If you are unfamiliar with this breed, you will be delighted. When you first meet a Wheaten you will notice the beautiful coloring of their fur, hence their name, contrasted with dark, piercing eyes, black lips and a large black nose. These terriers are docile and outgoing dogs who make instant friends, more so than the typical terrier.
Let’s get to know this breed better by checking the numbers first. Males grow to between 18 and 20 inches in height, or 46 to 51 cm. while the females are 17-19 inches or 43-48 cm. Males weigh between 35-45 pounds or 16-20 kg. while the females weigh between 30-40 pounds or 14-18 kg. These measurements put the dog squarely into the medium-sized category.
You can expect the breed to survive 12-15 years.
The dog’s roots are rooted in Irish tradition. This was no upper class dog. On the contrary, the Wheaten was bred by and for the average Irishman who needed a herdsman, hunting companion or vermin exterminator. In fact, the breed was not recognized in the UK until the 1940s, with the AKC doing so in 1973.
The Wheaten puppy is generally reddish brown in color and will stay that way for around 3-4 months. During this time, the coat begins to turn its familiar, warm wheaten color. Full color transition occurs within 8-12 months. This very soft coat requires regular grooming such as frequent combing and brushing. Combing is actually considered the better method. The coat has a tendency to become matted if left unattended. This becomes even more acute when the fur gets wet. Today, for this reason, the Wheaten is no longer considered an outdoor dog.
In addition, the coat should be trimmed regularly. This is important for two reasons. As previously mentioned, trimming the coat with a tendency to matting reduces this result. Second, although the dog does not shed, which is a major advantage of the breed, trimming gets rid of loose hair. For potential dog owners who may be allergic to dogs, Wheaten is an excellent choice for this reason.
Obedience training is very important. The breed tends to jump and can be very irritable. Some consider them the best greeters in the canine kingdom. They are not afraid to wonder and will cheer you on if they decide to discover something new around them. We recommend starting training very early. They are very sensitive and tend to reflect the mood of the owner, so optimistic, fixed-rep positive reinforcement in relation to training is advisable.
The breed is emotionally well balanced and very determined to please. They can be very sociable with other dogs if properly introduced. As protectors, they can rely on barking at unusual noises or visitors. However, we would not classify the Wheaten as a guard dog. You are too inclined to make friends. However, it is precisely this disposition that makes the breed a wonderful choice for families with children. Her forgiving nature and willingness to romp around the house make her an instant favorite with little ones.
Moderate exercise is recommended. Expect the Wheaten to easily adapt to your schedule in terms of walks and “play time”.
Separation anxiety can be a problem with Wheaten. It seems that every time you leave, they consider it a final event. It is best not to create unnecessary attention or excitement upon departure. Walk quietly and make sure to give out a reward on your return to reinforce the desired behavior.
Wheat have very sensitive skin and do not respond well to flea or tick bites. Expect itchy skin and hot spots. They are also prone to various food allergies, ironically wheat for example. You should consult a veterinarian for more details. They are also less tolerant of very hot weather. On the contrary, winter games in the snow are very desirable. In general, however, Wheatens are a healthy, long-lived breed with regular grooming and a balanced diet.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an excellent choice for families with children; for allergy sufferers or someone who is looking for a loyal friend for life. With moderate exercise, firm but friendly training, and regular grooming, the Wheaten will provide its owner with countless hours of company.
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