A Practical Guide to owning a Wheaten Terrier | DogGear

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Overview

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier hails from Ireland, where it was bread to do a variety of jobs on farms, including herding, guarding, and hunting and killing vermin. They are related to the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier, and were usually owned by the middle-class.

These dogs made their appearance in the United States in the 1940s. They were brought here by Lydia Vogel of Massachusetts, but real interest in this breed did not occur until several years later. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are regarded for their friendly disposition (they get along with people of all ages, as well as other animals) and their devotion. It’s these qualities that make them a popular family pet in the US.

To learn more about this breed, including how to feed and groom it, and what types of dog toys and dog beds you should offer, keep on reading.

Wheaten Terrier Food and Health

Like all dogs, Wheaten Terriers should be fed a diet that consists mainly of pure animal proteins (not animal byproducts); however, they should also be provided with carbohydrates for energy, and fiber for their digestive health. Feeding your dog a premium-quality commercial food (dry dog food, canned dog food, or a combination of the two) will ensure that his nutritional needs are being met.

It’s recommended that the Wheaten Terrier eat between 1 and 2 cups of dog food a day; however, the amount each dog should eat will vary. Size, age, and activity level will determine how much he should eat. For instance, growing puppies and active adults will need more calories, while older and more laidback dogs will need fewer calories. If you aren’t sure how much you should be feeding your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, consult with your veterinarian.

As for the health of this breed, there are some health concerns that you should be aware of. Issues that can affect Wheaten Terriers include protein-losing enteropathy and nephropathy, renal dysplasia (a condition that affects the kidneys and can result in renal failure), and Addison’s disease, a serious complication that results when the necessary amount of adrenal hormones are not being produced. In addition to these health concerns, active Wheaten Terriers are more prone to injuries.

To offset the cost of veterinary care, investing in pet insurance is a wise idea. This type of coverage works similarly to health insurance for humans; an insurance carrier will assist with the cost of medical bills. There are many different companies that offer high-quality pet insurance at affordable rates, including the Allstate and Geico. The ASPCA offers pet insurance policies, as well.

Leashes and Collars for your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

A dog collar and dog leash are must-have accessories for a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and you should purchase them as soon as you receive your dog.

A collar is used to display important identification and vaccination information. A lead can also be attached to it for walking. Comfort is of the utmost importance when it comes to a collar. It should fit your dog properly (you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck) and it shouldn’t snag on his fur. This breed has longer hair and certain types of collars can snag on them. Opt for something made of rolled nylon, as it will prevent snagging, as well as matting, and it’s also a durable material.

Many Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier owners opt to walk their dogs on a harness instead of a leash. These dogs are quite energetic and once they catch a scent, they can run with great speed and strength. Using a harness can prevent damage to his neck. Like a collar, a dog harness should fit properly. It should also be made of a material that won’t get stuck in your dog’s fur or cause matting. Something that is comfortable and easy to put on, such as a V-neck vest design harness is a great choice, like this Rabbitgoo Adjustable Harness.

For a lead, choose something that you are comfortable handling. It should offer you enough control over your dog, it should be durable, and it should also be comfortable to operate. A few leash suggestions include our best in class leather dog leash, hands-free dog leash for runners, and for cost conscience dog lovers, a  nylon dog leash.

Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers

While Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers do prefer being with their human companions as much as possible, a dog crate is a great tool for training; and, it also offers security and comfort when you can’t be with your dog.

The size of the dog crate is of utmost importance. It should offer enough space so that he can comfortable stand up and turn around, but there shouldn’t be an abundant amount of room. Measure your dog’s length and height and add 4 inches to each measurement to figure out what size crate he will need. Also, if you have a puppy, note that you will have to adjust the size as he grows. To save money, buy a crate that features a divider that can be moved to adjust the amount of room your dog has inside, such as MidWest Homes dog crate or another great option is New World’s Metal Crate. Also, if storage is a concern, consider something that is easy to collapse and stow, like the Arf Pets Soft Crate Kennel.

When sleeping, Wheatens often like to curl up and feel like they are in a nest. Choose a bed that offers the support that he needs, as well as the security, like a donut-shaped bed such as Best Friends’ Donut Cuddler or a bolster-style bed like the Furhaven Pet Orthopedic Dog Bed. The size of your dog should also be a factor in this decision.

Wheatens prefer to be inside with their human companions, but if he is going to be outside for an extended period of time, a dog house will offer the shelter he needs. The dog house should be large enough so that your dog can move about freely, yet not so large that it feels cavernous. It should also offer features that attend to his safety and comfort, such as air conditioning, insulation, operable windows, and heat. Some fantastic dog houses include INDIGO w/Microban while a strong contender is Petsfit Dog House, and if climate control is a significant concern then our expert team prefers the Climate Master Dog House .

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Toys

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have a lot of energy and are very playful. They’re also quite intelligent and require mental stimulation to prevent them from getting into mischief. Offering your Wheaten a variety of toys will keep him entertained, keep him out of trouble, and will provide him with the exercise he requires.

There are plenty of different toys that this breed will love playing with. They are partial to dog squeaky toys, including balls such as the squeak plush dog toy and toys that resemble animals like the famous Duckworth Duck stuffed toy. However, do make sure that the toy is made of durable material, such as nylon, as the jaws on this breed are surprisingly strong.

Like many breeds, fetch is a game that Wheatens love to play. Balls, sticks, and rope toys are great for playing this beloved game. For those times when you can’t play fetch, an automated toy that is designed to launch balls can be a real lifesaver (for you and your pup). They toss out balls or other objects automatically so that your dog can play fetch whenever he wants to.

Puzzle toys are also a lot of fun for the Wheaten. There are several types of puzzle toys, but basically, the goal is for your dog to use his wits to locate a treat. For example, this toy treat puzzle dog toy features several different compartments, a treat is hidden inside one, and your dog has to use his sense of smell to locate it.

Grooming Insights for Wheaten Terrier owners

The coat of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is what sets him apart from other terriers. It’s long, silky, and flowing. In order to keep your dog’s coat in tip-top shape, regular grooming is important. He should be combed on a daily basis to remove dead hair and prevent mats. Combing also distributes oils in the skin to maintain the health of his skin and coat.

Bathing once every month or so should suffice; however, for active dogs, more frequent bathing may be necessary. Use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo such as this natural oatmeal dog shampoo and make sure you rinse it out thoroughly. Also, dry him as well as you can and comb him again after bathing.

Flea and tick prevention and control are very important for a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. There are several products available that are meant to keep these pests at bay or illuminate them, including Frontline Plus, and our top-rate flea, tick, and mosquito prevention, and Petrmor Plus for dogs. If you’re unsure of what type of product you should use, consult with your veterinarian for more information.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Accessories

There’s an abundant amount of accessories on the market for dogs, and many of them work well with medium sized breeds such as your Wheaten. Consider the needs of your dog, including his temperament and lifestyle, as well as your goals, when selecting the accessories you’ll use with him.

Since this breed has such a beautiful coat, many owners like to dress them up with hair clips and bows or even a collar with a bell. Bandanas, such as Halloween dog bandanas also add a lovely touch of color and can help you keep tabs on your pup, especially if it’s brightly colored. If your dog lives in a hot climate or does a lot of hiking, a cooling vest or cooling pad will keep him comfortable and safe. For safety, while driving in a car, consider investing in a dog car seat belt.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are wonderful dogs that will be sure to bring lots of love and fun to your life. With the right care, you can ensure that you will make your dog as happy as he makes you.