The Westiedoodle or Westiepoo is the Doodle cross between the Poodle and the West Highland White Terrier. They are largely considered to be a small-sized dog with there being little to no difference in size between the male and female.
They are sociable and family orientated. Intelligent and lively, they make excellent family pets and mix well with older children and other larger animals. Let’s take a look at everything Westiedoodle from their breed history to how much to feed them.
|WESTIEDOODLE QUICK FACTS|
|Parent Breeds:||Poodle and West Highland White Terrier|
|Height:||11” – 17”|
|Weight:||20lbs – 30lbs|
|Other names:||Westiepoo, Wee-Poo|
|Temperament:||Socialable, intelligent, loving|
|Best suited to:||Families with older children, adaptable to all home types|
Table of Contents
Westiedoodle Breed History
Likely hailing from Germany (although some suggest France) the Poodle was originally bred as a water retriever and duck hunter. Still water lovers today, they have a tight, curly, water-resistant and most importantly low shedding coat. This coat makes them as close to hypoallergenic as a dog can get which is one reason for them being such a popular choice for cross-breeding.
Intelligent and active, the Poodle has a tendency to be standoffish with strangers, not revealing their true personable character until trust is gained. You can read more about the Poodle in our dedicated Poodle Guide.
The West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier is a member of the Terrier group of dog breeds. They are the 61st breed of dog to be registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and have been so since 1908. It wasn’t much prior to this date that they were first shown in Scottish dog shows making their debut appearance in 1896. By 1906 they had already made their way across the Atlantic to be shown within the AKC ring.
Their history spans hundreds of years to their origin in Scotland where there are records of White Terriers as early as the 16th century during the reign of King James VI. However, the breed that we know today can be credited to the 16th Laird of Poltalloch. Edward Donald Malcolm was motivated to produce the White Terrier after a reddish-brown one was mistaken for a fox and shot. They were originally known as the Poltalloch Terrier, but Malcolm did not want to be associated with their development and their name was changed to the West Highland White Terrier.
They have a variable personality and whilst some will be happy in their own company others will be friendly with children. That said, they don’t welcome rambunctious play and will be better around older children who know not to pull their hair and tails. This also makes early training especially important, particularly as they can also have a stubborn streak. Overall, they are loyal and sociable. Their suspicion of strangers can make them a good watchdog alerting you to intruders and visitors alike.
Having a strong prey instinct, they will enjoy games such as fetch but ensure that any backyard is safely enclosed. This prey instinct coupled with their inquisitive nature could have them performing Houdini like escape acts if something catches their attention.
FAMOUS WEST HIGHLAND WHITE TERRIERS:
- The creator of Harry Potter J K Rowling has a Westie named after another famous author, Bronte.
- The West Highland White Terrier is the face of dog food brand Cesar.
- MacDuff is the name of the Westie owned by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. MacDuff holds his own title of Vice-Regal Canine Consort.
Smart, inquisitive, and loving the Westiedoodle often takes the best traits from both its parent breeds. However, their personalities can be variable if they favor one gene pool over the other. The West Highland White Terrier has an independent streak not generally shared by the Poodle. That said, it doesn’t mean that your Westiepoo isn’t going to enjoy spending their time with you. Independent streak or not they will still be devoted.
Both parent breeds of the Westiedoodle are good-natured and fun-loving so there is no harm in assuming that your new bundle of fluff isn’t going to inherit this trait. They will love to play with children although they don’t particularly welcome rough and tumble. For this reason, they would be better suited to a household where children are old enough to understand boundaries.
They will also welcome play with other dogs. However, due to a strong instinctive prey drive based on the duck and rodent hunting origins of the Poodle and West Highland White Terrier respectively they may not get on so well with cats and other smaller pets.
Training shouldn’t be too troublesome as the Westiedoodle is an intelligent dog. However, the independent streak that can be inherited from their West Highland White Terrier parent can sometimes evidence as stubbornness. As long as you are consistent, positive, and show your Westiedoodle that there is something to be gained from the whole experience you shouldn’t go far wrong.
The size of your Westiedoodle is dependent on the size of the Poodle which is used to breed it. Poodles come in three sizes Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The Westiedoodle is usually bred with the Miniature Poodle.
|Miniature Poodle||11” – 15”||16lbs|
|West Highland White Terrier||10” – 11”||15lbs – 20lbs|
|Westiedoodle||10” – 15”||9lbs – 20lbs|
As you can see from the chart the Westiedoodle would typically be classified as a small dog. Small dogs will generally be finished growing in height around the 6-month mark and spend the next few months bulking out and putting on the weight. They will usually be at their full adult size by around one year old
Westiedoodle Coat Type and Maintenance
The Poodle has a tight curly and low to non-shedding coat. The West Highland White Terrier is a moderate and seasonal shedder with a double coat. The undercoat is typically soft with a contrasting harsh topcoat resulting in their characteristic look.
What does this mean for the Westiedoodle? Well, they are unlikely to shed, not just due to the Poodle influence but the Westie isn’t a high shedder either. However, as we always advise, this cannot be guaranteed. It does, however, make them less risky for allergy sufferers in terms of triggers.
Their coat will vary as they may inherit from either purebred parent. One could be soft and curly whilst the next may have a rougher, more coarse texture. All will generally have a coat of medium length.
The most common color you will see the Westiedoodle in is white, just like their West Highland White Terrier parent. However, you will still see other variations. These can be cream, tan, black or brown, or shades thereof.
Their color will mainly be solid, but you can and do find abstract Westiedoodles. They will have brown eyes and black noses.
