The West Highland White Terrier is a small, game, well-balanced hardy looking terrier, exhibiting good showmanship, possessed with no small amount of self-esteem, strongly built, deep in chest and back ribs, with a straight back and powerful hindquarters on muscular legs, and exhibiting in marked degree a great combination of strength and activity. The coat is about two inches long, white in color, hard, with plenty of soft undercoat. The dog should be neatly presented, the longer coat on the back and sides, trimmed to blend into the shorter neck and shoulder coat. Considerable hair is left around the head to act as a frame for the face to yield a typical Westie expression.
Shaped to present a round appearance from the front. Should be in proportion to the body. Expression - Piercing, inquisitive, pert. Eyes - Widely set apart, medium in size, almond shaped, dark brown in color, deep set, sharp and intelligent. Looking from under heavy eyebrows, they give a piercing look. Eye rims are black. Faults - Small, full or light colored eyes. Ears - Small, carried tightly erect, set wide apart, on the top outer edge of the skull. They terminate in a sharp point, and must never be cropped. The hair on the ears is trimmed short and is smooth and velvety, free of fringe at the tips. Black skin pigmentation is preferred. Faults - Round-pointed, broad, large, ears set closely together, not held tightly erect, or placed too low on the side of the head.
Neck - Muscular and well set on sloping shoulders. The length of neck should be in proportion to the remainder of the dog. Faults - Neck too long or too short. Topline - Flat and level, both standing and moving. Faults - High rear, any deviation from above. Body - Compact and of good substance. Ribs deep and well arched in the upper half of rib, extending at least to the elbows, and presenting a flattish side appearance. Back ribs of considerable depth, and distance from last rib to upper thigh as short as compatible with free movement of the body. Chest very deep and extending to the elbows, with breadth in proportion to the size of the dog. Loin short, broad and strong. Faults - Back weak, either too long or too short. Barrel ribs, ribs above elbows.
Angulation, Shoulders - Shoulder blades are well laid back and well knit at the backbone. The shoulder blade should attach to an upper arm of moderate length, and sufficient angle to allow for definite body overhang. Faults - Steep or loaded shoulders. Upper arm too short or too straight. Legs - Forelegs are muscular and well boned. relatively short, but with sufficient length to set the dog up so as not to be too close to the ground. The legs are reasonably straight, and thickly covered with short hard hair.
Very important and seldom seen to perfection. Must be double-coated. The head is shaped by plucking the hair, to present the round appearance. The outer coat consists of straight hard white hair, about two inches long, with shorter coat on neck and shoulders, properly blended and trimmed to blend shorter areas into furnishings, which are longer on stomach and legs. The ideal coat is hard, straight and white, but a hard straight coat which may have some wheaten tipping is preferable to a white fluffy or soft coat. Furnishings may be somewhat softer and longer but should never give the appearance of fluff. Faults - Soft coat. Any silkiness or tendency to curl. Any open or single coat, or one which is too short.
Relatively short, with good substance, and shaped like a carrot. When standing erect it is never extended above the top of the skull. It is covered with hard hair without feather, as straight as possible, carried gaily but not curled over the back. The tail is set on high enough so that the spine does not slope down to it. The tail is never docked. Faults - Set too low, long, thin, carried at half-mast, or curled over back.
Angulation - Thighs are very muscular, well angulated, not set wide apart, with hock well bent, short, and parallel when viewed from the rear. Legs - Rear legs are muscular and relatively short and sinewy. Faults - Weak hocks, long hocks, lack of angulation. Cowhocks. Feet - Hind feet are smaller than front feet, and are thickly padded. Dewclaws may be removed.