The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (Wheaties) is a terrier that is a little bit gentler in nature as well as to touch, a ‘terrier light’ per-say.
Wheaties are generally known for being happy and affectionate dogs but they are also a bit stubborn and will most definitely chase down the neighborhood cats and wild animals if given the chance.
While this terrier has a gorgeous coat it definitely needs a lot of regular grooming in order to avoid getting deep seated mats. Which means that even though we here at IndulgeYourPet love these little guys, that doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to be everyone’s “cup of tea”.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to make one your own, you’ll know right away if that is going to be a good idea or not!
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Ireland
Original Purpose: Vermin hunter, guard dog and companion animal
Height: 15 to 20 inches at shoulders
Weight: 30 to 40 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Terrier group
Life Span: 11-15years
History of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was originally a small farm dog from Ireland, which like the Kerry Blue Terrier, served multiple purposes such as:
- Alerting the farmers to any strangers or predators,
- Hunting badges and foxes,
- And keeping down such vermin as mice and rats.
Not much beyond this is known about the background or the development of the Wheaties. In fact, the Irish Kennel Club did not even recognize this breed until 1937. (The oldest known terrier from Ireland is considered to be the Irish Terrier.)
It is believed that…
This breed was first brought to the United States by Lydia Vogel of Massachusetts in the 1940’s, but this breed was not shown or actively bred until the late 1950’s.
Wheaties were first recognized…
By the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1973 and the breed is ranked 59th among those that are registered. There is now a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America that has events especially directed towards the breed. Today there are combinations, such as a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier that is mixed with a miniature poodle, called a Mini Swheet-n-Poo that is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC).
Temperament and Personality of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog that is steadfast with an attentive intelligence. This is also an extremely adaptable dog that is lively and affectionate as long as he is with his human pack.
While less “scrappier”…
Then most terriers, the Wheaties are still self-confident and incredibly independent. This is a great watchdog who will bark to alert his family when strangers are near and is neither timid nor aggressive.
It’s fair to say that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a great family dog that generally gets along with other dogs, and can be a very good and friendly dog with children; this dog is probably better suited for older, elementary, age children because the dog’s exuberance is likely to overwhelm younger children.
While the Wheaten has a steady and predictable temperament it does have a penchant for attacking and going after anything that is small, fast, and furry such as cats and squirrels.
With this in mind…
Be sure that you have a yard with a tall fence, and when you are away from home make sure your dog is leashed which will keep your dog safe. Since your dog will pull on his leash, when you are out walking, you will need to practice leash manners from the get go.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Training
Training of your Soft Coated Wheaten puppy should begin right away, ideally at 8 weeks and definitely no later than 6 months. Try and get your puppy into a kindergarten class, with other puppies, by the age of 10-12 weeks in order to work on socializing him.
While this may not…
Always be possible because a lot of training classes require the dogs to have certain vaccines before allowing them into a group format; make sure to work with your puppy on socializing with a lot of different people, including strangers.
While Wheaton’s can prove to be difficult to train at times, due to their terrier independence they do respond well to lessons that are consistent and patient. Keep in mind that Wheaton’s do have a habit of jumping on people and pulling on the leash, so if you begin correcting this early on it is possible to change this behavior.
Soft Coated Wheaten Grooming
One of the allures of the Soft Coated Wheaten is the gorgeous, soft silky light brown (wheaten) coat. This coat is a single layer of hair that like our own hair is apt to easily get tangled and knotted.
That daily brushing is needed most often with a slicker brush and a stainless-steel comb. Regular bathing and trimming, typically every 4-6 weeks, will also be necessary to keep your dog’s coat styled. Also make sure to check your Wheaties ears weekly to make sure there is no dirt, bad odor, or redness which would indicate an infection.
Health Concerns of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
As with people in families, some dog breeds have a genetic predisposition to developing particular diseases and disorders. So, you know there is no dog breed known that is 100 percent healthy with no known associated medical conditions, but good breeders should be doing their best to clear the parents of health conditions before breeding. For the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, they are known to be predisposed to specific disorders including:
- Protein-Losing Nephropathy (PLN) – Broad term to describe diseases that mainly affect the Glomerulus (a cluster of capillaries near the end of the kidney where waste is filtered from the blood) that causes a loss of protein
- Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE) – Protein is lost through the gastrointestinal system
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRE) – Eyes are genetically programmed to go blind
- Addison’s disease – An adrenal disorder where the adrenal glands are producing an insufficient level of cortisol
- Renal Dysplasia – Kidneys are unable to conserve water
Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier had much more history than what was stated. A quick check on AKC’s website and you’ll see the breed has much more to offer than what is stated above. For example, Wheatens performed every farm job, just like the Kerry Blue Terrier. They herded livestock, hunted vermin, guarded the property and family, and worked as gun dogs. To this day, Wheatens have retained their versatility. They often compete in agility, tracking, and herding competitions.