Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
BOLD, BONNY, BOUNCY
History & Origin
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier takes its name from its lovely, golden coat. Bred in Ireland, these dogs are also called the Wheaten Terrier, Wheaten or Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers share some history with the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue, both typical Irish dog breeds. It is a purebred dog with a documented breeding history going back hundreds of years.
Irish farmers developed Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers for general farm work. They wanted a dog able to herd sheep and guard cattle and pigs. But it also had to be a vermin hunter, catching and killing rats. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were considered the farmer’s friend and companion.
They were not lap dogs for the wealthy classes. Bred to be strong and have a good nature, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is also tough and hardy.
The terrier instinct is strong in the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier but it is more affectionate than other terrier breeds. As the farmer’s buddy, the dogs went everywhere with their owners and strong bonds formed.
In Ireland, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was recognized as a breed in 1937. It took a while for the rest of the world to get to know them too. In the USA, the first Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies arrived only in the 1940s. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1973.
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an outgoing dog with a very friendly and lively personality. It loves to be around people and likes nothing better than to be by the side of its owner.
It is a playful dog that wants to fool around, kick balls and fetch them. This makes it a good family dog as it gets on well with children. Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is not the kind of dog that does well by itself. If you are away from the house for many hours in the day, then this may not be the dog for you.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have lots of energy and are busy little puppies. They want to jump up and lick your face whenever they can! They have a wonderful character and can adapt easily to almost any circumstances.
It is probably not the best kind of dog to keep in a flat or apartment. These dogs like to run around and need a garden. Even in homes with large yards, you should be prepared to walk your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Elderly people who are still active will enjoy the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. This dog breed is very loving and often forms strong bonds with one person. As long as it gets its daily exercise, it will fit into a more quiet home.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should not be locked up or kept in a kennel for long stretches of time.
soft coated wheaten terrier
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
There is some maintenance involved with the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Whatever you decide to feed your puppy, be sure that it is food with a high nutritional content. Many of the dog foods that can be bought in stores are below standard. Especially the cheaper dog food brands are often very low in quality.
You want your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy to grow up big and strong. This is why you should consider a real food diet. Cooking your puppy’s food is one of the only ways you can know 100% what your dog is eating. This can be time-consuming and takes extra effort but it will be worth it!
Your puppy is growing fast and doubles its weight within weeks. A healthy adult dog does not get ill often and recovers faster from illness. So feed your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier a balanced diet with lots of protein, some vegetable, and carbs. Red meat, chicken, and fish are very good for dogs.
Some people think a raw diet is the best food. This is what dogs in the wild would eat. The dog’s ancestor is the wolf and these animals eat nothing but meat. Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy’s digestive system is perfectly set up to deal with raw meat.
The most important thing is to think about what you are feeding your puppy and if it is proper food. Some foods are very bad for dogs, like chocolate, raisins, and grapes. You may think you are giving it a treat but it could make them very ill and even kill them.
A small puppy does not eat a lot. In the beginning, your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy will want to eat lots of small meals. Its tummy can only take so much food and this needs to be turned into energy quickly.
As it grows older, you will begin to feed it less often. Three to four meals a day is quite enough until your puppy is six months old. Then you will feed it only twice a day.
Many people worry about how much they should be feeding their dog. Unfortunately, there is no golden rule.
Every dog or puppy is different. If you are feeding your dog a commercial food, there will be some information on the bag. Don’t be tempted to overfeed your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Puppies are supposed to be hungry. But if you give it too much food, it will become too fat and this can cause many health issues.
Many kinds of dog food are specially developed to be complete even if the amount looks very small. Always have a bowl of fresh water nearby.
It is a good idea to have set times for feeding. This way your puppy gets into a routine from early on. It will be good for him to know that his food is coming at a certain time. This helps with feelings of security, especially when he is still small.
COAT AND GROOMING
Size and Coat
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog. They weigh from 14 to 20kg.
