What Are the Sleep Habits of the Westie?

West Highland White Terriers, like many breeds, need more sleep than humans in order to stay healthy. Over a period of twenty-four hours, these energetic little dogs require a minimum of thirteen hours of sleep in order to get sufficient rest. They will easily conform to the sleeping habits of their family, however, often getting most of their sleep at night when their humans are sleeping. In addition to this sleep, the West Highland White Terrier will take several naps during the day. New Westie owners can train their dogs to learn good sleeping habits, and armed with the proper information, can determine when your Westie is sleeping too much.

Where your Westie will sleep is an important part of training and housebreaking him. The place you choose for your Westie to sleep should be a safe haven for your pet, where he can retire after an energetic playing session or for the night. Crate training, highly recommended by fanciers of the Westie, will appeal to the dog’s natural den instinct. Some owners prefer to place the crate inside a pen, so that the Westie will have a place to play safely as well as an area to sleep peacefully. Others simply use the crate as a safe place for the dog to stay while he is alone or taking a nap.

It is very important not to use the crate as a form of punishment, since no pet will consider it a safe haven if he associates it with the place he has to go when he has done wrong. The crate itself should be large enough to be comfortable, but not stifling, and should have plenty of soft padding. When used properly, the crate will provide your Westie with a place he’ll go willingly to sleep, and it will also provide a way to transport him from one place to another safely and securely.

Some Westie owners prefer to have their West Highland White Terrier sleep with them in the bedroom. Although there is nothing wrong with this choice, it may be a good idea to give your pet his own bed on the floor near yours. This principle is the same as crating – giving your dog a safe place to go when he needs to take a nap or be alone for a while. Closing the bedroom door at night will keep your Westie from roaming throughout the house at night, and will teach him to sleep at night, rather than wander.

It is not unusual for West Highland White Terriers to tire easily after a vigorous round of play, so your pet will surely want to take a nap. Sleeping too much, however, can be a signal that something is wrong. Continuous sleeping, combined with general weakness or lack of appetite, can be symptoms of medical issues, such as autoimmune disorders or cancer. Reputable breeders do everything in their power to weed out those Westies that may pass on dangerous illnesses, so not every Westie will develop medical issues. However, if you suspect that your Westie is sleeping too much, and may have a medical problem, a visit to the veterinarian for a full check up should be in the near future.

Source by John P Jackson

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