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Old 11-06-2012, 02:16 AM   #1
Dee77
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Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers... opinions please

I would normally never consider buying a dog but my DD has severe allergies and 3 years ago she was snapped at by a dog that really spooked her. We recently met a friend's Wheaten Terrier and my DD fell in love with it! Since then she has been all talk about having one all of her own and at 6 I think she will follow through with some of the responsibilities that go along with having a dog.


I have done some research and of course consulted my friend but I would like other opinions as well. Please let me know what your experiences are with Wheaten's and any advice you can give me on the actual selection process of breeders and the puppy itself. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
kacaju
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http://www.scwtca.org/ We show dogs..but not wheatens.. here is the national club website
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
The Mystery Machine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee77 View Post
I would normally never consider buying a dog but my DD has severe allergies and 3 years ago she was snapped at by a dog that really spooked her. We recently met a friend's Wheaten Terrier and my DD fell in love with it! Since then she has been all talk about having one all of her own and at 6 I think she will follow through with some of the responsibilities that go along with having a dog.


I have done some research and of course consulted my friend but I would like other opinions as well. Please let me know what your experiences are with Wheaten's and any advice you can give me on the actual selection process of breeders and the puppy itself. Thanks in advance!
A 6yo cannot walk the dog for excercise obviously, so you have to put in the time to do that.

If you are a daily walker & into exercise then go for it. If you cannot walk the dog daily, I would pass up this breed for another one that fits your lifestyle.

The key I think with breed selection is to be honest with yourself about your lifestyle and find a dog that matches it.

I have a border collie that is "always on" and ready to "work" at my command. It is part of her breed. We give her a lot of daily training and we have to mentally engage her as well because she gets bored. She is almost 8yo. It is a good thing she is adorable.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:11 AM   #4
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Aw...we had two wheatens growing up and while both were lovely dogs, the first was a treasure. She was gentle, great with us kids, walked without a leash and never left my parents side, just a wonderful companion. I still look at pictures of her and miss her! I did so much with her.

I do know the hair needs to be brushed a lot, or it gets very matted and difficult to maintain. We as kids HATED brushing her, and I am pretty sure she hated it too!

Best of luck with your decision, they are a great dog.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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We had a Wheaten as a family pet. We got him when our youngest was 5. He was such a great dog. He did have a lot of energy and we tried to exercise him everyday but on days we just couldn't, he would run around the backyard to burn off his energy.

They do require grooming - unless you keep their coat really short.

My daughter has allergies also and had no problem with our dog.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
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We had a Wheaten Terrier and adored him. Theo was gentle and calm. While he did like to run around the backyard, he wasn't overly active. My son is allergic to dogs (found this out a year after we brought Theo home). DS didn't have an asthmatic reaction to Theo like he does to other dogs, but he did have frequent ear infections. The allergist said this is probably due, in part, to the dog allergy. For my son's health, we had to find Theo a good home. That was three years ago. I still miss that dog, but he is living the grand life right now so I'm happy for him. If I could, I would get another Wheaten. Maybe one day.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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DM and I both had SCWT for many years a few decades ago. Here are a few generalities:

1)Although "soft" in temperment compared to most terriers, they ARE still terriers. This will show itself in barking, digging, sometimes dog aggressiveness, being territorial, some are good with children/strangers, some are not, etc. All helpful for their original "jobs" of guarding the homestead, killing critters that were pests, etc, but not always good for a family pet. If you have a child, I would work with a reputable breeder who would place a puppy with you who has a "softer" temperment (often a male, middle of the pack in terms of dominance). Puppy classes and then regular obedience classes are a must.

2)The coat MUST be kept nice by a groomer on a regular basis, or you'll have a matted mess. It is not "hair" like some of the toy breeds have that claim to be hypoallergenic. Some have a tendency towards ear/eye infections, if the hair is not kept clean and plucked from these areas.

3)Buying one from a reputable breeder is an absolute MUST. Please don't get one from a backyard breeder, or, god forbid, a puppy mill. Yes, they'll ask you a lot of questions, and you may have to wait, but it will be worth it to get a pup of sound mind and body.

4)They are a fairly healthy breed, with few genetic issues, and are very long lived. This means you need to think about what happens when your daughter goes off to college and leaves you with the geriatric dog who needs pills, special care, to go potty more often, etc. My DM has a female that is 14, and just starting to really slow down. She's going deaf and blind, is arthritic, but has nothing wrong with her that's going to kill her, so may live a few more years needing lots of care.

Having said all that, we dearly loved each and every one we owned, despite their idiosyncracies.

You also might want to think about an Airdale. They are slightly larger, but have the terrier coat that doesn't tend to affect allergy sufferers. Out of all the terrier breeds, Airdales are kind of like a Lab in a terrier body: loving, playful, silly, just big galoots.

Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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Thanks again- here is a quick update with where we stand. We are speaking with a breeder (AKC/APRI Registered) who has puppies that were just born. My DD would prefer a girl but agrees that we won't really know until we go and meet the group.

I looked this morning and saw several articles that explain the way in which we should go about making our puppy selection from the litter, don't use emotion use reason and look for key behaviors as indicators for how the puppy could be long term.

It is a lot to take in but I am all for getting knowledgeable and making the right choice that fits our family as well as the dog.

I plan on crate training the dog and being the one that does the long walks with the dog in the mornings when DD gets on the school bus.

My DH and I work schedules that crossover by only a few hours, so we will mostly have someone home with the dog most of the day/night and we have a lovely babysitter that also does dog walking that we can rely on to fill in on occasions when my DH gets tied up at work.

Several of my co-workers use a local groomer that they are all very happy with and her pricing is reasonable so we will follow through with our new addition being groomed every 6 weeks.

My friend that I mentioned in the first post did say that the one mistake she made was not getting her dog used to being brushed and it makes for bringing her to the groomers a bit of a challenge, we will learn from that and get our puppy very familiar and used to daily brushing here in the house.


We are leaning towards this breed and sending in a deposit later this week, so any other tips are truly appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:20 PM   #10
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Ask the breeder about genetic issues, and do your own research. A lady I know lost one of her Wheatens when it was just 2 years old to renal dysplasia. Now she worries about his sister.

http://www.scwtca.org/health/
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