Are you searching for a companion dog? Mixed breeds are rising in popularity now that the purebred trend has lost a lot of steam.
What better to keep you company than a small dog that will be good a great companion and low-maintenance at the same time?
Look no further than a Terrier Poodle mix. Small and easy to care for, they’re the perfect roommate for many different lifestyles.
A challenge to look after?
They can make excellent pets for new dog owners and dog experts alike. The two sides that make up this hybrid are sharp-minded, faithful breeds.
Excellent with a large family, they also thrive as a solo dog.
What exactly is the hybrid of a Poodle and Terrier like to live with? That depends on what type of Terrier the Poodle was bred with.
With mixed breeds, you can never be 100% sure which parent they will take after the most, but looking at each side of the parentage can help prevent any surprises.
We’ll look at the most common Poodle Terrier mixes; Westiepoos and Yorkipoos.
What to Expect
To better understand a Poodle Terrier hybrid, we’ll delve a little into each breed individually.
Since West Highland Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers are most commonly bred with Toy Poodles to make this hybrid, we’ll focus mainly on those.
This is the half of the hybrid that remains constant – unless, of course, the terrier has been bred with a Standard Poodle.
Since standard Poodles are very large dogs, breeding them with Terriers is very uncommon.
You’re much more likely to encounter a Poodle Terrier hybrid which is half Toy Poodle.
These tiny companion dogs have spunky personalities that go along perfectly with their fluffy coats.
You might recognize them by the signature hairstyles, or clips, which some owners opt for. Many people choose to keep their coarse, curly hair clipped short.
They can come in several solid colors, from pure white to black, to shades of brown or tan.
Toy Poodles are one of the smallest breeds of dogs, weighing no more than 6lbs fully grown.
Still not quite as short as their toy cousin, the Chihuahua, they are lanky and rather delicate in stature.
West Highland Terriers
Otherwise known as the Westie, this breed is possibly the most docile of all Terriers.
Many Terriers are known for their feistiness and bold personalities. While Westies can inherit some of these personality traits, they are generally laid back and calm.
They have a fluffy double coat like that of a Toy Poodle, but the hair is more straight to wavy instead of curly.
Most Westies are pure white, although some light wheaten color variations can be seen.
As a toy breed, they don’t grow to be very large – 15-20lbs is the most either gender should weigh in adulthood.
Westies are playful but don’t have very high exercise demands. Most prefer stimulation that allows them to interact with their people.
Yorkies are smaller than their Westie counterparts and can be expected to weigh in under 8lbs. They’re rather fragile-looking but have brave personalities that can border on bossy.
A Yorkie has a high-maintenance yet elegant coat. When groomed properly, they will grow long, silky hair. It’s not much different from our hair and has similar care requirements.
You might see Yorkies with the hair on their heads in a topknot or bow – it will grow into their eyes and obstruct their vision if it’s not pulled back.
Their coloring is black and tan, with varying amounts of each color depending on the specific dog.
Although they can act dignified to the point of being aloof, they tend to form tight bonds with the people they share their lives with.
Which Mix is Best?
There is no rule which says one Terrier makes a better hybrid than another – most Terrier traits will show regardless of the specific type.
One thing to remember when considering the two Terrier breeds most commonly mixed with Poodles – they will still turn out small, and they will have coats that require daily attention.
If this isn’t for you, but you still want a small, terrier mix you can check out the Terrier and Chihuahua mix breed.
Each dog breed in the mix here can have big attitudes – but big hearts.
Terriers are known to be territorial (or “terrier-torial”, if you please).
They might bark or act aggressively towards guests and passersby; dogs and humans alike.
On the other hand:
Acclimating them to new people and dogs is easy, and they can make good friends once they’ve gotten used to new faces.
What about the Toy Poodle side of things?
They’re not the “cream puff” you might think they are – even if they look like one in every way.
Toy Poodles are incredibly smart, trainable, and even athletic. You can find them in agility competitions, holding their own alongside the likes of Border Collies and German Shepherds.
The combination of all of these personality traits can make for a hard-headed dog, but also one who is determined to please, with the proper guidance.
If you’re looking to integrate one of these hybrids into a big family, be sure to expose them to all members of the household early on.
They might latch on to one or two favorite people, but socializing them thoroughly will help them become friendly and trustworthy.
They can make great family pets for people with children, provided they’re handled with care.
Because they are so small, a clumsy toddler can unintentionally cause harm.
Most dogs forgive if they’re accidentally stepped on a time or two – something we’re all guilty of.
Constant roughness, though, is something that will teach them to fear, avoidance, and even defend against anyone they perceive to be a threat.
So if you want them to co-mingle with children, make sure they’re heavily supervised, and the children are taught how to handle the dog gently.
These hybrids are capable of cohabitating with other pets too, although they could have the tendency to become jealous of other animals.
