Dog Breeds: W

A small dog with a big personality, the Wauzer is a people-pleaser who enjoys being social but who does not rely on its family for its happiness. As both parents were bred to hunt small animals, they tend to be high-energy and determined with an aptitude for learning quickly. Low shedders, Wauzers can be a good choice for those with allergies.

The Wee-Chon is a charming, cheerful fellow; a hybrid mix between a West Highland White Terrier and a Bichon Frise. They make good family pets with a sunny disposition and the urge to please and easy to train. However the Wee-Chon is linked to health problems, such as lax kneecaps, skin disease, and dry eye.

A small dog that is easy to keep and makes a rewarding companion, the Weeranian fits in well to all households but is a particular favourite of older people or those with hectic lifestyles who are unable to go on very long walks every day. Brushing the fur of the Weeranian every few days will keep it in good condition.

A sporty and handsome dog, the Weimapeake is the ‘jock’ of the designer dog world. Always on the go, they love to be kept occupied both physically and mentally. They thrive when in wide, open spaces and relish the opportunity to run about off lead. Prone to boredom, this is a cross-breed that keeps its owners on their toes.

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.

An enthusiastic dog that enjoys keeping fit, the Weimshepherd needs lots of outdoor exercise. These dogs can be a handful and will certainly keep an owner on their toes. They can be trained to a high standard but should not be taken on by someone inexperienced. Though their fur is short, they are not hypoallergenic and can shed moderately.

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.

A spirited dog with a love of people, the Weshi is a fun pet for all the family. They like to stick close to their master and will happily devote themselves to one person. Though they do not need a lot of space or exercise, some outdoor time every day is beneficial for their mental health. Due to their longer fur, daily grooming is essential.

A hybrid dog with a vivacious personality who is affectionate with those it knows, the West Highland Doxie can be standoffish with other dogs and people if not thoroughly socialised in the first few months. At times difficult to predict and guarded, these dogs would be best-suited to a family with older 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.

The West of Argyll Terrier is a hybrid dog, which is a cross between a West Highland White Terrier and a Beagle. Small but active, these dogs abound in character and can be a handful to train. In the right hands, they make for fun family dogs. Health problems linked to the breed include disc disease, skin allergies, lameness issues, and dry eye.

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.

A fun-loving and kind-hearted companion animal, the Westiepoo loves to be around people and bonds particularly closely with children. Their small size, moderate exercise requirements and minimal shedding make them a sought after crossbreed in urban areas. With a reliance on human companionship, these dogs do not do well when left alone for long periods of time and can become destructive.

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.

A vivacious and spunky dog, the Wire-Poo will keep you on your toes. Owners must dedicate plenty of time to their exercise needs as an under-stimulated Wire-Poo becomes quickly frustrated. Their curled coat is attractive and should be hypoallergenic. These dogs can be trained to a high standard though some will have a stubborn streak that can make training difficult.

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.

A fun crossbreed with lots of energy and a cheeky nature, the Woodle can be a handful but deep down he has a heart of gold. Social with people and animals alike, they fit in well in most households. Without enough exercise and mental stimulation, these clever clog dogs quickly become bored and may become a nuisance.