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The Furry Critter Network
West of Argyll Terrier Hybrid Description
The West of Argyll Terrier is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Beagle and the West Highland White Terrier. The best way to determine the temperment of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross. It is possible you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generational crosses. Please review individual breeds for potential health issues.
Beagle Breed Description - Cross #1
The general appearance of the Beagle resembles a Foxhound in miniature, but the head is broader and the muzzle shorter, the expression completely different and the legs shorter in proportion to the body. They are generally between 13 and 16 inches (33 and 41 cm) high at the withers and weigh between 18 and 35 lb (8 and 16 kg), with bitches being slightly smaller on average.
They have a smooth, somewhat domed skull with a medium-length, square-cut muzzle and a black (or occasionally liver), gumdrop nose. The jaw is strong and the teeth scissor together with the upper teeth fitting perfectly over the lower teeth and both sets aligned square to the jaw. The eyes are large, hazel or brown, with a mild hound-like pleading look. The large ears are long, soft and low-set, turning towards the cheeks slightly and rounded at the tips. Beagles have a strong, medium-length neck (which is long enough for them to easily bend to the ground to pick up a scent), with little folding in the skin but some evidence of a dewlap; a broad chest narrowing to a tapered abdomen and waist and a short, slightly curved tail tipped with white. The white tip, known as the "stern" or "flag" has been selectively bred for, as it allows the dog to be easily seen when its head is down following a scent. The tail does not curl over the back, but is held upright when the dog is active. The Beagle has a muscular body and a medium-length, smooth, hard coat The front legs are straight and carried under the body while the rear legs are muscular and well bent at the stifles.
According to his standard, the Beagle is a merry, brave dog who is highly active, energetic, and determined. He is quick, intelligent, and even-tempered. He is also courageous, hardy, and very fast, with a hard-hitting voice and a keen nose. He is enthusiastic and effective on the trail, giving tongue often. He can work alone, in pairs, or in packs. This small, versatile pack hound hunts hare, rabbit, fox, deer, and wild boar. In England, he is used exclusively for beagling, or hunting hare. Affectionate and good-natured, he is a great family pet. He needs firm training.
The Beagle can adapt to city life but needs lots of space to let off steam. He must be brushed once or twice weekly, and his ears need regular attention.
The median longevity of Beagles is about 12.3 years, which is a typical lifespan for a dog of their size. Weight gain can be a problem in older or sedentary dogs, which in turn can lead to heart and joint problems. Beagles may be prone to epilepsy, but this can be controlled with medication. Hypothyroidism and a number of types of dwarfism occur in Beagles. Two conditions in particular are unique to the breed:
Hip dysplasia, common in Harriers and in some larger breeds, is rarely considered a problem in Beagles.
In rare cases Beagles may develop immune mediated polygenic arthritis (where the immune system attacks the joints) even at a young age. The symptoms can sometimes be relieved by steroid treatments.
Their long floppy ears can mean that the inner ear does not receive a substantial air flow or that moist air becomes trapped, and this can lead to ear infections. Beagles may also be affected by a range of eye problems; two common ophthalmic conditions in Beagles are glaucoma and corneal dystrophy. "Cherry eye", a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid, and distichiasis, a condition in which eyelashes grow into the eye causing irritation, sometimes exist; both these conditions can be corrected with surgery. They can suffer from several types of retinal atrophy. Failure of the nasolacrimal drainage system can cause dry eye or leakage of tears onto the face.
West Highland White Terrier Breed Description - Cross #2
Commonly, Westies have bright, deep-set, almond-shaped eyes that are dark in colour. Their ears are pointed and erect. Members of the breed typically weigh between 15 and 20 pounds, and the average height is between 10–11 inches at the withers. The body should be shorter than the height of the dog at the shoulder.
They also have a deep chest, muscular limbs, a black nose, and a short, closely fitted jaw with "scissors" bite (lower canines locked in front of upper canines, upper incisors locked over lower incisors). The Westie's paws are slightly turned out to give it better grip than flat-footed breeds when it climbs on rocky surfaces. In young puppies, the nose and footpads have pink markings, which slowly turn black as they age. Westies also have short and sturdy tails. Some sources suggest that due to their history as rodent catchers, their tails were bred to be thick so that a Westie trapped in a hole could be easily pulled out by the tail.
