Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
(aka: Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Wheaten Terrier)
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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Description
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium sized dog that is very squarely and solidly built without appearing to be heavy or chunky. The breed is very athletic with a good bone structure through the legs and body providing strength as well as the ability to move quickly through all types of terrain. The legs are relatively long for the size of the dog and well furnished, making them appear a bit larger than they actually are.
He is a medium sized dog, with a short but sturdy build. He is well proportioned, and has a square shaped head. The coat of the Soft coated Wheaten Terrier is black at birth but gets gradually lighter, and by the time he is two it should be a lovely, wheaten color with a wavy appearance. The coat is soft and silky in texture.
The Soft coated Wheaten Terrier is a cheerful, lively, and happy dog. He is sociable, confident, and often acts like a puppy even as he grows up. These dogs have a fair amount of energy, and enjoy vigorous play and exercise. When not on a leash, the Soft coated Wheaten Terrier needs a safe and secure area in which to play and exercise with high fences, as he may otherwise escape. They thrive on interaction, companionship, and the love of their owners, and are not suited to those that cannot commit time to look after a pet. With proper, early socialization the Soft coated Wheaten Terrier boasts a confident, friendly, and sociable personality. However, they can be something of a handful, and are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. Owners need to be confident, assertive, and consistent when it comes to training. Some can be obstinate, strong willed, and difficult to control with the wrong owner or inadequate training.
These spirited dogs get along well with older, gentle children, and with proper socialization will get along okay with other pets, although some can be aggressive with same sex dogs. They will bark to raise an alarm, and this makes them effective watchdogs, but they are usually friendly and sociable with strangers despite their bark. The Soft coated Wheaten Terrier is a quick learner, responsive, and intelligent, so training should not prove too much of a challenge for those with experience. Providing you can provide this dog with the attention, as well as the mental and physical stimulation that he needs, he can make a good, steady companion and pet.
The Soft coated Wheaten Terrier does require a fair amount of grooming, and his coat will need to be brushed three or four times a week. He will also need to have his coat clipped or trimmed every couple of months. The good news is that the Soft coated Wheaten Terrier id a low shedder, and therefore may prove suitable for those that suffer from allergies.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first bred in Ireland and is one of the three varieties or breeds of large terriers. It is likely a cross between a Kerry Blue Terrier and one of the larger mixed terrier breeds popular in the Irish farming communities.
The breed has existed in Ireland for hundreds of years but was not formally accepted and shown until 1933. It came to American in 1946 and was not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1973. The breed is steadily gaining in popularity in some areas of North American but is still relatively unknown by many people.
The first Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were used as hunters, killing rodents and other vermin that plagued the farmhouses and outbuildings in both cities and rural areas. They were also trained as retrievers and used as herding dogs in various areas and at different times.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a very intelligent breed that will quickly learn what owners want. They can be used in obedience trials and events as well as agility and hunting competitions. They have a high level of ability to solve problems and are less independent than many of the terrier breeds.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should be trained at an early age using positive training methods that enhance the bonding between the trainer and the dog. They should never be trained using punishment methods as this can seriously limit the dog's trust of his or her owners. The breed does tend to want to play and clown around, so trainers should plan to provide a playtime before and after each short training session to encourage this wonderful dog to engage in the training activities. Repetitive training is not required and will, in fact, cause the dog to be less compliant.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier needs to be challenged both mentally and physically during training. They can be taught to fetch, complete obstacle courses and even to play hide and seek with favorite toys or even family members as a way to combine mental stimulation with physical exercise. The breed can also be taught to work on a retractable lead, a must as they do have a chase instinct. Socialization should be a key component of any Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier training program from the earliest possible age.
They may occasionally be stubborn in training, especially through the teenage years. Being consistent and firm yet avoiding punishment will help the dog and owner work through these challenges.
The life expectancy of the Soft coated Wheaten Terrier is around 12-14 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. Some of these include vWD, PRA, HD, cataracts, renal problems, allergies, and sensitivity to drugs and chemicals. The parents of the Soft coated Wheaten Terrier puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates, and you should also look into renal function tests.