A lot of dog owners have a soft corner in their hearts for purebred dogs but then there are pooches like the Westiepoo mixed breed that may make even these purists change their opinion about which dog to adopt. If you are looking to bring a furry friend into your life and want to learn more about the Westiepoo, this is a helpful guide that will walk you through all the basics.
Sometimes referred to as a Westiedoodle or a Wee-poo, the Westiepoo is a cross between the Poodle and the West Highland White Terrier. Very active, smart and affectionate, this breed has been able to incorporate some of the most endearing qualities of its parents to give you a dog that is simply adorable. A fantastic companion dog, this breed also works very well in a family setting or in households that have other pets as well.
If you are considering adopting a Westiepoo but want to know more about the dogs so that you can have a better understanding of their needs, you have found yourself in the right place!
Westiepoo At a Glance
- Height – 11 inches to 17 inches
- Weight – 20 lbs. to 30 lbs. (depending on the genetics)
- Lifespan – Anywhere between 12 to 15 years on average
- Group – Mixed breed (Poodle and West Highland White Terrier)
- Temperament – Active, affectionate, smart
- Most Suitable For – People living in apartments or small houses, single people, active seniors and families with relatively older children
While you may not be able to find as much information about the Westiepoo’s origin when compared to some other purebred dogs that are commonly found around the world, its lineage can be traced back to the United States in the 1970s. One half of the Westiepoo’s family is connected closely to the Poodle, which traces its origin back to Egypt. The dog rose to the limelight after it was used as a duck hunting dog in France years later. The first few Westiepoos can be traced back to a decade after the Cockapoo, one of the first Poodle hybrids to gain immense popularity, was developed.
On the other side of the family is the West Highland White Terrier, a small hunting dog that traces its roots back to Scotland, where it was raised to catch small vermin. The Westiepoo, like the West Highland White Terrier, also predominantly has a white or cream coat, but there are some cases where it also may be black or tan. The West Highland White Terrier — popularly known as a Westie — has a white coat that was initially developed to ensure that the dog is not mistaken for a fox while hunting.
In animals, the pedigree is a record of its lineage, which is usually used in the context of pure-breed dogs, almost as something you take pride in. The Westiepoo is not a purebred dog. Instead, it is what is referred to as a designer dog. These dogs are born when two pure breed dogs are put together to produce a separate breed altogether.
With a Poodle and a West Highland White Terrier — or Westie — as the parents, the Westiepoo is a first-generation hybrid — a dog that has half and half purebred lineage as the parents are both pure breeds. In general, first-generation designer dogs are considered healthier than most other mixes. However, you must keep in mind that it doesn’t always have to be the case. The health of the puppy — and adult dog — will be dependent on the health of the parents and the way they have been bred.
With designer dogs, there is no exact combination that you can achieve. Genes work in a way that you cannot ascertain which qualities — both in terms of looks and behavior — will come out on top when the offspring is born. In some cases, your dog may look more like a toy or miniature poodle and have more of its characteristics, while in some other cases, the dog may resemble a West Highland White Terrier more.
After understanding the origin and the pedigree of the Westiepoo, it is also important that you get to look at the main characteristics of the dog, for example, their behavior, temperament, reaction to training, grooming and so on. Some of these are discussed in some detail below.
When it comes to behavior, the Westiepoo is known to be a loving and affable small dog that does exceedingly well in the company of human beings — both young and old. While it is known to be very active, it is also extremely affectionate, which means that it will always be up for a game of catch but if you are looking to spend a quiet evening by the fire, it will be more than happy to come and snuggle up next to you. However, you must keep in mind that the Westiepoo needs its share of exercise on a regular basis and you will need to step out for a quick walk with a safe off-lease session included that can keep it engaged.
This is a very intelligent species of dog that does not have issues with other pets — if they aren’t too small — in the home. Similarly, if you are worried about having the dog around your kids, you’ll be happy to know that the Westiepoo bonds with kids of all ages quite easily.
Finally, keep in mind that while the Westiepoo isn’t exactly aggressive in nature, it can get a little snappy because of its cautious nature. For example, if there are new people around, it may be on high alert to ensure that you are safe.
