Gaining fame and name in the dog market is the highly acclaimed designer dog “Weshi.” The Weshi is particularly loved because of the spectacular characteristics of its parents.
A mixed breed of the intelligent and energetic West Highland White Terrier and the poised, calm and elegant Shih Tzu, the Weshi has it all.
The Weshi is especially endeared for its charming and lovable personality along with its cute size and adorable outlook.
Origin of the Westie Shih Tzu Mix
The origin of the Weshi is still unclear till date. Few research studies have concluded that it seemed to have originated in the USA about 30 years ago.
Since no breeder has claimed to have created this designer breed, one cannot say for sure how the dog originated.
It could be due to the distinct traits of both the purebreds or because of any other reasons.
However, inferences on its origin can be made based upon knowing the origin of it’s parents, that is, the West Highland White Terrier and the Shih Tzu.
The West Highland White Terrier has its lineage dating back to the 1600s century when King James I ordered for some “earth dogs” from Argyllshire.
These Scottish dogs were actually bred for attacking vermin and for hunting purposes by farmers and nobles in Scotland.
The white color of the terriers can be attributed to Colonel Malcolm, who decided to only breed white terriers.
This happened after he accidentally shot down his reddish brown colored terrier while hunting. These terriers were known as Poltalloch terriers or Roseneath Terriers.
They were bred for hundreds of years before they made an appearance at dog shows.
It first appeared in 1896 at a Scottish dog show and was named as West Highland White Terrier based on the northwestern Scotland where the breed was famous.
The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1906.
The elegant Shih Tzu was originally bred for Emperors and Nobles in China hundreds of years ago. They are one of the oldest living dogs in the world.
Their survival can be attributed to the care and luxury under which they were maintained behind the palace walls for hundreds of years.
The Shih Tzu itself is believed to have been a mixture of two Sino-Tibetan breeds, the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso.
Nobles used to pay valuable gifts to the breeders that produced the most affectionate and beautiful dogs. They were not known to the outside world before the 1930s.
The Shih Tzu entered the American Kennel Club Stud Book for the first time in 1969.
Physical Characteristics of the Weshi
The Weshis have attractive physical characteristics from both parents.
Most Weshis look more like the West Highland White Terrier since they do not have thick and long fur like the Shih Tzu.
However, their ears are floppy like the Shih Tzu, and they have dark rounded eyes with a small nose. The Weshis are small and compact in size, more like the Terrier.
They have strong muscular legs and have a hairy fur like the Terrier.
Weshis are generally first generation mixes of both the purebreds.
Some of the important physical characteristics are:
- Height: Males 9-12 inches; Females 8-11 inches
- Weight: Males 16-21 lbs; Females 11-16 lbs
- Eye Color: Usually brown
- Nose Color: Usually black
- Coat Color: Different possibilities such as gray, white, cream, black and brown.
- Coat Length: Ranges from medium to little long.
- Coat Density: Medium density coat
- Coat Texture: Wavy coat texture
Temperament and Personality Traits of the Westie Shih Tzu Mixed Breed
When it comes to mixed breeds, you are not sure about the characteristics of which parent will the offspring possess more.
Weshis are generally fun-loving and energetic dogs, much like the Terrier.
However, like the Terrier, they can also become stubborn and aggressive towards children and other strange animals.
He is a loyal and affectionate dog and cannot be left alone for long hours.
Some of the distinctive personality traits of the Weshis are:
This trait, the Weshi inherits from both the parents. Both of them are known for their high-intelligence level and smartness.
Weshis are quick learners and grasp things very easily. They are also curious and more aware of the situations around them.
Much like their parent, the Shih Tzu, Weshis are big-time attention seekers. They love being the center of attraction everywhere they go.
They feel comfortable in any new environment they are introduced to.
This is a very distinct quality of the Terrier. Weshis are also known to be a little stubborn in nature.
They are generally independent thinkers and find it difficult to listen to every instructions and command. Weshis can be trained with lots of patience and treats.
Training should not be harsh on them; otherwise, it will work the wrong way.
Energetic and Playful
Weshis are very energetic, like the Terrier and love to play. They can also play safely with kids; however, adult supervision is necessary.
Their energy should be expelled out by taking them on walks and exercises regularly. Otherwise, it can make them stressed and anxious.
Weshis are friendly dogs and can get along well with strangers even. However, it is best to make them socialize at an early age to avoid any hassle in the future.
Health and Conditions to Watch For in Weshis
The Weshi has a lifespan of 12-15 years and tends to be generally healthy.
Weshis have been around for only a couple of years, and hence, not much information or cases on their health conditions are reported.
However, one cannot overlook the chances of a Weshi becoming prone to various genetic diseases due to its parents.
