White, blue, silver, red, brown, gray, black
Active families, people who are home often, families with children, apartment living
Loyal, inquisitive, agile, graceful, companionable, sensitive
Cocker Westies, the result of crossing a purebred Cocker Spaniel with a purebred West Highland White Terrier, are a popular designer dog breed to make the ultimate small companion. Known for their attachment and loyalty, Cocker Westies are often found glued to their owner’s side. They’re energetic and playful, which is great for families looking for a small but active dog. While their small size may fool you, these inquisitive dogs are athletic companions that can excel in many areas. Let’s dive into what makes the Cockier Westie a great companion and family pet.
Cocker Westie Puppies – Before You Get One…
3 Little-Known Facts About Cocker Westies
1. Cocker Westies have double coats.
Cocker Westies always have double coats, coming from two purebred dogs that also have double coats. This means that they’ll have moderate coat maintenance, including daily brushing and monthly bathing to prevent matting.
2. Cocker Westies are high-energy dogs.
Cockier Westies have tons of energy, especially as puppies. These aren’t your average lapdogs and need plenty of exercise, so they’re great for active owners that enjoy spending time outdoors.
3. Cocker Westies are first-generation mixes.
Cocker Westies are rarely multi-generational since they’re still relatively new to the designer dog breed market. Because of this, they’re usually first-generation hybrids coming from purebred parents.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Cocker West Highland Terrier Mix 🧠
Since Cocker Westies are hybrid dogs, there’s no way to know for sure what kind of temperament and intelligence your puppy may have. There are many factors that can influence a dog’s behavior, especially with mixed breed dogs. However, we can take a look at the temperaments and intelligence levels of Cocker Spaniels and West Highland White Terriers to get a better idea of what your Cocker Westie might be like.
Cocker Spaniels are good-natured, playful dogs from the spaniel group, often praised for their affection and loyalty to their families. They’re quite intelligent and are usually eager to learn, but they’re sensitive and do best with positive-reinforcement training methods. While they’re not overly stubborn, some Cockers can exhibit some independence that can overwhelm a first-time dog owner. They’re also relatively friendly towards new people, as long as they’re socialized early.
West Highland White Terriers are bright and active dogs, known for their strong-willed and courageous personalities. Westies can go from easy-going to full-on bark mode, sticking true to their Terrier roots. These small dogs are almost too smart for their own good, which can lead them to trouble. Aside from their boss-like demeanors, Westies are highly affectionate and love attention.
Cocker Westies seem to be an even mix of Cocker Spaniel and West Highland White Terriers, but temperaments can still vary drastically with hybrids. Though we can’t guarantee what your Cocker Westie’s temperament will be, it’s safe to say that these little dogs will be loyal and devoted to their families. Since both breeds have a strong need for companionship, your Cocker Westie pup will most likely have the same need.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡
Yes. Despite their small size, the Cocker West Highland Terrier Mix is a hardy dog with lots of energy. Their small bodies can be fragile, so it’s crucial that children are taught to handle all pets responsibly. Cocker Westies are also great for families that enjoy outdoor activities since they often demand to be a part of the fun.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽
Yes and no. Cocker Westies can do well with other dogs and even cats with early socialization, as long as they’re introduced carefully. The problem is that Spaniel and Terrier type dogs tend to have high prey drives, so we don’t recommend them for houses with smaller animals. However, each dog is different and it could work if done correctly.
Things to Know When Owning a Cocker Westie
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Cocker Westies are small dogs that need specific nutrients, so we recommend finding a dry dog kibble that is formulated for small dogs. Dry kibble is important to help keep the teeth and gums clean, which is especially important for smaller dogs. In addition to dry kibble, canned wet food should be added for more nutrition and overall better taste. For a more specialized diet, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian for your dog’s specific needs.
Cocker Westies come from two high energy breed groups, so you’ll need to consider this before buying one. At a minimum, your Cocker Westie will a few brisk walks and an hour of off-leash playtime. These dogs will need more than just physical exercise, but they’ll need mental stimulation to prevent boredom or anxiety from developing. The Ethical Pet Seek a Treat puzzle toy is a great game for your Cocker Westie, which triggers their hunting and foraging instincts.
Cocker Westies are naturally athletic dogs- this is a great hybrid for canine sports. Agility is a great way to reinforce the basics of obedience while providing your dog with a physical outlet. This can also help develop a bigger bond with your dog, which is always a plus.
Cocker Westies are smart dogs that are eager enough to learn, so there shouldn’t be too much trouble training. West Highland White Terriers are somewhat difficult to housebreak, so it’s important to be consistent. Cocker Westies tend to be sensitive, so positive reinforcement training with the occasional treat is recommended. Harsh training methods will cause them to balk and throw up their heads, leading to severe stubbornness.
Group obedience classes are a great place to start, but it also gives your puppy a chance to socialize and meet new puppies. Since these hybrids are high on the intelligence level, your Cocker Westie will do quite well with these classes. Most training centers offer levels, so you may find yourself taking more than one class should your Cocker Westie need it.
Cocker Westies have double-layered coats that will need to be brushed at least once a week, but preferably once a day. We recommend using brushes meant for double coats to prevent matting and snarling. Bathing your Cocker Westie once a month will also help maintain the coat while also reducing any “dog” odors, but it’s important not to over-bathe your dog and dry out the skin.
Health and Conditions ❤️
While Cocker Westies come from two healthy dog breeds, there are still some health concerns that they might inherit. Let’s take a look at the health issues of the West Highland White Terrier and the Cocker Spaniel to get a better idea of what kind of health problems your Cocker Westie might face:
Though conditions like Hip Dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy are serious concerns, most of the conditions that Westies and Cocker Spaniels face are conditions that have treatments available. It’s best to prepare financially for any health conditions before buying your Cocker Westie, especially if they’re predisposed to a lot of conditions.
Male vs Female
Male or female is a constant debate, often with two sides that insist one gender is better than the other. Males tend to be bigger and they also like to mark their territory, which can become a serious problem if not nipped in the bud. Aside from size and marking, the choice of male or female is solely up to you and anyone else involved.
Cocker Westies are athletic and happy hybrids that enjoy spending every waking hour with their owners, making them an ideal choice for families and dog owners that are home often. These clever little dogs will entertain you to no end, especially when they’re younger and have more puppy energy. Aside from some Westie stubbornness, Cocker Westies respond very well to training. If you’re looking for a companion dog that will quickly bond with you, Cocker Westies will not disappoint.
Featured Image Credit: Pxhere