A wheaton terrier is a dog from the terrier family, originally from Ireland. Initially this breed was raised for protection of livestock, and for vermin-chaser, and not considered as aggressive as other terriers. This breed is known to be obedient, agile, and easy to train and one of the more popular breeds in dog shows. Wheaton terriers are also used in animal-assisted therapy.
The soft-coated Wheaton terrier is believed to be one of the oldest terrier breeds from Ireland, thought to originate almost two centuries ago. It is related to the Irish terrier and Kerry Blue terrier. This breed was imported into the United States in the 1940s and soon became popular.
A wheaton terrier has hair instead of fur, and thus needs regular trimming. Its coat is dark brown, mahogany or white, and soft or silky in appearance. As they age their dark coat changes to white or more likely to a wheatish color. This dog is of medium built ranging from 17-19 inches and about 30 to 40 pounds in weight and of sturdy built.
Wheaton terriers generally have a long life of 12 to 15 years. They are prone to fatal diseases like protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) and protein-losing from intestines (PLE). Both PLN and PLE are conditions where the dog loses proteins from either kidneys or intestines, whereas the cause of this condition is not known. Other conditions affecting this breed are renal dysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, Addison’s disease and cancer.
A wheaton terrier is a happy, playful and energetic dog. This dog likes being around people and are affectionate in the way they interact. This breed is a friendly and sociable one, and thrives on companionship and human interaction. Though not very aggressive, but they are protective about the families they stay with. They can also be trained to be watch dogs and taught to bark at strangers. Though basically docile in nature this breed needs to be disciplined as a puppy, otherwise they end up becoming unsociable and aggressive.
This breed requires regular cleaning and their hair requires combing to avoid getting tangled. Since wheaten terriers are not known to shed hair they are suitable pets for people suffering from allergies. They require moderate exercise, and are happy playing in a small area. This is an intelligent breed and easily trained. They bond with children and other dogs well but might not like being around cats. Wheaton terriers make excellent pets, and a steady companion to have around.