The Soft-coated Wheaten terrier is a breed of dog that originated in Ireland, bred as an all-purpose dog for working on the farm. These dogs are considered to be hypoallergenic, which means that their fur will not cause or enhance any allergies, such as asthma. There are four different varieties of coats – Traditional Irish, Heavy Irish, English and American.
The coats of Wheaten terrier puppies are either red, brown, mahogany or white with black or dark brown muzzle and ears. As they get older, the color of the coat changes to the color of wheat or pure white. It is the pure white dogs that breeders prefer. As an adult, the dog’s coat can contain other colors, such as black or dark brown. The Irish bred dogs have a finer coat than the American breeds.
This is a medium sized dog, ranging from 30 to 45 pounds in weight and 17 to 19 inches in height. Although the dogs do not shed their hair, the hair does grow and needs to be trimmed on a regular basis. It also tends to mat and needs to be combed on a regular basis, as well.
The average Wheaten terrier will live for 13 or 14 years. However, the breed is prone to some genetic disorders, such as the loss of protein from the kidneys or other internal organs. This condition is very hard to diagnose and can be fatal if not diagnosed in time. Other medical conditions that can affect the health of this terrier include renal dysplasia and hip dysplasia.
These dogs are great with children because of their playful temperament, but they do have a tendency to jump on visitors. In this regard the owner must take care when young children, who are not used to the dog, visit the home. They are very energetic and should be socialized with children and other pets at an early age. Owners need a lot of patience when training the dog, which does need to be consistent. When they have plenty of exercise outdoors, they tend to be quieter when indoors.