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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021


The Weshi is the offspring of two purebreds, the West Highland White Terrier and the Shih Tzu. He is a small cross or mixed dog with a life span on 12 to 15 years. He may also be known as the West Highland Tzu, Westie Tzu or Westi Tzu. He has talents in tricks and is an alert and happy dog.

Here is the Weshi at a Glance
Average height 9 to 12 inches
Average weight 16 to 20 pounds
Coat type Medium to long, wavy to curly
Hypoallergenic? Can be (West Highland White Terrier is)
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Occasional to frequent
Tolerance to Heat Low to good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good depending on coat
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate to average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Very good to excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Good
Trainability Moderately difficult
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high
Major Health Concerns Craniomandibular Osteopathy, Legg-Perthes, eye problems, lung problems, liver problems, bladder and kidney problems, Patellar Luxation, Umbilical hernia,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, snuffles, reverse sneezing, dental problems,
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 to $600
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $560
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $655 to $755

Where does the Weshi come from?

The Weshi is one of many types of dogs known as Designer dogs. These are cross breeds created intentionally for over 30 years though their popularity has risen in the last 10 to 15 years. As a result of the huge trend a lot of new designer dogs have been bred and the Weshi is one of them. While most are first generation dogs, there are a small number that are second generation. There is quite a strong opinion about these dogs but it comes down to making sure you do your research about the breeder you are thinking of buying from as some are puppy mills and disreputable to say the least. With no details about their beginnings we can look at the parents to learn more.

The West Highland White Terrier

The Westie as he is often referred to is thought to be a dog from the 1600s bred in Scotland. His purpose was to hunt vermin and other small animals. Other names he was known by was the Poltalloch terrier and the Roseneath terrier but at the start of the 20th century he was recognized by the English Kennel Club and given the name we have today.

Today he is a bold and smart dog who loves to have fun. He also loves to get affection and can be mischievous. He is a happy dog and while he will enjoy some cuddles he is not a complete lapdog. He does have problems sometimes around larger dogs and he can have problems with dogs of the same sex, especially when it is female to female.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be very old and is from China or Tibet. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found on artifacts across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were called little lion dogs and were gentle, smart and joyful. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England was in 1928. In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu is still a companion dog today. He is keen to please and wants to be with you. He is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.


The Weshi is an energetic and friendly dog. He is very loyal and affectionate and enjoys receiving attention and being at the center of attention. He is intelligent and can be a good family dog with some help with socialization as he can be wary of children. He is a reliable dog, very happy and alert.

What does the Weshi look like

He is a small dog weighing 16 to 20 pounds and standing 9 to 12 inches tall. He has floppy ears, a stubby but curly tail and a medium or long coat that can be wavy to curly and can be coarse or soft. Common colors are are white, brown, black and tan.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Weshi need to be?

This is a fairly active dog but as he is small that does not add up to a lot! A couple of daily walks would be enough along with his play time while he is indoors. He is small enough to live happily in an apartment as long as he gets some outside time each day. The occasional trip to the dog park though would also be something he enjoyed. Make sure he has some toys that offer him mental challenge. He loves his chew toys too.

Does he train quickly?

While he is intelligent he can be hard to train and for that reason he is not best suited to first time dog owners who do not have the experience. His owner will need to be firm and consistent and will certainly need to have a lot of patience. Stay positive and use treats, rewards and praise to encourage him. He can also be hard to house train. Early socialization and training are important for him to deal better with other dogs and be the best dog he can be.

Living with a Weshi

How much grooming is needed?

Weshi dogs need a moderate amount of grooming or maintenance. He should be given a bath just when he needs it and if he has a long coat brush him daily, a shorter coat can go longer between brushing though it should still be done regularly. Cut his nails when they get too long. If this is not something you know how to do be careful as you cannot cut through the quick of the nail. Have a groomer do it for you if you prefer, if he has a long coat it will need professional grooming regularly too. His teeth should be brushed two to three times a week and ears need to be checked and wiped clean once a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

He is good with children, he will play with them and be affectionate with them. He gets along fine with other animals too but can sometimes chase them. He does need help with other dogs and the early socialization will help with that.

General information

He is alert and can be a good watchdog. He can also be quite vocal and likes to bark a lot so training is the best way to help control that. He should be fed ¾ to 1 1/2 cups of good quality dry dog food each day, split into at least two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health concerns that the Weshi can inherit from his parents. These include Craniomandibular Osteopathy, Legg-Perthes, eye problems, lung problems, liver problems, bladder and kidney problems, Patellar Luxation, Umbilical hernia, Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, snuffles, reverse sneezing and dental problems. To have better chances at having a dog that does not inherit such problems ask the breeder to show you health clearances for both parents. You should always visit them too before you buy to check on how the puppy has been bred and kept.

Costs involved in owning a Weshi

The Weshi puppy can cost between $200 to $600. Other costs for things like a crate, carrier, collar and leash, deworming, shots, blood tests, chipping and neutering come to between $455 to $500. Medical basics each year like check ups, shots, flea prevention and pet insurance come to between $460 to $560. Non-medical needs each year come to between $655 to $755 and that just covers things like grooming, food, toys, treats, license and training.


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The Weshi is an alert and loyal dog who with some early socialization and training can be a great companion or family dog. He is best with owners who have experience though because his training will be a little more challenging than some other small dogs.

Featured Image Credit: W_NAMKET, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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