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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My wife wants a dog, so naturally, so do I:)

Question is which breed. I heard this breed was hypoallergenic, which is good as my wife has some allergies. Cats mostly from what I have seen, but dander is of concern. One point for the SCWT. We live in North Carolina, so hot summers are the norm. From reading some older posts here, sounds like a short cut would be worthwhile for a SCWT in our area. Also, might reduce the matting and grooming demands from what it sounds like. We plan to keep the dog in the house which brings up another question. Is this breed a good inside dog? My wife and I are both nurses and work 12 hour days, so the dog would be alone on some days. Curious how this breed would do being alone at times. We don't have children yet, but plan to in the near future. Is this breed a good match for small children? I have never seen one to be honest so any info is most appreciated. I am hoping to surprise my wife with a puppy in the near future. Any info on how to find the best breeder in my area would be of great use. Thanks for any and all thoughts.
 

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My wife wants a dog, so naturally, so do I:)

Question is which breed. I heard this breed was hypoallergenic, which is good as my wife has some allergies. Cats mostly from what I have seen, but dander is of concern. One point for the SCWT. We live in North Carolina, so hot summers are the norm. From reading some older posts here, sounds like a short cut would be worthwhile for a SCWT in our area. Also, might reduce the matting and grooming demands from what it sounds like. We plan to keep the dog in the house which brings up another question. Is this breed a good inside dog? My wife and I are both nurses and work 12 hour days, so the dog would be alone on some days. Curious how this breed would do being alone at times. We don't have children yet, but plan to in the near future. Is this breed a good match for small children? I have never seen one to be honest so any info is most appreciated. I am hoping to surprise my wife with a puppy in the near future. Any info on how to find the best breeder in my a
area would be of great use. Thanks for any and all thoughts.
A reasonably accurate breed review:
http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/softcoatedwheatenterriers.html

The National Breed Club, always the best place to start:
http://www.scwtca.org/

You can search for a local club here (they also have a breeder referral page):
http://www.akc.org/clubs/index.cfm?nav_area=clubs
 

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Thanks for the links. I will check them out now.

Another question, American and Irish breeds? Not sure what this means. Any opinions on the two. Which one is the "normal" SCWT that we would likely see from a breeder.

Lastly, male or female? Personality differences? Any pros/cons, or does it not matter. I noticed looking online that the females seem to cost more, but I am not sure why unless people are using them for breeding. Anyone willing to clear the air? Thanks!
 

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Hypoallergenic is a myth in dogs. Some dog's coat like the poodle simply help trap dander so they cause less allergies. But then these breeds need more grooming because of their coat.

I'm not familiar with the breed you mentioned but all dogs should be walked daily IMO. As for being alone, in general, a dog can be destructive if they don't get to burn off enough energy, or if they have separation anxiety. 12 hours is a pretty long time.

If you do leave a dog at home that long, toys like kong and buster cubes could help keep them occupied but where is the dog's bathroom?

If you're planning on having kids soon, why not wait until you have the baby. That way you can find a dog that is gentle with your kid. Every dog is different after all and you can't be absolutely sure of a dog's temperament just by the breed.
 

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The Wheaten is a breed developed in Ireland (so was the Kerry Blue). My guess as to what is meant by Irish and American is that there are probably some differences in the breeds' conformation in the US and Ireland (or the UK in general). Unless you plan to show your dog internationally, I doubt this would make any difference to you. You just want to be sure to purchase from a reputable, responsible breedr or rescue group. Both of which you'll find through the National Breed Club site.

Male or female, especially if you neuter/spay, which a responsible breeder will most likely have as part of any pet contract, really makes no difference. Males (called dogs)sometimes mark things including in the house but that can be basically eliminated by training especially if the dog is neutered before the marking becomes habit. Females (called bitches) can be more independent than the males (in any breed). But each dog is an individual. The best thing to do is find a good, responsible breeder that you feel comfortable with, ask her/him lots of questions and expect to answer questions, and then let her/him guide you in your choice of puppy or dog.
 

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Wheatons are very high energy, they need to be around their people, they need EXERCISE. That is very important, they will not be manageable if they are not exercised vigarously everyday... Not a half hour walk but several hours of exercise. They are a terrier, are you familar with terriers? They do not have the harsh coat as some terriers but have the personality. They need structure, training and to be socialized carefully as a puppy. When I get wheatons in class I suggest starting at 12 weeks, and do at least 3 classes within the first two years. Minimum. It helps the pet parent stay on track and keeps bad habits from forming. Bad habits in any terrier are very hard to break, not impossible but it will be slightly maddening :)

I personally would never suggest leaving a high energy dog like a wheaton, especially a young dog, alone for 12 hours. Its not fair or reasonable. You would NEED to either put the dog in doggy daycare (although most open at 7 am, close at 7 pm) or a doggy daycare to take a puppy out every 2-3 hours and play. You can push it to 3-4 but for good socialzation I wouldn't suggest this for more than one day a week. Can you afford doggy daycare or a pet sitter to make 3 or 4 trips a day when no one will be home? A puppy under 3/3.5 months shouldn't be expected to hold it more than 4 hours in a crate. You can push it to 6, 8 hours 5 days a week is not fair for a puppy under 4 months.

