In today’s guide, we discuss the wonderful Westiepoo. We decide if it makes a good pet by learning all about the personality and habits of this cute little dog.
Height: Around 11-17 inches
Weight: Between 9-14 kilos
Lifespan: Approximately 12-15 years
Pedigree Breed (recognized by the Kennel Club?): No, this crossbreed is not KC registered
Positives and Negatives
Before purchasing your new companion, it is important to read up on the positives and negatives related to the breed. As a fairly new breed it is important to garner as much information as you can before purchasing a Westiepoo.
Below are the main pros and cons seen amongst this breed type.
- Doesn’t require much grooming and rarely sheds fur
- Very intelligence and can pick up and memorize commands much quicker than other breeds
- Friendly and affectionate with a low chance of biting other dogs or people
- Easily adapt to environment or lifestyle changes
- Separation anxiety could occur if they are frequently left alone
- Can be rather stubborn
- Generally don’t get along with cats
- Not a great choice for first time owners due to their stubbornness
The Westiepoo is a cross breed between the West Highland Terrier and the toy/miniature Poodle. They are known to be loyal, affectionate and intelligent dogs. Often described as ‘designer dogs’, these cute pooches will instantly steal your heart once you lay eyes on them!
This breed can come with a black, tan, white or cream coat that is somewhat dense, but wavy. They also have other nicknames such as the Wee-Poos or Westiedoodles.
Despite being extremely intelligent and easy to train, their stubbornness can hold them back. This is why a Westiepoo is not recommended for first time owners. They require patience and a soft touch, once they become obedient and understand leadership, you will have a gentle, well behaved and good natured pooch.
Although the hypoallergenic trait isn’t promised, it is certainly seen regularly amongst this breed. Their wiry fur prevents shedding and makes them a better choice for those who suffer with allergies.
Grain free dog food is recommended for the Westiepoo. They should be given around 1.5 to 2 cups of dry dog food around 2-3 times a day. Raw diets are known to reduce your pets chances of gaining skin allergies, however you should always speak with your vet to confirm their recommended food brands for the Westiepoo.
It is believed the Westiepoo originated from the USA around the 1970s shortly after the Cockapoo was created in the 1960s. They are mixed with the West Highland Terrier and the poodle.
The Westie originated from Scotland and was used across the Scottish Highlands to hunt vermin along with foxes, badgers and otters. In the 19th century, Colonel Malcom of Poltalloch accidentally killed one of the Westies when out fox hunting. This led him to only breed white Westies so they could easily be distinguished between prey.
The standard Poodle is believed to have originated in Germany and were refined by the French, used as gun dogs, often retrieving game and duck hunting. In the USA they were used up until the late 1990s for hunting fowl. Some however believe the Poodle can be traced back to the first century within Egypt.
Unlike the other older and more established breeds, the Westiepoo wasn’t bred for work or a specific use, they were bred as small domestic pets. Their cute, small and fluffy size make them ideal for owners who would like a dog, but don’t have a large living space to accommodate bigger breeds.
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Small yet bubbly, the Westiepoo has a larger than life personality! They may seem little but they have a stubborn side, so harsh attitudes won’t work with this pooch!
Westiepoos don’t like to be left alone and can have separation anxiety if left by themselves to frequently. It is recommended to leave the TV or radio on as they like the sound of people’s voices.
Westiepoos are high in energy and can become destructive in the home if they aren’t exercised enough. They may still have a high prey drive so do be aware when trying to home with cats.
They can be seen as watchdogs however, this breed isn’t as on guard as other dogs that have been bred specifically for this purpose, such as the Tibetan Spaniel. This breed is extremely loyal and affectionate, they also love being around people.
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Are Westiepoos Good With Strangers?
Generally Westiepoos are friendly with strangers, they won’t be overly affectionate or show extreme interest, but they will be nice and fairly reserved. They won’t bark unnecessarily towards strangers, only if they feel intimidated or alerted to unusual behavior.
Are They Good With Children?
Yes, Westiepoos makes great companions for children. They pretty much love anybody who will show them attention or affection. It is important to always supervise play, especially with smaller children as they could accidentally hurt your pooch, with little understanding of their size.
Are Westiepoos Ok With Other Dogs?
Yes, this breed get along great with other dogs, they love having a playmate! You must try to socialize your pooch with larger dogs whilst they are puppies so they won’t feel intimidated by their size when they are older. Whilst Westiepoos are ok with other dogs, they don’t get along too well with other household pets, especially cats.
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Before purchasing a Westiepoo it is important to understand any health implications that are commonly seen within the breed. Whilst the Westiepoo is generally healthy you should still be aware of any common conditions that could impact their health.
- Patellar Luxation– Where the patellar dislocates from the normal grooves in the knee, which can prevent the dog from extending the knee joint.
- Cushing’s Syndrome– When the dog produces too much or little of the cortisol hormone. This chemical controls weight, the instinct to fight, blood sugar levels and stress levels.
- Gastric Dialation Volvulus (GDV)– Large meals can cause the stomach to dilate, which could cause a twisted stomach. Bloating and retching are common effects but it can be a life-threatening condition.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy– An inherited disease of the retina that could eventually lead to blindness.
Westiepoos should have around 45 minutes worth of exercise each day. and up to an hour when a puppy. If they are not exercised regularly they can become destructive around the home. It is best to allow your pooch to run in an enclosed space where they can let loose.
This breed may still have a high prey drive so it is important your pooch understands recall before being allowed off the leash. Westiepoos are also known to be great jogging companions, be sure to have them on the lead and take off for a morning run.
As an intelligent breed, this dog will require mental stimulation, so you should play games, teach them new tricks and allow them to socialize and play with other dogs during their exercise time.
Intelligence and Trainability
As discussed above, Westiepoos are highly intelligent dogs and excel in obedience and agility activities. They are generally easy dogs to train but are recommended for owners with experience as they can become stubborn.
Harsh training techniques will not work with this independent pooch, it will only make them less likely to listen and disinterested in the training altogether. A friendly approach with food treats and affection are the only rewards your Westiepoo will need.
House training can be a hit or miss for some Westiepoo owners, whilst it is always much easier to house train a dog with a garden, you must be consistent and have patience in order for this training to work, especially if you live in a flat.
Westiepoos rarely shed their fur, just like the poodle and the West Highland Terrier. You will need to brush your pooches fur weekly to stop it from getting tangled and matted.
The eyes and ears are the more delicate areas prone to becoming tangled so you should always ensure the fur surrounding is trimmed. Long hair around the ear can cause moisture and contain dirt which could then lead to an ear infection. Teeth brushing is recommended once weekly however daily would be much better.
Trim the fur around your Westiepoos paws and be sure to clip their nails once a month. You will be able to tell once they have become too long they will begin tapping on the ground.
A pin and dematter brush are both ideal to use on your pooches fur. Shaving clippers will also be needed for the warmer months and a basic nail clipper will work fine for your Westiepoos nails. If you are unsure how to trim your dogs nails then you should seek veterinary advice.
Image Credit: Dog running