Wheaten Terrier11 July 2023
Let's talk about... Wheaten Terriers: what are they?
- Wheaten Terriers, also known as Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, are an Irish breed with a distinctive silky, soft coat that comes in shades of wheaten.
- They are born with dark coats that lighten as they grow, and it may take up to two years for their final wheaten color to develop.
- They were traditionally used as all-purpose farm dogs, excelling in herding, guarding, and vermin control.
- Wheaten Terriers have a medium-sized build with an average height of 46-49 cm and a weight ranging from 14-20 kg.
- They have a life expectancy of around 12-14 years.
What is the temperament of Wheaten Terriers like?
- Wheaten Terriers have a spirited and affectionate nature.
- They are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, making them excellent family companions.
- They love to be part of the family's activities and enjoy the company of children.
- Wheaten Terriers are typically sociable with other dogs and can get along well with other pets if properly introduced.
- They are intelligent and adaptable dogs, although they may exhibit some stubbornness at times.
- Early socialisation and consistent training are important to help them become well-behaved and polite members of the family.
How much exercise do Wheaten Terriers need?
- Wheaten Terriers have moderate exercise needs and require around 45-60 minutes of exercise per day.
- They enjoy a mix of physical activities and mental stimulation.
- Daily walks, interactive play sessions, and off-lead time in a securely fenced area provide them with the exercise they need.
- They also thrive in activities such as agility, obedience training, and even participating in dog sports like flyball.
- It's important to note that individual exercise requirements may vary based on age, health, and energy levels, so it's always best to consult with your vet to tailor an exercise plan suitable for your Wheaten Terrier.
- Wheaten Terrier puppies have plenty of energy and curiosity.
- However, their growing bodies require controlled exercise to prevent strain on their developing bones and joints.
- Puppies should have several short play and exercise sessions throughout the day, totaling around 20-30 minutes.
- These sessions can include gentle indoor play, short walks, and basic training exercises.
- As they grow, the duration and intensity of exercise can gradually increase.
- It's important to avoid excessive jumping or strenuous activities until their bones are fully developed, usually around 12-18 months.
- Your vet can advise on the exercise needs of your individual pooch.
Do Wheaten Terriers need a lot of grooming?
- Wheaten Terriers have a beautiful, soft, and wavy coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in top condition.
- They have a single-layered, non-shedding coat that needs thorough brushing at least two to three times per week to prevent matting and tangling.
- Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and keeps their coat looking its best.
- Wheaten Terriers also benefit from professional grooming every 6-8 weeks to maintain the proper coat length and trim the hair around their eyes, ears, and paws.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are Wheaten Terriers easy to train?
- Wheaten Terriers are intelligent dogs with a moderate level of trainability.
- They have a playful and curious nature, which can sometimes lead to a bit of stubbornness during training.
- Positive reinforcement methods that involve treats, praise, and play work best for them.
- Wheaten Terriers respond well to consistent, reward-based training that focuses on positive interactions.
- Early socialisation and puppy training classes are highly recommended to help them develop good manners and appropriate behaviour.
- With patience, consistency, and a gentle approach, Wheaten Terriers can become well-trained and obedient companions.
What do Wheaten Terriers eat?
- A high-quality, balanced dog food that suits the nutritional needs of Wheaten Terriers should be provided.
- Most do well being fed twice daily.
- Puppies have specific dietary requirements for growth, and they should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they reach their full adult size, usually around 12 months.
- Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day until 6 months old, when this can be reduced to twice daily.
- Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity.
- Treats can be given in moderation and incorporated into their overall daily calorie intake.
- It's always best to consult with your vet to determine the right food, feeding schedule and portion sizes for your Wheaten Terrier.
Are Wheaten Terriers healthy?
Wheaten Terriers are generally a healthy breed, but they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some of the health concerns that can affect Wheaten Terriers include:
Bones and Joints
- Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - over time the back of the eye becomes damaged which can reduce your dog’s vision, eventually leading to blindness
- Protein Losing Enteropathy - an abnormal loss of protein from the gastrointestinal tract
- Addison’s Disease (hypoadrenocorticism) - a condition where your dog’s body doesn’t produce enough of a couple of necessary hormones from their adrenal glands
- Renal Dysplasia - a developmental disorder affecting the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure.
- Protein Losing Nephropathy - an abnormal loss of protein from the kidneys
- Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation
This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is right for you, consult with your vet.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.
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