Exactly one year ago Almar’s Firecracker Finn, aka Finley the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, joined our family.
Our son has a dog allergy but desperately wanted a dog. We spent months researching and visiting various breeds with the hope of finding one he would not have a reaction to. (Click on When an Allergic Boy Gets a Dog for the full story.)
Our allergist told us not to get a dog. We read that there was no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Despite all that, we continued our search because we truly believe that a pet brings so many positive things to a child and family.
We finally heard and learned about Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. They are a non shedding dog and considered hypoallergenic. The ironic thing is, if our son was not dog allergic we never would have learned about this wonderful breed.
From the SCWTCA:
“The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was bred as an all-purpose farm dog and family companion in his native Ireland. Sharing a common ancestry with the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue, the Wheaten is distinguished by his soft, silky coat and merry disposition.
In disposition, Wheatens are steady and fun-loving and they tend to be less scrappy than most other terriers. Wheatens are adaptable to both country and city environments. They relate well to children and usually make good watch-dogs who will bark to announce the arrival of a stranger. This does not mean Wheatens are everyone’s perfect pet. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are lively, inquisitive, exuberant dogs who jump and kiss to express their love of people. A fenced yard or exercise on lead is required to insure safety. A regular grooming schedule with brush and comb is absolutely essential to maintain the lovely coat in a shining, clean, and mat-free condition. Being so “people-oriented,” Wheaten puppies must be carefully home-raised and socialized; they need gentle but firm and consistent training. The Wheaten is a house dog whose marvelous personality and temperament flower only in a good home environment. Those who do not have the time to train intensively or to do the brushing and combing required should not consider this breed.”
Wheatens are medium size dogs weighing 35-40 pounds for males and 30-35 pounds for females. They are square in outline and are hardy and well balanced. Males dogs are 18-19 inches at the withers and femailes are 17-18 inches at the withers. They have a fine curly coat that ranges from a white, light tan to a golden wheaten color as an adult. Puppies are born dark brown and lighten as they age.
Wheaten Terriers are often called the Peter Pan of dogs because they are lifelong puppies. This can be quite endearing or quite difficult depending on your own temperament. Wheatens are extremely energetic, like to jump on people (known as the Wheaten Greetin), can be mouthy if not trained properly and overall need a lot of love, attention, grooming and exercise.
If you can handle all of that you will be rewarded with a dog who is extremely loyal, loving, easy going and a kid at heart.
Having two young boys in our family, and living pretty active lives, we felt the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier would be a great match for us. Thankfully we were right. Finley is a wonderful dog and addition to our family, and our son who has dog allergies has not had a single reaction. Finley just turned one in May and we are so happy with him that we will be welcoming a second Wheaten into our home in August. Finley will soon have a sister! We can’t wait to meet Maggie.
If you’d like to know more about our experience with Wheaten Terriers or have any questions, feel free to contact us through our contact page.
If you are interested in getting a dog for your family and are dealing with dog allergies you might want to read our article Dog Allergies and Hypoallergenic Dogs.