Soft Coat Wheat Terriers – Once an Endangered Breed, Now the Top 10 Family Dogs of 2020
Group: Terrier group
Height: 17-19 inches tall at the shoulders
Weight: 30-40 pounds
Why the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Is Great for Families
The smooth-coated Wheaten Terrier is a friendly, fun-loving family dog. This breed is very adaptable; they can live happily in a single-family home or in an apartment. They love urban and rural settings and can thrive in both. They love children and get along with young and old children alike. Wheaten Terriers are a high-energy breed when they are puppies. They love to play, jump and run; they love to explore when the weather is nice and snow falls. They are a robust breed that can withstand rough play from children if necessary. This breed also enjoys the company of other animals and is a great addition to the family when there are other pets in the home.
The Wheaten Terrier will protect the family by barking to alert the pack. This breed is a loyal lap dog who will enjoy laying with his head in your lap, while watching television or reading a book. These dogs can handle brief periods alone, but they prefer to be around people, they like company and closeness.
They are strong headed dogs that can have a mind of their own. They need a firm, non-aggressive, but assertive and consistent training regimen. They will also need a lot of early socialization experience in different settings and social settings to become a well-rounded dog as they grow older. Lack of adequate daily exercise, too much time alone, and a lack of stimulating socialization will cause this active and intelligent breed to become fearful and aggressive. They love having the opportunity to think and solve problems, they love dog brain games, and they do well with challenges like agility.
The Wheaten Terrier needs to live in the family home with the people who love the dog the most. These dogs are not meant to be outdoor dogs. They need adequate time outdoors of about an hour or more a day. Several short walks will suffice, or 2-3 longer walks a day will also be great. They love goal-oriented games that develop their training skills, such as agility. They also enjoy mental challenges like brain games or tracking games.
Wheaten Terriers are hypoallergenic. They have light fur and light skin. They shed, but the fur is generally not irritating. Their medium-length coat requires daily brushing to prevent matting. Their fur is known to bring dust, dirt, and snow into their homes. So this is a breed that will take more time to sort. Monthly bathing is recommended and professional grooming is an option for classic haircuts. You can also keep trimming the coat yourself if you learn how and purchase the suggested tools.
Wheaten Terrier history
Wheaten Terriers probably originated from the Kerri Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier. The breed was first recognized by the Irish Kennel Club on St. Patrick’s Day in 1937.
The first wheat terriers arrived in the United States in November 1946. They gradually gained popularity in the United States. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club 1973. Today, the breed is ranked 62nd out of 155 breeds.
Wheat Terrier Health
These days, the veterinary landscape is changing rapidly. It’s definitely a for-profit business now more than ever. Pet insurance is an acquirable benefit that entitles your pet to many diagnostic medical investigations such as EKGs, CT and MRI scans, advanced dental care, and complex surgeries. Develop a good relationship with your veterinarian so that he feels comfortable caring for your dog throughout his life. A trusting relationship with your veterinarian is important as some decisions will be more difficult than others.
Wheaten Terriers will generally be born healthy and should be sold by a reputable breeder with a solid health certificate. However, as dogs age, they become more prone to specific health problems that are common to the breed. Your dog is unlikely to develop all of them, but it is likely that he will experience one or two health conditions at some point in his life. The older the dog, the more likely it is to have multiple problems. Some common health conditions to the breed are:
Protein Loss Nephropathy – A progressive chronic condition with gradual symptoms of weight loss, swelling of the abdomen, increased thirst and urination, shortness of breath, and eventually kidney failure. The diagnosis is confirmed by blood tests and imaging tests. A veterinarian can recommend a specialized diet and medications to alleviate your dog’s symptoms. However, drug doses can increase as conditions worsen over time.
Protein-losing enteropathy – A chronic progressive condition with gradual symptoms similar to the above, weight loss, bloated abdomen, increased thirst and increased urination, progressing to shortness of breath. The diagnosis is made after an analysis of images of blood tests of the heart and kidneys. Symptoms can be controlled with diet and specialized medications, but as the disease progresses, the doses of the medications will need to be increased. Owners will need to continually assess the dog’s quality of life and also how they feel and how they manage to constantly care for a sick pet.
Addison’s disease – It is usually an inherent disease that can occur over time. Symptoms can include poor appetite, vomiting, fatigue, and lethargy. The symptoms are usually quite vague. If the vet suspects Addison’s disease, they will usually perform blood tests and imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Renal dysplasia – Abnormal kidney development. Young dogs will experience symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, vomiting, and frequent urinary tract infections. These congenital problems lead to the early development of kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure.
Wheaten Terriers seem particularly prone to kidney problems. However, with the help of a supportive veterinarian, you will have options for better care. Understand that modified diets and specific medications can often help prolong life. You can accept a new normal if you need to adjust at some point in your dog’s life.