The difference between Scotties and Westies

Max & Yip, originally uploaded by Claudi Delft.

How to tell a West Highland from a Scottish Terrier. It’s really not that hard.


See more Scottish Terrier and Scottie Dog photos.

If you’re looking for information and pictures of West Highland Terriers, it’s West Highland Terrier Wednesday you want.

18 thoughts on “The difference between Scotties and Westies

  1. Thank you! I cannot tell you how many times I get asked if Cambria is a Westie. Do Westies have bat ears? Or crazy long snouts? Or reddish coloring along the back?

    I know that seeing a wheaten colored scottie is rare, but she definitely doesn’t look like a Westie.

  2. Jessica,
    I always get the same questions with my Wheaten Scottie too. Their faces really are nothing alike. Oh well, they are both adorable dogs so we don’t take offense. Own big problem is – our groomer cannot for the life of her get our Scotties eyebrows right! Wow – is it really that difficult? Right now she looks like a unicorn with a long tuft BETWEEN her eyes. Oh well….

  3. I had the opposite question . . . a woman came up to us and asked if our Westie was a Scottish terrier. At the time, I thought all Scotties were black. Now we know better!

  4. I totally agree….”I” don’t think it’s difficult at ALL to tell the difference. It’s the shape of their snout. But like Jessica here, with a wheaten color Scottie, many times people think Duncan is also a Westie. Shows ya they don’t really know their breeds.

  5. I think Westies are more common, and that’s why we Wheaten Scottie people are questioned. I’ve been asked “Is that a Schnauzer” or worse “Is that a Poodle?” Ya gotta love people who are missing out on the world’s best kept secret — Scottish Terriers — whatever the color! I just proudly tell people that wheaten Scotties are rare.

    The worst comment came from a dog trainer at PetSmart. He claimed he knew everything about dogs. When he saw my Wheaten Scottie, he said the color was probably a defect. OMG! I was speechless by the comment — for once! LOL!

  6. Before I knew about “wheatens” I would think of the Westies as the “white scotties with the round heads” and the wheaten ones as the “the white scotties with the pointy heads”. LOL!

    And yes, I kept thinking the giant schnauzers were really big Scotties!

  7. They definitely look different as adults. But I saw a Wheaten Scottie pup (3 months) over the weekend, and it looked just like our Westies when they were pups (we have 2). I assume their bodies aren’t fully matured yet at 3 months, so it’s hard to tell the difference when they are puppies, imo.

  8. Hi I only just stumbled on this page because I was trying to find comparisons between a Wheaten Aberdeen Terrier (which I knew about) and the Sealyhams about which breed I was reading in an Agatha Christie. I hope I do not offend anyone but from the pics I saw on the net I felt they looked very similar to the Aberdeen? Could you describe the differences? I do love terriers so much for the intelligence and person like characters! 🙂


  9. PS: I should maybe specify: apart from the floppy ears on the Sealyham, are there other differences to the Aberdeen?


  10. I guess that if you don't know them you might think they are similar. These links might be helpful: Sealyham:
    and wheaten Scottie:
    "Aberdeen" was the ancestor to the modern Scottie and apparently they were still called that in Christie's time. Among other things, a Sealyham is always mainly white, I found them to be larger than Scotties in general and their coat is more curly if it's not stripped. Just not the same dog at all! At least you're trying to find out instead of calling them all "Westies" though. 🙂

  11. Thank you so much for your answers. How sad that the Sealyham is in such decline! They look very cute and jolly too and I cannot understand why they wouldn't still be popular. 🙁 But maybe Charmin's winning Crufts' will make the breed more popular again. Sorry for calling the Scotties Aberdeen, I thought both names were (still) used.


  12. I have 2 Westies with long shaggy white coats. They are frequently identified by people as Scotties. Even Westie owners often ask me what kind of dogs they are, because they have never seen a Westie without the Westie hair cut.

  13. I have a westie but even I have a hard time telling if she is a true westie. Her ears are long but set farther apart then the scotties. She has a reddish tinted stripe that goes down her back and her snout seems a little long. But! when she gets a “westie cut” she looks just like shes supposed to 😀

    I think it can be tricky to tell the difference between a wheaten scottie and a westie, especially if their hair cut isn’t on point.

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