A plus point for the westie breed is that they can be kept as apartment dogs. Westies adapt to being many floors away from the ground and in contact with relatively more people, provided they are given a not a few walks a day, and that they are taken outside often enough to help them go potty.
But now, you want to see your sufficiently responsible (read: no "special" needs) dog to just be a good kid and stay at home. But then again, what could possibly go wrong with a westie? Think again about the working history of this breed, which was to tenaciously pursue and root out cute critters even from underground. What's more, these are terriers at heart, and without proper socialization and dog training, their restless terrier temperament will bubble up with a vengeance!
The meat of the matter for this article is, what do the experts think of leaving a westie all alone in the house the whole day, while its humans go to work or school?
Here are some dog-proofing tips that applies not only to westie owners, but actually to all dog owners:
1. Things that need to be beyond your dog's reach are: electrical cords, all seasonal decors and trappings, candles, medications, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies.
2. The toilet lid must always be closed. The same goes for cellar doors, upper story windows, trash, garbage cans and bins.
3. Know more also about the chemicals that your dog is interacting with inside your house, and if there is one, in the yard: e.g. pesticides, insecticides and other household, yard and garden chemicals.
4. Don't just watch your dog in the garden. Watch also the garden plants that your dog comes into contact with. Be on the lookout for certain toxic plants.
5. If you have a car, anti-freeze must always be out of reach, and any automotive drippings are cleaned up completely.
Some westies can actually be trained well enough to overcome separation anxiety. It is a different matter already when young dogs are being discussed, since these are most prone to the notorious 'westie' teething fancy for anything cute and fluffy. The solution for the young westie is to train it to stay in a crate, with toys to provide entertainment. A buster cube, or a Kong toy, is sure to keep it busy. The former allows kibble to fall out, a little at a time, and the latter has a port, inside which a treat can be applied to pique the dog's curiosity.
Puppies that may eliminate while you are out can be confined by a puppy pen or a baby gate in a space with toilet paper covering, or a non-absorbent floor.
Good luck with your home-alone westie!