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Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd" Compare Cairn Terrier and West Highland White Terrier. Which is better: Cairn Terrier or West Highland White Terrier or American White Shepherd?
Name Cairn Terrier West Highland White Terrier American White Shepherd
OriginsScotland Scotland United States
Group Hunting Dogs Hunting Dogs Working Dogs
Popularity Rank6942513
Reviews311
Rate

Other Names Cairn, Toto Dog Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier, Westie (or Westy) American White Shepherd, White Canadian Shepherd
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1913 as a Terrier breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Terrier breed. Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Terriers group, in the Small sized Terriers section. Recognized by FCI in the Terriers group, in the Small sized Terriers section. Not recognized by FCI.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Club Espanol De Terriers
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Club Espanol De Terriers
No set
Price $700-$1000 $900-$1200 $1800-$2500

General Appearance - Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd

Size Small Small Large
Weight Male: 14-18 pounds (6-8 kg), Female: 13-17 pounds (6-8 kg) Male: 15-22 pounds (7-10 kg), Female: 13-16 pounds (6-7 kg) Male: 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg), Female: 49-71 pounds (22-32 kg)
Avg. Weight Male: 16 pounds (7 kg), Female: 15 pounds (7 kg) Male: 18.5 pounds (8.5 kg), Female: 14.5 pounds (6.5 kg) Male: 77 pounds (35 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg)
Height Male: 10-13 inches (25-33 cm), Female: 9-12 inches (23-30 cm) Male: 10-12 inches (25-30 cm), Female: 9-11 inches (23-28 cm) Male: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm)
Avg. Height Male: 11.5 inches (29 cm), Female: 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) Male: 11 inches (27.5 cm), Female: 10 inches (25.5 cm) Male: 25 inches (62.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (57.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd

Coat Waterproof Dense Wavy
Colors Cream
Red
Wheaten
Brindle
Gray
Silver
Black
White White
Light Cream
Grooming
Average: The Cairn Terrier requires average grooming effort.
Advanced: The West Highland White Terrier requires a lot of grooming.
Average: The American White Shepherd requires average grooming effort.
Shedding Level
Cairn Terriers shed moderately.
West Highland White Terriers shed none to minimal.
American White Shepherds are heavy shedders.

Characteristics - Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd

Temperament Active
Courageous
Intelligent
Assertive
Fearless
Affectionate
Courageous
Friendly
Independent
Alert
Intelligent
Alert
Companionable
Fearless
Aloof
Eager
Selfish
Confidence
Intelligent Rank
Smart: Cairn Terrier's has great intelligence.
Average: West Highland White Terrier's has average obedience intelligence.
Average: American White Shepherd's has average obedience intelligence.
Trainability
Cairn Terriers are easy to train.
West Highland White Terriers are easy to train.
American White Shepherds are easy to train.
Playfulness
The Cairn Terrier is a playful breed.
The West Highland White Terrier is a highly playful breed.
The American White Shepherd is a playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
Cairn Terriers have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
American White Shepherds have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
Affection Level
Cairn Terriers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
West Highland White Terriers are highly affectionate dogs.
American White Shepherds are highly affectionate dogs.
Social Needs
Cairn Terriers need a lot of social interaction.
West Highland White Terriers are a social breed.
American White Shepherds are a social breed.
Barking
High: The Cairn Terrier is a very vocal breed.
High: The West Highland White Terrier is a very vocal breed.
Low to Average: The American White Shepherd rarely barks.
Watchdog Ability
Cairn Terriers are good watchdogs.
West Highland White Terriers are average watchdogs.
American White Shepherds are good watchdogs.
Territorial
Cairn Terriers are average defenders.
West Highland White Terriers are extremely protective guard dogs.
American White Shepherds strongly protect their territory.
Biting Potential Low
The Cairn Terrier has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The West Highland White Terrier has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The American White Shepherd has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Cairn Terriers have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
West Highland White Terriers have lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
American White Shepherds have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Cairn Terriers have average wanderlust potential.
West Highland White Terriers have average wanderlust potential.
American White Shepherds have average wanderlust potential.
Prey Drive
Cairn Terriers have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
West Highland White Terriers have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
American White Shepherds have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen.
Apartment Friendly
Cairn Terriers are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
West Highland White Terriers are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
American White Shepherds are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Adaptability
Cairn Terriers adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
West Highland White Terriers adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
American White Shepherds adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Cairn Terriers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
West Highland White Terriers do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
American White Shepherds do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd

Stranger Friendly
Cairn Terriers are average friendly towards strangers.
West Highland White Terriers are stranger friendly dogs.
American White Shepherds are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Cairn Terriers are kid-friendly dogs.
West Highland White Terriers are kid-friendly dogs.
American White Shepherds are kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Cairn Terriers are average friendly towards cats.
West Highland White Terriers are average friendly towards cats.
American White Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Cairn Terriers are average friendly towards other dogs.
West Highland White Terriers are dog-friendly dogs.
American White Shepherds are average friendly towards other dogs.
Office Friendly Yes
Cairn Terrier is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
No
West Highland White Terrier is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
American White Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Cairn Terriers are usually recommended for elderly people.
West Highland White Terriers are usually recommended for elderly people.
American White Shepherds are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Cairn Terriers are generally with other pets.
West Highland White Terriers are generally with other pets.
American White Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners Yes
Cairn Terriers are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
No
West Highland White Terriers are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Yes
American White Shepherds are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Cairn Terrier breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
West Highland White Terrier breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
American White Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd

Health Issues
Cairn Terriers tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
Very healthy dog breed.
American White Shepherds tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
Health Problems Cataracts
Craniomandibular Osteopathy
Cryptorchidism
Glaucoma
Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy
Hypothyroidism
Legg-perthes Disease
Luxating Patella
Microvascular Dysplasia
Portosystemic Vascular Anomaly (PSVA)
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Atopic Dermatitis
Cataracts
Craniomandibular Osteopathy
Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy
Hyperplastic Dermatosis
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Legg-perthes Disease
Patellar Luxation
Pulmonary Fibrosis
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
No set
Life Expectancy 12-15 years 12-16 years 12-14 years
Hypoallergenic Yes Yes No
Energy Level
Cairn Terriers are high energy dogs.
West Highland White Terriers have a higher energy level than other dog breeds.
American White Shepherds have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
Cairn Terriers need quite a lot of exercise.
West Highland White Terriers need quite a lot of exercise.
American White Shepherds have an average exercise need.
Sleeping Need
Cairn Terriers don't need too much sleep.
West Highland White Terriers are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping.
American White Shepherds sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Avg. daily food consumption 0.5 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Average.
Average to High.
Low to Average.
Weather & Climate Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Cairn Terrier can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The West Highland White Terrier can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness Medium
The Cairn Terrier has an average chance of bad smell.
Low
The West Highland White Terrier has a low chance of bad smell.
Medium
The American White Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Cairn Terrier is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The West Highland White Terrier is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The American White Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Cairn Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier vs American White Shepherd

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 2-10 puppies 2-5 puppies 5-10 puppies

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