The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog with a silky and slightly wavy coat that gives it a natural and simple appearance.
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier will surely attract attention in any place. Mainly contributes to this luxurious wool unique wheat color. Because of the color of the coat, the name of the breed arose.
The amazing color is far from the only advantage of representatives of this type. These dogs are distinguished by a highly developed intellect, excellent character and excellent physical shape.
Unlike other types of terriers, the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier has no habit of barking loudly over trifles.
Other names: Irish Soft-Coated, Wheaten Terrier, Soft Coated, Softcoated
Nicknames: Wheaten or Wheatie
The homeland of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is Ireland.
This terrier belongs to the group of Irish dogs. It is believed that they have a common ancestor. The breeds closest to the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier are the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier.
There is no exact information on the date of origin of this species. There are suggestions that he appeared much earlier than the other different types of terriers. This is indicated by references in books (seventeenth century edition) about beautiful dogs with wavy wheat hair.
If the Irish Terrier was deliberately bred as a pet for aristocrats, then the Wheaten Terrier is the result of popular selection. Initially, he was kept exclusively in the homes of the poor, peasants, and middle-income people.
With its friendly disposition, devotion, endurance and courage, the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier soon earned universal popularity. With the same zeal, he could please the cheerful disposition of the owners in a rich house and help the peasants graze cattle and hunt rodents.
In the nineteenth century, the popularity and number of representatives of the breed were at the highest level. But at the beginning of the century, wheaten terrier dogs at exhibition shows performed under the same name “Irish Terrier” along with Kerry Blue and the Irish Terrier.
Official recognition at home came to the Irish Wheaten Terrier in 1937. The ICF recognized this breed twenty years later.
Now the Irish Wheaten Terrier is popular with terrier lovers around the world. There are a large number of nurseries that breed purebred Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier dogs.
If in ancient times the breed was used as a rodent hunter, watchdog and shepherd, in the modern world the wheaten terrier is a family dog, companion, and also an assistant for psychological therapy.
Physical characteristics of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Adult Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier dogs weigh 13-20 kg., Growth about 44-49 cm.
On an average long neck, an elongated head with a flat skull is held. Ears of medium size, hanging, raised on the cartilage.
The eyes are relatively small, dark.
The stop is well defined. The muzzle is medium length. The nose is quite large, black. The jaws are strong. Scissor bite or straight.
The physique is compact, elongated. The back is straight, the lower back is short. The chest is deep, not too voluminous. The tail is high. Docked to 1/3 of the length.
The limbs are smooth, medium length, muscular. Paws are small in size. Profitable fingers must be removed.
The coat of Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is different from the wool of other terriers, it is soft and silky, and not coarse and hard. The hair length is not more than 13 cm. It is wavy or curls, shiny.
Too fluffy hair, like a poodle is not permissible. It should fall, naturally flow.
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier colors of any shade (from light to golden red).
Wheaten terriers with natural, trimmed or sheared wool are allowed at exhibition shows.
Character and temperament of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
These dogs have a strong personality and are very funny. As long as they are involved in everything their family does, they will be trusted partners.
A Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier will always keep you in suspense with its occasional jokes, but it’s usually in a good mood and is very friendly.
These dogs learn very fast, but, like most terriers, they can also be very stubborn.
The Wheaten Terrier is infinitely devoted to his family. He needs communication with people. This active and friendly dog applies almost equally to all household members, although more respectful behavior and stricter obedience are noted with respect to the owner.
Representatives of this breed often show obstinacy and willfulness. To achieve their goal, they come up with various tricks.
If once you show weakness, it will be difficult in the future to achieve full obedience from the terrier.
It gets along well with children, but such a pet is not suitable for a child under 6 years old. The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier will tolerate too long a free appeal to himself.
Children should know that animals should be handled carefully, gently, but not rudely.
The Wheaten Terrier, although it is currently a family dog, has the genes of a skilled hunter.
This terrier is not suitable for the guard service, since it does not have aggression towards people. Such a dog may be wary of a stranger, may bark at a stranger, but not attack with anger, and will not bite.
Aggression in the wheat terrier is manifested only in relation to the intended production.
That is why it is not recommended to keep small rodents and decorative birds in the same house with a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. Although each dog is individual in its own way.
The Wheaten terrier develops normal friendly relations with his own kind. But in any case, it will try to dominate, subordinate other dogs to its will. On this basis, conflicts sometimes arise.
The average life expectancy of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is 13-14 years.
It is important to annually undergo preventive examinations in the veterinary clinic, to carry out deworming, vaccination and treatment against fleas and ticks.
The owner of a wheaten terrier should familiarize himself with the list of diseases to which his pet is predisposed:
- Addison’s disease is a pathological process that develops in the endocrine system.
- Nephropathy with protein loss.
- Oncological diseases.
- Protein loss enteropathy.
- Allergy – allergic reactions to shampoo and other wheat care products are more common.
- Gastrointestinal diseases – intestinal inflammation, diarrhea.
- Renal dysplasia is a very serious pathology associated with impaired functional separation of organ cells. With this pathology, the kidneys lose the ability to filter blood and synthesize urine.
- Atopic dermatitis is a genetically caused itchy skin inflammation associated with the formation of IgE antibodies.
- Babesiosis – caused by blood parasites, without timely treatment, a terrier can die within a few days.
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is perfect for apartment living. Such a dog is not intended for an aviary, too strict treatment, round-the-clock restriction of freedom will gradually spoil the character of an overly energetic terrier. Which will necessarily adversely affect his behavior.
