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3 Most Frequent Questions and Answers

Irena Whitfield
In the following I am going to briefly answer the most frequent questions I receive. My
answers are based on my personal experience. Everything I mention here worked or works
for me and I cannot guarantee that it will work for you too. I recommend a consultation
with your Vet in any case you consider disturbing.

If you have a question, you can ask me here:


http://westie.thecassiopeia.com/Questions.html

Q1 Aggression and Biting in Westies

A: If you check any categorization of dogs, you will see that male westies are more aggressive
and less trainable than comparable dogs but much more intelligent, easy to socialize, quick to
solve logical tasks etc.

So, if you wish to have a westie you should know that there could be problems.

Drixi, my westie, was quite dominant in his family, consisting of him, two brothers and one sister
and thought that if he started to train us early, everything would be the way he would wish. He
was not aggressive towards strangers but strictly insisted on being the Master in our family and
didn't even allow us to pat him, cuddle or anything. He were not able to treat his wounds, comb
his coat, clean his eyes or ears, cut the nails etc. It took quite a time before we managed to change
this.

But he was very friendly to all strangers, playing with them happily.

Our first Vet advised us to beat him but luckily we didn't follow his advice. Another advice we
received was breaking his character in a dog training school.

I strictly stick to love and friendly communication, and it works. I can guarantee it. It's true that
he will never be a dog seeing the absolute Master in you like some other dogs. Frankly, I prefer
Drixi the way he is, I would be quite annoyed if I should have a dog without a strong,
individualistic character and his own opinions.

Drixi knows exactly when it is important to obey and when it is not so important. I am quite
happy that he knows that I am here to protect and help him and now he comes to me when he
needs help.

For instance, at the Vet's he jumps in my arms to hide from him. It's sweet.

Everything takes time to teach your dog. But definitely, it's worth your efforts.

Of course, you have to be careful to handle a dog like this. You must know him well to tell when
he's angry, will bite and it's wiser to leave him alone.

If you wish to have a subordinate, blindly obeying dog, don't have a westie male.

Q2 Excessive Barking in Westies

A: Barking is a form of communication with other dogs and you. For instance, if someone rings
the doorbell, your dog comes telling you that someone strange is at your door and that you
should be cautious.

It's sufficient if you pat him for his warning but tell your dog that everything is OK and that you
know, you heard the bell too. You will teach him this way that it's not necessary for him to bark
next time it happens.
It'sexactly the same as with people some people talk more than others some less. Of course,
some dogs bark more, some even excessively. Drixi belonged to this group.

I strictly recommend to explain to your dog why he should not bark in the respective situation.
NEVER punish your dog or even beat him for barking. He will not be able to understand why
you do it, will see it as an injustice for his services and become aggressive.

Q3 How Much Should I Feed My Dog

A: Westies belong to small dogs plus have quite a small stomach, so they should receive food
in two regular, main batches, one in the morning, and the other in the evening with possible
rewards, treats in the meantime. And enough fresh water.

Food should be varied, consisting of meat, some fruits, some vegetables, fish, rich in proteins,
vitamins - BUT be careful: avoid too many vitamins, bones, human food etc. More on food and
nutrition, in: http://westie.thecassiopeia.com/

Westies are hungry all the time but you shouldn't feed him that much because then your westie
will be overweight and this will threaten his life. He should be slim, firm muscles.

If you feed him too much when a puppy, he will grow too big, especially if you give him too
much milk. Milk is a problem because it smells lovely to dogs but they have digestive problems,
so caution is in place.

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