Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are puppies for life. They are joyful, energetic and affectionate and never lose their love of play time. They are more friendly and easy going than other terrier breeds and generally get along well with other dogs. Wheatens are very people-oriented and enjoy the company of well-behaved children. Wheatens expect to be invited along for all outdoor family activities, and want to participate 100%. If they aren't included in a game, expect them to do their best to snatch the ball and invite themselves into the mix. Wheatens can adapt to city life or country life, as long as they are properly exercised. They will buzz around the house, park or back yard with great exuberance for as long as you let them, but if they spot an available lap to curl up in, they are happy to take a load off and relax for a while. Wheatens will greet you at the door every day as if you'd been gone for years, and they will usually give you the trademark Wheaten twirl. For people who like the size and energy of terriers but are put off by their temperaments, the Soft Coated Wheaten is the breed for you.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers need moderate exercise to maintain health, happiness and their outgoing personality. Wheatens who are kept indoors can become anxious and high strung. Daily walks and a few games of ball will meet his daily requirements, so this breed is adaptable to apartment life. They are sturdy little dogs, however, and can also accompany people on long hikes in the woods.
Wheatens excel in agility, flyball, organized tracking and herding. If it is possible to enroll your Wheaten in one of these activities, he will appreciate the opportunity to exercise and use his mind.
Whereas Wheatens are not typical terriers, they do share one common trait with their terrier cousins: stubbornness. Training them can be a handful, so start young. Sessions should be kept short and the activities should be varied in order to hold your dog's interest. When a Wheaten gets bored with training, he has no qualms about walking away from you mid-command. Treats are an excellent motivator, and be ready to give gracious amounts of praise when your Wheaten does something correctly. Never treat this breed harshly, as this can cause them to become defensive and snap at you. If a Wheaten loses trust in you, it's difficult to gain it back.
Socialization should also begin early with Wheatens. They are generally easy going around new people and don't mind other dogs, but if you isolate your dog from the rest of the world, he won't have the opportunity to develop these traits.
When basic obedience and social skills have been mastered, you should enroll your Wheaten in advanced obedience, agility, flyball, tracking or herding activities. Wheatens also make excellent therapy dogs.
Wheatens are good with older, well-behaved children who understand a dog's boundaries. Wheatens can be overwhelmed by toddlers who may poke or tug at their beard, or who sneak up on them while eating. They are not recommended for homes with small children.
Wheatens dig, and if left alone for too long in the backyard, they will tear up flower beds or dig under the fence in search of new adventure. Fences should be stuck deep into the ground and outdoor time should always be supervised.
Barking is also a problem with Wheatens. They make great watch dogs, alerting you that someone is approaching, but they are very quick to bark at every little sight and sound outside their window. Teaching your Wheaten to obey commands to stop barking can save the family's sanity.