Taking Care of a Wheaten Terrier

Have you had your daily dose of "wheaties" today?

Have you had your daily dose of "wheaties" today?

Spunky and loving, the wheaten terrier makes a great family dog. The breed generally gets along well with children, dogs and other pets. The wheaten won't shed a lot, though he does need a good amount of grooming, and he can adapt to life in the city or countryside.

Brush your wheaten terrier everyday. The silky coat of a wheatie can get tangled and matted very quickly, which will cause some serious discomfort for your dog. With a short coat, brushing should take 10 or 15 minutes. A longer coat will, of course, take longer to brush. Use the slicker brush over the body, the pin brush on the longer hair of the head and the comb on any tangles.

Clip the fall -- the fur that hangs over your wheaten's eyes -- with thinning shears. The shears will remove enough hair to let you see your dog's eyes while leaving enough to keep that distinctive wheaten terrier look.

Clean your dog's beard after he eats with a damp towel. Cleaning the beard will reduce staining and keep your wheatie from rubbing food all over your couch.

Bathe your wheaten terrier three or four times a year, or whenever he gets into a real mess. The silky fur of a wheaten keeps the breed pretty clean without frequent bathing.

Train your wheatie with lots of positive reinforcement. Small treats and praise will go a long way when training this stubborn breed. Keep training sessions fun but remain firm and consistent. Don't be afraid to seek the help of a professional; wheaten terriers are a tough nut to crack.

Play with your wheaten terrier for at least a half hour every day. Terriers are energetic dogs and need a good bit of exercise or they'll turn their positive energies into evil destructive behaviors. When you are too tired to run around with your dog, a simple game of fetch will help wind him down.

Feed your wheaten about 1 cup of food twice per day. Your veterinarian or breeder can help you choose the correct food and give you a specific serving size recommendation.

Take your wheaten to the veterinarian regularly for checkups. The wheaten terrier breed has some common issues to watch out for like protein-losing nephropathy and protein-losing enteropathy, which can cause weight loss, swelling, diarrhea, increased urination, increased thirst and breathing trouble. Other issues include Addison's disease, a disorder of the adrenal gland, and renal dysplasia, a disorder involving the kidneys.

Items you will need

  • Slicker brush
  • Greyhound comb
  • Pin brush
  • Thinning shears
  • Dog towel
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • High-quality dog food

Warning

  • If your wheaten runs free in a fenced yard, make sure the fence is high enough to keep your dog in. Wheatens are terriers, and they will chase squirrels and other small animals relentlessly.
 

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images