Giving them ample attention without showing favoritism will help them with their insecurities without spoiling them.
Small or not – whatever rules larger dogs must abide by, smaller dogs must abide by.
If you don’t allow your large dog to jump on people, but it’s something you let your small dog get away with, they will push their boundaries as the “boss” of the house.
An overly spoiled Terrier Poodle mix is the last thing you want on your hands. They could develop bad manners, separation anxiety, and even aggressive resource guarding habits.
If you’re prepared to raise them with a firm hand, you’ll have a much more enjoyable companion as a result.
There’s potential for very high intelligence with this hybrid, which makes proper training all the more important.
They will probably test the waters to see what they can get away with, especially early on.
Positive reinforcement and redirection of bad behavior are essential to help them learn who’s boss.
We suggested to raise them with a firm hand, but that doesn’t mean striking them. No dog will respond well to being hit as punishment, and with tiny dogs, it can injure them.
Unacceptable behaviors, such as showing teeth or snapping, can be corrected with time-outs.
This is a companion dog who wants to be with their people above all else.
Putting them in a carrier or separate room for a short period goes a long way in teaching them aggression won’t get them what they want.
Though they could present some challenges with their bold attitudes, the rest of their training will be a breeze thanks to their smarts.
Reward with treats, toys, and praise, and they will catch on very quickly. They like to please and will be very responsive to reward-based training.
Care and Grooming
Take heed: you’ll be in for some intense grooming regimens, regardless of what type of Terrier the Poodle hybrid is crossed with.
Most combinations of the two will result in thick, long, and possibly curly coats.
Daily brushing with special tools will be necessary to avoid matting in the fur.
They will likely need more frequent baths than most breeds, and regular appointments with a groomer can help keep their hair under control.
The fun part?
If you have a dog with a fluffy coat, there are a variety of cute clips your groomer can provide.
These are especially beneficial in the summer months or hot climates.
There’s a plus side to dogs with these types of coats.
They shed less than other breeds and could be a good pet if you have sensitivities to animal hair.
Toy Poodles and both Terriers mentioned in this article share risks for some genetic disorders. These include eye disorders and luxating patellas.
Both can be treated and managed, although ideally, breeders will screen for these issues before breeding two dogs together.
What about dietary needs?
Small dogs don’t require a lot of food – and they could become obese quickly if they’re overfed.
Obesity can raise the risk of a long list of avoidable health issues.
High-quality food should be fed in appropriate amounts, which will depend on the dog’s activity level.
Does that mean they need a lot of exercise?
Yes and no.
These types of dogs don’t need as much exercise as a working dog breed. Toy Poodles, in particular, like to be active and will need some sort of daily exercise.
Toy Poodles like to swim, so the hybrid could inherit a love for the water.
Small pools in the backyard are an excellent source of entertainment for them.
If they’re not so big on water, daily walks are perfectly acceptable. Off-leash time in fenced yards or parks is ideal.
Since they are so small, you can exercise them inside without wrecking your home.
A game of fetch inside the living room can meet some exercise needs, but it shouldn’t replace regular walks entirely.
The good news?
If you live somewhere with regular bad weather, you can rest easy that your dog can get adequate exercise inside from time to time, without knocking over furniture.
Like most small dogs, the breeds involved here have long life spans.
Provided their health is well maintained; they could be expected to live well into their mid-teens.
See for Yourself
To get a better idea of how a Poodle Terrier mix looks, acts, and interacts with people, have a look.
We’ll take a closer view at one of the most frequently seen Poodle hybrids: the Yorkiepoo.
Here’s a glimpse of daily life with this highly portable, entertaining hybrid.
I Want a Poodle Terrier Mix: What Next?
If you’ve decided this is the perfect companion for you, you’re in luck. Many Terrier Poodle mixes are popular designer dogs, and frequently seen for sale.
That designer name will come with a designer price tag. Poodle Terrier mix puppies won’t come cheap.
That cost should include a genetic screening of the parents, as well as a certificate of health for the puppy.
If that’s not on your checklist when adopting a puppy, they could run into a host of health or even psychological problems down the road.
These hybrids sometimes show up in shelters and rescue organizations. Keeping your eye on those could pay off for you and a dog in need of a loving home.
Little Dogs That Pack a Punch
A Poodle Terrier mix is the ideal addition to various lifestyles.
Working professionals, retirees, active individuals, or more sedentary ones, rural and city dwellers alike – a Poodle Terrier hybrid can fit in with them all.
These intrepid, brave hybrids aren’t just lapdogs, either.
There’s much more to that puffy coat and petite build. They could become your best hiking, camping, or swimming buddy, as well as your cuddly companion.
The most important requirement?
Make sure you’ll have the resources to dedicate to early and dedicated training.
A well-mannered hybrid of this variety is the difference between a peaceful and stressful living situation.
Well, there’s one more important requirement – lots of love for a dog who will love you back unconditionally.