Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Written by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Mar 27, 2021

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The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is thought to have shared some common ancestry with the Kerry Blue Terrier and The Irish Terrier since much of their history hasn’t been recorded.

In Ireland, the Terrier was more of a hunting dog that would also help protect farmers against intruders both humans and animals.

The first ones came to the United States in the 1940s.

There were very few Terriers until the mid-1960s when more of the Terriers were bred and an actual Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club was founded in Brooklyn that created much more awareness for the breed.

And today, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is ranked as the 62nd most popular breed among those that are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Characteristics

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier laying in grass

They are a uniquely shaped dog with a square-like body, a rectangular head, medium sized ears that lie next to his cheek and a docked tail or natural one that is either slightly curved to the front or straight and erect.

It is a medium sized dog with males averaging about 17 to 19 inches tall and weighing anywhere from 36 to 40 pounds.

Females are 16 to 18 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 31 to 35 pounds.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a very silky coat which makes this pup unique among the Terrier breeds.  The lush, soft coat covers the Wheaten’s full body with a full head of hair over his face.

The Soft Coated Wheaten’s coat is typically any shade of wheat which ranges from a goldish look to a pale beige.  There tend to be speckles of different colors like red, white and sometimes a blue-gray type of shade.

Puppies are usually born with a darker coat that becomes lighter as the dog matures.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Because they only have a single-coat, Wheatens are known to be light shedders.

They are often considered hypoallergenic dogs because they shed so little.  Of course, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, but due to the minimal shedding, owners with allergies should fare well with this pup.

The grooming depends on how you want your Wheaten to look.  But, bathing is only necessary if your dog gets dirty or plays in the mud.

The Wheaten’s life span is between 12 to 15 years.

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Wheaten Terrier Personality

The generally a happy, confident dog that can alert you to intruders, but might be too friendly to do anything about it!

Wheatens love children and can get along with both cats and dogs.  This doesn’t mean he won’t chase a squirrel if he happens to encounter one in the yard or in his path.

Just like all dogs, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should be socialized when they’re puppies to become a better, more happily adjusted adult.

Early training is important too.  Wheatens tend to have a stubborn streak so you need to be firm with the training but not too harsh.  They are sensitive pups.

They are easily adaptable to any home, even an apartment, as long as he can get enough walks and exercise.  This human-loving pup needs to live inside primarily and not be by himself outside.

A half hour a day of exercise should keep your Wheaten happy and it can be merely playing fetch or a few short walks.

If you do play outside with your Wheaten or leave him outdoors for a short time, make sure that you have the proper fencing.  If your Wheaten spots a small animal anywhere in his or her sight, this hunter dog will run after it and quickly!

Wheatens love the snow but aren’t that fond of rain.  The heat can affect them so keep your Wheaten indoors with the air on during the hot summer months.

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Common Health Problems in Terriers

Just like any purebred dog, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have some health issues that are common among the breed.

Of course, not all Wheatens will get any of the below health conditions, but it’s always good to be aware of these health issues:

  • Addison’s Disease

    Addison’s disease, which is also referred to as hypoadrenocorticism, is a serious condition that is caused when the adrenal hormones are not being produced sufficiently. The usual symptoms are poor appetite, lack of energy, vomiting and/or diarrhea.  It can be easy to miss the diagnosis of the disease since the symptoms are only severe when Addison’s disease is advanced. The latter, more severe symptoms occur when a dog’s potassium level is so high that it can interfere with the normal functioning of the heart. This can then be fatal.  A vet will run a variety of different tests if he or she suspects that Addison’s disease is the cause of any of the symptoms.

  • Protein-Losing Enteropathy

    Protein-Losing Enteropathy is a condition in which there is a loss of plasma and protein through the gastrointestinal tract.  Dogs with this condition will have a lower level of cholesterol, globulin, and albumin. The symptoms include diarrhea, a swollen abdomen, frequent urination, and a hard time breathing.  There is no cure at this time for the condition, but diet and medication can help manage it.

  • Protein-Losing Nephropathy

    Protein-Losing Nephropathy is when a dog’’ body is losing protein and plasma through the kidney.  Dogs with this condition will usually have high cholesterol, increased phosphorus, urea nitrogen, and sometimes anemia. The symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, extra thirsty and increased urination and even swelling of the legs and stomach.  In serious cases, there can be kidney failure. While there is no full cure, the condition can be helped and managed with diet and medication.

  • Renal Dysplasia

    Renal Dysplasia is a condition that causes abnormal development of the kidney and can cause kidney failure.  The kidneys tend to be smaller or never mature properly. The symptoms can include excessive thirst, poor appetite, and even vomiting. The Wheaten Terrier is known to have a genetic basis for this condition (but, not all Wheatens will have it!)

Learn More: Why I Wish I Bought Pet Insurance When I First Got My Dog

Should You Purchase Pet Insurance for Your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

If you adopt or purchase a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, pet insurance can help to make sure your pup always stays in the best health.

With certain breeds that are pre-disposed to some genetic conditions or health concerns, pet insurance can really help in so many different ways.

If your Wheaten has any serious disease or even something common like allergies, pet insurance can help with the testing, treatment, and medication.  And not just once, but for the lifetime of your pup!

When a pet insurance policy will pay anywhere from 70% to 90% of your total vet bill, that can be a lifesaver if you end up with a vet bill of $10,000. It can and does unfortunately happen.

Even a healthy Wheaten can potentially develop some sort of illness or injury in a 15 year lifespan.  And pet insurance can help your Wheaten get the best care possible.

Make sure to purchase pet insurance when your Wheaten is a puppy and before any condition develops so it isn’t considered pre-existing.

And make sure that you enroll in a pet insurance provider like Healthy Paws and Embrace that cover all hereditary or genetic conditions with very comprehensive policies.

Your fun-loving Wheaten will become an important companion to you and your family.  And you want to be covered just in case something does happen to your fur kid.

If you are looking for a pet insurance company that will cover your Wheaten without breaking the bank, our top 10 pet insurance companies is a great place to start!


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