One tip when adopting a Westie puppy is to train the dog in basic commands and obedience. Other tips for making the adoption easier include bonding well with the dog, having realistic expectations and establishing a routine.
Westies are intelligent and assertive, but without adequate discipline, company and activities, they often become destructive. As soon as possible after adoption, it is essential that a young Westie learns the five basic commands of sit, stay, down, heel and come. A good balance of training and play serves to create a strong bond. Owners should never physically reprimand or shout at Westies, as this can lead to aggression and biting.
Obedience, socialization and behavior modification classes are essential to help an adopted Westie relax and thrive in a new environment. A dog that is possessive about food bowls and toys, is aloof and wary, or that becomes tense when picked up or groomed must be trained carefully before integration into a family. A Westie adopted into a new home needs time to get used to the people and surroundings. During this period, the dog is oten excessively active or very shy. Allowing the dog to explore his new surroundings, bringing him home during a calm and stress-free time of the year, and spending time playing with him are good ways to get him accustomed to his new family.