How to Groom a West Highland White Terrier

Updated February 21, 2017

West Highland White Terriers, or Westies, are cute, doe-eyed little dogs with confidence in abundance. They have a thick but short white coat that generally has a coarse texture. They have dark, expressive eyes which are set fairly far back in the head. Groom your Westie's coat fully every 4 to 6 weeks and give him a general grooming twice per week.

Brush out the soft undercoat with a slicker brush, pin brushes and metal combs. The undercoat can easily become tangled and matted and the knots are painful to remove if you don't brush your dog's coat regularly.

Use thinning shears to give your West Highland White Terrier's head and face a rounded look. You can also use thinning shears all over the body to get rid of stray hairs that can give the coat an untidy appearance.

Bathe the dog with a mild whitening shampoo. West Highland White Terriers tend to have dry skin, so don't bathe them too often or with harsh products. Shampoos high in protein are the best. If the dog gets dirty soon after bathing and stains their coat, use a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide to remove the marks.

Trim the hair around the ears and eyes with unsharpened scissors. Have someone help you hold the dog's head firmly but gently to avoid injuring her.

Strip the coat twice a year. Professional assistance may be necessary for this. Give the coat a regular trimming every 4 months and keep it at a length no longer than 2 inches.


Westies have a life expectancy of at least 15 years.


Some West Highland White Terriers suffer from chronic skin problems, Perthe's disease (hip problems), hernias, liver disease and jawbone calcification.

Things You'll Need

  • Pin brushes
  • Slicker brush
  • Metal comb
  • Thinning shears
  • Mild whitening shampoo
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