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If you cross a West Highland white terrier and a poodle (typically a miniature or toy poodle), the result is an adorable Westiepoo. Westiepoos are a designer hybrid dog breed beloved not only for their adorable looks, but also for their winning combination of charm, intelligence, and loving nature.
Westiepoos tend to get along with children, families, seniors, and other dogs, making these small pooches the perfect companion for just about any household. The small-but-mighty breed loves social interaction and is generally eager to play with their owners or other pooches. This social butterfly should not be left alone for long periods of time, as they can be prone to developing separation anxiety—they're definitely a "people pup."
A full-grown Westiepoo is still a small pup, only growing between 11–17 inches and weighing somewhere between 20–35 pounds. With a beautiful and cuddly coat, round brown eyes, and a playful demeanor, they will melt your heart (especially when they look at you with an adorable head tilt).
Depending on which traits she inherits from her parents, the Westiepoo may have longer legs like the poodle, or she may be rather short, stout, and rectangular like the Westie. Her coat is typically of medium length and can be rough and wiry (a trait from the Westie) or soft and curly (from her poodle parent). If she inherits the "hypoallergenic" poodle coat, your Westiepoo might be a good fit for those who struggle with dog allergies. But know there's no dog that's 100-percent hypoallergenic, so spend time with the breed before bringing home a Westiepoo puppy.
Regardless of the coat texture she inherits, it's important to brush her regularly to prevent matting and tangling—this is especially true for the areas around her eyes and ears. But Westiepoos don't shed much, so you won't need to whip out the vacuum and lint roller too often.
Most Westiepoos inherit a white coat from their West Highland white terrier parent, but poodles come in a wide range of colors. You can find everything from black Westiepoos to golden Westiepoos, with cream and brown coats in the mix, too.
Westiepoos are very social dogs and love to meet new people, especially when they're socialized well in puppyhood. Outgoing and friendly, they'll happily greet strangers on a walk or trip to the dog park. But they do have some terrier instincts and might be quick to sound the alarm whenever someone's at the door.
And they're not just good with humans; Westiepoos are usually good with other dogs and love having a partner in play. However, both of their parent breeds were bred to hunt, and Westiepoos can maintain that high prey drive. This means your pup might be tempted to chase cats, squirrels, and other small animals. But if you bring a Westiepoo puppy into a home with a cat, they can thrive together with proper introductions.
The poodle and West Highland white terrier are both intelligent dog breeds, so it's no surprise that the Westiepoo is also a smartie. She does well with training (after all, her poodle side used to be circus performers!) and can be a good fit for first-time dog owners. Enrolling her in puppy kindergarten classes early on is highly encouraged as it will help both owner and pup learn and grow together. Westiepoos are reward-oriented dogs, so rewarding them with treats for positive behavior is a must to help them learn new tricks and cues.
Westiepoos are great companions for families, singles, seniors, or children. These loveable balls of fur adore attention, so giving them lots of love and playtime should be a daily priority. They aren't opposed to a lazy night snuggling on the couch, either!
"Westiepoos are a very social breed," says Corinne Wigfall, DVM, BVM, BVS, veterinarian at SpiritDog Training. "They love people, other dogs, and pets. They thrive in a busy family home or homes where people spend a lot of time at home—such as those who work from home or are retired."
And just like how they fit into all kinds of families, the Westiepoo is adaptable to all sorts of living situations; they do well in everything from apartments and condos to the suburbs or vast acreage. Westiepoos don't need as much exercise as some other breeds, but a 30-minute daily walk and a fenced-in area to play and sniff will be appreciated. You may also be able to tire them out by playing fetch indoors or tug-of-war with a favorite toy.
Generally, Westiepoos will be fine alone for a few hours throughout the day. But it's easy for this highly social breed to develop separation anxiety if they're on their own for too long too frequently. If you are regularly out of the house for more than a few hours at a time, consider hiring a dog walker or dog sitter to keep your Westiepoo company. And because they're so small, you might be able to keep your pup right by your side when you travel or run errands.
The Westiepoo's luscious locks are surprisingly easy to care for. Whether their fur is curly or wiry, these fur babies don't shed much, if at all. Their hair can get easily matted if left to its own devices, so regular brushing and a bath every four to six weeks is important. Keep their nails trimmed short, and trimming the hair around a Westiepoos eyes and ears is also advised; if left unkempt around their ears, they may get irritated or infected.
"Westiepoos are prone to skin disease and ear infections, so it's important to check the skin at least once a week for redness, hair loss, scabs, or discharge," Wigfall says. "Westiepoos are [also] prone to dental disease, so daily brushing with pet-specific dental toothpaste is recommended."
Westiepoos are very social, very smart, and need ample mental stimulation, so enrolling them in obedience training will keep them happy while they learn good manners. Whether you're teaching the basics or showing off their skills with fun tricks, always use positive reinforcement methods for the best results—and a happy dog.
Westiepoos are generally healthy dogs. If properly cared for, they can live for anywhere between 12–15 years. This doesn't go without saying that they aren't prone to some health issues, especially in their later years.
Common issues you may face with this breed are epilepsy, skin problems, hip dysplasia, and cardiac disease.
"Westiepoos are prone to cardiac disease, so all Westipoos over the age of six should have a veterinary check up every six months to assess their heart and overall health," Wigfall says.
The Westiepoo may also be susceptible to obesity and early tooth loss, which is why regular exercise and dental care are vital for this breed. Keep up with regular veterinarian visits to keep your pup healthy.
Because Westiepoos are a designer hybrid breed, it's important to do your research when finding a puppy. These pups can be in high demand, prompting some breeders to operate without the health of their dogs as the top priority. Be wary of any "miniature Westiepoo" or "teacup Westiepoo" advertisements. If you want a smaller Westiepoo, find one with a toy poodle parent; "teacup" dogs often come with health problems due to unethical breeding practices.
To find a reputable Westiepoo breeder, keep an eye out for these puppy mill warning signs:
- The breeder offers to ship a puppy.
- The kennel breeds multiple types of dogs.
- Contact information is difficult to find online.
- The website offers specific wait times for puppies.
Westiepoos are a more recent dog breed, so there isn't a ton of history on them. They are thought to be first bred in the Americas around 1970; the idea was to breed a dog that would inherit the better qualities of both a West Highland white terrier and a toy or miniature poodle. But their two parent breeds have long histories.
The West Highland white terrier was originally bred to hunt down vermin and rodents. According to the West Highland White Terrier Club of America, these scrappy dogs were bred to have a white coat to distinguish them from the foxes while on hunts. The American Kennel Club recognized them in 1908.
Poodles were first recognized by the American Kennel Club a bit earlier in 1887. As the years went by, they split the breed into three different sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Poodles were first bred to be a duck-hunting dog in Germany almost 400 years ago, and the breed later became the beloved and cherished national dog of France.
- Although the Westiepoo is a popular designer dog, the breed is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. They are, however, recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America, and the International Designer Canine Registry.
- You might find Westiepoos called a few different names, including the Westiedoodle or the wee-poo.