Next to people, in comfortable conditions, the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier feels happy, but with one main condition – regular physical activity. You need to walk your dog every day, in the morning and in the evening.
Organize active games during your walk. In the mornings you can go jogging with a terrier. It is important that the dog consumes the accumulated energy.
It is recommended that you bring your pet at least once a to nature, the countryside, where he can freely run without a leash, free.
Pondering the conditions of detention and the time of walks, the owner of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier should take into account the fact that the representatives of the breed tolerate the heat very poorly and the cold is much easier to tolerate.
The beauty of the appearance of the dog needs to be maintained, as well as its health. To do this, we regularly carry out the following procedures according to all the rules:
- We comb the terrier’s hair 1-2 times a week.
- Haircut and trimming are carried out at the request of the owner. When trimming, the mustache and beard are left long, slightly tweaking their shape. The hair on the neck, head and chest is short. The body and tail are designed to emphasize the contours of the dog.
- We bathe our dog 3-4 times a year, choosing the right detergents, as representatives of this breed often suffer from allergies. In the summer, instead of bathing, wipe the pet’s hair with a damp towel made of natural fabric.
- After each walk, especially if it took place outdoors, we examine the paws for the presence of cracks or other damage. If necessary, we carry out treatment.
- We clean the dog’s teeth once a week using veterinary pastes intended for dogs. This procedure will prevent the formation of tartar and remove a specific odor from the mouth.
- We cut the nails with a nail clipper as they grow back, otherwise they will interfere with the free movement of the dog. The cut should be parallel to the floor.
- We clean our dog’s ears 1-2 times a week, depending on the degree of pollution. It is important to ensure that there are no symptoms of infection, such as excessive accumulations of earwax, unpleasant odor, redness … Having noticed this, we turn to the veterinarian for a diagnosis.
- We examine the eyes daily, remove, if necessary, discharge from the eyes.
Before deciding on the method of feeding the puppy, ask the breeder what the dog was eating from him, dry food or natural food.
The fact is that it is impossible to sharply transfer a small pet from one food to another, there may be problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
Food should be balanced. Depending on age, we feed puppies from 3 to 6 times a day, the older the pet, the less often we give food. Adults eat 2 times a day.
It is worth noting that Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier are prone to a lack of calcium. That is why such dogs need appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements.
It is important that fresh water should be available all day long.
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a very active dog who has to train hard enough not to become a bit stubborn at home.
The minimum amount of exercise for an adult Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier would be an hour a day, but if you can offer more exercise time, it will be grateful.
Training and education
Terriers are very smart dogs; the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is no exception. It’s not difficult to train and educate him, given the nature of the character and the rules of training.
The wheaten terrier is very mobile and restless, he answers reluctantly to boring, monotonous training. It is difficult for him because of his activity to focus on a single subject.
Based on the foregoing, the owner should be patient and persistent. But at the same time, plan training classes in part in a playful way.
Training and repetition of the studied commands is recommended to be carried out of the city, in nature. The training itself is successful at special training sites under the guidance of an experienced dog handler.
During training, rudeness towards the pet should not be allowed. Use flavoring incentives, then rather achieve positive results.
At home, teach the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier the simplest commands and rules of conduct in the house. Then, without fail, take the OKD course with the pet, for representatives of the indicated breed it is extremely important.
It is worth noting that the wheaten terrier is excellent in sports, in agility. They can be taught circus tricks.
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Fun Facts
- The coat of the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier goes through several stages in the process of growing up, it thrives, finally forming only by 20-30 months.
- A pack of Irish wheaten terriers is able to withstand even wolves. That is why in ancient times, these bold dogs were called “wolfhounds for the poor.”
- Unlike other types of terriers, the wheaten terrier has no habit of barking long and loudly.
- The wheaten terrier does not tolerate boring monotony, therefore it likes to create vanity around, feeling comfortable in movement.
- For the first time, Maureen Holmes (a breeder from Ireland) began to trim the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, her initiative was met with hostility by many lovers of the natural beauty of wheaten terriers.
- Most of all, American owners like to make decorative haircuts for the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. In Ireland and in England they prefer the natural look of luxurious wool of wheaten terrier.
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breed Highlights
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is always ready for an active pastime, so an equally active person would be the ideal owner for him.
If you are too busy at work or like to spend free time exclusively at home, sitting at the TV, you better pay attention to another, calmer breed.
The list of the main pros and cons of the breed will help to understand whether the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is suitable for you as a pet.
- The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a loyal dog, gentle and affectionate by nature.
- It is known to be very good around children of all ages.
- It does not lose or very little of its coat.
- This dog is very intelligent and therefore easy to train in the right hands.
- The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a good choice for new dog owners who lead an active outdoor lifestyle.
- It’s a good watchdog.
- It thrives in being in a family environment.
- It is a dog breed of social nature and tends to get along with everyone.
- Unique coat color, beautiful appearance.
- Suitable for apartment living.
- The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier requires a lot of maintenance on the grooming front.
- As a “terrier”, this dog has a strong sense of prey.
- Some dogs of this breed like a little too much the sound of their own voices.
- It likes to dig and will do it with pleasure in flowerbeds and lawns.
- This dog is very energetic and likes to be busy.
- The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier can suffer from separation anxiety.
- It is a dog that has an obstinate tendency.
- It may suffer from “shaggy dog syndrome”
- Requires daily exercise
- The tendency to dominate.