The breed was developed from Cairn terrier ancestry.
It was the Malcolms of Poltalloch in Argyllshire who developed a white strain of Cairns in the mid 19th century. Many Cairns breeders had been in the practice of culling white puppies but the Malcolms asserted that they were easier to see when working on the moors.
The West Highland White was eventually developed to become a little shorter in the body and with a higher tail carriage than the Cairn.
West Highland White Terrier are immediately identifiable by their dense, harsh white short coats.
Westies are smart, independent, and can be stubborn. They are also lively and fun dogs but do not always feel the need for human direction.