May 1, 2005, 12:32 AM
Post #10 of 19
Hi. I'm glad to see that you are doing lots of research before getting a dog. There should be more potential dog owners like you.
Re: [aliciakok] Should I get Westie or Silky?
[In reply to]
I have limited contact with silky terriers so I know nothing about their temperament. I can only comment on their hair and smell issues. Silkies do not shed but they need to have their hair cut regularly or it will get tangled because.... it's silky. Westies don't shed either but they need to have their hair stripped. Cutting westie hair will not only make the coat look awful, it will also cause problems with the skin in the long run. I have westies and I speak from personal experience. I hand strip them myself. I understand from ERN that a professional groomer hand stripping a westie charges over RM200 for the job and it takes 2 days. Most groomers do not hand strip because it is either too time consuming or they don't know how to hand stip.They will try to convince you that it is not necessary to hand strip and that only show dogs are hand stripped. This is not true. Whether the westie is being shown or is a house pet, the hair should be hand stripped.
On the issue of smell. All dogs smell but male dogs smell more than female dogs because of the testosterone. They have to make their presence smelt. You can bathe your dog more often if the smell bothers you. Westies do not do well from being bathed too often. The natural oils in their skin is important in preventing skin problems. For westies, frequent brushing is better than bathing and the brushing does reduce some of the smell. Personally, I don't mind the smell of my dogs. Human BO is worse by far.
I love westies because they have lively personalities but they can be bossy, wilful and possessive. They want to be the centre of your universe and are not happy sharing that position with anyone else. They may not be physically demanding but they can be emotionally demanding. My westies were all fine if it is just me and them but once another human being or dog came in, if the human being didn't pay them enough attention or if I paid the other dog more attention than the westie "allowed", there was trouble.
If dog hair is a problem for you (as it is for me because I suffer from allergies), you should avoid short haired breeds because they shed. Dogs like chihuahuas, labradors, german shepherds, miniature pinschers, cocker spaniels all shed.
Are you looking for a dog that is pure bred (so that you know what you are in for in terms of breed characteristic) or are you looking for a dog that has certain characteristics (hair and smell being important ). If it is the latter, might I suggest you take a look at PAWS or SPCA? The many dogs there and some of them are not short haired (though most of them are). You could meet one with whom you'd just click.
Whatever you decide, whatever breed or no-particular breed you get, all the best of luck. Whatever dog you get, I'm sure you'll both be very happy because it has been a well researched decision.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated" Mahatma Ghandi.