER snapped at anyone and are (and were) quite gentle, tho a touch on the rambunctious side, but because we don't have small children around, we ALWAYS watch them carefully around our young granddaughter. Never had a problem, but kids are kids and ALL should be carefully watched when they are around dogs that they don't live with (which hopefully have been carefully socialized to be around them). ALMOST all problems between dogs and people can be explained by poor training, tho of course there are a few problematic critters. I remember that when i was a kid - maybe around nine - I was bitten by our cocker spaniel, but I ALSO remember that it was TOTALLY my fault, as i was teasing the dog. Ms Bigmack

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:53 PM

34. I have a Chihuahua that does not like anyone.

I did not train her to be that way. I also had a Rottweiler that loved all other animals and people.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:41 AM

38. Not if you have them neutered.

Ba-dum-bum-psssh!

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:58 AM

39. not if, like any dog, it knows its place in the pack. this is not a calm submissive dog.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:42 PM

41. Only other westie i know started biting around that age

Up tillmthen he was pretty sweet. Old age made him cranky. Maybe it's the aches of age.

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