While there isn’t a particular diet that the Westiepoo is known to follow or enjoy, you can try a lot of different variations before coming up with a combination that suits your pet. Inherently, they are known to be picky about what they eat but young puppies need to be fed a number of small meals — about four — over the day so that they can digest their food with greater ease. As your puppy grows into an adult dog — maybe after about six months — you can start moving away from the high-calorie options that you were feeding it up until now.
The adult dog can work well with dry dog food — approximately two cups a day — but ensure that the quality of dry food is very good. Regular food may not work too well for the dog, as smaller breeds are usually more prone to dental issues than the larger dogs. Regardless, try to build a habit of brushing teeth from an early stage so that its teeth can stay healthy for longer.
Curious about other Westie mix breeds? Then check out this article.
If you wish to make your little Westiepoo the poster boy for these small dogs, it is important that you spend a good amount of time and energy on socialization at an early stage. Activities like obedience training also bear maximum fruit in this stage, as the dog is still developing into its true nature. While many people are apprehensive about housetraining dogs like the Westiepoo, you can try to use a crate for the initial period while you make sure that the dog understands that you are the alpha. As Westiepoos are very intelligent dogs, they tend to pick up on training fairly easily as long as you are patient and consistent.
The Westiepoo coat is usually a shade of white or cream, but as mentioned before, there may also be instances where the dog has a tan or black coat. The length is usually medium, as is the density, giving the coat a wavy feel. As the dog does not shed too much, maintenance is relatively easy. However, keep in mind that regular brushing sessions are very important if you want to keep your dog mat-free. You may need a coat for harsh winters, especially if your dog’s hair has been clipped.
If you want to give your Westiepoo a good and healthy life, it is important that you understand factors like their ideal weight, life expectancy, exercise requirements as well as the common health issues that are known to be increasingly prevalent in Westiepoos. Some of these are given below.
Human beings get attached to dogs, who become a big part of your family. The kids love their presence, while that apprehensive spouse also grows affectionate despite having lodged his or her complaints about the dog on multiple occasions. In such cases, the death of a dog can have a devastating effect on the entire family. It is always wise to know the life expectancy or span of the dog when you bring one home. In this case, the Westiepoo has an average life expectancy of anywhere between 13 and 15 years.
Here, again, there are no exact weight criteria that your pets have to meet in order to be considered healthy. Hybrid breeds have a slightly different way of looking at weight, as a big part of this depends on which genes — out of the two parent breeds — have come out on top. In the case of the Westiepoo, if the Poodle genes are predominant, the full-grown dog may weigh close to 30-35 pounds. In the other case, if the Westie genes are predominant, the small dog may weigh closer to 20 pounds when it is fully grown.
An important consideration that many dog owners have to keep in mind when they adopt a dog is whether or not they can give it the kind of space to move around and exercise on its own. For this reason, many people who live in apartments are apprehensive about getting dogs as they fear that there will never be enough space. The Westiepoo, however, works very well for smaller houses and apartments as you can get the dog’s exercise in through walks outdoors as well as smaller family activities within the house. In order to keep the dog active, it needs to be kept stimulated!
If your dog belongs to a hybrid breed, it is highly likely that it will inherit some of the common health issues that the parental breeds have been known to face. For this reason, in order to understand what kind of health problems your dog may have, its lineage needs to be traced.
In this case, the Westiepoo is traditionally looked at as a relatively healthy dog. The common problems that may arise are skin problems — usually chronic — epilepsy, liver diseases, retinal atrophy and so on. As is the case with most smaller dogs, the Westiepoo may also have to deal with dental issues and weight gain, which may border onto obesity. In order to keep your dog healthy, you need to adopt a disciplined lifestyle for the dog, which includes lots of activities and good grooming habits.
Designer dogs are not without their share of controversy. Developed by breeding two purebred dogs — of different breeds — there are many people who argue that these dogs can sometimes be sold at inflated prices or even face the danger of falling ill often, especially when compared with pure breeds. Many even go to the extent of calling these dogs mutts but in reality, there is a difference between a designer dog and a mutt. A mutt will have genes from more than two breeds, as it is usually born from two mixed dogs. In the case of designer dogs, two pure breeds are in the picture.
Finally, if you are looking to get a Westiepoo home, it is recommended that you first contact a shelter or rescue group near your house. While this is a well-known designer dog breed, there are many Westiepoos that find their way to such shelters after being abandoned. The best way to change their lives is to bring one of the rescued Westiepoos home and give it all the love and affection you can so that it can lead a good life.