Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, a Complete Guide


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Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are an Irish breed of terrier. They are medium-sized dogs, originally bred as all-round farm dogs, for controlling vermin, hunting, and guarding. They are good looking dogs with blond coats that need regular grooming. They are intelligent and versatile dogs, and can perform well in obedience, agility and tracking events. Like all terriers, they can be strong-willed, so need patience in training, though they are easier to train than most terriers. They also like attention, and can be hurt if owners get cross with them! They are generally friendly with people and other dogs met on walks, though like all terriers, they need careful socialization, and can be pushy with other dogs, sometimes showing aggression against dogs of the same sex. Wheaten Terriers are generally good with sensible children.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers aren't a very barky breed, though they will tend to bark when visitors arrive, after which they are likely to be friendly, especially if greeted by the visitor. They don't shed much, and don't tolerate heat well, but can stand cold. The most serious drawback to the breed is vulnerability to some conditions like food intolerances. Wheaten Terriers are also sensitive to anaesthetics, and some individuals may possibly be sensitive to some vaccinations. Some Wheaten Terriers may suffer behavioural problems as a result of their sensitivities to food or chemicals in the environment, or veterinary pharmaceutical products. Kidney trouble is also common, and they can suffer from eye and hip problems.

Wheatens can still live to a long age. It is important to check the longevity of ancestors of any pups you are interested in, and whether they have had particular sensitivities or other health-related problems. Shoemaker's guide to the breed is short but informative. It's very clearly written, and relates the history of the breed very well to its character.