The Westeke combines all of the positive characteristics of his parent dogs to create an ideal mix of both breeds. The West Highland Terrier hails from Scotland. He was originally bred to be a fearless hunter. This sturdy white dog was used to hunt vicious badgers, rats, and foxes. It is believed that this canine was bred to be white so he stood out against his prey and would not be accidentally mistaken for the fox and inadvertently shot by the hunters. The first Westies entered the United States around 1905. In 1908, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club under the name ‘Roseneath Terrier.’ In May of 1909, the breed’s name was officially changed to the West Highland Terrier. The American Kennel Club entered the breed into the Terrier Group. The Schipperke is a Belgian dog breed. His name is believed to mean ‘little boatmen’. Originally, the breed was called Moorke, which means black animal. The Schipperke is thought to be a descendant of the Belgian Shepherd that was bred down over successive generations during the 1600s to create the small dog of today. Historically, he was a little pet kept by boatmen and shoemakers along the canals of Belgian. They were also favored as ratters on the canal barges. During World War II, the Belgian Resistance picked the Schipperke to smuggle messages unbeknownst by the Nazis into hideouts. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1908 and it was entered into the Non-Sporting Group.
The Westeke needs a daily walk to burn off energy. He also likes to play in the house. Nothing excites him more than a game of tug-of-war or fetch. He loves a trip to a dog park where he can run and interact with other dogs. Despite his energetic personality, he can thrive as an apartment dog as long as he receives daily exercise. If he is in a home with access to a yard he will be very happy, but supervision while outside is a must as he may show off his digging skills and make an unplanned escape. His high intelligence enables him to learn tricks easily and excel at obedience; this is the perfect activity to stimulate his mind and keep him in shape, too.