West Highland White Terriers, like many breeds, need more sleep than humans to stay healthy. Over a twenty-four hour period, these energetic little dogs require a minimum of thirteen hours of sleep to get enough rest. However, they will easily adapt to their family’s sleeping habits, often sleeping most of the night when their humans sleep. In addition to this dream, the West Highland White Terrier will take several naps during the day. New Westie owners can train their dogs to learn good sleep habits, and armed with the right information, they can determine when their Westie is sleeping too much.
Where your Westie will sleep is an important part of training and housebreaking. The place you choose for your Westie to sleep should be a safe haven for your pet, where he can retreat after an energetic play session or overnight. Cage training, highly recommended by Westie fans, will appeal to the dog’s natural den instinct. Some owners prefer to place the box inside a playpen so that the Westie has 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 alone or taking a nap.
It is very important not to use the cage as a form of punishment, since no pet will consider it a safe haven if it associates it with where it has to go when it has done something wrong. The box itself should be large enough to be comfortable, but not stuffy, and it should have enough soft padding. When used correctly, the crate will provide your Westie with a place to go to sleep, and also provide a way to transport it from one place to another safely.
Some Westie owners prefer their West Highland White Terrier to sleep with them in the bedroom. Although there is nothing wrong with this choice, it may be a good idea to give your pet its own bed on the floor near yours. This principle is the same as for cages: give 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 prevent your Westie from roaming around the house at night and will teach him to sleep at night, rather than roam.
It’s not unusual for West Highland White Terriers to tire easily after a vigorous round of play, so your pet is sure to want to take a nap. However, sleeping too much can be a sign that something is wrong. Continuous sleep, combined with general weakness or poor appetite, can be symptoms of medical problems, such as autoimmune disorders or cancer. Reputable breeders do everything in their power to eliminate Westies that can carry dangerous diseases, so not all Westies will develop medical problems. However, if you suspect that your Westie is sleeping too much and may have a medical problem, a visit to the vet for a full check-up should be done in the near future.