Westiepoo – Choosing a Westiepoo

Have you caught on to the designer breed craze and you're looking for that perfect hybrid? Maybe the Westiepoo is for you. The Westiepoo is a mix breed, derived from the West Highland White Terrier (or Westie) and the Poodle. Designer breeds are very popular and often expensive to purchase, but it is important to note that these are mixed breed dogs and are not recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The West Highland White Terrier originated in Scotland where terriers were used in hunting and rodent control in the home. In the early 1900s the Scotch terriers were bred into individual pure bloodlines, and the Westie, along with other purebred terriers, were established. The Westie made its way to the United States in 1906 and was accepted into the AKC in 1908. Today this member of the AKC's terrier group is a popular family pet and hunter of small game.

The Poodle probably originated in Germany around the 13th Century. His knack for swimming made him a popular water retriever. The Poodle, which is France's national dog, was also famous for performing in French dog playhouses and for carrying messages during World War II. Today the Poodle is a popular family pet, show dog, assistance dog, and obedience and agility performer. The Poodle comes in three sizes – the Toy Poodle (AKC's toy group) and the Miniature and Standard Poodles (AKC's non-sporting group).

Because the Westiepoo is a mixed breed dog, he can inherit any combination of characteristics of the parenting breeds. The Westie is a small, stocky dog with erect ears and a long tail. His wiry, white coat is short to medium in length. The Miniature and Toy Poodles are usually used in breeding Westiepoos. These Poodles are small with curly, dense hair that can be nearly any solid color. Their ears are floppy and the tails are docked. As a result, Westipoos are often white, but can also inherit colors of the Poodle. The ears can be erect or long, and the tail can be docked or left natural. Westiepoos are small at about 5-20 pounds and 10-11 inches in height at the shoulder.

If the Westiepoo inherits the low-shed, low-allergen characteristics of the Poodle's coat, he may be ideal for families with allergies or asthma. The Westiepoo's coat requires regular brushing and grooming to keep the dog comfortable and prevent matting.

Along with physical characteristics, the personality of the Westiepoo may also be difficult to predict because he is a mixed breed dog. Both parenting breeds are easily trained, sociable, and energetic. The West Highland White Terrier loves to chase and hunt and makes an excellent guard dog. The Westie typically does not get along well with other pets and may not be ideal for small children, as he doesn't always tolerate rough play. The Poodle is extremely intelligent and friendly with most people and pets. He enjoys swimming, playing fetch, learning tricks, and spending time with his family. The Westiepoo may inherit any combination of these traits.

Because of the energy and intelligence characteristics of the Westie and Poodle, the Westiepoo needs plenty of exercise and opportunity to interact with his family. Too much time alone or without stimulation may result in boredom and destructive behaviors.

Listed below are several diseases and health problems that are common to the Westie and the Poodle. These may also occur in the Westiepoo.

Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.

Craniomandibular osteopathy is an inflammation of the jawbones. This disease is temporary and occurs in juveniles. It is commonly referred to as Lion's jaw. Affected dogs will not eat because opening the mouth causes severe pain.

Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.

Patellar luxation is a disorder affecting the kneecap.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart condition that results in a large, thin walled heart muscle.

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder which develops between the ages of 2 to 5 years.

The average Westipoo life span is 14-18 years.

To learn more about the Westiepoo's parenting breeds, please read PetPlace's breed profiles on the West Highland White Terrier and the Poodle.