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Got a minute?

If so, you can learn the essentials of any breed. Not enough to call yourself an expert, of course. But in the time it takes to watch a TV commercial, you can pick up just enough breed knowledge to bluff your way through a conversation at the dog park.

The average adult reading speed is 300 words a minute. So, here are exactly 300 words on the happy-go-lucky people pleaser of the AKC Terrier Group, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier:

A wavy, wheaten-colored coat and peek-a-boo hairdo are distinguishing traits of these fun-loving dogs. Standing as high as 19 inches at the shoulder and weighing as much as 40 pounds, Wheatens are square, sturdy, and substantial

Wheaten 101

Like their countrymen the Irish and the Kerry Blue terriers, Wheatens were bred as versatile farm dogs expected to perform many tasks: protecting home and barnyard; herding stock; hunting rats, foxes, badgers, and other destructive pests; and some were used as flushers and retrievers in the bird fields of the Irish countryside.

Wheatens have established excellent credentials as family pets. When properly trained and socialized, they make enthusiastic and durable playmates for kids.

They are said to be not quite as scrappy as many other terrier breeds, and they adapt well to either town or country living. Wheatens aren’t yappers by nature, but they are alert sentinels who will bark to signal the approach of a perceived threat.

But, say the experts at the Soft Coated Wheaten Club of America, “This does not mean Wheatens are everyone’s perfect pet.” The club reminds us that regular brush-and-comb grooming is a must for owners who want to keep the silken, low-shedding coat shimmering, clean, and free of mats.

Wheatens are exuberant and inquisitive dogs who require fenced-in running room, plenty of human interaction, and enough intensive training to ensure that they will be good neighbors and obedient housedogs.

If you enjoy lavish displays of affection, the Wheaten might be the pet for you. The breed is famous for what longtime fanciers call the Wheaten greetin’—the bonkers welcome home that awaits all Wheaten owners, whether returning from a jaunt around the world or a trip to the corner drugstore.

Here’s a look at the famous Wheaten greetin’



Got another 45 seconds? Check out some playful Wheatens in motion.



For an entertaining look at what makes terriers tick, see “The Terrier Group: Planet Earthdog.”
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