Dog Breeds: W

Weimaraners are large and elegant dogs with a distinctive blue coat and unusual eyes that give them a regal appearance. They are loyal and extremely attached to their owners, which can result in separation anxiety. They tend to be strong-willed and somehow challenging to train, as they are very intelligent and have a mind of their own. They love to run and they are great hunters.

The Weimardoodle is a fun and active family member that forms strong relationships and makes a great ‘nanny dog’ for young children. These intelligent guys require constant stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored and would not be suited to a household that is often left empty during the day. Many owners appreciate the hypoallergenic potential of this breed.

There are two different types of Welsh Corgi: the Cardigan Corgi and the Pembroke Corgi. They are both small dogs with long bodies and short legs. Originally bred in Wales for herding and driving cattle, Corgis are active dogs and require plenty of mental stimulation and socialisation from a young age. They have a short-to-medium length coat, which is dense and requires regular brushing.

The Welsh Hound is an old hunting breed that is somewhat adrift in the modern world. This amiable dog does best as part of a pack. Although of good character, his need for lots of exercise and constant companionship mean he can be a challenging dog when transplanted into a domestic setting as a pet.

This rare breed is long-established as a versatile herding and guard dog on Welsh farms, but suffered a fall from favour in the past two hundred years from which it has not recovered. Like other working breeds, it has very high energy levels, and can be a handful when kept solely as a pet. It is highly intelligent and very protective, but is not the most suitable dog for children.

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is one of the lesser-known gundog breeds, but is a gentle and cheerful character and makes a great companion. However, its very high energy levels mean that it requires a committed and energetic owner to keep it fit and healthy. Welsh Springers can be wary of strangers, but mix well with other animals.

The Welsh Terrier was bred as a stoic and hardy small dog to pursue and kill foxes and badgers after they had ‘gone to ground’. This working origin yielded a tough, independent thinker that is full of personality. The breed can be a challenge for novice owners, but they make very good family pets, being tolerant of children.

The West Highland White is a medium sized, white terrier that is energetic, sociable, playful and independent. The Westie, like all terriers, will chase cats and other small animals, and will likely dig holes, chew and bark, but with the right training can make the perfect companion. The Westie is good-looking and fun dog, but as with most breeds, it is occasionally prone to health problems.

A dog that could easily be mistaken for a grey wolf if it weren’t for it’s Spitz like tail, the West Siberian Laika is a Russian hunting dog that uses its bark to attract the hunter to the location of the prey. Independent and energetic, if not provided with an active lifestyle they are likely to become unruly and rebellious.

The tri-coloured Westphalian Dachsbracke is a short-limbed scent dog that was developed in Germany for the purpose of hunting the prey that their longer-limbed ancestors found difficult to access. Their stature made it possible for them to enter warrens and dens, successfully pursuing animals, such as badgers and foxes, into places that their predecessors could not.

The Wetterhoun is an old, Dutch breed of gundog. Now considered a rarity, this dog needs to be active, is naturally protective, and sweet-natured to those he trusts. A determined character, he can be single-minded and needs patient handling using reward-based training techniques. The Wetterhoun needs space to roam and isn’t happy as a city dog.

Whippets are smart, very alert, and docile, loving both exercise and curling up next to their owner. They make good pets to live in an apartment and are reliable companions, getting along well with both adults and children, despite their independent temperament. Because their hunting instinct was encouraged and kept over the years, they have a strong prey drive, and may chase other small pets – especially cats.

A little more mellow than the German Shepherd, the breed from which it was recently derived, the White Swiss Shepherd is nonetheless a highly active and intelligent dog with a strong protective instinct. With training and a capable owner, it makes an obedient and loyal pet, but it has high energy levels that need to be channelled into exercise and/or work.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was developed in the nineteenth century by a huntsman who wished to create the ideal gundog. While many would argue that he succeeded in his aim, he may also have created the ideal pet. With a gentle, sociable nature and an eagerness to please, the breed is a pleasure to own – though it does need lots of exercise.