And when they get exercise, it needs to be vigorous and structured. Everyday. In the rain and in the nasty humid weather. I have a retriever, it sucks when its snowing outside and we're talking a 45 minute walk. Or when its down pouring and I'm outside playing fetch. But it keeps him sane, happy and healthy. You will NEED to do the same for a wheaton.

You need to groom the dog daily if you want even a puppy cut, they need to be groomed at least every 8-12 weeks. You can keep them really short and you won't have to groom but they're not very pretty like that. They get tangles and burs in their coat all the time, they love to roll in the mud, dead things, etc. silly silly dogs :D

They also have a really funny personality, you need to have a sense of humor. They are the kind of dogs to take your sock, and run all over the house with it, just to give it back to you when its slobbery and has holes in it.... unless you're willing to play tug! :p They make wonderful dogs, however the happiest wheatons I've seen were on farms. A good example of the breed was I used to work at a barn with a wheaton and two jack russel terriers. the wheaton figured out how to open the stall doors and would do so... and let all the horses loose. Thats the kind of silliness, not really mean sillyness just sillyness. You can easily train them to be loyal, obedient pets but take lots of classes, it keeps you working and them.

sooo.... still want a wheaton? They're great dogs and a lot of these things are not only about wheatons but any high energy breed. Please think long and hard... I'm picking up another foster dog today who was 'thrown away' for "hyperactivity". :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the warning:)

Sounds like lots of exercise is needed. Check. We live out in the country and have 7 acres of land. Lots of room to roam. But we did have intentions of buying a dog we could keep in the home so we could spend more time with it. Work is work, so not much I can do about that. I would not leave a dog in a crate. He/she would have rule over the house while we are at work, so I was curious how that would work with this breed. Sounds like a bad idea after the previous post. We work 12 hour shifts, but only three days a week. And not all of those days would have both my wife and I working the same day. So realistically it would be a day or two a week the dog would be home alone. Pee pad perhaps. My dad has a bischon frische (msp?) and it uses a pad in the bathroom. Not sure if a wheaton would do this or not. Frankly, I have no idea what to expect. Hoping to gain some more insight here. Thanks for your time and thoughts.
 

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hmmm....7 acres you say.

I'm not really recommending this but it's something to consider.

I have a friend in Montana that according to his words "own a very small mountain." They let their german shepherd run free outside on their land. This dog was very physically capable though as it would chase off black bears. And has been skunked several times. They use a dog whistle to call her back. She's well behaved around other people and pets. It does require a fairly long training period before the whistle is reliable enough and they trust the dog enough to let her run free though. They've done this with all of the previous german shepherds they've owned too.
 

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Hypoallergenic is a myth in dogs. Some dog's coat like the poodle simply help trap dander so they cause less allergies. But then these breeds need more grooming because of their coat.
Wrong, sorry.

Dogs with hair generate about 20 times less dander then dogs with fur. This is true even when their coats are cut to short to trap dander. It has nothing to do with their coat, it has to do with their skin.

My wife wants a dog, so naturally, so do I:)

Question is which breed. I heard this breed was hypoallergenic, which is good as my wife has some allergies. Cats mostly from what I have seen, but dander is of concern. One point for the SCWT. We live in North Carolina, so hot summers are the norm. From reading some older posts here, sounds like a short cut would be worthwhile for a SCWT in our area. Also, might reduce the matting and grooming demands from what it sounds like. We plan to keep the dog in the house which brings up another question. Is this breed a good inside dog? My wife and I are both nurses and work 12 hour days, so the dog would be alone on some days. Curious how this breed would do being alone at times. We don't have children yet, but plan to in the near future. Is this breed a good match for small children? I have never seen one to be honest so any info is most appreciated. I am hoping to surprise my wife with a puppy in the near future. Any info on how to find the best breeder in my area would be of great use. Thanks for any and all thoughts.
Wheatens are moderately high energy. Their coats require a lot of maintenance if kept long, but they hate the heat and should be kept short in hot weather. They love snow and cold but the snow balls up in their hair.

