West highland white terrier

Score for Seniors: 72%
Activity Level: Medium daily walks
Weight: 13-22 Pounds

westie walking outdoors

Entertaining and energetic, the west highland white terrier has all the qualities to charm dog lovers. He is remarkably similar to other terrier breeds but is he the best dog for seniors and retirees?

Are west highland white terriers (westies) good for seniors?

White terriers are small, sturdy, and spirited dogs that are good for seniors and old couples. Here’s why.

Westies make great lap dogs

Seniors love lap dogs who can offer them warmth and comfort any time of the day and west highland white terriers are excellent at that. They are fun-loving and attention-seeking dogs who find joy in the simplest of things. Signal him to jump into your lap and he will spring into action and thoroughly enjoy you petting him. He loves being an active part of your life and adores being close to you. However, despite being massively affectionate, he will still maintain a certain independence and won’t be too clingy.

Westies are friendly

A Westie is among the most confident dogs you will ever come across. Some might even say he is full of himself but that doesn’t make him any less well-mannered and friendly. Sure, he may get his way sometimes but he is still very sociable and pleasant towards people. Seniors particularly appreciate dogs that are friendly with their grandkids. A Westie will welcomingly wag his tail every time the grandkids visit. He might even think they are there only to see him.

Westies are easy to carry

Seniors also prefer dogs that are not heavy as a rock. Weighing 14 to 20 pounds and standing 10 to 11 inches tall, Westies are tiny dogs that are easy to carry. So, whether you’re running errands or going to the park, you can carry your favorite companion with ease.

Westies need moderate exercise

Most seniors might not be able to manage multiple long walks and frequent visits to the dog park and that’s why Westies are a great choice for them. Thanks to their small size, they don’t need a lot of extensive exercise. Short walks are adequate to keep their mind and body stimulated. Indoor activities such as playtime with toys, fetching the ball, and hide-and-seek also provide a good opportunity to burn his energy.

Westies don’t shed a lot

Westies have a short soft undercoat and a harsh long outer-coat that’s on the low side of average shedding. They’re, unfortunately, not hypoallergenic.

What are the downsides for seniors?

Regular grooming

As with most double-coated dogs, Westies also need regular brushing, trimming, and clipping. Brushing out their coat for two to three minutes daily would prevent it from becoming matted and tangled. Since their coat is white, you may also need to bathe or wipe them down every once in a while to keep them sparkly clean.


West highland white terriers are quick to bark at a new sight. So, it’s important that you train them right from the beginning to stop going off at every new sight and sound.

Regular extensive grooming and excessive barking are the reasons why Westies are not ranking higher in our list, despite being lovely dogs.

Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.