The coat of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is light in color and soft to the touch. It has a single coat and the hair can be white to pale to yellowish.
Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should have long, wavy hair. Don’t worry if your puppy’s hair feels hard – this is normal. It can take a year or two for the coat to reach maturity. The adult dog will have an extremely soft coat that is able to take quite a bit of dirt and wetness.
You will have to groom your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s coat to ensure that he looks the way he should.
You will have to brush your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier every day. This may sound like too much work but it is essential. The coat of this dog gets matted and tangled very quickly.
Make it a daily habit with your puppy. At a certain time of the afternoon, take out the brushes and start combing through his hair. The hair of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should be long.
Matted hair is very uncomfortable for the dog. If you wait too long between brushing, it will become almost impossible to get all of the knots out of his hair.
It may sound like the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a high maintenance breed – and perhaps it is. This is mainly because of the coat and the frequent brushing you will have to do.
There are other aspects of grooming to remember as well. The nails of your puppy should be trimmed and you need to check the ears. It is also important to brush their teeth every week.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
Exercise, Energy, and Activities
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a lot of energy. Some dog experts go so far as to say it is a bouncy dog. This means you will have to take it for daily walks or runs.
A good rule of thumb is to take your dog out for a long walk once a day. This could be a walk down the street or around the block. Aim for at least 30 minutes.
You could also take your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy to the park and throw a ball or a Frisbee. These are very playful dogs with a good sense of humor.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers that do not get enough exercise could become destructive. If your puppy starts to bark too much or digs up your garden, it could be that it’s bored. These are dogs that need a lot of interaction and attention.
Training your puppy begins from the moment you walk into your house. Housetraining will probably take a bit of time. Don’t be frustrated! Teaching your puppy to do its business outside usually takes time.
Don’t get angry when your dog has an accident in the house. This is normal and in the beginning, it will happen a lot. Always take your dog outside and praise it when it has made a wee outside.
It usually takes a few weeks to housetrain a puppy. Sometimes, it takes months. Every dog learns according to his own pace.
After completing housetraining, you should begin to socialize your dog. Socialization classes are for young dogs, usually a few months old.
Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an intelligent dog that loves to learn. You may want to do some basic obedience training with him too. They can also be taken for agility training as these dogs are very athletic.
All puppies sleep a lot. Much like babies, they need their rest to grow.
You may expect your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier to sleep around 20 hours a day. So it is asleep more than it is awake! But as they grow up, these puppies sleep less and play more. When it is an adult, the dog will sleep about 15 hours a day.
This will also not be the same for every dog – and will depend on how much exercise it gets too!
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier will want to sleep in your bed with you. But this is probably not a good idea. He will begin to think that this is his bed and this could create tension in the house.
It is a good idea to get your new dog his own bed. This could be a pillow or a basket. Dogs like to have a spot that is their own. If they are tired, they will often go to their bed to lie down.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can live up to 12 to 14 years. There are a few health concerns to look out for.
The dogs can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, renal dysplasia, and Addison’s disease. A potential problem is the so-called protein-losing nephropathy. This happens in the filtering system of the kidneys. Because the kidneys are critical organs in your dogs’ body, any damage to them can have huge implications for your dog.
In Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, the condition can develop when the dog is between two to six years old. Another possible issue is canine hip dysplasia. This is when the hip joint does not fit properly and bone grinds against bone. It is very painful but fortunately, it can be treated.
If you are worried about your dog, take them to a vet for tests. It must be said, though, that most health issues are linked to bad nutrition and not enough exercise. If you feed your dog good food and ensure that it has a balanced lifestyle, then the chances are extremely good that your dog will be healthy and lead a long life.
Many of the problems vets see every day, have to do with obesity and dogs not being stimulated enough.
To Sum Up
This is the ideal family pet. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a totally lovable pet without necessarily being a lap dog. He really is one big teddy bear who won’t mind being hugged all day.
What are you waiting for? Go for it!
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SOFT COATED WHEATEN TERRIER