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Weshi (West Highland White Terrier & Shih Tzu Mix): Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Weshi (West Highland White Terrier & Shih Tzu Mix): Info, Pictures, Care & More!

The Weshi is a mix between two purebreds, the Shih Tzu and the West Highland White Terrier. The crossbreed is also known as West Highland Tzu or Westie Tzu. It is a rare designer dog breed whose popularity keeps growing each day.

This cute, feisty canine makes an excellent companion because it is cheerful, friendly, affectionate, and playful. It is a loyal pup who loves receiving attention. With proper socialization, Weshis get along well with children. They are intolerant and aggressive towards other animals. However, if you socialize the pup early, they can live harmoniously.

Breed Overview

Height:

8 to 11 inches

Weight:

16 to 20 pounds

Lifespan:

12-15 years

Colors:

Cream, gray, black, brown, white, brindle, golden

Suitable for:

Singles, families with older kids, those looking for a hypoallergic dog, apartment dwellers

Temperament:

Outgoing, perky, friendly, intelligent, aggressive, loyal, stubborn, attention-seeker

The Weshi is an intelligent, smart dog that can learn tricks and commands easily. It is a stubborn and independent thinker, too, and can be challenging to train. The dog loves to bark and can be noisy at times. He will alert you when strangers come by or even when bugs fly by.

Nevertheless, with firm and consistent training, the dog is one of the best companion pets.

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Weshi Puppies

When you welcome a Welshi into your home, you can expect to have a loving and outgoing dog around. Weshis are small dogs that are great for families with older children. They’re also very intelligent, but will be stubborn to train, so make sure you have a lot of patience and treats with you to successfully have a trained Weshi.

Weshis generally have a good life expectancy if they’re correctly fed and have enough exercise. Keep in mind that they are prone to certain health conditions that can appear as they grow older. In this article, we will break down each ranking to give you a comprehensive idea of what it is like to own a Weshi.

Parent_breeds_Weshis
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Weshi

Since the Weshi is a crossbreed, it inherits the characteristics of its parents.  It is impossible to tell which parents’ genes will be more dominant.

Nevertheless, the Weshi is energetic and fun-loving like the Terrier. It is sweet and affectionate and may spend most of their day following you around.

The breed also inherits the Terrier’s stubborn and aggressive personality. These dogs are independent thinkers who do not always obey instructions and commands. Training one can be a demanding task as they requires a lot of patience and treats. These dogs are also very energetic and love to play.

The dog is also an attention seeker like the Shih Tzu. It enjoys when you shower it with love and praise and loves being the center of your attention.

The dog has no problem adapting to a new environment. Besides, they’re friendly towards strangers too.

Weshis are highly intelligent, a trait they have acquired from both parents. They’re fast learners and understand concepts easily. In addition, they have a curious nature which makes them more aware of their environs.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

This type of dog is suitable for families with older kids. It is known to bark at children and can be aggressive and snappy to children who invade its space or play rough. Socialization and training can teach your pup to be patient and calm towards kids.

The dog is also playful with children. Nevertheless, always supervise playtime and interactions to prevent roughhousing and unwanted biting from both parties.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Weshi can get along with other canines but expect aggression and confrontation between dogs of the same gender. They must establish predominance in the pack and are small dogs who never back down from a fight. The breed also has an innate prey drive, making it difficult to live in harmony with small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds.

divider-dog pawThings to Know When Owning a Weshi:

Food & Diet Requirements

The Weshi requires a well-balanced diet to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Its meal plan should consist of a meat-based diet, healthy fats, carbohydrates, and fiber.

Choose high-quality dry food to help you determine the perfect ratio of nutrients for your pet. Kibble is the most convenient way to meet your dog’s dietary needs. Go for kibble that fits your pet’s activity level, size, and age group.

Weshis have a sensitive stomach and are prone to food allergies, just like the Terrier. Therefore, always ensure that the premium dry food contains high-grade natural ingredients and no artificial substances and fillers. Foods containing meat by-products, wheat, corn, soy, garlic, and artificial colors should be avoided.

The Weshi needs 1 to 1.8 cups of food daily. But it is best to split the serving into two or three small meals. Have plenty of time between the meals so your dog can properly digest the food.

The Westie Tzu is prone to diabetes. Therefore, prevent your pup from overeating and gaining excess weight.

