A Westiedoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a West Highland White Terrier. They are renowned for their energetic personalities but does this energy cause behavioral problems? Sometimes an energetic personality can spill into something more troublesome if it isn’t managed correctly. Destruction has the potential to be a real issue.
Westiedoodles are high energy dogs who need at least 45 minutes to 60 minutes of outdoor exercise a day. They are happiest most when surrounded by family and can become anxious and even destructive if often left for long periods without stimulation.
No dog is born destructive – it’s not an inbuilt instinct. All dogs are unique and portray their own individual personalities as they grow. Lots of dogs can become destructive in the wrong environment. There are lots of ways to combat destructiveness and anxieties in your Westiedoodle so don’t panic. Let’s explore the Westiedoodle in more detail and look at why they might play up at home and ways you can minimize this.
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Breed History of the Westiedoodle
Westiedoodles are small, high energy dogs and bred with a Toy or Miniature Poodle. On average they stand between 11 and 17 inches tall and can live up to 15 years of age.
West Highland White Terriers were originally bred in Scotland as a means of hunting small animals. They are exclusively white and form part of the terrier clan which includes Cairn Terriers, Scottish Terriers, and Skye Terriers. The Poodle was originally bred for hunting ducks and you can read more about them in our Poodle history guide.
Is a Westiedoodle the Right Dog for Me?
Why are these dogs becoming such a popular choice? Quite simply they make a lovely companion for any family and with their intelligent, loyal nature they will love you with all their heart.
They are active dogs but as long as they are well-exercised, they will also enjoy lots of downtime. They are very sociable and love to make new friends. They are happiest when together with all the family.
So, how will you know if the Westiedoodle is the right choice for you? You need your new addition to work for your family size-wise amongst other reasons. These dogs adapt well to small living spaces, so you needn’t worry about the size of your home being an issue. However, that said, they are active dogs and do need a good exercise routine outside of the home.
They very much need company and the attention of their household so if you spend long hours out of your home and there are no other family members to step in then you may come across issues, and they may not be the right dog for you.
Westiedoodles left alone for too long can become destructive as a response to their separation anxiety. They are not always good around other pets due to their preying instincts, so this is something to be mindful of when considering one.
To learn more about the breed, see Westiedoodle: The Ultimate Guide to the Westiepoo.
What Causes Destructive Behavior in Westiedoodles?
You’ve invested in a loving, sociable little Westiedoodle who shows you oodles of love and is a happy dog so why are you coming home to chewed carpets, chewed up slippers and chair legs with teeth marks? Why has your favorite ball of fluff adopted two personalities – the one you witness and the one you don’t witness? What causes these behavioral changes in an otherwise impeccably behaved dog?
Quite simply Westiedoodles like being around others. They don’t do well when left alone too long day in and day out. They get bored, they get lonely and some even get anxious. This reflects in their destructive behavior as they try to find ways of dealing with these emotions. Don’t get us wrong – we aren’t suggesting you cannot work or leave the house if you decide to get a Westiedoodle, but they will need a good routine in place in order to deal with these absences.
The key to managing unwanted behaviors in your Westiedoodle is a daily routine with adequate exercise and playtime. They require in the region of 45 to 60 minutes of outdoor exercise daily to keep them happy and healthy. You will probably find splitting this between two walks more effective if you are leaving them home alone. A good morning walk should tire them out enough to be calm afterward. If your schedule means you cannot fit in this required level of exercise, then perhaps consider a dog walker.
As well as the physical element, Westiedoodles are incredibly smart so they do also need mental stimulation to keep their minds active. A good variety of toys will be appreciated by your pooch as well as lots of playtime with their human owners. Of course, there are also practical things you can do to help with minimizing destructive ways. Keeping them confined to a certain area of your home, using a stair gate, and moving anything they might be tempted to chew are just a few examples.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Your Westiedoodle
There are ways, as we’ve just discussed, of dealing with destructiveness but what about the separation anxiety? If this is the root cause of your Westiedoodle’s problematic behavior then ultimately it needs addressing if you want a long term fix. Westiedoodles thrive on attention and love so provide them with lots of this when you are home and able. Playtime, walks, cuddles, and just talking to your dog will make it happy.
Make them a safe space in the home, a place that is just theirs. This could be a crate, a bed, a box, or just a specific area of the home. Kit it out with a few of their favorite toys and blankets so it becomes their go-to space when you aren’t there for company. Research has indicated that dogs can be calmed by white noise or the radio/TV being left on so these are worth a try too. Give them an old t-shirt that smells of you, this may offer them an extra comfort. Keep your home cool and sometimes it’s best to keep them away from the front windows. The last thing you want is your neighbors informing you that your dog barks and howls at the window when you’re out!
Training can help with unwanted behaviors, especially if you adopt the positive reinforcement approach. Be consistent with any training you undertake, and your dog will soon respond. Training your dog offers so many life-long rewards and strengthens the bond between dog and owner. Commands such as “leave” can help with any chewing behaviors. When this command is said enough, they will understand they shouldn’t be chewing. You can read more about chewers in our article are Bernedoodles chewers.
Also slowly getting them accustomed to being left alone from puppy-hood is a good idea so they do realize it’s part of their normal routine. Take smaller outings in the beginning without your dog and build this up over time. Soon they will fully expect to be left alone and will hopefully deal with it better. No one can be around a dog 24/7 and they will come to learn and accept this.
Not every Westiedoodle will be destructive or indeed suffer from separation anxiety. They each have their own personality and their own ways of dealing with emotions – much like us. It will very much depend on so many factors.
Your pooch is less likely to become destructive if they have a really good and consistent exercise regime. Tiring your dog morning and night will create a calmer environment for all. When you are home, show your Westiedoodle lots of love and praise so they will feel more secure when they are left to their own devices. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more loyal companion than that of the Westiedoodle.