Considering adding a new pet to the family? The Soft Coated Wheaten terrier, also known as "the poor man's terrier" is one of the best all around dogs. They're known for their unique looks and for having a big personality to match. They are good looking, with a soft, silky, hypoallergenic coat. If you suffer from allergies, or can't stand shedding, a wheaten terrier is an ideal choice for you.
Their hair doesn't shed and grows into a cute thick fringe above their above their eyebrows and into a beard below their snout. This gives them a charming, goofy look, that along with their spunky personality makes them hard not to love. When you're walking a Wheaten down the street you're likely to get stopped by a few admirers. "Can I pet your dog?" is a question you'll get used to hearing while out and about. Their big happy smiles and soft, curly coats are hard to resist.
The Soft Coated wheaten terrier originated in Ireland about 200 years ago and was bred to be an all purpose farm dog. Today, in the United States, there are many reputable breeders they're an easily adaptable family dog that can live happily in the city, the country, or the suburbs as long as they get the attention that they crave. Wheatens are one of the best family dogs because they're gentle with children and get along well with other dogs and people outside the family. If yours is going to around other animals like cats, it's best to introduce them when they're still puppies.
Wheatens are so friendly they're known for giving everyone, including strangers, a famous "wheaten greeting." When someone comes to the door, they get REALLY excited and rush to greet them, wagging their tails and waiting in eager anticipating. Greetings include a lot of joyful jumping and "love licks". Luckily these dogs are so adorable most visitors won't mind. If you don't want to be greeted by an overly excited, but adorable dog every day, these dogs might not be the best choice for you.
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Aside from jumping, and getting excited by visitors, Wheatens are fairly easy to train. They're known to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds, just make sure you keep them on a leash when going for walks. These dogs aren't known to be very good off leash on their own. They can get overly excited by anything or anyone that catches their attention and take off running after them.
Just because they're friendly and fun loving, doesn't mean they can't protect you either. Wheatens make great watchdogs. But, they aren't the most reliable guard dogs. While they will alert you every time someone comes near the door, you'll have to take over after that. Stranger danger isn't exactly a term these dogs take seriously. These dogs can be extremely friendly, even to people they don't recognize.
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Typical Wheatens grow to about 19 inches tall and weigh around 40 lbs. They're lively and love to play, and are great at dog sports, but don't require aggressive exercise like some medium sized dogs.
You can easily take them for long walks or hikes. They'll also happily play fetch for as long as you're interested, but are just as happy cuddling up on the couch. To keep your pup entertained while you're gone, try an interactive dog toy or subscribing to Bark Box. Here's how Bark Box stacks up against other store toys.
When it comes to the ideal diet, Dog Lover's Digest put together a list of the 9 best dog foods for Wheaten Terriers. All the dog food in their "best of" guide is free from corn, wheat, and grains.
It's recommended that they get about an hour of exercise a day. A 30 minute walk, along with few games of fetch or running around with the kids is enough to keep them happy though. Just make sure to keep them out of the heat. They overheat quickly and actually prefer colder temperatures. They love playing in the snow!
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Similar to the Kerry Blue Terrier, this hypoallergenic dog has a single coat that doesn't shed, but you will need to groom your wheatie often. Their coats grow fast and their big beige curls can easily tangle. Or worse, turn into a dreaded mess.
Brushing their coat for 5-10 minutes everyday will help make sure it stays soft. When their hair is maintained, the have a shiny, silky coat that's ready to be snuggled at all times. You can also get their hair professionally groomed and cut into the traditional wheaten terrier shape. This shorter haircut can be easier to deal with. You won't need to brush them every day since the hair will be cut short enough to avoid tangling.
A "sweetie wheatie" is sociable and joyful and makes a great companion and family dog. These terriers live long lives (about 12-15 years) and will fill your home with snuggles, love, and their fun loving personality the entire time. They're great with children, get along easily with other animals, and will give you the famous "wheaten greeting" every time you come home.
Learn more about this brilliant breed from the American Kennel Club, the Irish Terrier Club of America and find great Kennel Club recognized breeders from the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America.