The Shih Tzu has survived for many years, which makes them resilient and tough. But, there are certain health diseases that affect this particular breed.
They are- inflammation of the cornea, which is common among this breed of dogs. Other diseases include proptosis, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, etc..
They are also prone to a lot of allergies and ear infections. Other diseases include luxation patella, hypothyroidism, and so on.
The West Highland White Terrier, on the other hand, is prone to genetic diseases such as the “lions jaw” which is mostly seen in young puppies.
Eye infections, along with skin allergies, are also commonly seen in this breed.
Weshis can also become prone to dental diseases which are commonly seen in small breed dogs. Regular brushing of teeth at least twice in a week is highly recommended.
It is a good idea to do a thorough physical examination, along with skin tests, thyroid test, eye tests, and other important tests as soon as you bring your pet home.
Weshis are highly energetic dogs. They need to be regularly taken out for at least a 30-minute walk or run every day.
Weshis have medium to long hair and have dense fur. Routine grooming sessions should be carried out without fail.
You can brush their coat once or twice in a week and shampoo their coat well.
It is advised to not shampoo too much since it may dry out their skin. Use a mild shampoo or a shampoo recommended by the vet.
Diet and Nutrition Info for Weshis
Weshis should be fed high-quality food, whether homemade or packaged food. It should be a balanced diet with the right proportion of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.
The Weshis is energetic and very playful animals and needs high-protein food to fulfill the body’s demands.
It is a good choice to choose premium quality dry food depending on the size and age of your Weshi.
However, it should be noted that Weshis tend to have a sensitive stomach, and hence, the quality and quantity of food should be proper.
Weshis are small sized dogs and do not need large quantities of food per day. A daily diet of 600-750 kilocalories of food is enough for the playful and active Weshis.
The portion size is also very important. Do not feed your Weshi large portions at once. Instead, give equally divided small meals 2-3 times a day.
Plan the meals in such a way that there is enough time between each meal in order to help the dog digest the food properly.
The protein content in the food should be from meat such as beef, lamb, and fish.
Packaged foods that contain by-products such as wheat and soy should be avoided.
Wheat can be harsh or act as an allergen and maybe too harsh for the Weshi’s sensitive stomach.
While choosing a kibble, make sure you don’t buy products that contain artificial filler substances. Food products that contain by-products such as corn and soy should also be avoided.
It is also advisable to give a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids or salmon oil for a healthy coat.
Pros and Cons of This Mixed Breed
- Very intelligent and smart dog
- Fun-loving, playful and very active
- Small and compact size makes it suitable for a small apartment
- Easily adaptable to new environments
- Friendly with kids and strangers
- Adorable designer breed
- Need to be taken on walks regularly
- Stubborn and can take time to learn new tricks
- Tendency to chase after cats or critters
- Need patience and plenty of treats to train
3 Common Questions About Weshis
Are Weshis easy to train?
Weshis are very intelligent and smart dogs. They have the knack for understanding things and situations very quickly.
However, they are also very stubborn in character and are independent thinkers. This makes it a little difficult to train them.
Training Weshis will require experience and expertise. You also need a lot of time and patience with these dogs.
They have a mind of their own, which is why it is difficult for them to follow commands and instructions.
But, once the Weshis learn a certain trick, they won’t forget in a lifetime. You need to find ways to have their attention continuously.
You need to have lots of treats and toys to lure him.
How active should a Weshi be?
Weshis are generally active dogs and need regular exercise. Though they may love sitting quietly at home, you should take your Weshi out for walks or runs daily.
Due to the energy build up in their body, they need to expel the energy out. Doing so will make them feel happy and relaxed.
Regular walks or training exercises for at least 30 minutes a day is enough to keep your Weshi active and healthy.
Weshis also need to remain active mentally. Teach him new tricks frequently that will stimulate his mind.
Give him interesting toys to play with and things that he can chew.
Are Weshis a high maintenance breed?
The answer is No. Weshis are easy to maintain animals. They just need a moderate amount of grooming regularly.
If your Weshi has a long coat, then you need to brush him daily. Otherwise, in case of short or medium coats, just twice in a week will suffice.
Their nails, along with their coat, need to be trimmed at regular intervals if they become too long.
Weshis are prone to dental problems, and hence brushing your Weshi’s twice in a week will keep his gums and teeth healthy and germ-free.
The Weshi is a perfect choice for anyone looking for elegance and style, along with energy and intelligence. Weshis have started to become a favorite among many dog lovers in recent years.
These compact and small dogs are quirky, fun, playful, and cute at the same time. Weshis are here to stay.
They are very loyal to their owners and make a great companion when you are alone.