Should I Get a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Learn all about the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog before deciding this dog breed is right for your family.

By Juliette Cunliffe | Posted: September 4, 2012, 8 p.m. EDT

Soft Coated Wheaten TerrierThe Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a natural terrier dog breed with strong sporting instincts. This dog breed should be spirited and game, but good-tempered with plenty of confidence. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a delightful companion, affectionate and intelligent, and seems to have a marvelous sense of humor.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier manages to combine the alert intelligence of a terrier dog breed with the steadiness of a working dog breed. They have stamina, gameness, strength, intelligence and a joy for living. This dog breed is somewhat steadier than many other terrier dog breeds, and is incredibly loyal to its family. However, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are not the perfect dog breed for everyone, as they can be somewhat stubborn and rather headstrong.

As puppies, these dogs are exuberant, and somehow they still have that joy for living in adulthood and retain a medium to high energy level throughout their lives.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers do like to be close to the people of whom they are most fond, and seem happy to adapt to life in either the country or the city. Wherever these dogs live, it is important that they be given plenty of time and attention. This dog breed must be taught to accept its standing in the family’s pecking order, for this dog breed often wants to be the leader and can be a little headstrong.

Discipline should be given to the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier consistently; while this should be firm, it should never under any circumstances be harsh. It is important that this dog breed be taught to respect his owner, but his high spirit should never be broken. Although Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers can be trained, they need a firm hand. In general, training requires somewhat more time and dedication from the owner than would be required for many other dog breeds.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier generally gets along well with children; with children these dogs can be very loving. However, dogs and small children should always be introduced under careful supervision so that accidents never occur. Young children should be taught not to pull at the dog’s long coat.

If socialized when young, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier also gets along reasonably with other dogs, but cats can be quite a different matter. Because cats move quickly, the terrier instinct is easily alerted, and "attack” is frequently the next step. As with so many dog breeds, it may indeed be possible to bring up a dog alongside the family cat, but a strange cat encountered in the yard will usually need to make a very rapid get-away.

As with the other terrier dog breeds, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are keen to chase small rodents. If the family’s other pet is something like a guinea pig or a hamster, it should be kept out of harm’s way!


Excerpt from Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier here.

-More about the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breed- 

-Read articles on the Wheaten-



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Kate   Marlborough, Connecticut

3/12/2016 10:06:20 PM

I lost my Wheaten after 14 years. She was my world. I hate coming home to an empty house and finally decided to get another Wheaten. I know my Gypsy was happy to be an only dog, she was socialized but did enjoy her own space. My question is , Does anyone know if that being an only dog is a Wheaten trait? I am toying with getting a brother and sister. I can't find anything on line that is pro or con.

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Nicky   Madison, Wisconsin

12/9/2015 11:23:42 AM

We have a four year old wheaten and he is our first wheaten. Before we got him, I did a lot of research on hypoallergenic breeds - my husband didn't want a small dog and I didn't want a big dog. The wheaten seemed perfect. But I was nervous because I had never met one in person and I kept reading how they had high energy. I was so scared that the dog was going to be constantly bouncing off the walls and destroying things. I'm happy to report that this has not been our experience. Our Willie is a wonderful family dog. My kids were 5 and 8 when we got him as a puppy. Until he was about two or two and half, he was pretty busy, but after he was done with puppyhood, he calmed down immensely. We had him in puppy classes immediately and had him crate trained until he was four (meaning at night and when we weren't home, he was crated - he loved his crate. Would go in by himself. Now we leave him loose in the house when we're not home and he just sleeps. Never destructive). All dogs need exercise - the nice thing about our wheaten is that he gets SO EXCITED about going for a walk that he gives 200%. We don't give him long walks because he's worn himself out after 20 minutes of being so excited about the walk! We keep his hair pretty short so we don't have to deal with the matting stuff and he still looks adorable. Our guy only barks when the doorbell rings or if he sees a dog or squirrel walk by. I have friends whose dogs bark at us the whole time we are there, but our wheaten never does that. Once you're in the door, you have become his long lost best friend ever!! Most of what your read about wheatens is true: the wheaten greeting' is very real, definitely always need a leash, stubborn (but still trainable - Willie knows several commands), but they are the sweetest dogs. They adore their people and we adore our little furball right back. Hope this helps you!

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Walter   bloomingdale, Illinois

3/1/2015 5:42:04 AM

I just lost my soft hair wheaten terrier after twelve years. My love for this dog was the strongest ever and the same went for the dog. Many years of enjoyment and kept me going strong for a long time. I would love to have another one but the dog will out last me for sure, and I feel this would not be fair to the dog. I have never bonded to any thing like I did with this dog.

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Ron   Nashville, Tennessee

5/13/2014 12:25:12 AM

This article is a fantastic introduction to the Soft-Coated Wheaten breed. We are searching for one presently. Keep up the good work.

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