Exercise

The Weshi is small-sized yet active and energetic. Its curious nature will drive it to sniff around, explore, and chase after critters. Due to its compact size, the dog is not high maintenance. On average, 30 to 60 minutes of exercise are sufficient for the pup to live fit and content.

You can engage the Weshi in playtime or daily walks to keep their body and mind occupied. You do not want a bored Weshi on your hands as it can become destructive. Ways to keep your Westie Tzu mentally active involve providing interesting play toys, chew toys, or teaching it new tricks.

If you own a small-nosed Weshi, be careful not to overexert it during hot and humid weather as it may have trouble breathing. Instead, take them out to exercise minutes before dawn or dusk.

Training

Weshis are smart, curious, and highly intelligent dogs. Sadly, their intelligence is often overshadowed by the Terrier’s stubbornness during training. They can be tenacious and headstrong, which may demand more patience, time, and effort from you.

Luckily, they also carry the Shih Tzu’s mellow genes to work the Terrier’s tenacity. This means that even though training may be difficult, it is not impossible. Besides, once they learn a trick, they never forget it.

The best approach with the Weshis training is to find a balance between a reward-based routine and maintaining a firm, confident attitude. Teach your pet to obey instructions like ‘Sit,’ ‘Stop,’ and ‘Come.’ Observe consistent training sessions and have the pup acknowledge you as the pack leader. Additionally, train your pup to walk on the leash without pulling.

Implement positive reinforcement training to motivate learning and deepen your bond. The dog does not respond to harsh training, yelling, or punishment.

Grooming ✂️

The Weshi may flaunt the Shih Tzu’s soft long locks or the Terrier’s coarse hair. Either way, the dog has moderate grooming needs. Daily brushing is recommended for dogs with a long coat to prevent mats and tangles. Otherwise, if yours has a short or medium coat, you can brush it twice a week.

Wipe the dog’s hide regularly and bathe it when it has an obnoxious scent. Trim its nails at regular intervals, along with its coat. Brush the Weshi’s teeth twice a week to prevent dental problems.

Suppose your pup has narrow or blocked tear ducts; clean and dry the tear staining daily. Wipe its ears once a week to prevent infections.

Health Conditions

Weshis generally lead a healthy life and have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, it is prone to health conditions that affect its parents.

Minor Conditions
  • Kidney problems
  • Patellar luxation
  • Liver problems
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Legg-calve Perthes disease
  • Eye problems
  • Craniomandibular osteopathy
  • Krabbe’s disease
Serious Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Dental problems
  • Diabetes
  • Entropion

Male vs. Female

Male Weshis are generally larger than females. When females weigh a maximum of 16 lbs. the males can reach up to 20 lbs. Both share the same height, although males can grow an inch taller.

In terms of personality, there are no notable differences. Male and female Weshis are friendly, affectionate, loyal, stubborn, and highly intelligent. With proper socialization and training, they can get along with pets and small children.

divider-dog paw3 Little-Known Facts About the Weshi

1. Both Parents Come from Different Countries

West Highland Terriers originated from the Scottish Highlands, while the Shih Tzu came from China or Tibet. Terriers were bred to assist farmers and villagers in hunting foxes, rabbits, and small prey. They also tracked down vermin and were perfect companions.

On the other hand, the Shih Tzus were dynasty dogs. They were revered in the Chinese Imperial courts and were an exclusive property of the royals. These dogs were mainly bred for companionship.


2. Weshis History is Unknown

This designer breed came to be sometime twenty years ago. However, there has been no breeder who has claimed the responsibility of creating the charming Weshi.

It is believed that the breed originated somewhere in the United States, but no one knows what the original crossbreeding plan entailed. Regardless, this mixed is an adorable pup and a perfect companion.


3. They are Mistaken for Westies

Weshis have the West Highland White Terrier genes in them. Therefore, some people mistake them for their parents. Both breeds are outgoing, affectionate, friendly, and stubborn. However, the Westies are larger than the Weshis.

divider-multiprintFinal Thoughts

The Weshi is a perfect companion dog. It is a lovable and outgoing pup who enjoys playtime and attention. However, it needs proper socialization and training to get along well with kids and other pets.

If you are a novice pet owner, this dog may be a handful during training. You have to remain firm, positive, and patient. It would be best if you also used praise and rewards to reinforce training.

Overall, the Weshi is a loyal and alert family pup who thrives on attention.


Featured Image Credit: W_NAMKET, Shutterstock

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