They have a soft, dense, thick undercoat and a rough outer coat, which can grow to about 2 inches long. The fur fills out the face to give a rounded appearance. As puppies develop into adults, their coarse outer coat is normally removed by either "hand-stripping", especially for dog-showing, or otherwise clipping. Most Westies are pure white, although there are some light wheaten color variations.
The temperament of the West Highland White Terrier can vary greatly, with some being friendly towards children, while others prefer solitude. It will not typically tolerate rough handling, such as a child pulling on its ears or fur, and can frequently be both food and toy possessive. This makes regular training from a young age of particular importance. It is normally independent, assured, and self-confident, and can make a good watchdog. It is a loyal breed that bonds with its owner but is often on the move, requiring daily exercise (15–30 min though ideally, at least an hour). The Westie is highly social and is the most friendly and jolly of all the Scottish breeds of terriers.
It is a hardy breed, and can be stubborn, leading to issues with training. A Westie may need to have its training refreshed on occasion during its lifetime. Having a typical terrier prey drive, it tends to be highly interested in toys, especially chasing balls. It does retain the instincts of an earth-dog, including inquisitive and investigative traits, as well as natural instincts to bark and dig holes. It is ranked in the average range as 88th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs.
This little dog adjusts well to life as a house dog provided he gets long walks. Daily brushing is required. Maintaining the white coat requires special care. Professional grooming is unnecessary unless the dog spends a lot of time outdoors.
The breed is predisposed to conditions found in many breeds, such as abdominal hernias. Westie puppies may be affected by Craniomandibular osteopathy, a disease also known "lion jaw", and is sometimes also referred to as "westie jaw". The disease is an autosomal recessive condition and so a puppy can only be affected by it if both its parents are carriers of the faulty gene. The condition appears across many breeds, including several different types of terrier, as well as other unrelated breeds such as the Great Dane. It typically appears in dogs under a year old, and can cause problems for the dog to chew or swallow food. Radiographic testing can be conducted to diagnose the condition, in which the bones around the jaw thicken; additionally the blood may show increased calcium levels and enzyme levels.
Westies are prone to skin disorders. About a quarter of the breed surveyed are affected by atopic dermatitis, a heritable chronic allergic skin condition. A higher proportion of males are affected compared to females. There is an uncommon but severe breed-specific skin condition that may affect West Highland White Terriers affecting both juveniles and adult dogs. This condition is called Hyperplastic Dermatosis. Affected dogs can suffer from red hyperpigmentation, lichenification and hair loss. In the initial stages, this condition can be misdiagnosed as allergies or less serious forms of dermatitis.
An inherited genetic problem that exists in the breed is globoid cell leukodystrophy. It is not breed specific, and can appear in Cairn Terriers and other breeds including Beagles and Pomeranians. It is a neurological disease where the dog lacks an enzyme called galactosylceramidase. The symptoms are noticeable as the puppy develops, and can be identified by the age of 30 weeks. Affected dogs will have tremors, muscle weakness, and trouble walking. Symptoms will slowly increase until limb paralysis begins to occur. Due to it being a hereditary condition, it is recommended for owners to avoid breeding affected animals in order to eliminate it from the breed. Another genetic condition that affects the breed is "White dog shaker syndrome". As this condition is most commonly found in Westies and in Maltese, the condition was originally thought to be connected to the genes for white coats, however the same condition has since been found in other non-white breeds including the Yorkshire Terrier and the Beagle. The condition typically develops over one to three days resulting in tremors of the head and limbs, ataxia and hypermetria. Affected males and females can be affected for different lengths of time, with symptoms in females lasting for between four to six weeks, while males can be affected the rest of its life.
Other less common conditions which appear in the breed include hydroxyglutaric aciduria, which is where there are elevated levels of alpha-Hydroxyglutaric acid in the dog's urine, blood plasma, and spinal fluid. It can cause seizures, muscle stiffness, and ataxia, but is more commonly found in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. A degeneration of the hip-joint, known as Legg–Calve–Perthes syndrome also occurs to the breed. However the chances of this condition occurring are much higher in some other breeds, such as the Australian Shepherd or the Miniature Pincher.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.