They don't have to have that ridiculous beard and are actually much cuter (and neater) without it.

They sometimes develop minor DA issues at around 2 so you need to stay on top of that and provide tons of doggy socialization opportunities.

They also love to jump on people lick their faces (wheaten greetin) so you need to work on that as it can be vary annoying to people and little kids tend to get knocked down.

Their coats, long or short, pick up more dirt that you can possible imaging, especially their feet.

They have happy, fun puppy like personalities which they keep into old age.

All dogs are inside dogs.
 

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I noticed looking online that the females seem to cost more, but I am not sure why unless people are using them for breeding.
If you get a puppy from a good breeder. The puppy will be sold to you as a "Pet" there will be NO difference in price from male to female. And the breeder will make you sign a contract saying you will get the dog Neutered.

IF a breeder you meet doesn't make you sign a contract of some sort no matter how simple, they are more than likly a breeder who doesn't care about their puppies, health, genetics, temperment.

People who don't make you sign contracts are the ones who are trying to get rid of their puppies as fast as possable to get the money.
 

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We get quite a few SCWT at the shelter where I volunteer. And I have one that lives across the street from us that we dogsit quite frequently.

My experience...

Dogs are surrendered at the shelter because they are WAY too high energy for most people where no one is home all day. They are a herding / working breed and if not given a job they will create their own...and you will not like the results.

Several have been turned in due to biting children in the family. They are not tolerant and can have a very "terrier" response (they don't tolerate anything out of the ordinary). On the other hand, as a teenager (many moons ago!) I babysat for a family with a SCWT and that dog was wonderful with all of the kids, even the youngest toddler. But it spent 6 months with a professional trainer before it was sent to the family.

High energy is a gross understatement. The family across the street has had dogs all their lives so they are familiar with training dogs appropriately to have good house manners. At 4 years old they are still dealing with the dog bounding over the glass coffee table to look out the front window at the slightest noise, the "wheaton kiss" greeting that has knocked over many a friend and relative, not being able to leave the dog inside or outside alone (outside he has torn up the patio screen, climbed on the AC compressor and destroyed the awning...inside he has dug holes in the carpeting, has a lot of nervous anxiety in the form of submissive urination / separation anxiety / barking non-stop, chewing many household items only to get sick and require emergent vet care), just needing incredible amounts of exercise and attention every day, all day. Understandably, they were the 5th time the dog had been re-homed when they adopted him at 1 year of age. All of the SCWTs I've come across needed very sturdy crates so that they could be left alone in the house. They will tear through the plastic airline crates like you can't imagine and usually require a heavy-duty wire crate.

I don't think an indoor piddle pad will cut it for a full grown wheaton. Not to mention that you are teaching the dog that it is ok to eliminate in the house, and that's a hard habit to break...but they aren't a small dog. Think "flooded kitchen" by the time you got home. But then the dog would have scaled the doggy gate and had a field day throughout the house anyway, so the flooded piddle pad would be the least of your worries after being left for 8 hours alone.

The ones I have dealt with have coats that mat very easily even if kept short. Grooming is expensive as it is a labor-intensive groom process. For my neighbors to completely groom their own dog monthly (totally de-mat, line comb, trim, wash, dry) takes them about 6 hours. That is in addition to keeping the dog in a short cut with no beard so that they can more easily comb him out daily and keep the debris from coming into the house in the dog's coat. The wife still has to vacuum and sweep every day. When the dog stays at our house (hardwood floors) there is a literal "puddle" of debris and dirt / sand where the dog had layed. And without keeping the beard trimmed very short there is a lot of dripping of food and water all day long.

SCWT are also prone to some major health problems. I have seen lots of SCWT with kidney problems requiring special diets and daily medications (including the neighbor dog). Food allergies and Addison's disease are also common in the dogs I see at the shelter.

I absolutely ADORE SCWT's. But they are not for the faint of heart. Or, IMO, not for the first time dog owners. If you must, be sure that you get a multi-generation pedigree with health guarantees. Also plan to spend a significant amount of time or money on grooming. And be sure to set aside plenty of your daily schedule for working this dog hard. Several obedience training classes will be necessary in the first few years (our neighbors did 3 classes in the first year and still do 2 classes every year since). If I were to look for a good breeder I would start by attending some dog shows (you may have to travel to some larger metro shows to actually find many SCWT in a show) and getting to know some breeders before deciding to purchase from anyone. It is possible with most breeders to obtain a young dog that just didn't work out for show prospects or a dog that has been retired from showing and is just a few years old.
 

