The Wheaten terrier, otherwise known as the Irish soft-coated Wheaten terrier, hails from Ireland and was originally bred for farming purposes. This dog has four coat varieties which are the Traditional Irish coat, the Heavy Irish coat and the British and American coats. These single-coated dogs shed very little hair and are ideal pets for those who suffer from allergies.
Wheaton terriers come in a variety of colors including red, brown, white and mahogany; however, the puppies are typically born darker. Wheaten puppies’ coats generally grow to be a lighter, almost white colored coat before maturing into their typical wheaten-colored one, hence their name the Wheaten terrier. Generally their muzzles and small hairless ears are either black or dark brown and flop downwards. This breed of dog has a square structure and is relatively well-built. This dog has hair that continues to grow like a humans and poodles. These dogs, once called the “poor man’s wolfhound”, are lovable non-aggressive dogs suitable for most people who have time.
Soft-coated Wheaten terrier temperament:
The Wheaten terrier is known to be a highly energetic dog which likes to play. This dog can be a little stubborn at times and patience is needed together with constant positive training. This an intelligent dog but it will only respond well if it is trained with a positive approach as it has the tendency to get scared or slightly aggressive with harsher methods of training and socialization. This dog loves people and will jump up at anybody trying to get close to them showing their affection and it has even been nicknamed the “Greeten Terrier” for its overly friendly nature.
As this dog was originally bred to be a farm dog it does have strong preying instincts and if there are other animals around it needs to be socialized with them carefully. This dog will stay loyal to its owners and it also has a very protective nature which is why this dog also makes a good watch dog. While it does make a good watch dog with warning its owners of strangers approaching it does not make a good guard dog as it will bark at the strangers and then jump up on them and lick them in a friendly way.
Wheaton terrier health problems:
These dogs, if looked after well have a long life expectancy of about 13-15 years. While they do have long lives they are, however, susceptible to genetic diseases. The most common diseases that the Wheaton terrier suffers from are two protein wasting conditions known as protein-losing nephropathy, where the dog loses its protein via its kidneys and protein-losing enteropathy, which causes the dog to not fully absorb and process proteins properly. These diseases can be fatal, however, if they are detected early it is relatively easy to monitor through a strict diet and medicine.
Other less common diseases that the Wheaton terrier can suffer from are renal dysplasia, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. When choosing your puppy it is best to check with t
he breeders about the
parentage of the dog and ask them about any known hereditary illness.
This dog is suitable for an apartment and although they can get quite excited indoors this can be lessened by regular exercise coupled with attention. Due to their excessive amount of hair these dogs do not bode well in hot environments and they prefer cool weather so if an owner lives in a hot place this dog is not recommended unless there is a good air-conditioning system to keep the dog at its ideal temperature at all times.
Wheaten terrier exercise:
This dog is an active dog but it only requires one long walk per day preferably early in the morning or at dusk when the temperature has dropped.
Wheaten terrier grooming:
The hair of the Wheaton terrier is naturally curly and if it is brushed, it tends to get too fluffy, therefore using a typical dog’s brush is not recommended if you want to achieve its natural look. Instead the dog’s hair should be combed with a wide-tooth comb on a daily basis to keep its coat tangle-free. This dog does not shed a lot compared to other terrier breeds but still the dead fallen hair needs to be combed out to prevent it from getting over clothes and furniture. This dog has sensitive skin and should only be bathed with hypoallergenic shampoo when necessary. Over bathing could result in the dog developing skin conditions such as eczema.
As these dogs love the companionship of humans this is not an ideal dog if the owners are away from the house all day. It is the perfect dog for all ages as long as the family can give it the time and exercise. It is also ideal for all allergy sufferers due to its low-shedding coat. Additionally, these dogs make great watch dogs as they will bark excessively when strangers approach, however, they do not make good guard dogs as they will more than likely jump on the stranger and cover it with licks when it reaches the home.