How to Care for Wheaten Terriers

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How to Care for Wheaten Terriers. It's hard to imagine that the Wheaten terrier, also called the soft-coated Wheaten terrier, was originally bred as a farm dog in Ireland and likes the whole digging and water scene. One reason the Wheaten isn't on the top 10 favorite dogs list is that he has hair, not fur--hair that requires the constant maintenance an opera diva would envy to prevent it from turning into a matted mess.

Pay special attention to grooming. Unless you are a professional groomer, expect your soft-coated Wheaten terrier to visit one every 4 to 6 weeks. Wheaten terriers don't have fur like most dogs, they have hair, and like yours or mine, it grows all the time and can get unruly if not combed daily. If you don't pay attention to the combing between grooming appointments, your Wheaten's hair will mat and tangle, making your dog miserable and your groomer annoyed.

Apply flea preventative treatment every 30 days. Wheaten terriers are prone to flea allergies, which create painful skin inflammations that can only be successfully treated by a veterinarian. Flea allergies can be caused by just one flea bite.

Avoid leaving Wheaten terriers outdoors for long periods of time. They do not tolerate heat well and should probably be left home during outings to the beach.

Be prepared to exercise your Wheaten daily. They love to play and seem tireless, even in old age. Consider joining an agility club since Wheatens tend to excel at the sport.

Enroll your Wheaten in obedience training early to curb natural tendencies to jump on people and bounce all around the house to get attention.

Check with your pediatrician if your child is allergic to dog dander but really wants a dog. Soft-coated Wheaten terriers are often described as hypoallergenic dogs since they have hair, not fur, and do not shed. This dog may make the perfect companion for your animal-loving child.

Tips & Warnings

  • Soft-coated Wheaten terriers like to dig and can escape from a fenced yard with ease. You'll need to take extra precautions to keep this breed of dog safe from himself, including installing higher fences, reinforced wire in the ground along the fence line and double-locked gates.

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