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Another question, American and Irish breeds? Not sure what this means. Any opinions on the two. Which one is the "normal" SCWT that we would likely see from a breeder...
As can be seen in photos, Wheaties from Europe have the original, "wash and wear", working terrier coat. North American breeders have worked hard to develop a different coat - beautiful, soft, thick and luxurious ...

It is my understanding that, genetically, those "beautiful, soft, thick and luxurious" coats are somehow tied to kidney disease. Kidney problems have become epidemic in North American Wheatons. I have been told that this is the primary reason why so many breeders, both Canadian and American, are now importing blood lines from Europe.
 

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Wrong, sorry.

Dogs with hair generate about 20 times less dander then dogs with fur. This is true even when their coats are cut to short to trap dander. It has nothing to do with their coat, it has to do with their skin.
Ok I didn't know it was that much less dander but they still have dander and therefore can still cause allergies.

I'm not saying they're not better for allergies but a person with dog allergies can still be allergic to "hypoallergenic" dogs.

But I guess the word hypoallergenic means less-allergenic so ok I was wrong in my interpretation. When I hear hypoallergenic, I tend to think no allergens :p.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, so now I am terrified at the idea of putting a wheaton in the house:)

Thanks.

But thanks for the very informative replies. Not sure if this is the breed for us or not. Sounds like a very difficult breed. We love dogs, but we are not able to provide 24 hour care as we work for a living. Guess we need to look into other breeds as the dog we get will be left alone a day or two a week in 12 hour intervals. Any suggestions?
 

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I'd go to some dog shows and meet some breeders and owners. The well-bred wheatons I've known have not been NEARLY as active as described in this thread. They're not a couch potato, but they're not THAT high energy, either. All three of those have been lovely family dogs in homes with kids - the coat was not any worse than any other high maintenance soft coat, and the people I knew who had them just kept them clipped very short.
 

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My favorite breed is the Shih Tzu and they fit the requirements that you mentioned. They are considered hypoallergenic and have an independent streak, so they can stand being alone more than some other breeds. Mine uses puppy pads, so he has access to a potty 24/7.

Shih Tzu are one of the easier breeds to own- not high energy, playful but can be calm, good with other animals and people. Their biggest drawback IMO is that they need regular grooming. Oh and on the couple of days that you and your wife would be gone for 12 hours, I would have a pet sitter come in the middle of the day to walk the dog. Best of luck finding the right breed for you!
 

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My advice - get a wheaten.

I have a 5 month old wheaten puppy. She has been nothing but a joy.

Don't let these responses freak you out. While she may not be 'hypoallergenic', she does not shed. I'm sure she still has dander, but if you're mostly worried about the shedding aspect, then you have nothing to concern yourself with.

Also, everyone makes it sound like wheaten are super high energy. Yes, they need their exercise just like any other dog. However, I have seen other dogs at the dog park (boxers, australian shepherds, labs) and she is much less energy. My pup would just assume sit with me at starbucks and people watch in place of a walk.

I too am a nurse, working 12 hour shifts. My schedule -- up at 5, let Darby out in the back yard while I get ready, eat breakfast, take her for a walk around the block, go to work and leave her gated in the kitchen. I have someone come let her out halfway through the day, for a half hour. When I get back around 8 we go on a longer walk, and by 930 she is ready for bed. Piece of cake.

Obviously brushing/grooming is a must, which you already are aware of. If you start young enough with the brushing, they won't mind and you can leave them shaggier. I have mine in St. Louis and she hasn't had a cut yet; while she gets a little toasty at times (so we limit time outside if its too hot, or get out the puppy pool), she loves getting her hair brushed.

Like I said, wheaten's are awesome dogs. Darby loves all dogs and has been easy to train. You sound like you have done your research and will be very prepared when the time comes to make a decision. My only suggestion would be find either a person/company to let the pup out when you have to work.

Good luck!
 

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I would get around the breed for a while you never know what they are really like until you've been around them...as to leaving a dog alone have you thought about doggie daycare? One of the daycares here in town has several nurses and they work with them on the 12 hours shifts. I have an 8 year old toy poodle and a 4 month old standard poodle and boy I forgot how much work a puppy was!! Don't get me wrong I love it but it is more work than I thought. There is no way you could leave the puppy for 12 hours...they need food and to be handled a lot by people or you'll end up with problems. hth
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Tons of info here guys/gals and I sure do appreciate it. The thoughts shared here are helping me find my way. I will continue looking into some other breeds, but the pic of Darby's wheaton was compelling:)

Darby, thanks for the info on your experience. I could only hope my wife can say the same in the near future.

Any other opinions, let me have them folks. The more the merrier. Admittingly new to dogs and their care requirements, I benefit from each and every thought shared here on the forum.

THANKS!!
 
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