Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier the right breed for you?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, musical freestyle, flyball); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – minimal to moderate to a lot (depending on how short you clip the coat)
  • Trimming/clipping – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Wheaten Terrier to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Wheaten Terrier be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are quite common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Wheatens rank 50th. Not hard to find.

Unfortunately, their popularity is often based on their appealing appearance – medium size, fluffy coat, lively disposition. But many people who acquire a Wheaten Terrier based on appearance end up regretting it, because many of these dogs can be challenging to live with.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are available from Dog Rescue groups. Owners often give up their Wheaten Terrier when it becomes apparent that the dog is too much for them to handle – too energetic, too bouncy, too dominant, runs away from the owner, barks and chases things, etc. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Other Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Wheatens are occasionally found here, but Wheaten Terrier Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. If a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier from a show breeder, who breeds Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Wheaten Terrier from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier ends up with cataracts and crippled hips.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Wheaten Terriers are quite often seen in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.