Breed Family: Terrier
Country of Origin: Ireland
Size: Medium, height 43-51cm, weight 14-20kg
Also Known as: Wheaten, Wheatie
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Care Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium
General information and Appearance
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is an active and cheerful dog well-suited for family life. They are happy and very alert. This breed has square proportions and an athletic build. The head is slightly long and rectangular in shape, though the muzzle is not long. The brown eyes are set slightly farther apart and medium-sized. The ears have a fold and point towards the head in v-shape.
The body of the dog is very level and straight. Tails are sometimes docked, except in places like Australia where tail-docking is now illegal. The tail is set higher on the body and the hindquarters are strong and muscular.
When Wheatens are pups, their coats are red, brown, mahogany or white. As this coat grows out, white hairs replace the puppy coat, and finally the wheat-colour from which the breed derives its name. The coat is soft, long and wavy. The coat should never be coarse or wool-like with this breed.
This breed is has many terrier characteristics including energy, enthusiasm and a strong-will. They are very curious, which can tend to lead them in to trouble. They are very intelligent, which helps them find their way into things at times.
These dogs are easy to train if the owner has a good understanding of pack mentality and a bit of patience. They should be taken to obedience classes and positive behaviours must be continually reinforced. Many terriers are playful and eager to please, but their stubborn tendencies can lead to frustration. This dog needs and alpha leader at home, willing to command and lead the dog with a firm, but gentle attitude. Being overly tough or aggressive will only cause the dog to lash out.
These dogs should be socialised at an early age. They need to be taught proper behaviour early, but once trained they are wonderful family dogs. They love to spend time with family members and do well with children.
These dogs need moderate amounts of exercise to prevent them from acting up out of boredom. A daily walk and a little play indoors or outdoors will keep them happy. If given the opportunity, this dog will rule the home, so a calm but firm leader must teach this dog the rules.
Overall, the Wheaten Terrier is a healthy dog with a long life-span. Some dogs of this breed do develop PLN, which is a disease in which the dogs lose protein through the kidneys. This can sometimes be treated before it comes serious. There have also been cases of renal dysplasia, Addison’s disease and cancer. This dog can also develop allergies, wether to foods or sometimes fleas. When looking in to the purchase of any dog, it is always important to talk to the breeder about health concerns. Breeders are very diligent in ensuring pure bloodlines and healthy dogs.
Grooming and Care
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier has the trademark soft, downy coat. The hair is a single coat that should be combed every day. A brush is actually not recommended as it can cause the coat to frizz a bit, while a comb will get out the tangles without causing frizz.
These dogs are great for allergy sufferers as they do not shed. Occasionally, their hairs will fall out, much like that of human, but it is not traditional shedding. As such, their hair will just continue to grow until it is cut. Many Wheaten owners have different opinions on what style looks the best on a Wheaten, but unless the dog is being shown, it does not matter.
Suitability as Pet In Australia
Wheatens are lively, energetic dogs that bring joy and fun into households. They definitely do well in families, even with children and other pets. Owners must be prepared to take a firm stance in training, however, to avoid being ruled by their dog.
Dogs of this breed can live in a variety of homes, from apartments and flats to large homes with large yards. Having a fenced in yard will help the Wheaten release its energy, but they can live in smaller homes as long as the owner is attentive to exercise needs. They typically do not enjoy hot climates and will be lethargic. However, if the dog is not being shown, a very short hair cut can help them to cool off a bit in the warm months.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Organisations in the UK
Wheaten Terrier Rescue
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Organisations in the US
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of GB
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of Australasia
Did we miss your organisation? Let us know. Contact Us