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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Posted September 19, 2013 in Dog Breeds

Background:

200 years ago terriers would have been used in Ireland for herding, watching livestock, and vermin control. Unlike other terriers however, the Wheaten was a poor man’s dog. His duties would have been no different but he might not have had the same social status as other terriers.

The bloodlines of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier are something of a mystery. This breed is a latecomer and wasn’t recognized by the Irish Kennel Club until 1937.

The Wheaten was brought into the Unites States in the 1940’s by Lydia Vogel, who lived in Massachusetts. Breeding didn’t take place until the 1950’s. 

Sizing up:

  • Weight: 30 to 40 lbs
  • Height: 16 to 18 inches
  • Coat: Soft and silky
  • Color: Wheaten
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Soft Coated Wheaten like?

The Wheaten is a friendly and enthusiastic dog. He might be less scrappy than other terriers but will have more energy than your average dog. He’s friendly with kids but might be more than they can handle. He will be excited to greet strangers and you’ll need to train him early to keep him from jumping on every new person he sees.

The Wheaten requires plenty of daily activity and will be bouncing off the walls if he doesn’t get it. He can adapt to city or country life but should be kept safe behind a fence when not on a leash. His prey drive is strong and could easily lead him into the path of traffic. He’ll chase family pets as well although this might not be the case for animals he has known all his life.

Health:

The Wheaten is generally healthy. His most well known potential ilnesses are protein-losing nephropathy and protein-losing enteropathy.

Other potential issues:

Takeaway points:

  • The Wheaton is an enthusiastic greeter.
  • The Wheaton is an energetic dog.
  • The Wheaton might chase other family pets.
  • The Wheaten should be kept behind a fence for his own protection.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.