A Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should never be an impulse adoption. They are a commitment for the life of a dog that may live 12 years or more.
Wheaten temperament is unique, combining the alert intelligence of the terrier with the steadiness of the working dog. A quick, lively and affectionate dog, the Wheaten retains his puppy exuberance and medium-to-high energy level all his life. Eminently adaptable, he can enjoy life in the city or the country, just so long as he is close to his people and receives ample daily exercise.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is not everyone’s perfect pet. Special requirements must be met if he is to achieve his potential. He must know that he is a dog and therefore below the human family in pecking order. Wheatens often want to be leaders and can be stubborn and headstrong. They need consistent, firm discipline but are sensitive to harsh treatment. They must be trained to be submissive without breaking their spirit.
All children should be supervised when a dog is present. Wheatens do well with considerate, well-behaved children. Because Wheatens are jumpers and their exuberance may overwhelm small children and because they require much time and attention
The affectionate Wheaten Terrier temperament means he is loving with kids as well as adults, and they make for the perfect play partner for your child.
Just remember that no matter how well you know your dog, it is never a good idea to leave children under 6 years old alone with any breed – even the kind-hearted Wheaten.
Most Wheatens will bark an alarm when strangers approach. They must be fenced or walked on a lead since they are known to wander and will chase squirrels, rabbits, cars, etc. if allowed to run loose. Wheatens will leap straight up off the floor. They jump up on people and it is difficult to correct this trait.
You’ve got this high-energy, clever, not to mention willful ball of fur… and you want to make sure he knows that he has to behave. Training your Wheaten as a puppy, when he still wants to please, is a lot faster and easier than trying to make up for lost time once he’s been enjoying his freedom.
The Wheaten temperament can make them a challenge to train. They’re typically smart dogs with their own agendas in life, which seldom includes what you want them to do. If they get away with too much for too long, you’ll find yourself with an unruly and difficult adult Wheaten –not a good companion for any family. If you want your Wheaten to be all he can be, take him to Puppy Kindergarten and/or Basic Obedience classes. You won’t be sorry.
Grooming is important to keep your dog neat and clean between baths. Beyond that, a matted dog is uncomfortable. Those tight mats pull on the skin as he moves. Being a dog, he tries to get them out with the only tools he has, his teeth and his nails, and sometimes winds up breaking his skin in the process. Regular grooming is also an indirect way to establish some control over your Wheaten.
Finally, daily brushing and combing means not only that your Wheaten will be mat-free but that grooming will become a pleasure for him. Think how nice it feels for you at the salon…or how much you’d hate it if your stylist constantly pulled your hair. This training will pay off. If you take him to a groomer for a bath or a trim, it will be easier for him and the groomer — and maybe easier on your pocketbook.
Unlike double-coated dogs, they do not shed, but they require constant clipping and grooming. Wheaten terriers require brushing and combing nearly every day and sometimes as often as three times or more a day to prevent mats.
Wheatens are sometimes billed as hypoallergenic because they don’t shed like a lot of other breeds. Many people with dog allergies can and do own Wheatens successfully, but remember that no dog is hypoallergenic for everyone! People can be allergic to dog hair, dander, or even saliva – so it’s possible you may have an allergic or asthmatic reaction to a Wheaten. If you or a member of your family has experienced reactions to any animal, you should spend a lot of time with a Wheaten before bringing one home. Some people even have different reactions to puppies than they do to adult dogs, so try to spend time around both. If you can borrow one from a friend for a day, so much the better!