Did you know?
A female dog gives birth to her puppies 63 days after conception. They are born with their eyes shut and will not open them for approximately 14 days.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though inasmuch as he had four legs, a tail, and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those of us who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman. – Hermione Gingold
Although the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has been known in Ireland for hundreds of years, his exact origins are unknown. He is believed to share some of the same ancestors as the Kerry Blue Terrier.
In Ireland, they were known as the “Poor Man’s Wolfhound.” Their tails used to be docked to avoid taxes.
The Wheaten Terrier was an all-purpose farm dog used for herding, watching and guarding livestock, hunting and killing vermin and other game, and even as a water retriever.
Photos displayed courtesy of Natascha Witt, Witthaven Reg’d, Ontario
This square, sporty dog stands up to 19 inches (48 cm) tall at the shoulder. Adult males should weigh 40 pounds (18 kg). Females are about an inch (2 cm) smaller and up to five pounds (2 kg) lighter.
He has a soft, silky, slightly wavy coat that is the colour of “ripening wheat”. There are two coat types within this breed. The Irish coat is glossy, soft and silky while the American and English coat is heavier and more dense.
The dog pictured at right, Penny, has the Irish Coat. The dog below, Kira, shows the English coat.
Puppies are born dark brown, red, or mahogany, often with very dark faces and ears that may be black or brown. The fur will gradually lighten to almost white before it settles, becoming any shade of wheaten when the dog is fully grown. This will happen by the age of two although the colour and texture may not fully stabilize until the age of three.
The Wheaten’s fur is more like human hair than typical dog fur. It continually grows and therefore needs to be brushed and combed daily to keep it mat free. His coat does require a lot of work but is non-shedding and therefore wonderful for those who suffer from allergies.
A steady, good-natured worker, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has an engaging, lively, and carefree personality. He seems to retain the playfulness and enthusiasm of puppyhood right up to his adult years. His high spirits often lead him to jump up to lick a person’s face, commonly referred to as the “Wheaten greetin”.
The Wheaten Terrier is good tempered and an energetic playmate for children. He makes an appealing family pet as he is affectionate and loyal. However, he is a very sociable dog and needs a lot of companionship so if you are working all day, think twice. This may not be the dog for you.
He should be socialized early to accept cats as he has a very strong prey drive. He is very alert and makes a good watch dog but a poor guard dog as he is less “scrappy” than other terriers.
Although he shows less aggression than the other terriers, he may be aggressive with others of his breed. He is defensive by nature and will stand his ground if another dog starts a fight.
The Wheaten Terrier is highly intelligent and learns quickly. He should begin obedience training (remember that Wheaten greetin’? It could get out of hand) early and training should never be heavy handed as that can result in an overly fearful or overly aggressive dog.
He will adapt to urban or rural living as long as he receives daily exercise. As a true terrier, he is very active and needs an outlet for his energy. He is a bouncy, jumping, athletic dog…so invest in a good fence!