To paraphrase Forrest Gump, hybrid dogs are like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're going to get. Crossing a West Highland white terrier with a French bulldog -- canines who bear little resemblance to each other -- means the resulting "Westie Frenchie" puppies can run the gamut in terms of appearance.
Westie Frenchie Size
The American Kennel Club standard for the West Highland white terrier specifies an "ideal" size of 11 inches tall at the shoulder for adult males and 10 inches for females. There is no weight standard, but height and weight is proportionate. For practical purposes, Westies usually weigh between 15 and 22 pounds. The French bulldog standard doesn't include a height standard, but calls for a weight standard of no more than 28 pounds. French bulldogs are roughly the same height as the Westie when full-grown. At maturity, a Westie Frenchie should stand between 10 to 12 inches tall, perhaps weighing a bit more than a purebred West Highland white terrier.
Coat and Color
The French bulldogs sports a short, smooth, easy-care coat. The Westie has a double coat, consisting of a straight, hard topcoat and a shorter undercoat. The Westie Frenchie could have either type of coat, or perhaps a smoother coat on the body with some wiry hair on the face. The Westie is always solid white, while the Frenchie standard allows fawn, brindle -- a striped effect -- white and any combination of white and permissible colors. That means a Westie Frenchie might be any of these shades.
For best results, the Westie Frenchie inherits the longer muzzle of the West Highland white terrier parent. That's because the French bulldog is a brachycephalic breed, a term meaning short-nosed. That short nose and overall facial shape can mean respiratory and eye issues, the latter occurring because of shallow eye sockets in the skull. If your mix tends toward the brachycephalic, you'll have to limit his exercise in hot weather and keep him in air-conditioned comfort. Frenchies are renowned for their "bat ears." The Westie's ears also are erect.
Westie Frenchie Temperament
The American Kennel Club includes the French bulldog in the nonsporting group, while the Westie falls into the terrier class. While the Westie has the typical inquisitive, determined, energetic personality of the terrier, the Frenchie is a good-natured companion dog. Your Westie Frenchie likely is affectionate and loyal, but his terrier side could mean he possesses some hunting drive not normally found in bulldog types. Both breeds make good watchdogs. The Westie requires lots of exercise, while the Frenchie tends toward being a couch potato. The ideal mix results in a dog who likes to romp and play but is also content to sit on your lap while you watch TV.
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the French Bulldog
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the West Highland White Terrier
- American Kennel Club: West Highland White Terrier Breed Standard
- American Kennel Club: French Bulldog Breed Standard
- Vetstreet: West Highland White Terrier
- The Veterinary Expert: What is a Brachycephalic Dog?
- Vetstreet: French Bulldog
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.