Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Overview
At one time, all terriers in Ireland were called Irish Terriers, and little is known if there were actually separate breeds all called this, or if it referred to just one breed now known as the Wheaten Terrier. The breed started out as a dog for the poor and was very commonly seen on farms helping hunt small game and vermin. His hunting skills helped with farm chores as well, helping to herd cattle and protect the family in addition to catching game.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Characteristics
The Wheaten Terrier features their characteristic wheat-colored coat that can be kept in a trimmed terrier look, or a more natural full-coat. The trimmed look maintains the short, cropped fur on the legs and head, with a prominent beard and triangular ears. The full coated look gives the breed a more shepherding dog type appearance similar to Old English Sheepdogs with rounded fur over the eyes and face and a plush coat throughout.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Temperament
Friendly and happy are the two words that describe the Wheaten Terrier the most. They are also slightly more calm and quiet, making them good family companions, especially with kids. Socialization from puppyhood will help the breed get along well with other dogs, however, their instincts make them incompatible with other small pets, cats included.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Care
12 to 14 years is the average lifespan of the Wheaten Terrier, good for a medium-sized breed of dog. Health concerns include Addison’s disease, protein-losing enteropathy and protein-losing nephropathy (kidney diseases), as well as renal (kidney) dysplasia. These diseases, if present, may decrease lifespan somewhat without careful veterinary care.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Coat
The coat requires daily brushing to keep it free of mats and debris, and also requires monthly bathing. If keeping the Wheaten in a more show-style coat, monthly trips to a professional groomer are needed. The puppy style or full coat is easier to maintain with fewer grooming trips, but requires more careful brushing or else the coat will easily mat.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Training
Like most terriers, the Wheaten can be stubborn at times when it comes to training. His urges to lead require careful training and patience, as well as an owner that can make the dog think he is the one in charge of training. Gentle, consistent training will help this quick learner pick up on any obedience.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Activity
The breed requires moderate exercise including a daily walk or long play session to keep fit. Activities that challenge both the body and mind of the Wheaten are also favored, keeping him from boredom and helping to exercise his natural hunting instincts. The breed loves to be with people, so any activities with owners are also loved.