Your Westiedoodle will require regular brushing to keep their coat in tip-top condition. Failure to comb them on a routinely will result in matts and knots that can cause them all sorts of problems from looking disheveled to skin irritations. Particular attention should be paid to around the eyes and ears.
Ensure that your brush your Westiedoodle’s coat from day one. Not only will this mean a routine is formed in the early days making it less likely for them to hate the comb but it’s also a great way of spending quality time with your pooch.
Grooming will be dependent on their coat type and your own personal preference. Some owners prefer a shorter clip whilst others are happy to keep a more natural-looking coat and brush more often.
Furnishings will also need to be maintained. Eyebrows should be kept trimmed so the hair keeps out of your Westiedoodle’s eyes. Whilst beards and mustaches are part of that traditional Doodle look if they are not kept tidy will become unkempt and a hazard at mealtimes.
Introduce bathing once you have your Westiedoodle home. This will ensure that the procedure becomes routine and not something that they hate and attempt to run away from. Bathing can probably be left to bimonthly unless a particular adventure results in needing one sooner. Use warm water and specific doggy shampoo. Make sure you rinse well, and towel dry your Westiedoodle straight away to keep them warm after their bath. How often should you bathe a Cavapoo is a great step by step read on how to achieve a great balance at bath time.
Eyes need to be kept in check and should your Westiedoodle suffer from tear staining there are products on the market that can help. Ears also need regular checking and cleaning. A simple wipe with a warm damp cloth should be sufficient but make sure you don’t poke about in there or push the cloth in too deep.
Oral hygiene is also important. You can buy chews that act as dental products or you can brush your Westiedoodle’s teeth. If you choose to brush, make sure you don’t use toothpaste meant for us humans as it contains allergens for dogs.
Depending on where your Westiedoodle does most of their walking will depend on how often their nails need to be trimmed. Dogs that walk more on grass will need this done more often than dogs that spend more time on the harder ground. If you trim their nails yourself rather than having the groomer take care of the procedure make sure that you don’t cut them too short. If you cut to the quick this will be painful for your Westiedoodle and may even bleed.
Maintenance procedures should all be started as early as possible. It’s important that your Westiedoodle becomes accustomed to all the practices necessary for their health and wellbeing so they see it as part of their normal routine.
Westiedoodle Exercise Needs
The Westiedoodle may be small but they have big exercise needs. They are an active breed who are going to need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, if not more. If you fail to meet these needs, you run the risk of having a board and unhappy dog. Board and unhappy dogs can get into trouble by becoming destructive and noisy. Not only is this not desirable, but it is also unfair on your Westiedoodle and they really just want nothing more than to be your happy go lucky sidekick.
A good couple of walks a day along with lots of playtime should be enough to meet their physical needs and keep them happy. If you have a yard, they will love to run around outside but do make sure that it is fenced in and there are no secret escape routes. Don’t worry if you don’t have a yard though, due to their size the Westiedoodle can make the perfect apartment dog providing that you meet their physical activity requirements.
The Westiedoodle doesn’t just have physical needs that require meeting. Being the offspring of the Poodle, they are a clever pooch. Whilst this can bear well for training, it does also mean that you have to keep their mind active. If not, you could be dealing with the same consequences as not providing them with the correct physical stimulation.
Playtime can include games of fetch and even hide and seek to keep them entertained. There are also lots of dog toys that are specifically targeted to keep their minds busy, active, and healthy.
Your Westiedoodle is a mixed breed so hybrid vigor should play its part in reducing the risks of illnesses and diseases that both the Poodle and the West Highland White Terrier are more prone to. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not at risk at all, and with some crossbreeds, it means there are more conditions that you need to be aware of than if they were purebred.
You know your Westiedoodle better than anyone, so you know if they are behaving unusually or appear to be in any pain or discomfort. If you are at all worried about their health, then you should contact your vet in the first instance to seek professional advice.
Common Poodle Health Issues
For a more in-depth read about the potential health issues for the Poodle take a look at our Poodle specific article. Here you will find the illnesses that you need to be aware of which your Westiedoodle could develop or suffer from.
Common West Highland White Terrier Health Issues
The West Highland White Terrier has a similar life expectancy to that of the Poodle and on average will live anywhere from 13 to 16 years. Particular conditions that they may be predisposed to are:
- Allergies. Many West Highland White Terriers experience some type of skin complaint before they are three years old and is the most common health problem seen in this breed.
- Hip Dysplasia is a common condition with the Westie. The severity can increase with age. Limping or an unusual gait are signs to watch out for.
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome. Called as such because of its prevalence in small white dogs. Onset is usually sudden and happens around the age of two. White Dog Shaker Syndrome causes tremors which in time can lead to seizures and difficulty in walking. Whilst there is no cure for this disease long term steroid medication can be effective in treating the symptoms.
What to Feed your Westiedoodle
There are many different foods that you can feed your Westiedoodle from raw to dry to wet and even homemade. Choices will be personal and will depend on many factors which can include time restraints, preference, and what your dog takes to the best.
Whichever way you choose to feed your Westiedoodle, it’s important that they receive a nutritious and well-balanced diet. You can learn all about canine nutrition and the different methods of feeding in our sister article what is the best food for Doodles.
Is the Westiedoodle the Right Dog for me?
In this article, we have provided you with the knowledge you should need to decide whether the Westiedoodle is the right breed for you but only you can know for sure.
If you have the time to dedicate to their exercise needs, the ability to keep their mind entertained, and are either a singleton, retiree, or family with older children then they certainly could fit well into your household.
Please do remember that even though that even though the Westiedoodle has earned their name as a ‘Designer Dog’ many do, through no fault of their own end up in shelters. Where at all possible please attempt to rescue first.