Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Teddy Bear Lives

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Teddy Bear Lives

If you are unfamiliar with this breed, you are in for a treat. When you first meet a wheatbird, you are struck by the beautiful color of its coat, hence its name, contrasted with dark piercing eyes, black lips and a large black nose. These terriers are soft and sociable dogs that will instantly make friends, more so than the typical terrier.

Let’s get to know this breed better by going over the numbers first. Males grow to 18-20 inches tall or 46-51 cm while females are 17-19 inches or 43-48 cm. Males weigh between 35-45 pounds or 16-20 kg. while females weigh between 30-40 pounds or 14-18 kg. These measurements accurately place the dog in the medium size category.

You can expect the breed to live 12-15 years.

The dog’s roots are steeped in Irish tradition. This was not a high society dog. On the contrary, wheat was grown by and for the common Irishman who needed a shepherd, a hunting companion or a carrier of vermin. In fact, the breed was not recognized in the UK until 1940, with the AKC doing so in 1973.

A wheat pup is usually reddish-brown in color and stays that way for approximately 3-4 months. During this time, the coat begins to transition to the familiar warm wheat color. The full color transition will occur within 8-12 months. This very soft coat requires regular attention such as frequent combing and brushing. Combing is actually considered the better method. Fur has a tendency to matte if left unattended. This becomes more acute if the fur gets wet. Today, the Wheaten Dog is not considered an outdoor dog for this reason.

In addition, the coat should be trimmed regularly. This is important for two reasons. As mentioned earlier, with the tendency to matting, trimming the coat reduces this result. Second, although the dog does not shed, a main advantage of the breed, trimming eliminates 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 has a tendency to jump and can be very excitable. Some consider them the best greeters in the canine kingdom. They are not afraid to wonder and will rush to you when they decide to explore something new in their surroundings. We suggest that training starts very early. They are quite sensitive and tend to reflect the owner’s mood, so upbeat, positive reinforcement with firm repetition is advisable in terms of training.

The breed is well balanced emotionally and very determined to please. They can be very sociable with other dogs when properly introduced. As protectors, they can be relied upon to bark at unusual noises or visitors. However, we wouldn’t categorize the Wheaten as a guard dog. They are too willing to make friends. However, it is precisely this temperament that makes the breed a wonderful choice for families with children. Their forgiving nature and willingness to roam around the house make them instant favorites with little ones.

Moderate exercise is recommended. You can expect Wheaten to easily adapt to your schedule in terms of walks and “play time”.

Separation anxiety can be a problem with Wheaties. It seems that every time you leave, they consider it the last event. It is best not to create unnecessary attention or excitement around departures. Leave quietly and be sure to provide a reward upon your return to reinforce the desired behavior.

Wheaties have very sensitive skin and do not react well to flea or tick bites. Itchy skin and hot spots can be expected. They are also prone to various food allergies, ironically to wheat for example. You should consult a veterinarian for more details. They are also less tolerant of very hot weather. On the contrary, winter antics in the snow are very desirable. In general, however, Wheaties tend to be healthy, long-lived breeds with regular health care and a balanced diet.

The soft-coated wheaten terrier is an excellent choice for families with children; for those who suffer from allergies or for someone looking for a faithful friend for life. With moderate exercise, firm but friendly training and regular grooming, the Wheaten will provide its owner with countless hours of companionship.

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