The Westie Way

Don't be fooled by the West Highland White Terrier's ultra-cute exterior. He's no lap dog.


“Hello? My dog is lost, and I heard you have a dog that tracks,” said the voice on the phone.

“Yes, I do,” said Allison Platt, looking down at Sprite, the retired champion tracker and the first terrier ever to achieve the title in the scent-stalking sport. “Hey Sprite, we’ve got a job.” But when Platt and Sprite arrived, the man stared in disbelief. “You’re going to track with … a Westie?”

Disbelief soon turned to gratitude. The German Shepherd Dog had been gone 24 hours, but Sprite scented the dog’s bedding, then took off — on leash — through a suburban neighborhood, across a busy road, through a school campus, past woods with power lines, into a construction site, across another road, and into a stream bed. When the Shepherd bolted from the woods next to the stream, Sprite stopped sniffing and looked up proudly. Mission accomplished.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the January 2008 issue of DOG FANCY today, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.


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montanabrat   Missoula, MT

2/3/2013 8:42:53 PM

I never knew that. I wonder if Cairns have that ability? I have a 10 year old Cairn and I'm going to get a Westie puppy this week. Can't find a Cairn for less than $1300. Too much for my budget.

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LaurenM   Somewhere, GA

8/18/2012 7:10:28 AM

Wow....that's so awesome, I had no idea that Westies could track!

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