Dog Breed Information: Westie Yorkie Mix Terrier
Fourche Terriers are lovely little dogs, and make adorable pets. These are not purebred dogs, they're crossbreed or designer dogs, meaning that they're a mixture of two different pure-breeds.
What is a Fourche Terrier?
A Fourche Terrier is a cross between a West Highland White Terrier (or a 'Westie') and a Yorkshire Terrier (or a 'Yorkie'). It's possible that your Fourche Terrier will be the product of one Westie and one Yorkie parent, or your puppy could be the offspring of two other Fourche Terriers. But you can expect your pet to combine the characteristics of both a Yorkie and a Westie.
What Do I Need to Know About Crossbreeds?
Purebred dogs have been bred across many generations to strict standards, so it's very easy for us to say what a purebred's size, personality and characteristics will be. With crossbreeds this is more difficult. A Fourche Terrier will inherit different amounts of different traits from each parent, and even puppies born in the same litter may be quite different. It's only possible to make generalisations about crossbreeds based on what we know about their parent breeds.
How Big Will My Pup Grow?
Both Westies and Yorkies are relatively small dogs. A Westie usually grows to around ten to eleven inches tall and weighs in at around 13 to 22 pounds, with males obviously being bigger. A Yorkie is smaller and generally grows to between 6 and 9 inches and weighs only between 4 and 7 pounds.
Your pet will obviously be a small dog too, as both his parents are small. He can fall anywhere between the minimum and maximum weights and heights for both Westies and Yorkies.
What Will My Dog's Coat Be Like?
Both Westies and Yorkies are relatively long haired dogs. This means that your Fourche Terrier will also have quite a long coat. He's unlikely to have the pure white coat that we associate with a Westie, though this occasionally happens, he's more likely to have the tan and black colouring of his Yorkie parent.
Are There Any Coat Concerns?
Many small, long haired dogs need coat maintenance, and most Fourche Terrier owners opt to visit a dog groomer for styling and cutting. The real problem is that often the coat grows over the dog's eyes, meaning he can't see, and he really will need a haircut from time to time. You can even tie your dog's hair out of his eyes, as is commonly seen on Yorkies. Your pet will need regular brushing and shampooing, and they do shed as is common with long haired dogs.
What Will My Puppy's Personality Be Like?
Westies are known for being very friendly, but are also independent and active dogs. Similarly, Yorkies are affectionate but lively and independent. It's safe to assume that your Fourche Terrier will have the same kind of personality as his parents, meaning your puppy will be loving but active and may have a slightly stubborn streak sometimes!
How Much Exercise Will My Dog Need?
These dogs are very lively and active, but because they're so small they don't need an awful lot of exercise in human terms. A walk once a day should be fine, though most dogs will also appreciate a garden to play in or a visit to the dog park for a run.
Are There Any Health Concerns Associated with this Designer Breed?
Westies have a tendency towards hernias, liver problems and hip issues, whilst Yorkies usually have delicate digestion and may suffer from eye, teeth or breathing problems. However, crossbreeds are usually more robust and whilst your pup may inherit some of these problems, he will probably be healthier than a purebreed dog.
How Do I Know if a Fourche Terrier is Right For Me?
These pets are friendly and don't need too much exercise, and as small dogs they're even happy living in an apartment. This means that they're great for most kinds of owners. If you want to get a better feel for these dogs then your best plan is to call around local breeders and ask if it's okay to visit. You should also search online for Fourche Terrier forums since these will let you contact other owners who may be able to give you advice.