A mix between the Westie (West Highland White Terrier) and Yorkshire Terrier, the Fourche Terrier is a hybrid designer breed. These highly energetic, playful dogs are very intelligent and are always willing to please.
Don’t be fooled by the size and dainty appearance of the pooch, Fourche Terriers are fiercely protective of their humans and make excellent watchdogs, apart from being excellent companions. If you’re wondering if the Fourche Terrier is the right choice for your family, read on to know all about this breed.
Fourche Terrier: At a Glance
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Weight: 12 to 15 lb
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Appearance: Tiny dogs with a small rounded head, almond-shaped eyes, black nose, pointed ears, a short jaw and an alert expression.
Temperament: Friendly, cheerful, affectionate, cute and independent
Suitable For: Active families, families living in small homes or apartments and looking for a hypoallergenic dog
Fourche Terrier Origin and Breed History
The Fourche Terrier is a rather recent hybrid and does not have a long history; however, you can get an idea about the breed from the histories of the parent breeds of this pooch i.e., the West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and Yorkshire Terrier.
The Yorkshire Terrier or popularly known as the Yorkie were bred from dogs that were brought to Yorkshire by the Scots during the Industrial Revolution. These dogs were ratters and caught rats and other vermin in mills, farms, etc.
They were bred with other terrier breeds and in 1870, the Yorkshire Terrier was developed. With its gorgeous bluish-gray hair, the small-sized Yorkshire Terrier is considered to be one of the prettiest dog breeds. It was recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1885 and is ranked as the 9th most popular breed.
The history of the other parent breed of the Fourche Terrier, the Westie or West Highland White Terrier can be traced back to the 17th century. The breed is originally from Scotland and was used to hunt rats, badgers, foxes and other small creatures. In the past, the Westie was known by other names including the Poltalloch terrier and Roseneath terrier.
It was in 1906, that the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club as the West Highland White Terrier. Westies came to the US in 1905 and in 1908, they were recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club). The Westie breed is ranked as the 41st most popular breed in the US.
Fourche Terrier Appearance
A designer hybrid, the Fourche Terrier is a tiny-sized dog with a huge personality. This gorgeous breed weighs around 12 to 15 lb and grows to around 8 to 10 inches in height. Fourche Terriers have a medium-to-long coat that is thick and rough, but some may have soft and shiny coats like their Yorkie parent.
Fourche Terriers come in varying colors and color combinations such as black, white, chocolate and dark brown, rust, light brown and gold, cream and white, black and gray, merle, spotted or brindle.
Fourche Terriers have a small rounded head, almond-shaped bright eyes, a black nose, pointed ears that hang down but stand erect when they are listening, a short jaw and an alert, inquisitive expression.
Fourche Terrier Temperament
Fourche Terriers are intelligent, alert, lively and inquisitive dogs. While mostly they have cheerful and friendly dispositions, nevertheless, their independent nature makes them quite wilful at times. Their alertness, suspicion of strangers and protective nature make Fourche Terriers quite a good watchdog for their families and people they love.
They are extremely loving, affectionate and make you laugh with their antics, but don’t do very well without people. Left by themselves for a long time, your Fourche Terrier can suffer from separation anxiety.
Fourche Terriers bond well with their humans, which makes them excellent companion dogs. And, while they are friendly towards kids, they don’t take rough play very lightly so it is important to supervise when your younger kids are playing with your pet.
These pooches are very eager to please, making them quite easy to train. However, at times their stubborn streak may pop up and at times your Fourche Terrier may also suffer from the “small dog syndrome.” It is a good idea to train and socialize your pet from when he’s young to prevent any behavioral issues.
Fourche Terrier Health
Since the Fourche Terriers are a smaller breed, they don’t suffer from a lot of health issues. However, some health problems to watch out for include:
- Tracheal Collapse
- Craniomandibular osteopathy
- Patellar luxation
- Portosystemic shunt
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
- Atopic dermatitis
Fourche Terrier Maintenance
Fourche Terriers are hypoallergenic dogs. They do not shed a lot and their grooming needs are moderate. However, saying that, the Fourche Terrier’s thick, rough coat requires plenty of care to prevent it from matting, tangling and collecting debris.
You must brush your Fourche Terrier’s coat every day with a firm bristle brush, around 3-4 times weekly with a slicker brush and a professional trim occasionally. The pooch’s nails must also be trimmed regularly so that they don’t overgrow and damage your floor.
Brush your pet’s teeth 3 times a week at least to prevent any dental problems and wipe his ears clean every week. Your Fourche Terrier must be bathed only if he becomes very dirty. The pooch is prone to skin conditions, so use soap and shampoo that are recommended by your vet.
Fourche Terrier Activity Requirements
Fourche Terriers are very intelligent and love to learn. They are highly energetic and active dogs and can become anxious and disruptive if they don’t have sufficient exercise. 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day or a brisk long walk will ensure that your pooch is happy and fit.
And, the best thing is that these dogs love playing anywhere, whether outdoors or indoors. Playing fetch, playing with toys and other activities can help to stimulate your Fourche Terrier physically and mentally. They also love agility training, playing and swimming.
Fourche Terrier Training
Fourche Terriers need obedience training, without which they can run around your home and tear up all your stuff. These energetic pooches also benefit greatly from agility training. Training your Fourche Terrier is quite simple.
This intelligent breed loves to please and is ready to do anything that makes his human happy. The pooch loves food and responds very well to treats when used as rewards or motivation. Fourche Terriers train quite quickly and do not require as many repetitions compared to other dog breeds.
However, your pooch can sometimes be stubborn and you must be firm when handling him, showing who is the leader, but at the same time being positive and gentle. Stay calm and avoid harsh training methods.
Early training and socialization can help to make your Fourche Terrier well rounded and well behaved and deal with various environments, people, children and other pets.
A cute little dog with a sweet temperament, the Fourche Terrier can adapt to various types of environments. This highly excitable dog is great for families with kids and other pets. Loving, curious and loyal, these adorable pooches need plenty of attention. If given plenty of love, these dogs make amazing family pets.