Description: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a compact dog that is square in shape. It has a moderately long head that when viewed appears to be rectangular, but in proportion with the body. The muzzle is short and has a large black nose. The lips are black and the teeth meet in a scissor bite. With almond shaped eyes that are large and these are reddish brown in colour to a lighter brown colour. The ears are V shaped and fold forward ending at the eye height level of the skull. The neck is medium in length, and thickens towards the body. Front legs are straight with compact feet that are round in shape. The tail is high set and is docked, in countries that permit docking, but it can be left natural. The coat is single thickness, and is shades of wheaten, this is wavy. A note here is that puppies are born black and the final colour will be set by the age of two. The height of the dog is 18-20 inches with the bitch being 17-19 inches. The weight of the dog is 35-45 pounds and the bitches at 30-40 pounds. The life expectancy is 12-15 years.
History: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier came from Ireland and is thought to be among the oldest of the Irish dogs. This dog was bred to be an all purpose farm dog being able to herd, being a ratter, watchdog and guard dog for stock. This has meant they are not so aggressive as a lot of the Terrier family who were bred for just the ratting. Despite the fact, this dog has been around for such a long time, and probably due to its working roots, it was only recognised in 1937 by the Irish Kennel Club. In 1973 the AKC recognized the breed. This breed is related to the Kerry Blue and the Irish Terrier. They have had a history of being the poor mans working dog and so have missed early fame.
Temperament: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a happy playful dog. It is strong and nice natured Terrier. They can get along with children and other dogs. This dog needs a good pack leader, which is able to understand that a dog needs good guild lines to follow, to bring out the best in the dog. Socializing this dog as a puppy will help the dog to be well balanced. This dog can live with cats that have been raised with them but if not then you have to be very aware of the dogs' fast nature and correct things early, or the dog will be off on a fast chase. Set rules for the dog on what is and is not allowed and this will help guild the dog. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier will bond very closely with its family. You will need to be firm, but not harsh, and consistent to gain the best for this breed. This is not the dog for the meek owner as this will bring out the worst in this breed, and you will see a dog that is aggressive. They may try to take over the home, from the owners and you can end up having no control over this dog. This dog stays puppy like throughout its life.
Health issues: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can have PLE and PLN this is a protein wasting disease. Other things that they can have are inflammatory bowel disease, Addison's and cancer. As with a lot of the Terrier family there is evidence to suggest wheat intolerance. As with any dog it is very important that you make sure they are up to date on all vaccinations, de-wormings and heart worm preventatives. It is also suggested by the majority of licensed veterinarians that you take your puppy or dog in for a check up at least twice each year.
Grooming: Brushing is not recommended for the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier but daily combing is better.
Living conditions: This dog will live in an apartment, providing they have great daily exercise. They need a small garden.
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